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Prepare for War - Basic Training (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/28/2014 02:55:32
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 42 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 38 pages of content, so let's take a look!



So this module is unconventional - based on Amora Game's Player's Guide, the PCs are regular average Joes and Janes of the Thaddean Empire who have just enlisted in the military to serve their grand empire. Hence, the structure of this module diverges vastly from what one would expect and slaughters quite an array of sacred cows:



first of all, it uses RGG's apprentice-level character rules (and provides all necessary bits and pieces) - this means you start this module as a level 0 nobody. Secondly, and more importantly - this module is by its very nature necessarily a railroad. Think of basic military boot-camp-style intense training and you're pretty close to what the PCs will go through in here - this is a railroad by design and the restricted choices indeed are part of the module's very design.



So I'm not really spoiling the basics when I'm giving you a brief synopsis of the plot and tell you that the PCs will have to do push-ups, properly reply to military naming structure and conditioning. The training by Sgt. Lithgow in the notorious Compound 13 (fully mapped, btw.) includes not only checking the knowledge of the empire's religion, but also obstacle courses and climbing walls - most of which btw. are depicted in complex skill challenges. Now the interesting thing here would be, that special achievements can result in specific traits - doing well at these challenges will reflect in your PC's capabilities. Conversely, sucking or just refusing outright may result in your character earning drawbacks. Beyond diverse skill challenges for just about every skill and various story feats can be gained this way as well - take e.g. one that allows you to not provoke AoOs with unarmed strikes - not as strong as proper improved unarmed strike, but damn cool as a bonus.



Add to that formation training (with rather cool tactical benefits), weapon training etc. and we have a cool training - even before infiltrating a village of a drunken goblin clan and extracting their leader as a kind of covert ops test and the surprising finale that hints at the things to come, this module proved surprisingly interesting.



The pdf provides full stats for all characters, a DM-check-list for achievements/drawbacks and formations and 4 pages of full-color player-friendly versions of the maps.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good - I didn't notice any significant glitches that would have spoiled the module. The layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column, full-color standard and the pdf's maps are solid, and working, but not particularly beautiful. Artworks are okay. The pdf comes sans bookmarks, which is a comfort detriment the pdf didn't need imho.



Designer Greg LaRose lies to us on the first page "This adventure is going to suck. Just quit reading." You can read these words on the first page and they're wrong - while military training is surely no cakewalk and not exciting in the traditional sense due to the rigid structure the module imposes, it turned out to be anything but sucky. In fact, especially DMs who have a hard time with rp-dialogue improvisation will marvel at the exceedingly detailed read-aloud text, which comes with blue text for regular read-aloud text, red text for speech directly addressing the PCs - which is nice to have a visual cue for the instructor-voice. Indeed, the dialogues and instructions are exceedingly detailed and provide ample help for the DM.



In fact, I thought the respective skill challenges would be much more boring, the meta-plot and characters seeping through and suffusing the experience rather in rather cool ways. Now it's been quite some time since the release of this module and while it, at the time of me writing this review, is not certain whether we'll ever get the follow up modules, this one can easily be taken as a nice beginner's module to depict a party in service to some elite organization or military - reskinning is all it takes, so yes, this remains relevant.



This module is gutsy indeed - in structure, in daring to be different. And while it will not be for everyone, if you ever wanted a great "becoming heroes"-module that takes the form of a quasi-military intense training, then this will be exceedingly awesome for you. This is many things - unconventional, brave, different - but it does not, I repeat, it does not suck. While not perfect due to a couple of glitches, the non-too-impressive maps and the lack of bookmarks, it is an innovative, cool module that dares to be different and with its cool ideas (I *want* more formations and see them in battle!), I sincerely hope that we'll one day see the follow-up modules. Until then, I remain with a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prepare for War - Basic Training (PFRPG)
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Prestigious Roles: Toxicologist (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/31/2014 04:19:00
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 6 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content for the new PrC, so let's take a look, shall we?



The Toxicologist needs to be non-good and have 5 ranks in Craft (alchemy), sleight of hand and stealth, 3 in heal and need to have poisoned an unsuspecting victim and made friendly contact with a poison-selling apothecary. Got that? Okay, then you qualify for a PrC that nets you d8, 6+Int-mod skills, proficiency with light armor and blow guns, 3/4 BAB-progression and 1/2 fort- and ref-save progression. Toxicologists never risk poisoning themselves, create poisons at half the time and may apply them as a move action (later even as a swift action). They may even change the delivery method of poisons and make e.g. ingested poisons contact poisons - which may be problematic, since method of delivery more often than not makes for a balancing factor in a given poison's potency. The pdf mentions the Craft (poison)-skill, here, though - which does not exist. This ought to be Craft (alchemy).



The toxicologist is also great at blending in in crowds (making for great assassins from the stands!) with bonuses to disguise in crowds - just a pity that the ability does not extend to stealth - sniping unnoticed from the crowds would have been cool - as written, the Toxicologist gets one shot and then is exposed. They also learn to increase the DC of their poisons, can purchase them at less cost and delay their onset as well as negate them via int/level-checks. The PrC also gets sneak attack progression (+4d6 over 10 levels). At first level and every 3 after that, the class learns a specialty, which include poisons that last longer than one hit etc. Special mention deserves the theory of opposites - allowing them to make poisons into buffing items instead - but still risky to imbibe. While potentially rather powerful, abusable and a bit wonky in wording, I do enjoy this idea - especially due to negative conditions balancing the effects in the aftermath. Toxicologists may also learn to extract organs, preserve them and distill poison from them or lace alchemical items with poisons - the latter imho requiring a caveat to not work with some class features of the alchemist-base-class...



At high levels, toxicologists may blend poisons and true masters may, as a capstone, generate lethal poisons from their own body.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting formally are good, though some of the rules-languages could have used a tighter wording. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



The toxicologist-PrC is on the one hand a great little PrC to make poison-use more viable, but it does suffer from some hick-ups in the rules-language - while none of them are particularly nasty, they do accumulate. Author Christie Hollie has delivered a nice PrC and indeed shows some talent here - with minor modifications, this PrC can make for a neat addition to one's campaign. Oh, and it's just 1 buck. For the very fair price and the nice concepts herein, I believe that, in spite of its flaws, I can still round this up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars to 4.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Toxicologist (PFRPG)
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Prepare for War - Basic Training Manual (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/23/2014 03:10:23
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Player's Guide for Amora Game's new AP is 29 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC,1 page SRD, leaving us with 25 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Military-life is not for the faint of heart or easy, and the same holds true for the city-state of Thaddeus, where, in the Compound 13, the PCs will undergo their training for war against the city-state's adversaries. Hence, as you can imagine, the player characters don't start as full-blown adventurers, but rather 0-level characters. Where via SGG (or now, RGG's) Apprentice-level character-rules (don't fear - all required is in here) and char generation, the PCs are made. And we're in for at least my preferred style, with only 15-point buy (or the regular conservative rolling) making the PCs not super-heroes, but rather diligent soldiers. We also are introduced for the roles of the respective non-humans in the predominantly human Thaddean military. As the new race here, we have the ferals, essentially urbanized orcs that get +2 Str and Wis, -2 Cha, 2 primary natural claw attacks at 1d4, low-light vision, +10 ft movement when running, charging or withdrawing, always treat Perception and Stealth as class-skills and get +2 to melee atk and AC when below half HP and without conscious ally within 30 ft. Compared to the other standard races perhaps a bit strong, but still within acceptable parameters.



