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Purple Mountain VI: The Well of Stars
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/10/2014 10:51:45
This is a 6th-level underground adventure which can be placed just about anywhere that you have a suitable mountain... or, of course, it can be played as a level in Purple Duck Games's epic megadungeon crawl Purple Mountain. Information is provided to enable you to do either with ease, beginning with the background of the plot the adventure is designed to thwart and ending with notes on how it fits together with other chambers in different levels of the megadungeon if you are using that. If you are using it stand-alone, several good hooks are provided to help you get the party interested.

The adventure itself is challenging, not only because it is virtually all underwater! It opens dramatically, with a brawl in full progress and a princess to rescue, and the excitement does not let up as it continues through the wonders of a labyrinth to its climactic conclusion. There are wonders to see, treasures to find... and plenty of interesting encounters including a wealth of monsters to fight. There's a lot going on down here and it all conveys an air of carrying on regardless of whether or not the party are down here - always a sign of a good adventure.

It is well-resourced with clear maps for the GM and all the information needed to run the adventure effectively - from read-aloud text to monster statistics and tactics and even helpful hints about how to deal with likely character actions (which could also be used to cue in players who maybe have not considered certain uses of the skills and powers should you think it appropriate when they are struggling). An appendix gives you all the game mechanical information that you need to run an adventure underwater in the cold and dark. Others cover NPCs, new items and so on, giving complete details of several innovative monsters that you may well wish to use elsewhere as well as here.

When all is done and the 'end of level' Bad Guy defeated, there are notes to help you bring things to a conclusion, however you have chosen to run this adventure... and there are ramifications a-plenty to deal with! Completing this adventure successful should give the party something to boast about... and the players a fascinating and unusual game to remember.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Purple Mountain VI: The Well of Stars
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Legendary VIII: Legendary Evil
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/10/2014 03:47:23
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The seventh installment of Purple Duck Games' superb series of magic items that improve over the levels is 40 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 36.5 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Okay, let me come clear for a second - I'm a complete sucker for legendary weapons. No, not the mythic kind, but the ones by Purple Duck Games that have been established for a lot of installments - weapons that grow with the character are just awesome. Until now, the focus has been mostly on tools for the PCs, though - now, we get an arsenal not only fitting for PCs in Way of the Wicked, but also for villains.



The first weapon already sets a cool tone: Thematically spiced with Freeport-lore, the Adderwhip, a whip that was crafted in Valossa, consisting of a magical serpent added to a bone and potentially making for a whip that not only stings, but rather bites and which comes with the speed weapon property.



The greataxe of Minos makes the wielder an nigh-unstoppable juggernaut, including an imho broken upgrade to crit x6 (!!!) over the levels, whereas the planar assassin's dagger Black Spider may actually not only nullify SR, it may actually animate as construct! One weapon the PCs will both covet and hate would be the bow of swarms, whose projectiles may actually distract targets as the swarm quality and even assume control of swarms. The Brothar Hammer is also intriguing - made from a humming metal, it incites melodies and weird sounds - at level 18, it gets an ability to KILL ANY FOE on a failed fort-save of DC 15+damage dealt. Which is insane, even at this level. Here, we require a generous application of the nerf-bat. I'm also not a big fan of the hammer's concentration-ruining humming - at DC 25, no scaling, it starts off as very strong - oh, and the pdf fails to specify what type of action making the hammer hum thus is. The Undead Flail, made from a decapitated head, also has an ability that should never fall into player hands - at 18th level, the wielder may auto-control all undead, with intelligent undead getting a save - but not what the save actually is. I assume standard for supernatural abilities, but getting the DC would have been nice - this holds true for multiple abilities throughout the pdf, by the way.

Oh, speaking of nerfbat - the flail automatically MAXIMIZES any spell of the necromancy school or evil-descriptor within 20 feet, sans cost to the caster. This is insane and broken on so many levels, I don't know where to start. Next: The pyromaniac dogfryer, a magic goblin dogslicer. At 12th level, the weapon has a cool ability, idea-wise: "The wielder of dogfryer may attempt to destroy writing within 30 ft. One page of nonmagical writing is instantly destroyed per ranged touch attack. Magical writings receive a Will save to resist the effect. This is used to target random pages in opponent’s spellbooks." Oh, this is problematic - does a spell that lacks one page stop working? How do you randomly determine spells/writing erased? Does this extend to allies? This ability is woefully under-developed and simply doesn't work as intended. We also get a staff that sacrifices your familiar to be added to its form and instead allows you to conjure forth said familiar in a dire version. Unfortunately, there is again a weird piece of rules here - the wielder may assume the form of his/her familiar, but has the potential of the familiar's spirit highjacking the transformed body. Why should ANYONE go for that? Limited polymorph that sucks? Yay? Also: what about witches using the staff? Can they still regain spells? Do they require a new familiar? I don't know.



