DriveThruRPG.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Metablades Expanded Edition
by Nathan O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2007 15:49:22
Fair warning: I found this book to geared far to much towards psionic characters and very little I would use for my own non-psionic characters. That said I am attempting to review it fairly in spite of my bias.

In terms of value this is a nice sized pdf with a lot to offer a psionic character and still some usage for other characters. It is 62 pages long in landscape, and uses a reasonable font size.

The feats seem reasonable at a glance and range from sacrificing spell slots to gain a bonus in combat, to psionic enhancements and more. There may be a few issues with balance that come up in play, but I would not hesitate to allow a player I'm dming for to pick from this pdf.

The next section is styles. Styles are essentially a free reward for characters that meet the prerequisites. They don't cost anything and are not limited in usage. These become quite powerful including abilities that allow mirror images to make actual attacks (nonlethal damage) and threaten squares, or allow an unarmed strike free ghost touch. However the prerequisites are all steep enough that the benefits will come late enough to potentially be acceptable. Characters that are already underpowered due to multiclassing will benefit from these styles, but ones that are not underpowered may be getting an unfair advantage.

After styles we are presented with prestige classes. As I don't have much experience with Psionics I won't review them, but to put it in perspective there are 7 psionic classes and only 3 wizard classes. Add in that one of the psionic classes is actually a mundane class with psionic focus tacked on as a requirement (Lord General). Two other classes have no actual basis in either mind or magic. (shadow knight, stormrider)
This means that the book touted as for warriors of mind and magic only has 3 classes out of 12 dealing with magic.

The arcane classes aren't particularly well put together in general. The 5 level fortress mage gives up 3 casters levels to get 10 chances to cast shield, mage armour, protection from arrows, and stoneskin without using a spell slot. The character also gains some small DRs and a good fort save. Martial Adept is reasonable. Shadow armourer is a 10 level prestige class with a d4 HD and poor bab. It grants 3 caster levels and good fort and will. For this large sacrifice the character gains armour that is generally inferior to mage armour. The most interesting arcane class is one for monk multiclassers. Transcendent invoker is 5 levels and gives the character monklike abilities relating to spellcasting, such as flurry of spells which allows the character to cast 2 touch attack spells per round. These abilities are balanced by the heavy caster level sacrifice such a character must accept. (5 levels minimum before getting flurry).

The balance swings the opposite direction in the next section with 20 sor/wiz spells, but only 16 powers. The spells are interesting and seem reasonable at a glance. I believe some of them made it to a best of compilation.

The equipment section is hit or miss in its values. I would not allow sale or creation of these items without a price analysis. One the plus side a number of these ideas are not regurgitations of what is already in the SRD.

Appendix one is filled with epic extensions for the content found already in this book. Most of this is straightforward, and is a nice plus for me.
The book finishes with a few pages of pregenerated characters that are a boon to any DM in a time crunch.

It is apparent that to me this book ranks fairly low in utility compared to what I expected. Setting that aside I find that there are some significant mechanics issues but due to the mass of ideas that are still usable this book should be considered middle of the road. I'm giving it 3 stars, assuming that it will be bought for its psionic content primarily.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Metablades Expanded Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Metablades Expanded Edition
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/26/2007 14:20:15
Metablades

A little bit of magic or psionic power can go a long way. As most people have noticed within the game magic is the ultimate power in the game and psionics are not so bad either. They easily pass by the power of the fighters even those with the best equipment. There are always exceptions but this is not about those. Metablades is about adding a bit of power to those that pursue both the magic and physical skill.

Metablades is a PDF by Genjitsu Gaming. This is the expanded version of the book they released that includes psionic and epic rules. The book is sixty two pages in length and comes in both landscape and portrait formats. There is little art in the books and the layout has a lot of extra white spaces. The book is book marked and not hard to read.

The book starts with a discussion of all the base core classes and how they can be used to create that martial spell caster. It has some good advice for multi classing and goes beyond the bits that most everyone knows actually going into detail on what specifically spell wise makes the martial classes work the best. And while I am mostly referring to magic they also cover psionics as well. A side bar in this section is a good bit about ability and spell combinations. Like the use of blink and area effect spells since blink protects one from some of the damage. One idea that I really like is the use of grabble to pin a person and then placing an immovable rod on them trapping them.