Now background as per Ultimate Campaign, starting level traits, alignment etc. is covered in here as well, lending you a hand for proper character-generation. We also are introduced to the social hierarchy of the Thaddean Empire, which imho lends a level of realism to the set-up unfortunately all-too-often ignored in most settings, so kudos for that! Simple and easy to grasp though it is, its presence lends a distinct flair to the chapter!



The next section covers more than basic training, i.e. the graduation from 0-level to 1st level characters, which includes extensive breakdowns of the respective character-classes and the units they are considered as - from bards and alchemists and druids to infantry and the support-units - each class gets recommendations that help fit it within the context of the campaign and teh Thaddean Empire - and does a better job at depicting this than quite a few player's guides I've read. Furthermore, we are introduced to the Thaddean Empire's patron god Damocles. Here we also are introduced to a cool variant rule: Per default, Gods don't heal non-believers; Damocles heals e.g. only his believers and citizens of his city-state. Non-believers can be healed, but at reduced efficiency and with the chaplain (the name for clerics of Damocles) being temporarily sickened. At least for me...Two thumbs up! The clause of alternately belonging to a city-state being enough makes infiltration, not using healing as detect-spells etc. possible, so yeah: Neat one! It should be noted that gunslingers, monks and ninjas are not covered, though - they don't fit within the context of the campaign and while seeing them would have been nice, I'd rather have a believable, concise fluff than a half-baked hodge-podge, so again, kudos for having the guts to exclude them.



We also are introduced to quite a slew of new traits to choose from: A total of 30 new traits, to be precise. Also interesting here - they actually have a cool fluff and offer some rather interesting bonuses: Adjusting the Draw of your bow for 1 hour nets you a +1 damage-bonus to your shots, but also risks breaking the bow on a natural 1 or 2. The equivalent of the soldier fine-tuning the signature gun - rather awesome! Firing crossbows with one hand, increased pain-tolerance due to having met the military's bone-breakers, being known for arcane friendly fire (which makes saving for your allies easier!) etc. - these traits are actually all rather awesome and one of them is even a teamwork-trait, following Amora's rather cool installment in the Supporting Roles-series, which btw. makes for a superb supplemental pdf for an unbeatable price.



Next up are a total of 10 new feats: From Coordinated Volleys to charging through allies, being better at sabotage, combining dirty tricks and rage, improved resiliency in groups to avoid damage from forced marches and one that allows you and an ally to stack morale bonuses and extend them to allies, but at the cost of actions every round - these feats, overall, are well-crafted and flavorful.



Now, of course we also get new archetypes, first of which would be the Armiger - no, not the RGG base-class, here, it's a magus archetype that gets a reduced arcane pool, but may impart special arcane marks on weapons for bonuses, learn to craft magic arms and armor rather soon, at 5th level. The signature ability, though, would be arcane heraldry, which allows the armiger to create a seal on his tabard, armor etc. - when using his/her arcane pool, they may via this seal improve temporarily all weapons imbued with their marks, later learning to even add magical qualities. I can see playing this one being fun - nice, if unfortunately-named archetype.



The Battlefield Sapper Ranger chooses affiliations and organizations/nations as favored adversaries instead of creature types, get trapfinding and additional ranger traps. Even cooler, they can lay down bombs, Bridgeburner-style: Including countdown, increasing damage and rules to disarm them. Oh, and they later learn to combine these with ranger traps! AWESOME. Seriously, I really, really like this one!



Battle Sorcerors draw strength literally from their highest level arcane spell, boosting their strength and they may also erect spontaneous spell barriers to avoid being reduced below 0 hp, using his still remaining spells as a kind of hitpoint substitute; Nice, especially since the Battle Sorceror gets some solid weapon proficiencies! Later, the barrier can be used without even the immediate action it required in the beginning. Again, a cool archetype! The Cavalryman Cavalier is essentially a cavalier that is theme-wise more in line with the mounted soldier than the questing knight, with a variety of subtle modifications that make sense and should be considered balanced.



Decrier Inquisitors are masters of propaganda and censure, essentially the ideological think-tanks, whose words may stop the adversaries dead silent in their tracks or censure foes with negative effects depending on the alignments of the affected. The words of censure may later be imparted via attacks as well - again, a nice archetype. Field Medics are alchemists that get weaker bombs, but access to cognatogen as well as improved healing discoveries and fast healing-imparting smoke bombs. Nice! The Commander-class from Amora Game's Supporting Roles-series also gets a new archetype with the Iron Fist, especially fearsome and harsh commanders. Nothing to complain here either. Peacebane Oracles are masters of antagonizing adversaries and have an aura of strife. Raider rogues are mounted rogues that are particularly adept at striking from horseback - essentially mounted skirmishers. Again, rather cool. The Siegemaster-archetype from Abandoned Art's Amazing Races: Humans! has been acknowledged and adapted to this book as well. Bards may opt for the War Chanter archetype, who gets less skills per level, but 3 special bardic performances that allow them to negate fatigue, temporarily grant endurance and as a capstone world wave to sweep away enemies. Add to that sonic-damage causing war chants, calling lightning and grant temporary hit points to allies that respond to his call and we have one damn awesome archetype. Finally, War Wizards may reduce arcane spell failure chance, get Tactician and bonus feats, but pays for this with no less than four opposition schools.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches that would have impeded my understanding of the content's intent. Layout adheres to an easy-to-read two-column full-color standard with golden borders at the top and bottom. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and the interior artwork in b/w is fitting.



Amora Game supplements have been work for me so far and I've bashed a couple of them to smithereens. Hence, to be honest, I wasn't particularly excited to read and review this.

Holy Moly was I wrong.



From actually fun to read prose to complex mechanics that are handled well, this supplement had me reread it multiple times, my heart swelling a bit every time - Greg LaRose, Daron Woodson (mastermind of Abandoned Arts), Wayne Canepa and Wojciech Gruchala have crafted a supplement that draws you into the culture of the Thaddean Empire, that breathes flair, offers solid crunch and feel surprisingly unified in voice and style. Oh, and the crunch here is excellent for the target goal of providing a good crunch-backdrop for their War-AP. Almost ex nihilo, the crunch herein is actually so cool and compelling that I'm rather surprised how well all the archetypes came out - there are several herein that just had me smile my predatory "Hell yeah"-grin; With these, your group actually could go all-out Bridgeburners (early books, before the demigod-aspects came in); Better yet, Amora Game shows awareness for other supplements, adding value to them as well, though not necessarily requiring them.



Seriously, there are more great archetypes herein than in MANY of the countless supplements I've reviewed and the fluff, traits etc. -everything goes seamlessly together, quoting all our favorite fantasy war tropes. This player's guide is superior to most I've read and is well worth the fair asking price - I salute the designers and team from Amora Game: 5 stars + seal of approval, Endzeitgeist reporting ready for the AP; If it can stand up to this guide, then I'm in for a blast.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prepare for War - Basic Training Manual (PFRPG)
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Prepare for War - Basic Training (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/01/2014 10:00:48
You might think that the average adventurer would take to all out warfare like a duck to water.... wrong! The basic recruit training programmes devised by real-world armed forces the world over is designed to get the hapless recruit to abandon everything he knows or can do and re-aquire the skills needed to be a small cog in the military machine... and this module aims to recreate the process for a fantasy army.

It starts with a neat move. Put aside you ideas about what you fancy playing and develop a character from Zero level over the course of the adventure. Yes, it's a railroad, but so is 'boot camp' or basic training. Those of you who, like me, are veterans (or indeed still in service) will find themselves on familiar territory. On passing out (graduating) from basic training, the characters become first level.

There's another novel idea here: the patron deity under which this army operates is only prepared to heal those who worship him! A cleric can heal anyone using divine magic, but if the recipient is not a devotee or at the very least a citizen of the areas the deity is patron of, he only gains one-half of the normal benefit of the healing magic and the cleric feels rather ill as a result! Incentive, if nothing else, for clerics to proselytise on behalf of their deity.

The concept behind the adventure path of which this is the first adventure is that all-out war is brewing, and so there is plenty of background information to set the scene for GM and characters alike. Ending with a quick summary of the various elements of the armed forces of the Empire of Thaddeus, the adventure proper begins with the characters as ordinary citizens who have chosen to enlist.

Even as new recruits, the powers that be have discerned the seeds of something above the ordinary in them, and so they are sent to a remote compound to complete their basic training in the company of others who have the potential to become members of the elite forces. From then on it is the gruelling round of exercise and drills that make up basic training. I'd recommend that you take no more than one session running this or your players might get fed up. The characters WILL be fed up, that's a given and to be expected with basic training.

The various areas of training are given in quite some detail. Groups who enter into the spirit of this will gain some benefits as well as the skill levels that their characters acquire. It's all quite nicely put together (although could do with some proofreading in places) and captures the flavour of basic recruit training well. There's a neat trick here too, as the recruits master each area, they gain certain skills as class skills and if they do particularly well they can even gain a bonus to future uses of that skill. It's a nice way of reflecting the learning process in game mechanical terms - and means that those parties who do participate with a will get a mechanical advantage for their efforts!

The whole is well-supported with NPC details, some ready-reference sheets and plenty of maps (for both player and GM) of the various areas visited during the course of the adventure. Given the basic premise, it holds together surprisingly well and ought to make for a good start to a military-style campaign. By indicating from the outset the characters' selection as potential elite forces, this sets the scene for later adventures involving 'special operations' style missions, which work far better in the context of a role-playing game than straight mass combat warfare.

Overall this is original and well-handled, worth a go if you want something a bit different.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prepare for War - Basic Training (PFRPG)
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Prestigious Roles: Beast Hunter (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/20/2013 03:53:45
This supplement is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look!



The Beast hunter-PrC requires the ranger trap ability of the Feat Learn ranger Trap as well as otherwise moderate prerequisites. The PrC gets d10, 4+Int skills per level, no new proficiencies, full BAB-progression, no spell-progression and medium fort and ref-saves. Beast Hunters choose a favored monster at 1st level and selects a creature type, getting bonuses to atk, damage and skills related to said creature. S/he also gets more of these at 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th level, with bonuses of prior chosen foes increasing favored enemy-style. The Beast Hunter also becomes a superb tracker, increasing his tracking prowess greatly over the course of the 10 levels of the PrC. The Beast Hunter also gets access to a total of no less than 5 ranger traps over the course of 10 levels.



The class also learns to use survival (Vs. DC 10+ CR) to partially bypass a creature's DR, become immune to fear-effects and as a capstone, they learn to counter ANY attack of a favored monster with an AoO that also may impose 1d4 rounds of one of 1d12 randomly rolled conditions - I actually like this ability, I just wished it had been available earlier.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch this time around - kudos to Amora Game for getting it right! Layout adheres to an easy-to-read, nice 2-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Designer Greg LaRose has taken the concept of the big-game-hunter and translated it into a working PrC that wilders heavily in the Ranger's territory - one the one hand, that means the class works rather well and there's not much to complain about. On the other hand, I really would have wished the class had some more unique, interesting options - the capstone may be nice, but overall, the PrC feels somewhat lacking in regards to actual signature tricks -something to set them apart properly at earlier levels, not only at their capstone. That being said, at $1, this pdf is very fairly priced and makes for a neat option if you want to go into a ranger-like PrC. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at solid 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 due to the low price-point.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Beast Hunter (PFRPG)
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Prepare for War - Basic Training Manual (PFRPG)
by Charles M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/13/2013 14:52:03
This book provides a lot of options for military-themed characters. Most adventurers are freelancers at best and vagabonds at worst. This book proposes additional feats, traits and even archetypes to let players inject a more militaristic flavor into their battle-hardened veterans. There's also a bunch of fluff which has me curious about the setting at large.

It's not perfect, though. I would also use NPC classes in lieu of the 0-level character rules presented here, but that's just personal preference. Overall? Good book!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prepare for War - Basic Training Manual (PFRPG)
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Supporting Roles: Teamwork Traits
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2013 08:06:04
An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

This pdf is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content - so let's take a look at those teamwork traits!

So what are these teamwork traits? Essentially, they constitute a subset of social traits - essentially netting either you, your allies, or both a bonus. A Total of 15 traits are provided:

-Always by your side: Choose one an ally. You count as if you have heal as a class skill and treat your character level as heal ranks when treating that character. Rather cool!

-Armed Together: Works only in conjunction with another ally taking the trait: 1/day, you may act on your ally's initiative count for one round. Your initiative does not change and you may only use it if you haven't yet acted in this round.

-Bait and Tactics: Also works only in conjunction with an ally. 1/day, a foe you successfully feint is treated as flat-footed for your chosen ally.

-Competitive Friendship: When challenging an ally to do the same task you just performed, you grant that ally the aid another bonus to all rolls associated with the task - now usable 1/day. No complaints!

-Entourage (New One): Select an ally or NPC - when accompanying said character, you get +2 to social skill checks when interacting with others.

-Encouraging Words: As a free action, net allies a pep talk that grants them +2 to a will save. Nice!

-Follow my Lead: Allies following in your wake through difficult terrain do not incur movement penalties. Cool idea and now also features a caveat that makes gaming it impossible - two thumbs up!

