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#30 Battle Standards (PFRPG) $2.95
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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#30 Battle Standards (PFRPG)
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#30 Battle Standards (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/08/2012 14:48:53
The following review was originally published at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=27566.

Rite Publishing’s 30 Battle Standards by Steven Russell’s crew for use in the Pathfinder system brings to the table a slew of different types of battle standards. There are the general banners, cavalry guidons, garrison flags, infantry guidons, pennons, sashimono, and vexillium in addition to new equipment related to the battle standards, a new feat, and an NPC. This is a product designed for paladins and cavaliers in Western settings and Samurais and ronin in Eastern settings.

This is a great product. The artwork is spectacular and the descriptions of the different types of standards give the player and GM alike fantastic information on how to use them in the game. Additionally, the game mechanic used is an aura enchantment giving the legendary “magical” feel that warriors felt in days gone by when they saw the standard for their units in the vanguard.

OVERALL

Wonderful product for both players and GMs. It will enhance those moments when the PCs get themselves in a situation where having their own standard will be a benefit, where they are serving under a standard, or where they encounter large scale fighting where the GM can use the standards against the PCs.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
Great descriptions and the artwork just makes it even better. It is 13 pages of fabulous material. There are a few minor typos – a word or two was omitted or misspelled – but that does not take away from this product in any way.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Each standard has a descriptive text and some of them have a table where all of the different effects are listed for the standard that has levels to it. Each of the magical auras associated with the standards are easy to use with very typical effects from the Pathfinder system of magic.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
Absolutely great value-add to the game with #30 Battle Standards. Players and GMs alike are going to want it. The original design is for paladins, cavaliers, samurais, and ronins, but I can see its application to other character classes as well if the GM is planning on a large scale war for his/her players to encounter.

Overall: 10 out of 10
Wonderful product. Gamers of all types will want this product, especially those that like the extra effects the standards bring. The production quality, game mechanics, and value added to the game in general are superb.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Battle Standards (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/11/2012 06:30:22
Originally posted at: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_reviews_write.php?prod-
ucts_id=103476

Introduction: This excellent and well presented supplement brings into the game battle standards such as cavalry guidons, garrison flags, banners, pennons, infantry guidons, vexillums, and sashimonos. These battle standards will assist an adventuring party in a variety of ways, but usually in combat, whether it be offensively or defensively. The battle standards, depending on which one, can also assist fortifications as well. There are numerous examples of each type of battle standard and the unique ability(ies) they award the user if used appropriately.

Contents: Contained within this supplement are thirty different types of battle standards from various cultures that can be used in a campaign setting, primarily for Pathfinder, but with little or no conversion, can be used with other game systems. I found this supplement extremely helpful and very fulfilling, since a few players in my Pathfinder games and I like to play paladins and cavaliers, for which this product is primarily designed. Under each type of battle standard is a chart that will assist the GM with costs of the battle standards if a group of players wanted to purchase them. There is also a very detailed description of each standard covered, with the special abilities they convey to the party utilizing them correctly. The artwork and examples of the standards are exceptional and provide wonderful insight on how they look when fully created. The generalized feat “flagbearer” is provided to assist those players interested in picking this combat feat to allow for the use of battle standards in a campaign. There is also an interesting NPC provided as well to exemplify the role of a character with the “flagbearer” feat.

Positive Notes: After my reading of this supplement and review from my gaming group, we have found this product to be very worthwhile and certainly worth purchasing. This in turn has motivated 2 members of my group to really explore the possibilities of playing a class (especially the cavalier) and taking advantage of the benefits of carrying a battle standard into combat or whatever scenario might present itself. The artwork of the types of battle standards covered in the product is done very nicely. For those who have battle standards on miniatures, this is the supplement to own as these can be used to imprint upon the various standards on many a miniature carrying them.

Negative Notes: None at all.

Overall Review: I find this a must have item at a GM’s table who allows the use of battle standards in their game. The supplement was welcomed into my two gaming groups with open arms and they all generally agree with my assessment that this is a must have supplement. The use of the artwork can encompass more than just an RPG and be designed for miniatures and other such props to introduce in a game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Battle Standards (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/02/2012 07:09:33
This pdf is 17 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement and 1 page SRD, leaving a total of 13 pages, so let's check this out!

Grivt's Reserve is a shop of a dwarven merchant and this particular installment uses the frame-narrative to introduce us to an assortment of new types of items:

First are the so-called banners: These items can be carried or planted, but if they're not carried or the wielder falls, they cease to provide their benefits. It should also be noted that banners need not be carried by the wielder, but can be held aloft by e.g. a cohort etc. - they are linked to the wielder via a specific badge. The pdf offers us two types of banner, the general's and the strategist's banner, though these 2 actually contain 4 different variants, enabling e.g. the widespread hampering of verbal communication, reducing the amount of food and army must take in, grant concealment vs. ranged attacks or even prohibit flanking and the use of teamwork feats on behalf of the enemies etc. The banners have in common that they can potentially influence quite a host of allies, add tactical options to characters and even better, enable e.g. prospective PC-generals to add a magical edge to gain the upper hand - or even be adventure hooks themselves: Stealing a nourishing supply banner from a hostile army on the march in a harsh land may make for a preemptive strike that calls for an elite cadre of PCs...

The next new item-class will find friends among all the aficionados of mounted combat: The Guidon is essentially a spear or lance with a flag hanging from it. A total of 8 different Guidons are presented, ranging from the ability to add e.g. the celestial/fiendish/resolute/entropic templates to your mount to making allies act on your initiative 3/day and moving up to an ally's initiative 1/day to a guidon that lets your mount grow black thorns and leave a swathe of sickening pollen - Hell yeah! The imagery is awesome!

Now the next item-class is essentially one of these "D'uhn, why are there not more, can I have 101 of them"-moments, at least for me: Literature and narratives are full of symbolism regarding the effects of flags on morale etc. and the flags herein actually plug some logic holes: Garrison Flags only work when mounted on a structure and rules for increasing the area they protect are featured as well. Barring extra-dimensional travel, making the structure difficult terrain and even adding contagion-effects to them are given as examples - 5 such flags are provided and, as I have said, they do add immensely to a setting's credibility and coolness - we could use more of them.

Infantry Guidons are next, and essentially, they are a footman's version of the aforementioned cavalry guidon in the way they work. 5 such guidons are provided, but since infantry works different in warfare, the focus of the guidons is different: Want to e.g. give allies 20 ft. around you a chance to have enemies suffer from a bullrush-attempt and damage them when they strike you? Check out the Blowback Guidon. Or the Plodding Guidon, that hampers escape attempts by both your allies and enemies via spectral ball and chain. Neat and again, cool imagery.

Pennons are smaller banners, the triangular cloth flags attached to the end of a knight's lance, spear or even quarterstaff. 3 of them are included, though it should be noted that the order's pennon has different effects depending on the cavalier order associated with it. All the standard orders are covered - well, all but the order of the cockatrice, star, sword and tome - which is a bit of a pity. The Valkyrie's pennon (3 versions) is another winner, cladding the wearer in magical armor and working better for, obviously, female wielders.

If you're like me and at least somewhat into Asian cultures, you might be familiar with the next item-class: The Sashimono are small banners mounted on an inverted l-shaped pole and are typically attached to the back of the wielder's armor. 4 of them are provided and essentially, the way the symbol is painted on the sashimono via calligraphy determines the exact effect of the sashimono - writing e.g delicate on the Aegis Script-sashimono reduces armor check penalty by 3, while writing ornately on it reduces spell failure chance by 10%. What I'm unfortunately not sure about is whether the sashimono can be refitted with other types of symbols. Could one e.g. benefit one day from the fluid benefit and redraw next day in bold? Since the crafting requirements don't mention differing specifics, I assume this is the case, but am not sure. Anyways, especially if the symbols can be redrawn, rules to properly craft the calligraphy on these banners would also have been helpful.

The final new class of banners would then be the vexillum, a standard for armies on the march which must be wielded in one hand (or similar appendage) and which comes with the unpleasant consequence of a negative level for 24 hours if the flag is lost or destroyed - at least until it is reclaimed. A total of 3 vexillums are provided, from the exalted vexillum that doubles the range of paladin auras and cleric channels to the Inqeryo Pole, which provides you the option to spontaneously convert inflict spell if you can usually only can convert cure spells and vice versa, but at the cost of the converted spells effectiveness. Additionally, the pole provides a continuous deathwatch - great to keep track of the health of nearby creatures.

The pdf also provides a selection of 9 new mundane items, the new flagbearer-feat and full stats of the dwarven cavalier-turned-expert Grivt Lungpiercer (CR 8, btw.), but not of Grivt's mount.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite's full-color two-column standard. There are some pieces of artwork herein, though none wowed me, I didn't expect them to do so at this price-point. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, which is always nice to see in rules-centric books.
I'll just get right to it: I love the magical banners herein, I love the idea, the tactical options, the imagery, the option to fight heated battles for banners and especially the banners and garrison banners are plain awesome - in fact, I consider all of the new item-classes to be able to carry their own #30- or even 101-pdf and honestly, I can say that I want more of them in the future. However, not all is well: The Sashimono need an explanation on how they are supposed to work - as written, I can't figure it out. Author Thomas LeBlanc has done a great job indeed and this pdf would usually be a good contestant for 5 stars seal of approval, were it not for this flaw. For now, I'll settle for "only" a verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 and hope this pdf gets a clarification.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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