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Everyman Minis: Bountiful Harvest Ritual
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/19/2018 04:07:13

An Endzeitgeist.com review

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

In case that wasn’t super-obvious, let me spell it out: This occult ritual is basically one that is a representation of the Thanksgiving feast, minus the cultural baggage. It clocks in at 7th level and requires foodstuff and silverware galore and may only be cast during a harvest festival that must contain no less than 80 individuals. All foodstuff used must be locally-sourced within 12 miles of the ritual’s place of casting. The folks that partake in the massive feast get a supreme combination of powerful healing magics, ridding them of diseases and poisons and healing them. Cool: Higehr quality (read: More expensive) components can be used to add further, powerful curative effects to the ritual.

Beyond that, creatures partaking in the ritual get a 1-year lasting +4 morale bonus to saves versus disease, poison, emotion effects dealing with negative emotions (codified properly!). Upon completing the feast, any who partook become briefly and temporarily immune to a whole slew of negative effects. Additionally, the crops are blessed, granting better harvests…but there is a catch to these benefits: Once you have performed the ritual, you are expected to continue to do so! Failure to reproduce it in subsequent years will reverse the bountiful harvest, causing lean times to come, and kami or fey, for example, are liable to be antagonistic towards any participant who failed to attend a subsequent festival, creating a dependency of sorts and putting some serious potential stress on communities. This is clever, as it acts as a means to offset the significant benefits the ritual provides. That being said, I found myself wishing that it came with some variants for more sinister celebrations (wicker man, anyone?) or with a variant for e.g. coastal communities, focusing on fish, perhaps with a deep one-angle. That may just be me, though.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant issues. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column b/W-standard and the pdf sports, as always, a nice artwork by Jacob Blackmon. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Scott Beeh’s Bountiful Harvest Ritual is a fun mini-supplement that is worth checking out. The requirement for repetition once established makes for a potent drawback, particularly for adventuring folks, which helps to keep the powerful benefits in check. While it is a tad bit more focused than the concept necessarily warrants, I consider this ritual to be a nice addition to the game. As such, 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: Bountiful Harvest Ritual
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Everyman Minis: The Tall One
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/16/2018 04:42:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 2 .5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

On the introductory page, we get the Fear cleric subdomain in two different versions – one associated with void, one associated with evil. Both btw. have different replacement spells. The void version focuses on what you’d expect in that regard – we get crushing despair, wall of force and prismatic wall. The one based on evil focuses on low-level fear-related spells. The void variant replaces the base power with aura of isolation, which can be activated as a standard action for 3 + Wis rounds per day. Enemies in the aura become sluggish, treating it as difficult terrain. They also can’t provide flanking bonuses. Or benefit from aid another. The subdomain based on the evil domain instead replaces the 8th level power, which allows you to, as an immediate action, increase your damage output versus targets suffering from a fear effect. The damage is untyped and nets you temporary hit points. Limited daily uses and restriction on melee weapons make me okay with it.

Okay, that out of the way…The Tall One. We’re looking at a fully statted Great Old One-level of being here – CR 28, pure glory. The fellow can grapple sans being grappled and has all the cool tricks you’d associate with Slenderman: Memory alteration, shapechanging, dimensional abduction, immunity to gaze attacks, etc. The guy can mark victims and it can wreck even high level PCs: Massive immunities and resistances, 8 attacks, all of which can rend the minds of victims. Full synergy with the sanity rules from Horror Adventures. Breaking dimensional locks. Undetectable. AMAZING. The build is a gloriously wicked killing machine.

The pdf also includes notes on the Tall One per se, its cult…and something amazing: A half a page long ballad of the Tall One! Yes, its text is reproduced and we even get notes on its genesis!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no hiccups on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column b/w-standard with full-color artwork for the Tall One provided as a sprinkle of color. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas knows how to craft critters that are worth their CRs. The Tall One is a gloriously-deadly super-villain/force of nature that perfectly encapsulates the Slenderman-myth. Beyond the mechanics, we get glorious fluff and the ballad adds icing on an awesome cake. I adore this humble supplement. 5 stars + seal of approval. Now, should I rewatch Marble Hornets?

