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The Genius Guide to the Death Mage
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/03/2013 21:53:25
If your campaign makes use of the magic of death and spirits, the Death Mage will find a home and provide a variety of hooks and options for play.
The Genius Guide to Death Mage provides a new 20-level spell casting class with a focus on magic of death and undeath. They have an interesting selection of weapons, many relating to reaping and the harvest, access to light armor and shields and a fair skill selection. They have five paths to choose from on the Pale Road that provide additional talents, such as the Ghoul who can eat the dead for healing and strength or the Reaper who hunt and destroy the undead.
While the Death Mage has a limited selection of spells, including a several new spells, they still provide a good -if narrow- set of options and tools for this caster. There is also a discussion on adding new spells to the Death Mage and advise on incorporating them into a campaign. However, the spell lists and new spells take up a lot of space so there is no additional support material beyond the unliving template (needed for their summoned creatures).

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to the Death Mage
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#1 With a Bullet Point: 4 Death Mage Feats
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/03/2013 21:52:26
#1 with a Bullet Point: 4 Death Mage Feats provides some additional support for the Death Mage class. It provides exactly what it promises, four new feats designed for use by the Death Mage, three standard and one metamagic, which provide some nice additional options for the Death Mage. I especially like Revenant which allows you to manifest a spark of your life energy as an animate being when you are at negative hit points.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
#1 With a Bullet Point: 4 Death Mage Feats
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Eldritch Races - Runeborn
Publisher: Heroic Journey Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/16/2013 14:28:00
Eldritch Races: Runeborn presents (surprise!) a new race for Pathfinder, the Runeborn are accidental exiles from the moon and are bonded with lunar silver making them half-constructs thus able to survive in inhospitable habitats such as their home. They are an intriguing race well suited to play as adventurers or be encountered in unusual and unexpected locations.
The Runeborn has an interesting set of abilities, mostly from their status as half-constructs but also due to them being tied to both the moon and the magic of words. The society of the Runeborn is sketched out as is their relation with other races and religions allowing them to be easily adapted into a setting. Supporting the race are variant racial abilities (and examples of how they can be expressed in as racial subtypes), favored class options, five new feats, one piece of new equipment (only of use to the Runeborn) and a new spell round out the product giving a good amount of material to work with. The author includes the Advance Race Guide’s scale of points to show how the racial mechanics fit together and where they are in relation to the abilities of others races while another sidebar talks about other useful character options from non-core Pathfinder books.
Overall, the Runeborn are an unusual race but one with considerable possibilities for use in a campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch Races - Runeborn
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Racial Ecologies: Guide to Catfolk
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/13/2013 21:20:07
If you like your catfolk stalking the plains in dangerous prides, Racial Ecology: Guide to Catfolk will provide a good set of tools to realize that.

Racial Ecology: Guide to Catfolk is just that giving a society background, ideas for appearance and names, and a cultural framework. These catfolk are a nomadic tribal people fiercely independent and proud. This is backed by new mechanics for two weapons, two magic items, alternate racial traits (four), traits (six) and feats (three) to round out the catfolk. Lastly a short adventure, complete with a new monster and an example catfolk ranger complete the package.

This version of the catfolk no longer fully aligns with the official Pathfinder version since the release of the Advanced Race Guide but it provides another viewpoint on the catfolk which may be useful for some campaigns.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Racial Ecologies: Guide to Catfolk
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Aasimar: Heirs of Glory
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/13/2013 21:19:01
Aasimar: Heirs of Glory is a work expanding on the place of aasimar, those with celestial heritage, in a Pathfinder game. It is quite successful, providing both interesting background on the aasimar, new mechanical options and a variety of example characters. A solid resource if you use Aasimar in your campaign, you will find useful material here.

Raging Swan’s Aasimar: Heirs of Glory provides a wealth of information and character options for aasimar characters. New alternate class features (for cavalier, clerics, monks and paladins), feats and character traits are provided. Additionally, there are rules for variant assimar bloodlines leading to options for skill bonuses and spell-like abilities. A lovely random table for determining special features of the aasimar’s appearance is provided as is one for aasimar origins. Lastly, seven aasimar characters are provided taking advantage of the options presented in this book.

