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Free20: Three-Way
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2010 13:36:31
I'm actually pretty impressed with this little PDF. Chris Field really goes into detail to describe this race from appearence to culture and even talking about its reproduction cycle. Also, the very idea of the Trius is very unique--a race of nearly human aliens with the psionic ability to replicate itself--and the traits Chris has given it are pretty fitting for a Dreamscarred Press OGL game or a game using the more modern Pathfinder RPG system. Not only that, but they're also surprisingly well-balanced. In short, this document is five pages worth downloading.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Free20: Three-Way
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Adventurer Essentials: Holy Water
by William M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/21/2010 23:23:19
Variant items for dealing with specific undead monsters and their abilities. Contains good additions for a PC's arsenal in undead heavy campaigns, but little else beyond an expanded item list.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurer Essentials: Holy Water
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S.C.A.R.E. Vol. 2-Viesca Melin Aella
by Fl V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2010 10:25:54
I downloaded the file again and like Mark said the bugs have been fixed. Five stars!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
S.C.A.R.E. Vol. 2-Viesca Melin Aella
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S.C.A.R.E. Vol. 2-Viesca Melin Aella
by Fl V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2010 15:35:15
A nice writeup of a NPC that shows Traveller's characters can give those of Cyberpunk 2020 or their ilk a run for their money.

The cover art is misleading...and that is precisely its point! Viesca Melin Aella is a true chameleon, with more dept, wisdom and age than we might assume in the nipponese blue-haired girl we see. This is a character a GM can use several times without the players ever realizing they are talking to the same person.

The adventure seeds given quite a few ideas for quite a few Traveller skullduggery-filled romps.

The only flaw on this product more than a few spelling errors and less elegant editing than S.C.A.R.E. Vol 1. The only things preventing a 5-star rating.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review! I went through the document again and fixed some spelling errors. ( Last time I use that word processor's spell checker!) I also tweaked the layout a bit to make it flow a better. I hope you enjoy the re-worked file! -Mark Skortched Urf' Studios
Otherverse America Campaign Setting
by Matthew K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/15/2010 13:44:50
Weird, very weird, perhaps the weirdest game setting I've ever encountered, and I've played *Noumenon*. Humans reincarnated as psychic bugs trapped in an interdimensional prison seems somehow tame compared to Otherverse America. It just comes at you out of left field; an America shaped by a civil war between two factions over abortion rights of all things. And not just some sign-waving shouting match kind of civil war, oh no, this is a civil war fought with superheroes, battle-mechs, psionics, aliens, genetic engineering, cybernetics and the powers of a galaxy-spanning deific ecosystem.

If you can't tell by now, I love it. Granted, the subject matter can be a bit offputting and squick-worthy on times, but this book has a sum total of good ideas in it equalling at least the last 4 RPG supplements I've bought. Case in point is the gargantuan array of character options available. You can play a normal person, but you can also play a whole plethora of metahumans. There's superhero-esque "Powereds", tragic full-conversion cyborgs and genetically enhanced Neohumans just for starters, all of which can be further customised with genetic enahncements, cybes and Object Philosophies, abilities that blur the line between psionics and magic. Oh, and the genefeats, which can make your character into a kind of vampiric predator that preys upon the genetically enhanced. If you do get the game, I highly reccomend the various supplements, especially the Guide to the Known Galaxy which introduces the Lifechain, which is insanely cool, both conceptually and mechanically.

It has its flaws too, by the bucket; the layout is a tad on the clunky side, the page-border is simultaneously bland and offensively coloured, the art varies wildly in quality. The cover is actually pretty good looking, with the Neo-Pagan Choicer Priestess and her shapeshifting medical cybernetic arm, but the interior art really does go from the sublime to the awful. Just bad art on it's own isn't a crime, Oathbound had some pretty bad interior art but it still looked okay because it remained consistent, this does not.

I also can't help but feel that this game is really hindered by the clunky, mechanistic d20 system. It could do much better with its own system that wasn't constrained by d20's byzantine point-pushing. But on the whole, not a bad attempt.

Art: 2
Fluff: 3*
Crunch: 5

*Increase to 4 with the addition of Guide to the Known Galaxy.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Otherverse America Campaign Setting
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Free20: Monkey Business
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2010 14:23:58
I was actually pretty impressed with this PDF, as it really gave me a solid idea of how to incorporate awakened primates into both my d20 Fantasy campaign and a number of different d20 Modern settings (Psi-Watch and cyberpunk, to give a couple). I also enjoyed the photography, which really fit the theme of the document. However, "Free 20: Monkey Business" could have benefitted from the following changes:

* More careful editing for grammatical errors (i.e., page 2 underneath the Spot Check Dc heading, where it discusses how some "uplifted" (rather than "awakened") apes might be covered in arcane "rules" (rather than "runes") based on origin.

