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Fifth Edition Options
by David E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2017 12:23:34

I like having access to all these new options. Would I use all of them, certainly not. Some are great, some are good, some so so, and a few I don't care for at all, but the variety is wonderful. Well worth the purchase.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Options
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Recovery Dice Options
by Abraham Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2017 13:48:48

A great way to turn the somewhat passive recovery dice mechanic into a tactical consideration; it's a different way, to spend your recovery dice in encounter related situations, such as dodging, getting save bonuses against different effects, enhancing your combat capabilities, modifying crit damage, etc. There are many tips on how to handle these options and make your game deadlier if you wish. Get it if you want more choices for what your characters want to do.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Recovery Dice Options
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Geeks Vs. Harsh Reality: Base Set
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2017 11:12:02

We enjoy playing this game. We play with a group of gaming geeks, and it's funny for all of us.

A 4 star out of 5, because there's more Anime references than I'd like.

Over all good game!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Geeks Vs. Harsh Reality: Base Set
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Laying Waste: The Guide to Critical Combat
by Rob T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2017 10:20:28

$15 gone. Although the description says "any d20 OGL systems" there are DCs of 40+, many references to WILL, REFLEX, FORTITUDE, etc. References to "BAB", and other things strictly Pathfinder. References to many, many non 5E or SRD spells (Black Tentacles as an example). Although it CAN be adapted, I find myself SEVERELY disappointed that I have to do extra work for each effect herein and I certainly DO NOT recommend this for 5E users. Boo! It should not be said it can be used with d20 systems when it is seemingly unique to Pathfinder or perhaps 4th Edition D&D. I found this severely limited and am upset to have paid so much for it. I came upon this item by searching 5E OGL on Drivethruprg.com



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Laying Waste: The Guide to Critical Combat
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The Malefactor Class: Revised & Expanded (5E/PF)
by Abraham Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2017 23:07:01

This class wields the power of its own cursed destiny and bad luck. A difficult class to master, but devastating considering the debuffs and penalties it will drop upon the enemy, the real challenge lies in keeping away from your allies, as your accursed presence harms everyone around you.

One of the most interesting support classes that I have seen so far, with unique features that take advantage of the most unlikley things, like cursed magical items and effects.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Malefactor Class: Revised & Expanded (5E/PF)
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Laying Waste: The Guide to Critical Combat
by Abraham Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2017 22:36:31

A truly masterful delivery! This product turns critical hits into a great, gory way of enhancing your character's story, as he cuts a bloody path through the enemy lines. With Laying Waste, criticals not only deal damage, they also impose hindrances, penalties and disadvantages that will surely decide the outcome of a particular encounter, unless they are treated appropriately. Some of them can cause sure death.

Get this if you want your crits to do more than just dish out extra damage, keep in mind the effects are graphical and violent, and that's what adds to the awesomeness.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Laying Waste: The Guide to Critical Combat
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Wardens of the Wild (PF/5e)
by Abraham Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2016 20:19:04

This is a really good elf supplement, the variety of things you can use to customize your elven characters is staggering; you could have an entire party composed of elves, and they would all feel quite different. The story and racial background details make elves mysterious and deadly, to the point they could feel more like outsiders or extraplanar beings.

The information for both 5th Edition and Pathfinder is useful and clearly laid out. It feels that it leans a bit more towards the Pathfinder side of things, but that's minimal. An impressive amount of subraces, abilities, feats, archetypes, classes, spells, equipment, and so much more, without even taking the meaty background information into account.

Elf lovers rejoice! This is one of the best supplements of this particular race, you kinda wish they give this same treatment to the other standard fantasy races.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wardens of the Wild (PF/5e)
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Slaughter at Splinterfang Gorge (PF/5E)
by Jason L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2016 11:15:40

This is a solid adventure with no ethically challenging bits, nothing to stop you from going full murder-hobo. The bad guys here makes no bones about being bad. Or well, they do make bones but they are tiny elven infant bones and that rather reinforces the whole bag guy thing. Despite the fact that it's a pretty straightforward good guys have to stop bad guys thing, the story is actually pretty rich with the weight of a history between bugbears and elves behind it.

The bad guys, especially the high damage dealing bugbears are pretty nasty. True to the moniker, I think there's a real possibility for some TPKs. My only issue is a bit of a lack of diversity. The PCs will fight Goblins, Goblin Marauders, Goblin Archers, and Goblin Dogs with a lot of frequency. Worgs, too. Each bugbear captain is different and there are a few other beasties and traps but it's mostly hunting down little greenskins. It's forgivable since it's a goblinoid themed adventure but I could still wish for some additional types of goblins that could employ different tactics or maybe some caged and enraged monster they could point at the PCs.