This version of the aasimar no longer fully aligns with the official Pathfinder version since the release of the Advanced Race Guide but it provides a useful set of options for aasimar players and GM who wish to use this race in their campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Aasimar: Heirs of Glory
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The Genius Guide to the Magister
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/30/2012 18:10:00
The Genius Guide to: the Magister is an update and expansion of Genius Games’ earlier product then called the Magus, the name was changed to avoid confusion with the Pathfinder base class of the same name. The Magister is an interesting class, but not one for casual play. It will take study of the available options, spells especially, and a careful build to use the class effectively. The Magister does provide a unique path as a dual-natured caster base class which is quite intriguing and should appeal to players looking for an interesting challenge.

The Magister is a full 20-level base class combining arcane and divine spell-casting in one class. The Magister is light on physical defense and offense but they have access to both sides of the magical coin though they must focus on one side or the other. The Magister has a choice of eight paths each focuses on differing types and subtypes of magic. The Magister is a spontaneous caster and, while they can choose spells from almost any source, they can only know and cast a small number of them with so many options, spell selection is going to be the most challenging part of designing a Magister character.

Twelve new feats for the Magister are provided allowing them to gain limited access to some the specialized powers of the other spell-casting classes allowing for greater ability to customize each Magister and support a theme in character construction. Lastly, there is a good sized section containing advice for using the Magister class in a campaign.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to the Magister
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Advanced Arcana Volume II
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/16/2012 10:08:29
Advanced Arcana v2 expands on the segment spell idea (introduced in Advanced Arcana) and adds conditional spells (that are more powerful if certain environmental conditions are met), model spells (that can be cast in more than one mode) and a variety of spells that affect age. V2 also includes spell lists for the new classes introduced in the later Pathfinder books (alchemist, inquisitor, magus, summoner, witch) and includes a discussion of introducing new spells into a campaign.
The spells cover a wide range though the majority are, as is usual, combat focused. The segmented spell concept is refined and made more usable here. Several spells have variable effects based on the age of the caster or of the target, which is a new twist to magic. Though the 1st level spell that provides effective immortality and immunity to aging-based magic is a bit problematic to say the least.
Many of the spells in this collection tagged with their creator’s name and each of these creators is given a brief biography in the first appendix. Appendix 2 deals with spellbooks: covers and what they are made from, pages in the same manner and lastly the inks used to scribe the spells. A lot of potential for customization there and some fun ideas, the idea of ink made from various distilled energies is particularly fun. Appendix 3 adds more familairs, these are rather outre including swarms, oozes and goldfish, use with caution. Appendix 4 add alternate arcane bonds for wizards. The final appendix lists material components that can add extra bonuses, mostly small, when expended during the casting of a spell.
Advanced Arcana v2 presents a wide selection of new opinions and variants to play with, it will prove to be especially useful for GM wishing to expand the variety of magic in their campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Arcana Volume II
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Advanced Arcana
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/16/2012 10:06:55
Advanced Arcana begins with an in-character introduction before talking about the new sort of spell included, namely the segmented spell, which is very powerful spell that requires multiple spell slots and castings to activate. There are also a variety of spells that allow the caster to recall expended spells which is an interesting design choice allowing for some interesting options, and quick spells whose effects vary based on how much time is used to cast them, also an intriguing design choice.
Many of the new spells, almost a third, are 7th level or higher which -to my mind- rather restricts their utility and two of the 1st level spells have their duration based concentration which drastically restricts their usefulness. While, like most spell lists, they are mainly combat focused there are a few non-combat spells in the mix as well.
Advanced Arcana really shines for me in its supplementary material: Eight new clerical domains, while Force was unneeded, the domains of Creation and Vermin are full of possibilities. Four new Sorcerer bloodlines, one for each of the classic D&D genii types (Dao, Djinn, Efreet and Marid in case you have forgotten). Eight new Focused Wizards schools allow for further specialization, though the choice of Idiocy (for wizards who can inflict Intelligence loss at higher levels) as a school name is a bit odd. Lastly, there are eight new familiars including animated objects, newts, skeletons and bonsai! All quite fun and could lead to some very interesting interactions.
There are a lot of useful tools here for GM and player alike, but it seems unlikely that you will want to use all of the options available here.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Arcana
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Grimtooth's Traps Fore
Publisher: Flying Buffalo
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/07/2012 13:41:20
Grimtooth’s Traps Fore is another sourcebook of traps absurd and marvelous and a delightful look back at a different era of adventure gaming, when dungeon crawling was partly a competition of cleverness between players and GMs. Confront the dangers of dungeon designs past.

Grimtooth’s Traps provides traps amazing, dangerous and unusual, mostly designed for a classic dungeon-type setting. The book was originally published in 1986, for those who are among the grognards of the hobby, it can be a very nostalgic read.

