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The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
by Sam H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2016 22:55:57

Very amusing with unique but balanced abilities. My only issue being the 24 hour limit on nearly all abilities which can severely neuter the character in campaigns with irregular rests or attrition themes.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
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The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2016 13:07:49

Firstly, I have not actually made a character with this class so I cannot speak of how well it plays. However, I have shown the class to multiple people in my gaming group and they all found it to be absolutely hilarious.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2016 12:53:27

Actually I was quite surprised by the class. When I first read it, I was expeciting an overpowered class with overthetop abilities. But to my surprise, the class was actually quite balanced, and I would honestly allow the class to be played in any games I run (however, I may require the renaming of all class features so to promote good roleplaying). The general feel of the class gave me the impression of the factotum class (from v3.5 Dungeons and Dragons: Dungeonscape). It is very adaptable to different encounters while not overshadowing the staple abilities that other players may have. In short it is a very decent class, and one that I would allow to be used in-game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Dragons (5E)
by Jacob B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2016 13:38:44

I am glad to see the "In the Company of" series make its way to 5e rules. While this pdf does not have as many options as the Pathfinder version, it is still and excellent read. I lok forward to getting the chance to play a dragon in the next 5e game I play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Dragons (5E)
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Addendum: Shape Shifting (Diceless)
by Paul B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/10/2016 15:11:39

If you've played the old Amber Diceless RPG then most of what's here won't be a surprise. Shape Shifting gets broken into four levels; Lesser, Normal, Advanced, and Exalted.


Lesser nets you one alternate form and some limited partial shifts. Say a were-panther who can change just their eyes with a bit of work.


Normal gets you a broad set of abilities, covering most 'normal' forms.


Advanced you start getting better access to more fantastic forms and some related powers, such as making detachable limbs or aligning your shape with cosmic principles for fun and profit.


Exalted really opens up the potential size changes, although you'll need some work for the truly massive shifts, and grants additional esoteric capacities.


Overall it is well presented, we get some abilities explicitly stated rather than implied like in Amber, and it makes Shape Shifting a solid enough platform to serve as a character's focus. The overlap between Shape Shifting the Umbra Personal Transformations feels a bit strange; especially since we've already seen characters in other books using the Umbra to take on different forms but such is the price of expanding a game line.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Addendum: Shape Shifting (Diceless)
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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: An NPC Collection (PFRPG)
by Elexious C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2016 16:36:31

Faces of the Tarnished Souk is quite the bookful. It is a huge book with lots of pieces. When I first heard of it I was under the impression that it was pretty much an NPC codex but it’s a bit more than that making it a lot to take in and evaluate who would want this and what they would use it for.


Well for the most part it is mostly an NPC book but the NPCs are crazy. They’re all a mixture of third party classes, archetypes, templates, races and/or feats, making for characters that don’t really don’t really fit in most situations. They’re mostly NPCs that you would want as an endgame villain or the end of a chapter of an adventure path. To make them fit in a few slots other than the end of an adventure each of the NPCs come in high CR, mid-CR and low CR. That way if you encounter them early in your adventuring carreer you can meet them again later when they’ve leveled up too.


Each NPC has a few paragraphs about their personality and history along with how they appear in Coliseum Morpheuon and how to use them. Sometimes there is a lore chart to determine what kind of information you can get about them using knowledge checks. This is the point where I realized that while I’ve heard of the Coliseum Morpheuon I have no idea what that is, and I refuse to look it up for this review because really it can stand on its own and I think that’s important for my purposes.


There is a downside. Since there’s a lot of third party material used sometimes you’re left not knowing exactly what’s going on with a character. The races, feats, templates and traits are all covered because they mostly appear in the last ¼ of the book, (Which is actually pretty amazing, I didn’t know about some of these despite having a lot of third party products and some of those are really cool.) but you’re going to have to find some of the classes on your own. For the most part it isn’t that big of a problem but the psionic one, the Savants that make you need to really need to look at another product to figure out how the NPC works. Although the Artisan’s portfolio was confusing because I don’t know what it is. Luckily this doesn’t cost you money because all of the classes in the book appear on d20pfsrd.com except I can’t figure out if the Artisans in the book is a Drop Dead Studios Artisan or something else.


There are a few format glitches, like text that should be bolded, the Rite logo looking wonky and one bit where two paragraphs are in the wrong order but other than that I didn’t really notice anything wrong. As a whole I really like this book. These aren’t really NPCs that you throw in a game and more NPCs that you build a campaign around which says a lot for their creativity, vividness and uniqueness. The format is nice and easy to read, and the art brings some of the characters to life very well. I would give this product 4 stars. Its imaginative and useful but I feel like it makes me have to do almost as much work as it saves by pulling from such a variety of sources. I’m a bit okay because I have most of these options in other books I own but I can’t say the same for everyone.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Faces of the Tarnished Souk: An NPC Collection (PFRPG)
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The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
by Si N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2016 00:44:58

Hilarious, clever, definitely going to trick my GM into letting me play this after he kills my current character. Mwahaha.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of the Metadventurer (PFRPG)
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In The Company of Rakshasa (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/29/2016 04:44:03

An Endzeitgeist.com review


The latest installment of Rite Publishing's "In the Company of..:"-series clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let's take a look!


This review was moved up in my review queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.


We begin this supplement, as always, with a letter from a member of this race to Qwilion of Questhaven, one that has a sense of decadence and the disturbing reverberating in it, setting a great precedence, theme-wise, for what's to follow. The pdf asks the question whether you ever did STARVE - not just hunger, starve. Now if the implications of this very concept are lost, I'd very much recommend Knut Hamsun's legendary "Sult" (Hunger) Now here's the powerful imagery: The in-character narrator states "We are that hunger." That actually did send shivers down my spine.


When the in-character narrator speaks of "hunger and desires so terrible they transcend death", you believe it - the yaksha are CREEPY. Terribly so. And in fact, the leitmotifs of hunger and desire extend throughout the whole fluff, providing a slick and surprisingly suave justification for the predations of these beings - in case you haven't gleaned that by now - yes, the relationships with races, adventurers etc. actually are a joy to read here.


The rakshasa base-race here is the yaksha, a medium shapechanger which gets +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Wis. The race gets +4 to Bluff when lying (NOT when feinting) and has darkvision 60 ft. and they may alter self at will, but sans modifying ability scores and retaining darkvision. This ability allows the character to become small or medium. Thanks to their shapeshifting, yaksha get +2 to CMD vs. grapples and +2 to Escape Artist checks made to escape grapples. Now here's the deal, though: Yaksha are defined by their hunger, which can only be sated by consuming humanoid flesh - said flesh may come from a living or dead humanoid, but may not come from the undead (which interestingly puts them at odds with necromancers). Yaksha must consume their weight in humanoid flesh in a given month - failure to do so results in 1 negative level, more if the yaksha is starved further. See, this is interesting - by tying hunger to a long time frame, it becomes less of an active hindrance for adventuring and still retains its theme. Before you're asking - yes, I'd allow this race as presented, though the shapechanging is pretty powerful. The race sports age, height and weight tables and 7 alternate racial traits with which you can modify the base race. These include natural armor, saving bonus versus divine spells; a 2 RP or less wildcard ability representing the host race, better impersonating, +atk versus outsiders, better CL or better positive/negative energy - all of these are valid and feel balanced versus the abilities they replace - kudos!


The race also has favored class options for bard, brawler, luckbringer, monk, slayer, sorceror, time thief, rakshasa paragon...and vizier! Yup, we actually get support for the great Akashic class here! There also are racial archetypes in this book, the first of which would be the Cheeno (slayer) - these guys only get simple weapon and light armor proficiency. Instead of studied target, the archetype provides a predation pool equal to class level +3. These points can be used to activate predations, supernatural abilities, as a swift action, expending 1 predation point. And these are...brutal. Blissful Ignore of the Prey makes all humanoids within 30 ft ignore the cheeno for 1 round, being treated as unaware...ooh, and the memory of events involving the cheeno are eliminated as if subject to modify memory...and yes, this is properly classified as a mind-affecting compulsion effect. As long as the cheeno has at least 1 predation point, the character is protected from cold by endure elements. Cheeno can also use these points to gain scent, which increases in effectiveness versus the starving, cannibals as well as humans upon which the cheeno has fed and a 15-ft-range to pinpoint humanoids. At 1st level, the cheeno gets a 1d6 primary natural bite and gets a morale bonus after consuming sufficient humanoid flesh as well as counting as a rakshasa - this is known as hungerborn.


4th level provides a 10-ft. aura of 1d6 cold, Fort save to mitigate fatigue, which can be activated as a swift action, but only when in the original form. It can similarly be dismissed and otherwise lasts for 1 minute. At 7th level, the archetype gets the cannibalism rarefied taste (see my breakdown of the paragon class later) and an original form with features of a starved stag. At 10th level, the chenno can shapechang into a large form, complete with a gore primary attack and thabkfully sans shapechange-stack abuse. Additionally, at higher levels, the archetype may choose predations at full level and sports two unique ones - Snow striding (which also mitigates sleet or hail) and feast of ashes as an SP - note that, as a predation, this is subject to predation point consumption and has a solid DC. Quarry is limited to creatures fed upon, cannibals or the starving and 16th level allows the chenno to add class level in cold damage to a single melee or ranged attack, with the target also being denied Dex-mod versus these strikes, while 20th level provides full shapechanger apotheosis with cold immunity, SR and powerful natural weapons.


The second archetype would be the Hokhoku for the luckbringer class, who gets a pool of predatory chance that can be used interchangeably as predation points or moments of chance. Predation-wise, the aforementioned blissful ignorance trick is part of the deal...as is perfect maneuverability fly at 60 ft. (40 if wearing medium/heavy armor), but only for one round, upgrading to 1 round/level at 8th level. While this is restrictive, it still violates the prohibition versus unassisted flight at the lowest levels and can break quite a few modules - not a fan and, depending on your campaign, OP. This replaces weal or woe and narrow escape. At 1st level, hungerborn is gained. Instead of 3rd level's nothing is written, the hokhoku gains a rarefied taste (more on that in the paragon class) based on misfortune, which features an original form with avian features - they can feed on humanoids that fail at something of great importance (or that roll natural 1s on their saves) and may use fatespin to force rerolls of saves, using the lower of the two. Instead of 4th level's improbably, the archetype gets an ability that I have used in my home game for YEARS for some creepy magic - consuming the eyes of the dead plays the last minute of the dead person's life before the hokhoku's eyes. Creepy and awesome! 8th level allows for the consumption of the brain of the deceased for a speak with dead-like ability and 10th level allows for predations to be gained instead of improbables, basically streamlining them and using them interchangeably, with two exclusives being included: Both are activated as immediate actions - one combines a visually neat vanish with a debuff for the attacker, while the second increases the crit multiplier of the bite to x4 - based on action expenditure, of course. The archetype sports a similar apotheosis that instead of cold focuses on better crits.


The taotie monk gets an expanded skill-list and begins play with hungerborn and the archetype begins with a pool or predation, as with the other archetypes - predation-wise, they can use the pool to bite off chunks off her opponents, adding Con-damage and counting as having consumed 10 lbs. The second predation allows the taotie to ignore class level hardness when sundering objects with the bite - magic items consumed can potentially be reconstructed upon killing the monk...but that is not easy. Taotie are also excellent liars, gaining a predation that provides a significant bonus and may be even proof versus magic. As long as the taotie is not starving, she gains Cha-mod to AC instead of the monk's usual progression and 2nd level provides predatory resilience at fool level (see rakshasa paragon) instead of evasion/improved evasion. 3rd level provides rarefied taste: gluttony, which allows the taotie to feed on gluttonous humanoids and upgrades bite damage to monk unarmed damage. 5th level provides a 30 ft.-cone belch that sickens foes and may even stagger those that fail the save - nasty predation! 9th level provides addictive feeding and 11th level and every 3 levels thereafter provide a new predation, with a scent to smell out valuables or assume the form of statues, urns, etc. This one is full of potential! finally, 20th level provides an apotheosis, this time with an added focus of better DR and unarmed strikes.


All right, so the archetypes heavily intersect with the paragon-class - is it good? Well, framework-wise, it provides proficiency with simple weapons, no armors or shields, d10 HD, 6+Int skills per level, full BAB-progression, good Ref- and Will-saves, 1/2 AC-bonus progression. 1st level provides the hungerborn class feature and similarly, the class begins play with a pool of predation. The class gains the blissful ignorance trick, the option to smell out mortals affected by emotion or fear-effects or that have been fed upon and they also get the silver tongue-ability. Every two levels above 1st, the paragon gets an additional predation - some of these require more predation points and/or have minimum levels - high-level paragons can, for example call adhukait, make illusions supplemented by shadow, compress her form (great for infiltrators) or become a predatory protector of the humanoids that nourish her - dismissal bite versus outsiders.


Size-increase to large, aforementioned gluttonous bite, marking humanoids on who's she fed as property (potentially useful not only offensively), sight that can pierce darkness and deathwatch...cool. But the most fun would probably be "playing with one's food" - i.e. magic jar-ing corpses or undead while in spirit form. Oh yeah, spirit form. HP-based precision damage that will end most foes via killing blows, assuming forms of specific individuals, beast shapes and suggestions, forming scaling figments, mesmerizing prey - there are a LOT of thoroughly unique, awesome tricks here - tricks that make the class highly viable beyond the martial role expected by the chassis - indeed, these often allow for awesome new tricks.


Now I did mention rarefied taste - chosen at first level, this determines the animal head and features and may draw nourishment from the respective rarefied taste - anger, cannibalism, curiosity, creativity, fear, heresy, lust, etc. - and yes, these allow the rakshasa to work in the context of good groups, depending on the taste chosen. However, this is not the limit of customization options - 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the paragon may choose a hungerborn gift - these include making being fed upon addictive, an affinity for asura, claws, at-will nondetection or a second head and high-level paragons may even get extra limbs, complete with hand and ring slot-rules-clarification - kudos. Better DR and SR are also provided...wait? Yeah, second level nets scaling DR and 10th level provides an outsider apotheosis and SR of 4+class level...as well as at-will command of lesser yaksha with HD of 10 or less. Finally, 20th level provides better SR, DR and unlimited yaksha command.


The pdf closes with 2 feats - one for +1 rarefied taste and one that allows characters sans the paragon class levels gain hungerborn and rarefied taste.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch - I noticed no significant glitches in either formal or rules criteria. Kudos! Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with plenty nice full-color artworks. The pdf is fully bookmarked for your convenience.


One caveat before we start: Yes, this is a powerful race/class; one definitely intended for high-powered gameplay - but you could have guessed that, right? It's a monster class/race and they don't necessarily mix well with gritty low fantasy. (Though, provided other PCs have similarly cool tricks, I can see this race working well in a gritty, but high-powered game.)


Wendall Roy shows how it's done. It's as simple as that. Wait...it totally isn't. Apart from the one unassisted flight ability of an archetype, which may be problematic for some campaigns, I'm pretty much left sans complaints. This is PRECISE. Exceedingly so. Natural attacks specify their type and damage dice properly; mind affecting effects are properly codified; otherwise boring spells-in-a-can-abilities get modifications that make them unique; there are ROLEplaying abilities that are super-useful and completely unique. Sure, you can go natural attack shredder...but you'll miss out some awesome tricks that make the class unique. The Full BAB-high-skill-combo is an uncommon chassis, but works. Best of all, though - beyond being a highly customizable array of options that puts player agenda high on the table, the concepts are awesome. Visually stunning. Oh, and as a further plus, guess what? This book's prose is also excellent.


So basically, we get a powerful, but balanced array of options with a cool base-race, awesome class options with great ideas and a superb paragon class that is also a joy to read. This is how such books ought to be crafted. I tried so hard to pick this apart, but can't find anything that sucks. Finally, one should not fail to mention the elegant sustenance mechanic utilized here - relevant and nasty, but it doesn't cripple the character. Overall, my favorite part about this book remains the fact that the pdf doesn't chicken out - it sports rakshasa as what they are, adds dimension to them and still allows PCs with less problematic alignments to use this book. Triumphant. My final verdict clocks in at 5 stars + seal of approval. This is how a race book's done.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Rakshasa (PFRPG)
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Gossamer Worlds: INK (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/21/2016 04:00:24

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This trip to one of the countless Gossamer Worlds clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let's take a step through this door!


Okay, have you read Flatland? If not, I'd strongly suggest you do so - for its implications are very much relevant for this Gossamer World: You see, INK is unlike most such worlds in that it exists as a 2D-world, where visitors are subject to the so-called rendering, as they are translated into 2-dimensional versions of themselves - for this world is one of sentient comics, classic ink drawings and the like - INK is layered on sheets and traveling from one sheet to another changes you - and yes, there is danger in this brute-force conversion of styles...in this translation, in which beauty and reality may be lost or gained.


In a world defined by the artistic, one should not be surprised to see a class-system, as portraits lord over sketches and the underclass of downtrodden scribbles, while specialized drafter annunaki (stats provided) and the erasing eraser erebi can be considered to be the truly powerful forces of nature of INK, dangerous in either the scroll kingdoms, panelopolis, the funnypaper farms or the scrawl - oh, and have I mentioned Major Maim? This guy makes Judge Doom look like a downright cute, reasonable guy - think of superman as evil and as an existential nihilist hell-bent of destroying (and/or escaping) the limitations of his world...


Considering the strange nature of INK as opposed to many more conventional gossamer worlds, it does come with rather detailed pieces of advice to properly implement it in your game, which is greatly appreciated.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard for the series and a diverse array of high-quality full-color artworks illustrates the world in the different styles you can expect - nice touch. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


Matt Banach's INK is brilliant - much like Planet Fiction, it allows for a huge array of real life creatures to be inserted in the game - from your favorite superheroes to manga/anime-characters and classic paintings, this one sports so many narrative options, it's not even funny anymore. Ever wanted to know what would happen if Garfield and Odie could duke it out in a Gundam? Well...there you go. Unlike Planet Fiction, though, this may have less space to develop the world - but it has the upper hand in one crucial regard: A unique selling point. Depicting the 2-dimensional, comic book reality herein can lead to truly memorable, unique adventures and constitutes one of the crucial strengths of this extremely evocative world. Granted, you can mostly ignore this component, if the repercussions give you a headache, but personally, I love this pdf for it and consider it one of the best in the whole series, on par with the genius Poetica Mundi-installment. Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: INK (Diceless)
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In The Company of Rakshasa (PFRPG)
by Peter C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2016 03:41:44

I have been fascinated by Rakshasa ever since I read the entry in the First Edition AD & D Monster Manual. In the Company of Rakshasa describes the Rakshasa race. There are Rakshasa class archetypes, too. The capper is a description of the Rakshasa Paragon class, a race-based class. The descriptions of the Rakshasa's background, abilities and the Paragon class are all cool, which is what I ask from a Pathfinder supplement.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Rakshasa (PFRPG)
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101 Urban Spells (PFRPG)
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/11/2016 13:58:17

Helped me add variety to my game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Urban Spells (PFRPG)
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Gossamer Worlds: Ring of Fire (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/09/2016 03:41:57

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Gossamer Worlds-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let's take a step through the door and visit this world!


This time around, we're getting gritty and apocalyptic, big time: Legends tell of this world being an Ourouboros, a Dyson ring (artificially created ring world, in short) that was crafted to act like a kind of petri-dish for civilizations. Unfortunately for this world a Crimson King-like traveler from the Grand Stair, the nefarious Man with Red Hands, a disembodied spirit capable of possession lesser life-forms, has taken over the world and is, laconically speaking, making the multi-verse's biggest barbecue ever - roasting this world alive, slowly but steadily alive.


Similarly, preachermen spread his gospel of doom and defeat, while gunslingers are the last bastion of hope and force for good in a world, spiraling towards annihilation...and you thought the above Crimson king-analogue was resting on flimsy feet... ;) Kidding aside, this world can be summed as "Dark Tower in a Dyson Ring, with less esoterica" - meaning, instead of the abstract beams of the tower, we have a system grounded, for the most part, in science - and from the brutal noonlands to the genius-AI-shielded doom of this world, there is a lot for lords and ladies to accomplish on this world - if no one stops the malevolent entity...there soon will be no world left to visit...


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf sports numerous nice pieces of full-color artwork as well.


Matt Banach's Ring of Fire's appeal very much rests on one question: Do you like the "Dark Tower"-saga. If you do, then you'll love this take on the tale. If you don't...well, then you probably won't consider this Gossamer World interesting. Personally, I ADORE the Dark Tower, particularly for its brilliant end (everyone who's read it knows what I'm talking about) and I sure would love to dance the Commala on the ring of fire...but then again, the leaning towards the original is a bit too close for me in this world: Beyond the Dyson ring and the slightly more scientific and less mystical tone, this could have used additional complications and twists on the theme to make it slightly more unique. That being said, if you ever wanted to play the Dark Tower...here's your chance. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars. (And don't forget to pop in Demons & Wizards: Touched by the Crimson King for the finale...)


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Ring of Fire (Diceless)
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Gossamer Worlds: Planet Fiction (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/02/2016 05:00:24

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This deluxe-length-installment of the excellent Gossamer Worlds series of Diceless-RPG-supplements clocks in at 41 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 37 pages of content, so let's take a look!


Okay, want the short version? If you're even remotely bibliophile, then get this.


The long version of the review will be a tad bit more complex and enlightening: Picture, among the myriad of possible worlds out there on the Grand Stair a door that leads, more literally than others, straight into imagination - or rather, into the direct representation thereof. To be more precise: Think of the world of Kipling, Doyle and similar authors, of a world in the throes of a steamtech-infused industrial revolution, a world wherein our very fiction and tropes, those that arguably continue to influence our very world, have achieved reality - conversely, what we have here is a bibliophile's love letter, a semiotician's passion project: When the primary colonial power is called Great Albion and incorporates the fabled realm and London's ample depictions into a blending that exemplifies rather well the original goal of allotopian fiction as popularized by the recent resurgence of steampunk aesthetics.


Beyond that, peaceful, fairy-tale-esque kingdoms like Graustark (literally: Grey-strength), Ruritania or Gérolstein (one accent away from a real life German place famous for the sparkling water) complement an interesting tapestry - particularly considering the harsh climate of the latter in combination with sporting a fine military and the continent's first air force - if the like seems none too inspiring, fans of Japano-RPGs may want to take a look at the plot of Tales of Graces F -and don't be driven off by the cutesy graphics, the plot is rather mature. But back to the topic at hand: From Mykenos to Siebenbürgen and Transsylvania (yes, there's a distinction made here - and you'll know why once you read this book...), there are a lot of nations depicted herein, often based on the merit of their literary providence and prominence - and yes, there is, obviously, a titanic mælstrom.


Taking the real life genre-implications into account, one should also not be surprised to see the topics expanded even further - after all, the genres would not be half as varied without the examples of exotism and, admittedly, Orientalism, that also find their representations herein in the coverage of the Silken Road, from the Middle East to the far away shores of Koryo-no-Shima. However, all of this beauty and wonder does come at a price of significant inconvenience for the discerning gossamer lord or lady: there is no easy exit door to leave Planet Fiction - and there is a reason for this, though, in the exceedingly well-written prose, it required the logic of none other than Sherlock Holmes to deduce the true nature of Planet Fiction. And NO, I'm not going to spoil that revelation, whether it is true in your game or not, here in this review.