Feats as we all know area familiar and common tool in many d20 products. Met Blades presents feats, but many of them are actually a bit more creative and different from the run of the mill feats that are seen in most books. For instance there is Flock of Blades that uses ones knowledge of mirror image to make simultaneous attacks that deal non lethal damage. There are also feats that are a bit more powerful then standard feats but they require an additional cost. Guardian Angel grants a bonus to AC and all saves, but also takes the place of a second level divine spell. There are some powerful feats like Psionic Spring Attack that allows the character to intermix a full move and a full round attack. Some of them are pure combat like Searing Shot which allows the caster to spend arcane spell slots to deal more damage with a missile attack. Along with the many feats there are Styles. These are like the martial art Styles presented in Oriental Adventure except even more detailed. There are different levels to each one so multiple powers can be gained by acquiring the many prerequisites to the different levels of abilities.

After feat prestige classes have also become very common. The ones here try to meld powers with martial ability to different degrees of success. The Affinitist is not one of the best here. The class requires a base attack bonus and some good combat feats, but gains the base attack bonus of a wizard which does not seem to jive with the intention of the class. The Fortress Mage is an interesting one allowing it the chance to cast a few defensive spells without expending a spell slot. The Mental Marksman is a psionic who continually gets better with the ranged weapons. For the most part while the prestige classes are nice and different there really was not any that really amazed me.

The book also provides a variety of new spells, psionic powers, and magical items and weapons. There is a section for epic levels of the classes here as well as new epic feats. That is a bonus since epic feats seem to be an area that very few products support. Lastly are some sample NPCs. The NPCs are pretty good and the stat blocks are complete yet do not take up much space. I tire of NPCs like in the Complete books that seem to take up a page or so by themselves.

Overall the book does a nice job of combining some classes and giving some cool options for people who do. The feats are the high light of the book but the other options are well done and can easily be used. The writers did a nice job on this using many areas of the game like psionics and epic rules to make their creations the best they can be.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
A Flock of Foes
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/22/2006 00:00:00
Flock of Foes

Monster books are pretty common these days. It takes something to have one stand out from the rest. Some books go for hard cover and full colt arts combined with other high production values. Some books go with themes of monsters like underwater or artic monsters in one book. Some are reprints from past editions and others are just a jumble of new creatures. Flock of Foes though takes a new twist on a monster book. It combines monsters from the System Reference Document with templates and classes to creature new and interesting tougher creatures.

The PDF of Flock of Foes is one the few releases by Genjitsu Games. The PDF is fifty pages long with a nice look and lay out. There are two version of the PDF one in landscape and one in portrait format. The book has some art but not pictures for each creature. The book is nicely book marked and in the back has creatures listed by challenge rating and creatures listed by advancement type. Finding what one needs in the book is fairly easy with these resources.

The book takes a different approach to creatures then any other I have seen. The writers not only just present stat blocks of advanced creatures but give them names and distinctions to make them a new creature type. The creatures are given short but complete descriptions and usually there are two or so to a page. It is a very cool and interesting take on monster books and I think it makes a great PDF product.

The book starts of with some good information on the author and illustrators. It also covers what the book is and why it was written. These little pieces from the author to the reader are always welcome and I make a point to always read them first when they are present.

The creatures are a nice mix of options and sometimes not what I would have expected. For instance the very first creature is a Cropminder. That is a Celestial Ankheg. The creature basically tills and protects the great farms and gardens of the celestial planes. Sometimes the creatures made are filled with mystery and intrigue. The Dark Historian for instance is a Cloaker with Bard levels. It just begs to ask the question what is a Claoker trying to learn and why is it so interested in history? The answers to this are not in the book but they are presented to get the DM thinking and they do that well.

The names given the creatures are very flavorful. I personally like the Rainbow Apparition and the Howling Haunt. Another thing the book does is have little rules flags. There are not many of these but they are there when things are changed and to explain why they are changed. Some of these explain a why damage has been increased or why the damage reduction of the creature has been changed.

Some of the creatures are almost comical sounding but really can be quite deadly. For instance there is the Horrendous Howling Horde which is a swarm of monkeys with the fiendish template. There are many other swarms in this book as well. They have swarms of tiny constructs, quasits, ravens, and even vipers.