The diseased fungal bolas that may spawn violet fungi once again work, though the item feels a bit on the weak side for me. The Ghost-Fire Battle Poi once again work as intended and should be considered a cool weapon. Grasping Electrum also fits this bill, being a meteor hammer that allows the wielder to create silver and golden motes and direct them versus foes. The war-rake Griffon's Claw, especially effective versus mounted and larger foes and a cutlass allows for the raising of galleons.



The deadly spear Heart-Seeker and Hell's Eye, the infernal pistol work rather well - the latter getting a special shot that fires...teeth. Those of the same type of the tooth's "donor" suffer the damage of the tooth again until the offending tooth is removed. Speaking of infernal - the Infernal device can change between dagger, buckler, short-sword and dart-launcher - cool idea! The scythe infinity's edge could e summed as a monofilament-scythe and thus later gains the vorpal quality.



The leaden spear has a cool story and deals additional damage due to its weight - but does not specify how heavy it is. :/ The Liar's Tongue allows the wielder powers that make the rather cool seducers, including a capstone ability that allows them to twist wishes most maliciously. The Linnorm Blade has a cool idea -allow the wielder to place curses on foes in lieu of attacks - but at what DC? As SU-standard or as per bestow curse? It does not specify...



The maticore-themed morningstar Manticora and the Saurian Armorspikes once again work rather nicely (if a bit clunkily in the case of the former), as does the ooze-flinging slime mace. The club Stonefist unfortunately once again is broken. The first ability allows for EVERY ATTACK to force a fort-save or be knocked prone. Yes. You can hit dragons or the Tarrasque prone with that one. Again, no DC. Why not CMD? And why EVERY hit? At 4th level? WHAT? No way. Worse, later, the hits automatically fling ALL targets of size large or smaller away. Damage + prone+ whatever obstacle available.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are not up to Purple Duck games otherwise high standards - I noticed both minor glitches à la "Many" instead of "May" and wordings that could have been clearer. Layout adheres to PDG's printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes lavishly illustrated by Tamas Baranya - all items get their own cool signature drawings in gorgeous full-color. the pdf is extensively bookmarked.



What has happened here? Seriously, this is not what I've come to expect from either author Sam Hing, or Purple Duck Games. A significant amount of weapons herein is downright BROKEN and unbalanced as all hell. (Haha!) there are various instances of item-mechanics just not working as they ought to according to established rules and the lack of DCs for supernatural abilities is quite a comfort-detriment, especially when properly scaling DCs could save multiple abilities herein. This pdf feels like a BETA-version -a multitude of awesome storylines oozing flair, iconic weapons, neat ideas - and then, the glitches and at times utterly broken abilities drag down this pdf. I wanted to love this pdf, in fact, I waited for a moment of disillusion to review this one since usually, the series has established a high standard of awesomeness and fodder for villains and evil PCs sounded like fun galore. Unfortunately, while these weapons may work for DMs to add an unfair edge versus PCs, they should never ever fall into player hands - as written, there are far too many balance-issues herein that simply unhinge a game and could mean the difference between victory or TPK. Yes, that significant.



I have honestly no idea how this could get past editing - I made sure I got the updated version, but still - a significant amount of crunch herein is utterly broken. Which sucks and is just bitter, since the ideas, the stories, are downright AWESOME. This is one of the pdf that leaves a very distinct bitter flavor in my mouth. As much as I love the ideas herein, I can't recommend this pdf to anyone but DM's willing to work quite a lot to iron out the issues. In the end, I can't rate this higher than 2 stars, in spite of evident potential that could have made this the 5-star+seal crowning achievement of the series. Let's hope for a completely revision.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary VIII: Legendary Evil
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Elementals Lords of Porphyra [PFRPG]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/27/2013 09:21:20
A collection of dark powers, elemental lords with aspirations to god-hood and - sad to say - cult following amongst mortals for use in Porphyra (or readily adapted to a campaign setting of your choice or devising if preferred) is presented here.

