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More Feats! Compilation - Volume I
by Elexious C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2016 11:21:02

First of all, a big thanks to Fat Goblin Games for gifting this product.


Abandoned Arts is a publisher that puts out some decent product. Not great but not terrible. But they are consistent in putting out their material that has a lot of crunch per page and not really wasting time on fluff or art, so you get quite the bang for your buck. However I'm not one to start picking up tons of little books, mainly because I don't want players (or myself) to go file hunting for just the right options by digging through a bunch of small titles. When it comes to player options I like my fat books or at least fat pdf that I can print out into a fat book, so the only Abandoned Arts book that I actually use is The Class Acts Compendium. Otherwise the company has drifted into obscurity for being fairly low profile crunch that I can honestly live without. Lately Abandoned Arts has started publishing under Fat Goblin Games, who I didn't really pay attention to until after their Fantastic Technology book, and most of the products I've seen after that book has been miles better than what I had purchased before so I see this as a huge step up for both companies. Here we have More Feats!: Vol 1, which is a compilation of Abandoned Arts More Feats! line.


This pdf is only 38 pages long but true to Abandoned Arts tradition it doesn't waste much space or time. These are a truckton of feats with seven pages being just the feat tables. The document promises another compilation as they put out more More Feats! books with two more compilations showing up sometime this year culminating in over 500 feats.


The feats here cover themes of Agility, Alchemy, Athleticism, Charisma, Courage, Dexterity, Endurance, Fellowship, Fury, Horsemanship, Intellect, Leadership, Marksmanship, Secuction, Speed, Strength, Style, Subterfuge, Wisdom, and Witchcraft.


The downside of wanting a fat book of feats is that I can't talk about every individual feat and how I feel about it so I'll just bring up my general feelings. Another downside is that this product is a bit difficult to judge. The feats inside are totally not equal. Some are pure gold that I want to take and are evocative and useful, granting you something new to do. Some are basically situational trap options that I'll never take. As far as I can tell not even one of them will break your game and they are written clearly enough for me to understand on the first try (Although I noticed a few typos and wonky language like gaining 'a bonus equal to the highest level spell..' not specifying spell level.), so do I judge it for the bad stuff or the great stuff? I guess judge by how much value I get for $9.95 it takes to purchase this product.


From that point you actually get quite a bit of value. I'm noticing some really cool feats for fighters and monks like one that lets you use Str for Initiative and a series of style feats that let you be really dangerous while mobile. There's also some really interesting social feats like distracting a room full of creatures enough to allow observed creatures to make stealth checks. The useless ones are situational but if you known what kind of campaign you're getting into they can be pulled off regularly. I would say that overall the feats are about as good as you'd expect from Paizo's Ultimate books with a large swath being ignored due to the abundance of feats you need for particular builds but the ones with good flavor and great usefulness peeking through, even producing new kinds of builds.


It does tend to mess up a bit less, where a number of the feats aren't bad but make me wish characters got more feats because really they do new things but will get crowded out by hyper-optimized combat focused builds needing feats to be way more aggressive. This is kind of a result of the product not exactly rocking the boat by revolutionizing the game or generating new subsystems or changing power dynamics but at the same time the tendency kind of keeps it playing safe and not messing up by completely bungling what its trying to do and wind up being completely useless or overpowered. Its the kind of thing that you wouldn't seek out with any real enthusiasm except for about a dozen feats and more of something that you're really happy to have when you have it. Its a dose of diversity that doesn't rock the boat that can be a really nice treat for casual games that have a particular kind of game in mind and giving a few new reasons to build in a weird way. From a powergaming grognard point of view there's only a couple of gems to break you from the core rulebook and is about as useful as your average Pathfinder Player Companion. That doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend it to a powergaming grognard because in context the same price is less than your average Player Companion and the density of the product does lend to it more actual content to sink your teeth into so it actually comes out as being as useful as a really good Player companion so I can deem it as well worth the price.


For the rate of traps per gems I'd have to lower my final score to somewhere between three stars and four, as that just adds more choice paralysis to anyone that has trouble finding feats, but I get more value out of it than others because I run and play a huge range of types of campaigns so my personal feelings lean it more towards a 4 stars out of 5 and call it a day.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
More Feats! Compilation - Volume I
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Sir Reginald Lichlyter's Magical Beers, Tankards, & Other Inebrious Items
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/30/2016 09:23:00

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This tome detailing the latest in inebriation-themed objects and concoctions clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 27 pages of content, so let's take a look!


