DriveThruRPG.com
Close
Close
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
101 Subterranean Spells (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/29/2015 04:46:40

An Endzeitgeist.com review


The third book of Dave Paul's terrain-centric spell-supplements clocks in at a massive 49 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with a massive 45 pages of content, so let's take a look!


Okay, so subterranean spells, hmm? The theme itself is something near and dear to my heart - I still consider the lack of support for spells interacting with/requiring faerzress in the Forgotten Realms a criminally-negligent oversight, so let's take a look at what type of spells we can find within these pages!


After the obligatory spell-list by class, we dive right into the new array of spells Dave Paul has crafted -and begin with a theme of aberrant magicks - and they do sport some rather nasty tricks: What about a 2nd level spell that grants you all-around vision via red-eyed tentacles growing from your neck and shoulders, ones that also show you the current emotional state of creatures of your subtype, albeit only within 5 ft.? Yes, this is pretty cool...and powerful. Indeed, it may be too powerful. Granted, the spell's visuals render it less than subtle - but in the confines of the underdark and its weird creatures, it is powerful. The issue here would be that the spell allows for the detection of shapechangers and the like - you can't detect the emotions of targets of other types, nor can you share thoughts with creatures you touch via this spell. This would be less of an issue, were the spell not transmutation, the emotion-detector a supernatural ability. There is next to no option to bypass/fool this one. No exchange, reliable detect. Worse, the spell can be expended via a touch attack that save-or-suck renders the recipient unconscious for 1d4+1 rounds. UNCONSCIOUS. Remember, this is a 2nd level spell. For me, this is one step too far.


On the plus-side, though, the spells also allow for some unique effects: Take the lvl 9 aberrant mind: Beyond the increase of Int/Cha-based skills and checks, this one allows you to act out that power-fantasy from editions long gone, using kind-of-psionic-y, devastating mental assaults. On the even more awesome side would be a kind of ritual: Know that undead thing you just defeated? Well, if you know a certain spell from this book, you can pulverize the skull of the undead and expend A LOT of gold to acquire a spell of up to 6th level usually unavailable to you. While this sounds pretty much like a textbook broken spell, the narrative ramifications are intriguing and the spell, at lvl 7, costly and limited enough to imho work pretty well.


We all know it - the trope of the ageless, ancient man who has sustained his life beyond the limitations of a usual life-span. Well, for only 3 skum tears, casters capable of 8th level sorcery may now prolong their life via ageless...to an extent, for the fragility such magic entails in the tropes is represented by negative levels, which you can't cheat out of - you may delay the reaper, but you can't cheat him. Variant summoning of ascomoids, an ability that lets you detect the blood of the living. Speaking of the living - there are rather intriguing spells herein that vary in their effects depending on the target: Casting burning bones on a living creature, for example, nets the target significant pain. Undead or constructs made of bones instead take damage and the spell can also be used to damage unattended bones. I particularly enjoyed options to cripple burrow speed (or breathing while burrowing), providing fixes to petty glaring logic holes that burrow speed to me always represented.


Adaptation to the hostile underground terrain is also a theme of this book - including thematically fitting components that prevent the undue spamming of such magics. Perhaps you'd rather assume the form of a cave troll or call a svartalfar assassin to take down your foes in a variant of planar ally? Jup, thematically, pretty cool, though the latter feels a bit like filler to me.


The same can thankfully not be said about the curse of claustrophobia or the collapsing tunnel trap... I am very weary of Crypt Sight, a cantrip-version of detect undead, which may not showcase auras, but it does render undead ambushes pretty hard - that spell is not gonna see use in my campaign. That being said, the spells also feature some mechanically innovative aspects - like doubled range when cast in the correct surroundings or the requirement of targeting commanded undead when cast as an arcane spell -it's small nods and tricks like this that add significantly to the flair of the respective spells provided. The highly complex and well-crafted walls of crystal should be considered a star herein.


Balancing options via components are some of my favorites and an upgraded form of mnemonic enhancer could be considered an excellent example why this is great: The power the spell offers is significant, but it does so at the cost of a scroll and a rare component, allowing for sufficient GM-control, even in the case the spell falls into the hands of the players. There also are some intriguing double-edged swords herein - take Derro's Madness. The spell is a curse that cripples your Wis and enhances your Cha - significantly. To the point, actually, where it may seem more like a buff than a curse. However, it also afflicts the target with a con-damage-causing weakness to sunlight and makes the target incessantly obsess over other creatures not being affected by sunlight thusly. From a mechanics point of view, the significant cha-boost demands to be cheesed by cha-based characters. However, the obsession and weakness are roleplaying potential galore...and should make PCs think thrice before casting this curse on an ally - especially considering the derro's predilection for rather...unpleasant experimentation...


What about a variant of invisibility right between it and its improved brethren, which allows for tactical readied actions versus the adversary before he vanishes again? Indeed - this one is one of those "why has no one done this before???"-moments. Want to really piss off that vain dark elf? What about an otyugh-transformation-curse? Or a truly astounding spell: Ignore Metal. What you get is a highly complex, codified spell that gets a VAST array of corner-cases right. Granted, I would have liked it to explicitly spell out more distinctly the fact that e.g. spears still deal full bludgeoning damage, but the fact that e.g. molten lead, dragons with metal claw-supplements and the like are covered, still render this a spell that feels MAGICAL. Complex, versatile and awesome. And it can lead to hilarious PC-deaths. You'll see when you read the spell... cough fall through the metal fortress.../cough Also downright brilliant: Fooling foes with tremorsense by imprinting tremors...absolutely glorious! Less versatile, but also pretty cool - selective silence that allows the dead to speak! Or what about FINALLY a spell-representation of the near-death-experience that is featured in so many initiation-rites of death-cults? Need some guarding spells versus those upper-worlders? Well, there is a means to supplement e.g. shriekers or the like via sonic damage. I also really like the low-level spell that allows you to conjure forth moisture from the walls... And yes, there are a lot of undead-related spells.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a neat two-column full-color standard with beautiful full-color artworks and a dark, stone-like border. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


I feel like a colossal hypocrite as I'm writing this - why? Because, quite frankly, the above text does not properly sum up how inspiring and awesome the vast majority of the spells herein are. Dave Paul has a huge talent for the creation of thoroughly unique, glorious spells that feature a level of detail and complexity that hearkens back to a sense of realism often lost in current min-maxy circumstances. Via numerous design-choices, balance and versatility offer a diverse selection of unique tricks that dwarf almost every supplement of spells you can name in quality and ambition. You should be aware that my criticism voiced above must be understood in context with Dave Paul's almost perfect forest and swamp spells, which single-handedly made me look forward to new spells again, which brought the sense of the magical and awesome back to my reception of spells. The two predecessor books are pretty much the pinnacle of what you can expect from any collection of spells.


