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Occult Archetypes
by N. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2016 07:21:08

Note: I received a review copy of this book, but no other compensation. I did provide feedback on the Focus Kineticist, and this review will only be focusing on Kineticist content.


What I liked


-Glad to see the notes I gave on the Focus Kineticist helped. While the damage of this archetype will probably be lower than that of others, the utility given to it is certainly going to help, and the flavor of it certainly helps make for a more memorable character. With the enhanced internal buffer, you'll also have more chances to use your utility wild talents, giving you more chances to cut loose with game changing effects.


-With the God-Touched Kineticist, a small change helps make for an interesting archetype, feeling flavorful without overpowering the player. It's a rather large archetype, but takes up little space to explain, which is nice. Revelations don't even feel out of place with the kineticist, instead feeling like a welcome change.


-The Primal Kineticist is really a much better healer than the kinetic chirurgeon archetype, although much like normal, going negative is going to be bad for you. I think the flavor here is a little off, and that the name doesn't exactly fit what it's going for, but that doesn't stop it from being mechanically sound.


-Infuse Weapon is an interesting way of boosting damage, and one I think the class needed. Antilife shell was a nice inclusion, although I personally think antiundeath shell should have been lower level due to its lesser utility. Deathsight is nice and thematic here, as is dimensional anchor and aura, although I feel like anchor would have been better as an infusion. Hide from undead is another that isn't super clear about the connection, but I don't care because it's sweet. And I love me some wall walker.


What I was indifferent towards


-I want to like Poisoned Earth, but at the same time it's a situational archetype with some exclusive wild talents that I think should have been in the archetype rather than listed at the end, making them feel like general infusions. For the games that it works in, it'll be nice, but that number isn't exactly huge.


-We all saw acid blast coming, but taking it doesn't put any new infusions on earth's talent list, meaning RAW you can only get some of these by going water and taking them for that blast. A simple house rule to add them to your list when you select acid blast, but it's still an issue.


-Things like corruption resistance and detect radiation are standard, nice filler talents here. Gravitic leaper makes sense, although I'd have liked to have seen aether be able to share with gravitic pack horse. Amusing that irradiate specifically says 'please don't use this!' The rest of the radiation themed things are okay, but it's nothing game changing, and the water talents do well for a game specializing in it.


-While I like the amount of art, so much of it is just dark and hard to see.


What I didn't like


-Just a minor gripe, but the text felt a tad small.


-The Mystical Kineticist is just a straight upgrade, and lacks any real flavor to it. It feels like there's too much design space left untapped here, playing around with other features that could help to flesh out this archetype in my opinion.


-The Psychic Kineticist seems promising, but the mechanics for its spell list are just too daunting for me to want to try and make my way through. While thematic, the difference in power between getting wizard conjuration (creation) spells and earth elemental specialist spells is a rather large gap, and the M.(ulti) A.(ttribute) D.(ependency) issues that the class has due to needing both intelligence and constitution make for a difficult archetype to suggest.


-I'm just not a fan of acidic boost. I know that it was done as a space saver, I can recognize that, but I would have really liked to have seen some more composites in its place, as acid doesn't have the same feel as aether or negative energy in the sense of boosting. Add to that there's not even an acid/earth composite, and this feels like too much of a throw in to be worth considering.


-Eveneration feels so off to give when we already have an infusion that does the same thing, and the 1/day targeting limit just kills this for me. I don't really understand hide from animals as a wood talent either, although wood's hard to work with, so I can't be too harsh. Plane Shift also feels a little wonky to me.


Final Thoughts


From the perspective of just a kineticist player, you will easily get your money's worth from this product. The bad part aren't enough to ruin the book, the average parts are nice for less conventional players, and the good parts of it help expand the class in a way that it hasn't seen before while still keeping to the theme of the book. Nothing in here is a huge departure from what you're used to, making it a solid product all around for something not dedicated to only one class.


As a whole, I'd give this book a solid 4 out of 5, as there were some ideas I would have liked to have expanded on (acid blast), but there's also a lot of nice content in here that can really help you shape a better kineticist.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Occult Archetypes
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Legendary Hybrids: Deadeye Hexer
by N. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2016 07:19:30

So what we have here is a hybrid mixing gunslinger and witch, which isn't the most intuitive combination around. But to be fair, I consider that a strength, as it's overall an interesting combination of two wildly different styles done in an intriguing fashion.


What I liked


-The art for the book is just aces, definitely a big plus while looking through it, and something I can appreciate.


-The bullet hexes are just cool, they are. I absolutely love the visual image given for the speak with dead one.


"Well Slinger, they ain't gonna talk now. They're dead."


Pistol whips corpse


"Yes they will."


-While I would chide Paizo for not creating a unique spell list, this product gets a pass on that, as the witch list is very interesting for a character like this.


-Firearm familiar is just sick. Like it just is. Mechanically it's not too different, but flavor wise, it feels like playing a black blade with a far more gritty companion. The mechanics for it are just fun in such a flavorful and useful way that it's hard for me to praise this enough.


-Desperation spell is probably going to be what you use 90% of your mana using (mana=grit), which isn't a bad thing, it's a fun ability, but just warning you now.


-While less than practical, Eldritch Aim is just another thing I love thematically, as it helps you 'feel' the part. I feel like the first version shouldn't have a mana cost, but the second easily should.


