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Veranthea Codex: Lost Legends of Urethiel 2.0
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2017 10:11:27

An Endzeitgeist.com review of V. 2.0

This supplement for Veranthea Codex clocks in at 42 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 36 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Note: This pdf has only received a cosmetic face-lift, so the review's pretty much unchanged. If you've read the old review, you'll know what follows.)

So, what do we get here? Well, we get a massive, high-concept NPC Codex/bestiary with a WuXia-theme. From the mountains of Nestraka, the CR 8 Amigara hail, deadly constructs that encase mortals to use them to tap into the life energy of mortals entombed in their bodies - they can be found in the canyon of the spiral, which features a total of 3 short descriptive sketches to use in concert with the critter.

The pdf continues to provide the Fukujin subtype - native outsiders that embody the virtues of good fortune, with two such entities provided, both of which should put a smile on the faces of genre-aficionados: Benzaiten and Hotei, both at a nasty CR 15, make for powerful, benevolent entities. The Fire Naga at CR 12 comes with a new spell that is basically dominate on speed and the naga can generate enthralling, hypnotic orbs or fire...pretty cool and best take on the concept I've seen so far: In spite of the name, this is no one-trick-pony. Orang-Bati are CR 3 winged apes with a fear-inducing howl. Okay, I guess, but I've seen the concept often enough to not be impressed here.

Now the next critter made me smile from ear to ear: Horror-fans may know of the Orang-Minyak, the oily men - well, guess what? Now we get the guy as a neat CR 6 adversary with cool, connected abilities - two thumbs up! The Seong-Saman, the fan-lady with her aura of breathlessness, night terrors and ability to become corporeal is another critter at CR 5 I very much enjoyed to see here - and gaining one named iteration with mesmerist levels is a neat icing on the cake here. At CR 4, the long-tailed hornless goat sigbin may drink blood from the shadow of creatures (!!!) and is yet another cool critter that very much made me grin. The 3 magic items associated with the creatures just add more dimension to it and the notes for catching it make it feel as something deeply rooted in the mythology of Urethiel.

Tek-tek, undead upper torsos with an axe-blade where the lower body should be, with their vertebrae axe and deranged chittering is also amazing...oh, and they can be taken as familiars or companions via feats. Their previously slightly too high power-level has been adjusted to proper levels - KUDOS!! The three magic items (two axes, one set of bracers) are neat and evocative, though. I was positive surprised to see the tsuchigumo translated as a CR 10 aberration, with powerful webs and the horrid ability to create tsuchigo thralls via the CR +3 template provided.

Next up would be sample characters: a human druidess 2, a dwarven samurai 5, an elven pyrokineticist, a half-orc vigilante, a half-elven hunter, a forsaken human two-handed fighter, a blessed alchemist/ninja/monk-multiclass, a forsaken slayer, a halfling oracle and a shòuquán invulnerable rager/conduit are provided, spanning the CRs from 1 to 18. It should be noted that, where applicable, companions are included in the stats. Amazing for guys like yours truly: This pdf features an artifact...that is the Death Note. Not kidding. Could your PCs have bested Light? It's time to find out...

The pdf also sports information on a unique city - Tian-Ti Ang, the city of vampires! The place not only comes with a settlement statblock, it also features notes on the houses, the local laws and rivalries and conclude the pdf on a high note with a deadly vampire ninja at CR 12.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring glitches. Layout adheres, for the most part, to a two-column full-color standard, though the pdf switches this up with one-column passages where appropriate. The artworks, for the most part, are public domain, but fit the theme, with some stock thrown in - the new cover is certainly nice. Like all Veranthea codex books, this book is chock-full with information, but doesn't feel as jammed and busy as previous books, which is a good thing in my book. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Luis Loza's Lost Legends of Urethiel deliver in spades: The critters, for the most part, are creative and drink deeply from the wellspring of lesser known pieces of mythology. The NPCs are similarly diverse in their builds and feature some characters that make good use of Urethiel's unique birthrights. More importantly, this pdf left me with the DESIRE to actually use quite a few of the creatures herein. While the lack of artworks for the critters is always a bit of an issue for bestiaries, if you are not solely focused on that component, you will love A LOT of the critters herein: Instead of doing the standard Yuki-no-onna, penanggalan-routine, this instead opts for creatures you haven't yet see hundreds of times. In short - this is a great, fun supplement. While not all NPCs are genius or that creative, the critters are creative and fun and so are many of the NPCs - as a whole, a supplement well worth getting, making me settle on a final verdict of 5 stars, just short of my seal of approval. Oh, and the feats being cut down to size with the new artwork just represents the icing on the cake! Get this!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Veranthea Codex: Lost Legends of Urethiel 2.0
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Veranthea Codex: Lost Legends of Urethiel
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2017 10:10:26

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised version

This supplement for Veranthea Codex clocks in at 42 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 36 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Note: This pdf has only received a cosmetic face-lift, so the review's pretty much unchanged. If you've read the old review, you'll know what follows.)

So, what do we get here? Well, we get a massive, high-concept NPC Codex/bestiary with a WuXia-theme. From the mountains of Nestraka, the CR 8 Amigara hail, deadly constructs that encase mortals to use them to tap into the life energy of mortals entombed in their bodies - they can be found in the canyon of the spiral, which features a total of 3 short descriptive sketches to use in concert with the critter.

The pdf continues to provide the Fukujin subtype - native outsiders that embody the virtues of good fortune, with two such entities provided, both of which should put a smile on the faces of genre-aficionados: Benzaiten and Hotei, both at a nasty CR 15, make for powerful, benevolent entities. The Fire Naga at CR 12 comes with a new spell that is basically dominate on speed and the naga can generate enthralling, hypnotic orbs or fire...pretty cool and best take on the concept I've seen so far: In spite of the name, this is no one-trick-pony. Orang-Bati are CR 3 winged apes with a fear-inducing howl. Okay, I guess, but I've seen the concept often enough to not be impressed here.

Now the next critter made me smile from ear to ear: Horror-fans may know of the Orang-Minyak, the oily men - well, guess what? Now we get the guy as a neat CR 6 adversary with cool, connected abilities - two thumbs up! The Seong-Saman, the fan-lady with her aura of breathlessness, night terrors and ability to become corporeal is another critter at CR 5 I very much enjoyed to see here - and gaining one named iteration with mesmerist levels is a neat icing on the cake here. At CR 4, the long-tailed hornless goat sigbin may drink blood from the shadow of creatures (!!!) and is yet another cool critter that very much made me grin. The 3 magic items associated with the creatures just add more dimension to it and the notes for catching it make it feel as something deeply rooted in the mythology of Urethiel.

