By Thilo Graf
This installment of Rite Publishing‘s free e-zine Pathways is 34 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 9 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 22 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
This issue’s editorial features an interesting point made in favour of transformative experiences and how to deal fluff-wise with them – I actually wouldn’t mind seeing a full article on the topic covered here!
This issue’s template is the lustful creature template that clocks in at CR +2. Steven D. Russell not only have quite literally burning desire inciting strikes and an aura of lust, but also increased enchantment and fertility – their offspring may grow within a year! Furthermore, they have a gaze attack that strips equipment-based bonuses from the targets – a powerful, cool signature ability.The CR 12 rakshasa is illustrated by Ian Greenlee and the unique style is AWESOME. I’d love to see more artworks done in this style in future publications – kudos!
Creighton Broadhurst of Raging Swan Press provides the EL 8 Domain of the Elder Spider – coming complete with extensive terrain information as well as spider statblocks provided for the different spiders at home in the locale. A nice, easily inserted locations.
Thomas Leblanc, one of the recently risen to prominence talents in crunch design provides us with new universal monster rules in the guise of rules for suspendable emanations, monsters that radiate (making grappling dangerous) or granting it protective exteriors à la spines etc. Really nice, short article.
As a prime example of RiP listening to fans and reviewers like yours truly, one of my minor criticism with the otherwise stellar “Secrets of Adventuring” is addressed in here by providing 9 alternate racial traits, with one in particular being interesting – it allows a gargoyle access to stoneskin, but only after 7th level. Interesting design-decision and something I wouldn’t mind seeing more often! Furthermore, favoured class options are tied to one of the alternate racial traits, providing options for alchemist, barbarian, cleric, inquisitor and ranger, but more importantly, also covering armiger, gladiator, divine channeler, stoenwarden paragon, time thieves, witch hunters and war masters. Awesome to see this 3pp-support!
The mastermind behind LPJr Design’s unconventional products, Louis Porter Jr. is this issue’s interview partner and has some rather interesting things to say, though no beans are spilled regarding anticipated NeoExodus-releases like the Hive and the book on Quickslavers. Still, an interesting read!
Finally, several reviews of yours truly are provided in the final chapter, giving you an overview of several of the better products I’ve taken a look at in the last month.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to the much streamlined 2-column full color standard of the e-zine. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and, as mentioned, I LOVE the artwork and would absolutely adore it if we saw full-blown products adhering to this aesthetic.
Beyond one of the coolest artworks in the history of Pathways, the overall issue is a rather strong one, with the simple, yet cool universal monster rules and gargoyle-expansions as well as the excellent template offering quite some cool pieces of crunch available all free and honestly, at 0 bucks and with relatively few advertisements, this is a hard offer to beat indeed and well worth your HD-space. My final verdict will thus clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval for yet another great free offering by RiP.
Pathways #24 is available from: