Feb 132012
 

87543[1]

This pdf from Super Genius Games is 15 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial & SRD, leaving 13 1/3 pages of content, so let’s pay a visit to our friendly goblin entrepreneur’s third shop, shall we?

In contrast to most SGG-pdfs, we actually get some pages of (generic, yet aptly-written fluff) on the nature of “Goblin” markets, i.e. black markets where you can buy magic items that are illegal. The important issues of taxes for adventurers as well as legal controls of magic along expansions of the rules in the game-master guide make for not only a pleasant read, but cover an unfortunately often neglected part of adventuring life.

Kragnar offers us 4 new special armour qualities, all of them lending themselves to either mischief or nefarious purposes. The same holds true for the 5 weapon qualities, but unfortunately I noticed some editing glitches and two “{{$ts}”-glitches (instead of an x). We also get 2 specific weapons, the dread sacrificial knife and the executioner’s sword – the latter making for a VERY cool headman’s weapon.

Of course, there are also 3 new rings, one to conjure scaling shadow creatures that might very well break free – the write-up including a neat simple template for shadow creatures. The other 2 rings, though, are what really caught my attention: One enables you to get secret messages across and the other one is the tantric ring: A ring with charges and a whole spell-list. The way to recharge the ring, though, is via sex – can you see why this item is on the black market? the potential of this oft-neglected component in roleplaying games is something I’d like to hereby applaud from the bottom of my heart!

Compared to these rings, the rods of pestilence and agony felt not as imaginative, but per se there’s nothing wrong with them.

Finally, we get to the wondrous item section. Oh boy. An altar of adjustment is a magical torture-device to coax out information from its unhappy victims. If they choose to lie, they’re in for pain (and con-damage). An alternate bag of tricks as well as 4 tinctures are presented. Tinctures are potions that offer significant bonuses, but at the same time are addictive – cool, I want more! Finally, there is the rope of binding and the slave collar to tie up foes and break their will – twisted, cool and items I totally dig.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, though not as good as I’ve come to expect from most SGG-files, offering some typos and formatting glitches that could have easily been spotted. Layout adheres to the 3-column standard and the artwork is ok for its purposes. The pdf has no bookmarks. I’m a bit torn on this one, to be frank. On the one hand I love the section on black markets and their rules as well as most items. On the other hand, the weapon/armor qualities and rods didn’t impress me that much. While the wondrous items and rings are positively awesome, as are the specific weapons, the qualities just didn’t feel that exciting. Combined with the editing and formatting glitches, this makes it impossible for me to rate this great pdf by Owen K.C. Stephens higher than 4 stars – it comes with a healthy recommendation, though.

Endzeitgeist out.

Krazy Kragnar’s Black Market Magic Items is available from:

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