Full stat blocks and other necessary information is available to run this game in Pathfinder or 5e and I didn't notice any obvious errors due to the translation between systems.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slaughter at Splinterfang Gorge (PF/5E)
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Feats of Legend: 30 Fey Feats
by Abraham Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2016 01:28:45

A practical and affordable, short and concise repertoire of feats, an excellent addition for your library if your party of player characters (or NPCs) is composed of Fey beings.

Drawing inspiration from folklore and legend, while giving it the Pathfinder treatment, only someone who hates Fey related material won't find this useful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Feats of Legend: 30 Fey Feats
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Fifth Edition Options
by Abraham Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/17/2016 16:44:43

The title is pretty self explanatory. If you ever wanted more options for almost any situation in your 5th Edition game, this is the book to get. Experienced players may recognize or may have already thought of their own variants and rules, taking inspiration from older editions, but this book presents a significant amount of exclusive subsystems and mechanical elements.

If you need more ways to handle character generation, skill successes, item crafting, combat options, and a bunch of GM tools to customize the game according to the campaign's flavor, look no further. This adds a bit more complexity to the game, but in consequence promotes choice per action as well.

The material here is quite easy to convert to other d20 based systems, if you ever need a few extral rule variations. Fifth edition options gives you the right choices for rules customization.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Options
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Slaughter at Splinterfang Gorge (PF/5E)
by Abraham Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/17/2016 12:53:17

A darker take on goblinoids, this adventure is not for the faint of heart; you will see some of the darkest and most vile goblinoids and bugbears on this side of the multiverse.

With dangerous wilderness encounters all over the place, many goblinoid and bugbear specific feats and relics, as well as a new bugbear deity, the usefulness of this module goes beyond its macabre storyline; a useful tool in any goblinoid campaign.

It's not fully mapped however, being more on the event driven side rather than following a site based structure, so some players could find that disappointing; you do get a couple of maps (a general map and a detailed map of a site), but for the rest of the encounters, you will have to make your own maps.

A creepy adventure that shows that you can take a standard fantasy enemy and make it nefariously fresh again.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Slaughter at Splinterfang Gorge (PF/5E)
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Fifth Edition Options
by Ethan C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/02/2016 07:01:58

This book looks really interesting. Too bad I'll never get to see any of the gems contained within as it has no table of contents and no index. I'm not going to use this product as a reference, which is what it is, without a way to quickly and easily find the information I'm looking for. This book literally leaves out two of the most essential components necessary when building a REFERENCE book. How is this possible?!? How did this get out the door like this?!? What editor at Total Party Kill Games signed off on this incomplete product saying "Eh, they'll figure it out"?!? Last year I put together a supplement for personal use at my table. 35 pages, built using Word of all things, and not for the public. But do you know what? I put a table of contents in there because I'm not a crazy person. Unbelievable. What a gigantic waste of my hard earned money…



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Options
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Publisher Reply:
Ethan, Thanks for the review. In our print book we\'ll add an index. However, the PDF is extensively bookmarked and has everything you are looking for. Cheers!
Fifth Edition Feats (5e)
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2016 06:38:33

I have to agree with most of the previous reviewers, this product is somewhat frustrating. On the one hand, it shows great potential with an interesting and extensive lineup of feats. On the other hand, it appears to have been lazily edited and the feats' adherence to the 5E rules is often spotty. It should also be noted, that the feats found within are implicitly not meant to be used in addition with the Player's Handbook's list but rather to replace it.

Still, the underlying content is good enough to have prompted me to polish this gem in the rough before introducing it in our game. Although I should not have had to put in so much work revising the product, the fact that I will actually be using it still warrants giving it 3 out of 5 stars.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Feats (5e)
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Fifth Edition Options
by Reviewer X. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2016 11:54:37

This book is about variant rules, not more character options, and I really enjoyed it. If you are an aspiring DM looking to tweak the rules of 5e D&D for your games, this is going to be a great resource. There are around 80 pages of info, covering everything from 3.5 features like masterwork items to full skill definitions (a freaking godsend!). There's tons of great mechanical options for everything in the game from combat, initiative and Inspiration. At the end, there's even something called campaign templates which tell you which alternate rules to use for what style of game you are running. I'd say this is a 4.5 star book because the art is mostly stock, but for usefulness, I'm definitely rounding up to 5 stars.