Instead, I should like to draw your attention to the rather diverse NPCs provided herein, which come with a low point version, a middle range version and one truly high-powered one: From Sherlock Holmes to Captain Nemo to Cassandra, Sheherazade to Umslopogaas to Hua Mulan and even eminent Judge Dee and Mowgli can be encountered in this wondrous world, wherein, quite literally, all those Jules Vernes-novels, all those slices of childhood and classic literature, come to life.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports ample unique, beautiful pieces of full-color artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


H.M. "Dain" Lybarger has woven a very clever world here - granted, the basic set-up already is pretty much every child's dream - I know I imagined, while lying bed-ridden at home, what would happen if Sherlock Holmes met Judge Dee, whether Mulan and Nemo wouldn't make for an interesting couple - and I discussed this to no end with my friends, often providing cliffnotes for those that had no ambition of matching my reading speed due to actually being able to play outside. Try as I might, I can't really approach this book neutrally - it tugs at too many of my heart's strings and does so with a clever, if not exceedingly clever, manner - it wouldn't have required Sherlock Holmes, at least in my opinion, to deduce the obvious de-facto ruler and go one step beyond...but that may just be me being a pretentious wise-ass.


What I'm trying to say is that this book, this world, has pretty much all the potential you can ask for in a given world - it allows you to freely scavenge among your literary preferences and change, adapt and insert - and it still manages to retain a somewhat unique identity, something woefully absent from many books in both the Steampunk and (Neo)-Victorianism genres - this world, in spite of its fictitious nature even within the level of the game, retains a reality that surpasses many fictional settings that do not exhibit the meta-level of fabulation-awareness depicted herein. We have themes resonating on very primal level and a gorgeous canvas on which one can apply the very colors of one's imagination. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval - the only people out there to whom I would not recommend this, are those that don't like reading...and I'm honestly not sure whether such persons exist in this hobby.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Planet Fiction (Diceless)
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101 Urban Spells (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/26/2016 03:24:37

An Endzeitgeist.com review


The latest, massive book of Dave Paul's terrain-centric spell-collections clocks in at a whopping 50 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with a massive 47 pages of content, so let's take a look!


This review was moved forward in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patrons.


Okay, so at this point, I have to quite frankly admit to being giddy like a school-girl whenever one of these terrain-centric spell-books by Rite Publishing hits my review-pile. At a point where I honestly considered the topic of spells to be done and covered, these spells have, time and again, blow me away by their precision and unique concepts - and similarly, this one begins with a rather exciting mechanical innovation: We take a look at settlement-sizes and their size-modifiers, which range from -4 to +4 - it is said size modifiers and settlement sizes that directly influence how the spells contained herein work. Additionally, some of the spells contained herein are designed to appeal explicitly to uncommon caster classes and combinations - like arcane tricksters et al.


The pdf codifies spells by class and level before diving into the main meat of the product - the spells. And from the get-go, I'm smiling: Acrophobia instills fear of heights; Alight the Holy Terrace duplicates Word of Recall, but saves only you and dumps you at the stairs of a church, later even inside - we've all read comics where the hero, battered and bruised, escapes and crashes in front of a church, to be found in the middle of the night. So yeah, sold! The third spell herein increases your chances of finding extraordinary treasure - and this is more exciting in practice than in theory...how did the item get here? Why is it for sale in the first place? This is a means for the GM to give the players what they want sans breaking the rules AND facilitates introducing new plot-lines. Gold.


The second level spell Ameliorate Disease is a bit of an odd duck - on one hand, it is a clear power-creep that allows for easier, sooner disease-control. At the same time, it applies the settlement modifier and does not prevent re-infection and costs gold. This may actually, for more grim settings, be a better default spell than the regular magical means of dealing with disease. (and yes, tehre is a poison-variant of this one in here as well...)


Blasphemous Aura is a game-changer of a spell - at 3rd level, this one allows for the hampering of divine magic and channel energy, both of which now have a chance of failure while inside the emanation. The spell sports a warning sidebox - though personally, I don't consider it problematic: You see, for one, fiction sports ample instances where proximity to a particularly viable creature, be it a servant of the elder gods or a powerful undead, hampers spellcasting for divine characters. Secondly, the conservative AoE ultimately results in the spell being of an appropriate power-level for 3rd level spells. Thirdly, as any GM who has faced a channel-centric character (like a divine channeler) in the hands of a power-gamer can attest, the lack of a decent countering mechanic for the Su is a rather obvious hole in the rules-context. So yeah, as far as I'm concerned, I'll be adding this spell to the arsenal of quite a few of my adversaries. If you're still somewhat hesitant - my Scion of Discordia-class in Interjection Games' Strange Magic was playtested for months and features similar lock-down abilities, so no - this does not break your game, though admittedly, it may make bastions of churches and casters less secure...but at least in my book, from a narrative point of view, that's a good thing.