The book also has a nice big appendix of animated creatures. There are skeletons and zombies version of many different creatures here. There are even construct versions of some well known monsters. It is a simple yet helpful section making it easy for the DM to use and saving him time by not having to create all these creatures himself.

This is a nice creative book showing some really interesting and cool ideas that can be done by taking normal monsters and changing them and advancing them. The author chose a wide variety of creatures and ways to alter them. Many of the creatures are similar enough to get players to be complacent and different enough to really startle them when they realize their mistake. This is a very useful book filled that will make a good addition to any fantasy game.


QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Flock of Foes
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

A Flock of Foes
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/16/2005 00:00:00
A Flock of Foes, from Genjitsu Games, presents a collection of advanced monsters. ?Advanced? here has a specific connotation; all of the creatures encountered herein are from the System Reference Document (to put it more simply, they?re from the Monster Manual). However, none of these are standard creatures. All have a template, class levels, or advanced natural hit dice; some have combinations of these. Each monster is presented with a new name, and many have listings describing them as though they were distinct species (which many are). There are over forty such monsters listed, and then there are over twenty entries of various monsters with either the zombie or skeleton templates.

The product has two PDF versions, one in landscape format and one in portrait. Only the portrait format has the color front and back covers. Both contain several pieces of black and white interior artwork. Both also have bookmarks, as well as a fully hyperlinked table of contents and two different hyperlinked appendices (advancement type and CR). No printer-friendly version is included.

If a book of monsters that are made using the Core Rules sounds off-putting, be advised that there are plenty of minor gems tucked away in the book. The most significant of which is the new Crafted Servant template. This template is actually four templates described in one entry; stonecrafted, fleshcrafted, claycrafted, and ironcrafted. Basically, this allows you to make golem-like versions of existing monsters. Other goodies included are things like a new feat, a new magic item, or a new way to use an existing spell, etc.

In regards to the monsters themselves (the templated undead notwithstanding), the ideas presented here range from combinations that are interesting (a half-fiendish troll werecrocodile) to somewhat mundane (a choker with a few Rogue levels). Luckily, the former outweighs the latter fairly heavily. For several monsters, sidebars describe how minor rules were broken to make the creature work, such as changing the DR type, or applying a template that a creature shouldn?t be able to have.

Altogether, this is a solid product that presents itself well. It contains a variety of interesting monsters made from using the Core Rules to be new to the point where they could just as easily be brand new creatures. It?s quite likely that, for many of the creatures presented, the PCs will never even realize they?re not facing an original creature. All in all, any DM would be well served to have A Flock of Foes in their campaign.



LIKED: It presented a series of interesting twists on familiar monsters, and oftentimes tossed out new easter eggs to spice things up.

DISLIKED: There was no printer-friendly version. Also, some monsters seemed slightly less than inspired, having just a few class levels or a single template applied.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blades of Purpose
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/16/2005 00:00:00
Blades of Purpose is a short book from Genjitsu Games describing a dozen sentient magic items (there are eleven entries, one of which is for a matched pair of items). Half of them are sentient weapons, with the others being all kinds of magic items.

The product has no covers, and has black and white interior artwork. No table of contents or bookmarks are provided, but the product is so short that none are necessary. Two formats are included with the product, one for viewing and one for reading. A small text file explains that the printing product is formatted so that it can be printed and then folded into a small booklet, though that format still includes the illustrations.

Each magic item has its stats laid out, along with its special powers if it has one. It then lists the item?s history, personality, and what it does in the event of a conflict with its wielder. A few items have an associated stat block where appropriate. Oddly, none of the items have their creation rules listed. No auras, caster levels, market prices, or costs to create are listed. This is odd, given that sentient magic items still usually have those laid out (as in the DMG).

That aside, there are some very colorful weapons here, such as the ioun stone with the personality of a mage tutor, or the two dozen shuriken, each with the personality of a child. DM?s should have a fairly easy time adapting these for their own campaigns.

Altogether, Blades of Purpose is a book that stands well on its own. The only mechanical lapse is the lack of creation information for the items. Beyond that, the magic items given here are well-done and could make an interesting addition to any campaign.