We begin this tome with basically a rehash of the basic "how to get drunk"-rules from the last tome, though the approach has been streamlined with more precise rules - and yes, the hangover now comes with a proper duration, which renders these rules, overall, more concise. Additionally, the section now sports game-mechanics for a general alcohol addiction as well as three sample addictions for other spirits - though these suffer from a formatting glitch (or unfortunate decision), wherein their headers are white letters on a grey background, rendering the headers a bit hard to read. Beyond that, a sidebox notes Profession (Brewer)'s interaction with the creation of magical ales before diving right into the collection of magical ales the book provides.


And they are, generally, interesting: Acidblood ale, for example, not only grants acid resistance 5 - any bite attack dealing damage to the target also results in the unfortunate attacker being subject to the acidic blood. Altbeer of vareless travel increases overland travel speed, while drinking a brett of softened bones fortifies the imbiber against massive damage and provides a bonus to Escape Artist checks. Beer of Sobriety would be THE drink IRL - drinking it removes one drink from your system. SO AWESOME. Very cool for complex investigations - Blackout Brew: Upon consuming this beer and reaching a certain level of drunkenness, you'll lose all memory of the events transpired. Yep, this can make for a superb narrative tool. Bloodbeer can instill vampiric hunger in you, while a proper Doppelbock can grant you natural AC and DR, but also make you susceptible to fire. and reduce your movement. (Btw.: The reduced movement rate is accurate - give me a couple of Doppelbocks and I'm much slower... ;P) Potentially problematic can be the happoshu of ki recovery, which allows you to regain ki, usually a limited resource - so depending on the amount of ki-based options, that one may make some trouble in your campaign.


Absolutely evocative - imperial stouts of teleporting toasts - you drink these with multiple people, each toasting to a location. The one that got the most toasts is the destination. Similarly cool - a delicious Schwarzbier that allows you to scry on the target of the toast. Once again, we get a gender-reversing beer and there is also a disgusting one with zombie bits in it that nets you undead anatomy I... and a taste for corpses...


This pdf also contains a whole smörgåsbord of magical drinking containers - from cups that help you with social interactions to a drinking horn that grants you increasing benefits, the more you drink from it in one go. I'm not a big fan of the flagon of healing brew - any alcohol consumed from it heals 1d4 points of damage (slightly annoying, btw. - instead of "1d4", the pdf often uses "d4" in a minor formatting glitch) - while this should not break any game (you still get drunk, thus limiting the use of the item...), it's still exceedingly inexpensive healing that can wreck havoc in some low fantasy settings - so take heed here. A jug of everflowing beer...is pretty much many a person's dream come true. Obviously. And in connection with the aforementioned item...well...does provide infinite healing...Q.E.D. That being said, it has a no-selling-caveat, which is very much awesome. A tankard that can untie ropes and improves saves is nice, though the formatting did overlook the italicization of a spell referenced in the item's text...still: Cool.


Beyond tankards and mugs, the book also contains an assortment of diverse miscellaneous items - a bag of cheap ale (that the text calls bag of infinite alcohol) allows you to draw forth okay ales...which is cool. But why is there no non-selling caveat this time around? The brooch of slowed metabolism is interesting - it doubles the duration of any magical item or drink with at least one drink of alcohol in it when drunk by the wearer...okay, got that. Sooo...how does this interact with extracts and mutagens? Do these contain alcohol? On the cool side - what about an enchanted coin that makes any drink bought with it a potential agent for charming the drinker? VERY interesting. Gloves that grant you 3 brawling-related feats also should be considered to be intriguing. Oh...and there is a staff that can turn water to ale....which can drown aquatic creatures. Not the worst way to go, I'd wager... Really intriguing: armor enchanted to make creatures swallowing the wearer intoxicated! Can you see the drunk and hungover purple worms barfing in the desert? I can! Oh, and a weapon that inflicts drunkenness on targets can also be pretty funny...


The pdf also sports cursed items - ales that result in instant addiction or that teleport you into very odd locales, flagons that provide a false sense of confidence, curses that deprive you of sleep...quite an assortment here. The pdf also sports an array of alchemical items, including basically an alchemist's version of AlkaSeltzer, bricks that can be dissolved in water to turn to ale or powdered alcohol. Cool array! The final section of this pdf is devoted to an assortment of alcohol-themed spells, with various inebriation-causing spells, a versatile panacea, a nasty spell that turns beer to poison (what many large breweries IRL cast on their whole supply...)...some nice ones here. I also consider the low-level spell that transforms poison for the duration into inebriation actually not only potentially fun, but also very useful. Magically modifying the drink limit of the creatures targeted is also covered. All in all, a fun selection of spells.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are pretty good on a formal and rules level - while there are a few hiccups here, they are scarce and show Fat Goblin Games' increased prowess in these fields. The pdf sports a two-column full-color layout and has several gorgeous full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.


Jeff Gomez' take on a Sir Reginald Lichlyter-book is interesting - this book is less than its predecessor like a Call to Arms-book: It does not feature the same epic scope and amount of fluff/supplemental rules. That being said, the base rules for being drunk are significantly streamlined, which is a good thing in my book. This book, in essence, is pretty much, for the most part, a nice equipment book that should prove to be fun for many a table. While not all items herein are bereft of problems and while there are some hiccups in the details to be found, for the most part, this is a well-crafted, concise equipment book with some pretty nice ideas that deserve being recognized. While not as streamlined as e.g. the current CtA-books by Fat Goblin Games, this should be considered as a valid and fun addition to many a table. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sir Reginald Lichlyter's Magical Beers, Tankards, & Other Inebrious Items
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8-Bit Adventures - Welcome to the Fungal Kingdom
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2016 09:42:11

Rich Hershey's 8-bit page design and art are fantastic.


The conversion of monsters from game into Pathfinder creatures looks very good. Them magic items are simple, but well thought out.


The final section of the book lays out a simple progression that follows the idea of the video game very well. Maybe it's not enough for a full campaign, but, it's more than enough to get you started on that path.


At 86 pages total, this is well worth the investment for any GM looking to add a little (or a lot) of pop culture to their game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
8-Bit Adventures - Welcome to the Fungal Kingdom
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The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil - Sidequests - River Crossing (5th Edition Fantasy- OSR)
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2016 13:51:19

If you're curious about The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil, you should definitely check this out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil - Sidequests - River Crossing (5th Edition Fantasy- OSR)
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The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil (Pathfinder)
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2016 13:43:50

Originally posted on my blog, Halls of the Nephilim (www.punverse.blogspot.com)


The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil is a level 4-6 fantasy adventure by Kevin Watson. It is part one of the Hauntings of Hastur series. I own one of the print OSR/5E kickstarter copies as well as OSR/5E pdf and the Pathfinder pdf.


Having to do with Hastur, the adventure obviously has a dark feel to it, but it's definitely not too dark or weird to be added to a standard D&D game. The adventure could be placed on the outskirts of any fantasy kingdom with little work.


While I've not ran through it, I really like it. The author has included a great mix of well-balanced combat and non-combat encounters. While there are definitely times you have to fight, parley is important too.


A majority of the foes faced by the party will be human. This surprised me considering Hastur's involvement, but given the plot, it does make sense. I hope to see more eldritch horrors in part two.


The pdf's come with an extra pdf that is just illustrations and maps from the adventure. This was an excellent touch and I wish more companies would do this with their releases. I know the art style isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I think it works given the flavor of the adventure. I do want to talk about the portrait of Fredu for a moment. He resembles Robin Williams.Williams was a great man and avid gamer, so it's cool. I appreciated it, but it actually kind of made me too sad to read the adventure for a bit.


So the important question, should you pick up this adventure. I say most definitely.


If you're curious about the style, just out the free sidequest: River Crossing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil (Pathfinder)
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The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil (5th Edition Fantasy- OSR)
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2016 13:42:54

Originally posted on my blog, Halls of the Nephilim (www.punverse.blogspot.com)


The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil is a level 4-6 fantasy adventure by Kevin Watson. It is part one of the Hauntings of Hastur series. I own one of the print OSR/5E kickstarter copies as well as OSR/5E pdf and the Pathfinder pdf.


Having to do with Hastur, the adventure obviously has a dark feel to it, but it's definitely not too dark or weird to be added to a standard D&D game. The adventure could be placed on the outskirts of any fantasy kingdom with little work.


While I've not ran through it, I really like it. The author has included a great mix of well-balanced combat and non-combat encounters. While there are definitely times you have to fight, parley is important too.


A majority of the foes faced by the party will be human. This surprised me considering Hastur's involvement, but given the plot, it does make sense. I hope to see more eldritch horrors in part two.


The pdf's come with an extra pdf that is just illustrations and maps from the adventure. This was an excellent touch and I wish more companies would do this with their releases. I know the art style isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I think it works given the flavor of the adventure. I do want to talk about the portrait of Fredu for a moment. He resembles Robin Williams.Williams was a great man and avid gamer, so it's cool. I appreciated it, but it actually kind of made me too sad to read the adventure for a bit.


So the important question, should you pick up this adventure. I say most definitely.


If you're curious about the style, just out the free sidequest: River Crossing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil (5th Edition Fantasy- OSR)
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Sir Reginald Lichlyter's Trusty Tavern Tome
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/21/2016 05:42:30

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This massive supplement clocks in at 62 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 57 pages of content, so let's take a look!


After a brief introductory prose and a short history on alcohol, we begin this pdf with a chapter that is aptly named "How to get drunk" -and if you've taken a look at the GMG, you'll know that the rules leave something to be desired there - hence, this pdf codifies drinks in sizes - basically, from shot to huge kegs, you get the respective number of shots contained. Much like Raging Swan Press' excellent Barroom Brawls, this pdf focuses on stages of inebriation - but with a different emphasis. Where RSP's booklet took a look at the slightly inebriated states, this one takes a closer look at truly plastered conditions, providing 3 additional grades of being utterly drunk. But wait, you say - there is a difference in potency! Well, yeah, and the pdf accounts for that and the pdf also presents guidelines for intoxication of creatures of unusual size - getting Colossal creatures drunk is hard...


The pdf also sports rules for hangovers (=fatigued), but provides no guidelines for the duration of such a handover, which is a bit disappointing. Oh well, the next component of the pdf is interesting in its details - we cover drinks, a lot of them. Each drink sports a source, a suggested supporting geography/culture, a cost, the serving size usually employed and a brewing DC to make the drink. The respective drinks feature proper elaborations and cover favorites of mine like Absinthe (Goth-cliché checked off!) and goes on to cover cordial, dandelion wine, mead, mezcal or various sorts of beer, the section is rather nice. As a born and bred Franconian, I could have used notes on more diverse beers, but then again, I'm a huge beer and whiskey snob...so no surprise there. ;P


Pretty cool, btw. - the pdf also covers a wide array of mixed drinks, with e.g. xorn vomit being a mixture of absinthe and brandy. I may be a bit odd - but precise measurements for the ingredients would have been fun to me...perhaps since, once in a while, when my PCs gather in a bar, we actually drink as players. The pdf also sports signature drinks - like my beloved doppelbock, dwarven stouts, hammermine porter, hobgoblin haggruh, melonmashs or yam beer - and that was only a very small look at the selection of beers! Mead types, wines and odd distilled drinks come in similarly detailed selections, providing a wide variety of cool subtypes, though these specialties sport no crunchy information.


Then again, we're talking about drinking in a fantastic context -as such, magical drinks make sense and are provided. Each such drink sports a drink type, serving size, cost as well as a description and a note on popular brands - one star denoting 80% of list price, two and three stars = 100% list price and higher star ratings meaning that the drinks will be more expensive. Here's the interesting thing, though: All fantastic drinks require Fort-saves - failing them nets the drinker the side effects noted for the respective duration instead of getting the benefits. The drinks also have a compounding line, which denotes the amount of times a character can benefit from the respective drink in a given 24 hour period. Oh, there is one thing I should note pertaining the side effects - they are kinda hilarious in some instances - when you drink, for example, cat fat tonic, it has a sequence of 6 failure - upon each failure, you permanently take on more feline features like whiskers or a cat's tail. You wake up after a long night of boozing in a back alley. Suddenly you look like a catfolk. WTF has happened??? That does sound like a cool module to me! That being said, at the same time, this rare type of elixir can also be cheesed - its benefits are "Character gains a +1 towards Move Silently, Hide and Balance checks" - which is not proper rules language. Unfortunately, this does extend to a couple of the drinks herein. At the same time, it should be noted, however, that the drinks themselves make interesting suggestions regarding the effects - consuming a particular spirit can e.g. help you not be hampered by the miss chances of displacer beasts. While I really want to like these drinks, there is one rather glaring hiccup herein - all but 2 of the drinks lack the note on how long their benefits actually last. They lack the benefit duration-line. Basically, compounding this with the lack of bonus types etc., this makes the whole section not that useful, which is a pity.


Magical brews, then, as opposed to the former category, are somewhat more streamlined - the rules-language are significantly more precise and their formatting adheres closer to being uncommon potions: Bitter basilisk Ale lets you spit lancets of flame. That being said, the activation option of spitting the gouts of flame here is missing. That being said, this is still a rather cool selection -and yes, wine of sex shifting included.


All right, beyond all those drinks, this pdf also covers inns and taverns of different sizes and qualities, with a handy price-list , patron-maximums, costs to purchase, initial stock provided etc. Pretty cool, in case you're looking for quick and dirty tavern management rules - by type and size, you get a nice daily spending vs. daily earnings table that can streamline day-to-day business to a single roll. Similarly, inns also receive this thoroughly detailed take. The final section of this pdf sports something most of us will have encountered at least once - the random drinking buddy/type of drunk - a total of 16 such archetypes, from the antisocialite to the bragger or spendthrift can be found within these pages, allowing GMs to quickly whip out a personality trait for the respective NPC, with quite a few of these traits also sporting rules for resisting their quirks.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are ok, but not perfect - there are quite a bunch of formatting hiccups and typos in here and rules-language oscillates between being precise and opaque as well. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full color standard and the pdf sports numerous neat full-color artworks -as often with fat Goblin Games, this is a beautiful book. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience.


Rick Hershey, master of Fat Goblin Games, is perhaps most known for his prolific output of unique artwork, but it is evident that he also knows how to design some intriguing game mechanics. I honestly didn't know what to expect from this book, so here's the deal - this is, in essence, a kind of Call to Arms-type of book for drinks and taverns: You get the level of detail the simulationalists among you will adore as well as a couple of rules-plug-ins one can easily use to supplement the game. I particularly liked the streamlined inn/tavern rules. I also really liked the level of detail regarding specialties, but wished they had a bit more details regarding their crafting. Similarly, I really enjoy the risk/reward type of magical alcohol.


I really like a lot of the components in this book, but when the rules-language is flawed in some of the components, it simply made my heart drop a bit. You see, I'd like to unanimously recommend this one, but ultimately can only do so to an extent -if, as a GM, you're willing to take care of the rough edges and like the ultra-detailed approach, then I'm pretty confident you'll enjoy this book. As a general dressing/consideration-book, this certainly is a feasible addition to one's arsenal, if not a perfect one - and while I want to round up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars, I ultimately can't - hence, for the purpose of this platform, we'll arrive at 3 stars, but with the express caveat that this book can be a pretty inspired resource for certain groups.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Sir Reginald Lichlyter's Trusty Tavern Tome
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Sidebar #12 - Equipment Tricks for Backpacks!
by Markus D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2016 11:59:10

Updated review:


Actual Content (tricks): about 1,5 pages (Page 1: Cover, part of page 2 + page 3: tricks. Page 4: Open game license and Page 5: blank).


Personally I was disappointed, because I didn't read the description properly and so had hoped for some GM advice for managing player backpacks (pouches, bags), but this Sidebar is about what the players might DO with a backpack (e.g. use it in a fight). My fault - as I was told by the publisher, I should have looked at the Call to arms section at FGG (and there: "The Magic Satchel").


So overall I will rate this 4 stars for some nice ideas, which I had the impression shouldn't be too difficult to adapt to other rule systems.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sidebar #12 - Equipment Tricks for Backpacks!
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(5e) Expanded Options #03 - Items of Quality - Armor
by Steven M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2016 21:54:13

I always like providing magic that doesn't feel like magic. Often, fighters acquire armor and weapons and little else to make them seem more that buff machines. Other non-spellcasters end up in the same boat - limited options to make their characters unique. I am always on the hunt to provide new ways to put interesting magic into mundane hands to compete and diverge from the normal path of +1 swords and shields. I like characters that have interesting things that magic users just can't use...
Ismael does that with this product.
He offers a three page document on making items of quality that are more unique than a +1 shield or sword - along with some examples. Some have a permanent feature - such as a shield that can bash for damage, and others take on a temporary quality like durability. One of my favorites is a sliding shield that you can ride on to avoid danger.
If you are looking for ideas on how to break the cycle of potions and weapons being the primary way to beef up non-spellcasters, pick up this sidebar. I'm sure you will like the presentation and start making your loot options far more interesting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
(5e) Expanded Options #03 - Items of Quality - Armor
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(5E) Expanded Options #02 - Monster Lore Skill for 5th Edition Fantasy
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2016 23:00:37

This supplement presents an interesting idea for determining whether or not a character knows something about a given monster type without introducing a slew of new mechanics to accomplish such. However, the mechanics are a bit inflexible and a little illogical at times; essentially, every class can add their proficiency bonus to Intelligence checks to know something relevant about a particular monster, but as the other reviewer below noted, each class is locked into knowing something about a particular type of monster. Rangers, for example, can add their bonus to checks about monstrosities, and Barbarians can for beasts. It seems a little odd, though, that a Ranger seems to have no particular knowledge about beasts or giants. In attempting to make each class have its own particular field of knowledge, monster lore ends up getting divided up in ways which seem forced and unlikely. I think it would be fine for some classes to be better than others at such and also for some overlap to occur.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
(5E) Expanded Options #02 - Monster Lore Skill for 5th Edition Fantasy
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CLASSifieds: The Pyromancer
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2016 10:20:36

The Pyromancer is a rework of the 2011 class of the same name and publisher. In this version several unique class features remain but are improved this time around. The Pyromancer receives a d6 hit die, ½ Base Attack bonus and good progression of Will saving throws. The Pyromancer is a full spellcaster that eventually receives access to 9th level spells. The Pyromancer has the sorcerer’s spell progression and is a spontaneous caster. The Pyromancer can now cast spells off the Wizard/Sorcerer spell list, which is much needed considering the original edition has a custom spell list of evocation fire spells. Though when casting spells with the cold descriptor those spells take up 2 spell slots. The Pyromancer in its original concept was about dishing out as much dps as possible using fire magic and this rework builds upon those core features. The 1st class feature we receive is Fire Within (Ex): Any time the Pyromancer does fire damage they add their CHA mod to the damage dealt. Considering the few ways one has to add static damage to spells I really enjoyed this class feature in both the original and reworked editions. Though now at 9th level the Pyromancer can as a standard action, emit an Aura similar to a fire elementals burn ability that does 2d6 + 1 fire damage/ two levels for nonconsecuative rounds equal to their Pyromancer level. Since this is fire damage this should also proc the Fire Within CHA to damage. At 11th level this ability works on manufactured weapons and acts as the heat metal spell, dealing 2d6+2/ two levels. At 1st level we also get 5 fire resist that stacks with other fire resist from items or spells. The amount of fire resistance goes up by 5 for every 5 levels afterwards.


At 2nd level, a Pyromancer gains the ability to devastate a foe with a beam of pure, scorching fire. A Pyromancer may target anything within a30-foot radius as a ranged touch attack. The ray deals1d8 points of fire damage for every 2 Pyromancer levels and an additional 1 point of fire damage for every 2 Pyromancer levels. This ability may be used a number of times equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier . At 4th level the Pyromancer can control whether flames magical or non-magical can be extinguished and at 5th level the Pyromancer receives a 20 foot burst centered on them for 1d6/ level fire damage reflex for half. There is a typo that says “once per day as a standard action.” And “She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier.” Editing and clarification are needed. Also it is un stated whether the Pyromancer at the center of the burst takes any fire damage or has to make a save. I personally would say no but the ability needs to be clarified. At 7th level the Pyromancer can manipulate light from fire sources as a move action, improving to 11th level as if casting the pyrotechnics spell. Also at 7th level the Pyromancer gains the burning spell meta magic feat. At 9th level the meta magic feat only improves the spell by 1 spell level, which improves further at 13th level to not increasing spell level times per day equal to CHA mod. At 11th level, any use by a Pyromancer of an extraordinary ability, spell, or spell-like ability that deals fire damage penetrates all fire resistance and hardness, treating affected creatures or objects as having half their normal resistance or hardness. At 13th level the Pyromancer’s Fire within improves further dealing 2x Cha mod as damage when dealing fire damage. This used to be a feat chain in the original. At 15th level the Pyromancer pierces all fire resistance and immunity and ignores any hardness under 20. At 17th level the DC’s of all their spells spell like abilities and extraordinary abilities are increased by half their level when it comes to putting out targets set on fire. At 19th level when casting fire spells the Pyromancer gains a + to Caster level. Yep Spells with the fire descriptor are cast at level 21 and the Pyromancer gains + 2 to counter spell, dispel or pierce spell resistance with these spells. At 20th level, the Pyromancer becomes an outsider gaining both the outsider and fire subtypes, but not becoming vulnerable to cold. The Pyromancer no longer ages, can be flanked and can speak any language originating from the plane of fire. Included are favored class options for both standard races and races from the Shadows Over Vathak campaign setting.


Included are 3 archetypes for the Pyromancer. A healing cauterize Archetype, a hell fire Devilish Archetype and a Flame Artisan crafting Archetype. All three are an interesting take on the Pyromancer but I won’t be explaining them here.


Included are three feats. The first Extra burn gives you an extra use of any class ability that deals fire damage per day. Intense fire lets you add +1 bonus damage to any fire damage. Master of fire doubles any bonus fire damage for class abilities that use the Pyromancer’s Cha mod for bonus damage. Potentially Master of Fire could apply to Fire Within and Improved fire within. I would enjoy some clarification, so by RAW the issue could be clear.


Overall I love the update to this class. I love the original copy due to its potential for lots of damage. The specific class spell list was the only thing holding me back from using this class in a four man adventuring party (as it was only evocation and dps type spells). Now that the Pyromancer receives more spells per day, and can now use the Wizard/Sorcerer spell list, this is a solid alternative if someone wants to play a blaster sorcerer but didn’t like the blood line abilities. In fact, due to the fire penetration class features this is most likely stronger. There are several levels where no new class abilities are gained (4,6,8,12,14,18) that could have had some class features shifted around. A few typos and dead levels hold this product back from being a 5 star review.


I’m giving this product a solid 4 stars, it encompasses and encapsulates the original product bringing the strengths and unique class features of the original into the modern world, while improving on archaic design ideas from the 3.5 era. The rework of the Pyromancer captained by Kiel Howell, is a solid buff to the original fire wielding class released in 2011. Pick it up and Flame on!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CLASSifieds: The Pyromancer
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Astonishing Races: Grippli
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/27/2016 02:32:37

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of Fat Goblin games' Astonishing Races-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 26 pages of content, so let's take a look!


This review was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy.


Ah, Grippli...I have a soft spot for the race. If you never got how awesome they can be - take a look at user NobodysHome's Serpent Skull-campaign journal on the Paizo boards. But beyond the hilarity and genius of said campaign, grippli as a race are interesting: Kinda cute, a bit naive and good frog-people? I don't have to look into the cute froggy eyes to get a kind of warm-hearted Kermit flash-back...but Gripplis are no joke and under-developed. The race has a LOT going for it, but so far, there is not extensive or particularly interesting supplement detailing them out there.


Well, this book seeks to remedy just that. Why is this important? Well, you know that I can be pretty harsh on races - for a reason. Just tacking together a couple of stats is not enough in my book; I want to see information about a given culture, the psychology of the people, the customs - otherwise you're just playing an oddly disfigured human, not a unique race. Suffice to say, the book delivers in that regard. Grippli culture(s) and village types, including desert grippli (yep, these exist - the book notes several subtypes with recommended racial traits) and their lifestyles are depicted. Tribal and somewhat matriarchal grippli definitely make sense to me, as do superstitions pertaining certain creatures and enmities. Rules-wise, age, height and weight tables and the racial stats for the grippli are provided - the latter with an RP-breakdown as per the ARG.


Usually, the presence of the like does not bode well, but here, it is justified: Grippli as a race are not particularly strong and function in every type of campaign, even the lowest, grittiest ones. However, and the book is aware of that, they actually are arguably slightly below standard races in potency. Hence, a suggestion is presented: Among the various alternate racial traits provided for the grippli, one can optionally choose to bring them up to core-race level. Granted, their climb speed is powerful, but overall, I'd suggest you heed this recommendation unless you plan to run a rather low-powered campaign. The process, obviously, is only possible due to each alternate racial trait sporting an RP-value alongside the traditional "replaces x"-line - and as much as the RP-values usually suck at determining a balanced race, the alternate racial traits here, from poison skin to gliding membranes to reduce falling damage and obvious one like deep breath, overall manage to provide a great customization frame-work for the race. And yes, Diplomacy bonuses via the "Princely" trait got a chuckle out of me.


The book manages to score on par with the most detailed of racial supplements in one regard as well: Favored Class Options. Beyond the races we all expect, Advanced Class Guide and Occult Adventures are covered - sometimes interacting with e.g. certain deeds or blessings. They are overall well-crafted...and do something I very much welcome: They comment on how the average grippli psychology and social norms interact with them - a lingering sense of guilt for intrusions in one's mind for mesmerists, psychics in tune with the very swamps they inhabit - this brief pieces of fluff made the usually rather tedious process of reading FCOs rather enjoyable and can provide roleplaying pointers I very much welcome.


Archetype-wise, we get three new options: Bogborn alchemists replace throw anything with mutagens that grant 15 ft. swim speed and may take toxic skin as a discovery. Three new grippli discoveries complement it: Chameleon grippli can enhance their skin to grant +4 to Stealth ( +8 at 10th level), while those with deadly excretions change their toxic skin's poison's effects from Dex to Con. Okay, if not too exciting. The third discovery has a different formatting, with name in italics as opposed to the two bolded discoveries before that - consistency would have been nice here...however, the discovery itself is pretty awesome, allowing you to throw bombs underwater and providing brief, concise rules for throwing bombs at targets below the surface.


Atop buzzing wings, the dragonfly champion does not gain proficiency with heavy armor and gainsan improved tactician that grants teamwork feats for 4 + 1/2 character level rounds. They also get a dragonfly mount and replaces the cavalier's charge ability-tree for scaling, devastating charges when jumping from the saddle of his dragonfly mount, emphasizing a more fluid and agile attack style. And yes, the vermin becomes intelligent - rudimentarily so, but nice catch. The order of the dragonfly receives bonuses when defending at least one member of his tribe when in challenge and adds Acrobatics and Fly to his class skills and adds Cha to the DC to intimidate him. The order abilities per se look interesting: At 2nd level, he can "rally a single member of the tribe with great confidence and ability. The tribe member gains +4 to attack, damage and save rolls and temporary hit points equal to half the cavaliers total as the cavalier rushes to their aid. this lasts for one round." sigh I kid you not, that's the text. Okay, it's supposed to say "The tribe member gains a +4 BONUS (also add bonus type)..:" and the rushed to their aid is confusing. Is there a limit? Considering the power-level of the ability, I'd assume so, but I have ultimately no idea. Oh, and yes, the activation action is missing. I assume aid another, but that would require serious fixing as well - as provided, the ability is simply non-functional. The higher level abilities work, though flawed punctuation makes them a bit harder to grasp than they should be.


The final archetype would be the exterminator ranger, who gets a sewer-modified skill list and may prepare poisons in specific ways to affect aberrations, vermin and oozes if they're part of his favored enemy array. Overall, while not perfect, this guy is okay.


The new equipment options provided herein are more solid - beyond a variant tanglefoot bomb, we can find ceremonial drums, grippli war paint and a grease-duplicating powder and glowmold lanterns - the items generally are well-crafted, though e.g. lower-case references to attributes made me cringe in the formal department. Bone as material is discussed here as well, considering how many of the grippli's items use it.


Monster-wise, stats for giant dragonflies (CR 4) and their nymphs (Cr 3) are provided...but annoyingly, the dragonfly mounts lack proper mount stats - yep, no starting statistics, no advancement. That's pretty much as glaring of an oversight as any, unfortunately...and it means that the mount assumed by the cavalier archetype...doesn't work as intended.


The feats contained herein are okay, though ultimately nothing to write home about.


The 4 traits depicted do work, though they do sport minor, aesthetic hiccups - penalties, for example, have usually no type. Thankfully, the pdf returns to form with the magic items provided: E.g. bubbles that can hold equipment and be commanded to sink to the bottom of the marsh and dig themselves in? AWESOME idea. The new spells are interesting as well and provide an example where I consider energy-substitution-type spells actually cool: Swamp Fire basically works like call lightning with fire may not win any prizes regarding innovation, but the flavor and visuals make this variant work.


The pdf does end on a high-note, though: A massive table of 50 entries provides random grippli features - from humming tunes to being okay with burping and farting (sounds a bit like your native tongue), these quirks are endearing and fun, providing some nice roleplaying ideas for players and GMs alike.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting...are still okay, but in some parts seriously flawed; the weird thing about this pdf being ultimately that it oscillates between very clear passages...and some that sport formal editing glitches and significant problems in the rules-language. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf sports numerous gorgeous full-color artworks. The dragonfly-riding grippli in particular is neat indeed. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and the print edition has a nice cover and quality paper. The colors are vibrant and the book itself does look really nice.


Rick Hershey, Lucus Palosaari, Troy E. Daniels have crafted a book that leaves me ambiguous - I actually REALLY want to like the grippli presented herein - and I do. The fluff is impressive, particularly considering the need to be campaign-setting-agnostic and the pdf does excel here. However, the different authors do show - from solid rules-language and well-written prose, we go to sections that suddenly read a bit less compelling and sport glaring oversights. The cavalier options are non-functional as presented and represent the most glaring rules-issue herein - generally, the rules-language, while deviating from the standard, at least remains clear enough to work sans ambiguity. There are whole sections that lack issues like this. Basically, the components pertaining the race and its options can be considered nice, while those beyond...are often problematic.


This is frustrating for me - I want to like and recommend this book and it does have a lot to offer; the sheer fact that it provides depth for the grippli-race and the nice logical tidbits regarding culture and racial peculiarities made this more fun to read than many similar race books I've reviewed. At the same time, though, the supplemental crunch and rules-language would have required a more thorough editing/development to be interesting - from the lackluster feats to aforementioned cavalier-option (which is cool, but doesn't work), I wished this material has seen a bit more polish to bring it up on par with the quality of racial tricks and FCOs. Whether you'll enjoy this book very much depends on what you're looking for - if you look for ROLEplaying-options and don't mind the rather less than stellar editing, this may score as high as 4 stars for you; if you look for crunch and precise language, though, then this will not exceed 2.5 stars for you. My final verdict will clock in between these, at 3 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Astonishing Races: Grippli
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Publisher's Choice - Creatures A to Z: Chaos Beast
by Matthew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2016 16:55:47

I truly believe that one of the main factors in producing an impressive adventure that DMs love, is to have really good ART! YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher's Choice - Creatures A to Z: Chaos Beast
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Publisher's Choice - Creatures A to Z: Ghost
by Matthew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2016 16:54:46

Ghost fit perfect for a poor, dead tavern owner. I opened my tiff in photoshop and adjusted the opacity, making it even more “ghost-like!”



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher's Choice - Creatures A to Z: Ghost
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Publisher's Choice - 23 Bladed Weapons
by Matthew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2016 16:53:38

Blank pages are okay for some, but you must realize most people are Visually-oriented. You need smaller pieces of art to fill your adventures. Much better than 80% blank pages!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher's Choice - 23 Bladed Weapons
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