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: The Tall One
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Starfarer's Companion
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2018 17:16:55

Last updated September 2017. No responses in discussion since October. Many of the questions in Discussion have to do with missing information, or incorrectly placed information etc. I kind of expect that if I am paying for a PDF that there would be some work done to fix errata. I don't know if life has caught up with the authors or what? However, it would be nice for someone to acknowldege questions and explain why there is so much errata still not fixed.

Overall this is a great starter book for Starfinder if you are willing to buy 3PP material. If you want to know what a Mage, Paladin, Cleric class looks like in Starfinder this is an excellant starting place. If you want to see some the other legacy races get some love (and become potential PC races) then this is the book for you.

Just be warned there seems to be a haitus in responses and changes needed to make this book complete.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer's Companion
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Everyman Minis: Occultic Singularity Ritual
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/09/2018 01:12:58

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 3.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, this pdf depicts a new occult ritual, if the title and cover were not enough indication. I know, captain Obvious-Endzy is obvious. The ritual presented here is the Macabre Pledge of Occultic Singularity, which clocks in at 5th level and has the compulsion and evil descriptors. The ritual has a 5 hour casting time and its components are amazing and manage to generate the appropriate flair: 18 black candles, infused with the ash of those sacrificed to the cult’s object of veneration; identical regalia for primary caster, secondary caster and target; a feast worth of food etc. – and an “alter” (should be “altar”) adorned with ebony, onyx and obsidian. Come on, you can picture that ceremony, right?

The ritual must be performed outdoors when the sun doesn’t shine. Each member of the secondary casters is designated a role in a hierarchy for the ritual, recognizing 4 different ranks. Unlike most rituals, this one acts as a party of sorts, requiring 10 secondary casters per skill bonus. It should also be noted that the hierarchy is not cosmetic – it determines who can contribute. The ritual includes an eerily wordless bacchanal of debauchery as candles are lit and the targets are painted with cultic symbols and signs. Those affected by the ritual, secondary casters and targets,a re bound to the primary caster, which makes scrying attempts reveal all members, but also a nasty backfire. Secondly, all non-primary or secondary casters are rendered helpful to the cult’s cause and ideology in a super-potent form of brainwashing that is really hard to cancel. The primary caster may use witness as a SP, with a massive range of 1 mile per caster level, targeting members of the ritual at will. This allows the primary caster to transfer bardic performance effects, spells of 4th level of lower with a range of touch, short, medium or long to the target as if adjacent to it. Worse, members that vanquish others in combat can dominate their victims. The ritual also has no less than 4 different means to enhance the ritual beyond the basics. Utterly, utterly creepy.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good; apart from the one type, I noticed no issues. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column b/w-standard and the pdf sports a nice full-color artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Clinton Boomer delivers a super-creepy, amazing ritual here: the ritual itself has a strong Eyes Wide Shut-ish vibe and can be considered to be almost Lynchian in its visuals. The consequences of it are potent as well, adding a gloriously paranoia-inducing sense of omniscience to the proceedings. The conversion of targets just adds to the glorious conspiracy vibe this evokes. In short: The supplement can really make a cult that is “just another cult” stand out and become a force to be reckoned with – potentially changing the dynamics of whole cities and environments. In short: This is a glorious narrative tool and well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Occultic Singularity Ritual
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Monster Menagerie: Horrors of the Aboleth
by David D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2018 14:52:40

I have bought a printed copy of ‘Monster Menagerie: Horrors of the Aboleth’. You get a very nice full colored product with interesting and terrifying aboleths that are very Lovecraftian inspired. Each creature is accompanied with a breathtaking illustration (the artwork is of high level) and you get aboleths going from CR 3 up to CR 17. I always say: ‘One cannot get enough water monsters. The more, the better’. Further, you get as a bonus also a few new items, feats and spells.

The only minor point I could provide is the lack of a table of contents, liking an immediate overview when opening a book. Nevertheless, I’m of opinion that this product is worth 5 stars. It has everything what I expect from a menagerie of monsters, beside the missing table of contents.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Menagerie: Horrors of the Aboleth
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Everyman Minis: Ghost Hunting Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/02/2018 06:11:53

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page of advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Okay, we begin with two concisely-codified skill-uses to identify rules components of haunts via Knowledge (religion) and also, more relevant, unearth hints on how to end them. For settings like Kaidan or similar horror-themed games, this can be really neat! The latter is btw. reliant on a wide variety of skills, allowing all PCs to contribute to such attempts to identify.