-Forgotten Face (New One): When not being looked at, you reduce the DC of e.g. pick pocketing and similar skills by 2 as long as the target is distracted.

-Hype Man (New One!): You can hype up a crowd via social skills to lower the DC for follow up performances/social skill checks.

-Jealous of your Rival: Select a rival: When said Rival fails an atk, save or skill check and you witness it, 1/day you get a +2 trait bonus to your next d20 roll.

-Just a Friendly Hand: 2/week, increase the aid another bonus you grant by +2. Nothing to complain about here!

-On your Feet (New One): 1/day use an move action to lift up a prone ally. You provoke AoOs, but your ally does not - cool to step in and save the mage! Nice!

-Till Death Do Us Part: Choose a spouse - when said character drops unconscious or dead, you get +1 to atk and damage until you can verify that character's condition. Nice, though perhaps it's the romantic buried below a mountain of cynicism speaking, but personally, I would have preferred this to be a feat with more significant bonuses.

-Together, We Ride: 1/day, get a +2 bonus to ride checks or net an ally +4 to that ally's ride check. Two thumbs up!

-Working Together Makes the World Go Faster: 1/month When working with an ally who also has this trait, you and your ally add your Profession skill checks together when working for money and then each get the gold pieces of this combined check. Now a rather cool option for downtime money-earning.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good in the revised edition.. Layout adheres to Amora Games's two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

I usually HATE reviewing trait-books. They tend to be(though not always) BOORING. Not so this one - quite the contrary in fact: By focusing on teamwork, these traits provide some rather iconic, cool options and foster friendship in and out-game, making for neat roleplaying catalysts - and they generally are well-crafted. In fact, this revised edition provides some of the coolest traits I've seen in quite a while and as an added bonus, Amora Game makes this an ongoing project - you may submit new teamwork traits to the project! Coming at a very fair price, having exorcized the issue I had with the first iteration and adding some cool new bonus content to boot, this pdf now is a great offering all about working together and well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval - congratulations to designer Greg LaRose!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Supporting Roles: Teamwork Traits
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Prestigious Roles: Meta Adept (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/18/2013 03:51:04
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Prestigious Roles-series is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look!



This pdf contains, surprise, a prestige class - the Meta Adept, who is especially adept at using meta-magic. As a generic prestige class focused on metamagic, the entry-requirements are not that steep: 3rd level spells, 5 ranks in Knowledge (Arcane) or (Religion) and 5 ranks Spellcraft as well as two metamagic feats- that very doable. The PrC gets d6, 2+Int skills per level, no new proficiencies, 1/2 BAB-progression, medium will-saves and full spellcasting progression.



But what can the class do? Well, it can have the metamagic modified spells count as the higher spell-level. Prepared spellcasters may swap metamagic feats of equal or lower spell-modifications, whereas spontaneous casters may now ignore the increased casting time of metamagic - rather powerful, that one! The Metamagic Adept may also gain some metamagic feats, of course.



The PrC may also recall spent metamagic-modified spells via concentration checks versus 10 + twice the spell level - on a failed check, the adept may suffer from the new mental fatigue condition (or the second new condition, mental exhaustion) - these two feature heavily in the other abilities of the adept - e.g. spontaneously adding a metamagic feat to a non metamagic-prepared spell is possible, but again, at the risk of mental fatigue. While limited per day, the lack of a modified benefit for spontaneous casters makes this ability imho less useful for spontaneous casters.



Where the PrC gets weird is with for example the Meta Consolidation ability - which allows you to use two of the metamagic feats at once without adding the modified levels - VERY powerful, even if it is limited to casting attribute modifier times per day. With this ability, prepared casters get a bit of a short end - they have to make their concentration checks when preparing, potentially losing spell slots and starting the adventuring day with the new negative conditions...



The capstone of the class allows the adept to convert a metamagic-powered spell into a blast that deals damage and may fatigue foes - per se neat, but spontaneous casters can potentially blast foes to massive smithereens.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are ok, I did notice some minor issues, though none that impeded my understanding of the PrC. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard with a nice piece of artwork, is printer-friendly and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



I like the idea of this PrC - metamagic sucks and can use some update/option to make it viable. This PrC partially succeeds in the endeavor - but only partially. While reviewing this, I often found myself wondering whether this would not have been more prudent as two PrCs - one for spontaneous and one for prepared casters. As provided, some of the abilities just feel off balancing-wise with regards to one of the spellcasting types - essentially, imho, too much was crammed into one class, when two would have probably yielded the more precise results. The new conditions are actually cool - the issue, though, is that the pdf fails to specify which spells could get rid of them, if any - introducing conditions is a brute force way of designing, especially when fatigue and exhaustion already exist and a simple sentence à la "Can be treated as fatigue/exhaustion, stacks with physical fatigue/exhaustion" could make them work so much better as they'd immediately be treatable by an array of spells/abilities and thus no longer inhabit a blind spot in main-stream rules- and what about dropping unconscious from over-exertion?

All in all, the Meta Adept to me feels clunky due to trying to cover both spontaneous and prepared casters in one PrC and not particularly elegant in its design - it works, but not as smooth as I would have liked. While there's nothing UTTERLY broken about it, I'm wary about some of the abilities of this PrC and hence will settle for a final verdict of 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Meta Adept (PFRPG)
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Prestigious Roles: Long Striders (PFRPG)
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2013 15:47:17
Despite some greater focus than its predecessor gave it, mounted combat is still something of an underrepresented aspect of Pathfinder. Part of this is due to simple issues of logistics, e.g. it’s hard to take your horse down a set of steps and into a dungeon. That said, little attention is also given to areas like tracking enemies over long distances, or having groups of mounted characters who fight together.

Prestigious Roles: Long Striders, from Amora Games, attempts to put some greater focus back on those latter options.

The long strider is a five-level prestige class, meant to be taken at about 7th-level, based on the skill requirements. I personally would have lowered this to about 5th, since the +5 BAB requirement assures that druids and similar characters would lag slightly behind while rewarding mount-focused martial characters (e.g. cavaliers) that wanted to become long striders.

The class requires that you already have an animal companion or mount of some sort, though it need not be one that can be ridden. This latter point is solved in the first level of the prestige class, as it says that you discard an existing animal companion if it can’t be ridden, gaining a more appropriate one.

The long strider (which refers to the character; confusingly, the mount is referred to simply as “strider”), gains a number of abilities – two per level, and three at 1st-level – that enable him and his mount to focus on, as a theme, hunting. Being able to run for hours at a time without tiring, using their Reflex saves for each other, moving at full speed with no Stealth penalty, the long strider is fairly tight in its focus, and players who want to play a sort of “mounted bounty hunter” will find this prestige class very much to their liking.

The major drawback of the class is that its narrow focus cuts both ways; several of the abilities here make very specific presumptions about the type of mount and the type of character being played. For example, one class ability gives the mount the scent ability – if it already had that ability, you gain nothing. Another ability grants a bonus to range when using thrown weapons while mounted. Don’t use thrown weapons? Too bad, you gain nothing then. Being able to do a quick (dis)mount when you and your mount are very different sizes is nice, but doesn’t help you if you and your mount are only one size category apart to begin with.

It’s these limitations that present the greatest hindrance to the class. If you work within the scope it already presents, there’s a lot here for you; deviate even slightly, however, and you’ll start to lose out. It’s a shame that the class didn’t present some alternate options for those characters who had slightly different abilities than the ones outlined above – saying that if your mount already had scent then the range of its scent doubled, for example, would have seriously widened the versatility of what’s here.

That said, the class is still a good one for those who want what it offers. It eschews bland bonus feat options, for example, and each level offers a comparatively great amount of abilities, something wise since few of them contribute to combat directly. As it is, the long strider sets a great pace, but only if you can follow in its footsteps.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Long Striders (PFRPG)
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Prestigious Roles: Centurion (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2013 03:06:53
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look at this PrC!



The pdf provides us with the Centurion-PrC (The centurion just needs to have led a unit to victory, have a teamwork-feat and some moderate requirements), who gets d10, 4+Int skills per level, full BAB, medium fort and will-saves, and a teamwork-feat every odd level.



The revised centurion gets access to solo tactics and a command radius that starts at 20 ft and expands over the 10 levels to 60 ft. The allies inside this radius may benefit from his team tactician ability - granting all allies in the radius access to one of his teamwork feats for class level rounds or until he issues a new teamwork feat. This increases to 2 and 3 teamwork feats at levels 4 and 8 of the PrC respectively. At 5th level, in yet another rather cool ability, he may shape the radius of his aura to a cone or line, which is actually a rather neat idea! The capstone lets him choose an ally's initiative and allows him and allies in his aura to act normally in a surprise round.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a relatively printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with some nice stock art. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

The Centurion is a solid, nice little PrC that should especially in the context of war-themed adventuring find its niche and makes for a solid choice - while I'd rather urge you to check out the Supporting Roles-installment that also features the Commander-base-class, this is still a good purchase on its own and thus gets a final verdict of a solid 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Centurion (PFRPG)
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Supporting Roles: Swashbuckler
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2013 05:19:18
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 age SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!



So...we get another take on the Swashbuckler. Yeah. I wasn't looking forward to that one. This particular take is a base-class that gets d8, 6+Int skills per level,3/4 BAB-progression and good ref-saves as well as proficiency in light and medium armor and with simple and martial weapons. No spells and only 3/4 BAB-progression? Yes, for the class gets an ability that is called "Flash of Steel": This is a full-attack action that allows for an additional attack as if using the two weapon fighting feat - now here's the catch: Flashes of Steel use a different BAB equal to the class level (but the usual penalty for two weapon fighting is applied). At higher levels, the swashbuckler gains more additional attacks. Among other things, the swashbuckler may use disarm and trip and uses the full str-bonus when using Flash of Steel. What's missing imho from the ability is clarification whether this ability counts as two weapon fighting for the purpose of feats and abilities and whether it can be stacked with flurry of blows and similar abilities. The ability also lacks the specification whether CMB for disarm and trip-maneuvers as part of flash of steel is calculated with the flash of steel-BAB or the regular one. They also get weapon finesse at first level.



2nd level is imho when the class gets interesting, with the extraordinary ability Parry: Whenever making an attack action, the swashbuckler may forego one or more attacks of up to dex-mod attacks. At any time before his next turn, the character may hence use the omitted attacks to parry incoming melee attacks - I assume this is not an action, but the pdf fails to specify what type of action it is. Essentially, s/he attacks and when surpassing the incoming attack, the swashbuckler may negate it. Unexpected attacks from e.g. charmed adjacent allies and larger creatures are harder to parry, incurring a -4 penalty. The class also gets bonuses to initiative, half class level to Diplomacy and Bluff-checks, increasing AC-bonuses when dual-wielding weapons, dex to melee damage when using weapon finesse, increased weapon dice for light or one-handed piercing weapons or rapiers (including a table) and another ability makes a comeback:



Due to luck's favor, the swashbuckler may decrease falling damage (by landing in the iconic haystack etc.) and at 8th level, the swashbuckler may use an AoO after a successful parry to make a counter-attack on a creature within range. At 1th level, swashbucklers may even maintain parries when moving and make attacks during a movement. S/he also gets improved uncanny dodge and may even move over difficult terrain. At the very highest levels, swashbucklers get a defensive roll, may roll death-defying skill-checks twice and as a capstone, may combine a full attack action with a move action.



We also get a new feat that decreases the penalty incurred to parry ally-attacks down to -2. Very specific and not particularly cool.



The pdf also features several new archetypes for the swashbuckler (which were added as a "thank you" to loyal customers - very nice and commendable from Amora Games!), first of which would be the Blind Swordsman - who only gets proficiency in one sword, but gain blindsense when unable to see and several sense-based abilities. The Fencer suffers from having the incorrect proficiency-listing - the one from the blind swordsmen shows up here again. 1/day, they may challenge to a duel and perform flash of steel with only a rapier, lunge and follow feints up with an AoO. Flamboyant swashbucklers work better when surrounded by foes and may influence crowds with intimidate. "Sword and Pistol" is an archetype that nets the amateur gunslinger feat and allows the archetype to use his/her firearm to supplement his flash of steel. Masked Vigilantes get a code of conduct (which must be lawful - but why? What about chaotic freedom fighters in a despotic regime?) and get bonuses to intimidate and net allies bonuses against fear. Weirdly, the class gets detect evil - which makes e.g. less sense for evil masked vigilantes and they may also grant their weapons temporarily the bane quality.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting is ok, though not perfect - aforementioned proficiency-issues, minor inconsistencies here and there and punctuation glitches can be found. Layout adheres to a relatively printer-friendly 2-column standard with full-color artworks and the pdf comes fully bookmarked - two thumbs up for that!



Authors Kevin Bond and Ryan Cramer have created a neat base-class with some cool mechanics that actually works. While the editing could be tighter, overall, the crunch is solid and features several rather nice abilities. While Parry is not a particularly ingenious ability and could slow down play, it works and overall, I'm actually a fan of the class and consider it one of the better takes on the swashbuckling-trope, even though some minor ambiguities remain.

In fact, I'd probably rate this higher, were it not for the immensely high standard Dreadfox Games' superbly complex Swordmaster-class has set. While said class is HARD to learn and nothing for beginners, the Swashbuckler has one flaw that prevents it from reaching the highest rating-echelons - it's linear. Very, very linear. Talents? Paths? Any choices on the side of the player? NOPE. None. This severely impedes the replay value of the class and makes swashbucklers feel imho too similar to one another. Combined with aforementioned glitches, this drops the final rating down to 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform - at least until the glitches have been purged, after which this should be considered rounded up.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Supporting Roles: Swashbuckler
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Prestigious Roles: Breaker (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2013 03:07:26
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so what do we get?