Each comes with a range of details - alignment, typical worshippers, domains, favoured weapons and so on - as well as the legend that devotees tell about them and notes on their 'church' and spell rituals... all the flavour that elevates merely stating that an NPC belongs to a certain cult to having his very actions speak of his affiliation. Each entry also provides a couple of traits that are available to devotees.

One nice quirk is that each elemental lord is given several names... and the last is the one by which they are known to their enemies - who quite understandibly do not want to use the more normal self-aggrandizing terms that the elemental lords themselves prefer!

These can be used to build a dark subculture to your campaign. Perhaps it may feature large in your plots as the party strives to defeat their evil plans, or maybe they serve merely as a nasty little backdrop, a reminder that not everyone around you is nice and kind and devoted to the good things of the world.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elementals Lords of Porphyra [PFRPG]
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Dwarves
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/21/2013 12:31:34
Player's Options: Dwarves from 4 Winds Publishing. It starts with presents two variant dwarf-kin: Half-dwarf (and half human), children of that rare crossbreeding with talents from both side, and Stone Dwarfs, who are even more closely tied to the element of earth than most dwarves, both useful for various sorts of stories. Fourteen new dwarven feats, including Dwarven Baritone (for the singing dwarves) and Exile, who fights with fury against those that drove them from their mountain home, this provides more options for customizing dwarves as do six flaws (as well as the rules for flaws). The product wraps up with new dwarven equipment including two new weapons and one type of armor, along with the dwarven made qualities for both armor and weapons, some dwarven food and drink, a musical instrument and a false beard (unfortunately called a merkin). This provides some useful additional choices for dwarven characters and some amusing items to use as treasures in abandoned dwarven ruins.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Dwarves
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HT 1 - The Perils of Cinder Claws (DCC)
by Patrick R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2013 23:50:59
I just finished running "The Thing in the Chimney" (the first of two adventures in this excellent product) as a Judge. Honestly among the most fun I've ever had in a fantasy RPG session and I've been playing for more than 30 years! It's a silly, but challenging, thematic romp. It's listed as "Suitable for 16 1st level characters, 6-8 2nd level characters, 3-6 3rd level characters, or 1-2 4th level characters." This seems perfectly accurate. It would probably also be an excellent 0-level character funnel with a few tweaks. I won't say anything more, for fear of spoiling the humor of this module, but you should buy it now, even if just to read and enjoy.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HT 1 - The Perils of Cinder Claws (DCC)
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FT 0 - Prince Charming, Reanimator (PWYW)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/18/2013 04:43:49
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This adventure for the DCC-rule-system is 21 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 19 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



Still here? Prince Charming of the fairy-tales - we know him. Or do we? In this series, the character-trope is actually one man. His first wife Cinder Ella, his second wife Snow White - both returned from what could be death, have perished and now he's set his ice-cold stare on a sleeping beauty. Unfortunately, she sleeps in the cursed ruins from which his men tend not to return - and what better way to get what he wants than just rounding up some peasants to do his dirty work? Yeah, those press-ganged poor fops...they are your PCs.



And oh boy, this once is HARD. Seriously - sans getting XP after the respective encounters, the PCs will probably be obliterated unless they are VERY good and lucky, so beware: Not for the faint of heart! The ruin per se is guarded by deadly, poisonous vines and the deadly flora may actually be the first thing that can obliterate your PCs - thankfully, the Prince can always send in more peasants... Of course, the PCs may actually find a secret way into the ruins or just push through a breach in the wall - either way will not be simple, for the ruins are infested by Hobyah, somewhat darker small relatives of brownies. Among the ruins, the PCs may find the former laboratory of one Doctor Chapman: Among the detailed possessions, one can find Black Sabbath records that have never been released in our world and similar curiosities from throughout the plains and worlds - Doctor Chapman's spirit, as he manifests, is actually rather amenable and helpful, offering some nice magic items for the PCs...but also warning them about not liking thieves. And he is not kidding. He also warns the PCs that the prince will not let them live, but also that he does not understand the curse and hence, they just should not interfere upon having recovered Sleeping Beauty...



