Mar 032015
 

My dear friends,

 

I wanted to draw your attention to two kickstarters currently running, both by established designers who have delivered time and again in the past.

 

Pact Magic Unbound: Grimoire of Lost Souls

Number 1 would be the already funded Pact Magic-kickstarter.  Moving fast towards full color and beyond and run by Alexander Augunas and Dario Nardi, this book promises to be an absolute blast – I love Pact Magic and consider it a great addition to any game, be it low or high fantasy and the book provides over 100 new spirits for a total of 16 per level – and that is as per the writing of this review!

 

So if you’re interested, you can check it out here!

 

The Big Book of Bloodlines

You may have noticed that today, I reviewed warpriest pdfs. Well, if you like the ACG, there currently is a kickstarter running that seeks to get rid of one of the most annoying issues the bloodrager/sorceror-dichotomy has introduced – The Big Book of Bloodlines. Run by none other than crunch-giant Bradley Crouch of Interjection Games, I’ve had the pleasure to see quite a few of these bloodlines and their sub-bloodlines…and oh boy,  Most bloodlines tend to bore me. These push the boundaries of what one would have expected. Seriously, this book looks like it can be pretty much a milestone for bloodlines.

 

You can check it out here!

 

I hope I could point some of you who may have missed either towards these worthy projects.

Back to reviewing for me!

Endzeitgeist out.

Mar 032015
 

Necropunk: Welshen Source Book

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This sourcebook detailing the second of the two mayor factions/societies in Necropunk clocks in at 41 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 37.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?

 

We kick off with a more than aptly-written introductory fluff that makes me once again crave a necropunk AP and a novel before diving straight into the new crunch, namely, Welshen-specific archetypes, first of which would be the H’devvel – a kind of living philosopher/artist who receives points with which to inspire allies – for 24 hours. Other than that, the ability utilizes interesting bonus-type juggling and can be considered an interesting variant on the bardic concept (supplemented by the social combat system), thus replacing the base wild-card class’s genius ability. Unlike most welshen, h’devvel are not geared towards efficiency sans compromise, instead receiving BAB and social atk-progression of the diplomat base class. Additionally, charisma and intelligence govern their wild card abilities. Interesting archetype!

 

Welshen Masques are a subset of diplomats that receive a wild-card’s social bonus and BAB-progression -pretty interesting: They are trained towards hyper-rationality, allowing them to overcome their own bias (using int instead of cha for social maneuvers) and may utilize this auto-conditioning to make them hard to target with psi or fear. Rek’el engineers (not diplomats, as the pdf states) are masters of scavenging and may constantly modify their magnum opus – not only daily, but even multiple times per day at higher levels.

 

The School of the Crying Birds (also known as Le’Sara Qu’em) use Dex instead of Str to calculate damage and can execute flurries with bone knives – and if you recall how well these can be enhanced, you’ll realize how lethal this makes them. Additionally, they utilize Perform (dance) in lieu of Acrobatics to govern path abilities. Executing attacks with both hands at the end of a charge, increased PPI-allocation capacities and receiving scaling AC bonuses versus targets they hit render this Qu’em school distinct and interesting. The Qu’em school of the Golden Lion may utilize Qu’em while wearing light or medium armor (later even in heavy armor!) and have to select to which type of weapon they devoted their powers. Increased offense capacity otherwise cancels out most defensive tricks a regular Qu’em has – and yes, the charges of these guys HURT…a LOT. The School of the Sil’Van receives a diplomat’s social bonus progression and is ODD – whyß Because the archetype receives increased defense-capacity, but is actually conditioned to be a pacific and only fight in self-defense. A sidebar explains the linguistic meaning of the name and another tackles the concept of non-violence – a conceptually glorious archetype, though I wished it ahd some increased capacity to deal non-lethal damage.

 

The H’teach diplomats are more skilled than regular diplomats, receiving +2 skill points per level and gaining slightly increased tech levels or a craft bonus feat for more advanced welshen. Beyond tehse, we receive an alternate class, the H’vuul.

 

H’vuul have full BAB-progression, good fort and ref-saves, 1/2 social bonus progressions, 5 PPI. Alas, the archetype/alternate class fails to specify its class skills gained per level and its HD – while it becomes pretty obvious that this is the Necropunk-ranger, with favored enemies etc. and thus 6+Int and d10 are probable assumptions, the lack of this information remains a glaring glitch nonetheless.

 

Now on the cool side, these guys can act in phase 2 while unobserved and later even extend this to phase 3 or phase 2 while being observed – this renders them pretty awesome in my book and yes, I can picture them doing their iconic, fast stealth takedowns. The class also is a specialist of guerrilla warfare, receives a cool bound weapon and the equivalent of hide in plain sight. They are also int- rather than wis-based. Apart from the skill/HD-guffaw, a flavorful alternate class.

 

Next up would be the new PrCs, first of which is the 10-level Hn’Ist Nomad – these guys get 1/2 BAB-progression, d8, 1/2 will-save progression and 6+Int skills per level. These guys may utilize special breathing techniques and throat chanting to render himself immune to the magpie’s rube goldberg machine ability and all effects that require the expenditure of t’jek points – but thankfully, this defense, while quickly activated, also can only be maintained a limited time per day. This chanting can further penalize other classes, wrecking concentration, qu’em styles and even reducing the phase order of adversaries. The philosophy of Hn’ist also provides benefits towards aid another, as befitting a philosophy that treats the whole universe as one organism. No, I have not covered all tricks this unique PrC has. In a rather nice idea, weapons classified as eleven may btw. be used by welshen.

 

H’Te’shen, aka Master Qu’em are a 5-level PrC that represents essnetially the wise martial arts masters of the Qu’em and, once again, the nomenclature of this cool reace is neatly explained.

