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A Necromancer's Grimoire: Steeds and Stallions
por Peter C. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/08/16 19:21:43

I picked this up because the price point was right and I am interested in portraying horses in my Pathfinder campaign. This PDF is a solid piece of work. The look is excellent. All of the sections, including detailed information on what horses are like and how to care for them, don't have one bit of wasted text.



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Weekly Wonders - Villainous Archetypes Volume II
por Björn A. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 02/12/16 12:45:16

Villainous Archetypes: Vol. II is the latest entry in Necromancers of the Northwest's Weekly Wonders series. As you may guess from the titles, it's about archetypes usable for evil characters, but is equally usable for GMs to create evil NPCs. It's an 8-page PDF with 4 pages of actual content (the rest is front and back cover, credits and license stuff) which contains 5 archetypes.


The first one being the Brutal Oppressor, a barbarian archetype. With this one, you get to Swap Trap sense against Bully, which gives you a real nice use out of your Intimidate class skill. Which you can further improve with the Gory Display rage power which gives you an additional bonus on Intimidate with each successful critical hit. The other rage powers presented are Grab by the throat, which is more useful for the grappling barbarian, and Stay Down, which gives you an increasing damage bonus against prone opponents. And then there's Bloodlust, a class ability replacing Tireless Rage, which potentially increases the number of rounds the barbarian can rage per day.


The second is the Elemental Defiler, a nice nod to the Dark Sun defiler of old and an archetype for the Kineticist. This archetype replaces Internal Buffer by Drain Energy, ability that basically does the same but is a bit more versatile, because you can use it, when you need it, and that you don't need to accept burn to fill your buffer. On the other hand, you must use the won energy directly in the same round and the action provokes AoOs. And at Level 19, Drain Creature replaces Metakinetic Master and allows you to ignore burn according to the points of Constitution damage your opponent suffers.


The Extortioner is an Investigator archetype prone to blackmail his victims with the secrets he finds out. The Extortioner gets the Secret Finder class ability which improves and expands his trapfinding skill while losing his 3rd level investigator talent. Guilt Sense us a quite intriguing class ability which replaces boring trap sense. At the start, the extortioner gets a bonus on Sense Motive checks. At higher levels he also can cast detect thoughts as a spell-like ability, and even later on, he can force his victims to spill out secrets they are ashamed about. At fourth level, the extortioner replaces his swift alchemy class ability with Lingering Threat which improves upon the use of his Intimitade skill.


It seems as if the designers of this archetype felt it being a bit too strong, though, so they added Stunted Inspiration, which subtracts 1 point of Inspiration from the Extortioners inspiration pool. Seems more of a cosmetic change because in standard games, he might not really need all those inspiration points anyway.


The next one is the Villainous Bloodline for the sorcerer. Without going too much in detail, I generally like the conceptual idea, though the mechanics make it too easy to use it with actually good aligned characters. Ok, to inflict damage while simultaneously healing yourself (as the first level bloodline power Draining Touch allows) may not sound very goodish. And to paralyze your opponents and use them for protection (Hostage Taker at level 15) may also not be a sign for a true hero (though the problem is with the protection part and you don't need to do this). On the other hand, neither Getaway (which allows you to escape via dimension door from narrow situations) nor the capstone ability Master of Deception are particularly evil in design and might come in handy for good-aligned characters as well.
And then there's Villaneous Defenses, which might be much more powerful when used by good-aligned characters than by true villains. Reason being that you get DR/good, which might not be as efficient for a villain against a heroic group of adventurers, but can really help the Hero when fighting evil opponents.
This all said: you surely can use this with evil characters (especially when used in adventures where the opponents might even more evil), so it doesn't actually goes against the designers' promise.