Tek-tek, undead upper torsos with an axe-blade where the lower body should be, with their vertebrae axe and deranged chittering is also amazing...oh, and they can be taken as familiars or companions via feats. Their previously slightly too high power-level has been adjusted to proper levels - KUDOS!! The three magic items (two axes, one set of bracers) are neat and evocative, though. I was positive surprised to see the tsuchigumo translated as a CR 10 aberration, with powerful webs and the horrid ability to create tsuchigo thralls via the CR +3 template provided.

Next up would be sample characters: a human druidess 2, a dwarven samurai 5, an elven pyrokineticist, a half-orc vigilante, a half-elven hunter, a forsaken human two-handed fighter, a blessed alchemist/ninja/monk-multiclass, a forsaken slayer, a halfling oracle and a shòuquán invulnerable rager/conduit are provided, spanning the CRs from 1 to 18. It should be noted that, where applicable, companions are included in the stats. Amazing for guys like yours truly: This pdf features an artifact...that is the Death Note. Not kidding. Could your PCs have bested Light? It's time to find out...

The pdf also sports information on a unique city - Tian-Ti Ang, the city of vampires! The place not only comes with a settlement statblock, it also features notes on the houses, the local laws and rivalries and conclude the pdf on a high note with a deadly vampire ninja at CR 12.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring glitches. Layout adheres, for the most part, to a two-column full-color standard, though the pdf switches this up with one-column passages where appropriate. The artworks, for the most part, are public domain, but fit the theme, with some stock thrown in - the new cover is certainly nice. Like all Veranthea codex books, this book is chock-full with information, but doesn't feel as jammed and busy as previous books, which is a good thing in my book. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Luis Loza's Lost Legends of Urethiel deliver in spades: The critters, for the most part, are creative and drink deeply from the wellspring of lesser known pieces of mythology. The NPCs are similarly diverse in their builds and feature some characters that make good use of Urethiel's unique birthrights. More importantly, this pdf left me with the DESIRE to actually use quite a few of the creatures herein. While the lack of artworks for the critters is always a bit of an issue for bestiaries, if you are not solely focused on that component, you will love A LOT of the critters herein: Instead of doing the standard Yuki-no-onna, penanggalan-routine, this instead opts for creatures you haven't yet see hundreds of times. In short - this is a great, fun supplement. While not all NPCs are genius or that creative, the critters are creative and fun and so are many of the NPCs - as a whole, a supplement well worth getting, making me settle on a final verdict of 5 stars, just short of my seal of approval. Oh, and the feats being cut down to size with the new artwork just represents the icing on the cake! Get this!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Veranthea Codex: Lost Legends of Urethiel
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Super Powered Bestiary
by Paul S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2017 10:15:22

(First of all for anyone that didn't know D&D type monsters were going to be in this book... Look at the review. Secondly, what kind of monsters were you looking for anyhow?)

Because this book has tons and tons of MONSTERS. Yeah it's a collection of classic fantasy monsters converted over for M&M 3rd edition - and it is spectacular for it!

  1. Great art. Solid all the way through and consistent.
  2. Extremely useful for on the fly stats and minions.
  3. You can dive into this book for endless ideas and opponents for your game.
  4. Clear layout and organization.

Absolutely stellar! 5 STARS.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Super Powered Bestiary
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Everyman Minis: Childhood Feats
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/09/2017 07:44:05

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 5 pages of SRD, leaving us with two pages of content, so let's take a look!

Well, first of all - these feats are intended for use with the extremely impressive Childhood Adventures-sourcebook. If you don't already have it, consider getting it.

The focus in this installment would, obviously, be feats with the Child-descriptor, though two story feats can also be found herein - you know these undoubtedly from Ultimate Campaign. And yes, I am a pronounced fan of the concept. Child-feats, just btw., come with a proper maturation benefit that is pretty much analogue with this.

Anyways, without further ado, here are the feats:

-Fresh Outlook: +2 save to disbelieve illusions and to Sense Motive to sense enchantments and Perception to notice invisible foes; upon maturation, you may select e.g. Discerning Eye, Psychic Sensitivity or the like - makes sense. Nice one.

-Sore Loser: This is a panache feat and lets you spend panache to reroll rolled 1s on ability or skill checks, attack rolls and saves, but with a -2 penalty. You may continue to spend panache this way for further rerolls, but the penalties are cumulative. I LOVE how this blends sore losers in game with gamers sore about botching a roll. I can see this. Upon maturation, it turns into a panache feat or a swashbuckler's dare.

-Voce Bianca: When you spend a free action to maintain bardic performance or raging song, you may expend an additional daily round to target a foe that can see and hear the performance with a sonic-damage-causing note that causes deafness for 1 round, with a Fort-save to negate deafness and halve damage. This feat MUST be exchanged upon maturation and the options, once again, make sense.

Now, the story feats featured herein would first be Biggest fan: You idolize a real or fictional person and 1/day may draw upon your inspiration to reroll a natural on an attack, CL-check to dispel or overcome SR or a skill check. Upon fulfilling the goal of gaining the target's respect/living up the legend/mythos, you may use this +Cha-mod times per day and gain a +2 bonus to such rerolls. Minor aesthetic complaint: The "Special"-line is not bolded - if you lose faith in an idol, you may replace it with a new feat...or a new idol.

The second story feat herein would be Lost Family, which is pretty self-explanatory. Its benefits yield you +1 to CMD, Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride and Swim. Upon gaining closure/reuniting with the family, you gain +1 to Charisma checks, Charisma-based skill-checks and Will-saves...but being separated once again may have consequences. This one is okay, but mechanically, the completion benefits feel a bit off to me.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are almost perfect on a formal level. On a rules-level, the pdf leaves nothing to be desired. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming's two-column standard and the page containing the feats is b/w and as such, printer-friendly. The pdf does sport nice full-color artworks. We don't have bookmarks, but don't need them here.

Margherita Tramontano delivers here. Impressively so. With only one feat that I consider "only" good, this pdf is bereft of filler material and manages to juggle complex concepts rather well. Sore Loser and Voce Bianca in particular made me smile from ear to ear. So yeah - flavorful, well-crafted, lacking any ability to cheese them - even with my exceedingly high standards for feats these days, I can't complain here. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Childhood Feats
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Everyman Minis: Leyline Qualities
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/05/2017 13:20:50

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini-installment clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look!

In case you were wondering - this book expands upon Occult Adventures' ley lines rules and thus presents the Ley Line Adept feat, which nets a Spellcraft-bonus as well as a Dowsing skill unlock means of 1/day finding ley lines, making them more accessible. The process of "findings"[sic!] ley lines via such rods is covered and concisely presented with DCs and all- no complaints there.

The pdf then goes on to present 9 different types of ley line: Alignment-ley lines tap into the corresponding plane's planar traits (really elegant solution there!), while corrupted ley lines can spawn hazards, once again tapping into the general mechanics and codify these threats concisely via CR. Elemental ley lines increase spell save DC and CL accordingly, while manifest ley lines can be found with the naked eye. Restricted ley lines would be the first to really blow me away - you see, these can only be accessed via certain criteria - items, classes, being born under a special sign...and while UMD may be used to circumvent this, it's not an easy task and remains rather flavorful. Specialized ley lines enhance certain schools or subschools, increasing the CL.

Sylvan ley lines make magic harder to resist for animals and plants, while wild ley lines have their caster level modified by 1d4-2, potentially wasting spells...oh, and for fans of the phenomenal Microsized Handbook will love microsizing ley lines - which may affect some, all...or only specific beings in their vicinity...

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are generally very good (with the typo-exception mentioned) on both a formal and a rules-language level. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming's nice 2-column standard, is printer-friendly, and I appreciate the full-color artwork for the supplement. The pdf comes without bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

I like Matt Morris' expansion of ley lines as a system, I really do - but at the same time, to me, it feels pretty basic. Yes, I know. It's a niche offering. But I couldn't help but feel like the ley line engine offers more. I expected a bit weirder material and while this brings ley lines as a system up to the level that I wanted from the base engine, it does not go beyond that. If you're like me, you have probably seen a bunch of ley line engines at this point and I am glad that Everyman gaming released this and expanded Occult Adventure's take on the concept. At the same time, I do feel like another page or two with stranger qualities would have helped this pdf.

That being said, if you're like me and were left wanting more from Occult Adventure's ley line-engine, then consider this a must-own offering. This is good, well-made and fun - and as such, deserves a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Leyline Qualities
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Everyman Minis: The Skinsuit Ritual
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/29/2017 04:33:03

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Everyman Gaming's minis-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Okay, so first things first: This is an occult ritual. I assume that you have Occult Adventures on hand (If not...why?? It's literally one of the best books Paizo has ever made!) and thus know how occult rituals work.

All righty, so, the ritual herein would be a level 8 and represents an evil polymorph effect. As befitting of a proper ritual, the materials required are delightfully exotic: Living steel buttons? hag's hair twine and boiled calamus root, licorice and lilacs? A sewing needle made from keketar bones? HECK YES, this breathes flavor in the components/focus line - big time. So, backlash is deadly - the ritual causes the hapless caster's skin to slough off...oh, and if you botch it, you may well be transformed by the 4d6 Cha drain into a doppelgänger. The primary caster also develops a delusion, fugue and mania pertaining the ritual's target...so risky, yes.

The main draw here and what makes this AMAZING, though, would be the in-depth description of the ritual itself - basically, you sew the buttons on the target...and then things get icky...you see, you transform the target, LITERALLY into a skinsuit you can wear. Yes, dear readers - that actually means that we get a potentially more concise version of the ritual employed in Second Darkness back in the day...and we actually get a polymorph effect that lasts longer than a combat...oh, but one word of warning for the potential evil-doers out there - one button amiss...and your disguise falls.

Still, seriously, if you're a GM and can't weave a glorious plot from this, then I don't know how to help you. This is seriously amazing and inspiring.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Everyman gaming's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with a nice piece of art by maestro Blackmon. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas delivers big time here: This ritual is amazing, flavorful and inspiring - even if you do not play PFRPG and e.g. prefer OSR or DCC, the pdf provides some seriously delightfully twisted inspiration. I love this. It's a perfect example of how amazing a ritual can be - 5 stars + seal of approval. Get this asap!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: The Skinsuit Ritual
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Monster Menagerie: Troops
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/26/2017 06:07:21

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Rogue Genius Games' Monster Menagerie-series clocks in at 22 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page introduction, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 17 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Okay, let me state something from the get-go: I LOVE the troop subtype. I always hated that mobs of low-level commoners and soldiers sucked so much and the troop subtype keeps these low-level threats viable and simulates the "advantage in numbers"-aspect. As you may have noticed, I tend to enjoy a somewhat gritty and high-challenge playstyle and troops help immensely in that regard - hence, I'd be lying if I said I didn't look forward to this pdf. But what exactly do we get?

Well, we start with a full recap of the troop subtype, which is really appreciated and from there, move on to the CR 9 centaur warband...and here, you'll notice that, yes, these troops have a plethora of signature abilities: The centaurs, for example, can deafen foes with their thundering approach, rain AoE arrows on squares at range and even heal on the fly - amazing and adds some serious depth to the troop!

Eternal misfits and mascots of PFRPG, the gleefully inept goblin raiding party at CR 5 is fearsome to behold: They can fire the looted belongings of homes as ranged, fiery bombardments and their goblin war chants (see Pathfinder #1 for a sample...) bolster morale. Of course, they're goblins and thus, much like Warhammer's morale checks, they have a chance of...not behaving exactly as planned, with the chances of gobbos wandering away...and yes, that is a level 1 boos fight I'd love to run: PCs using their guerilla tactics to draw gobbos out of formation? HECK YEAH!!

Perhaps you've been playing Way of the Wicked and arrived at book #6. If you're like me and have serious doubts that the PCs will encounter an appropriate challenge (GMs of book #6 know what I'm talking about...) - then may I introduce the heavenly host? At CR 18, the armies of Mount Celestia can unleash channel energy...and with Alignment Channel and Channel Smite as well as their protective capabilities, they are one incredibly tough nut to crack and showcase well why the heavens haven't fallen to the demonic or infernal hordes.

We're not even close to done. CR 17, all amazing: May I introduce the legion of the damned? Oh boy, if you thought undead lost their scariness at high levels, think again: These fellows can beckon black tentacles-like corpse hands from the ground to ensnare foes; their very TOUCH causes the loss of Con and, sadistically, the save to end it is Fort. Worse: Their miasma hampers healing and they LITERALLY can't be stopped by anything in their inexorable march. Imagine me grinning my most sardonic, sadistic GM-smile right now...