Within the castle, they may also encounter a weird, deadly cross between squid, spider and centipede (can you say "Eaten by a grue-like entity?") and finally, the PCs may find a hall, where faerie-thrall maidens may bequeath gifts like the sword of truth, an intelligent blade, the shield of truth, which protects from the aforementioned vines and will not stand any falsehood uttered and finally, a mirror into which a demon has been bound, which reveals the truth. And the PCs better do their best and use these in smart ways, for in order to reach sleeping beauty, the PCs will have to deal with a dragon made of roses, which btw. is also one of the most challenging adversaries I've seen in quite a while at this level... Any victory is hard and dearly won. Taking the sleeping maiden to the prince, the PCs are held at arms point, while he inserts his reanimation-serum to return her to life.



Unfortunately for the prince, she turns undead and rips his head clean off - essentially immortal, the undead bride starts annihilating the prince's men, while legions of the fallen spawn from the ruins. The Pcs may escape with their life, but the undead princess remains in the forests and will probably return in the sequel...



We also get Doc Chapman as a potential patron.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's printer-friendly two-column standard with original, top-notch b/w-artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and with player-friendly extra high-res jpeg-maps as well as DM-maps - awesome.



Daniel J. Bishop offers here a twisted take on faerie tales that is glorious to read and run, as it resonates deeply with faerie-tale tropes, while offering iconic, cool challenges. There is not much to say here beyond that each and every component of this module is simply superb - from production values to maps and artworks to the superb treasure trove of imagination that went into this, we get one superb module that DMs of other rule-sets should get as well - for scavenging ideas alone, this is worth quite a lot. And then, add that this is "Pay what you want" - even for a commercial module, this would easily score at the highest possible rating. As Pay what you want, this is one of the scarce instances, where the absolute superb can be gotten for any price your able to pay - and believe me when I say that this module is worth your bucks. My final verdict will clock in at a resounding 5 stars plus seal of approval - get this and drop the guys from PDG a tip: Quality like this is rare!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FT 0 - Prince Charming, Reanimator (PWYW)
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HT 1 - The Perils of Cinder Claws (DCC)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/17/2013 09:10:54
Many TV shows like to have a 'Christmas Special' and if your gaming group is the same, this is a good book to pick up so as to indulge them... and it has TWO adventures so if you are lucky enough to actually have some gamers around (my local group always vanishes over Christmas), good times may be had.

The first adventure is The Thing in the Chimney, a low-level adventure ideally suited to a 'funnel' horde of 1st-level characters or to smaller numbers of higher-level folk. It's a bizarre dream-like caper in a weird world, an alternate dimension perhaps, in which the party comes across a great hall in a freezing northern land on the longest night of the year. Mix in a sentient fruit cake and a map that bends reality (before you have scoffed any alcohol-laden fruit cake!) and you can see why I call it bizarre... but fun, something completely different to regular gaming yet providing a gaming 'fix' over the holidays. It could even prove an amusing diversion for non-gamer family members, as the holiday theme makes it quite accessible to someone unfamiliar with role-playing.

The second adventure is The Nexus of Yule and it's aimed at a regular party of 3rd-level characters. This again has bizarre and interdimensional aspects due to Cinder Claws, who appears in both adventures but is the instigator of this one. All manner of strange events await the characters, including a brawl between rat-people and toy soldiers, animate figgy puddings and a surreal conversation with Cinder Claws once you meet him. Again one to enjoy with a tongue-in-cheek approach.

This kind of thing may not be to everyone's taste, but if you are willing to let go and enter into the holiday spirit, there's fun to be had!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HT 1 - The Perils of Cinder Claws (DCC)
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Shinobi
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/14/2013 06:12:19
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Player's Options-series is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



The Shinobi base-class gets 3/4 BAB-progression, d8, 6+Int skills per level, good ref- and will-saves and proficiency in simple weapons, kunai, shuriken, bo staff and shinobigatana as well as light armors, but not shields.



The shinobi gets a cover identity at 1st level and an additional one at 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th level - said identity can be assumed via a disguise-check in 1 minute. The things is - the "ability" specifies that wielding weapons blows the cover - why? Some identities may actually REQUIRE weapons to properly portray. Also - what's the benefit of this whole ability? It doesn't do anything beyond regular proper uses of disguise on its own and essentially just works as a prerequisite for setting up other shinobi-abilities. I'm honestly baffled what this ability's benefit (on its own) is supposed to be - maintaining the identity does not confer any bonuses - it's just fluff. Shinobi also get 1/2 their level to Bluff, Disguise and Sense Motive. They may also improvise disguises in a mere 1d4 rounds - at -15. At least the penalty slowly diminishes by -5 increments to -10 at level 9 and -5 at level 17. But the thing is - at these levels, magic (items) do the disguise MUCH better already, allowing for full-blown transformations. Not sold, even though at 2nd level, they may make cover identity-related Profession and Knowledge-skill-checks as if trained + 1/2 class levels and at 3rd level, they may bluff truth-detecting magic while under cover. At 4th level, the ability-array starts to make sense, as the shinobi learns to change even alignment auras to match the cover personality.



At 2nd level and every 4 levels after that, the shinobi gets a bonus feat s/he must select from one chosen path of 7 - these allow the shinobi to learn alchemy, assassin tricks etc. Solid arrays of feats. Shinobi also get a ninjutsu trick at 1st level and every 2 levels after that from a selection of 17 available. More on these later.



At 4th level and every 4 levels after that, the shinobi also becomes a master of an exotic weapon. At 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter, the shinbi gets a sneak attack progression. Poison use, skill bonuses and at 10th level, death attack, complement the picture of the secret agent/deep cover assassin.



Now I mentioned ninjutsu techniques - and these do include improved horsemanship, better bo-staff fighting, a lesser form of iaijutsu. Over all, these abilities are neat - though the shuriken specialization that nets +1 shuriken + 1 for every 6 levels may be rather powerful when handled properly. The capstone nets a relatively bland 4 ninjutsu tricks.



We also get 3 new shinobi weapons and 8 new feats - weird here - two feats allow for essentially what the poison use class feature already does. Oo Rather cool would be the option to disguise the effects of poison to make them more subtle. The other feats are actually nice!



We also get a half-elven shinobi as a sample level 1 character/pregen.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column b/w-standard and is rather printer-friendly. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Sean O' Connor's Shinobi is actually a nice a take on the secret agent style character, with per se interesting abilities, versatility etc. - as a ki-less ninja/rogue-like character, it works well within in cultural context. BUT: The disguise. Seriously, it's a tad bit too hard for a class this focused on it - why not offer some unique bonuses? High-level mystic enhancements? And why does it suffer from the HORRIBLE weapon caveat? I get the intention behind it, but it makes neither sense in-game, nor is the class so strong that the DM needs to enforce this at times senseless crippling of the central feature of the class. Note that my verdict will IGNORE the weapon-caveat. It's just unnecessary and I encourage you to do the same. Why? Because the class itself is actually fun!

If you take that away, you actually get a solid, fun class that should be considered a nice, more down-to-earth alternative for the ninja, well worth a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Shinobi
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Halflings
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/13/2013 14:57:06
Player’s Options: Halflings from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming starts with a disclaimer that while fictional halflings drink and smoke and there are feats and flaw that relate to such in this product, the authors do not condone such behavior, which struck me as a little odd, but there you go. It then presents two variant halflings: Hidefeet, hardier stay-at-homes, and Willowbranch, adventurous and adaptable, useful for variety. A half-halfling template is provided for those odd crossbreeds, which I like in concept but the execution seems a little odd, as half-halflings, while usually larger than pure halflings, somehow are physically weaker than them, still a good idea that can be made to work. Fourteen new feats, including Frying Pan Mastery (for the combat cook) and Underfoot, allowing you to dodge between big people’s legs, provide more options for customizing halflings as do six flaws (as well as the rules for flaws). Lastly, new halfling equipment including two new sling variants, halfling staples (food, drink and pipeweed) and a few other useful things. Overall, a useful expansion for additional halfling options, if you have enough halflings in your campaign to need to expand them.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Halflings
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Oracles of Porphyra [PFRPG]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/11/2013 10:24:56
This work contains a neat collection of oracular items relating to Purple Duck Games's setting of Porphyra - but even if you are not basing your game there you will find material of interest and use to any Oracle's player (or indeed their GM..).