Last but not least, we have the Eldritch Slavemaster. This Summoner archetype forces his Eidolon(s) into his service rather than building a link to them. Which may have consequences in case he loses control over the summoned eidolon according to Conjurer's Leash the replacement of 1st level's Life Link. As this ability also comes with some restrictions regarding the distance allowed between summoner and eidolon, the designers added Slavedriver, an ability that let's the eidolon cause more damage with successful hits, but also causes damage to the eidolon itself. At 4th level Shield Ally is replaced by Slave Shield. This ability lets the summoner decrease any hit point damage he suffers, but causes the eidolon to suffer twice the damage that its' slavemaster avoids. At 12th Level, Greater Slave Shield decreases the damage the Eidolon suffers this way. At 14th level, Drain Summoned Monster (self-explaining) replaces Life Bond and at 16th level, Explosive Summons replaces Merge Forms and allows the Summoner to use his summoned monsters as living bombs. And at level 20, Slave Army replaces Twin Eidolon and allows the slavemaster tohave summoned monsters and eidolon simultaneously, He can even have more than one summon monster or Gate spell active.


Summary: From 4 out of 5, the only archetype I would consider to be outright evil is the Eldritch Slavemaster. The other 4 can be surely used by evil, but also by non-evil characters. I mention this because I'm on of those GMs who normally not allows evil characters at his table but would probably allow those archetypes when set into the fitting context. But that's not the important part. The important part is that you can create great evil PCs with them, and you can also use them to create interesting NPCs for your PCs to oppose. So the product does what it says, and it is doing it (in my opinion) without arising balance issues. I also didn't stumble about glaring editorial issues. Meaning that I didn't find anything which lets me substract points from the end note (maybe a half star for my issues with the Villainous bloodline sorcerer, but that I'd be inclined to round up).


So, 5 stars out of 5 it is.



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Weekly Wonders - Coin Magic
por Sean H. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 12/30/15 07:22:46

Weekly Wonders: Coin Magic provides the magic of money, or at least coins. While a few of the spells are too tied to game mechanics for my tastes there are some good ideas here but also one that could be abused by a clever player (or DM). Good inspiration but be careful in your use of the spells contained within.


Weekly Wonders: Coin Magic is a selection of fifteen new coin-based spells for Pathfinder. Each spell includes just a description, no framing fiction, no colorful descriptions, just the needed game information for each spell.


The spells run from zero-level cantrips (two) to ninth-level (three of these) and most levels in between. They range from way to manipulate coins to ways to turn them into traps or scrying devices or even as a place to store one’s soul. There is even a spell that creates coins out of thin air, though at great cost in time and effort.


A couple of the spells directly reference game mechanics, in the cost of spell components and the price of magic items, which I find infringe on my suspension of disbelief. While one of the coin trap spells seems specifically designed to deny characters the rewards that they have earned which would not make the DM who used it any friends. While the lack of support material in the form of feats, archetypes or items combined with the lack of colorful spell description make this feel like a very bare-bones product. Still, some interesting ideas here that deserve to be adapted and used as the magic of money is a very under-explored area.


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://seaofsta-
rsrpg.wordpress.com/



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Exotic Encounters: Compendium
por William W. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 08/02/15 11:02:33

I was looking to liven up some traditional monster encounters in my campaign. I wanted to come up with some interesting encounters to catch my players off guard, sure I could always pull in a brand new monsters, but I thought it would be more fun to go with some more traditional monsters and give them a twist just to keep the players on their toes. This book fits the bill perfectly. A nice variety of known "regular" monsters but with some interesting twists and variations to them. Highly recommended



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Exotic Encounters: Compendium
por Stipe K. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 05/22/15 06:30:43

This is a compilation of variant monsters with base creatures chosen from the first bestiary. Each creature has three variants, usually one weaker and two stronger versions. Beasts are well made, nothing too spectacular, but also nothing bad that stands out. There are no pictures, but since these are variants of existing monsters they are not that necessary. I really like this book since I became too busy to apply templates to tweak monsters, and these offer variety if you need it when using monsters.
I wish I had this book, Monster Codex and Raging Swan's Tribes Most Foul when I ran my orc campaign, it would make my job so much easier.



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The Blackshire Mercenary Company
por Thilo G. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/05/14 06:56:55

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This pdf is 32 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 28 pages of content, so let's check these mercenaries out!


After an introduction to the mercenary company and some adventure outlines/plot hooks, we get information on hiring the mercenaries for" active" or "passive" duties (i.e. guard duty vs. adventuring/preventing assassinations) as well as information to joining the Blackshire Mercenaries, improving one's standing in the guild as well as how jobs are granted to soldiers and spending influence in the guild. I.e. we actually get tables and information on how to both gain influence and on how to spend it/what benefits you can get in the guild.


So what is the guild and how does it work? In a work of dire rat infestations, marauding wyvern and vicious orc press gangs, adventurers always can find work. What, however, if none of these specialists are available? What if one has already been betrayed by powerful adventurers and thus rather want specialists who may ask for a steep price, but adhere to professional work ethics? That's what the Blackshire Company is for. Driven by pragmatism and a desire to earn money and get the job done rather than adhere to chivalrous codes of honor and conduct, they are hardened, grizzled and yet uncompromising problem-solvers. Depending on the level of the member and the amount of influence one has, specific benefits are available, lending using the guild towards e.g. prolonged campaigns with PCs getting ranks in the guild.


The guild also gets its own Prestige Class (to join, you of course have to have sufficient influence with the guild), the Blackshire Exemplar.
The 10-level-PrC gets d10, 2+Int skills per levels, a good BAB-progression, a medium fort-save and centers around professionalism-abilities like immunity to fear and can learn from a list of 13 special guild maneuvers. The guild maneuvers are powerful, but adequately represent the fighting style of the guild. Their capstone-ability lets them make a full attack as a standard action, though. OUCH. This ability, even for a capstone-ability feels rather powerful and lends itself to potential abuse. They also come with a lore-section.


Next up in the book are the sample NPCs:
The section contains three dwarven brothers that learned to expertly coordinate their effort, an example of an evil as well as an example of a good chapter-head, a duelist-style fighter, a low-level thug and a legend among the companies.


-Dennai Battleshield (Dwarf Fighter 7/ Stalwart Defender 2)
-Dorbin Battleshield (Dwarf Fighter 7)
-Dragor Battleshield (Dwarf Fighter 7)
-Helgar "the Butcher" Bailey (Human Fighter 10)
-Percival Callahan (Human Paladin 10)
-Rolando (Human fighter 7/ranger 6/blackshire exemplar 4)
-Sophia Ironblade (Fighter 10)
-Tolbin Denny (Rogue 4)


Conclusion:
The organization per se is very well presented - you can easily imagine this very capitalistic and professional approach to being mercenaries. The company can serve as anything you'd like - as foils for the PCs, as allies, as a home away from home or as all of the above. Presentation of the benefits and tracking rank in the guild rock and are detailed enough to be of use even to the most novice of DMs. The company can easily be dropped in into just about ANY campaign and is sufficiently modular. I'll go even so far as to propose that they make a nice elite-order in rather low-magic settings. However, there are also some downsides to this file: While I like the Blackshire Exemplar class, I think that the capstone ability is too strong and I would have loved to see more guild techniques. The NPCs, while well-designed and with some APG-support, did not necessarily impress me that much - on the one side, they may be well-crafted, but somehow they felt a bit unspecific and don't come with their rank specified in the guild. I also would have loved to see stats for the 3 leaders of the guild. Another problem is, that while the company is easy to implement and is well and extensively detailed, but it somehow lacks iconic powers and also feels generic in the negative sense. The short write-up of the Blackblade mercenary organization from RiP' s "Elspeth Blackblade" somehow felt more compelling to me.
Editing is top-notch, I didn't notice any mistakes. Layout is fine, too, although it adheres to the used-parchment-look of NWN, thus being not too printer-friendly. The mostly public domain art fits the topic. Formatting is nice, there is only one glitch of a line in the last stat-block - half of one line is hidden beneath another line. The pdf is extensively bookmarked.


My final verdict for this pdf will take the low price and the amount of content into account. Due to the formatting glitch and the minor problems I encountered, I'd usually settle for 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3. However, I couldn't name a single "Guild"-book apart from this one and it is well-crafted for a VERY low price. Thus, I'll round my final verdict up to 4 - it's good to see a fully-detailed and professionally presented guild out there, even if it is a rather generic one. I hope to see more.


Endzeitgeist out.



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Mythic Mastery - Mythic Mummies
por Megan R. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 06/28/14 12:22:05

Diving straight in, we first meet the Dry Mummy. This is a mummified - or desiccated - animated corpse, rather than the bandage-trailing one familiar from countless movies, but they're no less friendly. For a start, they can desiccate YOU if they get too close! Apparently most are created by accident rather than by intent, from someone who has died in the right conditions to dry out their mortal remains in this manner. Interestingly, it is said that most arise from people who die of thirst in deserts rather than those killed by violence... and one really doesn't want to speculate what a necromancer might do if he wants to make one!


Next up is his mythic cousin, the Mythic Dry Mummy. Needless to say, they are even nastier than the regular sort, with the particularly nasty ability of being able to turn anyone they kill into a Dry Mummy.


Then there comes the Pitch Mummy and a Mythic Pitch Mummy. These ones do come in bandages, but dripping and oozing a foul black substance, thought to be a by-product of the mummification process as practiced by certain cults who use a special magical black tar rather than ordinary pitch as a preservative. The Mythic ones again have the ability to create Pitch Mummies, but this time by touch alone, they don't have to kill their victim.


Four really scary mummy variants to locate in desert tombs and other suitable places.



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A Necromancer's Grimoire: The Art of Traps
por Micah B. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 05/18/14 09:13:56

Uncreative, offers nothing you could not find online. The traps are your typical ones I didn't find a single one which intrigued me. Not worth the cost.



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Mythic Mastery - Mythic Efreeti
por Megan R. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 05/17/14 09:56:38

You might think that a regular efreeti is a pretty mythic fellow, but once you read through these notes it becomes clear that a true mythic efreeti is even more potent.


Sharing common characteristics with their regular brethren, mythic efreet have additional powers most notable of which is the ability to magically shackle a humanoid creature, enslaving them. A full stat block and notes on their special abilities are provided along with comprehensive notes about how mythic efreet fit into the hierarchy on the Plane of Fire.


This explains how mythic efreet gain 'mythic' status... by interacting with us 'lesser' creatures on the Material Plane! An efreeti who grants too many wishes and warps the fabric of the multiverse enough begins to gain mythic powers.


The rest of the work contains several rituals for summoning mythic efreet. The usual planar binding spells don't work on mythic genies, so other means must be employed. In some ways these rituals are easier than regular summonings, but they are also more risky and the unwary may find themselves unprotected when the summoned efreeti - likely to be in a bad mood - pops out in front of them!


Some interesting twists to throw into run-of-the-mill genie interactions here.



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Mythic Mastery - Missing Mythic Magic Volume V
por Megan R. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/26/14 10:22:14

This latest installment in the series of Missing Mythic Magic covers spells from Continual Flame to Cure Light Wounds. Each is given detailed notes in which the mythic version is explained, often with additional augmentations that you can add by expending mythic power (and occasionally adding extra material components as well).


What is nice about these is that it's not just a case of bigger and does more (although that is the case for most of them) - you get additional features and options to make casting that spell a truly mythic experience.


Take for example Control Winds. It's bigger, because you add your mythic tier as well as your caster level to decide how much of a change to the existing wind strength you can make, and the winds move with you rather than staying put. However you can also use the wind to fly through the area of effect - that's new. If you want to expend extra power and augment it, you can even cause a tornado to occur within the area under your control, spend more power and you can generate a massive windstorm affecting some ten square miles!


This is a series any serious mythic spellcaster ought to be collecting and poring over in his tower!



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Mythic Mastery: Mythic Curses
por Megan R. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 03/21/14 12:40:09

Curses can be rather fun... well, not if you are on the receiving end. But in terms of interesting events, a curse can be a powerful plot driver, although hitherto, game mechanics have not supported curses well despite their role-playing potential.


Here is an attempt to redress this, by making curses more interesting mechanically. Basically, curses are treated as intelligent entities capable of employing various powers each day against the luckless soul who is cursed. Each curse has a set of 'moral axioms', a code of behaviour which it wishes to impose on the victim and it uses its powers to modify the victim's behaviour by a mechanism whereby it is granted extra ones if the victim does not conform! The fun bit is that the character afflicted may have no idea, at least at first, what moral axioms the curse has.


To throw off a curse, the victim may seek magical help or attempt more exotic methods such as following the curse's moral axioms to such an extent that it no longer has effect. Also, each curse designed using this system will have a method for removal included - again, not something the victim will be privy to.


Five mythic curses are provided as examples, which may be used as presented or as a basis for your own designs. These curses - Ageing, Babble, Gender Reversal, Ill Fortune and Petrification - do not come with their own moral axioms, however a list of suitable ones is provided so you may add whichever you feel are appropriate. These can involve things like controlling fear or your temper, displaying generousity or even avoiding drunkenness. Interestingly, the moral axioms presented are all good things. It's entirely likely that a curse bestowed by an evil creature may have a more malign influence!


Finally, if you decide to let characters bestow curses as well as suffer them, there is a Mythic Curse feat that the would-be curser can take.


Altogether interesting, and certainly making curses more exciting.



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Mythic Mastery - Missing Mythic Magic Volume I
por Jeff A. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 02/22/14 19:02:45

The Good stuff...
Solid layout, haven't noticed any major typographical flaws.
Fairly unique viewpoint on spells, with some real thought behind them.


The Other stuff...
~I bought, and am using "Mythic Magic: Core Spells" in tandem... it has a variant viewpoint that I find useful, also in my game, I allow a fair measure of variance since I don't believe all Mythic characters are the same "kind" of mythic... thus they might develop divergent enhancements to various spells.


The Bad stuff...
OMG!!! these guys want $60 - $70 dollars (1.49 x400+spells / 10 spells per PDF) for just the core spells!!! Holy Crap!!!
Not all spells are "unique" or really even all that "mythic" (to be fair I couldn't do any better on some of them so... [but then again, I'm not charging such exorbitant fees for my "work" either....]


The "Big Picture"...
Would I buy it again? Yes
Would I recommend it? Only one volume (pick the one with your favorite spell(s) and buy only that one, the price point is insane.)



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Mythic Mastery - The Mythic Balor
por Megan R. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 02/14/14 11:01:16

Some people may think balors are small fry compared to other demons, some may have been raised on tales of Gandalf facing off against one on a bridge in Moria... and this work recreates THAT sort of balor, the one that scares you rigid just when you really, really want to run out of range of its whip!


We start with a full, detailed stat block for the Mythic Balor in all its terror including a range of special abilities that recreate the sort of balor Gandalf fought in vivid detail. The Ecology section reinforces this, painting a dire picture indeed and ending by advising the inquisitive demonologist to refrain from attempting to summon one!


Three new spells - Fiery Conclusion, Summon Balor Whip and Form of the Balor - are presented, along with the mythic modifications applicable to them; then there is - should that inquisitive demonologist decided to ignore the warning - the ritual for summoning one. Don't try this at home, as they say.


Keep this to hand for when you really want to pull the stops out. An impressive and really scary demon that I, for one, do not wish to encounter - ever!



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Liber Vampyr
por Thomas C. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 02/09/14 21:06:08

Man, I wish these guys had written the vampire section in the D&D core rulebook.



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Mythic Mastery - Mythic Heritage: Demonic Heritage
por Megan R. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 01/18/14 11:48:45

OK, so you're a Mythic figure. How did you come to be so? Your Path represents your destiny, but your Heritage speaks of your origins. Interestingly, this may not be something that you are aware of even once you've realised that you are Mythic...


This work explores one route to becoming Mythic, that you might have some demonic heritage. It may come in one of a range of ways, not just having a demon somewhere in your family tree. It might be the result of a ritual, or perhaps a cursed item imbued with the taint of the Abyss is affecting you. Whatever, any character whose alignment is neither Good nor Lawful could have a demonic heritage.


Having a demonic heritage opens up a range of new Mythic Abilities that are available to the character any time he becomes eligible to gain an ability from his Mythic Path. The character may choose to take a Path or a Heritage Ability, picking from the appropriate tier.


All that explained, the rest of the work lists the Abilities available. Many are pretty nasty as you might imagine, but at the 6th Tier you can even put temptation in someone's way with a Wicked Wish... all devilishly good fun, what?


Now, you might have eyes on telling rather more noble Mythic tales, but for darker stories - and of course for antagonists in a Mythic game - these could prove quite interesting.



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