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Fat Goblin Gazette #2
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/20/2015 17:29:23

As usual, the Fat Goblin Gazette delivers loads of useful material for your Vathak campaign and beyond.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fat Goblin Gazette #2
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Knowledge Check: Thieves' Cant Dictionary
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/18/2015 04:02:20

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Knowledge Check-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!


So, this is something different. As you all may know, I'm a bit obsessed with languages and sociolects - I've been pretty vocal in my love of the inclusion of slang in Fat Goblin Games' PWYW Carnival of Sinners. This inexpensive book provides essentially a number of words you can use to make your underworld feel more unique. While some of the words are pretty obvious ("bene" meaning "good", for example), there are quite a few intriguing slang words herein: A "Holy Lamb" is, for example, a thoroughly despicable villain; "Jibber the Kibber" is the practice of using a horse and a lantern to make ships run aground. Oh, and "lacing" something means to beat someone.


While some words herein are simply that, others inspire regarding the practice to which they refer: "leggers" e.g. sell low-quality goods, purportedly smuggled goods, and thus avoid repercussions for the bad quality of their merchandise. Knowing about "Hangman's Wages" may also prove useful within the consistency of your game-world.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to an easy-to-read, beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Artwork is sparse, but fitting.


Richard D. Bennett provides a damn cool little dictionary here - the practices and words herein can inspire and certainly help you make your depictions of the seedy underbelly of your campaign more exciting. What's here, is certainly awesome, particularly for the low price point. At the same time, I really wished this was longer and that it had some invented, new fluff to account for the different reality of most fantasy settings - words for halflings, goblins, magic and sorcerous pursuits would have been much appreciated, at least by me. What we do get here is a nice glimpse at real world thieves' cant for a low price and as such, this is a nice book - my final verdict hence will clock in at 4 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Knowledge Check: Thieves' Cant Dictionary
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Shadows over Vathak World Map
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/14/2015 06:47:14

A well detailed free product to enhance a unique and inventive gaming world. Keep it coming!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows over Vathak World Map
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Shadows over Vathak: Colonies - Silhouette of a Shadow
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/28/2015 05:03:24

An Endzeitgeist.com review


The first module set in Vathak, this pdf clocks in at a pretty impressive 62 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 56 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?


But before we do - here's a warning: This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players will wish to jump to the conclusion.


...


..


.


All right, still here? We begin this module with several key-components: For one, a sidebox on the fragility of 1st level characters explains that more action-oriented groups may want to run this module at 2nd level - though the module allows for the solution of problems via smarts. The fully depicted town of Smelt's Run gets a full-blown gazetteer - including a solid, full-color map. The town also sports a racial prejudice - Smelt's Run is a Romni ghetto, following the more gritty, dark theme of Vathak and thus sees some hostility to non-Romni. The module also sports a handy timeline for the GM.


But what are the PCs supposed to do? Via one of quite a few adventure hooks, the PCs are tasked to track down a man called Rolistair, loosely associated with the Church of Unspeakable Masses. The module thus begins with a investigation in and around Smelt's Run - with numerous different entries of read-aloud level of detail; a random encounter-table allows the GM to splice some action into this section. Beyond the skill-based basics of asking around, the module also depicts the key-locations.


Take a look at the "Tower," a medieval/Victorian equivalent of an apartment block: "A massive five story wooden edifice squats before you, dozens of barred windows gazing out sullenly. Scorch


marks from previous fires stain its grimy walls. Lines of dirty laundry stretch to the nearby buildings that crowd around. Even from this distance, a din of noise- screams, raucous laughter, and heated arguments, spill from the building. A group of ragged children chase a chicken through a puddle while an elderly couple sit on a bench near the building’s small entrance." - See this read-aloud text? Yes, the read-aloud texts are REALLY well-written and the locations ultimately breathe an almost tangible sense of grime and threats lurking just below the surface. Finding Rolistair's room, the PCs can have their first sense of horror here - between a desolate hookah, spell components and mad ramblings, undead monkeys await and make abundantly clear that the PCs have stumbled into something rather unpleasant...


Further investigation from this place may put the PCs into ample conflict with the rather nasty thugs that can be found in Smelt's Run -whether following the trail of smokeweed, known prostitutes consorting with the man, the trail of spell components - there are a couple of clues popping up: For one, the church of unspeakable masses seems to have been burned down. The PCs may also get a feather and the name "Lawana" as a kind of hint - unbeknown to the PCs, this woman is a swan maiden...and currently, as the PCs reach her home, under attack by cultists. Here, I have a bit of a met-concern: While I get the dramaturgy of Lawana being unconscious upon the PC's arrival, the cultists are horribly ill-equipped to down the maiden...even with the "lucky hits"-explanation, her DR makes her all but immune to their attacks, so at least to me, a better explanation would have been nice. (Note that the players never get to see this aspect, so it's no real problem... but still. It's a consistency glitch.) Also rather interesting - a nice, fast-paced chase against the leader of the assault is provided (to retrieve the maiden's cloak...), with an alternate means of tracking the man being covered as well. Besting the leader, the PCs finally find a clue towards their target - it seems like Rolistair has founded the Reformation Church of the Elder Sign.