Speaking of specific spells that really make a GM's job easier - Can't Leave Town is the spell-representation of the delightful horror-trope, where you try to leave a settlement, only to re-enter it. Similarly, versatile Columns of Smoke can make it rather easy to escape...and notify allies/send signals. Of course, there would also be spells herein to conjure forth constructs of filth and loathsome debris to squash your adversaries (and even merge them in the case of more powerful variants). There would also be a spell that allows you to place a ring on the finger of a target to compel the target to only deal nonlethal damage - this makes so much sense for the punishment options of a society wherein magic exists. Similarly, nonlethal force-based means of dispersing crowds make sense as magical riot-control.


Calling forth dogs or summoning cockroach swarms can be found here - as can be a cantrip to dry clothes. There also is a rather nasty one that allows you to fear on the fear of crowds, consuming it and converting it into personal power - a neat magical representation of instigators feeding on fear. There is also a particularly interesting spell called Fortune Teller's Curse - this one nets you insight into past, present and limited prescience and is VERY powerful - but it also represents a way of burdening a PC and adding unique means of enhancing investigations...at a price that will make the PC want to get rid of it. I'd consider this one problematic, were it not for the warning. Rather interesting from a story-telling perspective: Gleaning information from graffiti! Making mirrors Narcissus-traps or traveling by them. Illusion-based misdirecting vapors or becoming Nondescript is interesting - and what about a spell called Persistently Unconvinced that installs a conviction in the mind of the adversary that he's not really in danger - this does look wrong, right? A kind of illusion, surely? In the hands of a halfway decent illusionist, this makes for a lethal smoke and mirrors game!


Better roof running, scrying via mirrors in various iterations or conjuring clothes from the stuff of shadow. Gold for any storyteller and a seed for unique culture - there is a spell that allows you to transfer diseases and poison from the living to the undead. This little spell makes for a viable reason why undead are kept around; it allows for a "benevolent" undead overlord to heal his subjects for just a small price; it provides a justification for people to actually serve undead or tolerate necromancers. I love this. Teleporting through crowds and conjuring weasels forth to steal keys for you...oh, and there actually are multiple spells that deal with structures - from collapsing roofs to crews of vexgit wreckers. Oh, and I really like the curse that makes the target verbose when trying to deceive...


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with multiple awesome, gorgeous full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


Dave Paul has singlehandedly reignited my excitement for new spells. After more than 2000 spells read, I was, quite frankly, bored by most such books. When Dave Paul came along and began crafting not only exceedingly precise and complex spells, but actually started innovating within the frame work of what spells usually do - and he expanded his game. So far, not a single one of these books is anything short of pure excellence - and this is no different. Using settlement size modifiers here and there is pretty interesting and, for the most part, the magic herein is MAGICAL. It feels like magic.


You won't find bland "deal x damage" spells herein. If you're looking for those, open just about any pdf out there and look for the spell-section.


What you'll find is themes, flair, complex options and spells that inspire whole modules, perhaps even campaigns - this book practically demands being inserted into any urban campaign - from Road to Revolution to Curse of the Crimson Throne to Council of Thieves and beyond, this pdf enhances the game, innovates mechanically and provides precise, complex spells that get their wording right. Where something can be problematic in contexts, the pdf warns you, even in cases like the anti-channeling where I'd issue no such warning myself. All in all, this continues Dave Paul's streak of absolutely stellar spell-books, cementing the series further as the unquestionable benchmark for what good spellbooks can and should do. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval, given without any hesitation. Stellar!


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Urban Spells (PFRPG)
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Gossamer Worlds: Ossuary Empire (Diceless)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/07/2016 21:20:18

I like this realm. It has real flavour, and it is a place where the hashashin (the assassins) didn't perish.


The dead certainly testify to its potential dangerousness, and it is set up as a sort of tomb world in character.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Ossuary Empire (Diceless)
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