Against these predecessors, this installment feels like it stumbles a bit - stumble, mind you - it doesn't fall. This book still contains more excellent and mechanically sound, innovative high-caliber spells than 99.9% of spell books you can get for any iteration of d20-based gaming - but, at the same time, it does have a couple of spells that overshoot their power-level by a margin. Unlike the previous two books, there are some spells herein I'd advise against, some that will not find their way to my table.


This fact alone made me think for a while, I'd settle on a final verdict in the higher echelons, but not at the top of my rating scale...but then again, the issues are few and far in-between...and (mostly) are based on my own tastes and my admittedly insane expectations of the Dave Paul's offerings by now. Quite frankly, it would be unfair to this book to only hold it to its direct predecessors, not to the standard of the collective of spell-books out there. And in the general, broad comparison, this still mops the floor with the vast majority of its competitors. Ultimately, any rating below 5 stars would be a disservice to the book - get this. It's an awesome book and well worth the asking price. It may not be as flawlessly perfect in its balance as the predecessors, but it still transcends the basics of what one can expect and provides utterly unique, complex, options.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Subterranean Spells (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Gossamer Worlds: Poetica Mundi (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/22/2015 04:36:47

An Endzeitgeist.com review


Fifteen pages in total await, with two devoted to cover and credits,


leave thirteen, all suffused with content galore.


This must have required a gazillion of edits...


Why? Let's not tarry and read more!


Now this is unlike any of its brethren before,


even though I've reviewed more than a score.


You see, there's magic in worlds uncounted -


and on others, you'll find mechs, laser-mounted.


But in this world, which sees its fair share of strife,


reigns but one principle: Poetry is life.


And yes, let me state this brief and terse:


This whole book is written mostly in verse!


Where the forces of nature itself align,


and pentameters grow the waves,


with the fair muses' gift so sublime,


there is power is the lowliest staves.


Many lands and places dot this world,


courtesy of the fair poet's powers and that of their muses.


Granted, some of them may seem quite absurd,


but rules are provided for these roles and their uses.


The muses, symbiotically sustained,


by the poet's toil and victories


ensure that reality's maintained;


thus comes to life each of their stories.


The mistress of this wondrous land,


is neither mad, nor wicked witch or empress;


but beware if you plan to make a stand:


Mary Fair, of Copper Hair, commands legions, diverse and endless.


Among the skies of this weird world,


the fractalox fly free:


Embodiments of poetic math


suffused with chaos theory.


We get stats for the most common of their ilk,


gliding on tendrils of perfect polygons,


through skies, blasting foes with their photons,


silent, as a hand on purest, cold, silk.


Beyond the lands of far and wide, this land sports a nasty, mystic pox!


It scavenges your mind and rattles your thoughts, makes you want to eat your socks!


Fans of classic simian islands will get my drift; but wait a second, before you sift


through the internet's ether to research - I will state it here, all loud and clear:


The wretched fruit and color and word - all may infect your being,


as Orange, here, is more than all of these, more than a verbal sting:


It could be symptom or cause of most terrible afflictions - reality rejects it,


as your poetry crashes and you try oh so hard to correct it.


It may brand you an outcast, a leper or worse,


In this world that's governed all by verse.


From Meadowland to Newfangle Town,


you'll only be greeted with a sneer and a frown.


Perhaps, the one recourse is then, not to exert a poetic spasm,


but to visit instead, Ceasura's Chasm?


The space, that lies between all things,


where in absence, silence sings.


Obviously, we conclude,


anything other would be rude,


with a nice table of a concise summary


of rules of the world Poetica Mundi.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed not a single botch.


Two columns of text on each page,


provide this text's content and stage


and you don't have to be a scholar to appreciate art most gorgeous, all in color.


You won't have to scroll through this in crawl


there's a bookmark for one and all.


This inspired book by Matt Banach,


had me cackle with glee like a manic.


Please be lenient with my butchering of verse


shill out the low asking price from your purse.


This is my favorite in the whole line,


if this were bound paper, I'd kiss its spine!


I can't really praise this too high -


5 stars plus seal from this German guy.


Thus, I remain your reviewing kraut,


sincerely yours,


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Poetica Mundi (Diceless)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

10 Angelic Magic Items (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/15/2015 04:48:36

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This pdf clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!


But before we dive into the subject matter, let's make a few basics clear - for one, while these items are intended to be used in conjunction with Rite Publishing's "In the Company of Angels," I'm going to try to rate it as its own autonomous supplement. Secondly, like all RiP-books detailing items in the 10-series, you actually get much more than 10 items: Quite a few items come in different versions, with the distinction being made between lesser, standard and greater versions of the item - so more content than promised by the title!


We begin this pdf with the big brother of the merciful special weapon quality, the +2-equivalent compassionate that may 3/day paralyze foes it damages - pretty nasty, but also an enchantment that helps heroes be heroes - and I love that!


The Celestial Lenses increase a celestial paragon's pool of providence and angelic senses (or an increase of these), while non-angelic wearers get providence with 2 points in the pool - for 2K. I'm not a fan of this item due to multiple reasons: For one, the celestial paragon's class isn't exactly perfectly balanced. But I said I'd review this on its own - and here, one can see a central class feature as a very inexpensive class feature. I don't particularly like this on a personal level and as a reviewer, I'm not sold on the very low price for the gaining of a class feature.


Sandals of the Celestial Step, available in 3 versions, can be used 1/day, 3/day or 5/day, each time netting you +1 5-foot step, which can stack with the regular one - I like these ones and their pricing seems fitting - kudos here! The Bardic Empyrean is another item I'm not a fan of - +5 levels for the purpose of celestial weapon providence ability is pretty nasty - full step-increase...even before the +2 points for the pool of providence. Non-paragons gain the ability and the celestial weapon providence of a 5th level character - see my complaints on the lenses on character ability-sharing.