 

Of course, we also receive new welshen ethnicities, i.e. races – a total of 5 clans are depicted: Clan X’el receives +2 Wis and Con, -2 Int, counts as prime bloodline and gets +2 to saves versus poison. Clan Mac’bel receives +2 Con adn Wis, -2 Cha, Knowledge (history) & /faction: welshen) as class skills and +2 racial bonuses to these checks. They also 1/day may reroll one roll. Clan fe’shex receive +2 Str and Con, -2 Cha (this focus on melee being explained via being slightly degenerate and less important in Necropunk than other settings, so, for once, no complaints about a focus on physicality), a further -2 position category penalty, ignores welshen weapon taboos and receives Knowledge (warfare) as a class skill. Clan Dem’rel is shunned due to a strange fever (fully presented) that has haunted the clan – they receive +2 Dex and int, -2 Con. They may be immune against the fever, but their bodies constantly wage war against the dormant affliction, imposing a penalty of -4 on saves versus diseases and poisons. They receive +2 to Heal and begin play with a containment suit – for everyone within 30 feet of a Dem’rel runs risk of infection and even a save can only temporarily render immune to the highly volatile disease. I love this idea – the duality of healing and contagion, the thematic of (incurable) diseases and the accompanying stagmatization- you don’t have to be a philosopher to realize the vast potential for great storytelling. And yes, while there +are* cures, they are expensive and rare… Clan Sil’Van is slightly too focused on mental attributes, with +2 Wis and Cha, -2 Str, but seeing they are the pacifist clan hinted at before among the qu’em schools, receive Survival and Knowledge (religion) as class skills and improved social maneuver teaching (plus optionally using wis instead of int for such teaching purposes) – so once, again – due to Necropunk’s more diverse take and different class make-up, no complaints regarding this dual fixation on mental attributes.

 

So what comes next? the personal highlight of this book, at least for me – a concise and captivating insight into welshen culture and philosophy – from the take on cultural topics like gender construction to captivating, flavorful explanations of common wordings to songs, the unique concepts of honor, the paradox of moral correctness vs. the extreme emphasis on efficiency, honor duels, taboos – this whole section is so captivating, so full of imaginative potential, it’s downright brilliant. I honestly and sincerely wished more racial write-ups or ecologies would attain this level and depth of inspiring concepts. While I was reading this section, I was, for a couple of pages, more immersed in Necropunk than I’ve been in many comparable settings ever.

 

Unless I’ve miss-counted, a total of 19 feats are provided (though formatting botched on the first page, changing the presentation of the feats slightly from bolded to non-bolded – but that’s cosmetic) – on the plus-side, the feats come with cool flavor text – on the downside, “home is where the kife is” renders an otherwise cool sentence somewhat less immersive. Exclusive feats to supplement qu’em style, a degree of control over the Dem’rel’s dread disease and yes, new tricks for the core book’s qu’em tricks – all in here.

 

We also receive a new style, the Fau Quan – this style focuses on hampering foes with crits, breaking bones or intimidate foes upon defeating adversaries. Personally, I think the bone-breaking should have a scaling save-DC instead of a fixed one. Also pretty interesting -Knife-bending – a kind of style for weapons, it makes light weapons a better option that utilizes the off-hand for defense and retaliation.

 

A total of 3 campaign traits, from clan lord to youngblood, these are interesting. Further adding to the unique components of the culture, there are several sojourns – pilgrimages, if you will, with fixed durations and requirements that not only provide vast narrative potential – they could also easily be used as story-feats, with completion requirements and bonuses – a total of 6 such sojourns are provided and they left me excited for more. A total of 5 new welshen weapons, 4 new necrotechs and two welshen war tokens as well as rules for the creation of said tokens and new uses for the Appraise skill round out this pdf.

 

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are okay – I noticed a number of glitches – from omissions of rules-relevant information to typos here and there, alas, this would constitute the pdf’s weak point. Layout adheres to Little Red Goblin Games’ 2-column standard in color that is pretty printer-friendly. the original b/w-artworks are glorious and capture well the flair of Necropunk. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience.

 

Scott Gladstein, Jeremiah Zerby and Dayton Johnson deliver one glorious supplement here – I *adore* Necropunk and the options herein have so much SOUL. The feel like lovingly crafted vistas of a true labor of love – the writing is diverse and intelligent, the new tricks added can be considered smart, the modifications interesting. The welshen culture is utterly fascinating and mops the floor with about 98% of racial supplements I’ve read – they feel concise, alive, believable. This pdf’s writing, in the best instances, is absolutely superb. On the other hand, it does also feels like it was rushed at one point – the glitches in editing and formatting, minor, slight hiccups here and there ripped me out of the experience once in a while. Let’s not mince words: I wished this book had received a bit more polishing. Non-scaling DCs, glitches etc. – there is a lot that simply isn’t that awesome regarding the sheer mechanical execution. That being said, anyone owning the Necropunk setting or even remotely interested in how to craft a unique culture (which could be reappropriated for other races and settings) should definitely get this sourcebook – there are not that many books that make me wish I had a massive 200+ pages book on a culture, not that many that make me crave novels and more material to this extent.

 

This book left me torn – on the one hand, I usually tend to be pretty strict regarding nasty glitches that influence rules…on the other hand, every fiber of my being demands that I praise this book in the highest of tones for its superb culture and intelligent fluff. I *want* rate this 5 stars + seal of approval…and for me, as a private person, that is what this book is to me. However, as a reviewer, I can’t do that – I have to acknowledge the issues this pdf has. If you require another analogy – writing rpg-supplements is both a craft and an art. The craftsmanship can be learned, but true artistry…not so much. Craftsmanship, in its apex, can be art of its own and the same holds true for masterful art. This pdf represents superb artistry in worldcrafting, but is somewhat hampered by the flawed craftsmanship.

Hence, my final verdict will be one of the rare cases where I rate a product at 4 stars, but still award my seal of approval. We need more books with this level of detail, more books that actually manage to bring a culture to life.

 

You can get this inspiring read here on OBS and here on d20pfsrd.com’s shop.

 

Endzeitgeist out.

 

 

Mar 032015
 

Advanced Options: Warpriest Blessings

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This installment of Rogue Genius Games’ Advanced Options series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving s with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?

 

We begin this pdf with a brief introduction to the matter at hand, namely 16 blessings devoted to the terrain/animal-themed domains as presented in Ultimate Magic back in the day. Each of the blessings comes with a minor and a major ability, with e.g. the aquatic blessing netting a scaling bonus to swim checks for a limited time, while the mayor ability functions as a combined water breathing/freedom of movement – pretty useful! Now surprisingly, none of the blessings turned out to be clones of one another -take e.g. the arctic blessing: It nets the ability to grant allies cold damage and icewalking/spider climb and eliminates penalties when moving across ice. Now, one would assume a clone of that for deserts and badlands, right? Well, badland’s minor blessing allows for the traversal of rocky terrain and the major blessing nets you an earth elemental that also receives an array of unique spell-like abilities. Weapons blessed by the desert shed light and may dazzle foes on crits, while the mayor blessing helps movement through sand and also mitigates some of the detrimental terrain aspect. Yes, I can most definitely appreciate the variety here!