-The rest of the new deads are flavorful and fun, although not as much as the previously mentioned ones.


-Okay, the fact that there are custom patrons for the class is a huge boost in my opinion. Something like that really helps draw me into the 'lore' of the class, making it feel more unique even if they're using a previously implemented mechanic. Also the art on that page helps sell the mood even better.


-The hexslinger archetype is hype to the point where I could see it being the base class, but I understand why it's not. It's more magus in feel, but it again helps provide such a cool visual that it's hard not to enjoy.


What I didn't like


-Some of the type setting just seems slightly off. Not enough to ruin the book, just a minor annoyance.


-Bullet Hex's description is a bit vague. I'm assuming it goes off of the witch rule about not being able to target a creature with hexes multiple times per day, but for some of these bullet hexes, that seems needlessly limiting, such as with hard rain or blowback bullet.


-Just me being greedy, but I'd have liked more bullet hexes, since they're a fun idea.


Final Thoughts
There's a lot to like about this class, but to be fair, I love guns and would put hexes on everything as an archetype if I could. There's a few typos and such in there, but nothing that really detracts from the product. Also I think the right call was made making this a 3/4ths BAB class, as it really takes advantage of firearms being touch attacks. Little sad there wasn't a crossbow archetype, but I can completely understand why there wasn't. A few more feats/archetypes/bullet hexes would have been nice, but maybe we'll see them as an expansion down the road.


Finding a place for a class like this might be an issue if you have a "LOTR ONLY!" style GM, but for those who are willing to bend on the rules a bit, this is a solid class that have a lot of fun content to explore.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Hybrids: Deadeye Hexer
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Beasts of Legend: Beasts of the East
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/11/2016 02:41:29

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This bestiary by Legendary Games/Jade Regent-plug-in clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page introduction, 1 page SRD, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 17 pages of raw content, so let's take a look!


So, what do we get herein? The oomphteenth version of the Yuki-no-onna? Nope, this is a bestiary of Legendary Games, after all. In an interesting take on the concept of monsters, this supplement begins by talking a bit about the real-world inspirations of some of these creatures...and guess what? They are more often than not new to me.


Take the naga on the cover - inspired by snakes in the Mekong river, these CR 5 nagas get fire resistance, fast swimming and an array of spells - which, strangely, feature several "3/4"s before spell names in an uncommon formatting glitch that extends to other creatures. The naga's poison causes fire damage, which is an interesting twist, but overall, I wasn't too blown away by this one. Next up is the CR 8 Neak Ta Kami - an innocuous piece of wood with a painted face on some bricks with twigs. Cute, small...and will mess you up if you: With superb telekinetic abilities and a devastating 3/day cyclone while within reach of its ward, these kami are benevolent and sweet...but if you try to destroy them...well. Don't.


The Kmoch Pray (CR 11) is creepy. Really creepy. Think of a tree covered in caustic, yellow sap that can fling it in globs...oh, and it has deadly, scythe-like claws...as well as a weakness to positive energy. Absolutely unique, creative and awesome - glorious critter! Speaking of "never saw that one before" - the Kting Voar (CR 4), a bovine beast whose horns erupt from bones is a great example of good animal design: Powerful and all about sensible abilities, using reinforced horns, tough skin and trampling to defeat its foes.


This one, I've seen before, though: The Bakeneko Oni (CR 3) is pretty much a staple of Japanese mythology and one that ultimately has me surprised it has not been done by Paizo at this point. Anyways, think of them as maleficent halfling-sized cats that can stand upright with a scoiopathic rictus-grin. With some nasty, stealth-enhancing SPs as well as the option to denote creatures as marked by their envy, they are a nice take on the evil trickster. At CR 6, the Yeren Oni would be the embodiment of the excessive need to withdraw from society to live in the woods...and while that's a black metal cliché, it's one I can empathize with. Basically, think of these fellows as a cross between the sasquatch and an oni, with appropriate nature-themed SPs and the option to create scrawlings that confuse the happless traveler AND then erases their memory. This one ability makes this creature stand out for me - you can make a really nasty investigation out of this premise.


Okay, so what about a turtle with a crystalline shell that has a powerful weapon embedded in its back? (Sword in the stone? Who needs a sword in the stone when you can have a sword from a turtle!) These creatures are the Quyrua (CR 6) and they are the caretakers of the magical weapons embedded in them - they are sentient and honorable stewards and may allow creatures to draw their weapon - but are slain in the process. Very cool idea here!


The final creature in this book would be the Sirin-Po (CR 7) - ghoul aristocrats that rose from the dead as a result of being slain in what they perceive as a "dishonorable death", these gangly-limbed monsters now prey on fear, causing panic with attacks from their grotesquely elongated limbs and gaining bonuses versus creatures suffering from fear-based conditions.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, though not as exceedingly tight as usual for Legendary Games. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard and the pdf's artists William Hendershot, Michael Jaecks, Jason Juta, Stephen Najarian and Rian Trost deserve a special shout-out: Each of these creatures gets a great one page artwork in gorgeous full color. And boy, these artworks make for great hand-outs. This pdf may be worth it for the artworks alone. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