Bracers of Purity, available in 3 versions allow for SP or providence-powered rerolls of effects affecting the character - per se pretty cool...but the item becomes pretty OP once you have a base-class that casts via SPs...like I have...a couple of them, in fact. GMs beware, especially since the more powerful bracers allow for omni-rerolls of all effects affecting the character when activated. The gauntlets of contrition, again, available in 3 steps allows the wearer to demand a target to confess his or her sins, essentially delivering a nasty save-or-suck. On the plus-side, the included option to revert alignment-changes thus is intriguing. The Helm of Heaven's Ire is pretty awesome - expend a point of providence to afflict a creature (or more at higher levels) with a divine curse - one of 14! From becoming barren/infertile to gaining cataracts or taking the ability to speak, the curses are nasty, but thematically concise.


The Ring of Celestial Salvation is essentially an extra life - whenever you'd be slain or banished, expend all SPs and providence to negate the attack. The lack of a minimum-requirement of SPs or the like to be consumed is nasty - the item should require one of them, at least. At 4550 Gp, it is a pretty inexpensive ring, one saved from being broken by the fact that it crumbles upon being used. While I maintain that the item should be limited regarding which classes/characters can use it and the cost they pay, I generally like the notion of the extra-life-ring...as long as the PCs can craft these. Rich PCs could otherwise pretty much cheese the hell out of this item, an option that a cool-down à la "Every character can only be saved once per year from death by such a ring." would have easily avoided. The Tabard of Angelic paragons is brutal, increasing soulfire and AC by 5 levels, the DC of a heavenly gift by +2 or gains 2 providence + a single 1st level providence. Once again - see my comments of items above - they are pretty much mirrored here.


The pdf also provides a legacy item, i.e. a powerful magic item with a complex history, requirements and scaling abilities - this time, this would be Shawmay-Aphim, also known as Heaven's Wrath. Crafted from the new material golden wildwood, this +1 warhammer gains the guided quality, decreasing the miss chance. The hammer also allows you to penalize the attacks of foes with natural attacks, allowing a GM to reward smart fighting - for the item e.g. also can be used to decreases the efficiency of sources of extraordinary or supernatural abilities - nice! Spell and SP-draining, dimensionally anchoring foes...that may be nice. At the highest level, the wielder may 1/day pronounce a curse that can strip a target of his magical powers. I like this general idea, but at 12th level, it feels a bit soon to me - why? Because the follow-up feels less powerful to me...and ultimately, more interesting in-game: AoE shaken may be cool, but the final ability provides a 50% HIT chance - all attacks targeting the creature have a 50% to hit, even if they would miss. This is VERY powerful...but also an actually innovative rule that has quite some potential!


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are back to the level I generally assume from Rite Publishing - very good, with some minor typos! Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf has more awesome full-color artworks than a pdf of this size and price-point usually features - kudos! The pdf comes fully bookmarked, in spite of its brevity - again, kudos for going the extra mile.


Steven D. Russell, in this pdf, feels like he's getting back to his game as a designer - at least, that's the impression I have here - the rules-wording is once again back to his precision, while maintaining the trademark high-concept approach that made me a fan of his designs in the first place. That being said, I'm not sold on the precise balancing of several abilities, mainly because they are tied to a pdf I consider pretty OP - a fact that tarnishes this pdf's usefulness for me as a person. At the same time, as a reviewer, I try to rate this on its own merits and the concept of the hit chance is an actually unique one I haven't seen before - and one that can, when carefully handled, provided a whole array of interesting (but hard to balance) design opportunities. I only witness such a concept very rarely these days and, to me, it is worth A LOT. Then, there'd be the fact that this is a rather inexpensive pdf...and that, at some tables, the high power level of celestial paragons may fit. It's due to these that I will settle on a rating of 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4 for the purpose of this platform. GMs of more gritty games should beware, though.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
10 Angelic Magic Items (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

101 Forest Spells (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/13/2015 02:49:00

An Endzeitgeist.com review


The second of Dave Paul's massive 101-spell books centered on terrain-specific spells clocks in at a whopping 42 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 37 pages of content, so let's take a look!


We begin this pdf with spell-by-level-lists, containing, btw. also the ACG bloodrager and shaman - and then, we're right at the spells. I'm not going to go through the spells one by one, instead trying to provide a showcase of the best and worst of the bunch - so let's dive in!


At low levels, better options to forage for food and water can be found - but thing become interesting pretty immediately after that - let's take a cloak of acidic mist: In a 5-ft.-radius around you, you generate acidic mist that moves with you -and it lingers, decreasing its damage by two dice per round - the issue becomes pretty much apparent for all spell-designers - in order to move, you'd have to pass your own acidic cloak's first 5-ft.-AoE, thus dealing damage to you when you move. Know what? the wording manages to elegantly fix this rules-language conundrum. And yes, I consciously do not say how here - I won't you folks to take a look at this. Much like in the predecessor book, casting the spells herein in the correct, wooden environment, obviously increases the spell's prowess - which may translate to numerical increases of the spell's parameters. But the pdf actually goes one step beyond that - you see, there are several different forests (D'UHHH) - and quite a few spells herein have different effects when cast in e.g. cold or temperate or warm forests. This would be pretty much "going the extra mile" as far as I'm concerned.


Indeed, this adds a strategic component to the pdf I did not expect to see in such a pronounced manner - the spells here, in short, manage to tie the aspect of magic and the world in which it is cast even tighter together than the previous book. Beyond terrain variants, there also would be spells that allow you to emulate different aspects of trees, thus granting the type of buff you require in a given situation. Another component I enjoy about the spells herein would be that they act as a kind of roleplaiyng catalyst in quite a few of the cases - buffing yourself to become an aurumvorax may have nice imagery, yes. But the spell becomes cool when it states that this prompts a powerful drive to act alone...and rewards you when you go solitary on your scouting rounds. See, that's how you make spells that enhance roleplaying by granting tangible benefits, providing a unity between crunch and fluff.