Infiltrating the church is the smart choice here - but the PCs you also enter the fully-mapped church with guns blazing, though the climax does lose a bit of its impact of drugged attendees and odd technology - also in here, the PCs can find the second in command and piece together that Rolistair is planning a ritual most dread in the Lazard Ruins - where strange, haunt-like properties and cultists await...and where Rolistair turns out to be an afflicted werewolf, subjected to some...strange...procedures and thus pretty insane. Besting the insane cult-leader puts a stop to his dread incantation and his "church", sure, but the man's lobotomy-scars and status as a werewolf may mean that the PCs have just taken the first step down the rabbit's hole - the GM may know more from the adventure's background, but the shadowy entities beyond the scenes and factions may now suddenly have the PCs on their radar - which ensures pretty much a significant array of further adventuring possibilities.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are solid, though I noticed a couple of typos and inor glitches. Layout adheres to Fat goblin Games' beautiful 2-column full-color standard for Vathak-books. The pdf comes with several thematically-fitting full-color artworks. The pdf is fully bookmarked. Cartography is full-color and solid, though I wished the Pdf had player-friendly maps sans keys.


John Bennett and Rick Hershey have crafted a nice supplemental module here: Silhouette of a Shadow sports a rather intriguing array of unique locations. The investigation provided breathes a nearly tangible sense of decrepitude and hostility that gels well with the horror-theme. The writing is just as great as I've come to expect from John. At the same time, this is branded as an AP-module (though Part II is not yet released as per the writing of this review) and as such, it very much feels like it's setting a number of unique things up for future installments. This is particularly evident regarding the antagonist's motivation and fate, which may remain (intentionally) opaque for the players. At the same time, the challenges presented are diverse, the investigation flavorful.


Ultimately, Silhouette of a Shadow may not be a perfect module, but it is a fun 1st-level investigation that offers diverse challenges for the PCs as well as a compelling narrative - albeit one that will leave some questions unanswered. Now usually, I'd be a tad bit more critical regarding e.g. minor statblock glitches or the aforementioned minor consistency-bug - but this book ultimately counters these less awesome components via the quality of its writing and the more than fair, low asking price for a module of this length and diversity. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows over Vathak: Colonies - Silhouette of a Shadow
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5th Edition Fantasy Compatible Logo
by steven r. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2015 06:16:00

This is an awesome logo that I believe will help unify some of the smaller third party publishers who are doing OGC/OGL versions of 5E, I like the variant colors (my favorite is the red).


Mr. Hershey did a great job on this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5th Edition Fantasy Compatible Logo
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Racial Ecologies: The Canids
by Daemon D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2015 15:22:25

I love the concept of the "Dogmen". What I don't get is the choice of bulldogs as being the dwarven canine.In my humble opinion any kind of Scottish terrier would be a better option.They are stern,stocky,natural tunnelers,and have impressive beards! I'm not totally sure but I think my Westies actually speak Glaswegian,LoL!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Racial Ecologies: The Canids
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Fat Goblin Games Presents: Carnival of Sinners
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/26/2015 04:11:12

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This massive book clocks in at 50 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 46 pages of content, so let's take a look!


Carnivals are awesome...and creepy. The blending of the alien and the familiar, the oscillation of bright light and deepest shadows fascinate, entice. I distinctly recall a sense of kinship when I first saw the more weirder performances and the sense of freedom implied in such a life, despite the hardships, resonates with me on a primal level. In roleplaying games, specifically the various iterations I've played, I did ten to enjoy the modules and supplements dealing with this topic - whether in Ravenloft's by now legendary "carnival"-supplement, in Necromancer Games' "What Evil Lurks" or many others - the theme just won't let go of me.


The first thing you notice upon opening this book is the custom layout - Rick Hershey has crafted a downright beautiful presentation here that perfectly underlines the theme of the book - red curtains, appropriate fonts - presentation-wise, this is a gorgeous book. Content-wise, we begin with an elaboration of the basic set-up of the carnival grounds and what to find there - only to lead into the perhaps most surprising section in the book: Carnival of Sinners gets something right no other supplement dealing with the topic has: It presents, extensively, I might add, a full-blown thieves' cant-ish section of carny-slang: "Pay the bag man and put up the bills for your dukkering services - we gotta proof we're no fireball show!" AWESOME!!!