First up is an archetype, the Deadmagic Oracle. These have their origins in areas of the land where there is little or no natural magic; indeed where magic - arcane or divine - fails to work, even magic items won't operate there. They function by twisting the lack of magic to draw upon their own innate abilities to mimic the spells and powers that other oracles display... and whilst it's open to their players to explain to the GM how they can create whatever effect they please, it may not always work even if it does at all. Only Revelations of the Exceptional Ability work for them, so pick your Mystery with care!

Next there's a goodly collection of new oracle Mysteries to browse through. Whilst these are related to the deities of Porphyra, it is reasonably straightforward to retool them to work with your pantheon of choice. The Apocalypse mystery sounds quite fun, complete with fire and brimstone, or you might prefer the Sigil mystery, which delves into this strange habit of writing things down... Then there are location-based mysteries, perhaps you like deserts and would like to be an Oracle of the Shifting Sands or one of the Wasteland.

Finally, there's a complete sample Oracle character in full detail, stat block and all. He's taken the mystery of the Apocalypse and is described thus: Ragged and gaunt, yet with a fervor in his cloudy eyes, the man approaching stabs a finger at a book he carries, claiming “The End is Near!” He could make a fun encounter, if nothing else.

It's nice to see an attempt to embed a class into the setting in which you are playing, but as mentioned earlier, most of the material here is almost as useful even if you don't use Porphyra.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Oracles of Porphyra [PFRPG]
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B2 - The Twice-Robbed Tomb (Labyrinth Lord)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/06/2013 03:15:22
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The second of Purple Duck Games short modules for Labyrinth Lord is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



Still here? All right - The reign of Pheniket the Pharaonic has long since gone and now, the village of Stonebreak rests near to his final resting place. Via a seedy guy, whether in Stonebreak or somewhere else, the PCs are lured towards the tomb of the deceased ruler. Lured? Yes, but more on that later. The journey and random encounters as well as 8 sample rumors provide more set-up for the Labyrinth Lord. Oh, and there are two maps - one player-friendly (and a potential hand-out!) and one made for DMs. The ddiscrepancy between both maps should provide ample fun for teh Labyrinth Lord to surprise players even before the weirdness of the tomb settles in:



Beyond standard threats like obligatory undead, we also get alino apes, strange crystalline shadow-infused plants (valuable AND usable in intriguing ways!) and even a survivor of the same scam that sent the PCs into this deathtrap - provided they don't kill him on sight, there are some crucial hints to be had here. Hints the PCs may require, for they have stumbled into the domain of a succubus once called by the deceased ruler - the true source of the rumors regarding the place, she seeks to draw more hapless glory-hounds into her lethal embrace.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to an easy-to-read printer-friendly 2-column standard and the module comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Artworks range from ok b/w to nice full color and is okay for the low price point.



This is more like it - after the thoroughly disappointing first labyrinth Lord-module, author Perry Fehr obviously cranked his talented narrative muscles and added intriguing little tidbits into just about every room -from nice tactics, nasty tricks to unique treasure or rotten ladders, there is something going on in every room herein, offering thus a cool, fun mini-module, a nice short dungeon that should entertain groups endeavoring to run it. While limited by the length, it is a compelling little old-school crawl well worth a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
B2 - The Twice-Robbed Tomb (Labyrinth Lord)
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Timebender
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/05/2013 03:44:30
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Player's Option-series is 8 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Now what does this class get? Well, we're in for d10, 2+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and light and medium armor and light shields and full BAB as well as good ref-saves and fast movement scaling up from basic speed to +60 ft. movement rate at 20th level. Beyond these basics, timebenders get a so-called temporal pool equal to half class-level+int-mod. Said pool can either be refreshed via meditating for 1 hour or 10 minutes, though the latter requires precise measurement of time via a clock or hourglass.



Said points can be spent to gain int-mod as a dodge bonus to AC. Said points also interact with time-based spells, allowing the timebender to ignore detrimental effects of a very narrow selection of spells, while also allowing him/her to forgo benefits of haste to regain a point. Now the signature ability of the class would be the Temporal Flurry - by expending one point, the timebender may forgo his full round action, instead limiting the class to a standard action. However, the timbender creates echoes, which allow him/her to perform a standard action again at initiative -5 and at initiative -10. During a flurry, a timebender may only make unarmed, natural or light weapon-melee attack, use a move action requiring skill, use an extraordinary ability or take a move action. Any attacks made suffer from a -2 penalty and movements still provoke AoOs.