The traps are organized by type: room, corridor, door, items and artefacts, and lastly, things. Each is given a deadliness rating (marked in skulls) showing how lethal it is as presented and most have a lovely illustration by Steven S Crompton or Michael Von Glahn.

Many of the traps are classic bait and switch setups to penalize the characters using trickery (and sometimes powerful magic and illusions) to hide the nature of the actual trap. It was written in an era when dungeons were often contests between players and GM, leading to an ‘arms race’ of traps and counter-trap techniques and magic. A very different era of gaming but one that lead to great inventiveness in such things as crazy trap design and defenses against them. Of course, many of the traps in this book involve extremely powerful magic (or advanced technology or both) and would be hard to explain in a low magic campaign world, but even then, they are usually quite fun to read.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Grimtooth's Traps Fore
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #49: Dollface
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2012 14:47:04
Each of the threat reports comes with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publicly known about the character described. Each character or group is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

Dollface, is quite fascinating and multipurpose, Dollface is an uploaded personality that now exists in multiple artificial forms playing out various games, plots and stories for her own amusement. Making her usable as enemy, plot device or even ally. At PL 12 she can be quite challenging but she has a classic villain’s sense of honor as well. Overall, a very interesting character with a wide range of possibilities.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #49: Dollface
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #41: The Looking Glass Gang, Part 2
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2012 14:46:27
Each of the threat reports comes with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publicly known about the character described. Each character or group is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

The Looking Glass Gang: Part One and Part Two, led by the insane White Rabbit -who can make other share his insanity- the Looking Glass Gang seeks to topple Them from power and have a tea party in the ruins. The most dangerous part of the gang is that the White Rabbit can always recruit new members (and part two has a discussion of what other Threat Report characters could fit in the group and where) and convert them to his world view. The Looking Glass Gang is a group that can be used for both comedy and darkly serious scenarios depending on the needs of the campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #41: The Looking Glass Gang, Part 2
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #40: The Looking Glass Gang, Part 1
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2012 14:46:12
Each of the threat reports comes with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publicly known about the character described. Each character or group is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

The Looking Glass Gang: Part One and Part Two, led by the insane White Rabbit -who can make other share his insanity- the Looking Glass Gang seeks to topple Them from power and have a tea party in the ruins. The most dangerous part of the gang is that the White Rabbit can always recruit new members (and part two has a discussion of what other Threat Report characters could fit in the group and where) and convert them to his world view. The Looking Glass Gang is a group that can be used for both comedy and darkly serious scenarios depending on the needs of the campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #40: The Looking Glass Gang, Part 1
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #48: The Starbreed, Part Two
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2012 14:45:32
Each of the threat reports comes with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publicly known about the character described. Each character or group is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

The Starbreed: Part One and Part Two, these two products are very closely linked forming a complete adventure arc between them, the Starbreed are from an alternate Earth -now destroyed- and they have come to our world to warn us . . . but is that their only agenda? Part One has three characters while Part Two has only two but one of them has four aspects, so still quite a bit there. A six-scene adventure arc (three scenes in each product) to introduce them is also included. They are quite challenging (PL 12 each) in a fight, so not opponents for inexperienced heroes.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #48: The Starbreed, Part Two
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #47: The Starbreed, Part One
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2012 14:45:21
Each of the threat reports comes with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publicly known about the character described. Each character or group is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

The Starbreed: Part One and Part Two, these two products are very closely linked forming a complete adventure arc between them, the Starbreed are from an alternate Earth -now destroyed- and they have come to our world to warn us . . . but is that their only agenda? Part One has three characters while Part Two has only two but one of them has four aspects, so still quite a bit there. A six-scene adventure arc (three scenes in each product) to introduce them is also included. They are quite challenging (PL 12 each) in a fight, so not opponents for inexperienced heroes.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #47: The Starbreed, Part One
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Class Acts: Gunslingers
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/29/2012 13:44:02
Class Acts: Gunslingers, 18 New Grit Feats, this is very much a product for Gunslingers (or characters with the amateur gunslinger feat) as introduced in Ultimate Combat as only one of the new feats can be taken by non-gunslingers. However, the feat selection is excellent -if heavily influenced by Western movies- including: Into the Sunset (which lets you maintain Diplomacy/Intimidation effects for longer than usual), Ride Tall (adding Gunslinger level to mount related effects) and Think Twice (gains bonuses after delivering a verbal warning to a foe). If you like your gunslingers like the heroes of American Westerns, this is the product for you.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Class Acts: Gunslingers
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