LIKED: The magic items here are varied in how they can be used, as well as what type of magic items they are.

DISLIKED: No magic item creation information is listed.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blades of Purpose
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

A Flock of Foes
by I. P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/13/2005 00:00:00
?A Flock of Foes? presents a wide variety of different modifications to the traditional creatures found in Wizard of the Coasts? Monster Manual, or the System Reference Document. In addition to the presentation of variant creatures, it contains an appendix focused on the creation of constructs based on other creatures present in the campaign setting. The appendix contains a portion revolving around raising the dead, which contains a slew of creatures of the zombie or skeleton varieties. By my count, there are just over 70 creatures in this bestiary, when those in the appendix are included.

?A Flock of Foes? is a 52 page product. This includes one page for the cover, one page for credits and copyright information, one page for the table of contents, one page for the introduction page (which includes information about the author and illustrators), two full pages of charts, one page for the Open Game License, and a one page back cover. There are eleven different illustrations contained in ?A Flock of Foes?, in addition to the cover image. Portions of all eleven images are available for viewing on the publishers web page. The publisher has placed a link in this products main page at RPGNow to the sample images.

Before purchasing this product, please review the two sample creatures available from the publisher?s website. This will give you an idea for the formatting and style of the creatures. The publisher has placed a link in this products main page at RPGNow. The two samples are Fallen Comtesse (Ghost <Human Aristocrat>) and The Baron of Stellwood Manor (Vampire <Human Adept>). Both of these sample creatures were made available around Halloween and, therefore, were selected due to their use of the ghost and vampire templates. That being said, I should note that, as a whole, this product does not focus on a Halloween theme.

Unfortunately, both of the sample creatures have the appearance of actually being individual NPCs. In some sense this is due to their being individual expressions of a template. It is, however, fairly simple to alter the name and relevant background to allow for reuse. Most of the creatures in this product are general presentations of a ?species? of creature, and are not specific individuals.

In order to provide a glimpse into the contents of ?A Flock of Foes?, here is a broad overview of the frequency that the following types appear in this product: (4), vampire (2), fiendish (3), half-fiend (4), half-dragon(4), celestial (3), half-celestial (3), ghost (6), lycanthrope (4), constructs (4), liches (3), skeletons (12), swarms (9), and zombies (11). Please note that some creatures fall under more than one category, such as a Half-fiend <Lycanthrope>. This product also does well by identifying when creatures have been modified by adding class levels or additional hit die.

The challenge ratings of the creatures contained in ?A Flock of Foes? falls over a pretty wide spectrum. Specifically, this product contains one CR 1/3 creature, five CR 1 creatures, four CR 2 creatures, ten CR 3 creatures, thirteen CR 4 creatures, three CR 5 creatures, ten CR 6 creatures, five CR 7 creatures, four CR 8 creatures, one CR 9 creature, three CR 10 creatures, three CR 11 creatures, three CR 12 creatures, three CR 13 creatures, one CR 14 creature, two CR 15 creatures, one CR 16 creature, and one CR 21 creature.

In addition, there are five ?rules flags? which identify points that have been modified from the core rules. The first deals with a modification of one type of creature?s damage reduction after application of the ghost template. The second presents a new monster feat used to ?bulk up? another creature. The third discusses how the implementation of the lycanthrope template was applied to a monstrous humanoid and acknowledges that this is a rule change. The fourth, once again, discusses the author?s application of the celestial template to a creature that is prohibited according to the core rules. The final ?rules flag? discusses the creation of a zombie with size colossal.

Overall, this is a worthy addition to any collection of beasts and critters. ?A Flock of Foes? admirably presents some of the possibilities available in creature variation through the use of templates and class levels. If you want a tool to lean on as you get comfortable with crafting your own variants, or you just want a timesaving resource, ?A Flock of Foes? will become a trusted part of your campaign preparation.

To rousing gaming and ample rewards,
I. Perez



LIKED:
1. Delivers exactly as promised with no stumbles.
2. Flags the points where it deviates from core rules.
3. Inclusion of chart by CR and chart by advancement type.