The pdf then provides a new bard archetype, the spirit singer, who replaces soothing performance, adding call spirit (not properly italicized) to spells known and may cast it by performing 10 minutes. The bard must spend 5 rounds of bardic performance, +1 round per round he concentrates on it. Ähhh…I think something went wrong here. 10 minutes with that cost…I think this ability was supposed to offer bardic performance-based call spirit as an additional option, but RAW, this is just confusing. 18th level’s versatile performance lets you call a spectre, at high-performance-per-round cost, but here, the rules are tighter. You also take temporary negative levels while maintaining this. Instead of distraction (which may be learned instead of versatile performance, starting at 10th level), the ghost singer may bypass mind-affecting effect immunity of incorporeal undead with performances and bard spells. The archetype also begins play with speak with dead/haunts, which upgrades at 6th level, replacing versatile performance gained there.

We also get a new thematically-fitting bardic masterpiece, the Lullaby of Calming Spirits, which allows the bard to lull haunts into an inactive state – cool! We also get 3 new investigator talents. Phantom inkling enhances initiative versus haunts and allows the investigator to notice haunts. Using inspiration dice to make attacks as though ghost touch is nice. Spirit Sleuth’s header is not properly bolded and makes use of the new skill uses noted. The pdf also offers a level 2 burn 1 substance infusion for earth, the ghost-blight infusion, which makes the kinetic blast target incorporeal undead for full damage, courtesy of salts. Spectral barrier is a level 6 aether utility wild talent that duplicates anti-incorporeal shell, with 2 burn as an option to make it last for class level rounds.

The pdf also includes 4 magic items: Corpse glass can be directed at a place where an incorporeal undead was defeated, showing the remains and distance etc. – neat. Ghost-snarl bags are incorporeal-only tanglefoot bags. PEACHWOOD SWORD (oddly, allcaps) are problematic: These wooden swords cause Cha-damage on crits versus undead, and when destroyed from such a sword, rejuvenation etc. are ignored – the undead is destroyed. This wrecks many a great narrative and rewards critical-fishing builds. It can also target possessed creatures with cast out. Not a fan. Phantom snare, finally, is basically a ghost trap.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are still good, but not as precise as usual for Everyman gaming, with the archetype sporting a rules-hiccup, for example. Layout adheres to a two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none. The full-color artwork is nice.

I really like the new skill uses in Matt Morris’ ghost hunting mini, and some of the items are pretty neat. At the same time, the archetype takes up a lot of real estate and its concept has been done before in better, more interesting ways. The items, with the exception of the sword, are pretty nice. Still, as a whole, I was less blown away by this one than usual for both the author and the Everyman Mini-series. This is a solid, nice pdf and the skill-uses warrant getting this for horror-themed campaigns. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Ghost Hunting Options
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Everyman Minis: Mysteries of Autumn
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/28/2018 06:42:44

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman mini clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages fo SRD, leaving us with two pages of content, so let’s take a look!

One the introductory page, we also receive a new spell, namely hibernate, which clocks in at 6th level for druid, shaman and psychic, 4th level for mesmerists. It is a magical sleep effect that causes the touched target to go into hibernation. Nice: The target may be awoken with repeated, vigorous aid another actions or by the passing of seasons.

Now, the main meat of this mini, obviously, is devoted to the new autumn mystery featured within. This mystery adds Fly, Knowledge (nature), Stealth and Survival to the list of class skills. The bonus spells granted by the mystery begin with obscuring mist and gust of wind and proceed with diminish plants, blight and call lightning storm. Interesting: The high level spells are classic negative energy-based spells, but we also get a representation of the feasts that take place in the spell selection. So yeah, these were wisely-chosen.