If you do have the Supporting Roles: Tinker-pdf by Amora Games, you'll know the Breaker already - this PrC is essentially an excerpt of said parent-pdf



The Breaker gets d10, 2+Int skills per level, full BAB-progression and 1/2 fort and ref-saves. The class's idea is that of a more melee-focused tinker and its design shows, providing a controlled form of rage similar to the one of the barbarian, netting +4 to Str, Dex or Con, splitting them as he deems fit for 4+Con-mod rounds.



They may also use intimidating boasts and single out opponents, which they may charge dealing additional damage. As a cool synergy of abilities, foes targeted by their intimidating boasts cannot execute AoOs versus the Breaker. The breaker may 1/day charge a foe within sight as a swift action, dealing additional damage.



The Backswing Push-ability, which allows the breaker to make an additional attack at his/her highest BAB to push foes 5 ft. (10 on a crit) without said movement enforcing AoOs. The Hit and Run-feature is also interesting, allowing the breaker as a full round action to move up to his movement rate and make a full attack action for a -2 AC. That one is rather powerful.



When missing foes with their attacks, breakers may also make a sunder-attempt as an AoO 1/round and follow up with a 5-foot step towards or around the opponents. Finally, at 10th level, the Breaker may divide weapon damage and edifice recognition damage between the sundered weapon and the foe wielding it.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres toa 2-column full-color standard that is relatively printer-friendly and the pdf comes without bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



While you obviously don't need this pdf if you already own the parent-pdf, the Breaker remains an interesting sunder-focused PrC with some powerful, unique non-magical abilities to supplement the class. The PrC is solid and there's nothing particularly wrong with it - hence, I'll settle on a final verdict of a solid 4 star-rating.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Breaker (PFRPG)
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Supporting Roles: Commander & Centurion
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2013 05:30:03
This pdf is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving 8 pages of content for new class and a PrC, so let's check out the Commander!

The Commander class gets d10, 4+Int skills per level, full BAB, good will- and fort-saves, proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as all armors and shields except tower shields. Beyond that, the class is all about commanding troops in battle and enhancing allies.

Commanders have a commanding presence aura of 30 ft around them, which expands by yet another 30 ft. every five levels and works only if the commander is not paralyzed, petrified etc. and when allies can see or hear him. Allies within the aura also gain a +1 morale bonus to initiative an fear-based saves, which scales by +1 whenever the aura-size increases, which it does by30 ft. every 5 levels.

Now tactical strike is interesting - as a standard melee or ranged attack action, the commander can perform an attack that also acts as an aid another to an ally adjacent to the foe the commander attacked. Now that the ability has been stream-lined, its wording is much clearer and more precise.

Commanders may now also give Speeches - 1 + Cha-mod times and an additional 2 times per level beyond the first. Speeches are a subset of direct orders and their benefits last for one round, which allow the commander to use aid another at range and via Perform (Oratory) versus DC 10 as a standard action. Overall, these speeches are vastly superior in their presentation to the commander's first iteration - their intended benefits are clear and unambiguous. A total of 10 different speeches are provided, with the latter ones requiring a preset number of ranks in Perform (Oratory). My only gripe is that Words of Courage grants the Diehard-feat as well as +2 to Str and Con, but does not specify whether the hit points gained from the con-increase behave like the temporary hitpoints of the barbarian rage or not- here minor clarification would be in order.

Starting at second level and every even level thereafter, the commander now gets access to tactics - these are essentially talents for the class and a total of 23 are provided. Mechanically, most of them allow the commander to add his aid another bonuses to uncommon checks - From helping with the handling of siege engines to concentration of allies to granting an ally an AoO and enhancing an ally's CMB and CMD, they are actually interesting now. Some deviate from the assist-mechanic and two in particular are interesting: One allows the commander the addition of int-mod to all saves, which is a bit powerful for my tastes. Most interesting, at least imho, is Cunning Response, which grants the commander int-mod additional immediate actions per round - which is relevant for battle cries.

Starting at 4th level and every 4 levels after that an additional time per day, the commander may activate the ability as a swift action. Once activated "Battle-Cry mode" lasts until the end of combat. When activated thus, the commander may, as an immediate action, react to himself or an ally in sight being hit by attacks, spells or spell-like abilities with issuing a battle cry - 6 are provided and allow for e.g. a 5-foot movement after killing a foe and delivering an AoO to adjacent foes, withdraw as an immediate action and move towards downed foes.

Starting at 5th level, Commanders may now grant allies access to teamwork feats they possess by either substituting the tactical strike or direct order benefits.

At 8th level, the class starts to become interesting and complex: Press the advantage allows the commander to issue multiple orders, tactics or teamwork orders to their allies with a single application of their abilities - up to 4 at once at 18th level. And yes, they may spread the benefits between allies if they so choose. perhaps the mechanically most interesting ability of the class.

At 10th level, the speeches last longer and at 14th level, he may designate an ally as field officer and lend one of his direct orders, speeches or tactics to an ally. Very cool!


We also get 5 new feats:
-At them, Men (Teamwork): Charge with an ally simultaneously at the lower initiative. + 10 ft when charging,
-Band of Brothers (Teamwork): +1 to AC and attacks when adjacent to an ally, up to + 3, stacks with shield wall.
-Extra Speeches: +2 speeches per day.
-Extra Tactics: +1 tactics.
-Hold the Line: When you or your ally are being charged by a foe, your weapons gain the brace quality and the enemy takes a -4 penalty to AC instead of -2.
-With your shield or on it (Teamwork): When holding a shield adjacent to an ally holding a shield as well, gain + 2 to saves vs. spells and fear-effects.

The pdf also provides us the Centurion-PrC (not only for commanders - the centurion just needs to have led a unit to victory, have a teamwork-feat and some moderate requirements), who gets d10, 4+Int skills per level, full BAB, medium fort and will-saves, and a teamwork-feat every odd level.

The revised centurion gets access to solo tactics and a command radius that starts at 20 ft and expands over the 10 levels to 60 ft. The allies inside this radius may benefit from his team tactician ability - granting all allies in the radius access to one of his teamwork feats for class level rounds or until he issues a new teamwork feat. This increases to 2 and 3 teamwork feats at levels 4 and 8 of the PrC respectively. At 5th level, in yet another rather cool ability, he may shape the radius of his aura to a cone or line, which is actually a rather neat idea! The capstone lets him choose an ally's initiative and allows him and allies in his aura to act normally in a surprise round.


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting in this revised version of the pdf are vastly improved - I noticed no significant glitches that would have hampered my understanding of the book. Layout adheres to a relatively printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, which is nice. Artworks are full color, ok stock - nothing to complain about at this price-point.