Calling bear guardians to perform either tasks or be on guard duty is interesting due to the LONG duration of the service - and if you're like me, you immediately looked for the obvious army of bears-exploit - guess what? The spell has a caveat that prevents it. Purging the undead, outsiders and constructed from the area may sound okay - until you realize how hard this spell is - with variable alignments and the option to purge them in large areas of the caster's home, one pretty much immediately realizes that the rules-language here is not something any designer could have crafted - beyond that, though - the spell also manages to represent pretty neatly the trope of home-advantage, of the requirement to get the powerful druid back in time to halt the encroaching horde - Love it!


Druids cultivating flower-based plant-guardians will appreciate the cantrip that allows them to bloom faster. We also know the trope of undead, held together by plant-matter - well, the spell's in here for the root-suffused undead. High-level druids may actually call a powerful hamadryad to their aid.


On the iconic image side, what about bards conjuring forth a chorus of nonlethal damage-dealing, deafening cicada chorus - oh, and if there actually are cicadas around, you'll definitely enjoy the proper power-increase. What about conjuring forth a variant of solid fog that deals damage...and is particularly nasty versus cold iron-susceptible creatures while ALSO acting as a combo-set-up for certain damage-types? Yes, that would be an interesting terrain-control spell! Conjuring forth curtains of swirling, autumnal leaves, dropping branches on your foes, summoning rot grub swarms - the spells range from absolutely glorious to intriguing.


Declawing temporarily animals, reducing the efficiency of their claws, is pretty cool. Psychological warfare via eyes in the dark and a series of interesting fey form-spells further supplement this obvious thematic connection - speaking of fairytales - what about a compulsion that takes grains of a fine material and compels the targets to count them? Yes, this resonates with our real world mythology perfectly and puts it into concise game terms.


The pdf also continues the absolutely awesome innovation utilized in the first such book - there are spells which allow you to designate a target creature as a friend of the forest - hereafter, you can call such beings to your aid via other spells. Once again, this type of magic ultimately allows not only for interesting tactical options - it provides an in-game rationale for terrain superiority of a certain group of beings and has roleplaying potential, friendships and the like, all rolled up in its frame. Love it!


You and your allies may also transform into sparrows (great for reconnaissance), gain a slightly more flexible form of feather fall (at an appropriate level, btw.), render forests truly labyrinthine for those succumbing to your magic. What about coating allies in acidic repellant? Sounds okay? Well, it is. It goes that extra mile by featuring information on how it can be dissolved and countered - it's these small bits, not necessarily required though they may be, that add this sense of magical realism to the spell-books, that make them feel like they're part of a concise setting.


There also is an interesting terrain-control variant of healing - create a gorgeous, glowing garden - each square traversed heals(or harms the undead) - when fighting the living dead, this definitely is intriguing - and it may free the healer to do other, awesome things - interesting indeed! There also would be quite a few spells that let you duplicate some of the iconic tricks of various fey and there also would be the powerful 9th-level ritual that renaturalizes 10 miles of land - reverting the natural order in the area - whether at the PCs or NPC's hands, this is an adventure on its own. Need to conceal the rather anti-stealthy, clunking Joe Platemail-Fighter? The Spell's in this book. If you're on the less scrupulous side, summoning a moonflower may offer a rather creepy ally. Oh...and you can temporarily make a tree. With full stats, hardness and everything. need a tree? Cast Tree! You may be stumped as to why I consider this awesome, but the sheer plethora of things you can do with this spell if you're creative is pretty impressive - if you need some ideas, drop me a line! Another star should be mentioned: There is a spell that allows a creature to bound itself to a forest in exhange for more power - spells like this make the trope of creatures with their own domains and stalling feuds between terrains and dominions so much more believable!


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience by spell-level, spell list AND individual spell! The pdf sports numerous absolutely gorgeous full-color artworks.


Dave Paul's first terrain spell-book came at a time when I was quite frankly burned out on new spells. I had seen too many and, with Deep Magic, to me, being a deeply frustrating book, I was not excited to read it. Well, I should have. Right when I thought I had seen everything, he singlehandedly changed my opinion - this is due to various factors:


1) His rules language is precise, even when tackling highly complex spell-effects.


2)The general power-balance of the spells is well-reasoned and so far, I felt no need to complain about any spell being OP.


3) The spells go above and beyond in tying their effects to terrain by rewarding players for planning and making them feel unique and magical.


4) The spells feature unique visuals from our shared mythologies and put them into concise rules.


5) They do so in actually innovative interesting ways that emphasize player-agenda, while showing his experience in academia and teaching - even complex concepts are conveyed in concise and easy to grasp ways.


One great spell book is an occurrence - two are a tendency. This is pretty much a textbook example of what a spell-book should be - inspiring, intriguing, exciting. Here, the crunch actually makes you come up with storylines, plots and enhances narrative options rather than limiting. This is a great example of Rite Publishing's key-strengths of evocative concepts married with neat crunch and well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval, given without hesitation - I consider not a single spell herein problematic. Not one. Get this!


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Forest Spells (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

101 1st Level Spells (5E)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2015 20:17:18

If you want very low level spells for multiple classes, and to have a lot of spellcasting options, here you are. What surprises me are two things. First, they have been very efficient in cramming the spell lists and descriptions into only 29 pages—you won’t get lost in hundreds of pages of spells. So it is quite well contained. The second thing is the art. Good quality images are here, and for spells like torchbearer the creepy humanoid bearing a torch, made me immediately want to check out the spell, which didn’t disappoint.


This is quite clearly for 5th ed and the number of spells per class is pretty well balanced, even the paladins are not left behind! Of course, the wizards/sorcerers get the most spells. Earth Charger, to enhance a mount and allow them to plough through enemies is excellent, and comes with good art; Hidden Shelter would be extremely useful (look to what it blocks out and protects you from, and it is for a large party) so that gets a mention; Id Seizure and just sapping actions from a target as you overwhelm them with “primitive urges” is quite amusing and poison weapon could really give the (painful and debilitating) edge to low level combat (everyone loves doing more damage, without the fuss of fiddling or worrying about poisons too much). Pressure spray also does a nice amount of damage and gives the “shooter” of the spray a good nonlethal option (the damage can kill, or doesn’t if you do not want it to). Good thinking went into designing this spell. Lastly, Share sacrifice where you take away half of the target’s damage and take half of that upon yourself would be great for combat spellcaster builds that have hp to spare and want to be able to help their party survive by taking away half of their damage at any time. I like this spell (and there are many others I also think are excellent).