Now, let us take a look at the revelations, shall we? We begin with aging touch, usable 1/day, +1/day for every 5 levels. Versus objects. It is a sunder maneuver; against living targets, it deals 1 point of Strength damage per 2 class levels, 1d6 damage (untyped) per oracle level versus constructs or objects. Armor of fallen leaves may be activated as a standard action and nets you a scaling deflection bonus to AC as well as the benefits of entropic shield. The ability may be maintained for 1 hour per class level, with hours being also the increment you must spend the ability in. Fire damage caused to the armor temporarily grants the benefits of a warm fire shield starting at 7th level, and at 13th level, the miss chance granted by the entropic shield effect increases to 50%. NICE one! Autumnal repose fortifies you against exhaustion-based effects as well as poisons, curses etc- or those that bestow ability score penalties, with 7th level extending the bonus to saves to negative energy based effects and death effects and 20th level providing immunity to all of them, which may be a bit of overkill – that amounts to a second capstone worth of immunities.

Equinox lets you increase or decrease the illumination level within 30 ft. of you, for 1 minute per level, with later levels increasing the ability to modify illumination levels. Some minor complaints – since the ability can increase or decrease the illumination level, it probably should not always behave as daylight –while it properly codifies its use as a light/darkness-effect respectively, a darkness.-based daylight can be a bit weird. Also, the spell-reference here is not italicized properly, which also extends to the Hibernate revelation, which duplicates the spell of that name discussed above. The options also include the witch’s slumber hex, substituting Cha as governing attribute. There is also a scaling, low-range 1/day (more daily uses granted later) life leech that deals damage and grants temporary hit points, and which should probably be codified as negative energy damage, not as untyped. The thunder burst revelation, which causes half sonic/half bludgeoning damage and adds the deafened condition on a failed save, is nice.

Festival of the damned manifests a procession of spirits around you in a 20-foot spread, providing and interesting variant of either call spirit or haunted mist. Liked this one, even though the “scare”-reference wasn’t perfect rules-language. Still, functional and the only-at-night caveat this has is interesting. Lethargy is a bit of an odd one: As a standard action, you cause all creatures (including allies) within 30 ft. to become staggered for 1 round. Avoiding the gaze is possible and the ability can be used 3 + Cha-mod times per day. Now, I am not a fan of such lock-down abilities sans save, but its indiscriminate application is interesting. It should be noted that any option that renders immune versus the staggered condition can make this an absolutely brutal debuff, so some care may be required.

The final revelation of the mystery provides immunity to critical hits, ability damage and drain. Additionally, 1/year, you can touch a deceased creature, having it turn into a seed which will then grow if tended, sprouting into a Youth of the creature in question, otherwise acting as reincarnate. I assume that the transformation process works action-economy-wise as the spell, but clarification would have been nice, particularly since you can, as an immediate action, do that to yourself when dying. I love the visuals here.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting on a formal level are pretty good, and same goes for the rules-language level. There are no glaring issues here. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column b/w-standard for the series. The artwork is nice and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Margherita Tramontano knows what she’s doing – the mystery manages to convey the plurality of the concept of autumn in an admirable manner. While not 100% perfect, the pdf does sport some fun and unique tricks, and as such, should be considered to be a nice offering, well worth a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Mysteries of Autumn
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Everyman Minis: School Day Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/23/2018 09:21:56

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page of advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

After a brief introduction that also explains the concept of (Child)-feats (so you don’t have to get the impressive Childhood Adventures-book if you absolutely don’t want to), we begin with 3 new feats:

-Favorite Subject: Choose a Knowledge skill in which you have 1 rank or more; that skill becomes a class skill and you gain a scaling competence bonus to it. Additionally, tasks that take longer than one round can be completed in half the time.

-Innocent Insight (Child): When an ally within 30 ft. attempts a Knowledge check in a skill wherein you have no ranks, you may use an immediate action to grant the ally a +2 insight bonus. Comes, obviously, with maturation options.

-Disruptive Clowning: Requires 5 ranks of Perform (comedy) and allows you to hamper enemies attempting Int-based or concentration checks. As an immediate action, you attempt a skill check versus a DC that scales based on the target’s HD and Int; on a success, you cause the target to take a penalty to the check.

The pdf then moves on to 3 new items: I really enjoyed the everflowing inkpot, which not only provides ink for 80 pages, it can grant a bonus to dirty trick attempts to blind foes and may be used to coat them in ink instead, duplicating the effects of faerie fire. The student’s backpack notes where items it contains are and replenishes lost/used ones on a 3-day basis. These are btw. not expensive enough to wreck a fantasy economy, just fyi. It also has patches that can be detached, transforming into items – nice variant of the classic robe. The viridian quill is pretty cool: It can write, permanently, on any surface. Yes, that includes the living, though scribbles etc. only last a month when applied to living targets. Additionally, you can 1/day use it to draw a door, duplicating passwall.

The final section of the pdf contains 4 new spells: Copy page is available to the bard, cleric, mesmerist, psychic, occultist, sorc/wiz and witch and does what it says on the tin, but only for nonmagical writing – still interesting, courtesy of its range. The bard, mesmerist (level 1), psychic and sorc/wiz classes (level 2) can cast humiliating phantasm, which is a mind-affecting sickening effect. Intellectual osmosis lets you put a book beneath you and sleep on it – upon waking, provided you make an Int-check against the different difficulty classes of the book, you’ll have it perfectly memorized. You can’t absorb knowledge from books penned in languages you can’t read or subjects beyond your grasp. Any magical traps present in the book trigger upon awakening, so no cheesing there. This also does not allow for spell preparation. Finally, prankster’s jinx clocks in at level 2 for bard, medium and mesmerist, level 3 for cleric, occultist, sorc/wiz, spiritualist and witch. It generates a 20 ft.-radius emanation that forces targets in the area to become, caster’s choice blinded, deafened, dazzled, entangled, shaken or sickened for 1 round – this flexibility is offset by the spell allowing the creature to spend a move action to remove the condition. Really cool spell!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch on both a formal and rules-language level. The pdf sports 1 piece of nice full-color artwork and layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s traditional 2-column b/w-standard. The pdf doesn’t have bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Matt Morris delivers some nice, thematically-concise options related in some way to school and concepts we associate with it. The pdf, as a whole, sports precise and neat craftsmanship and I found myself liking the content as a whole. At the same time, none of the concepts truly blew me away – this is a precisely-crafted, good little supplement, and as such, my final verdict will be 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: School Day Options
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Everyman Minis: Injuries and Scars
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/16/2018 07:49:14

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, one of the components I’m not too fond of in any iteration of D&D or d20-based systems would be that injuries don’t matter much; similarly, curative magic can reduce scars and the like to an aesthetic footnote.

This pdf provides a small toolkit for that: The basic premise for scars is simple: When you take damage equal to ½ maximum hit points or greater, you must succeed a Fort-save equal to 15 + ½ HD. On a success, you get a scar and roll on a table for the location of the scar. Spells of 6th level or lower can’t remove them unless specifically noted, but regenerate can remove one, if 500 gp of material cost in diamond dust is added. Returning from death does not remove scars. Displaying a scar can be beneficial: You get +1 to Cha-based skill checks versus creatures that would be impressed by them , but against some creatures, that may instead translate to a -1 penalty, perhaps even -2 for particularly squeamish individuals.

The pdf then proceeds to provide the Dodging Death section: Whenever a character is reduced to negative hit points equal to Con score or higher, the character can attempt a DC 15 Fort save. ON a success, the character takes an injury and stabilizes at negative hit points equal to Con score -1, instead of dying. This save is not allowed by death effects or when dying from a coup de grace. This should probably also note whether this works for poisons, diseases, Con-damage…

Anyway, you roll a d12 to determine the injury, or have the GM determine the injury. You usually incur a minor injury, unless you roll a 12, in which case you instead take a severe injury. Spells of 6th level or lower can’t remove an injury unless specifically noted, but regenerate can remove one, if 500 gp of material cost in diamond dust is added. Returning from death does not remove injuries incurred. Injuries can injure ears, eyes, locomotive system, arm, groin, spine, neck, head, chest, vitals or heart. Minor injuries, as a whole, cause minor penalties associated with the respective limb/organ damaged.

And that’s pretty much it – the majority of the pdf is devoted to depicting the respective injuries. As a whole, I enjoyed them all.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious hiccups. Layout adheres to the two-column printer-friendly standard of the series and the pdf comes without bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The piece of full-color artwork is nice, though I’ve seen it before.