All right, the first iteration of this pdf was a train-wreck. to cut a long ramble short: This one isn't.
While there are already two classes out there dealing with the concept of the commander, SGG's War Master and DSP's Tactician, both are different: The War Master is slightly dated, having been created before the advent of teamwork-feats and the tactician is focused on psionics. Thus, the commander as a mundane battlefield leader has his place - especially since this iteration of the class has managed to make the expansion of the aid another action and the benefits granted both sufficiently significant and balanced to make this class a viable option. While here and there the wording could be slightly more concise, for the first time Amora Games' pdf manages to get the terminology and rules-language right in a way that is not ambiguous and as precise as the complex rules-adjustments and options that classes like these require. In fact, this revised edition not only feels much more concise, it actually brings some interesting design-ideas to the table in the way how the respective abilities are handled.

Much like Rocks Fall Games recently revised "Dark Totem Part I", this revision has just about nothing in common with its abysmal first version, getting the concepts they tried to get across RIGHT. So much so, in fact, that I'm sincerely hoping that this reflects Amora Games' new quality standard, for if it does, the announced idea of a war-campaign may actually be a very fulfilling experience. Whereas before neither class nor PrC has any reason to exist, this revision made both stand out and me actually consider playing one of the classes herein - I believe they can now be quite some fun, especially if you ever wanted to play concept-wise in the equivalent of a Bridgeburner-like elite unit.

While not yet perfect, this pdf comes at a very low price and delivers in the revised edition interesting mechanics you might wish to scavenge - at the very latest when En World's War of the Burning Sky is converted to PFRPG (they met the KS-stretch-goal, after all!) and as a DM you want to add some oomph to the Ragessian commanders. If the idea of a non-magical commander and expanding the aid another action to make strategist-style warriors work even remotely interests you, then I whole-heartedly suggest you check out this revised pdf - my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Supporting Roles: Commander & Centurion
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Supporting Roles: Tinker Class
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2012 12:16:46
This pdf is the freshman offering of Amora Games and 17 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let's check this out!

The pdf begins with two short narratives displaying different types of tinkers, before we are introduced to the new class, which gets d8, 4+Int skills, proficiency with simple weapons, hammers and picks, light armors and shields and when the emulate spells in light armor, they do not incur a spell failure chance. They get 3/4 BAB as well as good fort-saves and the ability to coat magic weapons and armor with substances to temporarily enchant them with a scaling bonus and later emulate weapon and armor special qualities for a limited amount of time: Neat!
Being masters of demolition and able to recognize the structural weaknesses of objects, the tinkers get improved sunder as a feat at first level as well as access to edifice recognition, which deals +1d6 damage on sunder attempts and improves every odd level by +1d6 to a maximum of +10d6, making sunder attempts by the tinker truly fearsome to behold. At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the Tinker may also choose a so-called design, which could be likened to rouge talents.
Where the first iteration of the class had half-baked spell-casting implementation that followed weird and (to me) unfathomable rules, the latest version of the tinker not only got rid of this feature, but it also had added new designs. Another nice piece of comfort when using the class is an inclusion of a table of all the designs, which provides a nice overview of what the tinker can do. A total of 34 designs are provided and grant the tinker access to e.g. the Disruptive or Skill Focus-feats without meeting the prerequisites.
More interesting designs include "Chink in the Armor", which, after a successful sunder attack against an opponent's armor, enables a tinker to follow up with a called shot at -2 as a standard melee action instead of a full action. Generally I applaud this decision to change the ability, but the design unfortunately fails to specify whether this -2 penalty replaces the usual called shot penalty (which might be up to -20) or is in addition to it. Also, called shots have different effects depending on where they are aimed and the design nowhere specifies to which region this called shot is aimed. Can a tinker freely chose the region of his called shot? This change is definitely preferable to how the design worked earlier, but it still can use some minor clarification. Formerly, 8 of the designs were devoted to enhance the tinker's crafting of respective item-classes and now all of these have been changed and roped in into one design. Some parts of the space so saved has been devoted to something utterly awesome: The demolitions-expert tinker-class can now go full-blown sapper on their enemies by gaining access to alchemist's bombs and even some bomb discoveries if you choose to take the respective design - kudos and two thumbs up for these new designs. On the cool side of abilities, tinkers may now also ruin scrolls to deliver a burst of deadly energy - neat! On the iconic side of abilities is "Scrap it", a power that allows a tinker to use a shield to absorb the fullness of an incoming blow, but at the cost of netting the item the broken condition and breaking it on a second such attempt. The shield can't be repaired via "make whole"-spells when ruined thusly. Nice!
Since they are masters of demolitions, tinkers may also stun constructs by imparting the new stalled condition (i.e. stun for constructs) when specializing in the dismantling of constructs and damaging them via their edifice recognition.

The Tinker also is a master of using his crafting prowess in the field, starting at 6th level counting as always having his/her workshop ready. As capstone abilities, tinkers may either choose to take 20 when creating magic items or gain a special attack that destroys items rather easily.

The pdf also provides additional material in the form of 5 new feats (granting extra designs, extra emulates and the capability to cleave and greater cleave items when sundering and the option to sunder with ranged weapons).
There is also a new PrC for the Tinker, which has been revised as well:
The Breaker gets d10, 2+Int skills per level, full BAB-progression and 1/2 fort and ref-saves. The class's idea is that of a more melee-focused tinker and its deign shows, providing a controlled form of rage similar to the one of the barbarian. They may also use intimidating boasts and single out opponents, which they may charge dealing additional damage. As a cool synergy of abilities, foes targeted by their intimidating boasts cannot execute AoOs versus the Breaker. The Backswing Push-ability, which allows the breaker to make an additional attack at his/her highest BAB to push foes 5 ft. (10 on a crit) without said movement enforcing AoOs. The Hit and Run-feature is also interesting, allowing the breaker as a full round action to move up to his speed and make "a number of melee attacks that is determined by his base attack bonus without provoking attacks of opportunity from the targets of his attack", even being allowed to move both before and after the attacks. While a cool ability, the wording could be slightly clearer. I gather the ability handles iterative attacks the usual way (-5,-10 etc.), but as worded I first thought the ability granted attacks = to BAB, which would have been utterly broken. Where in the first iteration of the PrC the bonus feats granted made no sense, the revision of the PrC actually makes sense.


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting have massively improved, exhibiting now the (mostly)properly-used vocabulary of PFRPG. While there are still some instances of slightly ambiguous wordings, the respective offenders can be solved by an application of common sense, which, while still constituting a minor blemish, is a vast improvement over the first version. Layout per se is nice to look at and comes in a 2-column standard that includes full-color as well as b/w-stock art. The lack of bookmarks is another detrimental factor for this pdf, as it makes navigation harder than it ought to be and something Amora Games should consider implementing in future releases.