R-X



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Options
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Fifth Edition Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/01/2016 05:04:36

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive book clocks in at 79 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page of SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 75 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, what is this? Basically, this is a huge selection of variant rules for 5e that you can drag and drop in your game. We begin with alternate methods of ability score generation, with grid, dice pool, point-buy that goes up to 18 from the get-go and alternate ability arrays. Rolling 4d6, dropping the lowest and having the GM do the same and then dealing with the devil behind the screen is also mentioned. There is also a option by which class choice and backgrounds influence the attributes, with e.g. Warlocks gaining +1 to Int and Cha and those with a soldier background gaining either +1 Str or Con. The idea of racial maximum stats (here, 18) can be found, though with this system, dwarves get suckerpunched - they're the only race that has two capped attributes.

The pdf also provides rules for Small and Large characters, with Strength and Constitution being capped differently and minor modifications. The balance here, though, is off: Large creatures cap Str and Con at 22, gaina dvantage on saves against being pushed, tripped, etc. and have double the capacity of their Medium brethren. Downsides? None. Small characters cap Con at 18, Str at 16, get +1 AC and have only half the carrying capacity of Medium creatures. Yeah...that wasn't really thought through.

2d6 rolls to determine handedness, ability score proficiencies, feats at 1st level with various means of balancing the power-increase this represents - the book has a couple of rather nice customization considerations here. Similarly, the pdf introduces flaws, which can be rather flavorful, though GMs should take heed that the character who takes a flaw gets one befitting of the class: Foes gaining advantage on the first attack roll in melee is nasty, as it should be, but if the character keeps running from melee/ is a caster/etc., it loses some of its oomph. Still, I do enjoy these generally and their effects are generally potent enough.

As a whole, I enjoyed this chapter, though a bit more guidance pertaining the ramifications of the respective power-increases and caps would probably have been beneficent to the less experienced GMs out there. The pdf also provides means for the old-school gamer to play double or triple classes via a stunted XP-progression; basically think of this as the grognard's gestalting before there was gestalting. The pdf also offer variant XP-progressions (basically slow and fast track) as well as ability score increases by level instead of class, which becomes, obviously, relevant when employing the multiclass rules. The pdf also features starting wealth suggestions for higher level characters. If you wish for less lethal saves, adding +1/2 proficiency bonus is suggested for nonproficient saves...though I'm not the biggest fan here.

The second, massive chapter is all about skills: It suggests skill advancement at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, stat-like increases to skills or the altogether elimination of them as optional rules. Alternate skill lists are presented alongside an interesting take on expertise, which suggests using advantage instead, making you more reliable, but capping the maximum you can reach - this one makes A LOT of sense to me and generally can be considered to be one of the rules I'll certainly take from this book. Now the next section will either be useless or a godsend to you, depending on your perspective. 5e's skills are deliberately fast and loose to speed up gameplay; at the same time, one quick google will show you a lot of reddit-questions pertaining which skill to use when etc. - this chapter, thus, provides sample DCs for different tasks for the respective skills - in particular the vastly expanded animal handling DCs should prove to be helpful. While this may not be for every GM, I know that this section will be a rather significant boon for many a table.

Now, as long-time readers may note, one of the few components I liked about 4th edition was the introduction of skill challenges and this book does provide a 5e-twist on them with complex skill checks that require multiple successes that build upon another. The system introduced here is rather smooth and goes through the skills, skill by skill, providing some general guidance and examples for single skill complex checks, though these obviously can be combined. Similarly, complex skill-checks based on tools get a mention here.

Chapter 3 provides more detailed crafting rules that retain the straightforwardness of 5e design. Rules for simpler ammo-handling, impossible rest in armors, better crossbows and firearms that penalize armor, rules for masterwork equipment and new equipment options to enrich the game: From double weapons to those that can be folded or those that are oversized, the book sports quite a few of those, though e.g. doubled damage dice for the big ones with just the note that they "requrie training" and that characters aren't proficient in them can be deemed to be somewhat problematic. Come on, even Guts in Berserk can't swing his dragonslayer as fast as a regular sword. Want to distill poisons? Yup, rules for that in here.

The third chapter deals with combat - there is an alternate rule for rolling two smaller dice to make the hit point roll less swingy. Personally, I absolutely LOVED the slower healing, limited HD-expenditure and fatiguing injuries rules herein: D&D 5e already makes for a surprisingly good dark/low fantasy system and these alternate rules for grittier gameplay really add to that effect. On the other hand, if you dislike the element of chance when recovering, a fixing amount system can be found here as well. Similarly, if you liked the vitality and wounds systems, you'll have a 5e-iteration of the system here...including an ultra-gritty variant.

The pdf goes on with conditions - while 5e has a couple of them, older systems had more - if you're missing some of these, well - here's the list to cherry pick those you want back. The pdf also sports variant initiative systems: Rolling each round, while dynamic, slows down gameplay and round table initiative is simple, but also not that rewarding for all but the player who rolled highest - personally, I prefer that one for beer-and-pretzels-style games. Your mileage may vary, of course!

Minor tweaks like inadvertently hitting allies when firing into melee (default house-rule in my game) and tougher rising from the prone condition makes sense - default 5e is pretty lenient on that one, considering the effects of the prone condition.

Okay, the next section will be rather divisive, I wager. We get combat maneuvers. Including the whole Pathfinder array not covered by 5e as well as Power Attack, leaping on larger creatures etc. Myself, I am torn - Power Attack, for example, provides twice the penalty taken to atk as a bonus to damage, which I am not a fan of in the context of 5e. Then again, and this is a pretty big thing, the maneuvers remain worse than the comparative abilities of the Battle Master...at least as long as you don't add the loathsome feats introduced in the companion book to this one.

The pdf also has a variant rule for stacking advantages and disadvantages, more opportunity attacks, variant crits, inherent class defense bonuses, armor as DR (not a fan for 5e)...a lot of material. Rules for sniffing out magic items, for identifying them etc., while not necessarily the thing I look for in 5e-games, may well be welcome in some other tables. Similarly, feat-based better attunement may work for higher fantasy games. Personally, I'm a pretty big fan of the variant counterspelling for higher magic games, since it actually does allow for pretty quick and easy mage duels. Groups that wish to abolish the hard limit on spells in effect via concentration have a means to do so via this book and if you're missing bonus spells for high spellcasting ability scores, well, here's the table. Special conditions for simpler spell recovery, resurrection that permanently decreases attributes...quite a few nice tricks here.

The pdf also provides a simple fear-system for horror-games (based on Wis-saves) that does its job, but is pretty barebones. Doom, as an opposite of inspiration (somewhat akin to the Conan-RPG) is mentioned and extended inspiration mechanics are covered alongside a simplified XPsystem based on tokens. Alternate alignments based on convictions (very welcome in my game) with circumstantial advantage on certain checks based on the characters conviction are pretty neat, though the mechanical balance of them isn't always perfect. The pdf also provides three appropriately weak, barebones NPC-base classes and concludes with campaign templates, where a selection of rules are compiled for your convenience. Kudos!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are pretty good on both a formal and rules-language level. layout adheres to a parchment-style two-color full-color standard with solid stock artwork. In a minor nitpick, sometimes single letters in headers do look a bit larger than their brethren - might be a cosmetic font hiccup, but yeah. Artworks ranged from b/w-pieces I haven't seen before to full-color; it's generally nice, but not the reason you would get this book. The pdf comes with full, nested bookmarks for your convenience.

Brian Berg and Jason Sonia's 5th edition options...were a total surprise to me. After the horrendous book on feats, I honestly didn't expect to like this book. Well, guess what? I really like this book. No group will ever use all of the variant rules herein. Roleplaying games veterans will be familiar with the concepts. However, they actually have been updated to 5e rules with...care and precision. Total Party Kill Games delivers a complete 180; If I didn't know better, I'd refuse to believe that this book was crafted by the same company as the feat book.

This book utilizes proper rules; it takes complex variant systems and adjusts them for use with 5e. Wounds and vitality? Check. Crafting? Check. It provides basically the vast majority of alternate rules you can find out there, with only a complex crit/fumble-system à la Laying Waste or a complex Sanity system à la ToC/CoC missing. Apart from these two (which could be, scope-wise, books of their own), this pdf offers options. A LOT of options. Not all options will be great for all groups; not all rules will be utilized by any group out there. But whether you want a higher fantasy closer to Pathfinder, or a simpler, grittier lower fantasy closer to the darker OSR-options, this has the customization tools.

While here and there, I would have liked to see a bit more guidance for the respective GMs regarding the consequences of the respective rules-implementations to help them choose, the book as such does a great job in collecting a TON of alternate rules and ideas to customize the very tone of the campaign. Make no mistake - this is a toolkit. A big one and one that probably will have something for almost every 5e-game out there. While the required broadness of the scope also means that some further elaborations would have helped and that no group will ever use the totality of this book, I do consider this to be a fair and good buy, particularly for GMs hesitant (or too time-starved) to change the rules themselves. How to rate this, then? Well, you see, this is where it becomes difficult for me, since testing all combinations of rules herein is a sheer impossibility. I can see some conflicts/minor issues crop up - but generally, this is indeed a great toolkit. If anything, the main weakness of this kit lies in the fact that it does not have the one killer-variant-rule-system. It has, though, several small ones that can coalesce into cool templates to use.

In the end, this book will not elicit universal cheers on every page, but just about each group will find some nice material to scavenge within these pages. hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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