James Ballod’s injuries and scars are per se a nice system. I like the idea, the implementation, and it can add some nice grit to a given game. Particularly in the more down-to-earth campaigns, this should be a neat addition to the game. That being said, I can’t help myself – the topic/subject matter deserved a broader stance. Interaction with weird creatures and anatomies and generally more options would have enriched this supplement in my book. That being said, I’d very much enjoy to see this expanded and may well build on it if my time permits. You could also use these to represent drawbacks, should you choose to. In short: This is worth checking out. My final verdict will be 4.5 stars, though I can’t round up for it – not because I don’t want to or due to a true shortcoming of the pdf, but due to the fact that it can’t develop its concept to be wholly encompassing.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Injuries and Scars
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Everyman Minis: Haunt Invocations
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/06/2018 04:58:39

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 2 ages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Okay, so the basic premise here would be centered around the Phantasmal Invitation feat: As a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you can create an invited haunt in any space you are or that you threaten. You do not accidentally trigger these haunts, but may remotely trigger them as a standard action while within 30 ft. of them and while the haunts can detect you. Invited haunts last for a number of hours equal to your CL or until triggered, whichever happens first. They can always attempt saves against effects that deal damage to them, with a bonus equal to CL plus your highest mental ability score.

Now, the feat requires nongood alignment as well as the ability to cast psychic spells and a character level of at least 3rd. You select a haunt and get a convocation reservoir equal to your highest mental attribute modifier. Generating an invited haunt costs one of these points and CL is equal to that of the psychic spellcasting class. The reservoir replenishes after 8 hours of rest, which, however, need not be consecutive. Cool: Characters with arcane school (necromancy), bone mystery, aether or dream elemental focus, patron spells, undead bloodline etc. may also take this feat. It may be taken multiple times, increasing convocation points by 1 each time and nets you an additional haunt.

The alignment of haunts matches your own and they, as a default, occupy a 5-foot square. Their CL is equal to the one of the character that made them and the Perception check to notice them is 10 + ½ the creator’s CL + spellcasting modifier. They have CL HP and are, per default, triggered by proximity and do not reset as a standard. Their effects are instantaneous or last 1 round and save DC, if any, is 10 + ½ CL + key ability modifier. Purely aesthetic hiccup: The formulae for Notice and saves are different. Fully functional, though, so consider this a nitpick and move on.

A total of 7 such invited haunts are provided: Bloody hands cause physical damage /type is chosen upon inviting the haunt); cold spots cause cold damage, Ref for half. Disfiguring fingers attempt to dirty trick foes (and yes, they benefit from your enhancements!); feast of vermin causes Con damage on a failed save; grave mist penalizes a physical attribute of your choice for a few rounds on a failed save; summon apparition generates a Cr 1/3 commoner, expert or warrior that shares HP with the haunt; unholy power, finally, deals negative energy damage, Will save to halve.

Here’s the thing: We get an additional feat: Shape Invocation: It adds +1 to the convocation reservoir and lets you choose one of no less than 9 (!!) options: These allow you to REALLY customize the haunt: Make it free-roaming, item-bund, latent…or invoke it faster. Or fuse two haunts. Invoke at range, provide resets, increase DCs and spaces…and you may grant haunts weaknesses, reducing their costs! Damage-increase is also included. Very minor nitpick: It’s obvious from context that the feat should be available multiple times for the taking, but the usual Special line is not there. Considering the vast amount of options with their different costs, I frankly don’t care about this cosmetic lapse.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch on a formal and rules-language level, with only nitpicks of a cosmetic nature available to criticize. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column b/w-standard and the full-color artwork is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none.

Clinton Boomer is a frickin’ BEAST. This DIY-haunt-engine is amazing and coincidentally, works pretty much akin to one I’ve been using in homebrews. It is elegant, easy to grasp, does not become OP, oozes flavor and adds neat tricks and versatility to the character. The rules are crisp, concise and manage to juggle the complexity of the subject matter in an admirable way. My only true gripe here would be that I so want MORE! The haunts are cool, but the concept could easily carry a regular full-length supplement. Still, this ranks as a superb example of how cool this series can be. 5 stars + seal of approval, given sans hesitation. Can we get a sequel? Please?

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Haunt Invocations
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Writing With Style: An Editor's Advice for RPG Writers
by Richard G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2018 04:23:36

Absolutely terrific book of advice for freelance RPG writers and small publishers. It's packed with useful stuff on how to tighten up your text and will definitely help me improve my writing!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Writing With Style: An Editor's Advice for RPG Writers
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Blood Space and Moon Dust
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/01/2018 05:55:48

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This introductory adventure for Starfinder clocks in at 50 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 45 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, first things first: This takes place in the shared Xa-Osoro setting of Everyman Gaming and Rogue Genius Games, to be more precise, in the somewhat lawless region known as Blood Space. In also assumes the PCs have their own tier 1 starship, which is provided, stat-wise. I know that my PCs would want to customize it before play, but yeah. That’s not a downside, just something to bear in mind. We also get 4 pregens for the adventure, which are presented with rules-relevant components and stats, but sans names, background, etc. – the mechanical framework is done, but that’s it. Alas, I noticed pretty serious glitches in one of them. I recommend disregarding them and making your own characters. Just make sure that they know their battle-stations. Huge plus: We get a fully mapped, full-color rendition of the starting ship – and yes, only with keys, but that’s okay – after all, it’s the PC’s ship! Other locations in the module come with b/w-maps and these maps actually come with player-friendly, key-less versions to print out, cut-up and hand out as you see fit. That’s a big plus.

Now, it should be noted that this adventure assumes that the PCs are less of a mercenary bent and that they behave heroically; for neutral or evil PCs, a certain section might well see them abort the module. Not a downside per se, but it’s something to bear in mind. The module sports copious amounts of read-aloud text, helping GMs less versed in flavorful improvisation.

…all right, and this is as far as I can go without delving into SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only GMs around? Great!

So, after a brief read-aloud text, we begin immediately with a ship combat, as pirate raiders burst from the hazy red viscera of blood space! What’s that? It’s a cool unique terrain/hazard. It’s weird. Unsettling. And really cool: It’s the metaphysical blood of a dead star/deity and it may corrupt you and turn you mad. Fun! The pirate raider sports btw. a grappling beam, which is something PCs will probably want…but whether or not they lose the dogfight, the next step would be to deal with the mad raiders. And yes, their fervor has mechanical repercussions. That being said, we do not get a map of the pirate raider, so you may have to improvise there. Anyways, exploring the raider-ship is horrific and should conjure flashbacks of Firefly in the best of ways, as well as providing further angles.

Unbeknown to the PCs, the encounter with the pirates has left them with a stowaway, the xaosnarr…which is odd, yes, but may actually be befriended! In, what I take to be a nod to Futurama’s Nibbler, the critter can eat radioactive material and sniff it out – something that may prove to be rather helpful… Why was it aboard the PC’s ship? Turns out that their cargo hold contains a Hematomium artifact that the critter really wanted – dark, radioactive and potentially addictive.

Just two hours away, at the Dust City moon base Lunox, in the pre-paid dock, the PCs are scheduled to take their new drift engine anyways, which may be a good place to research and find out more. And yes, the pdf sports troubleshooting advice if the PCs kill the weird pet, fire the artifact into space, etc. – kudos! Dome 421 is btw. fully mapped and dialogues also provide sample guidelines. Here, the PCs may do a bit of space-sleuthing, find rumors and enjoy a nice cup of KafKafé –made of insects, obviously. This is probably one of the best things about this module: Without resorting to just a ton of exposition, the pdf brims with these small, glorious and inspiring details. Matt Banach’s myth-weaving and indirect storytelling really gets to shine here.

And yes, there is a cantina. With band. Drunken legionnaires. Come on, space bar fight! Once the Pcs have had their dose of exploration and sleuthing, we’ll have the antagonists make their play and attempt to steal the artifact from the cargo hold…or the PCs directly. Once more, there are multiple ways this can go and the wayang operatives (see Starfarer’s Companion for the racial stats) are nothing to sneeze at. Cool: Instead of railroading the PCs into losing the artifact, the pdf does account for their triumph! Big plus there! As an aside: Yes, we get stats for the authority here and the security droids – an optional complication, sure, but one I welcomed.