Conclusion
It is good, it is the worth the money. There are some well-designed spells here and many of them are very interesting and would add new tactical options and possible actions to an adventuring party.
5/5



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 1st Level Spells (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

10 Kingdom Seeds: Forests (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2015 20:00:33

True to its title, this very inexpensive product gives you ten settlements to throw into any fantasy campaign. This is a product for Pathfinder, and follows its stat arrangements for settlements.


It is clear, quickly imparts information for a DM to use and Liz Smith has ensured that each village, thorp or hamlet has its personal character. There is well-written information on how each differs to other small settlements, along with noteworthy sites and buildings and the latest rumours that could lead to adventure. I particularly liked that the statue in the town square of Garrant is actually a petrified adventurer. I wonder from what century?


Very useful for those dms that get stuck adding character to villages or the like. With good attention to detail and plenty of leads to follow I found myself wanting more than 10 villages, 50 would have made this absolutely marvellous. However, having said that, a dm would be unlikely to get through and use all 10 settlements in one campaign.


4.5/5, rounds up to 5.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
10 Kingdom Seeds: Forests (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Threats: Secrets of the Annunaki (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/02/2015 04:38:59

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Threats-series for LoGaS clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let's take a look!


Following the tradition of LoGaS-supplements, the content herein is framed by a well-crafted frame-narrative and provided in well-written prose. This prose guides us, via speculations and potential truths a GM can use and treat as correct (or incorrect!) through the depictions of the Annunaki.


But what are they? The strangely and suddenly appearing Annunaki are creatures of Eidolon, usually depicted as glowing diagrams drawn into thin air and moving akin to a roughly humanoid shape. The anecdotes of Annunaki influence are diverse - from a hidden conductor of a civilization's development to an acceleration of technological advancement to the point of the disappearance of all humans, there is, obviously, a plan guiding the actions of the Annunaki - though whether benevolent or hostile - ultimately, their morals are beyond us.


As beings of lines and nodes of energy, their lights and pulses can extend beyond a dimension, its very presence a glimpse at the eidolon's uncanny perfection. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the annunaki do have some subtypes that have been observed more often than once, the first of which would be the exemplar of blades -fully statted, these Vitruvian Man-like conglomerates of limb-like light-structures are truly dangerous, powerful adversaries. Beyond these warriors, annunaki that adhere to the role of "The Namer and The Shaper" are meant to assume control and guide people and whole civilizations. Oh, and then there is the "Crawler Upon the Stair" - a rather huge and highly disturbing annunaki that seems to be chronicling the Grand Stair - if you see it, RUN!


Annunaki can choose the 10-point power Imperatives - phrased in the ur-language Logos, these effects do not require prior knowledge of a creature's true name, compelling obedience similarly to an invocation. Personally, I would have enjoyed a slightly different way for resisting these imperatives, but that may just be me. Also for 10 points, annunaki can teleport, but only within a gossamer world or within the Grand Stair, not between planets. Also for 10 points, annunaki can choose Eidolon Stasis, by which they can suppress any Eidolon mastery but their own, hampering reality-changing effects. This ability, to me, is a bit opaque, even within Diceless' relatively free-form narratives - increasing power for more points would have imho made this a more compelling option, especially seeing how annunaki are creatures of eidolon.


The relentless logic that makes the annunaki dangerous is further highlighted in a compelling excerpt from the journals of a master of Eidolon, before we are introduced to what makes LoGaS-threats usually interesting -the theories and options - much like previous installments, the annunaki sport options to choose from, theories. this dossier's theory on form and the relation to function, for example, makes sense; as does the theory of their existence (or presence) being tied to their function. The utterly terrifying revelation that continued conflicts with annunaki may engender is also a narrative gold nugget: What if you found out that a fundamental part of reality itself wanted you dead? Frightening, even for an accomplished Gossamer Lord/lady! It should also be noted that this pdf makes one thing very clear: Eidolon Mastery is anything but that - mastery implies subservience, when in fact, the very principle might, deity-like deem to grant a tiny fraction of its power, as it follows its relentless plan.


The advice on using them further expands these dimensions - from reality-debuggers to annunaki at war, the hooks provided are intriguing - eliminating disturbances, promotion of a sense of cosmic equilibrium, modification and evolution of Eidolon itself, a war versus the agents of Umbra - the hooks are inspired. For truly apocalyptic options, what about an alliance between Eidolon and Umbra to take control of the Grand Stair, with your PCs in the middle of the conflict? And what if the Eidolon is actually the collective will of all annunaki, the respective individual manifestations only being temporary extensions of the massive will cosmic? What if the Dwimmerlaik's channeling is actually the antithesis to the Eidolon?


On a narrative power-development level, we do receive information for extending eidolon mastery to also be capable of annunaki-like-feats. Players may have their own annunaki for 5 or 10 points - but, alas, the creature is neither loyal, nor beholden to the character, following its plan and agenda and potentially, there is also the option to have annunaki capable of wrighting. And, as the final piece of prose reminds us - the Eidolon is ALWAYS listening...deceiving it is impossible...or is it?


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's nice two-column full-color standard for LoGaS, with a significant array of beautiful, original full-color artworks provided. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


This is the first supplement by H.M. "Dain" Lybarger I have reviewed and it proved to be a surprisingly awesome read. When I first understood what annunaki were and saw their imagery, I thought "bland." I shouldn't have - the annunaki are beyond what I would have expected from hyper-lawful beings - while their imagery, at first glance, may be slightly less evocative and fearsome than other threats in LoGaS, actually using them and depicting their merciless advance, their relentless determination can make them very frightening foes indeed. Add a sense of a cosmic plan that tries to destroy you and we have a scenario for a rather brutal campaign - in fact, much like the angels of Neon Genesis Evangelion (Yes, I LIKE NGE!), the annunaki can be pretty and wondrous, but at the same time, their goals do not align with those of mere mortals...or even gossamer lords and ladies.