 

Natural armor and minor DR may look like obvious calls, but e.g. hide in plain sight via the crocodile’s blessing makes surprising sense and constitutes a cool benefit – especially since the obvious bite/death roll-combo was avoided, also a combo that simply is interesting. Becoming poisonous (sickened) as per the blessing of the frog or moving trackless through the jungle. This variety also extends to the animal-themed blessings – while there is a beast shape III-duplicating blessing, this by no way holds true for all animal-themed blessings: E.g. better squeezing through cramped spaces, improved pack/teamwork capacities…rather awesome.

 

Now even better would be the additional synergy-support fans of RGG get – a total of 8 blessings, with themes based on domains introduced in various RGG-supplements are also provided – now before you hiss and boo: All rules required to use these blessings are in here, so yes, even without the RGG-pdfs that inspired them, they retain fully autonomous functionality. Now the attunement blessing may be a bit too strong – allowing for range “you” spells to be applied at touch range is a pretty nasty trick, especially since it also allows you to ignore creature-type based restrictions – while not broken on its own, this one constitutes a pretty nasty snowball-effect that can be abused in pretty nasty combos – so regarding that one, one should be pretty careful. The cold iron blessings can randomly end defensive effects on targets based on fort-saves, which also feels a bit clunky to me – why not take CL/caster capacity into account? Now yes, the save is pretty conservative, but still. The fire/cold duality of the hellfire blade may be pretty cool…but also odd. Why? Because the original hellfire magic pdf establishes the damage of hellfire blasts of the domain as half fire, half acid – so internal consistency is a bit off here. Now this is easily fixed and does not detract from the blessing, but it is still something I felt obliged to mention.

 

The pdf also sports 5 feats – increasing DC by 1, additional blessings per day, longer durations – pretty standard. As an interesting option, a feat may be taken to ignore blessings altogether, instead increasing atk for all weapons with which the warpriest has Weapon Focus. The Anointed Blessing feat may be a bit too much – it allows you to freely choose the blessings based on the domains of your deity – you select them again every day from your deity’s portfolio. This wildcard-feat with its prereqs of Wis and Cha 13 feels too easy to get for my take. The significantly expanded additional flexibility simply requires a higher entry-barrier in my book.

 

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games’ 2-column standard with thematically-fitting stock-art in full color. The pdf is fully bookmarked and hyperlinked for your convenience.

 

Andrew Marlowe’s blessings are surprisingly awesome – the vast majority of them are downright inspired, cool and nasty – they breathe style and flair and complement the base-class more than well. The conscious decision to avoid bland clones must be applauded and over all, I considered this pdf to be surprisingly inspired! On the downside, the attunement blessing and one feat are too strong and the pdf does sport some rather minor issues. Now this should not detract from the fact that the vast majority of the content herein is inspired and cool. Hence, in spite of these complaints, I will settle on a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform – just beware the few problematic bits.

 

You can get this nice supplement here on OBS and here on d20pfsrd.com’s shop!

 

Endzeitgeist out.

Mar 032015
 

Feats of Legend: 20 Warpriest Feats

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This pdf clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

 

-Crusader: +1 to atk with favored weapon, 1 max dex cap limit less in armor, 1 armor check penalty less. Okay.

 

-Extra Blessing: +1 BLESSING. Not “use of a blessing”, full-blown blessing – minor + mayor. This is very powerful.

 

-Extra Fervor: +3/day uses of fervor.

 

-Project Aura: Expend fervor as a full-round action to project aura as a 15-ft.-cone and treat your warpriest level as twice as high for the purpose of stunning creatures, for they are treated as if they had cast the appropriate detect spell and studied you for 3 rounds. Thankfully, a Will save can prevent that and reduce the effect to shaken.

 

-Improved Project Aura: Also add minor buff for allies and increase cone-size to 30 ft.

-Greater Project Aura: Expend more fervor to increase the duration of the stunned/shaken effect and also increase the save DC. The DC-scaling per fervor point feels a bit high to me – +1 round at 2 uses of fervor, why not also go for that with the DC? Stunned is pretty much save or suck, so I don’t think this would be weak.

 

-Improved Sacred Armor: + Cha-mod minutes duration.

 

-Greater Sacred Armor: Enhancement increases by +1 for a maximum of +6.

 

-Improved Sacred Weapon: Treat sacred weapon as if your warpriest level was +1 higher, +1 at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter. I *assume* this refers to the level-based sacred weapon base damage progression; If it does, it ought to have specified that it does not apply to the enhancement-bonus scaling inherent in the base ability, since that one also improves damage.

 

-Greater Sacred Weapon: Increase enhancemnet bonus by +1 to a maximum of +6. See, this one sports no ambiguity.

 

-Insightful Strike: Substitute Wis-mod as atk-governing attribute instead of Str or Dex when using the deity’s favored weapon.

 

-Improved Insightful Strike: Add Wis-mod to crit-confirmation rolls with the deity’s favored weapon.

 

-Ranged Fervor: Use fervor at 30 ft. range, requiring touch attacks – see, this one is pretty awesome and concisely presents a downright awesome option!

 

-Sacred Armor Flexibility: Expend fervor as a move action to switch the armor enhancement on your sacred armor. Nice!

 

-Sacred Weapon Flexibility: Same flexibility, but for sacred weapons.

 

-Summon Raiments: This summons forth armor/weapons for “divine energy” – does that mean channel energy? Fervor? No idea. Non-functional as written.

 

-Vigilant Blade: Enhance sacred weapon as a free action for 1 fervor.

 

-Zealot’s Strike: Expend 2 fervor tod eal max damage on the next successful attack, +4 to crit confirmation rolls. Why not limit the maximum to base weapon damage? As written, it can pretty easily be cheesed.

 

-Zealous Healing: Excess healing provided by fervor translates to temporary hit points of up to warpriest level.