A total of 5 sample adventure hooks is provided before we move on to the next section, the trooper's gallery, wherein sample NPCs are provided - and boy, oh boy. For one, each of the builds herein has at least one interesting component - whether it's race, archetype'd multiclass - there is something mechanically interesting going on for each character. However, more intriguing than even that would be the fact that each key performer gets more than just the minimum space to shine - each character receives an extensive background story AND a high-quality, custom artwork. Better yet, the concepts and their execution are downright delightfully wicked - the two-headed man's second head, for example, is his eidolon! The carnival's cook also is a particularly nasty sort - you'll see when you get this book...


Things get truly sinister, though, with the troupe of lay-actors, clowns, stable-hands and the like - represented via diverse mook-statblocks (for a reason...), this component of the carnival hides a secret most dire...and awesome.


Obviously, no carnival would be complete without a cabinet of curiosities - and a collection of oddities and usual prizes, partially represented with great artworks, can indeed be considered nice. Going one step beyond, entry-tickets to print out and hand to your players, a sample advertisement poster (lavishly rendered as another hand-out) and a map are provided - the latter of the kind of style which the characters may find themselves while visiting the carnival.


My only gripe here, ultimately boils down to the fact that I would have liked sample games or a sample performance-schedule to be included herein.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are pretty good - I had no issues in grasping anything herein and there was no undue amount of glitches to be found. Layout and artworks, as mentioned above, are top-notch - this is a beautiful book indeed, with the handouts providing the icing on the aesthetic cake. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


Chris Bayes, Eric Hindley, John Bennett, Kalyna Conrad, Lucus Palosaari, Rick Hershey - ladies and gentlemen, you have crafted a great sandbox/set-piece/supplement herein. This book can be used as both an awesome fluff-book to expand a given carnival, as a sand-boxy module to embellish, flesh out and use as you see fit, or just as a delightful scavenging ground for stats, builds and ideas. This massive source-book is well-written, concisely-presented and the carny-slang provided alone, to me, makes this well worth the...


...wait. There was this one component, right? Well, in case you didn't know: This massive, fully illustrated, lovingly-crafted book is actually "Pay what you want." No, I'm not kidding. You can get this big book and then decide whether it was worth your time. Know what? There is no reason to not at least check this one out and, as for my part, this delightfully disturbing sourcebook definitely deserves to be acknowledged. So if you like this sourcebook, please pay for it a price you consider as justified. While not perfect, the love that went into this book is readily apparent and I'm quite honestly a bit baffled to see such a massive book as PWYW. My final verdict for this inspiring set-piece/supplement that doubles as a drop-in sandbox would be 5 stars + seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fat Goblin Games Presents: Carnival of Sinners
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Fat Goblin Games Presents: Carnival of Sinners
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2015 18:11:38

This is an extremely detailed evil carnival good for any fantasy setting. I definitely recommend it for a quick and easy addition to any fantasy horror game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows over Vathak
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2015 18:03:38

An incredible and detailed product, the world is wonderfully both Lovecraftian and suitable for fantasy worlds. I definitely recommended it for anyone interesting in running a game that perfectly melds the fantasy and unknown horror genres.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows over Vathak
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Astonishing Races: Leprechaun
by Matt P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2015 16:29:42

After talking with my DM, and drop a the skill stat bonus by half, he was on board. Havent got to play the race but so far I'm happy. I'm running a the Fallen-Madcap class from the Thunderscape core book. Which basically means I'm playing as Lubdan from the Leprechaun movies. Thank you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Astonishing Races: Leprechaun
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Standard Stock Art: 9 Fantasy Portraits
by Joe W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2015 10:13:41

Sorry, for me the art just didn't work. It looks ok in the preview, but when enlarged you see that the style is such that it simply looks too basic for use in print or even larger than 400 pixels on a website or in an app.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Standard Stock Art: 9 Fantasy Portraits
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Publisher's Choice - Jeffrey Koch (16 Fantasy Portraits)
by Joe W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2015 08:30:06

This is incredibly beautiful art, in my opinion, among the best available here. To get them at this price is just a ridiculous no-brainer. If you're a publisher and need a some human portraits, get this pack before anything else. You're guaranteed to use some and these will surely be among the best art pieces in your product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher's Choice - Jeffrey Koch (16 Fantasy Portraits)
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Publisher's Choice - Fantasy Cast & Crew: Male Dwarves
by Joe W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2015 08:24:10

This is great quality art for a good price. The size of each is 1200x1800. 3 typical dwarves but each with its unique character.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher's Choice - Fantasy Cast & Crew: Male Dwarves
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Publisher's Choice - Creatures A to Z: Bodak
by Joe W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2015 08:20:33

Fat Goblin's new creature series is turning out amazing art! You can see the preview to get a good idea of the figure. The size is 1200x2400. We made it look creepier with an edge detect effect that made the image all black except an outline.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher's Choice - Creatures A to Z: Bodak
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Publisher's Choice - Creatures A to Z: Achaierai
by Joe W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2015 08:16:21

This is great art! Large image, great detail, nice fully painted style. You can't go wrong.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher's Choice - Creatures A to Z: Achaierai
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