Ultimately, the annunaki are a well-crafted adversary-type, one I thoroughly enjoyed - but at the same time, I found myself wishing that the Eidolon's structure were reflected in more detailed variants of the powers with better defined parameter groups - I'm aware that this is uncommon in Diceless, but it would have constituted an option to make Eidolon also feel different on a meta-level. As provided, some powers herein feel a bit chaotic in the scope they offer. This may be me, but my players remarked a similar observation and this component did somewhat continue to irk me. Now, please remember that this is me complaining at a very high level - this is still a fun supplement indeed, but, to me, slightly short of excellence. hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Threats: Secrets of the Annunaki (Diceless)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Pathways #51 (PFRPG)
by Andrew T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2015 19:24:15

As usual excellent quality and an enjoyable read with lots of good stuff in it :-)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #51 (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Pathways #50 (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/07/2015 02:11:33

An Endzeitgeist.com review


The 50th installment of Rite Publishing's FREE e-zine clocks in at 44 pages, 1 page front cover, 11 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial/ToC, leaving us with 30 pages of free content, so let's take a look, shall we?


We begin this installment with David Paul's editorial recapping the journey of the magazine so far before we are introduced to Steven D. Russell's new template - the grandmaster creature. At CR +4, it renders the target lawful and allows for the creature in question to assemble a cabal of creatures that can be teleported to the grandmaster creature by uttering their name. When calling the cabal, the grandmaster also receives a significant buff -better yet, the cabal receives essentially mini-templates - brute, genius, mystic and sniper all provide multiple unique abilities for the cabal members with the respective designated roles. Finally, disparaging remarks can be uttered as swift action debuffs for foes and the level 15 hobgoblin war master used as a sample creature can be considered a fun foe to throw at your players. A great template indeed!


Raging Swan Press mastermind Creighton Broadhurst also has something nice for us - a nice dressing article that provides no less than 20 sample things your PCs may find in a pit as well as 20 things to be found in a sea cave - nice! And yes, you should get GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing and GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing, my number one choices of best product of 2014 - they indeed will enrich your game!


Thereafter, we dive into Elton Robb's first article covering the Leviathan Archipelago - the Questhaven setting's tropical/(under-)water-themed regions. Utilizing concise terminology, we are introduced to the concept of Light Zones, going on to explain the undersea topography and concepts like photic and aphotic zones in a concise and easily understood manner. Benthic Zones and their respective categories are also covered herein, with water pressure and currents also being noted. Bends and various means of covering pressure and its dangers have also been provided. Oh, what's that? You already have Cerulean Seas, the definite resource for underwater adventuring? Great, then you'll be excited to hear that this series endeavors to provide full-blown synergy with those races and rules. And yes, this has only further enhanced my vast anticipation of Questhaven and makes me look forward to the cultures hinted at in future installments!


Speaking of Questhaven - Steven D. Russell does provide a write up of Our Mother of Many Ways, a deity of both wine and inspiration, knowledge and madness, associated with hyenas. With the two nice subdomains, inspiration and prophecy, the well-written article receives some nice crunch back-up. 3 feats that allow you to convey retributive madness afflictions or make wine into a lethal poison - ouch! I'm very weary of a feat that lets you 3/day activate revelations with an activation of 1 round or less as a swift action -with a lack of prerequisites and a very broad focus, this feat can result in some rather powerful combos and personally, I allow too many sources to consider it a smart idea. The article also provides a rather interesting Paladin archetype - the Joyous Brother/Sister - essentially a chaotic good paladin with an aura of hope. These guys replace spells with wine-filled barbarian rage and may, at higher level, grant this euphoria-induced state to allies via the expenditure of uses of smite evil. The archetype is well-crafted and unique and comes with its own creed - neat!


David Paul showcases hereafter some of his Forest Spells (review coming soon!) before we get an interview with Owen K.C. Stephens - designers, take a look!


After this, we get a showcase of some of the best 3pp-products out there, with highly-rated product-reviews by Trev W. and yours truly before Jacob Blackmon's Path Less Travelled webcomic ends the book on an upbeat note.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard with some nice full-color and stock-art pieces inside. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


It's been a while since I've reviewed free products, mainly because I think my readers can easily verify for themselves what they like or don't like. With the sheer amount of books to cover, I try to tackle those first and thus, alas and much to my chagrin, I had less time than I would have liked to devote to Pathways-reviews.


Personally, I always enjoy my free monthly Pathways fix and I always gladly find my reviews published there. There usually is something awesome in each issue and quite a few articles in the magazine's history have made their way into my game. So yes, this is nice content FOR FREE. That's very hard to beat, you know - and well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #50 (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

In The Company of Gelatinous Cubes (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/01/2015 05:20:32

This installment of the "In the Company of..."-series clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!*


So, we begin this pdf, in the tradition of Rite Publishing, with an expertly-written piece of in-character prose: "Glub." The sheer brilliance of this reduction of the conditio pituitae in a manner of linguistic atomization should be considered the ultimate piece of flavor - nowhere else has the sheer courage to express the fundamental truth of an existence been so brilliantly crafted in such a concise way. When the further physical descriptions and society/religious stances of gelatinous cubes are elaborated upon in a repetition of said sequence of letters, duplicated and then, disintegrated beyond guttural sounds, one cannot help but notice the very limitations our own fragile language imposes on communication, rendering the feeble attempts to convey an existence's experiences moot. Within the absolute reduction executed here, truth of cosmic proportions can be found - up to the cutting off of humanoid screams, for, in those sounds, life lies and the death awaiting at the end, beyond the veil, ultimately comes for us all, while the ooze's eternal truth remains, transcending the bounds of mortality and subjectivity, a zen of slime, a slimy nirvana of the ooze is all that remains.


I hesitate to descend back into the nit and grit, the profane simplicity of language, but for the purpose of providing a guidance for all of us unenlightened accumulations of cells, I will...thus, the conventionalizing racial stats provided would be +4 Con, -2 Int, Wis and Cha - obviously a nod towards the mental capacities ultimately ending up as detriments to one's own enlightenment and the eternal perpetuation of one's genetic make-up. The same can obviously be said about fast movement - 15 ft and a slow, but steady movement towards one's foes is more than sufficient, since a undue hastening can be considered ultimately an acceleration BEYOND the ability to grasp the intricacies of the moment, of the fleeting "now" that is eternally transformed into the past. Since sight and similar senses are the purview of lesser creatures, blindsight is not a surprise here, either - the senses, ultimately, do convey an individual Rorschach-test of reality, after all. The perfection of a cube's essential form, as handed down by philosophers older and wiser than I can ever hope to be, obviously allows them to literally carry us feebly humanoids within their very frames, though obviously, mortals may be endangered by the stripping of primitive components of their physiology - like skin. Being beyond classes, these paragons of evolution and form obviously cannot advance in classes beneath their power and yes, they are transparent, for there is nothing in substance and substance in nothing.