DISLIKED:
1. Rather than alternating shaded and unshaded rows in all the charts (including those required, for example, when the creature has multiple forms), the rows have consecutive shaded rows followed by consecutive unshaded rows.
2. Table of contents should be ordered alphabetically by creature name, rather than by the ?base? (core) creature name.


QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Flock of Foes
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Blades of Purpose
by I. P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/10/2005 00:00:00
?Blades of Purpose? presents eleven different intelligent items inside it?s twelve pages. The last page is devoted to the Open Game License. The rest of the eleven pages is mainly text, with four images sprinkled throughout.

The eleven intelligent items consist of six weapons, four worn items, and one gem. Specifically, ?Blades of Purpose? includes the following item types:

scythe (the Moon?s Edge mentioned on the product?s main page at RPGNow)
bracers
axe
shuriken
kama
gem (the Magus Gem mentioned on the product?s main page at RPGNow)
longsword
halfplate armor
cloak
shortsword
headband

Each of the items contains a section devoted to appearance, game statistics, lesser powers, personality, and conflicts. Some items contain additional sections when relevant, such as greater powers, dedicated purposes, special powers, and item history.

The lesser powers are generally spell like abilities which function some number of times per day. Some of them include daze monster, hold person, major image, warp wood, detect magic, and bless. There are also continuous spell like abilities that appear as lesser powers. Additionally, some of the lesser powers provide bonuses to individual skills. Examples of the greater and special powers include some continuous spell like abilities and attribute bonuses.

For those dungeon masters interested in this product in order to save time in preparing for gaming sessions, the history section is a great benefit. The histories are interesting short stories which describe the setting of the item?s creation and subsequent events. During preparation, the dungeon master can simply incorporate the story and present a more completely thought out item than he or she might otherwise have time to create.

The personality section is great in helping to differentiate the individual intelligent magic items that are introduced into a campaign. Some of the items are quiet and some are very clearly...not! The personalities and histories presented here can certainly be modified to allow for reusing similar items in future campaigns.

To rousing gaming and ample rewards,
I. Perez



LIKED:
1. Inclusion of personality and history information.


DISLIKED:
1. Lack of a portrait version. (Download has two landscape versions, one of which is formatted to create a booklet.)


QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Blades of Purpose
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Metablades Expanded Edition
by Alan K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2005 00:00:00
A fun book with a lot of options for a popular fantasy gaming archetype that sort of got "left" behind in the 3.5 upgrade. With this book, there is not just a handful of ways to make a fighter mage, but a plethora.

LIKED:


DISLIKED: I am not a big fan of OA-style fighting styles, and some of those are a bit on the potent side. On the other hand, some of the prestige classes come of a bit weak.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Metablades Expanded Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Metablades Expanded Edition
by Robert V. A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/10/2005 00:00:00
"Don't judge a book by it's cover" was never more true than with this product. Frankly, the cover sucks and looks amateurish, something a 13 year old gamer might come up with on his home computer for his home rulebook. That said, the insides are very professionally produced, with decent artwork of average to exceptional quality. The material itself is well thought out and, as far as I can tell without play-testing, seems very balanced. The arcane sections of Metablades has been somewhat eclipsed by WOTC's Complete Arcane, with some duplication in the flavor of various PRCs. That said, the psionic content is VERY welcome and useful. The book has been completely updated to 3.5 Expanded Psionics Handbook. This book is a great companion resource for the XPH. Highly recomended.

LIKED: Psionic content

DISLIKED: cover

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Robert, Thanks for your critique and feedback regarding Metablades. As far as the cover goes, guilty as charged; however, my original piece of hack artwork has been replaced by a full-color professional illustration and over ten new pieces of interior artwork have been added as well. Enjoy the improved book! Nevin Flanagan, Genjitsu Games
A Flock of Foes
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2005 00:00:00
This book does a GREAT job of delivering the goods it promises. I hope to see more from this company. I am pretty lenient and forgiving, but I honestly feel the praise is duly deserved in this instance.

This is more than just a bunch of SRD monsters with random templates assigned to them. The contents are well thought out and very evocative. There were very few entries that I read that did not immediately fill me with ideas for an entire adventure or at very least some new and creative encounters!

I will be using this product for a long time to come. As a DM I thank you, though my players will soon be cursing your names.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Flock of Foes
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 10 (of 10 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates