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Liber Influxus Communis (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/05/2015 03:25:11
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive book clocks in at 184 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page KS-thanks-list, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 177 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Disclaimer: I was a backer of the kickstarter for this project, but was in no other way involved with the creation of this book.



After a brief introduction and one pages summing up the starting gold, we dive into the massive array of classes herein - the reason why this review took forever to get done. So expect one epic-length monster of a review here!



The first class would be Michael Sayre's Battle Lord, who gets d10, 4+Int skills, proficiency with simple and martial weapons, shields and light and medium armor as well as full BAB-progression and good ref- and will-saves. The battle lord receives a 10-ft aura that scales up by +5 ft at 3rd level, +5 every other level thereafter. Drills can be envisioned as such auras, only not centered on the Battle Lord himself; instead, they can originate anywhere within line of sight and require audible or visual components to execute; however, since the drills themselves are pretty easy to understand, even language-barriers can be overcome with some time and training (properly codified), thus rendering this kind-of, but not really a language-dependant extraordinary ability. A battle lord begins play with 2 drills and adds +1 at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, which conversely is also when the skill-bonuses conferred by drills, if any, scale up by +1. Initiating a drill is a move action, switching them is a swift action - neither of which provoke AoOs, so yes, front-line commander-style here.

Drills can be, in their benefits, be summed up as teamwork feats that do not suck - essentially, some of the most useful teamwork feats (like Stealth Synergy) are granted to the targets for as long as the drill persists, while also granting additional bonuses to skills, damage rolls or minor enhancements to movement speed. The array of drills is expanded at 12th level, when the Battle Lord may choose to learn greater combat drills for mass bonus-fire damage to attacks, for example. Healing allies via fast healing up to 50% of their health, but with a daily cap, also works rather well. It should be noted that Int governs, if applicable, the Battle Lord's drills. At 8th and 16th level, a battle lord may maintain up to two (or three) auras and drills at the same time, changing all in one fell swoop, should he elect to do so.



At 3rd level, the Battle Lord receives a Noble Aura - this can be considered a non-combat exclusive buff that helps with investigations, social interaction, etc., depending on which auras are chosen - interestingly, this achieves what no other class of this type had managed to this point - render the Battle Lord relevant in contexts that are NOT fighting. At 15th level, these auras are expanded by an array of Imperial Auras, which can also be used in combat and have some SPs mixed in - the wording is solid here. At 20th level, one of some exclusive auras also doubles as a capstone. A battle lord also has a specialty, which can be considered a bloodline-like progression of abilities that modifies the class skill list. At 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter, the specialty unlocks a new part of a linear ability-progression. A total of 4 such specialties are provided - from artillerist to mundane healing via the medic and to the more stealthy scout, the options here are nice. The class also sports 3 archetypes - the aquatic marine, the sword and pistol mounted specialist cavalryman and the eldritch chevalier, who gets a very limited selection of spells. All are okay. It should be noted that the Battle Lord also receives Bravery, which would be unremarkable, were it not for Michael Sayre's glorious Bravery Feats, released by Rogue Genius Games, for which the Battle Lord coincidentally qualifies...



The second class herein would be the Conduit, written by Mike Myler. The class gets d8, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and light armor, 3/4 BAB-progression and good will-saves. The conduit can be envisioned as a magical battery - they have a conduct pool that begins at 3 and scales up to 35 - each point of said pool representing a spell-level the conduit can absorb. Conduits may also absorb spell-like abilities, but they need to be the targets of said spells and execute an immediate action, with the pool's max size and 1/2 class level as restrictions, the latter denoting the maximum amount of points he can expend per ability. On the nitpicky side, the latter should specify a minimum of 1, otherwise the conduit can't absorb anything but cantrips and orisons at first level - said spells do btw. NOT grant conduct pool points; instead, the conduit has SR against them equal to 11+ class level. Nice catch here! A conduit can only absorb a spell if its level does not surpass the level-dependant cap and when she has enough conduct pool points available - no excess point.

The conduit may unleash said energy as a standard action as a ranged touch attack with a range of 25 ft. that deals 2d6 points of FORCE damage, +1 per additional point spent. The range increases by +5 feet per conduit level at 2nd level. Now, you may have guessed it -I am NOT a fan of force damage here; I have bashed classes in the past for warlocky blasting via force and Interjection Games' ethermagic wisely handled that differently. However, the conduit's blasts must be envisioned as a limited resource and thus, be compared to spells - and indeed, in practice, this provided no issues. Kudos. Now nothing sucks more than being stranded sans resources and thus, the conduit receives options over the levels to inflict damage (and attribute damage etc.) on herself to generate a limited amount of points - thankfully, both with a daily limit and sans means to cheese the regain abilities.



At 3rd level, the conduit may select one of several conduit powers, +1 every 3 levels thereafter. Conduit powers provoke AoOs and are SUs with DCs, if applicable, scaling via the 10 + 1/2 class level + cha-mod formula. The activation of these powers tends to also be powered by conduit points and as such, vary in the precise effects - from bonuses to skill-checks to passive abilities that allow the conduit to deliver mystic bolts as melee touch attacks to invisibility that scales up to its improved version, we have a significant array of choices, including duplicating low level spells, 1 1st level spell per power taken. The pool may also be used to generate weapons and shields with enhancement bonuses and movement can also be powered by the resource. Higher levels net SR and potential for AoE-spell absorption via will-save versus spellcaster level-check. At 11th level, the conduit receives a +2 enhancement bonus to an attribute whenever she expends points, lasting 1 hour per point expended and scaling up to +6 at 19th level. It should be noted that this is not bonus times points expended, as I first read the ability, but that the per-point-caveat only extends to duration. Here, the wording could have been slightly clearer. High level abilities also include leeching spell levels from foes, redirecting spells and forcing rerolls and the capstone is a magic-immune apotheosis.



The class also sports two archetypes. The Arrhythmic conduit bleeds points over time and, once empty, has a harder time regaining them and deals sonic damage instead of force damage. However, the archetype receives superior action economy, allowing for some nasty combos that allow for multiple abilities to be activated as once, or to have them interact in fluid ways - dismiss mystical protection for a free mystical bolt, for example. I really liked this archetype since it actually plays pretty much different! The cyclic channeler is brilliant - it adds a cooldown period for abilities, but increases their potency and as a bonus, we also get a nice alchemical item - however, the price of said item is high - it costs 50 Gp and can be created by a conduit with a spellcaster ad infinitum; selling it could break an economy, so DM-discretion is advised here.



The third class featured herein would be Will McCardell and Linda Zayas-Palmer's Demiurge had me, conceptually, grin from here to ear - it's essentially Plato's Theory of Forms, the class. And yes, I'm aware that being excited about this pretty much makes me a total nerd. The class receives d8, 6+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons, light armor and shields, 3/4 BAB-progression and good will-saves. This class is complex, so bear with me as I try to explain it to you - and no, once you get it, it's not that bad. First of all, the demiurge chooses an enlightenment. Enlightenments can be likened to bloodlines or mysteries in that they provide a conceptual focus as well as a linear progression of abilities - these change the basic means of facsimile creation and provide beyond their base abilities, new ones at 2nd, 8th and 15th level - think of them akin to how a cavalier's order modifies challenge and the options of the class. I will return to this concept later with examples.



Among the "small" abilities, social and perception-focused abilities can be found in the progression of the class. The true signature ability of the class, though, would be the facsimile. A facsimile is a creature born from the ideals of the world of perfect, ideal forms - despite their autonomy, much like tinker automata, facsimiles are dependent on a demiurge's commands - he may issue a number of commands equal to his Charisma modifier as a move action, though not all need to be issued to the same facsimile. The creation of one facsimile (which manifests within 30 ft.)is a full-round action that can be hastened by additional quintessence expenditure (+0.5 total cost) to a standard action. Cost is not equal to cost, though - establishing a basic facsimile entails a maintenance cost, which becomes relevant upon facsimile destruction or dismissal (which can be executed as a standard action) - an array of said points, usually half, can be regained. The aforementioned additional cost thus is not refunded. Facsimiles have no duration and a demiurge can have up to half his class level (min 1) in facsimiles at a given time.



In order to create facsimiles, a demiurge has to expend quintessence points, a minimum of 6 are required for each facsimile. A demiurge has quintessence equal to Int-mod times two plus a fixed array of bonus points determined by the class level - this begins at +15 at 1st level and scales up to +155 at 20th level. Quintessence regaining requires 1 hour of contemplation and at least 4 hours of sleep - it should be noted that increases of Int-mod do not increase the quintessence pool. If a demiurge wishes to keep facsimiles around, he must pay the maintenance cost and deduct it from the total of his quintessence pool.



Facsimiles are based on one of two base forms - jack or brute. They have fixed ability scores that are either good or poor and the same holds true for saves. Attributes and saves scale up each level, with handy tables listing them. The different base-forms have different base size categories and skills available that you can assign. Their sizes can be enhanced by the expenditure of additional quintessence. They receive default magic slam attacks and a deflection bonus equal to the demiurge's Int-mod, but do not gain feats or magic items and they count as having HD equal to the demiurge's class level. A facsimile is treated as a construct for the purposes of spells and effects, but not for the purposes of base qualities. Now as ideas, facsimiles are somewhat more ephemeral than your average summoned creature - every time the facsimile receives damage, it has to make a dissipation check, with d20 +1/3 demiurge class level + facsimile's Cha-mod versus DC 10 + 1 per 2 points of damage taken, with natural 20s and 1s constituting automatic successes and failures, respectively. Some ideals and class abilities allow a facsimile to ignore some chances of dissipation and at 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the demiurge's facsimiles receive +1 chance to ignore dissipation. Upon destruction that is not an intended dismissal, a demiurge only receives 1/4 of a facsimile's maintenance cost back, as opposed to 1/2 of it. And yes, facsimiles, as ideal, do not have hit points.



Now each facsimile has 5 ideals that are drawn from 4 categories: Locomotion, Manipulative, Sensorial and Special. Each facsimile has one slot per category, 2 in the special category. However, each ideal's quintessence cost (or augmentation) can be doubled so it instead can be applied to occupy another category's slot. Facsimiles can thus be enhanced to have a massive array of different abilities and shapes, from humanoid ones that disrupt the terrain to those that can grant senses - want to make a tripedal moving facsimile that can share senses and dissipate itself to heal adjacent creatures? Possible.

The vast array of customizations here are impressive indeed, though not all augmentations feel like they are perfectly balanced, something that especially comes to mind when thinking about the ray ideal: This is an SP untyped ray that deals 1d4 + Cha-mod damage, with a base cost of 2. For +4 quintessence, the facsimile receives +1 ray attack and per 1 point of quintessence spent on this augmentation, the damage dice increases by +1d4, to a maximum of half the demiurge's class level. Now, if you're taking notes, you'll realize how this can be used to make one devastating laser battery at higher levels - if you ever wanted to make a final fantasy-summon style kill-all laser battery, well, there you go. Do the math. Even with *only* Int 18, one would get163 quintessence. Then take minimum cost for all ideals apart from rays, for 4 points beyond the base costs, one would be left with 151 points, which would translate to more than 30 ray attacks (37.75) à 10d4+Cha-mod damage. With Dex = 29 and full BAB, this laser battery can evaporate just about anything. This one component of the facsimile-building system is what doesn't work and honestly, I would have been somewhat confused, but I'm not the only one reading it this way. I believe the ability has undergone a layout glitch or oversight, since the rays also lack a range. My advice, at least for now, is to simply apply the cap on the augmentation that also applies to damage dice increase - 3 rays à 10d4+Cha-mod for a total of 10 quintessence seems like the more reasonable and probably, intended, cap - a minor rephrasing of the ideal would work here. Now do NOT let this one hiccup in this impressive class get in the way of appreciation of this glorious class, for that's not where things end!



The demiurge also sports a linear sequence of abilities, from 4th level on, which is called rhetoric. When using these abilities, one determines one facsimile designated as an argument facsimile and one as an arguer facsimile. The argument facsimile is considered the origin, the arguer the beneficiary. The argument facsimile's maintenance cost must be equal to or exceed that of the arguer. Performing the like is a full-round action and unless otherwise noted, the facsimiles need to be adjacent to one another. Rhetorics have a duration of 1 round per 2 demiurge levels and some may cause the argument facsimile to become disoriented, allowing them to only perform either a move action or a standard action and may still perform swift, immediate or free actions. A demiurge begins with 3 rhetorics and learns more as the levels progress. These rhetorics are what renders the facsimiles EVEN MORE interesting - they allow, for example, for the addition of the argument's locomotion ideals to the arguer while the rhetoric persists. Other options include making the facsimiles a wall and combining reaches of the facsimiles involved. It should be noted that the abilities themselves also sport some nice easter-eggs in the nomenclature.



The 7th level also nets the demiurge the option to create a thesis facsimile, a facsimile with a limited free will and a buffing aura and yes, they may heal allies via reclaimed quintessence.



Now to get back to the enlightenments I mentioned in the beginning? Take Agathon - this enlightenment has the final quintessence cost of facsimiles reduced by 1/4 class level and get a 6th slot, which costs half as much. At 2nd level, one can have one free facsimile with only 4 slots and a significantly-reduced effective level of class level -3, while also allowing for some on the fly modification. Artifice demiurges can create objects, while befuddlement allows for the creation of shadow facsimiles - in case you haven't noticed - each of the 6 enlightenments provided radically changes the way in which the class plays. The capstone is an interesting apotheosis, at least as far as that type of capstone goes. The bonus content covers 11 sample facsimiles. I adore the demiurge class - it is a thing of mechanical beauty, vast options and is utterly, completely unique. With all those pet-classes out there, it still is more unique and interesting and while it only belongs into the hands of experienced players, it is GLORIOUS. Any fan of classes with customization options and complex tricks needs to take a good luck at this class - a piece of advice: Just make a sample character. It makes *getting* the class rather easy and seriously, I don't get what the hassle is regarding the complexity of this class. It's not simple, sure, but it is damn rewarding and I can't bring myself to bash it for one ability with a wonky exploit due to a wording ambiguity. I adore this class and playtest showed it works in awesome ways - though, as a piece of advice, much like summoners et al., one should make sure the player can run it quickly and doesn't hog the spotlight. Still, probably my favorite class in ages and one that will be very hard to top!



After this complexity beast, the medium is rather simple: At d8, 2+Int skills, proficiency with simple weapons and light armor, good will-saves and 3/4 BAB-progression, the class looks a bit bare-bones. As a full-round action, the medium may channel spirits and let herself be possessed by her spirit companion as a full-round action, the duration clocking in at 4 hours, starting at 5th level instead for 1 hours per medium level. Interaction with being killed etc. is covered aptly by the wording, including memories etc. A medium can channel spirits equal to Cha-mod timer per day and the effect cannot be blocked by regular possession-preventing magic. The medium can use a standard action to provide minor bonuses and she may use séances to duplicate augury. At 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, the class receives a revelation chosen from a limited list, interacting with their ability to channel spirits and utilize séances - here, an alternate nomenclature to make them deviate from the oracle's revelations would probably have been in order. So, the spirit companion...this is the defining class feature of the medium and shares your ability modifiers and hit points; however, the spirit does have class levels - yes, this class can be essentially summed up as gestalt, the character - you can essentially shift between forms and from leadership to spellcasting and psionic powers and feats, the spirit companion is handled pretty neatly - and the capstone allows for a true fusion of the two. Btw.: Yes, the revelations interact with the class choices you make for the spirit companion.



Archetype-wise, there would be one with less powerful spirits, but who receives more spirit companions, one that can be considered an oracle-crossover as well as one that specializes in revelations that interact with the physical world. And yes, there would also be one psionic medium archetype. Eric Morton's Medium is a solid, fun class that especially will be a boon to tables with less players that need to cover more roles. Two thumbs up!



The Metamorph-class with d8, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and natural attacks, but no armor, good 3/4 BAB-progression, good fort- and ref-saves and begin play with a maximum number of 3 attacks and an evolution pool of 3 that scales up to 26 at 20th level. Metamorphs also have a built-in natural armor bonus that increases over the levels and ability-increases dispersed over the levels. 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter see bonus feats. 1st level metamorphs may choose their genesis, determining the key-ability modifier for the class and modifying the class skill list. Now unlike some other takes on the evolution-based class framework, a list of phenotypes, which determine ultimately the evolutions that become available for the class - a total of 8 phenotypes are provided and a massive table helps the player determine which evolutions are eligible for the phenotype chosen. Only fey and undying may for example choose the basic magic evolution, whereas only bestial, monstrous or reconstructed metamorphs may learn the trample evolution. A metamorph has 2+class level evolution points, +1 at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Evolutions can be reassigned upon gaining a level. The class also sports 3 archetypes - one that wilders amid sorceror bloodlines/eldritch heritages, while metamorphic abominations may wilder in racial heritages. Finally, the Transmogrifist may wilder in the alchemist's toolbox. We also get a sample level 13 character here.



I honestly was NOT looking forward to yet another evolution-based class - after masquerade reveler, underterror and iron titan, I was simply burned out on them. However, Wojciech Gruchala's metamorph ultimately may be one of the most user-friendly and easy to balance takes on the concept - while I prefer the fluff of the masquerade reveler still, the metamorph may be the most user-friendly take on the concept - with the handy table and restrictions that prevent abuse as well as thanks to the cap of maximum attack and the lack of flexible changes of the basic evolutions chosen. All in all, a solid take on the concept I can't really complain about.



The Mnemonic gets d8, 6+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and one weapon of choice, full unarmed strike progression as a monk, 3/4 BAB-progression and good ref- and will-saves. Menomincs may execute a standard action to identify one or more feats a target creature possesses by making an Int-check versus 10 + CR, with creatures of a CR greater than the mnemonic's HD further increasing the DC by +3, revealing a scaling amount of feats a target has - the better the check, the more feats are revealed. Why would he waste an action like this beyond the tactical information? Thought Strikes. A mnemonic may execute class level + Int-mod of those per day and they can be executed as part of an attack action - somewhat akin to stunning fist, the targets receive a save, which may see them impeded by escalating negative conditions. Instead, a mnemonic may forego said detrimental conditions and execute a memory theft, to steal a skill bonus or feat for class level rounds.



A mnemonic still has to fulfill the prerequisites of a stolen feat to make use of it and stolen feats only lock down feats that build on the original feat, not those that only have it as a prerequisite. The amount of skill bonuses, feats, etc. a mnemonic can steal at a given time is handled via a nifty table and starting at 5th level, the mnemonic may eliminate spells as well, though without being able to cast them himself. Finally, it should be noted that mnemonics may expend thought strike uses to retain a given stolen feat for 24 hours, though future maintenance of this stolen knowledge progressively erodes the mnemonic's thought theft capacity further, preventing the infinite storing of a stolen feat. now granted, this can be cheesed simply by passing the feat from mnemonic to mnemonic, but in that case, I'd consider it a somewhat interesting plot-point/narrative device and, more importantly, not something that would in itself break the game - so yeah.



Beyond this theft component, a mnemonic of 3rd level may also copy extraordinary abilities and combat feats he has seen in the last 24 hours, with an effective class level decreased by -4, though, thankfully, only for 4+Int-mod rounds per day. High levels allow for the recalling of abilities and even sharing of them, thanks to the nice addition of telepathy-style abilities to the fray. It should also be noted that they may imprint part of their mind into objects, making them essentially intelligent with all the consequences - which is a kind of awesome additional twist for the class. Essentially, this is the brainy monk we know from Anime and WuXia who copies your moves and uses your own tricks against you - and it is more efficient than the woefully underpowered base class thanks to its tricks. Speaking of which - the amnesiac archetype, with its battle trance, hearkens also back to these media and provides a pretty cool alternative to the base concept. Hungry Minds would be evil mnemonics that may heal themselves via thought strikes (limited resource, so kitten-proof), while thought rippers replace the detrimental conditions of regular thought strikes with scaling non-lethal damage. Solid and nice- overall, a fun class - designer Mike Myler did a neat job here!



Next up would be the momenta, pitched by Erik Ottosen and written by the Amor Game-staff, and I am not engaging in hyperbole when I'm saying that I haven't seen a class like this before. We all have seen the trope in literature - the faithful, loyal companion that makes the heroes excel, the squire that does the grunt-work - that is the momenta. The class gets 6+Int skills per level (with 2 to be freely chosen as class skills), d, proficiency with simple and martial weapons and light armor plus shields, 1/2 BAB-progression and good will-saves as well as prepared arcane casting via Int of up to 4th level, from their own spell-list, with the caveat that they can ignore "somatic components of up to 50 gold in value" while holding the book in their hands- I assume that should be material components. Additionally, as written, the momenta incurs spell failure chance for casting in light armor, which she probably shouldn't, seeing how she can only cast spells outside of combat in the first place (but only has a 6 hour required rest for spell memorization). It should be noted that limited spellcasting in combat can be achieved via the class's talents. Momenta of 4th level may cast cure light wounds as an arcane spell by either spending a motivation point or by spontaneously converting one of her spells. And these would be the momenta's central resource: A momenta receives Cha-mod motivation points in the beginning of a battle, +1 per ally that acts before an opponent.



Alas, this mechanic is utterly broken. First of all, it utilizes the nonsense per-encounter mechanic, which makes in-game no sense whatsoever. I've been VERY vocal about that not working, so I'll spare you my usual rant regarding this topic and just point you towards them. Tl; DR: Makes no sense since it is based on a fluid measurement of time rather than a concrete one. Secondly, the system can be gamed due to a lack of definition as to what constitutes an ally - master summoner conjures a lot of creatures with good initiative, momenta doesn't know what to do with this huge amount of points. A clearer definition is definitely in order here. A similar complaint can be fielded about how motivation is used - as a free action, the momenta can add 1d6 to the result of any one of her checks or that of an ally. One, there is some ongoing disparity which type of free action we're talking about - while some free actions can be used out of turn, this does not apply to all free actions - so yes, we have an issue with the base system here the class fails to address. Secondly, shouldn't the ability have some kind of range, audible or visual component? As written, it does not require the like, which feels odd to me. 2 Motivation points can also be used to reroll saving throws or attack rolls as an immediate action - no action-economy complaints here on my part.



A momenta also can utilize motivation via so-called stimuli, essentially the talents of the class, which are either extraordinary or spell-like abilities. These include being able to pay for metamagic with motivation, spell recall and the like - most importantly, though, the stimuli allow for the switching of initiative orders and allows the momenta to let allies act out of turn - an ability that can also be used offensively, by the way. So yes, the momenta per se is very powerful - even before non-stimulus abilities that include tactician and the like. However, the infinite resource of motivations also radiates into the stimuli - with an infinite capacity for encounters (versus infernal kittens, for example), the momenta can use infinite healing by utilizing motivation. So yes, this frame needs a daily cap for healing and a proper, codified time-frame instead of per-encounter.

Now all of this sounds pretty negative and it ultimately, alas, is. However, the basic premise of the class is awesome and while the framework looks weak, a momenta can provide a significant power-boost to a group -even as a cohort, the class excels pretty much. So let me emphasize this: I absolutely adore the concept and the unique tricks the momenta has, but I wished the Amora staff had slightly polished it more; as written, it can easily be fixed, but without fixes, I wouldn't use it. Still - the concept is so unique, so awesome that it is actually one of my favorite classes herein! Yeah, who would have thought? The pdf also provides 2 archetypes, one with less spellcasting and an option to knock out foes a limited amount of times per day and a second one that has limited bardic performances. Solid.



Next up would be the Mystic, who receives d8, 4+Int skills per level and either improved unarmed strikes or weapon focus at 1st level; proficiencies are determined by the elemental path chosen and the class gets 3/4 BAB-progression as well as all good saves. They also receive a ki-powered elemental strike (class level + wis-mod) and while they have at least one point of ki, they add wis-mod to AC. Elemental Strikes use the class level as BAB and damage scales up over the levels from 1d6 to 2d8. Ki can also be used for skill-boosts, adding additional attacks to full attacks. The class also receives a mystic talent at 2nd level, +1 every even level thereafter. There would be a higher-level option to make elemental strikes not cost ki anymore, evasions, finesse and the like - a solid kind-of-monkish array, with 10th level expanding the list by advanced talents. The capstone also sports choices, which is nice to see.



Now I mentioned elemental paths - these do not only influence class skills and proficiencies, they also net a basic ability associated with the element. Furthermore, each path provides a significant array of unique talents and 3rd level and every odd level thereafter nets an elemental technique from a list determined by the path, granting either a feat or a ki-powered spell, with DCs, if applicable, being governed by Wis. A total of 4 elemental paths plus the force path are provided, with each of them feeling utterly distinct.



While the force path has a force-blast and ranged combat maneuver-option, the limited range makes that one steer clear of my rant regarding that. The book also sports 3 archetypes - the ancient gets a reflexive reincarnate and sooner access to elemental techniques, but pays more for elemental strikes. Crossroads Mystics receive decreased damage dice for elemental strikes, but gets more ki and can select elemental techniques from all paths, but at higher costs. The final archetype, the kenjin, has more expensive elemental strikes, but gains access to ninja tricks. Alexander Augunas' Mystic has a bit of a flavor-issue with me - I'm utterly burned out on anything elemental-themed and this class is essentially the elemental bender-style character...or the Jedi. I don't like Star Wars. That being said, mechanically, the class is honestly beautiful - I prefer it over qinggong monk and the like and it executes its concept admirably well, with Alex's zen-like ease. At the same time, it has a cool idea - a sidebox talks about retooling the flavor to correspond to the alchemical humors - and the fluff I pretty much adore, which leaves me without any valid gripes to field - making me like a class whose concepts left me with disdain is a huge feat - congratulations!



Sasha Hall pitched the Pauper class, which was then developed by the Amora staff. The pauper gets d8, 4+Int skills, proficiency with simple weapons and light armor, 3/4 BAB-progression and good will-saves. Paupers are defined by their two pools - hope and despair. Hope begins play with a maximum of 1 and scales up to 11, with despair beginning play with3 points, scaling up to 13. A pauper can execute a full-round action to turn despair points into hope points. Despair is gained whenever the pauper witnesses an act of strife or desperation, seeing an ally suffer a lethal wound and when witnessing cruel acts. Hope is conversely gained when seeing an enemy fall, acts of kindness etc. When one pool contains more points than the other, the pauper benefits from a unique effect. Paupers may execute nonlethal attacks versus allies to grant the ally a morale bonus. Pretty odd - the pauper can get all "morale, sacred and profane" penalties of allies and draw them upon herself. Only thing is - penalties are untyped, so the ability does not work as intended. Fr each penalty chosen to take upon himself, the pauper gains wis-mod temporary despair points.



The pauper's abilities, alas, at least to me, feel somewhat unfocused - they establish an empathic bond with a limited array of people (somewhat akin to how Dreamscarred Press' psionic networks work). The class also allows for minor healing as well as an aura that can either act as a buffer or a debuffer, depending on which pool is dominant. High-level paupers may transfer abilities from one ally to another, but thankfully with numerical and limited resources being subject to relatively stringent limitations. Strangely, supernatural abilities are not covered by the ability transference. All in all, the pauper has many makings of an interesting class, but it ultimately feels odd in many of its choices - aid another as a move/swift action for points may sound okay...but at 11th level, that's pretty late. The class also is completely linear - there is NO choice to be made here - not even the cavalier has such a small array of player agenda - the abilities, all unique ones, no groups, fall in line as a linear progression, making all paupers essentially the same. Beyond that, the class is dependent on two resources, which, in spite of a side-box, ultimately are highly circumstantial ad thus can only hardly be quantified - and thus, as feared by yours truly, the result will be a lot of arguments about hope and despair. Some tighter definitions would have imho helped here. The pauper gets an archetype with only one pool. Overall, the first class I really didn't like - conceptually, it feels not focused enough and mechanically, I've seen the interaction of fluid pool done better in some Interjection Games-releases. The class is not necessarily bad, mind you, but it's not up to the others.



The commander in chief of Little Red Goblin Games, Scott Gladstein, provides us with the Survivor, who gets d12, 6+Int skills per level, simple and martial weapon as well as light and medium armor proficiency, full BAB-progression and good fort-saves. Survivors not only can live off the land and can provide some of his class features with allies via the safe passage class feature, which provides a bonus to allies, usable Con-mod + 1/2 class level times per day. Bonus feats at 2nd level and 6th and every 4 levels thereafter are also there Beyond uncanny dodge, evasion et al., 3rd level, 7th and every 4 thereafter allow for DR, natural armor or elemental resistance, with each quality being selectable more than once. 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter provides a survival tactic, a unique, mostly defensive trick that can be considered the talent-array of the class - many of which can also be granted to allies. Level 13 nets essentially mettle (evasion for will- and fort-saves), called stalwart here, and at that level, this is okay.

The survivor has been my absolute surprise here - while not particularly complex on paper, this class works superbly in play -straightforward, fun and ultimately, it does just what you want: A ranger-y class sans all the mystic mumbo-jumbo, but who can make his allies so much better and harder to kill. This class is a great example why playtests of the complex classes herein was required - it fared much better in actual gameplay than I expected - the survivor is exceedingly fun to play, so kudos! 4 Archetypes are provided for the class - the feralist with simple weapon-exclusive vital strikes and modified feat/tactics-list, the seething survivor (with full barbarian synergy), the parkour specialist thrill seeker and the kind-of-rogueish urban survivor. A Synergist/survivor level 20 multiclass makes for a cool NPC.



Morgan Boehringer, the mastermind of Forest Guardian Press, presents the Synergist, who gets d8, 4+Int skills, proficiency with simple weapons, light and medium armor and shields and gets 3/4 BAB-progression as well as good fort- and will-saves. Synergists establish a kind of network akin to psionic networks equal to Cha-mod allies, with her being required to be part of the so-called "cast." The more creatures in the cast, the higher the shield bonus granted to the synergist. Via swift actions, members of the cast can coordinate, making firing into melee easier and teamwork feat granting is obviously part of the deal as well. Better aid another among the cast is also part of the scaling progression. At 1st level, synergists may create a synergy 1+Cha-mod times per day, +1 per 3 class levels. A synergist gets "+1 bonus synergy counters" for each successful attack, save or skill check, +2 for confirmed crits or nat 20s on non-attack-rolls. A synergist may store class level + Cha-mod counters. Synergy counters may be bestowed upon members of the cast, with a duration of Cha-mod+ 1/4 class level rounds. The counters can be used to enhance skill checks, temporary hit points, concentration, CMD, AC, etc. - this ability is glorious and fun.



At 1st level, the synergist may select a technique from a selection of 3, with 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter providing an additional array of new techniques, continuously expending the pool of options to choose from - NICE! Now where things become even more interesting is with the gaining of passive abilities and the collective bestowing of Lunge - a synergist can also negate critical hits and even enhance at higher levels the action tax required by a given action - the synergist pretty much, when played right, can radically change the way in which a unit of adventurers works - and it is awesome. Ultimately, the synergist can literally be the glue that holds a group together in combat and plays surprisingly efficient and different from classes with a similar concept - when to see something ridiculously flexible? Synergist plus Battle Lord. Add in a Tactician and cackle with glee. The archetype for the class falls somewhat behind the main class in coolness, with minor debuffs being just not that interesting - especially seeing the direlock by Morgan, I would have expected something a tad bit more special, but don't let that detract from the coolness of the class.



The Umbra (unfortunately named in my book - it has nothing to do with shadows...) would be a class by Interjection Games' mastermind Bradley Crouch and as such, it is complex: As a basic frame, it gets d8, 2+Int skills per level, proficiency in light armor and shields and weapon proficiency according to the primary embrace chosen. In heavier armor, planar powers suffers from arcane spell failure chance. The umbra gets 3/4 BAB-progression and good will-saves.



So what are those embraces? Well, they signify the heritage of the Umbra, with the primary being the dominant one and chosen at 1st level, the secondary embrace being unlocked at 5th level. Each embrace is assigned a pool of points - the primary embrace has primary points (PP), the secondary embrace secondary points (SP) - collectively, both are called embrace points (EP). Ep scale up from 2 PP to 12 and 1 SP (at 5th level) to 8. Umbra gain resistance to the energy of the primary plane equal to their class level, 1/2 class level for the secondary embrace and each plane has an assigned skill, which receives minor bonuses. At 6th level, the umbra may, as a swift action, generate a temporary EP to assign to a planar power or trait, which lasts for Cha-mod rounds, +1 point granted at 10th level and every 4 levels thereafter. This can be used Cha-mod times per day. There is an unfortunate error in one of the abilities, which specified that an ubiquitous power is gained at 3rd level, +1 at 5th and then +1 at every 4 levels thereafter, when the tables puts that at second level instead. Either that, or quickswap needs to be moved to second level. What does quickswap do? it allows for the reassignment of planar powers 1/day, scaling up by +1/day every 4 levels thereafter, making me belief that the first ubiquitous power ought to be gained at 2nd level.



Ubiquitous powers can be considered the "general" talents of the class, whereas the embraces cover the specialist tricks - the basic elemental planes and both positive and negative energy planes are available for the umbra to choose from, with each having assigned proficiencies. But the choice is more relevant than that - each plane has powers and traits associated. traits require an investiture of 1 point to use and then are static and passive. Powers, on the other hand, allow for more customization - the more points you invest in a given power, the longer you can activate it/the bigger its potency. Now, as you might expect, the benefits are pretty unique - what about a weak reflexive shield that can be dismissed to execute a smite? Yes, the benefits tend towards the unique side of things and some abilities utilize a cooldown mechanic I pretty much enjoy.



Now I'm an old-school Planescape fanboy, and thus, the further tricks of the class brought a smile to my face - yup, at 10th level, the umbra becomes a kind of embodied demiplane-intersection of his primary and secondary embrace. When assigning EP, an umbra can elect to convert either PP or SP into demiplance emergence points (abbreviated DE), but her SP pool must remain larger than the DE pool. Now the interesting part here would be that each demiplane's powers tend to work differently - some reward stockpiling DE-points. Some require their expenditure. Some ignore them mostly in favor of other counters, which are gained in means pertaining to the elemental condition in question and instead make for the resource of the demiplane: Cinders nets, for example, 1 "sputtering charge" whenever the umbra utilizes a power, but does not bypass the cooldown - this charge can be used as an additional invested point in an ability for a short while or expelled as a blast of negative energy and flame, with DE governing the damage output of the sputtering charge-powered blast. Have I mentioned the capstone that lets you make your own plane? Yeah.

...

..

Damn, LIC, what are you doing here? Here I am rambling about how bored I am by elemental classes and themes and now I have a second class with such a theme I actually like. Damn. Kidding aside, the umbra is an interesting class with essentially a highly customizable array of tricks that makes it surpass the one-trick pony component inherent in most elemental-themed classes. I generally like it, though I still don't get where the name comes from.



The penultimate class herein would be Wayne Canepa's Warloghe, who gets d8, 4+Int skills, custom weapon proficiency and no armor or shield proficiencies. The class is built on a 3/4 BAB-progression good fort- and will-save chassis and their bond with a twisted spirit provides prepared arcane spellcasting from a custom list of up to 6th level, based on Wis -uncommon. However, alternatively, instead of spellcasting, a warloghe may select a binding pact with a spirit, gaining a linear, bloodline-like array of abilities, but more on those later. 2nd level warloghes get an essence pool equal to 4 + 1/2 class level + wis-mod, with a passive benefit and the option to expend points to inflict negative-energy based touch attacks, with higher levels allowing for AoE emanations and debuff conditions. At second level and every two levels thereafter, the warloghe selects a taboo - essentially the talents of the class, governed by Wis, with some being exclusive to certain twisted spirits chosen. These include SPs, upgrades to the vortex, dabbling in necromancy, familiars at -5 class levels - quite an array. The 5th level class feature, though, would be one of my favorites - warloghes may leave their soul behind as haunts, moving forward as a soulless shell! Damn cool! However I really wished the pdf sported a kind of instant-haunt-generator for warloghes that does not require handing GM-books to players. Taboos are expanded at 10th level to include more powerful choices. The taboos, when active, more often than not require the expenditure of essence points, which also powers a linear array of spell-like abilities granted over the class's level-progression.



A total of 5 twisted spirits, each with a custom spell-list and custom binding abilities, are provided - it should be noted, though, that each of them also results in a tainted soul, which translates to a continuous, negative effect on the warloghe that denotes his sinister dealings - however, they also provide a unique base benefit. The individual benefits are pretty unique and include stacking bleed damage, placing marks of vengeance, etc. The warloghe class gets an okay capstone, but 3 archetypes: One gets binding pact and spellcasting, but no taboos, while another can craft totem-constructs instead of getting the haunted ability. the final one may channel spirit strikes through his weapon and not waste points on misses, but loses the vortex AoE-control. Unremarkable, as far as archetypes go. The warloghe is pretty much a sinister glass cannon that feels a bit like a more damage-focused take on the witch-fluffed gish - now the class isn't bad and its damage output is balanced by being VERY squishy (more so than the magus) and I like the fluff, but I really think it would have benefited from significantly more spirits - those that are here are solid, though ultimately, the class suffers from me having years upon years of Pact Magic as a frame of reference and the latter just feels more versatile to me.



The final class is a new iteration of an old acquaintance of mine, the Warsmith, written by the Amora crew - at d8, 4+Int skills, proficiency with simple weapons, hammer, picks and pilums, light armors and shields as well as 3/4 BAB-progression and good fort-saves, the warsmith is a retool of Amora Game's tinker - can it hold up? Well, first of all, beyond the craftsman bonuses and the significant bonuses to sundering via edifice recognition, the warsmith now may grant bonuses to armors and weapons, even duplicating special abilities at higher levels. At 2nd level and every even level thereafter, the warsmith receives a talent, here called design, which allows him to modify class features, expand crafting capabilities and even poach in alchemist/rogue territory with bombs or rogue talents. While not particularly complex, that ultimately is the strength of the class- it is a straightforward craft/sunder-specialist who is really good at what he does. Now personally, I'm not a big fan of e.g. a prone-knocking fissure having a fixed save-DC instead of a scaling one, but still, this remains the best iteration of the concept so far.



Since I have already covered the class options and archetypes above, I will only glance over the feats provided, all right? All in all, many of the feats here have a teamwork aspect and +x uses/+ longer uses of abilities for classes are provided alongside some interesting teamwork feats (since they don't suck for many classes herein) - unarmed fighting for non-monks, a style that makes combat maneuvers work sans improved-feats (and that while remaining balanced!) and some unique tricks, like playing switcheroo with magic item abilities, overall, this section can be considered well-crafted. In the cases where one may be familiar with some feats from previous publications of Amora Game, they tend to have undergone a streamlining of their wording - so yeah, while not 100% perfect, the vast majority of this chapter proved to be a fun read! Kudos!



Okay, so only one chapter to go - Adapt, Overcome, Survive - and it is GLORIOUS. Evocative haunts with nice flavor text ranging from CR 1 to 9 are complemented by environmental hazards... like exploding rats. Yes. You read it. Awesome! Two quick templates for magically-contaminated/infused creatures can also be found herein before we get rules for magical pollution of varying severity - think of them as the magical equivalent of radioactivity (and yes, just as deadly) - but with the nice added benefit of also coming with a ton of spellblights, of which we also get a quite significant array.



The pdf closes with a handy facsimile-sheet.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are not perfect, but still pretty good - in a book of this size, with so much crunch, it is testament to the quality of the authors and editors/developers that almost no significant errors have crept into the complex matrixes of the class-crunch. Layout adheres to a crisp two-column full-color standard with a blending of stock and original artworks. the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The print-copy, which I urge you to get, is well worth the price - I got mine from being a supporter of the KS and it sports a solid frame and high quality., glossy paper. This book has seen quite some use and it does not show. As a note for 3pps: Amora Game sent me the best-packaged book I have to date received from any 3pp - with significant amounts of bubble-wrap and a big package, the book has made it past the transition across the ocean and the careless hands of the postal service without even a dent. Kudos for gong the extra mile - a creaseless book is a definitely nice change of pace to receive!



The Liber Influxus Communis grew from the PFRPG-community, the community of which I consider myself a part of and for which I ultimately write my reviews. While Amora Game took a beating from me in the past, they never gave up and when their KS ran, I *think* I may have been the first backer - I wanted to believe in them. This was the reason I decided to make this my 2000th review - and I was hoping that my hopes would not be unjustified.



Now what Greg LaRose did was smart - he got essentially all 3pp top crunch-designers not too involved with their own projects: Alexander Augunas, Bradley Crouch, Daron Woodson, Eric Morton, Mike Myler, Scott Gladstein, Wayne Canepa, Will McCardell, Wojciech Gruchala, Kevin Bond, Linda Zayas-Palmer, Michael Sayre, Morgan Boehringer. Realize something? This is pretty much an all-stars-list and the content of this book shows it - each designer herein has brought his/her strengths to the table - from relatively simple to exceedingly complex, the classes provided herein all breathe a spirit of cooperation, of being unique and run the gamut of providing simple plug and play as well as highly complex tinkering classes that require significant planning to get right. The classes herein have one thing in common that transcends the differences in design: They are not boring. I consider no single class herein bland, no single concept to be redundant. In fact, I loved most of the classes, and I mean *loved* - when a book makes me enjoy two classes that sport a theme I loathe, you'll know you have something awesome at your fingertips.



Now this book is not perfect - I wasn't blown away by all archetypes; the momenta, which I love to death as one of my favorite classes herein, imho requires a second editing pass/a capable DM to streamline and take the rough edges off. The Demiurge's laser battery needs a nerf-whack. And the pauper left me singularly unimpressed, having seen the interacting pools done more in a precise and organic way. Heck, I even made a class with two fluid pools interacting with one another. That aside, the pauper also feels oddly linear and as if it were part of another book. Similarly, not all feats blew me away, but if I broke that down for you, the review would go on for even longer. And I honestly am not sure whether anyone will read this monstrosity as it stands.



Ultimately, though, none of the gripes I could muster, whether they be typos or the above, can stand before a superb appendix and no less than 13 classes I will definitely use in my games - this is pretty much the highest density of classes I have ever allowed a single book to contribute to any game of mine and that is a significant achievement. Now as you all know, I'm a stickler for the more complex classes, but even the simple ones herein have something unique going for them, a playing experience that deviates from what other classes can offer - and what more can you expect from a new base class? In the end, the Liber Influxus Communis may not be a perfect book, but it is still an excellent and inexpensive way to add a vast array of pure innovation to your game - a smörgåsbord of unique mechanics and things no other class can do. And I love it for exactly that. This book exemplifies the work of some of the finest designers in the field and I have, ultimately, always valued innovation and slight rough edges higher than bland mechanical perfection - and, as such, the few mechanical bumps that are herein could in no way stand in relation to the awesomeness that this book brings to the table, they simply pale and fade when seen in relation with the vast array of cool tricks the content herein makes possible. My final verdict thus will be 5 stars + seal of approval and I nominate this book as a candidate for my Top Ten of 2015.



And if you're still reading that, let me extend my heartfelt thank-you to you for sticking with my ramblings and reading my 2000th review. I write them for you and remain yours,

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Liber Influxus Communis (PFRPG)
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Liber Influxus Communis (PFRPG)
by Adam B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/14/2015 04:07:02
Now that I have a physical copy in my hand I can give this book the review it deserves.

First I must say that the chosen page stock feels great and sturdy. The binding also feels decently sturdy. Definitely happy with the choices in material.

Like my last big review of a book I’m going to organize it using their own table of contents as a guide
For reference here is my old review from before I had time to write the full one:
[spoiler=Old review] Strong Points:
Balanced
Unique ideas
Well executed archetypes
Fun feats
Well organized+good bookmarks
Weak Points:
That everything is so cool it may induce option paralysis
[/spoiler]
[b]Classes[/b]

Ok don’t get freaked out here, but there are 14 full classes in this section. What’s interesting is the sheer variety, not just in role and unique features, but in the skill level involved in playing these classes.
Some classes have elegance in their simplicity and succeed at their role in a manner that is straight forward for the player. We all know that one player who likes his stuff simple, well that guy will find some stuff he likes in this book. We also all know that guy who loves looking at minutia within these sort of books and there are a few classes in there as well for him that will reward his keen eye with a unique play experience.

I’ve read and looked at all the classes and really haven’t found any of them to have outstanding balance concerns. I legitimately believe all these classes can have a room in a party and won’t feel like dead weight.

If I were to describe a ‘problem’ I found in the class section it would be that many of the classes are a supporting role, like half of them. Also there are no full casters. In the grand scheme of things that is not a problem since this book doesn’t exist in a vacuum and plenty of Paizo support goes to the creation of full-casters and non-supporting character roles.

To attempt to review each individual class would bloat this review, so instead I will list each class and give a short blurb on them. I found that each class succeeded with the definition of: Works as advertised and is good enough at their role to be competitive.

[spoiler=My class descriptions]
[i]Battlelord:[/i] An officer of a chosen discipline who is a true leader of men. Full BAB combatant who is capable of buffing his comrades without using magic. If you want to make Leonidas, this is your class.

[i]Conduit:[/i]This class literally eats/absorbs magic and uses it to power his butt whuppin. Can channel absorbed energy into a variety of roles, but without magic will not do much.
[i]Demiurge[/i]: First page has a literal warning of how complicated it is. The Demiurge basically creates and destroys automatons that he commands to do various specific tasks.

[i]Medium[/i]: An opportunity to play two classes in one. Primary mechanic is that the Medium has a spirit companion with separate class levels, but shares the same base stats, that you can ask for assistance from or trade bodily control.

[i]Metamorph[/i]: Have you ever wanted to use the evolution point system on a character without running an OP Synthesist? Yeah this class is for you. There are a lot of choices in theme and even in stat selection! You get to pick your mental stat for the class abilities for example.

[i]Mnemonic[/i]: The mental martial artist? Kind of hard to describe in a short summary, but this guy is a martial artist that can punch away spells/feats/skill ranks, copy EX abilities that he witnesses, and eventual even gains telepathic powers.

[i]Momenta[/i]: The helper. This support class basically helps with everything. Some support spells here, some conditional bonuses for the allies there, tossing them a temporary bonus feat, throwing someone a sneak attack die, and various other fun abilities. If you want to play a slightly magical Samwise THIS IS YOUR CLASS.

[i]Mystic[/i]: Admittedly my favorite class. You get a large Ki pool, pick an element, pick talents related to your element, and pick Ki Techniques (most are SLAs). May sound similar to the Kineticist, but this class plays significantly more like a martial artist. You get to pick from the standard Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water plus the Force element which is secretly Jedi, complete with Mind Tricks.

[i]Pauper[/i]: Has two resource pools based on hope and despair that are used to augment the combat around them. Each has specific and general means of being obtained, so even with a jerk DM you are effective. Various other supportive abilities too.

[i]Survivor[/i]: Tough and self-sufficient. Almost every class feature is focused on self-preservation or the mantra of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” The survivor has full BAB and d12 HD and will be a brick.

[i]Synergist[/i]: Builds off the positive vibes of success to create a tidal wave of pwnage through ally buffs. Another support class that is very effective at its job. D8 hit die and capable of assisting competently in combat.

[i]Umbra[/i]: Born with a planar connection these guys draw upon the energy of that plane to do crazy stuff like overload an enemy’s muscles with positive energy, giving them a buff, but then having them take a serious debilitating stat condition. The powers provide some pretty different ways to combat your foes.

[i]Warloghe[/i]: 1/6th caster with a lot of little abilities and fun flavor. Forms a symbiotic link with a minor evil spirit. Capable of inflicting various status effects and negative energy damage to all that oppose! Though notably squishy and requiring protection.

[i]Warsmith[/i]: Completely not what I expected. This ain’t no tinker. This is a manly man blacksmith that creates and destroys all he sees on the battlefield! Fricken awesome!
[/spoiler]

[b]Feats[/b]

Ok, now this section has a majority cool stuff. I saw very few useless feats, which is a very good thing! A lot of feats are those class specific ones that we’ve come to expect, the extra this and that or the improved thing. This is perfectly fine and actually pretty healthy for the book since it means all these classes have good support.

What else did I see? Feats giving generally unused combat styles more support. Stuff like imposing fear conditions just because you’re such a terror on your mount, three good combat styles, some more style feats for existing Paizo styles, and some teamwork feats.

Instead of giving us a bunch of general purpose feats to compete with build staples Amora Games went with feats that support previously underused styles in a way that can make them viable. This was a smart move because at this point doing anything else will either be a bad rehash of another feat or a straight upgrade.


[b]Archetypes and Options [/b]

Ok, there are several archetypes for each class and to go through each would be madness. The archetypes do differentiate a lot. To name a few of my favorites we have Battlelord archetypes for military roles like Marine and Cavalryman, Mystic archetype that gets all the elements Avatar Style, Mnemonic archetype that eats thoughts and memories, and since the Demiurge is so mutable they instead opted to give you some premade Facsimiles.

I’d say the archetype section is a success because it gives you a multitude of new ways to enjoy each class without sacrificing balance.

[b]Adapt, Overcome, Survive [/b]

Magical Contamination, Haunts, and Environmental Hazard.

The GMs guide and PRD explain what haunts are, so the Liber Influxus wastes no time giving us several pages of brand new haunts to spook out your players!

Environmental hazards give your players a different kind of challenge that’s less obvious and can make for fun stories.

Magical Contamination is to Pathfinder what radiation is to Gamma world. We all know radiation is fun, so magical radiation is [i]magical [/i] fun! When spells start getting wonky the spellcasters in the group will get a chance to gamble. Cast and get a random benefit or cast and have your spell fail in a weird way, are you a gambling man?

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prepare for War - Basic Training (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/28/2014 02:55:32
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 42 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 38 pages of content, so let's take a look!



So this module is unconventional - based on Amora Game's Player's Guide, the PCs are regular average Joes and Janes of the Thaddean Empire who have just enlisted in the military to serve their grand empire. Hence, the structure of this module diverges vastly from what one would expect and slaughters quite an array of sacred cows:



first of all, it uses RGG's apprentice-level character rules (and provides all necessary bits and pieces) - this means you start this module as a level 0 nobody. Secondly, and more importantly - this module is by its very nature necessarily a railroad. Think of basic military boot-camp-style intense training and you're pretty close to what the PCs will go through in here - this is a railroad by design and the restricted choices indeed are part of the module's very design.



So I'm not really spoiling the basics when I'm giving you a brief synopsis of the plot and tell you that the PCs will have to do push-ups, properly reply to military naming structure and conditioning. The training by Sgt. Lithgow in the notorious Compound 13 (fully mapped, btw.) includes not only checking the knowledge of the empire's religion, but also obstacle courses and climbing walls - most of which btw. are depicted in complex skill challenges. Now the interesting thing here would be, that special achievements can result in specific traits - doing well at these challenges will reflect in your PC's capabilities. Conversely, sucking or just refusing outright may result in your character earning drawbacks. Beyond diverse skill challenges for just about every skill and various story feats can be gained this way as well - take e.g. one that allows you to not provoke AoOs with unarmed strikes - not as strong as proper improved unarmed strike, but damn cool as a bonus.



Add to that formation training (with rather cool tactical benefits), weapon training etc. and we have a cool training - even before infiltrating a village of a drunken goblin clan and extracting their leader as a kind of covert ops test and the surprising finale that hints at the things to come, this module proved surprisingly interesting.



The pdf provides full stats for all characters, a DM-check-list for achievements/drawbacks and formations and 4 pages of full-color player-friendly versions of the maps.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good - I didn't notice any significant glitches that would have spoiled the module. The layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column, full-color standard and the pdf's maps are solid, and working, but not particularly beautiful. Artworks are okay. The pdf comes sans bookmarks, which is a comfort detriment the pdf didn't need imho.



Designer Greg LaRose lies to us on the first page "This adventure is going to suck. Just quit reading." You can read these words on the first page and they're wrong - while military training is surely no cakewalk and not exciting in the traditional sense due to the rigid structure the module imposes, it turned out to be anything but sucky. In fact, especially DMs who have a hard time with rp-dialogue improvisation will marvel at the exceedingly detailed read-aloud text, which comes with blue text for regular read-aloud text, red text for speech directly addressing the PCs - which is nice to have a visual cue for the instructor-voice. Indeed, the dialogues and instructions are exceedingly detailed and provide ample help for the DM.



In fact, I thought the respective skill challenges would be much more boring, the meta-plot and characters seeping through and suffusing the experience rather in rather cool ways. Now it's been quite some time since the release of this module and while it, at the time of me writing this review, is not certain whether we'll ever get the follow up modules, this one can easily be taken as a nice beginner's module to depict a party in service to some elite organization or military - reskinning is all it takes, so yes, this remains relevant.



This module is gutsy indeed - in structure, in daring to be different. And while it will not be for everyone, if you ever wanted a great "becoming heroes"-module that takes the form of a quasi-military intense training, then this will be exceedingly awesome for you. This is many things - unconventional, brave, different - but it does not, I repeat, it does not suck. While not perfect due to a couple of glitches, the non-too-impressive maps and the lack of bookmarks, it is an innovative, cool module that dares to be different and with its cool ideas (I *want* more formations and see them in battle!), I sincerely hope that we'll one day see the follow-up modules. Until then, I remain with a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prepare for War - Basic Training (PFRPG)
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Prestigious Roles: Toxicologist (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/31/2014 04:19:00
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 6 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content for the new PrC, so let's take a look, shall we?



The Toxicologist needs to be non-good and have 5 ranks in Craft (alchemy), sleight of hand and stealth, 3 in heal and need to have poisoned an unsuspecting victim and made friendly contact with a poison-selling apothecary. Got that? Okay, then you qualify for a PrC that nets you d8, 6+Int-mod skills, proficiency with light armor and blow guns, 3/4 BAB-progression and 1/2 fort- and ref-save progression. Toxicologists never risk poisoning themselves, create poisons at half the time and may apply them as a move action (later even as a swift action). They may even change the delivery method of poisons and make e.g. ingested poisons contact poisons - which may be problematic, since method of delivery more often than not makes for a balancing factor in a given poison's potency. The pdf mentions the Craft (poison)-skill, here, though - which does not exist. This ought to be Craft (alchemy).



The toxicologist is also great at blending in in crowds (making for great assassins from the stands!) with bonuses to disguise in crowds - just a pity that the ability does not extend to stealth - sniping unnoticed from the crowds would have been cool - as written, the Toxicologist gets one shot and then is exposed. They also learn to increase the DC of their poisons, can purchase them at less cost and delay their onset as well as negate them via int/level-checks. The PrC also gets sneak attack progression (+4d6 over 10 levels). At first level and every 3 after that, the class learns a specialty, which include poisons that last longer than one hit etc. Special mention deserves the theory of opposites - allowing them to make poisons into buffing items instead - but still risky to imbibe. While potentially rather powerful, abusable and a bit wonky in wording, I do enjoy this idea - especially due to negative conditions balancing the effects in the aftermath. Toxicologists may also learn to extract organs, preserve them and distill poison from them or lace alchemical items with poisons - the latter imho requiring a caveat to not work with some class features of the alchemist-base-class...



At high levels, toxicologists may blend poisons and true masters may, as a capstone, generate lethal poisons from their own body.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting formally are good, though some of the rules-languages could have used a tighter wording. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



The toxicologist-PrC is on the one hand a great little PrC to make poison-use more viable, but it does suffer from some hick-ups in the rules-language - while none of them are particularly nasty, they do accumulate. Author Christie Hollie has delivered a nice PrC and indeed shows some talent here - with minor modifications, this PrC can make for a neat addition to one's campaign. Oh, and it's just 1 buck. For the very fair price and the nice concepts herein, I believe that, in spite of its flaws, I can still round this up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars to 4.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Toxicologist (PFRPG)
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Prepare for War - Basic Training Manual (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/23/2014 03:10:23
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Player's Guide for Amora Game's new AP is 29 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC,1 page SRD, leaving us with 25 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Military-life is not for the faint of heart or easy, and the same holds true for the city-state of Thaddeus, where, in the Compound 13, the PCs will undergo their training for war against the city-state's adversaries. Hence, as you can imagine, the player characters don't start as full-blown adventurers, but rather 0-level characters. Where via SGG (or now, RGG's) Apprentice-level character-rules (don't fear - all required is in here) and char generation, the PCs are made. And we're in for at least my preferred style, with only 15-point buy (or the regular conservative rolling) making the PCs not super-heroes, but rather diligent soldiers. We also are introduced for the roles of the respective non-humans in the predominantly human Thaddean military. As the new race here, we have the ferals, essentially urbanized orcs that get +2 Str and Wis, -2 Cha, 2 primary natural claw attacks at 1d4, low-light vision, +10 ft movement when running, charging or withdrawing, always treat Perception and Stealth as class-skills and get +2 to melee atk and AC when below half HP and without conscious ally within 30 ft. Compared to the other standard races perhaps a bit strong, but still within acceptable parameters.



Now background as per Ultimate Campaign, starting level traits, alignment etc. is covered in here as well, lending you a hand for proper character-generation. We also are introduced to the social hierarchy of the Thaddean Empire, which imho lends a level of realism to the set-up unfortunately all-too-often ignored in most settings, so kudos for that! Simple and easy to grasp though it is, its presence lends a distinct flair to the chapter!



The next section covers more than basic training, i.e. the graduation from 0-level to 1st level characters, which includes extensive breakdowns of the respective character-classes and the units they are considered as - from bards and alchemists and druids to infantry and the support-units - each class gets recommendations that help fit it within the context of the campaign and teh Thaddean Empire - and does a better job at depicting this than quite a few player's guides I've read. Furthermore, we are introduced to the Thaddean Empire's patron god Damocles. Here we also are introduced to a cool variant rule: Per default, Gods don't heal non-believers; Damocles heals e.g. only his believers and citizens of his city-state. Non-believers can be healed, but at reduced efficiency and with the chaplain (the name for clerics of Damocles) being temporarily sickened. At least for me...Two thumbs up! The clause of alternately belonging to a city-state being enough makes infiltration, not using healing as detect-spells etc. possible, so yeah: Neat one! It should be noted that gunslingers, monks and ninjas are not covered, though - they don't fit within the context of the campaign and while seeing them would have been nice, I'd rather have a believable, concise fluff than a half-baked hodge-podge, so again, kudos for having the guts to exclude them.



We also are introduced to quite a slew of new traits to choose from: A total of 30 new traits, to be precise. Also interesting here - they actually have a cool fluff and offer some rather interesting bonuses: Adjusting the Draw of your bow for 1 hour nets you a +1 damage-bonus to your shots, but also risks breaking the bow on a natural 1 or 2. The equivalent of the soldier fine-tuning the signature gun - rather awesome! Firing crossbows with one hand, increased pain-tolerance due to having met the military's bone-breakers, being known for arcane friendly fire (which makes saving for your allies easier!) etc. - these traits are actually all rather awesome and one of them is even a teamwork-trait, following Amora's rather cool installment in the Supporting Roles-series, which btw. makes for a superb supplemental pdf for an unbeatable price.



Next up are a total of 10 new feats: From Coordinated Volleys to charging through allies, being better at sabotage, combining dirty tricks and rage, improved resiliency in groups to avoid damage from forced marches and one that allows you and an ally to stack morale bonuses and extend them to allies, but at the cost of actions every round - these feats, overall, are well-crafted and flavorful.



Now, of course we also get new archetypes, first of which would be the Armiger - no, not the RGG base-class, here, it's a magus archetype that gets a reduced arcane pool, but may impart special arcane marks on weapons for bonuses, learn to craft magic arms and armor rather soon, at 5th level. The signature ability, though, would be arcane heraldry, which allows the armiger to create a seal on his tabard, armor etc. - when using his/her arcane pool, they may via this seal improve temporarily all weapons imbued with their marks, later learning to even add magical qualities. I can see playing this one being fun - nice, if unfortunately-named archetype.



The Battlefield Sapper Ranger chooses affiliations and organizations/nations as favored adversaries instead of creature types, get trapfinding and additional ranger traps. Even cooler, they can lay down bombs, Bridgeburner-style: Including countdown, increasing damage and rules to disarm them. Oh, and they later learn to combine these with ranger traps! AWESOME. Seriously, I really, really like this one!



Battle Sorcerors draw strength literally from their highest level arcane spell, boosting their strength and they may also erect spontaneous spell barriers to avoid being reduced below 0 hp, using his still remaining spells as a kind of hitpoint substitute; Nice, especially since the Battle Sorceror gets some solid weapon proficiencies! Later, the barrier can be used without even the immediate action it required in the beginning. Again, a cool archetype! The Cavalryman Cavalier is essentially a cavalier that is theme-wise more in line with the mounted soldier than the questing knight, with a variety of subtle modifications that make sense and should be considered balanced.



Decrier Inquisitors are masters of propaganda and censure, essentially the ideological think-tanks, whose words may stop the adversaries dead silent in their tracks or censure foes with negative effects depending on the alignments of the affected. The words of censure may later be imparted via attacks as well - again, a nice archetype. Field Medics are alchemists that get weaker bombs, but access to cognatogen as well as improved healing discoveries and fast healing-imparting smoke bombs. Nice! The Commander-class from Amora Game's Supporting Roles-series also gets a new archetype with the Iron Fist, especially fearsome and harsh commanders. Nothing to complain here either. Peacebane Oracles are masters of antagonizing adversaries and have an aura of strife. Raider rogues are mounted rogues that are particularly adept at striking from horseback - essentially mounted skirmishers. Again, rather cool. The Siegemaster-archetype from Abandoned Art's Amazing Races: Humans! has been acknowledged and adapted to this book as well. Bards may opt for the War Chanter archetype, who gets less skills per level, but 3 special bardic performances that allow them to negate fatigue, temporarily grant endurance and as a capstone world wave to sweep away enemies. Add to that sonic-damage causing war chants, calling lightning and grant temporary hit points to allies that respond to his call and we have one damn awesome archetype. Finally, War Wizards may reduce arcane spell failure chance, get Tactician and bonus feats, but pays for this with no less than four opposition schools.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches that would have impeded my understanding of the content's intent. Layout adheres to an easy-to-read two-column full-color standard with golden borders at the top and bottom. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and the interior artwork in b/w is fitting.



Amora Game supplements have been work for me so far and I've bashed a couple of them to smithereens. Hence, to be honest, I wasn't particularly excited to read and review this.

Holy Moly was I wrong.



From actually fun to read prose to complex mechanics that are handled well, this supplement had me reread it multiple times, my heart swelling a bit every time - Greg LaRose, Daron Woodson (mastermind of Abandoned Arts), Wayne Canepa and Wojciech Gruchala have crafted a supplement that draws you into the culture of the Thaddean Empire, that breathes flair, offers solid crunch and feel surprisingly unified in voice and style. Oh, and the crunch here is excellent for the target goal of providing a good crunch-backdrop for their War-AP. Almost ex nihilo, the crunch herein is actually so cool and compelling that I'm rather surprised how well all the archetypes came out - there are several herein that just had me smile my predatory "Hell yeah"-grin; With these, your group actually could go all-out Bridgeburners (early books, before the demigod-aspects came in); Better yet, Amora Game shows awareness for other supplements, adding value to them as well, though not necessarily requiring them.



Seriously, there are more great archetypes herein than in MANY of the countless supplements I've reviewed and the fluff, traits etc. -everything goes seamlessly together, quoting all our favorite fantasy war tropes. This player's guide is superior to most I've read and is well worth the fair asking price - I salute the designers and team from Amora Game: 5 stars + seal of approval, Endzeitgeist reporting ready for the AP; If it can stand up to this guide, then I'm in for a blast.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prepare for War - Basic Training Manual (PFRPG)
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Prepare for War - Basic Training (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/01/2014 10:00:48
You might think that the average adventurer would take to all out warfare like a duck to water.... wrong! The basic recruit training programmes devised by real-world armed forces the world over is designed to get the hapless recruit to abandon everything he knows or can do and re-aquire the skills needed to be a small cog in the military machine... and this module aims to recreate the process for a fantasy army.

It starts with a neat move. Put aside you ideas about what you fancy playing and develop a character from Zero level over the course of the adventure. Yes, it's a railroad, but so is 'boot camp' or basic training. Those of you who, like me, are veterans (or indeed still in service) will find themselves on familiar territory. On passing out (graduating) from basic training, the characters become first level.

There's another novel idea here: the patron deity under which this army operates is only prepared to heal those who worship him! A cleric can heal anyone using divine magic, but if the recipient is not a devotee or at the very least a citizen of the areas the deity is patron of, he only gains one-half of the normal benefit of the healing magic and the cleric feels rather ill as a result! Incentive, if nothing else, for clerics to proselytise on behalf of their deity.

The concept behind the adventure path of which this is the first adventure is that all-out war is brewing, and so there is plenty of background information to set the scene for GM and characters alike. Ending with a quick summary of the various elements of the armed forces of the Empire of Thaddeus, the adventure proper begins with the characters as ordinary citizens who have chosen to enlist.

Even as new recruits, the powers that be have discerned the seeds of something above the ordinary in them, and so they are sent to a remote compound to complete their basic training in the company of others who have the potential to become members of the elite forces. From then on it is the gruelling round of exercise and drills that make up basic training. I'd recommend that you take no more than one session running this or your players might get fed up. The characters WILL be fed up, that's a given and to be expected with basic training.

The various areas of training are given in quite some detail. Groups who enter into the spirit of this will gain some benefits as well as the skill levels that their characters acquire. It's all quite nicely put together (although could do with some proofreading in places) and captures the flavour of basic recruit training well. There's a neat trick here too, as the recruits master each area, they gain certain skills as class skills and if they do particularly well they can even gain a bonus to future uses of that skill. It's a nice way of reflecting the learning process in game mechanical terms - and means that those parties who do participate with a will get a mechanical advantage for their efforts!

The whole is well-supported with NPC details, some ready-reference sheets and plenty of maps (for both player and GM) of the various areas visited during the course of the adventure. Given the basic premise, it holds together surprisingly well and ought to make for a good start to a military-style campaign. By indicating from the outset the characters' selection as potential elite forces, this sets the scene for later adventures involving 'special operations' style missions, which work far better in the context of a role-playing game than straight mass combat warfare.

Overall this is original and well-handled, worth a go if you want something a bit different.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prepare for War - Basic Training (PFRPG)
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Prestigious Roles: Beast Hunter (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/20/2013 03:53:45
This supplement is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look!



The Beast hunter-PrC requires the ranger trap ability of the Feat Learn ranger Trap as well as otherwise moderate prerequisites. The PrC gets d10, 4+Int skills per level, no new proficiencies, full BAB-progression, no spell-progression and medium fort and ref-saves. Beast Hunters choose a favored monster at 1st level and selects a creature type, getting bonuses to atk, damage and skills related to said creature. S/he also gets more of these at 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th level, with bonuses of prior chosen foes increasing favored enemy-style. The Beast Hunter also becomes a superb tracker, increasing his tracking prowess greatly over the course of the 10 levels of the PrC. The Beast Hunter also gets access to a total of no less than 5 ranger traps over the course of 10 levels.



The class also learns to use survival (Vs. DC 10+ CR) to partially bypass a creature's DR, become immune to fear-effects and as a capstone, they learn to counter ANY attack of a favored monster with an AoO that also may impose 1d4 rounds of one of 1d12 randomly rolled conditions - I actually like this ability, I just wished it had been available earlier.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch this time around - kudos to Amora Game for getting it right! Layout adheres to an easy-to-read, nice 2-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Designer Greg LaRose has taken the concept of the big-game-hunter and translated it into a working PrC that wilders heavily in the Ranger's territory - one the one hand, that means the class works rather well and there's not much to complain about. On the other hand, I really would have wished the class had some more unique, interesting options - the capstone may be nice, but overall, the PrC feels somewhat lacking in regards to actual signature tricks -something to set them apart properly at earlier levels, not only at their capstone. That being said, at $1, this pdf is very fairly priced and makes for a neat option if you want to go into a ranger-like PrC. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at solid 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 due to the low price-point.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Beast Hunter (PFRPG)
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Prepare for War - Basic Training Manual (PFRPG)
by Charles M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/13/2013 14:52:03
This book provides a lot of options for military-themed characters. Most adventurers are freelancers at best and vagabonds at worst. This book proposes additional feats, traits and even archetypes to let players inject a more militaristic flavor into their battle-hardened veterans. There's also a bunch of fluff which has me curious about the setting at large.

It's not perfect, though. I would also use NPC classes in lieu of the 0-level character rules presented here, but that's just personal preference. Overall? Good book!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prepare for War - Basic Training Manual (PFRPG)
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Supporting Roles: Teamwork Traits
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2013 08:06:04
An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

This pdf is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content - so let's take a look at those teamwork traits!

So what are these teamwork traits? Essentially, they constitute a subset of social traits - essentially netting either you, your allies, or both a bonus. A Total of 15 traits are provided:

-Always by your side: Choose one an ally. You count as if you have heal as a class skill and treat your character level as heal ranks when treating that character. Rather cool!

-Armed Together: Works only in conjunction with another ally taking the trait: 1/day, you may act on your ally's initiative count for one round. Your initiative does not change and you may only use it if you haven't yet acted in this round.

-Bait and Tactics: Also works only in conjunction with an ally. 1/day, a foe you successfully feint is treated as flat-footed for your chosen ally.

-Competitive Friendship: When challenging an ally to do the same task you just performed, you grant that ally the aid another bonus to all rolls associated with the task - now usable 1/day. No complaints!

-Entourage (New One): Select an ally or NPC - when accompanying said character, you get +2 to social skill checks when interacting with others.

-Encouraging Words: As a free action, net allies a pep talk that grants them +2 to a will save. Nice!

-Follow my Lead: Allies following in your wake through difficult terrain do not incur movement penalties. Cool idea and now also features a caveat that makes gaming it impossible - two thumbs up!

-Forgotten Face (New One): When not being looked at, you reduce the DC of e.g. pick pocketing and similar skills by 2 as long as the target is distracted.

-Hype Man (New One!): You can hype up a crowd via social skills to lower the DC for follow up performances/social skill checks.

-Jealous of your Rival: Select a rival: When said Rival fails an atk, save or skill check and you witness it, 1/day you get a +2 trait bonus to your next d20 roll.

-Just a Friendly Hand: 2/week, increase the aid another bonus you grant by +2. Nothing to complain about here!

-On your Feet (New One): 1/day use an move action to lift up a prone ally. You provoke AoOs, but your ally does not - cool to step in and save the mage! Nice!

-Till Death Do Us Part: Choose a spouse - when said character drops unconscious or dead, you get +1 to atk and damage until you can verify that character's condition. Nice, though perhaps it's the romantic buried below a mountain of cynicism speaking, but personally, I would have preferred this to be a feat with more significant bonuses.

-Together, We Ride: 1/day, get a +2 bonus to ride checks or net an ally +4 to that ally's ride check. Two thumbs up!

-Working Together Makes the World Go Faster: 1/month When working with an ally who also has this trait, you and your ally add your Profession skill checks together when working for money and then each get the gold pieces of this combined check. Now a rather cool option for downtime money-earning.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good in the revised edition.. Layout adheres to Amora Games's two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

I usually HATE reviewing trait-books. They tend to be(though not always) BOORING. Not so this one - quite the contrary in fact: By focusing on teamwork, these traits provide some rather iconic, cool options and foster friendship in and out-game, making for neat roleplaying catalysts - and they generally are well-crafted. In fact, this revised edition provides some of the coolest traits I've seen in quite a while and as an added bonus, Amora Game makes this an ongoing project - you may submit new teamwork traits to the project! Coming at a very fair price, having exorcized the issue I had with the first iteration and adding some cool new bonus content to boot, this pdf now is a great offering all about working together and well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval - congratulations to designer Greg LaRose!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Supporting Roles: Teamwork Traits
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Prestigious Roles: Meta Adept (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/18/2013 03:51:04
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Prestigious Roles-series is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look!



This pdf contains, surprise, a prestige class - the Meta Adept, who is especially adept at using meta-magic. As a generic prestige class focused on metamagic, the entry-requirements are not that steep: 3rd level spells, 5 ranks in Knowledge (Arcane) or (Religion) and 5 ranks Spellcraft as well as two metamagic feats- that very doable. The PrC gets d6, 2+Int skills per level, no new proficiencies, 1/2 BAB-progression, medium will-saves and full spellcasting progression.



But what can the class do? Well, it can have the metamagic modified spells count as the higher spell-level. Prepared spellcasters may swap metamagic feats of equal or lower spell-modifications, whereas spontaneous casters may now ignore the increased casting time of metamagic - rather powerful, that one! The Metamagic Adept may also gain some metamagic feats, of course.



The PrC may also recall spent metamagic-modified spells via concentration checks versus 10 + twice the spell level - on a failed check, the adept may suffer from the new mental fatigue condition (or the second new condition, mental exhaustion) - these two feature heavily in the other abilities of the adept - e.g. spontaneously adding a metamagic feat to a non metamagic-prepared spell is possible, but again, at the risk of mental fatigue. While limited per day, the lack of a modified benefit for spontaneous casters makes this ability imho less useful for spontaneous casters.



Where the PrC gets weird is with for example the Meta Consolidation ability - which allows you to use two of the metamagic feats at once without adding the modified levels - VERY powerful, even if it is limited to casting attribute modifier times per day. With this ability, prepared casters get a bit of a short end - they have to make their concentration checks when preparing, potentially losing spell slots and starting the adventuring day with the new negative conditions...



The capstone of the class allows the adept to convert a metamagic-powered spell into a blast that deals damage and may fatigue foes - per se neat, but spontaneous casters can potentially blast foes to massive smithereens.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are ok, I did notice some minor issues, though none that impeded my understanding of the PrC. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard with a nice piece of artwork, is printer-friendly and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



I like the idea of this PrC - metamagic sucks and can use some update/option to make it viable. This PrC partially succeeds in the endeavor - but only partially. While reviewing this, I often found myself wondering whether this would not have been more prudent as two PrCs - one for spontaneous and one for prepared casters. As provided, some of the abilities just feel off balancing-wise with regards to one of the spellcasting types - essentially, imho, too much was crammed into one class, when two would have probably yielded the more precise results. The new conditions are actually cool - the issue, though, is that the pdf fails to specify which spells could get rid of them, if any - introducing conditions is a brute force way of designing, especially when fatigue and exhaustion already exist and a simple sentence à la "Can be treated as fatigue/exhaustion, stacks with physical fatigue/exhaustion" could make them work so much better as they'd immediately be treatable by an array of spells/abilities and thus no longer inhabit a blind spot in main-stream rules- and what about dropping unconscious from over-exertion?

All in all, the Meta Adept to me feels clunky due to trying to cover both spontaneous and prepared casters in one PrC and not particularly elegant in its design - it works, but not as smooth as I would have liked. While there's nothing UTTERLY broken about it, I'm wary about some of the abilities of this PrC and hence will settle for a final verdict of 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Meta Adept (PFRPG)
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Prestigious Roles: Long Striders (PFRPG)
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2013 15:47:17
Despite some greater focus than its predecessor gave it, mounted combat is still something of an underrepresented aspect of Pathfinder. Part of this is due to simple issues of logistics, e.g. it’s hard to take your horse down a set of steps and into a dungeon. That said, little attention is also given to areas like tracking enemies over long distances, or having groups of mounted characters who fight together.

Prestigious Roles: Long Striders, from Amora Games, attempts to put some greater focus back on those latter options.

The long strider is a five-level prestige class, meant to be taken at about 7th-level, based on the skill requirements. I personally would have lowered this to about 5th, since the +5 BAB requirement assures that druids and similar characters would lag slightly behind while rewarding mount-focused martial characters (e.g. cavaliers) that wanted to become long striders.

The class requires that you already have an animal companion or mount of some sort, though it need not be one that can be ridden. This latter point is solved in the first level of the prestige class, as it says that you discard an existing animal companion if it can’t be ridden, gaining a more appropriate one.

The long strider (which refers to the character; confusingly, the mount is referred to simply as “strider”), gains a number of abilities – two per level, and three at 1st-level – that enable him and his mount to focus on, as a theme, hunting. Being able to run for hours at a time without tiring, using their Reflex saves for each other, moving at full speed with no Stealth penalty, the long strider is fairly tight in its focus, and players who want to play a sort of “mounted bounty hunter” will find this prestige class very much to their liking.

The major drawback of the class is that its narrow focus cuts both ways; several of the abilities here make very specific presumptions about the type of mount and the type of character being played. For example, one class ability gives the mount the scent ability – if it already had that ability, you gain nothing. Another ability grants a bonus to range when using thrown weapons while mounted. Don’t use thrown weapons? Too bad, you gain nothing then. Being able to do a quick (dis)mount when you and your mount are very different sizes is nice, but doesn’t help you if you and your mount are only one size category apart to begin with.

It’s these limitations that present the greatest hindrance to the class. If you work within the scope it already presents, there’s a lot here for you; deviate even slightly, however, and you’ll start to lose out. It’s a shame that the class didn’t present some alternate options for those characters who had slightly different abilities than the ones outlined above – saying that if your mount already had scent then the range of its scent doubled, for example, would have seriously widened the versatility of what’s here.

That said, the class is still a good one for those who want what it offers. It eschews bland bonus feat options, for example, and each level offers a comparatively great amount of abilities, something wise since few of them contribute to combat directly. As it is, the long strider sets a great pace, but only if you can follow in its footsteps.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Long Striders (PFRPG)
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Prestigious Roles: Centurion (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2013 03:06:53
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look at this PrC!



The pdf provides us with the Centurion-PrC (The centurion just needs to have led a unit to victory, have a teamwork-feat and some moderate requirements), who gets d10, 4+Int skills per level, full BAB, medium fort and will-saves, and a teamwork-feat every odd level.



The revised centurion gets access to solo tactics and a command radius that starts at 20 ft and expands over the 10 levels to 60 ft. The allies inside this radius may benefit from his team tactician ability - granting all allies in the radius access to one of his teamwork feats for class level rounds or until he issues a new teamwork feat. This increases to 2 and 3 teamwork feats at levels 4 and 8 of the PrC respectively. At 5th level, in yet another rather cool ability, he may shape the radius of his aura to a cone or line, which is actually a rather neat idea! The capstone lets him choose an ally's initiative and allows him and allies in his aura to act normally in a surprise round.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a relatively printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with some nice stock art. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

The Centurion is a solid, nice little PrC that should especially in the context of war-themed adventuring find its niche and makes for a solid choice - while I'd rather urge you to check out the Supporting Roles-installment that also features the Commander-base-class, this is still a good purchase on its own and thus gets a final verdict of a solid 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Centurion (PFRPG)
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Supporting Roles: Swashbuckler
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2013 05:19:18
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 age SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!



So...we get another take on the Swashbuckler. Yeah. I wasn't looking forward to that one. This particular take is a base-class that gets d8, 6+Int skills per level,3/4 BAB-progression and good ref-saves as well as proficiency in light and medium armor and with simple and martial weapons. No spells and only 3/4 BAB-progression? Yes, for the class gets an ability that is called "Flash of Steel": This is a full-attack action that allows for an additional attack as if using the two weapon fighting feat - now here's the catch: Flashes of Steel use a different BAB equal to the class level (but the usual penalty for two weapon fighting is applied). At higher levels, the swashbuckler gains more additional attacks. Among other things, the swashbuckler may use disarm and trip and uses the full str-bonus when using Flash of Steel. What's missing imho from the ability is clarification whether this ability counts as two weapon fighting for the purpose of feats and abilities and whether it can be stacked with flurry of blows and similar abilities. The ability also lacks the specification whether CMB for disarm and trip-maneuvers as part of flash of steel is calculated with the flash of steel-BAB or the regular one. They also get weapon finesse at first level.



2nd level is imho when the class gets interesting, with the extraordinary ability Parry: Whenever making an attack action, the swashbuckler may forego one or more attacks of up to dex-mod attacks. At any time before his next turn, the character may hence use the omitted attacks to parry incoming melee attacks - I assume this is not an action, but the pdf fails to specify what type of action it is. Essentially, s/he attacks and when surpassing the incoming attack, the swashbuckler may negate it. Unexpected attacks from e.g. charmed adjacent allies and larger creatures are harder to parry, incurring a -4 penalty. The class also gets bonuses to initiative, half class level to Diplomacy and Bluff-checks, increasing AC-bonuses when dual-wielding weapons, dex to melee damage when using weapon finesse, increased weapon dice for light or one-handed piercing weapons or rapiers (including a table) and another ability makes a comeback:



Due to luck's favor, the swashbuckler may decrease falling damage (by landing in the iconic haystack etc.) and at 8th level, the swashbuckler may use an AoO after a successful parry to make a counter-attack on a creature within range. At 1th level, swashbucklers may even maintain parries when moving and make attacks during a movement. S/he also gets improved uncanny dodge and may even move over difficult terrain. At the very highest levels, swashbucklers get a defensive roll, may roll death-defying skill-checks twice and as a capstone, may combine a full attack action with a move action.



We also get a new feat that decreases the penalty incurred to parry ally-attacks down to -2. Very specific and not particularly cool.



The pdf also features several new archetypes for the swashbuckler (which were added as a "thank you" to loyal customers - very nice and commendable from Amora Games!), first of which would be the Blind Swordsman - who only gets proficiency in one sword, but gain blindsense when unable to see and several sense-based abilities. The Fencer suffers from having the incorrect proficiency-listing - the one from the blind swordsmen shows up here again. 1/day, they may challenge to a duel and perform flash of steel with only a rapier, lunge and follow feints up with an AoO. Flamboyant swashbucklers work better when surrounded by foes and may influence crowds with intimidate. "Sword and Pistol" is an archetype that nets the amateur gunslinger feat and allows the archetype to use his/her firearm to supplement his flash of steel. Masked Vigilantes get a code of conduct (which must be lawful - but why? What about chaotic freedom fighters in a despotic regime?) and get bonuses to intimidate and net allies bonuses against fear. Weirdly, the class gets detect evil - which makes e.g. less sense for evil masked vigilantes and they may also grant their weapons temporarily the bane quality.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting is ok, though not perfect - aforementioned proficiency-issues, minor inconsistencies here and there and punctuation glitches can be found. Layout adheres to a relatively printer-friendly 2-column standard with full-color artworks and the pdf comes fully bookmarked - two thumbs up for that!



Authors Kevin Bond and Ryan Cramer have created a neat base-class with some cool mechanics that actually works. While the editing could be tighter, overall, the crunch is solid and features several rather nice abilities. While Parry is not a particularly ingenious ability and could slow down play, it works and overall, I'm actually a fan of the class and consider it one of the better takes on the swashbuckling-trope, even though some minor ambiguities remain.

In fact, I'd probably rate this higher, were it not for the immensely high standard Dreadfox Games' superbly complex Swordmaster-class has set. While said class is HARD to learn and nothing for beginners, the Swashbuckler has one flaw that prevents it from reaching the highest rating-echelons - it's linear. Very, very linear. Talents? Paths? Any choices on the side of the player? NOPE. None. This severely impedes the replay value of the class and makes swashbucklers feel imho too similar to one another. Combined with aforementioned glitches, this drops the final rating down to 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform - at least until the glitches have been purged, after which this should be considered rounded up.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Supporting Roles: Swashbuckler
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Prestigious Roles: Breaker (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2013 03:07:26
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 5 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so what do we get?



If you do have the Supporting Roles: Tinker-pdf by Amora Games, you'll know the Breaker already - this PrC is essentially an excerpt of said parent-pdf



The Breaker gets d10, 2+Int skills per level, full BAB-progression and 1/2 fort and ref-saves. The class's idea is that of a more melee-focused tinker and its design shows, providing a controlled form of rage similar to the one of the barbarian, netting +4 to Str, Dex or Con, splitting them as he deems fit for 4+Con-mod rounds.



They may also use intimidating boasts and single out opponents, which they may charge dealing additional damage. As a cool synergy of abilities, foes targeted by their intimidating boasts cannot execute AoOs versus the Breaker. The breaker may 1/day charge a foe within sight as a swift action, dealing additional damage.



The Backswing Push-ability, which allows the breaker to make an additional attack at his/her highest BAB to push foes 5 ft. (10 on a crit) without said movement enforcing AoOs. The Hit and Run-feature is also interesting, allowing the breaker as a full round action to move up to his movement rate and make a full attack action for a -2 AC. That one is rather powerful.



When missing foes with their attacks, breakers may also make a sunder-attempt as an AoO 1/round and follow up with a 5-foot step towards or around the opponents. Finally, at 10th level, the Breaker may divide weapon damage and edifice recognition damage between the sundered weapon and the foe wielding it.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres toa 2-column full-color standard that is relatively printer-friendly and the pdf comes without bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



While you obviously don't need this pdf if you already own the parent-pdf, the Breaker remains an interesting sunder-focused PrC with some powerful, unique non-magical abilities to supplement the class. The PrC is solid and there's nothing particularly wrong with it - hence, I'll settle on a final verdict of a solid 4 star-rating.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prestigious Roles: Breaker (PFRPG)
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Supporting Roles: Commander & Centurion
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2013 05:30:03
This pdf is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving 8 pages of content for new class and a PrC, so let's check out the Commander!

The Commander class gets d10, 4+Int skills per level, full BAB, good will- and fort-saves, proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as all armors and shields except tower shields. Beyond that, the class is all about commanding troops in battle and enhancing allies.

Commanders have a commanding presence aura of 30 ft around them, which expands by yet another 30 ft. every five levels and works only if the commander is not paralyzed, petrified etc. and when allies can see or hear him. Allies within the aura also gain a +1 morale bonus to initiative an fear-based saves, which scales by +1 whenever the aura-size increases, which it does by30 ft. every 5 levels.

Now tactical strike is interesting - as a standard melee or ranged attack action, the commander can perform an attack that also acts as an aid another to an ally adjacent to the foe the commander attacked. Now that the ability has been stream-lined, its wording is much clearer and more precise.

Commanders may now also give Speeches - 1 + Cha-mod times and an additional 2 times per level beyond the first. Speeches are a subset of direct orders and their benefits last for one round, which allow the commander to use aid another at range and via Perform (Oratory) versus DC 10 as a standard action. Overall, these speeches are vastly superior in their presentation to the commander's first iteration - their intended benefits are clear and unambiguous. A total of 10 different speeches are provided, with the latter ones requiring a preset number of ranks in Perform (Oratory). My only gripe is that Words of Courage grants the Diehard-feat as well as +2 to Str and Con, but does not specify whether the hit points gained from the con-increase behave like the temporary hitpoints of the barbarian rage or not- here minor clarification would be in order.

Starting at second level and every even level thereafter, the commander now gets access to tactics - these are essentially talents for the class and a total of 23 are provided. Mechanically, most of them allow the commander to add his aid another bonuses to uncommon checks - From helping with the handling of siege engines to concentration of allies to granting an ally an AoO and enhancing an ally's CMB and CMD, they are actually interesting now. Some deviate from the assist-mechanic and two in particular are interesting: One allows the commander the addition of int-mod to all saves, which is a bit powerful for my tastes. Most interesting, at least imho, is Cunning Response, which grants the commander int-mod additional immediate actions per round - which is relevant for battle cries.

Starting at 4th level and every 4 levels after that an additional time per day, the commander may activate the ability as a swift action. Once activated "Battle-Cry mode" lasts until the end of combat. When activated thus, the commander may, as an immediate action, react to himself or an ally in sight being hit by attacks, spells or spell-like abilities with issuing a battle cry - 6 are provided and allow for e.g. a 5-foot movement after killing a foe and delivering an AoO to adjacent foes, withdraw as an immediate action and move towards downed foes.

Starting at 5th level, Commanders may now grant allies access to teamwork feats they possess by either substituting the tactical strike or direct order benefits.

At 8th level, the class starts to become interesting and complex: Press the advantage allows the commander to issue multiple orders, tactics or teamwork orders to their allies with a single application of their abilities - up to 4 at once at 18th level. And yes, they may spread the benefits between allies if they so choose. perhaps the mechanically most interesting ability of the class.

At 10th level, the speeches last longer and at 14th level, he may designate an ally as field officer and lend one of his direct orders, speeches or tactics to an ally. Very cool!


We also get 5 new feats:
-At them, Men (Teamwork): Charge with an ally simultaneously at the lower initiative. + 10 ft when charging,
-Band of Brothers (Teamwork): +1 to AC and attacks when adjacent to an ally, up to + 3, stacks with shield wall.
-Extra Speeches: +2 speeches per day.
-Extra Tactics: +1 tactics.
-Hold the Line: When you or your ally are being charged by a foe, your weapons gain the brace quality and the enemy takes a -4 penalty to AC instead of -2.
-With your shield or on it (Teamwork): When holding a shield adjacent to an ally holding a shield as well, gain + 2 to saves vs. spells and fear-effects.

The pdf also provides us the Centurion-PrC (not only for commanders - the centurion just needs to have led a unit to victory, have a teamwork-feat and some moderate requirements), who gets d10, 4+Int skills per level, full BAB, medium fort and will-saves, and a teamwork-feat every odd level.

The revised centurion gets access to solo tactics and a command radius that starts at 20 ft and expands over the 10 levels to 60 ft. The allies inside this radius may benefit from his team tactician ability - granting all allies in the radius access to one of his teamwork feats for class level rounds or until he issues a new teamwork feat. This increases to 2 and 3 teamwork feats at levels 4 and 8 of the PrC respectively. At 5th level, in yet another rather cool ability, he may shape the radius of his aura to a cone or line, which is actually a rather neat idea! The capstone lets him choose an ally's initiative and allows him and allies in his aura to act normally in a surprise round.


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting in this revised version of the pdf are vastly improved - I noticed no significant glitches that would have hampered my understanding of the book. Layout adheres to a relatively printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, which is nice. Artworks are full color, ok stock - nothing to complain about at this price-point.

All right, the first iteration of this pdf was a train-wreck. to cut a long ramble short: This one isn't.
While there are already two classes out there dealing with the concept of the commander, SGG's War Master and DSP's Tactician, both are different: The War Master is slightly dated, having been created before the advent of teamwork-feats and the tactician is focused on psionics. Thus, the commander as a mundane battlefield leader has his place - especially since this iteration of the class has managed to make the expansion of the aid another action and the benefits granted both sufficiently significant and balanced to make this class a viable option. While here and there the wording could be slightly more concise, for the first time Amora Games' pdf manages to get the terminology and rules-language right in a way that is not ambiguous and as precise as the complex rules-adjustments and options that classes like these require. In fact, this revised edition not only feels much more concise, it actually brings some interesting design-ideas to the table in the way how the respective abilities are handled.

Much like Rocks Fall Games recently revised "Dark Totem Part I", this revision has just about nothing in common with its abysmal first version, getting the concepts they tried to get across RIGHT. So much so, in fact, that I'm sincerely hoping that this reflects Amora Games' new quality standard, for if it does, the announced idea of a war-campaign may actually be a very fulfilling experience. Whereas before neither class nor PrC has any reason to exist, this revision made both stand out and me actually consider playing one of the classes herein - I believe they can now be quite some fun, especially if you ever wanted to play concept-wise in the equivalent of a Bridgeburner-like elite unit.

While not yet perfect, this pdf comes at a very low price and delivers in the revised edition interesting mechanics you might wish to scavenge - at the very latest when En World's War of the Burning Sky is converted to PFRPG (they met the KS-stretch-goal, after all!) and as a DM you want to add some oomph to the Ragessian commanders. If the idea of a non-magical commander and expanding the aid another action to make strategist-style warriors work even remotely interests you, then I whole-heartedly suggest you check out this revised pdf - my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Supporting Roles: Commander & Centurion
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