The blasphemous notion of a limited existence and the weight of these creatures has been provided alongside obvious benefits to be gained from following the paragon path to transcendence. Being beyond the concern of paltry saves, gelatinous cubes thus do not progress much in this category. At 3/4 BAB-progression, d8 and 2+Int skills per level, there is not much to be done except reducing all those distracting choices to a minimum. At the same time, these glorious zen-masters of enlightenment may deem to adopt an adventuring ally among the less blessed races and at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the cube may select special ooze abilities, which include BAB-based attacks that negate incoming assaults (all is nothing, nothing is all, remember!), compress forms (size is an illusion) or corrode things (all is vain!) - ultimately, there is a lot of wisdom and different truths to be unearthed here. Now once your existential anxiety reaches its peak, around 5th level, you'll be happy to know that the cube's anesthetically potent properties may literally take your pain away and free you from the chores of all those annoying choices - potentially permanently. Of course, if you get past this stage, you'll experience growth alongside your cube's literal ascendancy to a more significant bodily representation - usually around 7th and 15th level.


Particularly adept cubes may elect to choose one of 3 unique feats to help the few mortals beyond their grasp see the truth they represent more clearly.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting bespeak the superiority of the cubical masters. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard -and each page is rendered as a square, the basis of a cube! If you take the content-bearing pages, you can make a full cube - + an extra page, representing your task, nay, calling, to complete what these pages set up right before you. The pdf comes fully bookmarked.


Wendall Roy's gelatinous Cubes are a milestone for humanity - beyond the game, this pdf contains literally all essential truths of mankind - all our history and striving and promise, condensed to a few pages - what a brilliant pdf! Have I mentioned the low donation required to partake in this glory cosmic of less than 2 bucks? My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.*


Endzeitgeist out.


*This is an April's Fool-product and it's hilarious. My review reflects this and I sincerely hope my little exegesis made you smile. Furthermore, while the tone of my review may be humorous, the verdict indeed describes what I think about this funny, nice book. While not a good option for a PC, it makes for compelling NPCs and remains an excellent offer at a low price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Gelatinous Cubes (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Gossamer Worlds: The Otherlands (Diceless)
by H. M. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2015 03:53:46

PCs in Lords of Gossamer and Shadow are fragile gods; beings of great power with nearly-human weaknesses. This product is designed to remind the players that their Wardens and Lords are fragile--and not as close to the top of the cosmic food chain as they may believe themselves to be. :)


The Otherworld gives your LoGaS campaign a brand new and utterly terrifying threat to the multiverse, and a half-dozen ways to entangle your players with that threat. It's all too easy for LoGaS players to become confident in their understanding of the game's cosmology, and their character's place within it. One encounter with the Otherworld and Otherworldly entities detailed here will shake that complacency to the core--in a good way.


All the Gossamer Worlds products are good reads, but this one one is by far the best value for the price; It's not just a place to visit, it's an entire campaign arc.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: The Otherlands (Diceless)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Gossamer Worlds: Poetica Mundi (Diceless)
by H. M. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2015 03:47:40

If anyone in your game asks "how strange can a gossamer world get?" Poetica Mundi is your answer: It's fantastic, surreal, & brilliant.


Writing the whole thing in verse was utterly mad, and I love it. GlimmerGloam was the previous high water mark for "out there" gossamer worlds. It has been surpassed. :) 



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Poetica Mundi (Diceless)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

In The Company of Angels (PFRPG)
by Elisa S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2015 19:12:21

After Rite published "In the Company of Dragons," which was wonderful-oh-my-goodness, I had incredibly high hopes for this book as well. I've been looking for ways to play a celestial, and after the wonders they worked with dragons, was expecting this to be my go-to guide. In that respect, I was both pleased, and a little disappointed.


We'll start with what was great. If you are looking to play an angel in the most iconic sense, then you should grab this. No joke. Called the Grigori, this celestial race starts out no stronger than your typical humanoid, but if you play the racial class you can eventually stand almost toe to toe in abilities with higher angels, even getting some iconic Solar abilities (if this arrow doesn't just skewer you, goblin, trust me; you will die anyways). They did this in a way that even as you advance, you don't feel like you are outstripping humanoid PCs around you. The racial paragon class has all the elements of the classes, winged messenger of heaven that you could want. All they typical angel abilities are covered and can be attained; it's just about picking what abilities you want as you level up. Quite solid.


If you want to play a less common breed of angel, they also got you covered... unless you want to play an agathion. Archons, azata, even lillends get a mention, as well as a couple more obscure types, but they left agathions fresh out. Considering that those are my favorite types, and they make up an entire branch of the Lawful-Neutral-Chaotic family tree of celestials, it felt rather lacking having them not be included. I would pay more money for more options for celestial types, especially if it threw the animal celestials back into the mix.


In a similar note, after the genius that was character options in Dragons, this one fell short on player options. The racial paragon class is well-built, but for those of us who would like to also build a Grigori character that does not take any levels in the paragon class, this book offers no ways to "keep the celestial feel," so to speak, for characters in other classes. Dragons offered a unique class advancement option in the Draconic Hero, which was a multi-class archetype that substituted a small handful of a classes special abilities for improvements to the draconic form (larger size, flight, natural armor and energy resistance). It was amazing, and it meant that your dragon PC could gain unique powers from both her class and for being a dragon. I was hopping, dearly, for something similar for angels, but they Rite didn't include anything remotely similar this time around. Dragons also had feats you could take, if your dragon progressed through a core class, to add some draconic gifts or abilities. Even if your dragon advanced as a paladin, they still felt very much like a dragon. Who can now smite evil with the fieriest vengeance you ever saw. And they had these options for close to twenty base classes. It was a PC's dream. Angels could have done something something like this, so that people wanting to maintain the feel of their race weren't pigeonholed into the racial paragon class. Without those juicy options that we know Rite is more than capable of producing, this book feels noticeably more lackluster than the greatness they have done in the past.