* More thoroughly detailed differentiation between the different breeds of primates (e.g., orangutans, gorillas, bonobos. gibbons, baboons, mandrills, lemurs, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, etc.). As such, this PDF only goes inbto describing large apes (gorillas) and small apes (chimpanzees) and doesn't really talk about actual monkeys at all, which contradicts the title "MONKEY Business" to a degree.

*Racial classes for each breed of primate with appropriate Talent Trees for each breed a la Peter M. Ball's "After Sunrise" series for vampires and werewolves.

Other than that, you really can't go wrong with this title, especially considering that it's free to download. I say give it a shot.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Free20: Monkey Business
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Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Cold Bringer
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2009 13:12:00
Content: 3
Layout: 4

Most of the Dept 7 classes, I've realy liked. Yes, they are overpowered but they tend to fill niches in the Modern setting nicely.

The Cold Bringer seems a little to niche to me. The powers are cool, and yes, it is also a bit overpowered, but it just seems to have too narrow a focus. It is a good class if you are looking to do a high-powered game such as Psi-Watch by the same author, but otherwise this class just seems a bit too narrow.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Cold Bringer
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Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Hollowpoint Monk
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2009 13:07:58
Content: 5
Layout: 4

The Hollowpoint Monk is a decently ballanced adv class that is not as overpowered as some of the other Dept 7 classes. The options available to this class are interesting and go very well in a modern Hong Kong/ Jet Li styled action game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Hollowpoint Monk
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Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Lightweaver
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2009 13:03:00
Content: 4
Layout: 4

yet another cool class from C. Field. Like most of his work, this is slightly overpowered compared to the typical D20 modern fair, but it works well. The power progression scales nicely, with no one level seeming to have a huge jump in power level.

If you like a supers feel to your game, try the lightweaver!!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Lightweaver
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Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Gravity Slinger
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2009 12:59:12
Content: 5
Layout: 4

A very well put together class, if slightly overpowered. The abilities the Gravity Slinger posseses is just sweet!

Again, this is a slightly more powerful class than those found in D20 Modern core book or D20 future, but it realy works well in a supers styled game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Gravity Slinger
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Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Bar Room Berserker
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2009 12:56:50
Content: 2
Layout: 4

There are too many classes that are simply too similar to this one. Not that original.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Bar Room Berserker
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Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Fifth Horseman
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2009 12:55:17
Content: 3
Layout: 4
it is an interesting class, but some of the mechanics seemed a bit skewed. The class abilities that is.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dept. 7 Adv. Class Update: Fifth Horseman
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Otherverse America Campaign Setting
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2009 23:16:26
Here goes nothing!
Layout: 3
Content: 4
Overall: 3

After a good product like Psi-Watch, I was actually disappointed in this product. The new rules are just as cool and playable as the ones in Psi-Watch, and he did add page number to this hefty volume. What was still missing were bookmarks, a table of contents and an in depth index. There is an index, just not a very good one.

The setting itself is less enjoyable than the one presented in Psi-Watch. I know, they are the same setting, but it sounded better in Psi-Watch, whereas it seems stuck on a sexual revolution in Otherverse America. The setting did not seem to have nearly as much action and super-spy intrigue as Psi-Watch. It was more a Deathrace 2000 styled fray. (That's an old 70's movie)

Bottom lime: The layout needs a lot of work. The rules sections could have definitely been better organized. It makes it hard for someone who is making a character to find all the rules needed as they are terribly spread out through the book.
I really like what this author does. I have most of his Dept 7 classes and for all it's faults, I love Psi-Watch. I just wish this was as good as the Psi-Watch setting.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Otherverse America Campaign Setting
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Mega-Feats Revisited
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/27/2009 14:05:41
Usually a revision is a chance to improve upon the original product. It is an opportunity to fix errors, add those nuggets that you regretted leaving out and include tidbits you only recently realized. Mega-Feats Revision, a revised version from the poorly reviewed Mega-Feats: New Paths to Victory, gains little if any new ground, improving some areas and taking a huge leap back in others.