 

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, but not perfect – from the mentioning of the bogus “divine energy class ability” to lower caps “dc” and similar small glitches, the pdf does sport some minor hiccups. Layout adheres to TPK Games’ parchment-style two-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

 

Brian Berg and P.J. Harn deliver a solid expansion of warpriest feats that do deliver some much needed flexibility. The feats skirt the line from solid to absolutely awesome – the ranged version of fervor is a pretty genius adaption of the ranged channel-ray alternate rule from the cleric reforged and the added flexibility for sacred armor/weaponry is cool. On the other hand, the offensive aura feats left me rather unimpressed and there are some minor quibbles in editing and wording and some minor balance concerns that drag down the pdf. In the end, we are left with a solid little pdf that is slightly above average and definitely useful for warpriests. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at a solid 3.5 stars rating, rounded down to 3 stars, mainly because not enough feats blew me out of the water.

 

You can get these feats here on OBS and here on d20pfsrd.com’s shop!

 

Endzeitgeist out.

Feb 272015
 

The Genius Guide to Gruesome Dragons

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This massive supplement clocks in at 53 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, leaving us with a more than solid 49 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

 

So, in case you’re not are – gruesome monsters in Rogue Genius Games’ terminology point towards templates that can be applied to creatures, usually of a certain type – here, dragons. (D’unh!) These templates sport a fear-rating mechanic called shock value, which, while optional, make them especially useful for gritty/horror games. Better yet (and even more crucial) – the gruesome creatures sport knowledge check-modifications to glean information on the creatures AND reward players that fight smart/do their homework – for gruesome creatures may be exceedingly powerful, but they also sport one or more weaknesses that help dealing with them. Coming from a background of hardcore Ravenloft-DMing, this particular design philosophy is very near and dear to my heart. It should also be noted that each template herein comes with a sample creature, all ready for direct insertion into your home game.

 

That being said, what exactly can one expect from such an array of dragons? Well, first of all – templates. Lots of them. And unlike quite a few I’ve seen over the years, these come with quite an array of interesting special offensive/defensive abilities to set the creatures apart. Take the very first dragon herein, the acrid dragon. Striking these fellows with a slashing or piercing weapon damages the weapon – which is damn cool! I just wished the template wouldn’t use the wobbly “energy damage” as a terminology and instead settled for, I don’t know, force or just remain untyped. Yes, a nitpick, but a glitch nonetheless. Also, a glitch that extends to the elemental aura, which, while 100% obvious in what it means, also falls prey to this. Now don’t get me wrong, this template remains very much operable and working…but it still technically could have been slightly more concise. (And yes, this is officially nitpick-land…beware, rabid spirits of the end-times a-roaming’…)

 

This is especially odd since the added energy damage to regular attacks follows proper wording procedures and aligns its bonus damage in an unmistakable way with the breath weapon’s energy type. Same goes for the death-detonation these creatures emit when destroyed – once again, the wording here is airtight. Now at this point, you’ll realize another nice trick of the templates – following the size-progression of dragons, gruesome dragons of certain sizes receive additional, particularly nasty tricks to pull off – here, we’d receive an aura that automatically ruins potions et. al. (With a save for attended objects, but still…OUCH – I love it!) On the weakness-side, these dragons LACK a breath-weapon…which makes combat against them a whole different deal.

 

Of course, the iconic bone dragons can be found herein as well – including channel resistance, phylactery, resting in scattered form (including rapid autohealing and yes, telekinetic control over bones…on the downside, the lack of scales also deprives these creatures of energy immunities… Brittle dragons also are rather interesting – afflicted by constant growth of their bony protrusions, these dragons have fast healing, but at the same time, their rampant, out of control growth makes their bones fragile. Oh, and teeth/claws breaking off in wounds are NOT healthy for the recipients. Worse, at higher levels, their fragility extends to quite a few other beings within their aura…

What can be worse than a dragon? For anyone with arachnophobia (and a large number of people exhibit this…), the drachnid would serve as an excellent answer. A terrifying (and lavishly-illustrated) example of nastiness, these beings not only receive custom spell-like abilities, they also add a web to their breath.- Yeah, nasty…but perhaps you can use their cruelty and unwillingness to go for a quick kill to your advantage. Well, you better should, for these foes are capital D deadly.

 

Ether dragons take the planar highjacking/near ethereal battles to a whole different level – and anyone who has ever run an ethereal filcher with class level against PCs knows how deadly that strategy can be for the unprepared. Now think “dragon.” Yeah, these guys WILL frighten your PCs.

 

Not enough? Would you rather have something…mythic? Well, know how dragons are incredibly arrogant? It should come as no surprise that the false god, a particularly nasty example of the draconic ilk, can draw power from its followers’ fanaticism – and grant their believers a part of their power. if played right, these dragons can be utterly fearsome. Two thumbs up!

 

What would have happened if a certain Dr Victor F. had access to draconic corpses? Well, the fleshwired dragon would be the answer to that. And you thought regular flesh golems were bad news. Oh, and yes, using their asymmetric nature against them may prove your melee guys’ one chance of survival…nasty indeed! Compared to that, the glutton dragon feels pretty straight-forward. Hermit dragons are not necessarily solitary old coots – they are afflicted by something that destroys their scales, requiring them to graft pieces of armor to their flesh. Hoarder dragons on the other hand tend to accumulate…everything, creating deadly lairs where conditions not only are unsanitary, but where the debris cluttering everything might actually be used against the PCs.

 

Truly frightful would also be the mind-collectors -dragons that obsess over living minds and endeavor to capture them within their gems, leaving comatose shells of their victims…an obsession smart adventurers can turn against the draconic threat. Still, personally, for a me a particularly creepy concept. Plagued dragons once again can be considered harbingers of exactly what’s on the lid – plagues. Nasty and pretty iconic would be the spawnwyrm – clad in a shroud of defensive eggs, these beings can unleash swarms of deadly spawns while being at the same time utterly overprotective. These things make for a great way to insert a sense of the alien and inhumane into the context of dragons and explore a very interesting frame of mind that is distinctly non-mammalian.

 

Want MORE? Well, what about no less than 5 new dragon types, so-called abhorrent dragons? These beings have a certain, slightly Lovecraftian vibe and are theme-wise just as nasty as their monikers suggest – aberrant, breeder, destructive, corruptive, maddening. They come with 3 sample statblocks each as well as full draconic age-category progression…and you know me. I love nasty dragons. I love well-executed Lovecraftiana…and you gotta love dragons with decadence-auras or those that can spontaneously birth aberrations…right? Right!

 

The last 4 pages of the pdf are devoted to various new spells, with 6 progressively stronger means of animating a hoard to better flight, tighter, missile-like breath (to avoid killing allies…for example) to transferring your breath weapon to a creature, which not only is rent asunder by it, but also serves as the focus point for it…can I hear “false god gambit”? Yes. What about a spell that keeps a target alive, in order to allow the dragon to paralyze foes longer? Flensing foes? Automatic undead-ification of the next foe you slay? What about a spell that allows your next grapple to deal 10 x caster level force damage? Yeah, ouch! These spells are powerful and worthy of dragons…I’m not sure I’d allow them for PCs (or dragon PCs, for that matter, if you’re using In the Company of Dragons or the Dracomancer…), but as nasty BBEG-spells…heck yeah, they work!

 

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are pretty tight, though not perfect – I noticed a couple of instances where yours truly could nitpick specific wordings, as demonstrated in the beginning of the review. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column standard in full-color, with plenty of downright GORGEOUS artworks on par with the cover. The art does not adhere to a uniform style, though – we also receive some nice Jacob Blackmon originals (love your work!) as well as a few CGI-models (which personally, I don’t like as much). The pdf comes with excessive, nested bookmarks.

 

The Four Horsemen have crafted a great supplement of truly nasty draconic templates here. The design decisions, more often than not, have at least one unique, far-out ability, an interesting tactical option or something I haven’t seen in a d20-based draconic variant – which is to say something. Now yes, some classics like the bone dragon, the eats-all-dragon etc. are less inspired, are representations of tropes that have been done before…but the sheer fact that the pdf managed to bring up some ideas I haven’t seen before is worth quite a bit in my book. Is the pdf perfect? No, but it *is* rather inspiring. I ADORE the false god-template (which I’ll develop further with Legendary Games’ supplements) and it provides an excellent bang for buck ratio. I always value creativity over mechanical perfection and quite honestly, this pdf is pretty awesome in both regards, though the latter imho could have used some slight finetuning. Still, this represents a great resource for DMs seeking to make their dragons frightening again AND reward their players for intelligent fighting. And I *really*, really like that. AND, while not all templates herein are absolutely mind-blowing, some constitute the coolest templates I’ve seen in any non-Rite Publishing-book. The Book of Monster Templates still is one of THE staples in my own home game. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval – these dragons are just too cool!

 

You can get this cool book of draconic templates and supplemental material here on OBS and here on d20pfsrd.com’s shop!

 

Endzeitgeist out.

Feb 272015
 

Islands of Plunder: Treasury of the Fleet

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This pdf clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages introduction/how-to-use, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 15 pages of pure content, so let’s take a look, shall we?

 

First of all, in case you’re new to legendary games’ plug-ins – this pdf provides a selection of new magical items, which, while per se crafted for easy insertion into the Skull & Shackles AP, can easily be integrated into just about any nautical/slightly piratey game. Got that? All right, so let’s take a look at the items, shall we?

 

First of all, a nice convenient table, we receive the respective items in a nice, concise list, by price – the items ranging from a paltry 400 GP to 100K and yes, even including an artifact – the whole gamut of price-ranges can be found herein – so that’s a nice start.

 

But what do the items do? Well, first of all, there would be the bullet buckler, a powerful magical shield that may deflect firearms and even siege weapons, retaining the AC bonus against them…and if the couple of threads on Skull & Shackles are any indicator, there’ll be a lot of happy players (and DMs!) gunning for this shield! Yeah, I know…that pun was bad even for yours truly…I’ll put the bucks into the bad pun jar after the review, all right? Now yes, this buckler may be nice…but of BOY does it pale before the cannonball breastplate. What does that one do? Well, for once, it can conjure forth a strange cannon of smoke to shoot it as a cannonball towards a target – which is awesome. Even better, though, the smoe obscures sight AND renders you gaseous, allowing you to escape…and the plate reforms thereafter with your body. This is one glorious getaway-item and utterly awesome – the designer who came up with it should be proud – same goes for the artist that rendered the item in gorgeous full color.

 

Sharkskin suits, comparably, feel less impressive, though their bleed-causing grapple-defense and swimming enhancement will fit thematically perfect into Razor Coast as well. The captain’s cutlass not only helps fighting defensively, it also makes navigation and just about all tasks of a captain a tad bit easier and fans of James Bond may rejoice – there is a Golden Gun now – just as deadly, but also incredibly expensive – if you thought regular ammunition was costly, wait till you start firing pure gold…yeah, suddenly the greed of certain individuals makes sense, doesn’t it?

 

Hateful hooks are not only hard to disarm, they also carry a grudge that may not only cost the unfortunate sap at their end, but also their wielder his/her respective life. What about wind-controlling harpoons that can generate electricity/sonic-based equivalents of fire shield…and do so reflexively? Perhaps you’d prefer a dagger that either sings uplifting tunes or gloomy shanties that speak of the doom below the waves? A sniper’s pepperbox can also be found herein, but pales before a new type of magical cannon that puts a spin on its ammunition, causing it to continue drilling into target creatures and hostile ships – and perhaps even right through them. (And yes, this can cause a decrease in natural armor…) A silenced pistol with what amounts to inverse sonic damage and a repeating crossbow that can be used to blast through water-based magic further complement the beginning array of items.

 

Thereafter, a total of 5 special weapon abilities allow the characters wielding them to make weapons act as chain-based nets, skim weapons across the surface of water or add a tracer on a target, to help fighting those pesky, sneaking scurvy seadogs. 2 rods can be found inside these pages – the rather self-explanatory pirate brand (guess what that one does) and the rod of the ebb tide that not only acts as a defensive weapon, it also allows you to send creatures with the water subtype back where they belong and, if used as a focus for un/hallow, it can all but cripple adversaries of a specific bent, coming essentially with a build-in adventure (defend/capture) all of its own – nice!