Amora Games have taken a class that was completely broken in its first iteration and, much like a tinker after sundering his foe's equipment, taken up the scrap to build them into something useful.
While the result, much like a jury-rigged weapon, still has flaws and might not necessarily be beautiful, the result yet works and may grow to one's heart. Another 3pp has recently released a craft-based class, Drop Dead Studio's Artisan. Crafting-wise, the Artisan is the superior of the two classes, but the tinker does have a niche with this revision, making for a superb representation of a type of soldier that as of yet had no good representation via classes: The sapper, the (surprise) tinker. The guy that takes things first apart, bombs through structures and objects and takes apart foes by destroying their tools and later making something new from them. In its own humble way, the new tinker-class actually feels like it does belong and has a reason to exist in a campaign, even one that already has the Artisan-class. While still suffering from some minor glitches, the class still makes for a valid purchase in the latest iteration, especially for the low price and people who want to include some Malazan Book of The Fallen-style sappers in their military. My final verdict will thus clock in slightly below the Artisan for a respectable 3 stars and a "Kudos" to the guys and gals of Amora Games for salvaging the class. If they manage to include bookmarks and get rid of the rare ambiguities in future releases, all the better! The tendency and learning curve is there!


Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Supporting Roles: Tinker Class
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Supporting Roles: Combat Style Feats
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2012 07:07:47
This pdf is 6 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving 3 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This pdf provides us with a total of 17 new feats that represent different styles of combat. The first mini-feat tree does something interesting: Via two combat-feats, it allows characters to deal 1d6 (1d4 if small, 1 d8 if large) damage and apply full str-bonus to your unarmed attacks and increase the damage further to 1d8 (or 1d6/1d10 for larger sizes, respectively), allowing you to create a non-monk boxer with a respectable damage output. Nothing to complain here!

The second mini-feat-tree is the Bear Style, which grants you 2 to CMD vs. grapples and 2 to break grapples as well as a primary natural slam attack that deals 1d6 damage at crit x2. Bear Hug, the second feat, lets you initiate a grapple when hitting foes via one of these slams, but has a problematic critical effect that grapples an enemy without you gaining the grapple condition. Bear Maul, the final feat of the chain, lets you deal 2d6 bleed damage to foes you grapple if you hit them with unarmed attacks. Again, a good feat-tree.
Feat tree number three is all about bull rushes and overruns - while in this stance, you get 2 to CMD vs. bull rush and overrun and count as if your unarmed strikes had the brace and blocking special qualities. If you have the bull charge feat, you may charge when only moving 5ft. and deal piercing damage with your unarmed strikes. That's when the feat unfortunately stops working as intended: You may make an attack with both hands at the end of a charge, forcing the hit foe to make a ref-save vs. the damage you dealt or be pushed back 5 ft. Does this mean the second hand gets off-hand penalties? The feat also mentions "They are also knocked prone." No CMD? and "This movement does not provoke an attack." An AoO? The movement of the initiating character or of the knocked back victim? You may also trip enemies charged via horns toss, throwing them in an adjacent field or even further. Again, the feat fails to specify whether the enemy's or your own movement does not provoke AoOs. The final feat in the tree allows you to add 10 ft. of the maximum movement to the distance you charge and may charge through rough terrain. (Should read difficult terrain.) You also stop provoking AoOs when charging and moving through squares of allies and opponents. Here's a problem: "If you do move through an opponents[sic!] square, you may make an overrun attempt against them, before continuing on to finish your charge." Does the charge attempt end if the overrun fails? Does it go through nevertheless?

Combat Style is one of the very interesting feats herein and dare I say, actually rather brilliant: If you hit you two or more unarmed attacks, at the end of your attack you may use a combat maneuver against foes at your highest CMB as an AoO gained from combat reflexes. Cool to reflect a rough-and-tumble alley-style martial artist and mechanically rather smart. Two thumbs up! The improved gain 2 to CMD and CMB, even when you're flat-footed and stacking with the 2 from the improved version feats. Two cool, nice little feats.

The next feat-tree is the mongoose-tree, with the basic style feat granting you the option to deal slashing damage with your unarmed attacks and a 2 escape artist check. More importantly, it lets you lose an AoO to make an escape artist-check vs. an incoming attack: If successful, you treat the skill-check's result as your new AC or touch AC against that attack. While not too powerful on the paper, experience has show that players will find a way to massively escalate skill-checks like this. The AoO-requirement the need to be aware of the attack do somewhat offset the usefulness of the feat, but personally, being as conservative with balance as I am, I wouldn't allow this feat. Also, the prerequisites are missing the word "ranks" behind one of the skills. With Mongoose Trick, you may make a dirty trick maneuver at the end of your turn once per round: If successful, you provoke an AoO. If the opponent fails to hit you, he provokes an AoO himself. Ok, I guess, though I'm not sure whether e.g. taking Improved Dirty Trick does not eliminate the AoO (and the potential AoO against the mongoose stylist's foe), thus making the feat less useful. Now Mongoose Advantage is flat-out broken, "[...] on all attacks of opportunity you successfully hit with an unarmed strike, you deal double your strength damage." What does that mean? Double the str-modifier? double the str-score? It probably doesn't refer to strength damage, as the feat-chain offers no way to deal strength damage. Also, the option to confirm a crit via an escape artist roll, again, is broken in my book. Skills can and will escalate beyond belief if made primary combat resources.

There are also 3 style feats that stand alone: Scorpion Stinger enhances the scorpion style by allowing you to make attacks against staggered opponents that deal 2 points of Con damage on a failed save. Powerful, but specific enough to make it a viable option. Soft-Paw Monkey allows you to use your acrobatics-ranks in place of your CMD as well as a 4 bonus to AC against attacks after provoking an AoO with a movement. Rattlesnake Ruse is a problematic feat since it builds on Snake Style, an utterly broken feat in my book. The new feat by Amora allows you to use Sense Motive to feint once per round to render an opponent flat-footed for your next attack. Now, I do consider the Snake Style feat from UC broken, but Rattlesnake Ruse feels specific enough for my tastes to make it into my "non-broken" book - though it probably won't see any use.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting have improved since Amora Games' last offering - while there are still minor glitches herein, the vocabulary of PFRPG is much more closely adhered to and there are not that many glitches that detract from the rules. Layout adheres to a no-frills, 2-column, artless b/w-standard. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The feat-table is on the second page - it would probably have been better off on the first page. All in all, this pdf constitutes the first offering of Amora Games that has really something going for it mechanically - there actually are some rather nice feats herein that allow e.g. a fighter to also work as an unarmed brawler and not leave all the fun to the monks. The styles differ in quality and some of the feats have problems with how their respective rules are supposed to work and need some clarification to work as intended. However, there also are some feats that are rather nice and can be considered winners. Now is that enough to warrant a recommendation? No, not unanimously so, even at the low price. That being said, the good parts of the content, as mentioned in my review, might actually mean that you enjoy this supplement. As a reviewer, though, I feel that, at least until the ambiguous wordings have been ironed out, I can't go higher than 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 stars due to the low price and neat ideas herein. As soon as the minor issues have been ironed out, this might be considered even a 4 star or 4.5 star file.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Supporting Roles: Combat Style Feats
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