Additionally, it should be noted that we get an additional pdf containing paper pawns for the creatures herein - kudos for going the extra mile here. Thuston Hillman's beasts from the east constitute a cool little bestiary: When he gets creatures right, they are absolutely awesome; in particular the more unique ones make sense and a sufficient elaboration on their respective modus operandi provides ideas for enterprising GMs to use them. At the same time, though, I do feel that this pdf does not reach the lofty heights of some other bestiaries from Legendary Games - the naga, bakeneko and the sirin-po feel like they fall a bit short of being as unique as their concepts warrant. Make no mistake, though - at the low price-point, this book is most certainly a steal and a great addition to your bestiary-arsenal. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo...and the fact that this provides some cool critters I haven't seen before.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beasts of Legend: Beasts of the East
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Hypercorps 2099
by Jay N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2016 18:28:40

I'll skip the stats that Endzeitgeist typically gives on the assumption that Thilo G. will handle that and instead give my thoughts on each chapter of the book


Chapter 1: Hyper Gaming:
First page we get a general sales pitch of the setting and some notes involving the expectations of the players/gm when they play/run a story with this book. Some warnings about power levels, general theme and risks that may differ from a typical Pathfinder play experience.
From there you get this timeline of earth with the assumption that any point in time before the first entry lines up with what we have in the real world. It is colorful, a fun read and draws me in with the basic information on a global scale to make this world feel real without becoming a history textbook. You get mutants, super powers, spells, mega-corps, virtual reality, time travel.
Finally in this chapter we get a couple brief boxes involving exchange rates of Dollars and Gp and a small list of lingo for this world.
Right from the get go I am getting this vibe in flavor of the general feel of Champions (from HERO System) or Mutants and Masterminds meets Shadowrun.


Chapter 2: A Hyper World:
First Page goes back to manging expectations on the universe and how it differs from your typical Pathfinder experience involving things we might take for granted (Travel) as well as how to reflavor prexisting classes to fit.
The Hypernet: For those who play Shadowrun this is their The Matrix. The time difference is less out of wack between time flow on the net and on the prime and each of the servers use Planar Traits already existing in Pathfinder and a few new ones to handle the unique traits on each server, going as far as to create a unique server for Mike Meyler's other product using the Veranthea Codex.
Murder-Ball: A sport that has the flavor of GW's Bloodbowl if cranked up to 11. A full list of simple rules are given with a chart to represent regional/league differences around the world.
We're given a tour key points around the globe ranging from the sample City of Cleaveland 2099 to the Hypercorperate Megametropolis of Lucrum. Most of this is only useful if you use this as your gaming universe but there are bits and pieces in these sections to part out into your own world quite easily.


Chapter 3: Organizations
This comes in mostly two parts: Organizations and Hypercorporations
For those familiar with Shadowrun Hypercorps are the AAA Megacorps of this universe. Globally reaching and are above the concepts of the laws of sovereign nations. Organizations are very much like Pathfinder's factions, just on a larger scale ranging from Anonymous (yes, that one) to the Church of Cthulhu to The Triad. In concept reading these seems very silly, but taking the setting as a whole it fits the very Over The Top feeling that's being built up here.


Chapter 4: Operating Cast
A sort of NPC Codex built into this book for all the mentioned NPCs throughout the book, with CRs ranging from CR 7 to CR 33 (with one at CR 20/ Mythic Rank 10). A nice touch giving you a series of tools from the get go, a few very humorous like the a certain CR 15 member of Zodiac Defenders to the serious business Hyper Vampire listed.


Chapter 5: Hyper Bestiary
Front loaded with a collection of templates to augment monsters from other Bestiaries/NPCs to fit in this setting both in sense of power and theme. Afterwards it's a mixture of humanoid generic NPCs and quite a few Constructs/Robots.
As a huge fan of the Netjacker (a class appearing later in this book) free PDF when I first saw it the one minor gripe I have here might be when they give sample Proxy and Drone monstersmaybe a step by step on how to reassemble these or even at various breakpoints. Maybe a feature to be added in a future product?


Chapter 6: Gamemastering:
Ah, hard crunch for all the fluff we receive in chapters 1-3.
Rules for Bullet Armor Class, rules I think I will be adopting in normal Pathfinder games to help balance a personal issue I had with them in the base Pathfinder game
New/Adjusted Skills: Perception is removed, replaced by Awareness (Wis) and Search (Int) while Climb and Swim are squished into Athletics (Str) with Knoweldge Technology, Use Technology and Vehicular Control rounding up the cast of skills.
Luck and Reputation: 2 new ability scores added to our base 6 (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma) that are derived from a different formula than through typical ability score generation methods. They kind of round out the more out there requests people can make in a t ypical table and give resources in the form of "Chance" and "Sway" points for Luck and Reputation respectively that can be spent, regenerating back each day/week.
Within this GM section it mentions rules for powered teamwork allowing your party to develop neat tricks very much like in DC Comics with Superboy and Robin doing the 'Fastball Special', reminds the reader that the the intent is for a high paced action oriented game.
Afterwards we get some sample traps and rules how to make hyper traps, suggestions for eras of play ranging from the late 1800's to Current day 2099+


Chapter 7: Hyper Classes:
An Archetype for the Monk, Ninja, Cavalier (complete with new Order), and Netjacker each with their own unique feeling that fits quite well.
Two New Classes in the shape of the Netjacker and the Veloces.


The Netjacker: The master hacker/robot controller, coming in with his own full suite of drones and proxy.
3/4 BaB, Good Ref, Good Will. D6 HD. 2 + Int Mod skill points and a solid Skill List.
As you progress your Drones/Proxy improve as well does your prowess in operating on the Hypernet/Dealing with other robots. For a Shadowrun Player this will feel like playing a Decker/Rigger without potentially spending an entire night doing your thing while the party waits.


Veloces: 3/4 BaB, Good Fort, Good Ref, d8 HD, 4+Int Mod, another solid skill list.
The quintessential speedster. If you ever wanted to play as The Flash/Quicksilver, this alone can give you the tools that you need. However to keep up in a world where wizards can rewrite campaigns at a whim at higher levels you get the ability to apply your speed to operating magic items from potions to wondrous items to staves/wands, firing off multiple per round.


Chapter 8: Hyper Equipment
Here we get a new material (arcanosteel), advanced craftsmanship rules that work like (and stack with) enchanting magic weapons/armor rules.
We get another version of Armor giving Damage Reduction compared to what Pathfinder has as an option, allowing you to pay a little extra to reduce the item's armor bonus to instead give DR.
Cybernetics: Should feel familiar if you've looked through Pathfinder's Technology guide however there appear to be no Implement costs associated with these items in the form of Implementation Points, only a limitation of body slots and some requiring an Install DC.
Gear: A nice wide array of technological toys, complete with craft DCs and feats/labs needed ranging from VR rigs to Translators, to Rebreathers, to magical potions that restore spell slots (Whoo mana potions!)
Weapons: Firearms are now simple weapons and we have a new table of firearms. Quite a few of these are slick with the Razor Shotgun holding a special place in my heart. Misfire is still a thing even in the 22nd centur unless you pick up one of the three new exotic firearms.
For those not interested in guns you only snag two new toys, the Molecular Whip and Sword-chucks. Now while I only say 'only' these two weapons are really neat and have some very fun rules.
Vehicles: So these feel a little better than Pathfinder vehicles (and thus feel dramtically better than say, 3.5's Stormwrack) and it makes me feel really excited to have quasi Mad-Max type stories to be able to play now


Chapter 9: Hypercore
Mythic Adventures has Mythic Rules. Hypercorps 2099 has Hyper Rules, those familiar will see a vaguely familiar trend but it is different enough that they distinctly different.
This is where the players get their raw power boost to keep up with some of the expectations of what is an appropriate challenge rating for this universe.
I can take or leave this part of the section depending on any given type of game I'd run with this book, using the system for a high powered M&M feeling game while not using them to give a grittier Shadowrun-esque feel.
I will say however, this system feels better in balance/application than Mythic Rules, probably as you are given guidelines for what is an appropriate CR to throw at people based on their level/hyper score.


All in all if you're looking for Shadowrun or Champions style game but you/your playgroup do not want to learn those systems, Hypercorps 2099 is worth looking at



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hypercorps 2099
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Ultimate Relationships
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/26/2016 03:34:31

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition


This pdf clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page table-index, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's take a look!


We've all been there - a key-NPC just is more interesting to the players than a given module anticipated - whether as for romantic interests or just for the purpose of being buddies, the social component of interaction between characters is pretty much a component often neglected in PFRPG. Now this pdf provides a concise, no-frills base system to track how players and NPCs interact with one another. Basically, relationships are codified in 10 ranks, with rank 4, 7 and 10 being milestones. the default rank is 0, with 1 representing a basic alliance. Much like what happens behind the scenes with videogames from Mass Effect to The Walking Dead, these relationships are codified via the tracking of camaraderie points.


When a PC acts in concordance with a specific NPC, the PC gets 1 - 2 camaraderie points, with contrary actions potentially decreasing relationships. Whenever a PC levels up, he can assign 2 camaraderie points to assign to an NPC to represent the PC spending extra time with that NPC. Camaraderie starts at 0 for each new rank, but ranks are NOT lost due to camaraderie-loss - instead, the PC suffers a penalty according to negative camaraderie points. The higher the rank, the more camaraderie points one requires to rank up. Once the PC has accumulated enough camaraderie points to rank up, a talk is required, potentially also requiring a skill check or more. Failing to rank up does provide bonuses to future checks, so, much like in the Persona games, your relationships will not stagnate. Finally, there would be the component of affinities - essentially a representation on how a character interacts with a PC depending on diverse circumstances: A xenophobic dwarf may, for example, be a tough nut to crack for your elven character, while other dwarves find establishing a connection easier.


There also are so-called milestones (on the nit-picky side - the first reference to them points towards page XX, instead of the correct page-number) - one can determine these via providing about 5 per AP-book, with each providing different qualities of the interactions and gifts via a solid table of DCs - craftsmanship and repetition of such acts determine the target DC of these interactions to get camaraderie points. Rivalries are also covered in these contexts. A PC with a campaign-specific trait begins with a chosen NPC at rank 2, with +2 points towards rank 3.


Ranks achieved also net the PC XP-rewards and additionally, NPCs and PCs may actually end up with tangible, rules-relevant benefits from better relationships. EDIT: The system, generally, remains untouched, though the revised edition does offer a couple of subtle changes - for one, the pdf now provides advice for using these rules beyond the frame of the 6-book-AP-structure, with the imho most important change now being that the pdf does provide an easy formula you can use with e.g. mega-adventures and similar, different set-ups - yes, including downtime. Additionally, advice on affinity, for example, has been provided. Finally, the pdf mentions the possibility of redemption paths of evil characters in the future...interesting!


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect. Layout adheres to legendary Games' beautiful full-color two-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf provides a solid array of nice full-color artworks.


Mark Seifter's relationship system per se is absolutely awesome and at 2 bucks, very affordable to boot. At this length, I did not expect fully fleshed out relationships herein, but I do believe that this pdf would have didactically benefited from one or two sample relationships to illustrate the system in game - if you want the examples, check out Imperial Relationships or the Ultimate Relationships-series. This is the nitpick-category of complaining, though.


Significantly more important, for my purposes at least, is the fact that this revised edition does offer rules for non-6-book-AP-relationships, which basically renders the revised edition universally useful as opposed to the self-imposed restrictions of the earlier formula. This instantly catapults this inexpensive, cool pdf to a new final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Relationships
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Ultimate Relationships #3: The Cassisian Detective
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/20/2016 05:10:16

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Ultimate Relationship-series clocks in at 8 pages - 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page how to use, 1 page SRD leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's take a look!


All right, so this series provides romantic interests for the PCs as per the Ultimate Relationship-rules, so I'm assuming you're familiar with them. If not, check out that pdf first (and/or my review for it).


All right, so this time around...we romance a helmet with wings. No, I'm not kidding. Look up the artwork. The statblock is the most complex we've seen so far in the series, though, unlike another review I noticed, I saw no glitches pertaining class abilities - the archetype has been correctly added in the iteration of this pdf I read.


Affinity-wise, the cassian detective prefers introverted, silent characters, particularly investigators and the like and obviously has a fondness for riddles and puzzles and, obviously, as a good outsider, he loathes evildoers. A sense of requiring completion makes keeping him around rather easy and he is available for being a cohort as soon as 4th rank.


The detective, interestingly, is devoted to the empyreal lord of departed lovers and as such, entering a proper romantic relationship, abstract though it may be, ultimately would result in conflicting notions, particularly since the entity is currently in a chaste crush on Verity it/her/himself. (This gender-thing is getting confusing regarding helmet-shaped outsiders...apologies. And no, I'm not using "they" - it sounds wrong to me, like finger nails on chalkboard. Sorry.)


That being said, the ranking up procedure of the romance with the cassisian detective easily is the most intriguing so far: For one, the outsider loves riddles, so Int-checks (or out-game riddle-savvy players) are preferred. Secondly, the entity has a perfect memory, so if you're like me and have a better memory than your players, this can really be hilarious...otherwise, I'd suggest taking notes to properly roleplay him. Which is also, by far, the most awesome thing about this installment of Ultimate Relationships - you see, the cassisian does not know about a chaste crush on his mistress and is interested in the gaps and holes of actions and behavior - having a perfect, gapless memory, he feels intrigued by lack - the objectivity of nothing, the concept of presence heightened through absence, making this character truly well-rounded and unique.


Boon-wise, the relationship unlocks either Linguistics or Perform (Oratory) as class skills and +1 to saves versus visual and sonic effects, stacking with celestial obedience, if present. At 10th rank, the boon, you can 1/day expend 3 full-round actions to duplicate the detective's careful teamwork performance lasting 10 minutes and affecting only you and double campaign bonuses associated with the detective.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are good, though not perfect. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The pdf has a nice artwork of the outsider.


Mark Seifter's Cassisian Detective is by far the weirdest of the relationships so far - but it's also the most unique, intriguing and well-rounded - the character has depth, means for philosophical engagement and character beyond being a relationship-stereotype - in a nutshell, this feels organic and well-crafted. Personally, I consider this by far the most intriguing of the relationships provided so far and well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Relationships #3: The Cassisian Detective
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Occult Character Codex: Mediums
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/17/2016 07:32:44

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Occult Character Codex-series clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page how-to-use, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 19 pages of content, so let's take a look!


Occult Adventures is a great book, but the rather complex classes in the book do provide a challenge regarding time-investment to create sample NPCs. This is where this series comes in for the time-starved GM - basically, we have a collection of characters herein, spanning the CRs from 1 - 20, all ready and set for your perusal.


So how were they made? Well, for one, the builds use Pathfinder Unchained's automatic bonus progression, which means that the characters have a better chance to stand against the PCs sans flooding the campaign with magic items. The builds are not made to be sheer exercises in powergaming superiority that exist in a vacuum, instead championing the approach of making viable characters that work concisely as though they were proper characters, complete with a brief personality sketch, but expect no lengthy elaboration of motivations etc.. Options and buffs are included in the statblocks, though handy pre-buff sections provide the information sans them, should your PCs be able to catch the character unaware. There are also some minor pieces of advice for GMs using the character


As far as diversity of the statblocks is concerned, there is, particularly concerning the racial variety, enough going on: Beyond the core-races, we actually get e.g. centaurs and berbalangs. Now, as in previous installments, e.g. the berbalang and centaur-builds look similar in archetypes used, but that similarity comes apart almost immediately once you take a look at feat-choice, spells etc. - so no, no boring straight progressions.


Archetype-wise, we slightly deviate from the formula established by the series - that is, this time around, three archetypes are used in builds: Here, that would be the relic channeler and the storyteller and we also get a reanimated medium - unfortunately, the others aren't covered. On the plus-side, the tactics-section for the respective builds is relatively detailed and the statblocks include buff-suites, where applicable as well as stats for the unbuffed iterations of the respective character. Now, class-specific things to consider would be the following: The mediums presented here are presented with the spirit they usually channel - different spirits obviously have different ramifications. The general selection of spirits featured in the builds is pretty diverse. Taboos have not been preselected - an array of suggested taboos would have been nice. The pdf also noted that archmage's spells do not suffer from arcane spell failure and tactics are based on mediums not gaining additional influence.


The builds themselves, as organic characters, sport barkeepers, con artists and master merchants as well as adventurers; quite a few flavors are covered and provide different foci for the respective characters. Skills and magic item selection is similarly diverse, offering a broad selection of foci for the respective builds.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful, two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports several beautiful pieces of full-color artwork, some old, some new. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience


Julian Neale's collection of mediums is diverse, concise and covers a significant array of different roles and builds. While I would have loved to see all archetypes covered, I get why not all of them are part of this pdf's cadre of NPCs. All in all, this is a solid collection of NPCs that does what it says on the tin. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Occult Character Codex: Mediums
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Occult Character Codex: Mesmerists
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/12/2016 02:59:06

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Occult Character Codex-series clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page how-to-use, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let's take a look!


I like Occult Adventures - a lot. It's one of my favorite Paizo-books out there and the classes rekindled my faith in Paizo's class design, even though the book has some rough edges here and there. Suffice to say, the rather complex classes are cool - but making characters with them takes obviously a bit longer than for less involved classes...and we're all time-starved anyways, right? This is where this series comes in - basically, we have a collection of characters herein, spanning the CRs from 1 - 20, all ready and set for your perusal.


So how were they made? Well, for one, the builds use Pathfinder Unchained's automatic bonus progression, which means that the characters have a better chance to stand against the PCs sans flooding the campaign with magic items - a decision I very much welcome. The builds are not made to be sheer exercises in powergaming superiority that exist in a vacuum, instead championing the approach of making viable characters, complete with a brief personality sketch, though that component is less pronounced than in Purple Duck Games' codices. Options and buffs are included in the statblocks, though handy pre-buff sections provide the information sans them, should your PCs be able to catch the character unaware.


Beyond that, advice on using the characters in combat and class-specific peculiarities are covered as well. The design philosophy, in spite of the relatively brief fluff texts for the characters, is that you have living characters, not an exercise in min-maxing - while efficient at their given tasks and roles, the NPCs in this book ultimately are supposed to feel like they are more than an engine of fine-tuned destruction, sporting e.g. skills that can be used in contexts beyond combat. Long-duration spells are included in the respective statblock, though they also feature lines that provide the stats sans buff-suites. It should be noted that the tactics-section before and during combat is pretty detailed in this book, making the spontaneous handling of the mesmerists in this book slightly easier. A brief guideline regarding the handling of mesmerists is part of the deal before we dive right into the statblocks themselves.


So, we have a massive book of mesmerists spanning the whole range of levels - from level 1 - 20. As far as archetypes are concerned, we get Cult Leaders and Spirit Walkers (the latter in one of the builds multiclassed with 1 fighter level), but no Toxiticians or Vexing Daredevils. (And no, Occult realms' Umbral Mesmerist neither...) On the plus-side, the racial selection this time around is interesting, to say the least: The wonderfully fitting nagaji and kitsune races are represented herein alongside changelings and yes, doppelgängers - the three doppelgänger statblocks are assumed to be part of a doppelgänger conspiracy and represent leaders at different stages of their cabal. Interesting here: While they share some spells in common as a kind of leitmotif, the lists still are diverse and exhibit different foci, a practice that also extend to feat selection -while at first glance, doppelgänger mesmerists wielding greatswords of various potency look similar, even a casual glimpse at the respective feats shows that they employ different tactics and play differently as adversaries. Similarly, spell-lists of the characters that may seem familiar have been tweaked in a lot of subtle nuances that end up creating remarkably different experiences.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful, two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports several beautiful pieces of full-color artwork, some old, some new. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


Julian Neale's collection of mesmerists is diverse, interesting and sports quite an array of truly distinct, unique builds. While, like in the first book, the flavor-text is pretty minimalistic, the builds themselves are varied and interesting. Granted, I would have loved to see the other archetypes covered as well, but that is me being a spoiled bastard reviewer from hell. In the end, these mesmerists are solid, fun and work well - the statblocks I took apart sported no glitches, which is also a feat worth mentioning. In the end, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Occult Character Codex: Mesmerists
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Treasury of the Macabre (5E)
by Matt D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2016 12:57:10

Another excellent product from Legendary Games. See my review on The Baleful Coven. These are very interesting magic items and are not overpowered and will fit well in a low-magic themed campaign, or any horror based campaign. These will fit very well into my Old World Warhammer witch hunter horror campaign using 5th ed. D&D rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Treasury of the Macabre (5E)
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Tomes of Ancient Knowledge (5E)
by Matt D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2016 12:55:40

Another excellent product from Legendary Games. See my review on The Baleful Coven. These are very interesting magic items and have very unique new spells as well. These will fit very well into my Old World Warhammer witch hunter horror campaign using 5th ed. D&D rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tomes of Ancient Knowledge (5E)
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The Baleful Coven (5E)
by Matt D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2016 12:48:05

I can't recommend work from Legendary Games highly enough. I've purchased The Baleful Coven, The Fiddler's Lament, and The Murmuring Fountain. The artwork is excellent but the story and writing are top notch! They are easy to read, easy to understand, and have a depth that makes them feel very immersive to play. They are not sweeping epic adventures but they are solid and fit well into almost any setting. I am running a horror based campaign set in the Old World of the Warhammer universe, using new 5th ed. D&D rules, and these adventures are perfect additions to that.
Thanks Legendary Games! Keep up the good work. I can't wait to see what else you put out for 5th ed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Baleful Coven (5E)
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Gothic Campaign Compendium
by Elexious C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2016 16:38:37

I took a chance on this product. I had a horror campaign coming up and wanted some tools to make it memorable. I'm not very familiar with Legendary Game's products and never felt the need for them but it was highly recommended so I picked up a hardcover.


So how did I feel? Mixed.


In all reality I could run a horror/gothic campaign without this but it also brings a number of tools to the table and I became more impressed with it the deeper I read. The spells and character options range from things I'll never take to things that are ultimately not that great but I'll take it because it is hilariously spooky. For the GM the rules for Grimoires, monsters, NPCs and the general advice are more than welcome.


Overall this book is about fun and bringing your fluff to life when I came in expecting a few base classes and other options. So I was a bit disappointed. However as a DM it is much more useful although chapter 6 has a lot of rules that could have been organized differently. In the end I've recommended it on multiple occasions because it does handle quite a few ideas and made my horror campaign more lively so despite feeling a bet 'meh' on my first viewing it's usefulness is undeniable so I'm giving it 4 stars.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gothic Campaign Compendium
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Ultimate Relationships #2: The Viking Shieldmaiden
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/06/2016 03:38:57

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Ultimate Relationship-series clocks in at 8 pages - 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page how to use, 1 page SRD leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's take a look!


All right, so this series provides romantic interests for the PCs as per the Ultimate Relationship-rules, so I'm assuming you're familiar with them. If not, check out that pdf first (and/or my review for it).


Okay, in supposedly a formatting glitch, we start this file with a double header: "The rabbit Prince" is oddly printed sans context above the proper headline, "The Viking Maiden." Stat-wise, the lady would be an unchained barbarian with the superstitious rage power - it should come as no surprise, then, that her affinity is with martial characters and honorable fighters; her negative affinity particularly pronounced regarding witches, particularly those of Irrisen.


The viking maiden, once encountered, is the sole survivor of a botched raid on a dungeon that saw all her allies killed and herself trapped - hence, upon freeing her, the immediate reaction to her is pretty important - pity does not work well within her cultural paradigm. Advancement-wise, she focuses on two-weapon fighting with her shield. Physical relationships are rather easy to have with the lady, but to get to her heart, PCs will need to work.


The rank-ups of the viking maiden are centered around understanding viking culture (or rather, somewhat stereotypical tropes pertaining it) and range from Perform (oratory) to knowledge (local) and also sport several combative tasks - from a nonlethal duel to arm wrestling and competitive drinking, one has to prove prowess and a willingness to learn about her culture to find the humanity behind her brash and competitive behavior, the doubts and anxieties that are there. If she is not taken to rank 4 before fulfilling her temporary oath to accompany characters to her homeland, she leaves.


Boon-wise, rank 7 unlocks Intimidate or Profession (sailor) as class skills and grants +1 to CMD versus disarm and sunder, while rank 10 provides shared trait bonuses and an AC-bonus when adjacent to the shield maiden...and potentially, when the character's using a shield himself, a two-person Shield Wall teamwork feat benefit.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are good, though e.g. when separating lines are used is a bit inconsistent - still nothing grievous to complain about. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The pdf has no artwork.


Mark Seifter's Shield Maiden is pretty much the tough warrior containing a wound from the past that she only shows to her most trusted allies. The general progression is interesting, the romance iconic enough in its progression, but I do feel the whole viking component and her nature as a shield maiden would have provided a great way to make her more detailed, more unique - as written, her overall romantic progression failed to take the cultural tidbits and gender roles into account, which could have been used to flesh her out in much more detail. That being said, this is not a bad romance and her arc is solid. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Relationships #2: The Viking Shieldmaiden
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Occult Character Codex: Occultists
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/30/2016 06:57:02

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Occult Character Codex-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page how-to-use, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 25 pages of content, so let's take a look!


I like Occult Adventures - a lot. It's one of my favorite Paizo-books out there and the classes rekindled my faith in Paizo's class design, even though the book has some rough edges here and there. Suffice to say, the rather complex classes are cool - but making characters with them takes obviously a bit longer than for less involved classes...and we're all time-starved anyways, right? This is where this series comes in - basically, we have a collection of characters herein, spanning the CRs from 1 - 20, all ready and set for your perusal.


So how were they made? Well, for one, the builds use Pathfinder Unchained's automatic bonus progression, which means that the characters have a better chance to stand against the PCs sans flooding the campaign with magic items. The builds are not made to be sheer exercises in powergaming superiority that exist in a vacuum, instead championing the approach of making viable characters that work concisely as though they were proper characters, complete with a brief personality sketch, though that component is less pronounced than in Purple Duck Games' codices. Options and buffs are included in the statblocks, though handy pre-buff sections provide the information sans them, should your PCs be able to catch the character unaware. There are also some minor pieces of advice for GMs using the character


As far as diversity of the statblocks is concerned, there is, particularly concerning the racial variety, enough going on: Tieflings, core races and even wayang and hobgoblins provide an overall diverse array of unique races. As in the previous installments, not all archetypes are covered - this time around, we get battle hosts as well as necroccultists, the latter including a baykok companion. Interestingly, age categories and spell selection appropriate for it, are covered as well - there would be e.g. an old occultist who casts age resistance as part of her buff suite. The pdf also sports the ordo metamorphic mundi, including information on the domains it grants.


Now, as in installments before, there are some builds that look a bit similar at first glance - but there are quite a lot differences once you dive into the nit and grit of the respective statblocks, you will notice diversity - both in skill and feat selection and focus of the respective statblocks. Similarly, implement school choices are diverse and run a relatively broad gamut. And yes, the spell-selection covers a lot of ground and does not restrict itself to doing the same thing over and over - instead, the choices for the characters make sense and emphasize their distinctions.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful, two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports several beautiful pieces of full-color artwork, some old, some new. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience


Julian Neale's Occultists are refined - as far as the statblocks I looked at are concerned, I saw no glitches and the characters are varied enough to make this a complex and fun collection of statblocks. While I would have loved for the other archetypes to be covered as well, the builds herein are neat, fun and sufficiently distinct to allow a GM to challenge his PCs with significantly different challenges herein. It's perhaps just me, but I did feel like the characters herein were a bit more diverse than in the previous installments, with different foci. Rock-solid stats, varied builds...what more can you ask for? My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Occult Character Codex: Occultists
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Occult Character Codex: Psychics
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/29/2016 04:41:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Occult Character Codex-series clocks in at 30 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page how-to-use, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 22 pages of content, so let's take a look!


I like Occult Adventures - a lot. It's one of my favorite Paizo-books out there and the classes rekindled my faith in Paizo's class design, even though e.g. the kineticist's presentation in needlessly obtuse in comparison to the playtest...but that's just me being a nitpicking bastard, I guess. Suffice to say, the rather complex classes are cool - but making characters with them takes obviously a bit longer than for less involved classes...something that, as a GM, may prove problematic. This is where this series comes in - basically, we have a collection of characters herein, spanning the CRs from 1 - 20, all ready and set for your perusal.


So how were they made? Well, for one, the builds use Pathfinder Unchained's automatic bonus progression, which means that the characters have a better chance to stand against the PCs sans flooding the campaign with magic items - a decision I very much welcome. The builds are not made to be sheer exercises in powergaming superiority that exist in a vacuum, instead championing the approach of making viable characters, complete with a brief personality sketch, though that component is less pronounced than in Purple Duck Games' codices. Options and buffs are included in the statblocks, though handy pre-buff sections provide the information sans them, should your PCs be able to catch the character unaware.


Beyond that, advice on using the characters in combat and class-specific peculiarities are covered as well - and yes, bonus discipline spells are denoted separately, while psychics with the abomination discipline have dark half's rather complex ramifications included in the statblock for your convenience. Mimic metamagic, where present, does not sport a preselected metamagic feat to account for the individual campaign.


All right, so that would be the basics - how do the respective characters fare? Well, for one, the first thing you'll note is that the races run a gamut from the common core to the more exotic - sylphs, wayang, samsaran - there are some "oddball" races here among the builds, though not as much as in Purple Duck Games' comparable codices. Archetype-wise, we cover mutation mind and psychic duelist - so no formless adepts and amnesiacs herein. On the plus-side, the psychics do offer variety regarding age category and two of them sport 1 ranger level multiclassed in, though both of these take different approaches here.


For the psychic, spell and feat-selection as well as discipline-choice and phrenic amplifications constitute major decisions that provide diversity and indeed, the pdf does a GREAT job here. Granted, there are some cases of straight-progressions to be found, you'll still find a rather nice diversity of foci regarding the respective characters. While the flavor-text is pretty minimalistic, the tactics-section for the characters is rather extensive, which makes using them on the fly rather simple.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful, two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports several beautiful pieces of full-color artwork, some old, some new. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


Okay. I know some of you skip past that first section of my conclusion, where I talk about formal criteria. I'd like to draw your emphasis to the "top-notch" and the "no glitches." As you know, I tend to not pick apart every creature statblock, but I do pick apart a couple of them in a given file - and more often than not, I notice a small hiccup here and there...sometimes a big one. I care primarily about whether a statblock can be used by the GM sans violating x tenets or botching some crucial things. When I started picking apart these...I found nothing. No glitch. I picked apart the next one...same game. This may sound like it's an easy thing...it's not.


Julian Neale's psychics herein may be on the short side regarding their fluff when compared to Purple Duck Games' more evocative codices, but the wildly diverse builds herein are exceedingly refined and polished - and for that I really enjoyed this pdf. While I wished it had covered the missing two archetypes as well, this is at best a minor hiccup considering the diversity otherwise exhibited. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Occult Character Codex: Psychics
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