At 2nd level and every two levels after that, the timebender also gets a time control trick, which include access to e.g. evasion, the option to make ranged attacks in temporal flurries, a healing touch, improved AC and initiative - a total of 10 such tricks are provided. The more interesting effects allow the timebender to walk across liquid surfaces when temporal flurrying as long as temporal flurry ends on ground that may support his/her weight or spend pool points to act in surprise rounds or move up to movement as a swift action. Where personally, I'm drawing the line, is with "Shifting Step", which allows you to dimension door as a supernatural ability for 1 paltry pool point - that's a resource easily replenished, mind you. Via battle analysis, timebenders may prepare for battle, rolling initiative multiple times via the expenditure of pool points, using the best result. With one of the new feats, said ability may even be shared with allies.



At 3rd level, once until s/he meditates again, the timebender may spend 3 points from the pool to reroll any roll. At 5th level, the timebender also gets the ability to shift adversaries that fail a save after a touch attack into the future, taking them out of the action for at first a single round and later up to 1d4 + int-mod rounds. This ability is BROKEN. Taking a foe out of the combat as a supernatural action can and will terribly screw over plans, battle strategy and the amount of tricks one can build around it are rather extreme and can mean the difference between stunning victory and utter defeat - all based on one ability. With the timebender's supreme mobility, getting to casters and taking them out of the combat can and will royally screw over the opposition.



At 9th level, timebenders may also spend pool points to force a reroll upon a foe, useable once per meditation period. At 10th level, 10 advanced time control tricks are added to the equation, allowing timebenders to air walk and use the broken "propel into future"-ability at range. On the more balanced side, improved evasion, temporal flurry at initiative -15 or the option to use the most damaging strike as bleed damage on foes.



As a capstone, the timebender may spend 9 points to enact a time stop. We also get a nice level 1 sample character and 4 new feats: Careful Flurry feels rather strong, allowing you to forgo your last flurry attack for +2 to atk in addition to ignoring the usual -2 penalty - which is broken. That's a potential net gain of +4 per attack. To compare: regular iterative attacks suffer from decreased accuracy, whereas the temporal flurry does not - hence actually getting a bonus. Extra temporal pool points and time tricks are ok in my book.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's printer-friendly 2-column standard and the cover artwork is neat. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



The Timebender is an interesting class, dealing with perhaps one of the most challenging concepts to properly implement in game mechanics and author Ron Lundeen goes an intriguing route here - Temporal Flurry takes a concept which I've applied to big singular boss monsters in my campaign and it did work rather well - but it also increased their potency. Now usually, I'd say temporal flurry is still balanced due to its massive restrictions, but getting rid of the flurry-penalty offsets the tiny bit of balance when compared to full-round actions - speaking of which: Timebenders can use temporal flurry for up to 3 attacks - all at full BAB-2 (or at straight full BAB), AT FIRST LEVEL. That's broken as all hell, even without the OP-feat to get rid of the penalty. And it doesn't really get better over the levels.



I really, really love the concept of the Timebender. I'm a huge fan of the Time Thief. But the execution is terribly flawed, mopping the floor with comparable classes and worst of all, in contrast to ninjas or monks, offering a way to easily, more easily so than the gunslinger, regain the primary resource that powers said abilities. Concept-wise, this is SO CLOSE to actually being really good, but its balancing is all wonky and would require the hand of a stern developer (and quite probably a complete redesign after that) to actually work. As written, I wouldn't allow this anywhere near my group. Phase order style combat works when employed by settings like Little Red Goblin Games' Necropunk, but when a class is the only one who can do it and thus outclass other martial classes, then we have a problem. As much as I love the premise of the class, as close as it may be to being awesome, as written, I can't recommend it and thus will settle for a final verdict of 1.5 stars, rounded down to 1 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Timebender
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Timebender
by Christen S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2013 00:00:00
Players Option: Timebender presents a streamlined class with a tight array of combat related temporal effects. A primary melee combatant, its powers allow it to stagger its attacks throughout the round to gain increased versatility and accuracy. While this diminishes the comparable “Burst DPS” full attack actions against those of barbarians and power-attack themed fighters, it makes up for these dispersed amounts of damage by allowing for a series of standard actions to occur throughout the round. The strategic options and power to course-correct are dizzyingly cool. While enabling amazing movement options like selective time that allows the timebender to walk on water and even air, these “Temporal Flurry” actions bar spellcasting and most exploitable sequences my group could throw at them.