 

What is that? You want some fine dress and actually are not that nasty a pirate? Well, the admiralty’s parade kit should be just what you wanted if you are aiming to make an impression (or make a governor forget about your misdeeds…)… Earrings to enhance your sight, flares that can be seen for miles, an ensign that allows you to convey demands for parley or similar messages to other ships, anti-gaze/dazzle/etc.-eyepatches, gloves that ensure a certain grip, capes that prevent your lookout from dying horribly whenever your main mast is toppled, multi-tool pirate-hooks…there is a lot of cool material to be found herein. And yes, there are fire-extinguishing sails, tricornes that allow you to brave the most dire of weathers, sextants that allow you to enter the plane of shadows at night…yeah, the wondrous items indeed are awesome!

 

Now, I mentioned an artifact – the Pirate Queen’s Pearl – and yes, it is glorious – a 1-foot statuette of pearl, it can absorb perfect ioun stones, granting bonuses depending on the stone temporarily absorbed, for a more complex ioun stone management.

 

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary games 2-column full-color standard and sports the good kind of hyperlinks. The pdf sports no bookmarks, which constitutes a comfort detriment. Artist James Krause deserves special mentioning for the surprising number of top-quality, evocative artworks provided for many of the items – kudos indeed!

 

Jason Nelson, Matt Goodall, Jim Groves and Jonathan H. Keith deliver an armory of magic items that is surprisingly bereft of suckage – after SO MANY pirate-themed books, I’ve become pretty jaded regarding their tools and did quite frankly not expect to like this book to the extent I do – the items herein, more often than not either fall in the “OMG, how awesome is THAT?!” category or the no less impressive “This makes total sense and a magical society MUST have developed this!”-category, providing an awesome mix of a setting’s conciseness-enhancing items and rule-of-cool-level items that are simply too neat to pass by. This is a great pdf, with only the lack of bookmarks remaining as a minor strike against it – my final verdict will clock in at a well-deserved 5 stars + seal of approval.

 

You can get these cool pirate/nautical treasures here on OBS and here on d20pfsrd.com’s shop!
Endzeitgeist out.

Feb 272015
 

Animal Races: Clan of the Deer

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This installment of the Animal Races-series clock in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

 

Much like prior installments to this series, we herein receive rules for PCs belonging to one of the tightly and concisely-presented animal clans, with deer therians this time being the focus of attention. The first choice this highly modular therian race offers would be the size – medium or small. Medium deer receive +2 Wis, -2 Int. Small deer receive +2 Wis, -2 Str. medium deer have a base speed of 30 ft, small ones only 20 ft. They are humanoids with the faun subtype – which is a bit odd, since the other installments of the series used the adlet subtype – why introduce another subtype? The members of clan deer also receive low-light vision, natural armor +1 (scales up to +2 at 10th level), scent, a gore attack at one step below what would be standard for the creature-size and selection from 4 different clans.

 

Deer Clan members receive +2 to Dex and may choose to select the deer clan racial heritage feat as a ranger combat style feat. Members of the Elk clan receive +2 Str and may choose to select the deer clan racial heritage feat as a ranger combat style feat. Musk Deer Clan members receive +2 to Dex and may choose to select the racial heritage feat instead of a rage power. Reindeer receive +2 to Con and may choose to select the racial heritage feat as a ranger combat style feat. The clan heritage feat may be chosen 5 times, with increased gore damage output and movement, hooves and finally, after the 5th time, the ability Hard to Catch of the liberation domain, with additional uses equal to the character level. As a pretty cool idea, a feat allows members of clan deer to use the antlers as an unholy symbol and be treated as cold iron, evil and lawful for the purposes of DR – ouch and quite frankly, slightly overpowered, but also pretty iconic!

 

Much like the other clan-pdfs, we also receive excessive information on the genealogy of the clan, the folklore and receive a small write-up of the racial deity Cerunnos and once again, traits may be exchanged for bonus feats at the cost of penalties to saves or initiative.

 

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, there is not much to complain about here. Layout adheres to a very crisp and concise two-column b/w-standard with cool heraldic crests and stock art mixed. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

 

Eric Morton’s Clan of the Deer is one of the coolest, most iconic animal race-pdfs so far – from the smart ideas to the excellent execution, the deer herein are stunning indeed – and somewhat frightening. This review is admittedly rather scarce on the fluff, but rest assured that this is intentional – this pdf manages to make deer-humanoids inspiring and I simply don’t want to spoil the means by which it does that. A truly unique rendition of the concept, even my own skepticism regarding the new subtype does not mar this pdf, being cosmetic at best. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

 

You can get this awesome installment of the series here on OBS!

 

Endzeitgeist out.

Feb 252015
 

Psionics Embodied

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This book clocks in at 69 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 64 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?

 

So, we’ve all been there – suddenly, mid-adventure, a PC bites the dust and the player has no time to make a new character for now, requiring the temporary use of an NPC. Or, more often, one sits on the DM’s side of the screen and makes *yet another* NPC-build. I know I do that and it is an annoying bottleneck. There are certain tricks and combos one stumbles across and then re-uses them time and again. The issue becomes more pronounced if your campaign is like mine and sports a vast array of different 3pp materials. Paizo only has the CORE-classes covered with the codex and beyond that, I may point towards Rite Publishing’s superb Faces of the Tarnished Souk-series, Frog god Games’ Unusual Suspects and LPJr Design’s Usual Suspects…and beyond these, good NPC-books become scarce, with only a couple of Legendary Games-books coming to mind. This was particularly annoying, at least for me, when it came to psionics (and some other subsystems I regularly use) – I had to make too many of these guys from scratch and at some point, tunnel-vision starts to set in.

 

Introducing this book, psionics now receive an array of NPCs for your perusal to insert into your campaign. The numerous characters herein are crafted with the heroic attribute-array and appropriate WBL and each character comes with 3 builds – one for level 5, one for level 10 and one for level 15. Now I am not going to go into the details for every NPC herein – for every creature herein comes with a full-blown background story as well as advice on how to use the NPC as both an ally or villain – and yes, this means that these guys and gals are full-blown, developed personalities, not just statblocks. From radiant heroes to plague-doctor elans gone full-blown insane evil, the characters herein take the base classes in different directions, with tacticians, dreads, marksmen, etc. all receiving their due. Some of the specialists of the psion-class receive no representation, though. Blues, forgeborn and similar psionic races are well-integrated into the builds within these pages.

 

In fact, the characters herein work exceedingly well as both allies and adversaries and, more often than not, offer some deviations from tired and true character tropes, thus coming to life in a surprising captivating manner. From the honorable, yet brash Desh to the ruthless, but well-situated Count Malbor, the diverse NPCs in this book do a nice job of running the gamut from cool allies to despicable adversaries, with the builds themselves doing a neat job of representing the particulars of the NPC and their ideology in the crunch they provide.

 

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good – apart from some rare glitches like an incorrect CR and similar minor glitches, the pdf can be considered well off in that regard. Layout adheres to Dreamscarred Press’ beautiful 2-column full-color standard and each and every NPC in this book receives a gorgeous full-color artwork – kudos! The pdf comes fully bookmarked as well as with a more printer-friendly version with a white background.

 

Jeremy Smith, Andreas Rönnqvist and Matt Medeiros have crafted a damn useful NPC-collection – finally, an array of psionic NPCs, all ready for use, with just the flick of a finger. I *love* books like this, simply because they allow a DM to focus on cool storylines, preparing a module etc. – or simply add a spark of psionics into another-wise non-psionics module. The NPCs are diverse, their writing is neat, the builds solid – so there is not much to complain in that regard.

That being said, there are some minor nitpicks I can field against this book, the first of which would simply be scope – I would have loved this to be a NPC-Codex-sized, massive book of diverse builds, covering all psion-specialists etc. Now I can’t hold the scope of the book against it, but still – a bigger book would have been awesome. Similarly, some people may have wanted scaling suggestions to bring these NPCs down to less powerful builds, but once again, I consider that not the book’s fault. My only true gripe with this book would be the following – unlike the NPC Codex, this book presents rounded characters and the builds, for that, feel very much linear. While some archetype’d combos can be found, you won’t find any nasty multiclass combos in this book and for named NPCs, I would have expected one or two or these. Note that this does not make the book bad in any way – it’s just that making linear characters is much easier and less time-consuming than making complex, archetype’d multiclass characters.

 

But in the end, ladies and gentlemen, this is just me being a complaining nitpicker at a high level. The characters herein deserve to be called “characters” – they range from nice to inspired and some rather beg to be used, which is a neat accomplishment in my book – this collection is still a permanent addition to my DM-toolkit and well worth a final verdict of 5 stars.

 

You can get this nice collection of NPCs here on OBS and here on d20pfsrd.com’s shop!
Endzeitgeist out.

Feb 252015
 

GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops II

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This compilation of Raging Swan Press’ critically acclaimed Village Backdrops-series clocks in at 95 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial,1 page ToC, 1 page advice on how to read statblocks for novice DMs, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 87 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

 

We begin this supplement with an acknowledgment I wished more pdfs sported – author bios. I mean, come on, these are the people who make the supplements we love and generating some name recognition is definitely something I consider a positive thing. Beyond that, a handy table lists statblocks by CR, village and page, complete with short details for easy navigation. It should also be noted that the glorious pen-cartography receives its due place to shine, with each village sporting the name of the cartographer alongside the author- which is also nice, seeing what a great job they do in capturing the uniqueness of the settlements.

 

Now if you’ve been following my reviews, you won’t be surprised to hear that I have covered most of the villages herein – Agraviane’s Rest, Chasm, Hjalward, Hulw’ma, Prayer’s Point, Refuge, Riverburg, Star Run Falls, Sumemrford, Trickletrek, Vulgruph’s Hollow and Vulcanbridge all have their own review, so if you are looking for detailed information on any of these, please take a look at the respective reviews.

 

Now if you are not familiar with the series, to sum it up – the village backdrop-installments come in excessive detail: From settlement statblocks to rumors and whispers, signs, local nomenclature etc., the amount of detail and local color provided for the respective villages make it extremely easy for the DM to bring these places to live. Now unlike the first compilation, we receive no development options for Ultimate Campaign’s rules – but surely, we do receive new bonus content? Yes, we do.

 

First would be Kingsfell – penned by Raging Swan Press’ master Creighton Broadhurst and cartographed by one of the best and most versatile cartographers around, Tommi Salama, Kingsfell is situated at a strategic, historic location and is governed by the paladin-lady Mira Lankinen. Situated atop a collection of ancient burial mounds, more easily defended thanks to the rivers and with docks, it makes for a versatile, interesting settlement. In a nice change of pace, the place does not necessarily sport a BBEG who wants to destroy everyone – instead, the narrative potential is very much found within the hidden history of the burial mounds and the potential issue springing from the PCs (or someone…) potentially disturbing the rest of the dead buried below the village…and they don’t rest easy. Tables for local food-prices etc. further complement a great village, especially since it hints at one rather impressive array of villages and surrounding areas that I hope will see further detail in the future.

 

The second new settlement herein would be Robert Brookes’ Rifthammer – he btw. also provided the cartography for the settlement! – situated within the 2-mile deep Arnafiq Rift. In a cool way, the village’s map not only sports a top-down, but also a sideways representation of the settlement. Rifthammer is inhabited by noble, yet insular and prideful dwarves and somewhat subverts expectations – haunted by a recurring disease (or is it a curse?) called stoneshame, the settlement sports quite a few secrets,a s the dwarves endeavor to hide the afflicted from outsiders. Now, the temple stands empty, the priest having succumbed to the dread affliction and the only healer is an actually GOOD witch with the death patron. And yes, the disease and its origins are fully depicted – as is the reason why dwarves become infected. A glorious, iconic settlement with quite a lot of adventure potential – nice!

 

Conclusion:

 

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to RaginG Swan Press’ two-column b/w-standard with thematically fitting b/w-artwork and most importantly, drop-dead-gorgeous b/w-cartography. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks, though at least in my version, they point towards 1 page before the start of the chapter of the village instead of the first pace of the village. The pdf does come in two different versions, one optimized to be printer out and one optimized for screen-use. I can’t comment on the print version since I don’t have it.

 

Authors Christian Alipounarian, Alexander Augunas, John Bennett, Creighton Broadhurst, Robert Brookes, Alex Connell, Greg Marks, Brian Wiborg Mønster, Colleen Simpson, Mike Welham should be proud – as should be the cartographers Tom Fayen, Robert Brookes, Michael Tumey, Ryan Boles and Erick Frankhouse – why? Because the maps are gorgeous, awesome and simply beautiful and really help these cool settlements come to life.

 

The first village backdrops-compilation was very good – this one is better. Why? Because the villages are infinitely cooler, more versatile and there is not ONE in here that is not narrative gold in some way. These villages practically beg to be used and their attention to detail and diversity should allow just about every DM to find a glorious village to insert into their games herein. Quality and production-value-wise, this pdf is definitely one glorious supplement.

Now if you already have the component pdfs, the new material makes for a good reason beyond simple convenience to get this collection, but whether or not that and the convenience gained is enough for you, only you, dear reader, can decide. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

You can get this cool compilation here on OBS and here on d20pfsrd.com’s shop.

Endzeitgeist out.

 

Feb 242015
 

Mythic Monsters: Aberrations

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This installment of the Mythic Monster-series clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages introduction/how-to-use, 2 pages advertisement, 1 page inside back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 23 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?

 

We begin this mythic monster-installment with a glorious handout/moodsetting piece, wherein the dread effects of the new aberration herein are made apparent to the reader – provided in classic greenish/white paper, folks old enough to remember a world sans internet *WILL* definitely have an added piece of recognition drive home the horror here for a pulpy nod – nice indeed and a cool feat by the layout artists/graphic designers of this pdf.

 

On the supplemental side of things, we receive more mythified spells taken from the Gothic AP- plugin-series, providing, among others, some spells of the Mutant Manifesto with mythic versions – nice! But you’re not here for the supplemental content, but for the creatures, right? Okay, so let’s dive in!

 

At CR 3/MR 1, the mythic choker can smother targets and makes spellcasting (or calling for help) nigh impossible for its victims – yes, there is a reason the guards are soundlessly vanishing one by one… At one CR higher, mythic ettercaps receive razor-edged webs with a 1-minute cool-down – pretty cool. Also at CR 4/MR 1, mythic rust monsters can use mythic power to enforce two rolls, the target creature/item taking the lesser. Per se solid, but still wished it received some cool tool – rust auras or the like, for example. Also at this CR/MR, vampirirc mists can envelop and paralyze creatures and quickly drain targets of their blood – imho more interesting than the base creatures, so yeah – cool!

 

In the solid middle-field, at CR 6/MR 2, mythic cloakers receive no less than 5 different ways with which to augment their moan, mythic power-style. Their engulfing is also pretty lethal, but still – perhaps because I’m a fan of the race, I would have loved to see something more unique being done here. At one CR less, mythic mimics can envelop targets and receive acidic adhesive – solid, but not too great. Mythic otyughs at the same CR/MR can disgust those constricted and use mythic power to exhale stinking clouds – which is in line with the creature’s concept, yes, but perhaps due to Purple Duck Games’ Otyughnomicon-series, I expected something slightly more interesting.

 

One of my favorite, odd creatures, the Wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing at CR 10/MR 4 can using LIVING creatures as lure. Yes, if you know how these guys works, that’s as messed up as it sounds. They also receive a more pronounced body horror component with better implantation options for their eggs and the option to easily maintain multiple grapples, rendering this creature particularly impressive.

 

Among the high-level threat, we have the froghemoth (yeah!), who doubles as a mythic alien for the subtype, see MM: Aliens) with 2 supplemental feats from MM: Sea Monsters, thankfully reprinted for your convenience – kudos! Oh, and the creature’s build is a true beauty – tossing tentacles, drowning gullet, powerful dragging tongue – worthy of CR 16/MR 6 indeed! At only one CR less, the iconic mythic ropers can shatter weapons that strike them, are masters of pulling creatures around, can paralyze foes with their strands courtesy of mythic power and their glare can rip magic asunder akin to an antimagic field. Glorious! Speaking of which – at CR 17/MR 7, veiled masters definitely earn their title here – beyond doubling as mythos-creatures, they may consume memories, wield delayed enchantment effects, exude mists of their dread mucus, create tangible illusions and even send forth deadly electricity-damage-dealing thoughtlances that can stun and stagger targets. Heck yes!

At the same CR/MR-rating, mythic Vemerak receive a breath weapon upgrade that lasts longer, an aura of madness…and a nasty trick. If the creature begins its round grappling a non-mythic creature of size large or lower, it can immediately bite off the head of the target. Yep. Insta-kill. Don’t send your cohorts against these guys!

 

Okay, ready for the new creature? Well, this time, the being clocks in at CR 12/MR 5 and is called Zyoselak – so get this: These things are alien, aberrant swarms of gelatinous, acidic matter, able to create telekinetic shields at the cost of decreased movements – however, said shields can be animated when separated from the creature via mythic power. Worse, it can control its transparency and invade creatures, slowly melting their brain, paralyzing targets and quickly consume any targets that die within it. A fearsome, cool and deadly predator and well worth of Legendary Games’ tradition of providing glorious new beasts in this series!

 

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to legendary Games’ 2-column full-color standard and the pdf’s 2 original artworks are gorgeous. The pdf is fully bookmarked for your convenience.

 

Alistair Rigg, Jason Nelson and Tom Philips deliver a cool assortment of mythic adversaries herein – though this time around, the selection feels more divided to me than in the last installment: On the one hand, we have quite a few aberrations brimming with glorious combo-potential, with enhanced, iconic capabilities and some of the most interesting builds in the series. On the other hand, a few of the creatures herein also felt downright disappointing to me – perhaps it’s due to my well-documented love for the horrific and weird, but when e.g. taking a look at cloakers etc., they did feel like missed opportunities, especially seeing how 3.X did provided some cool variants and upgrades that could have used some acknowledgment or upgrade, if only to make the poor PFRPG-cloakers more unique.

 

Now rest assured that I’m complaining at a high level here – the cool prose and unique, new monster definitely make for glorious, inspiring additions to any game. That being said, they are not enough, at least not for me, to elevate this Mythic Monster-installment to absolute apex-levels – hence my final verdict will “only” clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.

 

You can get these nasty aberrations here on OBS and here on d20pfsrd.com’s shop!

 

Endzeitgeist out.