Sep 302012
 

104748[1]

This module from Purple Duck Games is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, while SRD and editorial combine to take up about 1 page, leaving approximately 11 pages of content, so let’s check out PDG’s second Adventure locale-sidetrek adventure for DCC!

This being an adventure module, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential player might wish to jump to the conclusion!

All right, still here? This pdf has the PCs venture into the halls that of a primitive tribe to reclaim a sacred skull and a magic club, making this module potentially a viable option for usage in a Sword & Sorcery-style setting. The exploration immediately kicks off with an exploration of the vanquished tribe’s undead-infested tombs (including meticulously-detailed treasures) to the option to get blessed by the local mountain god and thus pass the deadly stone guardians – and potentially be goaded into a divine quest to vanquish the mountain god’s foes or suffer a luck-draining curse.

In order to succeed, the PCs will have to venture into the depths of the mountain and destroy legions of small, humanoid crayfish-like jumping mites as well as brave the mud demons of Gelihedres and cultists serving the dark god to stop the mastermind of the cult from summoning an avatar of his dark god into the body of a dead young giant. The pdf also comes with 2 pages of DM-maps (with keys) and high-res jpegs both with and without keys for the two levels of the dungeon.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard and the pdf comes with some ok artworks as well as bookmarks. This easily inserted module is a nice savage little dungeon centred on the conflict between two gods/spirits that have lost a lot of power (judging from the fledgling avatar’s stats). This module is nice, but it lacks the compelling weirdness of its predecessor – it’s a good module and it offers some nice experiences for your PCs and genuinely creepy moments and makes good use of the system, but in the end, it just didn’t grip me as much as the sojourn into the dancing horror’s complex. Thus, my final verdict will clock in at 1 star less than that module, resulting in a verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

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Sep 302012
 

104856[1]

This pdf from DreamScarred Press is 6 pages long, 1 page front cover/editorial/artworks (which are repeated in the respective entries), 1 page SRD, leaving 4 pages for 4 monsters, so let’s check them out!

The first creatures are the so-called Ir’Llanthaal, CR 3 merfolk-like beings with sound-creating abilities as well as an affinity to dolphins and whales. Especially for e.g. Alluria Publishing’s Cerulean Seas campaign setting very cool – I’m looking forward to reading their book on underwater psionics.

After that, we get the CR 6 Khurduzal, the so-called ID shambler is much more interesting: The strange plant cannot only engulf and constrict foes, it is also resistant to psionics and draws strength from powers of the mind hitting it. Furthermore, via its mushrooms, it emits constantly a strange kind of psychotropic aura. This being is so awesome – details like the mushrooms growing on this mass being able to be made into a drug add further to the critter’s awesomeness. I just wished that stats for the drug had been provided as well…

The third creature then would be the CR 8 Saurood, a triceratops-headed humanoid can be considered an homage to Forgotten Realm’s Saurian leaders, who were known to be contemplative, yet physically imposing. This being can use psi-like abilities that duplicate hammer and stomp as well as being able to emit a devastating sonic bellow. Neat take on the “good” reptilian race. Fans of the Third Dawn-setting should also enjoy the link of the race’s fluff with the ophidians.

The final new critter, the Thercias Hound clocks in at CR 6 and should be considered a six-legged canine being with a powerful bite, predatory psionic powers like chameleon and a hide that makes it naturally invisible and a nice deadly hunter in the tradition of the good old displacer beasts.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly 2-column standard and the b/w-artworks provided for the monsters are original and nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is a minor bummer at this length.

Following the tradition of the psionic bestiaries, the creatures herein can be considered high-quality critters, with this installment feeling distinctly like a grand homage to monsters of old that have been absent to one reason or another. The monsters herein all have some kind of signature ability and seem to fill their respective niches. On the other hand, while this closeness to classics makes them feel nostalgic, they could, with the exception of the stellar ID shambler a tad bit more originality. Usually, this wouldn’t bug me that much, but due to e.g. the fact that the drug-information is missing as well as the fact that the Ir’Llanthaal could be a tad bit more original, I’ll settle for a final verdict of a solid 4 stars – a good mini-bestiary at the low price.

Endzeitgeist out.

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Sep 182012
 

104500[1]

This pdf from Raging Swan Pressis 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so what does this pdf offer?

Essentially, we are all familiar with maddeningly obscure prophetic dreams that can provide central hints, ignite quests and make ironic sense once their circumstances become real. Thus, in order to understand dreams, we get three sample sources for these portentous visions – divine, arcane, and yes, thankfully also psionic sources are covered and the basic three guidelines are presented – especially cool for novice DMs: Guide, don’t expect; be vague, but not too vague; less is more. Of course, these are only the introductory guidelines. After that, we get to the meat of the product, the easy to use tables:

First, you can chose the tone between benign dream and nightmare, the we determine one of 10 locales and if urban, the exact urban location. This all works via d10. After that, we determine environmental factors via d6 and events like “birth”, “death” or “change” via d8. Next, we determine the subject via a d20-table (missing the 1-entry) and add between d10 objects or roll a d20 to check for a 3/4-chance of the dream to feature prominent colours.

We also get a new feat to represent knowledge gained from dreaming, the Oracular Dreamer feat, which lets you essentially e.g. recreate Johnny Depp’s role in “From hell” by enabling you to reroll mental skill-checks upon awakening to reflect the revelatory nature of your dreaming. The last pages of the pdf are devoted to 18 different sample dreams.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, though I noticed a minor bug with one table. Layout adheres to RSP’s printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with two versions, one optimized for screen use and one to be printed out. The pdf comes fully bookmarked. I’m a huge fan of prophetic dreams and the subject matter – when I’m playing CoC, I often draw upon Kingsport and the Dreamlands. When I think about a stellar PFRPG-module, Coliseum Morpheuon is always one that comes to mind.

When I think about dreams in 3.5, I think about the system of the “Book of Hallowed Might 2”, which provided a vast selection of symbols that corresponded to different concepts – once the players had learned what a symbol meant, they could interpret dreams with a semi-reasonable accuracy. A constancy in symbols and what they mean, perhaps even reliant on signs in the heaven (I have created 13 such signs in my home-game) does A LOT to immerse players and DMs in a given setting. And this is also my major gripe with this pdf.

Yes, it provides guidelines to create portentous dreams, but it lacks a sample guideline of such symbols, never going beyond a basic setting up of elements that serve as the dream’s backdrop. The tables remain painfully generic and thus also inadequate to the task of creating complex messages veiled in dreams and symbolism – essentially, this pdf is a guide to setting a dreamstage, but not on how to enact a compelling play on it. If I’d use such a supplement, it would be to convey e.g. “the princess has been kidnapped by a duke who is in fact a doppelgänger” – making this message obvious: Simple. Making it a veiled, subtle dream? Not so much. Ambivalent symbols would go a long way to enhance gaming experiences and the usability of this pdf. This pdf provides a great first step towards making dreams matter, the new feat rocks, but ultimately, if you’re looking for something beyond the basics of DMing dreams, I’d suggest you’d rather check out Rite Publishing’s “Rituals of Choice”-AP and learn from the way in which symbolism and dreams are woven into these modules – I learned more from them. Is this a bad pdf? No. Does it work? Yes, if you’re a novice and plan to invest quite some time in crafting your dreams.

If you’re looking for a spontaneous generator, this pdf is too short and generic to provide excitement. If you’re looking for a complex set of symbols, this pdf delivers just about nothing. The sample dreams are nice, as is the excellent feat and I cannot help but feel that this pdf’s main problem is its length: Were this a 20-page file, I’d wager it would be awesomeness incarnate – author Christian Alipounarian knows his craft. But at this short length, the supplement only manages to skirt the outer rim of the subject matter without delving in what I’d consider a sufficient depth. If you’re a novice DM without a clue for dreams, you might enjoy this. Otherwise, there’s not much to glean from these pages. For novices, this is a 3-star file, for every other one, me included, though, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 2 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

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Sep 182012
 

104842[1]

This installment of the FoTS-series from Rite Publishingis 18 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisement and 1 page SRD, leaving 13 pages of content, so let’s check this out!

All right, as per my standard for reviews of the FoTS-series, I’m first going to take a look at the basic additional crunch: We get the determination armor quality, the smashing weapon quality, 3 versions of the magical eyepatch of awareness and an enchanted spyglass. Two traits are also part of the deal, as are 9 feats, which also show that the character will be a deadly challenge for all but the best of PCs – why? Much like the last FoTS-installment, Miraxa’s build utilizes “horrifically overpowered” feats from SGG’s Guide, making her not only a gestalt, but also a master of skills and capable of using magic. Miraxa also utilizes multiple archetypes: Two generic ones, the physical exemplar and the spellblaze, which could be applied to any class, and we also get the Titan Mauler and the Sea Reaver archetype for the barbarian and the pirate archetype for the rogue.

If the cover was not ample clue for you, Miraxa is not a regular humanoid, but rather belongs to the race of the draken, a true-breeding race born from half-dragons – the race is btw. fully detailed and gets +2 to Str and Con, -2 to Cha, dark and low-light vision, +2 to all saves, natural weapons and a bonus on linguistic checks. They also come with 7 alternate racial traits as well as favoured class options for all Paizo-base-classes but ninja and samurai and a racial feat that takes one of your characteristics and improves it, granting you for example vestigial wings/improving them to functioning ones etc. I like the race per se, but it should not be used for PCs – Draken are more powerful than the standard races. The entry also misses the age, height and weight tables necessary for character creation.

Onwards to Miraxa: The corsair’s least powerful CR 7 incarnation already utilizes 3 HO-feats, which with her enhanced stats, increase her CR by 3. Much like the last FoTS-installment, these changes are transparent and make it rather easy to analyse how a given incarnation was built. Her CR 14 mid-level incarnation already sees her CR improved by +5 via these additional tools and has her already looking like a dreadful foe to behold, though her CR 21 high-level incarnation, including her deadly Morningstar Keel Breaker – where unfortunately I have a gripe – the stats of her morningstar are omitted, though I gather it’s supposed to have the new smashing quality.

Her character, dreamburning information also make a nice twist – while she is hardened and tough , she also has a very good motivation – she is actually with child and hell hath no fury like a mother’s! She could be both a deadly foe or an awkward ally – from villain to ally, she is very versatile in both character and build.

And then there’s the coolest bit of additional content – the Impending Doom, a mithral-plated dreadnought with multiple cannons and multiple means of propulsion as well as deadly siege engine-class cannons – fully stated and featuring advancement options for the vessel. Great to see these stats supplement the concept of a corsair queen!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, though the omission of Miraxa’s signature weapon irks me. Layout adheres to RiP’s classic b/w-2-column standard and the pdf comes with fitting pieces of stock art as well as bookmarks. I’m a big fan of Miraxa as a character and her build is solid to say the least – she’s a complex, cool, versatile and deadly fighter and her vessel is the icing on the cake (though I would have loved ships for her lesser incarnations as well). Usually, she would be a supreme candidate for 5 stars, but the lack of stats for her signature weapon is a major bummer for me. Thus, due to the lack of the weapon’s stats, I’ll be forced to consider her as “only” a good buy, resulting in a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Dread Captain Miraxa, Queen Corsair of the Slumbering Sea is available from:

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Sep 172012
 

104945[1]

This installment of the Fehr’s Ethnology-series from Purple Duck Gamesis 9 pages long, ~ 1/3 of a page editorial, 2 pages advertisement/SRD, leaving us with 6 2/3 pages of content, so let’s check out these Avoodim!

So what are the Avoodim? Essentially, they are a race cast down from heaven – having failed at becoming archons, they in their shame didn’t try again and hence have been sent down to earth, looking for a way, a purpose, a chance for redemption. Avoodim get +4 Con, -2 Dex and Cha, are native outsiders, get darkvision, celestial resistances, +2 to craft and +1 to atk against chaotic and evil outsiders, the option to use doom on foes as well as a racial susceptibility to bouts of melancholia and despair. The racial write-up comes with full age, height and weight tables.

The race gets 6 balanced race traits, including one that makes it possible to create truly fallen, corrupt Avoodim and one that lets you issue the battlecry of heavens to buff your allies via virtue 1/day. Among the alternate racial traits (a total of which we get 6), we get a lock gaze as a spell-like ability, a minor spell resistance and improved speed when charging into the fray. We also get 4 different racial feats. One deserves special mention: “Steel my Soul” lets you 1/day not have to roll a crit confirmation, but only at the DM’s approval and also provides rerolls vs. fear and despair effects. Without the DM-caveat, I’d consider this feat terribly broken and while I can see it work, I feel it also potentially entails discussion between DM and players. Design-wise, it’s not as great a choice – I would have loved to see this feat work somehow without placing responsibility in the DM’s hand.

The pdf also covers the take of the Avoodim on all Paizo-classes and the Rook and 7 favored class options and provides us with a sample Cleric 1 Avoodim character.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I did not notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard and the full color artwork is nice indeed. The pdf comes fully bookmarked. This pdf has a whopping, extremely cool fluff, perhaps the best fluff of the series so far. Balance-wise, I don’t have anything to complain about the race and the new options do make sense, with the background feeling organic and nice. That being said, when compared to its direct predecessors, this race feels slightly less original and cool – further abilities to represent the Purpose and Pain, perhaps additional feats or traits would have gone a long way to making this one stand out more and lend more credence to the unique perspective of the Avoodim. Add to that the one minor feat-problem I mentioned and my final verdict will clock in at a solid 3.5 stars, round up to 4 due to the low price and cool basic concept.

Endzeitgeist out.

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Sep 132012
 

104773[1]

This pdf from Raging Swan Pressis 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 6 pages of content, so let’s check this out!

Following the format of the Dungeon Dressing-series, the pdf kicks off with basic characteristics and rules that cover different depths, water flow, low temperatures and information on types of pools and their construction.

After that, we’re in for a d%-table of cosmetic peculiarities to add to your pools as well as a another massive table featuring 100 different characteristics ranging from slime at the bottom to floating tea-lights and even red eyes casting a disturbing light at the pool.

We also get two deadly traps, the classic vortex pool and the black tentacle pool. Better yet, we get magical pools like the necrotic pool infused with negative energy and the pool of forgotten gods – which should have a limit on how often it works for a character: By donating money to it, characters can permanently raise their attributes. Special mention deserves the excellent web-enhancement dealing two better sample pools, one of which would be a hungry, disturbing aberrant pool called K’Thug Ython, the pool of many maws and even a magical hot spring! Oh yeah, the pdf also offers us a harpoon trap. Now that’s the type of web-enhancement (Available from ragingswan.com, btw.) that just rocks.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’S elegant printer-friendly 2-column standard and the pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen use and one optimized for printing out. The pdfs come fully bookmarked. The tables are rock-solid, the ideas herein great, the details evocative and the added traps and magical pools and the excellent web-enhancement make for more reasons why you definitely should check out this great little pdf. To cut my usually long ramble short: Excellent pdf for an awesome price and another recommendation for all DMs that seek to expand their repertoire. My final verdict will thus be 5 stars as the excellent web-enhancement offsets the problem of the pool of forgotten gods lacking any restriction on how often it can be used.

Endzeitgeist out.

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Sep 132012
 

104657[1]

This pdf from Purple Duck Gamesis 34 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving us with a total of 28 pages of content, so let’s check this out!

This being an adventure-review, the following text contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

All right, still here? The module is essentially a straight-forward dungeon-exploration that pits neophyte adventurers through the trials of hematite-studded caves inhabited by a local goblin threat and it starts off with a simple goblin-cleaning exercise, but turns harder fast – it turns out that the middle levels are inhabited by hobgoblins – who belong to the vanquished army of the aging hobgoblin warlord Bargra – highlights here contain a swarm of deadly animated cutlery, an alchemist’s lab that may see the PCs blow themselves up, the square-down with the magus Bargra and a potential for negotiation with a Barghest.

The third and final level sees the dungeon turn deadly – here, the ancient, 4-armed Mudra have turned into skeletons and A LOT of them await – hopefully the PCs act smart here. The secret boss, though, would be a unique quicksilver skeletal champion barbarian that makes for a deadly foe indeed, but also guards the legendary blade Mercurial, an intelligent, mutable blade of quicksilver that makes for a fitting reward for the dungeon. Mercurial comes with a beautiful full-color artwork. The pdf also provides the “Awaken the Dead I”-spell as well as the smoke-bomb propelling spell “Ball of Smoke” (though I don’t get why this cantrip is not available in some form to the alchemist).

The modules closes with lists of available experience and treasure by rooms, making navigation etc. easy for the DM.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good. Layout adheres to PDG’s rather printer-friendly 2-column b/w/purple standard and the pdf comes with extensive bookmarks. The mostly b/w-artworks are not particularly beautiful and in fact not ones I’d show to my players, exceptions being the blade Mercurial and the holy symbol featured (though we know that from the stellar “Gods of Porphyra”). The map of the complex is nice b/w and made by the specialists of 0onegames. However, we get no player-friendly version of the map, which sucks: PDG’s DCC-modules all come with number-less player-friendly maps and I don’t understand the omission, especially when 0one is known for the layers with which one can customize their maps.

This module presents us with an old-school dungeon-crawl and it succeeds in its endeavour to create a module that feels like a dungeon of yore, including the sense of wonder and classic dangers one would expect. However, this dungeon has also inherited a couple of problems from this adherence to the formula: Essentially, apart from some nice ideas interspersed herein, I had a rather distinct been there, done that-feeling while reading this pdf. While thankfully alert/perceptions etc. are covered in the respective room descriptions, no organized defence of the complex is covered. Also, the pdf mentions a crude map of the final catacombs, but provides no such handout. That being said, the final, undead-infested part of the dungeon rocks and provides some cool and deadly tactics. The problem is simple, really – Run Amok Games’ modules for example, cost as much and provide better cartography and artworks and often provide more content. Frog God Games and TPK Games provide the universally superior modules for the same price-point.

That leaves me in a tight spot – I did like some ideas of the Crimson Caves, but the module can’t really stand up to its competitors, especially (and ironically) regarding e.g. cartography (c.f. Run Amok Games). A direct (albeit slightly more expensive, but also much longer) old-schoolish introductory module would be RSP’s “Shadowed Keep of the Borderlands”, which, again, unfortunately is better than this module. There’s nothing wrong here. But still, I can’t really find a valid reason why you absolutely have to own this. In fact, I’d rather recommend you invest your money in the two DCC-modules released by PDG so far – you get 2 modules for almost the same price and while you have to do conversions, they are the better modules. My final verdict will be 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

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Sep 092012
 

PZOPDFAAGCA505E_180[1]

This pdf from Abandoned Arts is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 2 pages for the 3 new barbarian archetypes herein, so let’s check this out!

The first archetype herein is entitled the Madman and boy, the take is rather interesting: This archetype essentially broadens the horizon of the barbarian by extending it to homicidal madmen, making this particular one rather fitting for urban campaigns etc. – They substitute a domain power of a domain granted by an evil, non-lawful deity for a rage power and can use said domain power once per rage. While they only get 1 additional round of rage per gained level starting at 2nd, their rages have cool additional effects – starting at 11th level, listening to such a madman’s ramblings while he’s raging has the result of dealing wisdom damage. The coolest ability, though, by far, would be the capstone “The End is nigh” – each round of rage, the ramblings are heard by beings from beyond, which results in summon monster I as a swift action on the first round, summon monster II on the second etc. up to a gate on the 10th round of raving preaching. AWESOME! I really, really like this archetype and players of Fire Mountain Games’ “Way of the Wicked” should check this out – though the archetype would need minor tweaking to get around the no-lawful clause. For NPCs, this is gold – the battle starts ok, but each round of rage further toughens the fight and the progressively harder foes should serve as a nice in-game counter for such a boss fight. Combine that with the barbarian’s high HP and we’re in for a cool climactic encounter, though I wished the ability would be available sooner and just be capped, progressing over the levels in order to represent the growing attachment of the dread forces to the class – here’s a lost chance that would make the archetype so much cooler and which could easily be remedied and I hope that author Daron Woodson will do so.

The second archetype in this book provides us with the reaver, who also gets reduced rage, must chose the intimidating glare rage power at 2nd level, but gets a bonus on the intimidate checks. Also rather interesting: While he does not get the barbarian’s usual DR at 7th level, he trades that in for an uncommon sneak attack progression that improves at 10th, 13th and 16th level and not only adds one dice of sneak attack damage, each improvement also changes the type of dice used to one size larger (d6->d8->d10->d12). Interesting design choice and I think I like it. AT 19th level, a reaver can also deal sneak attack damage to those affected by negative, morale-associated conditions like shaken, frightened etc. All in all an interesting archetype, though I wished it did something in addition with its intimidating prowess – as written, it is a slight variant of the standard barbarian, but apart from the uncommon sneak attack variation, not too exciting.

The final archetype is one that is rather close to my heart in concept, the Viking Marauder. Unfortunately, this also means that I’ll most likely have a very specific idea of what such an archetype should do. But what does it do? Essentially, the archetype improves the speed of vessels staffed by marauders and their cohorts. While I like the idea of improving the speed/using vehicle rules, it’s a fact that the reason for the speed of Viking ships did not lie in their seafaring expertise, massive as though they might have been, but rather in their technologically advanced and cleverly built ships. Plus, the ability is useless for PCs, since a group will (almost) never consist of only barbarians of this archetype and the ability hence won’t work for most groups. When a marauder is within 5 ft. of an ally with the same teamwork feat as the marauder, Allies within 10 ft. may also benefit from a Viking marauders teamwork feats, which is a nice idea, but in reality rather useless unless you’re the DM and have optimized a crew of marauders for exactly this purpose. They also learn to demoralize via their sails and dread reputation and resist fear. I am sorely disappointed by this archetype, since it is essentially useless for players and as a DM, I have better vikingesque archetypes that provide bigger benefits than this one. Vikings are steeped in a specific culture and concentrating on one aspect (seafaring, raiding, reputation, runes, superior berserkergang, mead-powered abilities, shield-chewing etc.) would have probably yielded far better results. Not one that will see use in my campaign, nor is it in my hopinion useful for players.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any significant mistakes. Layout adheres to a no-frills, 2-column standard and the pdf comes without bookmarks, but needs none at this length. This installment of class acts is an exercise of “so close, yet so far”. The Madman is, tops, in my opinion one of my favourite archetypes by Abandoned Arts in terms of creativity and while I maintain that stretching “The End is nigh” over multiple levels would greatly increase the unique aspects of this archetype, it’s still a good one.

The Reaver has a good idea, but lacks a truly distinct identity/signature ability and could have used some more abilities/space to make it feel distinct. And finally, the Viking Marauder is all but useless for DMs and completely useless for players. I really like the madman and since a DM could easily modify this archetype, this somewhat offsets my problems with the marauder. The Reaver is ok. Let’s sum it up: One good archetype, one bad one and a mediocre one. Due to low price, I think I can still justify to settle for a final verdict of 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Class Acts: Barbarian Archetypes is available HERE.

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Sep 082012
 

104828[1]

This BP from Super Genius Games is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s check them out!

This pdf is a supplemental one for one of my favourite 3pp-classes released in the last couple of months, LPJr Design’s Machinesmith, which, since a slightly bumpy inception, has been revised and now rocks hard – if you haven’t checked it good, give it a shot! That being said, let’s take a look at the 5 feats:

  • Alchemical Admixture: Select one of a staggering array of alchemical bombs and add them to your prototypes, gadgets or greatworks. When you attack with them (or force a save or have them attack), you may as a free action release the alchemical admixture, dealing additional damage and/or effects. The save-DC is reliant partially on your craft (alchemy) skill. A complex feat that makes sense, is iconic and cool – that’s the type of content I love to see from SGG!
  • Behold!:3+Cha-mod times per day, you may demoralize foes as a swift action when using an item you have created via the Knowledge (engineering)-skill, instead of the intimidate skill, cowering these primitive monkey WITH SCIENCE!
  • Better than New: When repairing something via mending, you also temporarily improve its atk, damage, saves, skill checks or DR/hardness with a small bonus dependent on your level.
  • Creation Focus: Choose a single item you have created, including magic items, prototypes, gearworks and gadgets. As long as you fiddle and make adjustments every 10 minutes, said item can increase its atk, damage, saves, skill checks or DR/hardness by 1. Pity this feat does not improve over the levels like “Better than New”.
  • Emergency Activation: Activate an item you have created, including magic items, prototypes, gearworks and gadgets as a swift action, but only for non attacking actions and activations that would take a standard action or less. You may use this ability once for every 4 levels you have. GENIUS – after all, we all know about all these iconic emergency-escape tricks, edges in combat etc. Very cool!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. The pdf adheres to a 3-column standard and comes with no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The machinesmith is a great class and this pdf offers some awesome actions for the class to use. While I’m not sold on “Better than new” and “Creation Focus”, the other three feats, especially alchemical admixture and Emergency Activation, are pure unadulterated genius. Taking the low price into account as well as the fact that the Quartermaster’s Handbook for NeoExodus, which was supposed to add new machinesmith options, has been delayed some time, I can wholeheartedly recommend this pdf for fans of the machinesmith and also to designers who want to take a look how handling access to another classes class ability can be handled without making this versatility too strong or unbalanced. my final verdict will thus be 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

With a Bullet Point: 5 Machinesmith Feats is available from:

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Sep 052012
 

105081[1]

This pdf from Super Genius Games is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving a total of 2 pages of content for 5 feats dealing with the haste and slow spells, so let’s check this out!

  • Distorted Speed: Choose from 3 alternate blessings when under haste or blessing of fervor, ready or store a piece of equipment, charge as a standard action or gain deflect arrows; All effects remain for 1 round until they can be changed again to the regular benefits. Slow also provides 3 new detrimental effects: Increased casting time for those affected, ranged attacks cost standard actions or an inability to ready or delay. All targets of slow suffer from the same effect, while those affected by your modified haste-spells can choose freely.
  • Marathon of One (Metamagic): Cast blessing of fervour, haste or slow as a single target spell at one level lower. Nice!
  • Master of Speed: When you and allies within range (30 ft) roll initiative, you may assign allies to share their component initiatives. Rather cool, especially for strategist-type characters.
  • Overlord of Speed: Whenever an opponent fails a save against a spell, spell-like ability or supernatural ability of yours, you can enforce a will-save to have them slowed for 1d4 rounds and, if they fail their save vs. this effect also grant an ally the benefits of either haste or blessing of fervour for the same round. This feat is too strong – even at DC 10+1/2 level, a free slow effect as part of another cast is very strong. Add then the beneficial effect for allies and we have a VERY strong feat. At least in my home game, this feat will not be allowed and, in my honest opinion, needs some further limitation to make it less powerful – perhaps limiting the slow effect for one round and eliminating the accelerating benefit? Or making it either/or?
  • Unrestrained Spell (Metamagic): At +1 level, double the range of “targets can be no more than X ft. apart”-clauses in spells.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to SGG’s 3-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks. And here we are – another excellent selection of iconic feats from SGG – with one exception: While most of the feats herein are dangerously close to my comfort zone regarding power, Overlord of Speed is sickeningly powerful and needs a nerfing. The abuse is rather plain to see and additionally, the feat entails additional dice-rolling with every cast that features a save. Thus, due to the one rather overpowered feat that tarnishes a collection of otherwise stellar and original feats. Thus, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

With a Bullet Point: 5 Haste/Slow Feats is available from:

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