At CR 6, a mite rumpus is driven by hatred for gnomes and dwarves and may fire volleys of darts (with a nice cooldown mechanic)...oh, and their SPs...are really hard to break and they actually doom those nearby!

At CR 7, the classic peasant mob is not missing from the file either...and they gain strength/heal when reducing foes to less than half HP, hurl torches and may swiftly demoralize and ever scare away foes...oh, and their defense is better than you'd expect. Love them! The same CR, just fyi, would be the secret police squad that it perfect for a crackdown on low-level PC's illegal operations - with improved chances to resist being lied to and the ability to take foes alive and secure targets, they make for an amazing storytelling tool. Huge kudos!

The CR 11 sahuagin frenzy inherits blood frenzy and adds steal to those damaged, pillaging the unfortunates that stand against them. With ranged volleys and the ability to speak with sharks, we have a nice, concise troop here as well.

Wanna go full-on Isengard? Cr 15 Treant Grove. 'Nuff said. Oh, okay, just because I love you folks: These guys can hammer down with crippling blows (Str and Dex damage on failed saves) and their entangle actually damages those caught in it. And oh boy, don't you want to be in an edifice that has offended the radical trees...and no, you also don't want to find yourself in a position where you run from them in a forest. PAIN, I tell you!

For fans of the creepy or the playful at the same time, the CR 1 toy soldier brigade plays well with the classic Ravenloft-modules. These guys can duplicate a variant of entangle that may knock you prone, are experts at disguising themselves...and, being (toy) soldiers, they are disciplined: Huge plus: Construction notes included!

At CR 15, the warparty of the Fell hunt would be a take on the classic wild hunt trope, but with an emphasis on the cold - -with icewalking, weapons of ice and phantom steeds, they make for a deadly foe...and they have a nice weakness savvy players can exploit.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games' two-column full-color standard with multiple original Jacob Blackmon artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

My heartfelt congratulations to Jacob W. Michaels! At this point, I have seen a metric TON of critters and, in spite of my admittedly pronounced soft spot for troops, I am also an incredibly spoiled bastard: LG's Mythic Monsters-series, for example, has set the level of what I expect originality-wise from monsters very, very high. This delivers. BIG TIME. I am not kidding when I'm saying that this is, hands down, my favorite book in the whole series AND my favorite book from Jacob's pen. This is one amazing, no filler, all killer monster book - even old concepts like the hunt get their unique twists. The builds are challenging and cool and inspire by their very rules. This is, in short, excellence. The only reason this is not a Top Ten candidate is that it's too short - I want MOARRR!!! Feed the greedy reviewer-prick! Kidding aside, this is a must-own book. Get it. 5 stars + seal of approval, given sans hesitation or complaints!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Menagerie: Troops
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Everyman Minis: Interval Spellcasting
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/23/2017 06:02:54

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The first of Everyman Gaming's mini-pdfs clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, what is interval spellcasting? In short, it represents a variant spellcasting tradition available for arcane, divine and psychic casters and the decision to do so must be taken at first level, since it represents a significant component of the base fundamentals of the spellcasting tradition. Only one such variant spellcasting tradition may be known by a single character per class; multiclass characters may choose to use a given variant spellcasting tradition in one class and be general spellcasters or adherents to another tradition in another class - but each class can only hold one variant spellcasting tradition. Variant spellcasters have one fewer spell per day at each spell level - ouch, particularly for the prepared folks! (And yes, I do like that, since the spontaneous guys can use some love...)

So, the basics out of the way, what does an interval spellcaster get, benefits-wise? Upon becoming such a spellcaster, you choose one school of magic and that school is hindered or enhanced, based on the interval of the day, which is concisely defined as a 6-hour sequence: Dawn is 6 A.M., midday starts 12 P.M., dusk starts at 6 P.M. and midnight at 12 A.M. - obviously, the GM may freely adjust these to his or her needs. Each such period is split into three phases: Waxing, essence and waning - all of which consist of 2 hours each.

During the chosen school's interval period, your spells of the school gain +1 to CL and +1 save DC, if any. During waxing, you increase the CL bonus to +2 to CL-checks for the purpose of overcoming SR. During the waning phase, you get +1 to all saves versus effects from your chosen school. During the essence-phase, you get both benefits and, additionally, once per day, you may cast a spell from your school and apply Enlarge, Extend, Silent or Still Spell sans caster level or casting time increase, adding some crucial, but limited flexibility there. Additionally, you gain an interval ability while your school's interval lasts, which, unless otherwise noted, is a free action and may target yourself or an ally within 30 ft. This ability may be used once per day, +1/day at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter.

These benefits do come at a cost: Each school has an opposed school, and, during your school's interval period, you take a -2 to saves and a -1 penalty to CLs and save DCs of the school. Sooo, what happens if that would reduce CL to 0? I assume that would prohibit casting the spell altogether, but specification would have been nice here. It's a very minor flaw, but one I noticed due to the otherwise immaculate presentation of the material.

The intervals and how they have been assigned to the respective spellcasting schools makes sense - abjuration is assigned to dawn, enchantment to dusk, necromancy o midnight - this resonates with the respective tropes and can generally be considered to be a rather well-made array of choices. Abjuration nets a save-reroll with casting attribute modifier as an insight bonus, which conjuration provides an immediate action very short-range teleport...which brings me to another minor complaint here: The effect should be codified as a conjuration (teleportation) effect for the purposes of spell etc. interactions. Additionally, the school-abilities, while pretty obviously Su, are not declared as such in the pdf. Divination nets the target a bonus to initiative, enchantment nets a morale bonus to atk or skill-checks, illusion a scaling miss chance. Necromancy yields temporary hit points for 1 minute and transmutation an enhancement bonus to an ability score for spellcaster key attribute rounds.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the full-color artworks by Jacob Blackmon are nice. The pdf does no have bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Luis Loza delivers a damn cool concept: I found myself often wishing that there'd be more such basic tweaks to the spellcasting engine and while this requires a bit of time tracking, it makes for a rewarding engine. The concept is amazing and I sincerely hope we'll get to see more such traditions, perhaps even suffused with a bit of flavor, special rites etc. - this represents the very basics of the concept and, while it does so rather well, I found myself wishing it had at least provided some basic guidelines and suggestions for further modifications. That being said, I'm complaining at a high level here - my final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Interval Spellcasting
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Everyman Unchained: Fighters
by Angel M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2017 16:30:37

A great product, fighter lovers everywhere should have!

4/5

Want to know how I arrived to that score? Check out the following video review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMij2xsbOW0



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Unchained: Fighters
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Cardstock Miniatures: The Dragon Turtle
by Rafael D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2017 13:48:27

Well drawn miniature with several different sizes and colors.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cardstock Miniatures: The Dragon Turtle
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Stock Art: Blackmon Agitator
by Jeremy R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/04/2017 20:25:33

Besides the cover picture, you get a black & white version and line art versions that are a complete figure, not how she's stepping through a portal on the cover color shot.

OTOH, like all their stock art products (or at least the ones I've bought), it comes in a PDF, not individual image files. And copy and pasting from the PDF creates some artifacts, so I've had to resort to taking a screenshot of the PDF and use that, which unfortunatel drops the resolution a lot.

Still, nice picture.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Blackmon Agitator
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Talented Bestiary Preview!
by aundrey s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/04/2017 20:01:33

Looks awesome, they need to release this as this has been in development for over a year also all messages as to the status of this product have gone unanswered. Hope its released soon…edit got an answer from rogue genius so 5 stars



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Talented Bestiary Preview!
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Lunar Knights
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/24/2017 04:24:50

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive sourcebook clocks in at 46 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page used resources (nice for further research!), 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 40 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, this is a lycanthrope sourcebook and as such, we begin with a discussion of both animal and hybrid alternate shapes - and something I personally enjoyed: A lengthy discussion of what happens with the excessive mass that changing shape entails. Potential explanations from classic skin ripping to flesh sloughing off are covered. This may sound weird, but it is something that seriously made me smile - one of Hemlock Grove's few saving graces past season 1's beautiful visuals (that were lost in season 2 and 3) would be the phenomenal, visceral werewolf transformations. A more mystical approach is also mentioned, but as a whole, it is something GMs all too often miss clarifying, when it (like Hemlock Grove's first season) could conceivably help structure adventures featuring lycanthropes. The other characteristics of being a lycanthrope, from enhanced ability scores to empathy etc. are similarly discussed in depth, with the default template included for easy reference.

From there on, we discuss the different types of lycanthrope - afflicted and natural, receive information on the nature of the curse and go further - both belladonna and wolfsbane receive poison stats and similarly, the "kill the original were-lord to end the curse" narrative contrivance also is included for your consideration. The basics established, we move on to myths and folklore from our own world, particularly those concerning the methods of affliction and the respective reasons for the curse. This is surprisingly well-researched. How well-researched? There actually were tidbits in this section that I did not know. This may sound like I'm full of myself, but I've written a metric TON of high-powered lycanthropic strains for my Ravenloft games with a similarly excessive array of mythological references and abilities. (Yes, to get that out of the way, I HATE that PFRPG treats all lycanthropes as one template.)

But I digress. Why should you care? Well, in Armenian folklore, werewolves are women who have committed deadly sins, thus being forced to spend 7 years in wolf form. They are visited by a spirit with a wolf skin and commanded to don it. Oh, and they devour their own children and those of folks nearby. Here's the cool thing: Each such entry actually comes with proper, mechanical representations of the myth. To take this example, such unfortunates can cast knock at will as an SP. In Ethiopia, the buda (or bouda) are blacksmiths that can transform into corpse-eating hyenas that may be kept in check with holy symbols. In Finland, werewolves may have a paralytic gaze, while in Greece, they may rise again as vampires after being killed! The Haitian jé-rouge can possess others and yes, we get skinwalkers, the classic, Slavic undead...and Thailand's werecrocodiles have diamond teeth and can cast spells! Amazing chapter, as far as I'm concerned!

Chapter 3 contains new class options for your perusal, beginning with a barbarian rage power that makes attacks count as silver while raging and goes on to present the lunar domain, which features the options to fire untyped damage causing moonfire and, at 8th level, generate a moon-equivalent of daylight that can force lycanthropes to transform. Yeah, not impressed by this one. Seen its tropes done before. If I had a Benjamin for every anti-lycanthrope moon-domain with silvery fire blasts... Similarly, the sorceror bloodline included is just not that interesting. Scaling bite, DR, natural AC...seen it done often. Not a fan. That being said, the core classes and how they work with lycanthropy are all discussed...though honestly, I would have been interested in all non-core classes; the basics have been done to death, while e.g. lycanthropic summoners etc....well. Haven't.

The next chapter focuses on new PrCs, starting with the Dire Lord, who receives d10 HD, 4+ Int skills per level, full BAB-progression, 1/2 Fort-save progression and covers 5 levels. To qualify, you need to be non-lawful, a lycanthrope and have both the Rage class feature and Improved Control Shape. Skill-wise, the ranks lock this via 5 ranks prerequisite to being available pretty early. The PrC's levels stack with barbarian levels for the purpose of rage and qualifying for rage powers. 2nd level yields Improved Natural Attack as a bonus feat for one natural attack of the beast form and 3rd level yields +2 to Str, Dex and Con while raging in hybrid form. Unfortunately, this is non-operational due to the bonus type used. Only the highest morale bonus applies and rage also provides a morale bonus, one that exceeds this ability's benefits. It is pretty clear that this should INCREASE the morale bonus granted by rage etc., but RAW it doesn't. 4th level provides Improved Natural Armor (only gaining the benefits in hybrid and animal form, unless the humanoid form has natural armor as well) and 5th level makes you grow by one size when assuming hybrid or animal form. There is no control here, alas, which may make the otherwise cool capstone a liability in narrow confines.

The eponymous lunar knights are lycanthropes who have taken up the mantle of fighting evil. You all know at this point how I see lycanthropy, so suffice to say, concept-wise, I'm not that thrilled. But what about the mechanics? Well, the PrC covers 10 levels and requires lycanthropes with a good alignment. The knight needs 5 ranks in Diplomacy and a BAB of +3 as well as formal initiation. The PrC yields d10 HD, 4 + Int skills per level and proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as all armors and shields, excluding tower shields. Chassis-wise, we get 1/2 Fort-save progression and full BAB-progression.

1st level provides the lunar oath class feature, which grants +1 hit point per class level. Once per night, they may also meditate and pray for 10 minutes, regaining 1 hit point per class level. Also at 1st level, the knight may use a standard action to enhance his weapons for 1 minute per class level, granting a +1 enhancement bonus, +1 for every 3 class levels beyond that. These stack with existing bonuses and can be used to also add a variety of special weapon ability. As a nitpick: These are not properly italicized and lack their equivalent bonuses behind them, meaning you'll have to look that up. It's not bad, since they are pretty common, but it's still a slight inconvenience. Kudos: The ability covers double weapons and nonmagical weapons and if the weapon housing the enchanting moon spirit is destroyed, the ability requires a period of grace to work again. The ability may be used additional times per day for every 3 levels beyond the first. Big kudos: The ability even manages to not break the hard cap of enhancement bonuses on weapons. Not bad!

4th level yields +4 to demoralize checks while in animal or hybrid form; 3rd level +2 to saves, which scales up to +4 at 8th level. 5th level yields the ability to ignore up to 5 points of DR, which scales up to ignoring 10 points at 10th level, but only applies to weapons, not natural attacks. 6th level yields SR of 10 + class level, but only at night when the moon is visible. 9th level yields darkvision 60 ft. or increases an existing darkvision by 30 ft. As a whole, I wasn't blown away by any of the PrC's abilities - they are well crafted, granted, but not too spectacular or unique. On a plus-side, I really liked how conditional some are - this provides a bit of GM control and some serious flavor and establishes a concise leitmotif, which is a big plus as far as I'm concerned.

The third PrC herein would be the Moon Priest, who needs access to the lunar domain, must be a non-evil lycanthrope and be capable of casting remove curse. The PrC gets 2 + Int skills per level, d8 HD, 1/2 Fort- and Will-save progression, 3/4 BAB-progression and 9/10th spellcasting progression - only the capstone level has no spellcasting progression. The PrC gets +2 to CL-checks to break curses, which increases to +4 at 5th level. At 2nd level, all healing spells are cast at +2 CL and 3rd level yields DR 2/-, increasing by 2 at 6th and 9th level. 4th level allows for control of whether or not to inflict lycanthropy via bites and 6th level empowers all healing spells cast while the moon is visible. No, this does not extend to causing damage to undead. 7th level provides a cool ability: Those bitten become natural lycanthropes, rather than afflicted ones! 8th level also has a cool idea: As a full-round action, the moon priest may remove the taint of lycanthropy from a creature, removing the template, no matter how it was gained. It can only be used at night, under the light of the moon. Big issue: The ability has no reach. 10th level yields a bonus domain.

Fourth among the PrCs would be the Pack Alpha, who needs to have Leadership, 7 ranks in Diplomacy or Intimidate and must be, obviously, a lycanthrope. The PrC yields d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with all simple and martial weapons and all types of armor and shields, excluding tower shields. The PrC covers 10 levels and features 1/2 Will-save progression and 3/4 BAB-progression. Additionally, it stacks its levels with fighter levels for the purpose of qualifying for feats; nonfighters treat the pack alpha levels as fighter levels for the purpose of feat prerequisites. 1st level yields Skill Focus with either Diplomacy or Intimidate and the PrC begins play with the Alpha's influence ability, which can be activated as a swift action and affects all allies within 60 feet that can hear the alpha and have an Int of 3 or more. It is suppressed when the alpha is dazed, unconscious, etc.; the ability grants +1 to attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saves and skill checks, increasing its potency by +1 at 5th and 10th level. 2nd level yields a bonus feat, with 4th, 6th and 8th level providing additional ones.

Beginning at 3rd level, the alpha may 1/day as a standard action grant an extra move action to any or all followers within 30 feet. This does not change the initiative count and excludes the alpha from the benefits, with 7th level providing an additional daily use. Big kudos: The ability comes with a caveat that prevents multiple pack alphas from stacking it - only one such extra move may be taken per round. Well done! 9th level provides immunity to fear within 30 feet of the alpha. Easily the most interesting of the PrCs herein.

Chapter 4 provides, how could it be any different, new feats - a total of 9, to be precise. Bestial Heritage yields an animal form's racial modifiers to skills, Fur Shift, which yields a degree of control over fur and allows the lycanthrope to Disguise himself better and the important Improved/Greater Control Shape: Improved yields +4 to Constitution checks to change shape, while the Greater version allows for rolling twice and take the better result 1/day. Quick Change lets you change shape as a move action (erroneously called "move-equivalent"), while Moon Magic represents a variant of Natural Spell. Lunar Power yields +2 to Str, Dex and Con while in animal r hybrid form during the full moon. The channeling feat Command Lycanthrope does exactly what it says on the tin. Horrible Transformation can cause those that witness your transformation to become shaken and has a minor rules-language hiccup, referring to "Willpower save" instead of "Will save" - more problematic would be that the feat gets the shaken condition wrong. Last time I checked, the condition does NOT penalize weapon damage rolls!

The chapter also features a list of suggested feats for lycanthropes, before we move into the second part of the book - what I'd call the NPC-gallery. We get a massive array of statblocks here, all with both human and hybrid form. The lycanthropes covered would be wereape, werebat, werecheetah, werecrocodile, weredog (whose hybrid form is, oddly, called werejackal), weredolphin, wereeagle, werehyena, wereleopard, werelion, wereshark, weresnake (in two versions - constrictor and viper!) and finally, the werewolverine. These statblocks range in CR from 1 to 4, covering the basics. So yeah, if you want a massive cadre of low-level lycanthrope statblocks, this may be worth checking out for that alone. Granted, the builds use primarily core material and don't employ complex archetypes or anything like that, but they constitute a nice selection of rank-and-file lycanthropes. There are a scant few hiccups, but nothing glaring that would impede the usefulness of the material much.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language level; I noticed a few inconsistencies in both, but not many. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games' 2-column full-color standard in the form of an ancient grimoire. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and sports a wide variety of nice full-color artworks...by the author!

Yep, you read right - this is the first book by the extremely prolific Jacob Blackmon that I have reviewed that not only features his artworks, but is also actually penned by him! So yes, this is a freshman offering and thus gets a bit of leeway. First things first: This book reads like a passion project. It is evident that some serious love, research and care has gone into it; it is not a phoned in book. The craftsmanship is also surprisingly precise for such an offering - the big stumbling stones of various abilities and required caveats all are present, which is another big plus. Balance-wise, this should work fine in even the most conservative of gaming groups, though very high-powered games may be a bit underwhelmed here.

So, should you get this or not? Well, this question is surprisingly complicated for me. As you all know from my reviews of the Bite Me!-series, I have pretty strong convictions regarding lycanthropy and how it should be portrayed in the game; I like to emphasize the curse, the psychological trauma and seductive lure of the beast, whereas the goal of this pdf is to present options for good lycanthropes...pretty much the anathema for my personal aesthetics. As a person, I did not gain that much from those aspects. As a reviewer, however, I do know many groups out there are harboring a different take on the concepts and it is for such groups that I'll try to rate this.

If you are a GM, you may very well want to get this book for the MASSIVE amount of low-level lycanthrope statblocks inside. That component is very useful to have. As a player, I wouldn't be as excited, though. The feats, class options and PrCs conspicuously omit advancements made in PFRPG - no non-core-material, for one. Not even for the APG-classes. The PrCs and class options unfortunately similarly feel a bit underwhelming; don't get me wrong - for the most part, their craftsmanship is solid - surprisingly solid, in fact. But, and this is only my impression, mind you, they felt very much like they were playing it safe, to the point where I...I'm sorry, but there's no tiptoeing around it, considered them...kinda boring. They don't really have a cool, unique ability and feel like 3.X PrCs, also regarding the power of their abilities.

What do I mean by that? Let's take a look at the pack alpha. No teamwork feats. No troop-commanding of werewolves. Moon Priest? No cool variant channeling. Dire Lord? No bloodrager synergy. There is no moonlight kineticist. No werecobra mesmerist. The moon knight has no order or magus-like tricks. A PrC capstone is "get any extra domain" - seriously? These PrCs don't feel like "prestigious" professions - they feel like they should be archetypes in PFRPG. Oh wait. We have those concepts covered already. More than once.

In short: This feels, regarding player options, like a book that would have been decent prior to the release of the APG. 2016, though? Sorry. No. The player options are not badly executed; the craftsmanship is nice...but in balancing and design-aesthetics on the level of 3.5. Which is simply not enough.

At the same time, this book does offer some nice value for GMs. The NPC-chapter is extensive and fun; but by far the best part of the book, the one that had me smile from ear to ear, would be the unique tweaks of lycanthropes in various real-world mythologies. That section is gold and I seriously wished it was longer. Dear Jacob - I hope you are not discouraged by this review, you have potential. However, I have no option but to rate this as a complete package and as such, the pdf simply doesn't reach the high standards I expect. Be courageous, be up to date regarding all those wonderful options that PFRPG offers. In the end, I cannot rate this higher than 2.5 stars, rounded up due to the freshman offering bonus. GMs may want to take a look; players are better served elsewhere.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Lunar Knights
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Four Horsemen Present: Comedic Character Options
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2017 17:38:21

I like the contents especially the buddy archtype for the commoner. May try to use it on a follower for a character that is going to take the leadership feat.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Four Horsemen Present: Comedic Character Options
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Four Horsemen Present: Celestial Character Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/20/2017 04:44:43

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 18 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let's take a look!

All, right, after a brief introduction we meet the Ishvara race. This race takes the concept of a heart and mind divided between selfless altruism and selfish ambition, making equilibrium difficult - you know the metaphysical concept. The ishvara embody this race - they perceive themselves as incarnations of imperfect souls and the moral turbulence makes them a prime candidate for self-realization, for the life of adventurous struggle, while also providing a deeply ingrained roleplaying angle for personal development, which is a big plus to me. The ishvara are native outsiders who get +2 to an attribute of their choice, darkvision, +2 to saves versus fear and despair effects and a 1/day option to reroll such a save on a natural 1. Additionally, they gain +2 to saves versus poison and mind-affecting effects and +1 to Perception and Sense Motive, both of which are always class skills for the race.

The race is pretty cool, though it does not come with an age, height and weight-table. Aasimar can choose 5 new FCOs - fighters can buff their energy resistance; mesmerists enhance their saves versus possession and compulsion effects with the evil descriptor, while samurai enhance challenge damage, skalds get +1/6 rage power and warpriests get +1/2 daily fervor uses. The ishvara also feature several favored class options, including several occult classes and the vigilante. Finally, sylphs also get a couple of favored class options - including ones for the Shifu class. Nice!

Next up would be the CR +1 angelbound template, which represents a pact with the forces of celestial realms, granting the creature SPs, attribute bonuses, etc. in exchange for scrutiny by the angel in question, with 9 different angel types covered - the template basically represents those willing to conform to rigid moral values in order to serve the heavens and vanquish evil. Fun and certain to see some use!

The pdf also features several archetypes, the first of which would be the angelic voice bard - at 3rd level, inspire competence is replaced by accompaniment - as an immediate action, the character can use aid another to help an ally while maintaining a bardic performance - I assume that the range is the range of bardic performance, though RAW, the ability does not specify the like and only implies the necessity to hear the bard. The ability is balanced either way, however, by requiring bardic performance expenditure. The bonus increases at 7th and 15th level by +1, respectively. At 8th level, dirge of doom is replaced with an interesting ability: When the angelic voice casts a spell with verbal component or as part of a bardic performance, he may forego the effects of the spell to increase the DC and CL of another caster by +2. This may sound easy here, but rules-language-wise, that is actually a pretty complex operation and I generally like it.

The Renegade hybrid class penned by the horsemen also receives an archetype, the celestial outlaw, who just needs to be non-evil. Instead of intimidate equipment, these guys get +2 to Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate, potentially moving the attitude of those affected up or down, as per the outlaw's precise skill use. The 3rd level shoot first is replaced with false surrender, which lets you spend panache as part of a parley - if you Bluff or Diplomacy, you may quickly draw the weapon at any time, kicking off a surprise round and providing serious initiative bonuses to allies. At 5th level, the outlaw can, as an immediate action, duplicate a nonmagic innocence 1/day, with 11th level increasing daily uses to 3/day. This replaces the sneak attack dice progression of these levels.

Next up would be the celestial soul monk, who must be good and replaces slow fall with celestial soar - supernatural flight, starting at 10 ft. with clumsy maneuverability and increasing in speed and maneuverability over the levels - kudos for properly assigning speed and maneuverability to the levels they work best with here. 10th level makes unarmed strikes count as good, with 16th level makes them also work as mithril. 13th level provides the perfect soul ability, which represents a native outsider apotheosis that features DR 5/evil, SR 5 + class level, with 20th level replacing this with the celestial creature template and 10 + class level SR; this replaces diamond self and perfect self.

The field medic wizard replaces Appraise and Knowledge (engineering) with Heal and Profession (physician) and does not get to choose a magic school (not even universalist), but still gains two opposition schools, but gets an additional spell slot per spell level, which must be used to prepare on of the healing spells added to the spell-list, learning them as arcane spells. Excellence: No, they cannot be learned by other casters as arcane spells. It's catching exploits like this that clearly showcases the experience and attention to detail of the author...and that makes my job so much more satisfying! Kudos! At 1st level, Heal-use can yield hit point healing and 10-minute treatment can even allow for better disease recuperation or ability damage recovery. The archetype also gets 3 + class level deathwatch. Unique and cool: 8th level yields the option to heal nearby allies as well when rolling maximum hit points with healing, while 13th level allows for the leftover healing of mass curing spells to be redistributed. Nice!

The guardian angel cleric is locked out f a series of evil/dark-themed domains and may not cast spells with the evil descriptor; when channeling energy, one of the base elements, negative energy or sonic damage are chosen - allies in channel range gain +2 to saves versus the chosen energy and decrease the damage incurred by the type, lasting until the cleric's next round. Cool and strategic! 5th level yields the option to spontaneously cast life pact or shield other using a 2nd level or higher memorized spell slot, with 9th level adding the option to spontaneously cast contagious zeal and sacred bond using a 4th level or higher spell slot. Engine tweaks are a hard sell on me, since most of the time, they're cookie cutter and not that interesting - this is none of these things, representing a fun and strategic modification of the cleric engine.

The phrenic defender psychic may not cast spells with the evil descriptor and, as an immediate action, may expend a point from the phrenic pool to grant herself +2 to Will-saves versus evil compulsion effects. They may not choose abomination or pain as disciplines and, regardless of discipline, receive spear of purity at 4th level as a 2nd level spell. 10th level yields dispel evil as a 5th level spell, replacing the respective discipline spells. 3rd level grants the shielding spells phrenic amplification, which allows for the expenditure of 1 or 2 points from the phrenic pool to give the target of a linked spell a buff on saves versus evil spells or effects. 11th level nets a similar amplification to end possessions, domination-effects or simply exorcise via the use of linked spells - damn cool archetype!

The seventh sash arcanist lose access to all necromantic spells, but gain access to a wide array of prismatic-themed spells, from the humble color spray to the mighty prismatic sphere. Whenever the character casts a spell from the abjuration, evocation or illusion school, they can choose an ally within 30 feet and a color of the rainbow (or black), conveying a benefit to ally and seventh sash until the next turn - +4 to spell damage, saves versus a subset of effects, skill bonuses...you get the idea. Starting at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, an additional ally may benefit from the ability. This does delay gaining the first arcane exploit to 3rd level. 11th level yields colorful exploits, adding Cha-mod to CL when determining the effects of certain exploits and also increases the maximum level of the exploit effects by Charisma modifier - though this potent option does replace 11th level's greater exploit.

A total of 14 new feats can be found within - Celestial familiar yields the celestial simple template (with a minor, cosmetic typo); Merciful critical lets you convert precision damage or critical hit damage on the fly to nonlethal damage (NICE!) and merciful smite is similarly self-explanatory. Smiting Spell lets you reroll 1s of damage rolls of spells at the cost of +1 spell level, while Singular Brilliance increases the DC of dazing, blindness etc. effects by one and extends their duration by 1 round. Uncommon Resistance lets you decrease one of your energy resistances by 5 and gain resistance 5 to the one you chose. Nice customization option, though (I wished it spelled out the energy types it can be applied to. Resolute Character nets you a save reroll when you'd be forced to act against your alignment or nature. The pdf also introduces the concepts of virtue feats, each of which represents one of the 7 cardinal virtues - Boon of Abstinence makes it possible for you to go longer sans food or water and helps versus poison, starvation, etc.; Boon of Chastity helps versus enchantments and attraction-based effects; Boon of Humility enhances your aid another, if you choose to incur a penalty to AC, while e.g. Boon of Patience lets you specify multiple triggering conditions when readying an action - pretty cool! These concepts most certainly have - all in all some really cool ones here!

A total of 7 celestial relics, powerful magical items, can also be found herein: The Decantur[sic! should be "decanter"] of endless holy water is just what it sounds like...but no, you can't use it to flood a dungeon - its mechanics are actually directed, which is a big plus here. The efreeti prison bottle is pretty much self-explanatory and no, the imprisoned creature has no chance to become insane. The warhammer elven thrower would be a warhammer that elves can fire at foes. Midnight blue rhomboid ioun stones nets Alertness, but also make subterfuge harder. Fans of Solomon Kane will certainly appreciate the puritan's pistol, a lucky revolver that cannot be used by evil, acting almost as a cursed weapon for those so foolish to use this. The robes of benign heritage would be a variant of the arcane heritage version and the sacred book is a blessed book variant for arcane casters.

We close this pdf with a total of 7 new spells, the first of which would be borrow grace, which allows you to tap into the willing or unwilling +Cha-to-saves granting options of some creatures. Nice one! Celestial Form nets temporarily the celestial creature template. Chromatic Orb and Chromatic Sphere would be two spells that deal with the rainbow-theme: The Orb causes 4 types of energy damage, helping potentially determine resistances and immunities and featuring partial saves, while the sphere represents a defensive option. Kudos regarding spell levels here - they make sense to me and are in line with the power of existing options. Flies, then honey allows you to salvage blundered social interactions. Heavenspeak represents a combo buff + minor heal/debuff + minor damage within 30 ft. The spell has, alas, a sentence fragment missing - it reads "Leaving the spell's area Any outsiders..." Prismatic beam ends the pdf on a high note, concept-wise with a low-level prismatic spell option for 2nd level.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a rules-language level (also due to Steven T. Helt's obvious expertise!), but on a formal level, I found more typo level glitches and the like than I'm used to Rogue Genius Games. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard for the series. Interior artwork contains a blend on new and stock art in full color. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Steven T. Helt's designs tend to rather subtle; he has a knack for identifying gaps in the rules and one of the few designers who constantly and reliably delivers engine-tweaks for components of the game that have been overlooked. Where other designers would blunder, his takes on these is consistently precise and meaningful. Contrary to me usual predilection for high-concept, long and complex archetypes, I found myself actually enjoying the shorter, highly compatible engine tweaks he provides herein - so big kudos for that! At the same time, I did wish there was slightly less "this is a variant of x" among the items and I don't get the absence of alternate racial traits of age, height and weight table for the conceptually cool, if mechanically a bit conservative race. As a whole, this collection of options definitely has some worthwhile, fun material, though it misses the highest marks of e.g. his comedic character options. Still, very much worth getting, in spite of the minor blemishes. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Four Horsemen Present: Celestial Character Options
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