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Chains 1 Page Background
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:42:00

I like this release of the Knotty Works a little less than other titles of their product range: the “washed” effect (I don´t know how to call it any other way, as I am not a native speaker) lets you think twice before you use a small font size in your title. But if you are looking for the heavy-metal-hell” approach in your product (and the other offers of The Knotty Works do not fit your bill somehow), this one will be it.

Plus, the price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Chains 1 Page Background
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Knotty Works Backgrounds Set 7
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:37:44

By now, this one became one of my standard covers for non-mutated post-apocalyptic list/item titles. Before, I found it hard to find a suiting cover, as I looked for something dark but non-flamboyant and matter-of-fact. This set does the trick.

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knotty Works Backgrounds Set 7
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Black & White 3 Page Background
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:34:42

This thorny-looking piece of b/w background forms the background for personal-use character sheets in a dark-fantasy FATE(tm) micro-campaign of mine, and I happy that I have found it. I can also see its use in the printer-friendly versions of dark-fantasy-themed PDF products.

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Black & White 3 Page Background
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Silver Cool 3 Page Background
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:31:36

The title looks a bit plain to me, but this might only be me (I would have suggested a different color for the details on the corner spaces, as I think that silver on light blue looks a bit sallow). Never the less, the background fills a niche: if you need something that is linked to both “future / scifi / technology” and “cold / ice”, you should not look further but pick this one up. It is clear-cut, fits the aforementioned themes perfectly and offers a fine touch to your release while still providing more than enough writing space.

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Silver Cool 3 Page Background
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Black & White 1 Page Background
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:26:23

A good b/w page background for SciFi titles that are meant to be printer friendly. I used it in both commercial products and free hobby/community releases by now (a bit of background turns a good text into an appreciated PDF) and did not regret the purchase, nor do I see myself doing so in the future.

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Black & White 1 Page Background
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Rituals 1 Page Background
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:23:21

A wonderful page-background for releases centered on magic and/or summoning. The details in the text space a wonderful, as are those near the corners and the picture arrangement in general. I will not use it for ALL of my products (as it has a rather strong “them” that does not lend itself to each and any fantasy title), but when I am going to write further “dark spellbooks”, it will be more than handy (as I found out already with a release of mine).

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rituals 1 Page Background
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Coppery Coolness 2 Page Background
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:20:06

This is another title from The Knotty Works that I really admire. The polished look makes it “posh”, the writing space is an eye-catcher as well but not interfering with the readability of the text and last but not least, the whole picture arrangement makes it usable for both SciFi and Science-Fantasy (at least, it does so in my books).

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Coppery Coolness 2 Page Background
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Knotty Works Backgrounds March Celtic Set 1
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:16:36

This is a rock-solid package for those who begin to publish “generic fantasy” titles, especially in regard to item/list-based releases. The seven different color versions allow the author to establish “product lines” which the customers may be able to identify by the cover alone (and it is good to fit different moods or backgrounds of adventure material as well).



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Knotty Works Backgrounds March Celtic Set 1
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Apocalyptic 1 Page Background
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:13:28

I love this background. I really do. The playful little details near the corner turn it into something special, but it still does not interfere with the writing space.

For Mutant Future(tm)-compatible releases, I cannot think of a better background, and I guess that it will suit other radioactive OSR-clones as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Apocalyptic 1 Page Background
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Burnt Umber 3 Page Background
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:09:59

I was unsure at first if the style of this page would fit my products. It reminded me of wood somehow and I wondered if this would really look good. Well, I found out it does! I use it for titles centered on dwarfs or fantasy in general.

As with all of the products from the Knotty Works, the price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Burnt Umber 3 Page Background
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Player Paraphernalia #91 The Metamorphosis (New Oracle Mystery)
by Angel M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2017 18:00:23

Boasting an evolution pool, this Oracle mystery is highly customizable!

See my fullr eview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoOdp-tZylQ



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player Paraphernalia #91 The Metamorphosis (New Oracle Mystery)
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Player Paraphernalia #82 The Esotericist (Archetype Class)
by Angel M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2017 08:52:02

4/5 using my own grading rubric for TTRPG products!

Want to know how I arrived to this score?

Check out my video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qYWQlly6Tk



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player Paraphernalia #82 The Esotericist (Archetype Class)
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Mutant Future Mutant Lord Screen Inserts
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2017 12:20:35

Great inserts for those looking to put together a MF GM screen. The multiple layers are a fantastic option for those with varying asthetic and printing options.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutant Future Mutant Lord Screen Inserts
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Advancing with Class: The Witch
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/22/2017 02:48:01

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Advancing with Class-series clocks in at 27 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 21 pages fo content, so let's take a look!

All right, after a brief and solid piece of introductory prose, we begin with 5 different patrons, with 3 being tied to fey, one representing a more scholarly bent and one being an antithesis of winter. More interesting than these (though their spell selection is pretty interesting) would be the metric ton of hexes that can be found herein, which are further categorized by theme - Eldritch, Fey, General and Shadow would be the respective leitmotifs. Fey hexes are restricted to fey with a fey patron, shadow hexes are restricted to witches with the shadow patron - simple and makes sense, though, as a minor complaint, last time I checked it was "patron" and not "patron theme" - but that's just cosmetic and hence will not influence the final verdict.

Now eldritch hexes are basically a means of grafting a warlock-like blasting chassis on the more utility-centric witch; this is primarily done via the hex bolt hex, which causes 1d6 untyped (sigh) damage per 4 class levels, with a ranged touch attack to hit, a range increment of 15 ft. and a maximum of 10 range increments, which, while a bit rocky considering its behavior, can be considered to be somewhat of a balancing thing. Now, where the verbiage becomes confusing is when it spells out that the bolt is considered to be magic and thus bypasses DR - the wording can be read as ignoring all DR, not just DR/magic. Only one such bolt may be fired at any given round, regardless of iterative attacks. The bolt is treated as a 2md level spell for casting defensively purposes and is not lost on a failed check, but rather receives a penalty to attack The second major theme to be found among these hexes would be the hex forged hex, which lets you weave untyped bonus damage into melee or natural weapons (not unarmed attacks? Why?). Taking a cue from kineticist wording, there are also infusion hexes, which can be applied to either hex bolt or hex forged, with the exception of energy infusion, which replaces the base energy type of a hex bolt to one of the base energies or "sound" -which does not exist. It's sonic. Energy infusion hex bolts apply resistance, but ignore SR and the other infusions net deafening, frightening, blinding or sickening properties to the bolt. Higher level hexes add further effects to choose from.

Weird, btw.: Neither major, nor grand hexes sport the distinction by hex type in their respective arrays, with the major hexes building upon hex bolts providing cones, fireball-like long-range exploding bolts as well as a weird Cleave-y modification. These, alas, do also sport some oddities: A maximum range of a non-range-modifying bolt, for example, contradicts the maximum range of hex bolt. Similarly, the shaping modifications do not specify whether infusion-type hexes affecting hex bolts work with these shaping tricks. While, unlike the annoyingly infinite hex bolt, these do have a hard cap, I am frankly not sold on the whole sequence. I've seen warlock-y classes done better than this graft, which feels like a basic attempt for some blasting capacity that could have been refined into a mighty engine...but wasn't. When compared to e.g. Interjection games' ethermagic or kineticism, it also promotes doing the same each round, namely blasting. Not a fan and the deviations from standard rules-language are fatal in such a chassis.

The fey and general hexes feel more "witchy" in tone to me and ultimately, to me, are the better examples from a design perspective: Here among the general ones we can find hexes to hamper spellcasting, the ability to deliver messages via avian messengers, the option to pass unimpeded through rough terrain or undergrowth sans taking damage or gaining a mildly toxic nettle-skin. Spitting iron nails at short range that may bypass mage armor et al. is a cool visual. That being said, e.g. the traveling itch could have used a bit of a power upgrade - a -1 penalty to atk for class level rounds does not warrant taking. Also: There are no typed penalties in PFRPG. Interesting - there is a touch that nets the witch and allies bonuses versus the recipient, with the major hex providing an AoE-version of deep slumber, thematically codified as a faerie ring around the witch...while only one such ring may be in effect at a given time, it basically exacerbates the sleeping issue that riled up so many GMs, though personally, I consider it valid...but I wished its wording was slightly more refined. Among the fey hexes, there is an AoE-20 ft-gaze that kills standard actions of targets and a nice sequence of hexes that blinds the target selectively to the witch, which is pretty cool.

The shadow hexes...are basically every shadow-themed class ever. Cloak weapons in shadow for damage-bonus? Check. Stealth-bonuses? Check. Minor sneak attack? Check. They're not that bad or problematic, but neither do they blow me away when compared to the better takes on theme. The feats contained in the pdf mostly concern themselves with witch multiclassing, but also sport better attacks via staves or brooms as well as enhancements of new hexes or archetype abilities.

The new archetypes herein follow a similar trend: The Eldritch Witch, for example, would be, surprise, the archetype for hex bolts/hex forged, with the fey-touched witch the specialist for the fey-themed hexes, one that receives a fey familiar, whose table collates two levels per row, which is slightly problematic from a RAW/convention-perspective. The harrowed harlequin is interesting and receives several social skills as well as a gremlin familiar. Weird: Adding damage to feint attacks at high levels is a bit wonky in its implementation...and does not specify a range, whether only the witch can use it for her own feints, etc. - after all...you don't want to get into melee with a full caster. The madness matriarch may cause insanities and the mystic astrologer is one of the more interesting ones, sporting some solid fate-based rerolls and similar abilities. The high-level option to negate actions retroactively, gained at 18th level, is pretty cool in theory, but its wording is mega-opaque and needs clarification.

The occult scholar receives more brainy skills and is a expert scroll-user, while the shadow mistress, bingo, would be the shadow hex-themed archetype of the collection. The pdf concludes with 3 sample characters, 2 at CR 4 (elven fey-touched + human madness matriarch) and a CR 8 serpentfolk eldritch witch.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are issues on a formal and rules-level. From apostrophe-hiccups and similar typos, the pdf lacks italicization for pretty much every spell and violates rules-formatting in several instances., rendering the content more opaque than it should be. Frustratingly, not to the point where the pdf is not operational, mind you...but yeah, you'll have to reread some passages and will stumble over oddness here and there. The pdf adheres to a 2-column, full-color layout-standard with decent stock art. The pdf is internally hyperlinked and fully bookmarked.

John Buckley's take on the witch is frustrating to me: It takes several cool concepts and proceeds to sport some really ingenious tricks: The nail-spitting, for example, is amazing from a visuals point of view. At the same time, it contains some serious filler and...well...didn't blow me away. I've seen warlock-y blasting done better numerous times; I've seen shadow done better numerous times...and the hiccups in formatting and verbiage make some components...well. Weird. The internal balance is also somewhat inconsistent, with some hexes being clearly significantly weaker than others.

I don't hate this pdf. It does have some gems and if you're willing to iron out some of the verbiage glitches, you'll find some seriously fun concepts herein. At the same time, I can't see the pseudo-warlock graft exciting anyone when there are better options. Same goes for the shadow tricks, rendering a significant portion of the pdf...kinda obsolete and slightly redundant from a thematic point of view. In the end, I can't go higher than 2.5 stars, rounded down.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Advancing with Class: The Witch
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Publisher Reply:
Considering this was one of my first products from 2013, I can live with the findings though judging it in the light of newer products is a bit unfair. This product predates Occult Adventures by a few years and at the time I believe the hexes presented offered a viable means of building a 3.x clonish Warlock.
Player Paraphernalia #36 The Highwayman (hybrid class)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/20/2016 18:45:37

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This class clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The highwayman is a cavalier/rogue hybrid class and, chassis-wise, receives d8, 6+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and martial weapons, hand crossbow, light and medium armor, full BAB-progression and good Fort- and Ref-saves. The class begins with a non-scaling +1 bonus to Acrobatics, Climb, Disguise, Escape Artist, Knowledge (nobility), Sleight of Hand and Stealth as well as Swim.

At 1st level, 1/day, as a swift action, the class gets a kind of swingy challenge variant: The highwayman receives 1/2 class level to Sense Motive versus the target as well as +1d6 damage. This imposes a penalty of 1/2 class level to Perception and Sense Motive-checks involving anyone else - on a nitpicky side, the penalty-sentence fails to print the skills with capital letters and lacks the minimum 1-note, but that's mostly a cosmetic glitch. The highway man increases the bonus damage by +1d6 every 3 levels thereafter and also receives an additional daily use. The class receives mount and order at 1st level, thankfully noting that challenge modifiers instead apply to the modified ability.

Starting at 2nd level, the class gets +1 to Perception and Sense Motive, +1 every 3 levels thereafter and also nets drumroll a boon, which would be the talents of the class - yes, this means we have actual CHOICE and player agenda here, something painfully non-existent in the vanilla cavalier. An additional boon is gained every 4 levels after the second. The boons allow for the taking of a limited array of rogue talents, substituting the bonus damage of his variant challenge for sneak attack prerequisites. Beyond that, teamwork feat sharing, skill bonuses, (improved) uncanny dodge etc. complement the selection. Here's the cool thing: The boons allow for non-combat utility. The class actually plays rewarding when it's not bashing brains in.

On the defensive side, evasion at 3rd level, improved evasion at 9th and mounted bonus feats complement the concept. The capstone further upgrades the variant challenge of the class. And in case you're wondering - tactician, bonus feats, banner and the charge-related abilities are the things the cavalier retains over the highway man, ensuring that the parent retains supremacy in open warfare - which constitutes a perfect representation of fluff-relationships of classes in crunch. Kudos!

The pdf also sports a new cavalier order, the order of the road, which focuses on social skills as well as Bluff-demoralizes and is pretty non-descript - an okay order, but not one you'll see players gushing on about.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good - while there are some minor formal hiccups, the book is easy to grasp and well-presented. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard and sports solid stock art. The pdf is layered, allowing you to turn off the blue background and the pdf comes with the good type of hyperlinks. Furthermore, it does sport bookmarks in spite of its brevity.

What John Buckley presents here can be summed up with few words: Genius in simplicity. The main issue of the cavalier lies in its lacking flexibility and player agenda as well as next to no non-combat-utility. This adds player agenda as well as the skills necessary to be a good face and actually matter in non-combat situations. The design's variant challenge is pretty elegant and maintains easy compatibility with rogue material, should you elect to diversify the portfolio of the class. Basically, what we have here is the class the cavalier should have been. While the order is not too exciting, that is imho not enough to drag down this class, particularly not at the exceedingly fair price. Similarly, while it does have some minor hiccups in editing, I don't consider that enough to truly complain about it either. I really, really like this class and will continue to use it in my game - hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform and, since this provides a more rewarding take on the cavalier-niche while maintaining compatibility, I will also slap my seal of approval on it.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player Paraphernalia #36 The Highwayman (hybrid class)
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