The class showcases “Time Control Tricks” and a few other time-themed core abilities to fill it out. While several of these abilities lean toward the strong end of balance (Such as the inflicted Re-Rolls of Forced Repetition or the temporary banishment of Shove Forward), a requisite of a high INT score places their usability in point buy games at a limited level. A player will likely have to focus on a damage dealer role or a controller role to excel at either but GMs should probably generally expect a balanced versatility more common to monks and rangers from this class.

A player missing some of the feel of 3.5’s Tome of Battle or one transitioning from 4e to Pathfinder will find this class a good fit with simple resource management mechanics and reusability. On the other hand, GMs running a time themed campaign will find it rounds out the ranks nicely. Other time magic products (Like Time Thief and Time Warden from RGG/SGG) have left the melee niche relatively untouched and the timebender blinks into that place nicely allowing for balanced parties of temporal reavers to vex your PCs.

A strong offering but its straight-forward mechanics prevent it from becoming too powerful, Players Options: Timebender is a 5-star addition for a GM already planning on a temporal magic element in their campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lands of Porphyra Map
by Nearly e. D. P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/02/2013 00:00:00
A simply marvelous looking map. Well drawn and coloured, I am looking forward to seeing this world in action! Considering that you also "pay what you want" it is also most certainly a bargain. Porphyra looks absolutely enormous, with plenty of room for those who wish to explore. It is certainly going to be exciting times ahead and I am looking forward to the campaign!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lands of Porphyra Map
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CE 4 - The Seven Deadly Skills of Sir Amoral the Misbegotten
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/20/2013 03:57:02
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The fourth installment of PDG’s excellent Campaign Elements-series fort the Dungeon Crawl Classics-rule-set is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?



This being a review of an adventure-locale, this review contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.



Still here? All right! Gryffon Keep was once famous…now, it is only a fabled ruin in the forest and Sir Amoral’s ghost still lingers – and with him, his 7 deadly skills, which can be learned, though they come with a price, a geas and a prohibition of teaching them – which is necessary, since they offer some rather cool unique tricks to pull off in combat – mechanically sound in the DCC-rule-set one and all, they are worthy of great fighters – and PCs will have to prove their mettle by slaying certain creatures to learn the skills:



A horned, tattooed female (with a glorious artwork), a two-headed wolf, a faceless gray horror (again, depicted with an original, awesome b/w-artwork), a draconic scorpion, a Tabattax marshall (7 foot tiger-like, winged humanoid, in case you didn’t know) and finally, a beholder-like creature straight from hell – one adversary per skill. The lavishly detailed keep and its sense of antiquity and inhabitants should provide further challenges and particular suicidal characters may wish to challenge even Sir Amoral’s spirit – an unwise decision, but we all know how players are sometimes…



As always, advice for getting even more out of the location is provided within these pages, providing more hooks beyond the learning of the skills and the exploration of the ruin.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting re top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG’s printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with some beautiful original b/w-artworks and the pdf comes bookmarked for your convenience. The cartography in b/w is also neat indeed.



Author Daniel J. Bishop puts a different focus on this particular installment -offering unique things to do for martial characters as incentives, the set-up is both challenging and cool and the duels per se work well with the DCC-rules without being boring for the bystanders. Also flavor-wise, we get something different in a clear step away from the weird style and ideas we’ve seen in earlier installments of the CE-series – and while a change of pace and style towards something a tad (if not much) more conventional is appreciated, personally, I’m all in for the weird. Also, unlike the last installment, we don’t get sample scenarios, which I tremendously enjoyed. That being said, this STILL is a great supplement and one that enterprising DMs can use to scavenge the skills towards respective representations in their rules-systems – these skills can be seen as EXTREMELY exclusive feats that cannot be gained by any other way – achievement benefits, if you will – and I really like that idea and its execution. Still, when compared to the superb third installment, this one feels weaker, if only by a margin, remaining an excellent purchase and clocking in at 5 stars, but missing my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CE 4 - The Seven Deadly Skills of Sir Amoral the Misbegotten
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