The 51st issue of Rite Publishing’s monthly FREE e-zine Pathways clocks in at 45 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 11 pages of advertisements, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 31 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We begin, as always, with an editorial – and a note: Beyond some issues being PWYW, you can now support Pathways via its own patreon and this issue is the first that is thus enhanced – we actually get more content! As has become the tradition with the series, we start this issue with Steven D. Russell providing a new template, this time the CR+2 False Idol. The template (and sample creature, a Leukodaemon) is pretty awesome: Basically, these creatures may be susceptible to divine magic, but they also get limited access to domains and the more people worship it, the more power can they bestow on their conned followers. A certain masked god in Golarion will love this template…
The first new article is already worth downloading this pdf on its own: Epidemics. Wendall Roy delivers concise mechanics for highly virulent plagues, including means to mechanically represent surviving the plague and thus resist subsequent infection. The sample epidemics have in common that they are versatile in their effects, provide unique penalties…and make for awesome narrative tools. What do I mean by this? What about a bonewarping plague that disfigures even its survivors? The highly-magical manarot, which may have brought down your pseudo-atlantean empire? Purity Rust, which was made as a bioweapon by the elves to annihilate humankind? Yes, these epidemics are AWESOME and left me wanting a whole event-book on vast epidemics and/or a mega-adventure centering on a pandemic.
None other than Mike Welham is next, with an article that contains an array of truly imaginative magical whistles: From one that allows navigation through fog to glassbreakers and one that can call a phantom dog to your side, the whistles are neat and a welcome addition to the table.
Creighton Broadhurst mastermind of Raging Swan Press, provides GMs with a handy list of secrets kept within statues and also a second list that depicts disturbing things found on evil altars.
Since plagues are a bit of a theme here, Steven D. Russell provides some guidance for GMs to incorporate plague/epidemic scenarios in your game with a welcome advice article…one that makes me with for an epidemic/pandemic-style book even more. Yeah, I’ll shut up now.
This issue’s interview is with none other than the charming, talented and delightful RPG Superstar Monica Marlowe – read it and if you’re like me, you’ll look forward to her “Down the Blighted Path”!
We end this installment, as always, with “The Path Less Travelled” by Jacob Blackmon and reviews by yours truly.
Editing and formatting are very good (apart from my reviews, which turned into text-blocks, but that’s nothing new) and the pdf comes not only with great full-color (and a disturbing piece of b/w-) art, it also is fully bookmarked for your convenience. Layout, as always, adheres to a 2-column full-color standard.
Okay, let me reiterate: There is NO reason not to download this book – it’s PWYW and you can get it for FREE and show your support via PWYW or joining the patreon. Fact is, the epidemics-articles and advice are AWESOME. Quite frankly, they make me excited about some ideas I’ve shelved for a while and are simply well-written, concise and fun – they are worth the HD-space alone. Add to that an evocative template, neat whistles and cool dressing and you have one of the stronger issues of the e-zine’s run. It’s also FREE and that’s very hard to beat: 5 stars + seal of approval.
If you want to directly support Pathways, you can do so here via the patreon!