The 87-page book that lacks any type of PDF navigation contains over 250 feats that are taken from the first two Mega-Feats books. Gone are the weapon, item creation and weapon specialization feats. Unlike the first book, Mega-Feats Revision is not organized in the least, with all 250 some odd feats crammed together alphabetically. There is no table of contents or description table so you will have to read through the feats to see if there are any you like. The layout is a mixed bag, with nicely aligned columns blended with good to horridly cropped pictures.

There is still quite a bit of explicit material in the book even without the Iron Forge stuff (a group of feats that often allowed you to have robotic sexual organs). There are feats on sexual positions, homosexuality and sex magic. There are more than 20 feats that deal with sex. There is a noted maturity in the writing, but there still needs to be some type of warning.

This time, the number of good feats balance out the excess, creating a good product that you will have to really explore the material to find what you are looking for. They have done a good job of converting feats to benefit the Pathfinder system. With so many feats I am pretty sure that a good many can easily be exploited by power gamers, but if you have power gamers, why are you allowing feats from other sources.

For the Player
Clerics rarely get any love in feat books, so its nice to see a good many divine feats in the book. Divine Marriage and Divine Midwife are quite clever and the Anointed Cleric feels like a must have feat for clerics. Its an example of what Mega-Feats does well and that is create flavorful feats.

For the Dungeon Master
The Vampiric Metamagic feats are another set of unique feats I have not seen before. They allow spells to feed off of the shedding of blood.

The Iron Word
Mega-Feats: Revision fixes a ton of the maturity and writing errors from the first book, but fails to provide a book that is easy to navigate. There are dozens of really fun, flavorful feats in this book, but do note you are going to have to spend some time to get to them. Still, many of these feats can define campaign long villains and makes it well worth the purchase.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mega-Feats Revisited
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Thinking Races: Freeform Anthropomorhhica
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/10/2009 15:06:54
The Thinking Races: Freeform Anthropomorphica is an 89-page PDF (87 after cover and OGL) for Pathfinder and OGL 3.5 written by Chris A. Field and published by Otherverse Games. This product is part of the Thinking Races line and it brings wide variety of anthropomorphic (“human-like”) animals to the gaming table.

The layout is two columns and fairly clean and readable. The art is from a variety of artists, much in color, and mostly quite good if tangential to the text. A separate printer friendly text-only version would have been useful addition to the product. Scattered throughout the product is the term ‘mutant’ for the anthropomorphs, probably a holdout from an earlier draft, which is distracting.

Unlike some gamers, I have always liked the use of anthropomorphic characters in RPGs so I am always interested in seeing support material for such. Freeform Anthropomorphica starts with a brief discussion about why use anthropomorphs in games -noting that they already show up in the form of gnolls and other animal races- and give some sources of inspiration (such as Thundercats!).

The idea behind the system presented here for creating anthropomorphic races is very clever, first you choose the Order (species, animal) from among 28 choices ranging from arachnids to orcas, tigers to bears. Each order has its own set of abilities and, sometimes, penalties. This forms the basic building block for the race. Then you can choose racial traits, these come in major and minor levels and each major (or two minor) must be counter balanced by a racial disadvantage. However, it is structured so that you can take a single minor ability with no disadvantage. Which would not seem too unbalancing except that each Order has a handful of favored abilities, major abilities that only cost a minor ability slot for that Order. Additionally, several of the disadvantages simply make a character unplayable in some situations (such as Waterbound, where the character must immerse themselves in saltwater every few hours or start to die) with no real rhyme nor reason to them. Which is a shame as several disadvantages are quite interesting and have good roleplaying potential while others just cripple a character.

Eleven templates, most of which include a level adjustment, allow for further customization by playing to different origins (genetically created anthro-soldier, free familiar, god-cursed) or made of different stuff (stone, clockwork, living cartoons). These are good to review simply for way to explain the existence of such creatures in a campaign. This leads nicely into the next section on fitting athropomorphics into your game which provides a short overview on ways to do so.

Ending the products is an example anthropomorphic race, the Carta (otter-people), and three other races: the Monster Brother/Sister, strange hybrids mixing human and monster heritage. Neanderthals, humanity’s primitive ancestors. And the Wild Fawn, pure hearted children of nature.

While there are a lot of useful tools for creating anthropomorphic characters in this product, it seems rushed and unfinished. Considerably more work could have been done explaining the racial traits and disadvantages as well as discussing how to build a balanced and interesting races from the options available. If you wish to include such races in your campaign, this is a good reference but it is only a starting point.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Thinking Races: Freeform Anthropomorhhica
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