I would give this book 3.5 stars, because I've purchased several books from Rite Publishing, and I like what I got, but terribly miss what I could have gotten.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Angels (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

101 Magus Feats (PFRPG)
by Ben B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2015 15:54:53

This supplement comes it at 31 pages, including 27 pages of content.

With no introduction, we start with a table of short descriptions and prerequisites for 101 feats, all meant to work with the Magus base class from Ultimate Magic. Many of the feats are intended for magi with specific class archetypes, and the table is sorted by archetype, including feats for Bladebound, Hexcrafter, Kensai, Myrmidarch, Skirnir, Soul Forger, Spellblade, Spire Defender, and Staff Magus. Also included are feats for four magus archetypes from Owen Stephens’ Ultimate Options: New Magus Arcana. Finally, we get 48 feats intended for ‘standard’ magi.

For the most part, these feats avoid the trap of overly long chains of feat prerequisites. However, many of them still have non-feat prerequisites which make them unavailable until high levels. Lich Assault, for example, requires 11 ranks in spellcraft and a base attack bonus of +8. More affordable feats include Arcane Rejuvenation, which lets you use arcane pool points to recover spell-like abilities and limited-use class features.
Other feats give abilities like inflicting ability drain with a special-arcane-pool-powered attack, dispelling magic effects from the target of an attack, and regaining arcane pool points when you disrupt other spellcasters.

There was a significant feature that I expected but did not find in this supplement. Namely, I expected to see some feats which would be useful to gish characters, even those who didn’t necessarily have levels in the magus class. However, every feat in this supplement depends directly on specific magus class features, making them useless to non-magi gishes (unless you have an alternate class feature which gives one or more magus class features to another class). Obviously, the title specifically says [i]101 Magus Feats[/i], not [i]101 Battle-Mage Feats[/i], but I was still a bit disappointed that there was nothing for eldritch knights and duskblades.
There are numerous full-color illustrations spread throughout this supplement.


Short Term Use: The editing in this supplement is….not good. It’s the kind of editing quality I’d expect from Paizo, not Rite Publishing. Several of the feats have ambiguous effects, requiring you to decide what they do before you can really use them. However, other feats are more clearly described, and the organization of the feat table and PDF makes it easy to find feats appropriate to the next magus character you are making. Unfortunately, even the most interesting feats can’t be used unless you know what they do, and so the editing really hurts the potential for immediate use. Hence, this supplement gets a Short Term Rating of 2/5.
Long Term Use: I admit I had low expectations for this supplement, largely due to my dislike for the magus class. Judged on its own merits, however, there is an excellent variety of feat effects in this supplement. There are almost no page-wasting “number-boost” feats. Once you get past the lack of clarity in some places, I am impressed by the range of special abilities the author managed to squeeze out based on just the a few class features. The inclusion of feats for a wide range of magus alternate class features is also a nice touch. Hence, this supplement earns a Long Term Rating of 4.5/5, rounded up to 5/5 due to the low price.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Magus Feats (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Breaking of Forstor Nagar (5E)
by Jeremy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2015 01:52:17

The tent poles of older editions of Dungeons and Dragons were well-developed stand alone adventures which provided DMs and Players a fertile ground to grow great stories. Currently, 5e lacks a lot of adventure support, with the publisher focused on larger storylines and a slower paced release schedule. This creates ample space for independent publishers to provide stand alone adventures and RITE Publishing has answered the call in grand fashion!


The Breaking of Forstor Nagar is an adventure compatible with 5e designed for 8th level characters which features some of the best 3rd party design I have seen in a long time. This 46 page module presents a grand rescue scenario in 9 parts that guide the characters into the heart of Forstor Nagar, the City of Grinding Ice, during the height of a raid by the terrifying Hungering Legion. The module opens in epic fashion with siege weapons, explosions, and lots of combat and just gets better from there. Many 5e mechanics are on display here and I particularly enjoyed how the designers used environmental and terrain effects to bring the cold, icy, and harsh reality of the city to life. The narrative provides plenty of options and does a good job of anticipating player actions, helping the DM to expand beyond the boundary of the page and offer meaningful choices. Those who enjoy combat will love the encounters with the bloodthirsty Hungering Legion, but the module also presents ample opportunity for exploration and interaction.


One of the greatest strengths of this module is its setting neutrality. You can drop it in to a cold environment in any world. The ideas presented also provide ample fodder for the DMs imagination. I was instantly drawn to the Hungering template, my mind coming up with lots of ways to expand this idea and use it as a prominent campaign feature in my own game. Not only do you get that new template, but new spells, new items, and a plethora of new creatures to pilfer. There are so many great ideas here I could see enterprising DMs expanding this backstory and using the lore to build a campaign arc across many levels, culminating with this epic assault.


The PDF is beautifully produced. It is well organized, clean and crisp with top shelf artwork that reinforces the narrative. Speaking of artwork, the purchase features a bonus download of high-resolution, top quality electronic copies of all featured images. That's an amazing value that will be great for those of us who love printing maps, utilizing projectors, or playing in a variety of online tabletops. Having both tagged and untagged versions makes it even better for the DM, who can keep all of the nasty surprises hidden while still providing players with a beautiful visual.


The only real negatives I have are minor. First, I wish there were more motivations for entering the city. The rescue plot is great, and central to much of what happens. There are plenty of hooks to draw the characters into this particular plot, but it would have been nice if the concept was a bit more open with the "why" the adventure is happening. This is something that could be altered by a crafty DM who enjoyed tooling with publish works, so it does not detract from the module. Second, there is a passing reference to Prestige Classes, a concept that doesn't exist in 5e and is probably just an editorial mistake, but did have me scratching my head for a moment.


All in all, this is a FANTASTIC bargain at $9.99. You won't be disappointed and you'll get multiple sessions and ideas out of this one purchase. So come along with me and lets race the Hungering Legion to the Dragon Oracle!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Breaking of Forstor Nagar (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 61 to 75 (of 994 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates