This Everyman Minis-installment clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We begin this little supplement with a brief introduction as well as a helpful note on how to present holidays in your game: Festival of Lights, Kami’s Eve and Yuletide are presented, all featuring obvious real-world iconography without requiring the integration of, say, a Judeo-Christian faith in your fantasy RPG. This may be a small sidebar, but it is one I thoroughly appreciated.
Now, as you could glean from the title, this pdf focuses on magical items with a festival theme. The first of these, the neverlost compass, should bring a smile to quite a few gamers of a younger age: 1/day, you can name a specific location, whereafter, a light is emitted from the compass, duplicating find the path. (The spell reference is not italicized properly, but apart from that, I enjoyed the visuals here.) The oil lamp of illumination is associated with the aforementioned festival of lights. The lamp is placed inside a paper lantern, illuminating a 60-ft.-radius. However, when oils or potions with the light descriptor are used instead, the lantern will emit light at that spell level, countering darkness. If good potions or oils are used, the glow will also dazzle evil creatures for a short while and light-sensitive creatures are affected to a higher degree. And yes, daylight etc. interaction is properly covered. The lamp extends the duration of such light-.effects to 10 minutes times the CL of the oil or potion. I adore the visuals of this item, the narrative options here, and the tight execution.
The rod of decorative cheer is a low-cost item that I’d love: You use it to create festival-themed decorations. It’s a “magical world” type of item, but one that makes sense and one that can’t be abused. The yuletide rod of gift-giving duplicates major creation (not italicized), with a cap per week and an inability to duplicate too costly materials. This is a pretty potent universal-tool style option, but one I can get behind due to its sensible limitations.
One whole page of the pdf is devoted to an artifact that I haven’t seen executed this way before, namely the mighty lucky dreidel. Spinning the dreidel is a move action; hereafter, the artifact spins for 1d6 rounds. When it stops spinning, you roll 1d4 to determine which of the 4 glyphs is facing upwards, and then 1d6 to determine the effects of the respective glyph. The themes of the glyphs would be as follows: Change can temporarily switch ability scores or affect the target with forced reincarnation. Reduction of age, sex change or an ability score bonus can also be found here – all properly codified. The Fate glyph has 3 entries for bad and 3 for good fortune. These include, for example, basically disadvantage or having a lucky number: When that number is rolled, you get a surge-like bonus of +1d6. The Happiness glyph can provide more refreshing rest, calmness, an item or living through a perfect day. Finally, the Wealth glyph offers 3 detrimental and 3 positive effects focusing on material gains. The artifact comes with a means to destroy it and, as a whole, manages to hit that sweet spot between being random and being still, as a whole, interesting and sufficiently benevolent to make the spinning worthwhile. If a certain deck always felt like it was to cataclysmic for your tastes, then this will be a godsend.
Editing and formatting are per se top-notch on a rules-language level. On a formal level, a missing separating line between two table entries and the two missed italicizations can be considered to be minor detriments, but not to the point where I’d consider them to be problematic. Layout adheres to the printer-friendly b/w 2-column standard of the series and the artwork featured is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Scott Beeh’s festive armory surprised me in a positive manner. I expected the usual suspects regarding Christmas items, judging from the cover, and got something much more compelling, cool and flavorful. All items herein are winners that have a distinct place in fantasy gaming. The execution of the rules is precise and compelling as well. This is literally an all killer, no filler product, well worth 5 stars + seal of approval, in spite of the minor snafus in formatting.
You can get these inspired items here on OBS!