Either on a chase, or by comm.-device and a mutual agreement, the PCs will have to move outside on a buggy. The lunar surface has only a thin atmosphere, which makes for a complicating hazard here I enjoyed. Moon buggies are btw. stated and en route, the PCs can encounter hydrophagic wasps and silt sharks as they make their way to the security perimeter of atmospheric plant XJ-97, hopefully sans being killed by the security drones. Ultimately, the PCs will have to stop Targ Grazza, a corrupted variant solarian, from attempting to use the facility to disperse the artifact through the atmosphere, creating wide-spread madness, plague and genetic mutations…Oh, Tarq? Weregorilla. The mad solarian follows the dark cult of the Red Spiral…and yes, if that resounds with themes of Dead Space’s Marker, as seen through the lens of space opera, then you’d be correct!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good for the most part, though a few glitches have crept into the pdf, also in rules-relevant contexts. Not enough to impede the use of the module, but they’re there. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports quite a few solid full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Cartography is b/w, apart from the PC ship, and high-quality. As noted, the player-friendly maps are a big plus. The pdf comes with a second version of a smaller size, which makes it more tablet/mobile device-friendly.

Matt Banach’s introductory adventure for Starfinder is inspiring. I had read about Blood Space before in the Star Log.EM-series, but until I read this module, I never got how unique, fantastic and imaginative the whole region is. The idea of strange, anomalous viscera in space, the echoes of bloody madness and the blending of the cute and innocent and the dark managed to evoke this rare sense of cohesion that really stood out. This, in short, reminded me a lot of the world-building of Firefly, without being a copy-cat. We have at once a fantastic section of space that you want to explore, that fires up the imagination; at the same time, it is a precarious line to thread and the cosmos may be a brutal place. Instead of the insistence of later Star Wars movies to cater to the lore established in hundreds of books and the throwing in of weird details to be explained at a later date, this supplement introduces, piece by piece, tiny tidbits of culture, creatures, processes and settings – unobtrusive, organically. It’s a presentation as we’d see it in a good novel, and the pdf is indeed better off for taking that route. Unlike many a supplement, the PCs also get to actually grasp the entirety of the plot, piece it together, etc. – in short, great storytelling.

In short: The adventure is fun to read. While it does sport a few minor hiccups, being an early supplement for a new system, it is one impressive adventure and one I’d wholly recommend checking out. While it may not be perfect, it is a fantastic first adventure foray for the author and I really hope we’ll get to see more from Matt Banach’s pen. My official, final verdict clocks in at 4.5 stars, though the minor issues noted before prevent me from rounding up. If you’re in for the lore (or enjoy the same things I do), then consider this to be 5 stars + seal of approval instead – for me, as a person, this is amazing, but as a reviewer, I can’t rate is as such.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Space and Moon Dust
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Starfarer's Companion
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2018 23:30:10

The Starfarer's Guide from Rogue Genius Games is a meaty 253 page compendium (in PDF and POD; I splurged for the print copy) of pretty much the entire rest of the kitchen sink that Starfinder did not include from Pathfinder. If you are looking at Starfinder and wondering how to de-retcon bards, the magus, wizards, paladins, rangers and clerics in to Starfinder, then this book has you covered. Missing any of twenty prior fantasy races (okay, give or take a couple unique aliens) missing from Starfinder? This book has you covered. Think Starfinder needs level 7 to 9 spells? Got it.

There's additional interesting content of wide use, too. New computer rules and equipment, feats, and some rules on companions and mounts with appropriate SF themes make for a rounded package. Seventeen new starships, built with the Rogue Genius Games setting in mind but perfectly useable in your own are also available, which will hold us over nicely until Paizo gets around to doing the Pact Worlds sourcebook with more starship designs in it.

Starfarer's Companion's greatest failing is the issue I griped about earlier: it's a trove of content, but most of it is reintroducing old Pathfinder material for use with Starfinder. This might be very useful to your campaign, but to me it feels like going backwards, not forwards. I want weird, new and most importantly unexpected strange science fantasy stuff; let the aasimar and tieflings rest on Golarion in peace. That said, you definitely get your money's worth with this tome if you need this content. You could probably even adapt some of it to a more conventional game by reskinning the racial options and classes, if you wanted. I can see definite utility in allowing a ranger type in some games, for example. For that matter, the bard class alone might be all you've desired if you ever wanted to play your own version of Ruby Rhod!

Afternote: I've been using this book a lot in my ongoing Starfinder game, so I have to say it's definitely paying off. Mechanoi, vishkanya, nagaji, rangers, bards and paladins have all made it in to my game now, and I've taken copious advantage of the new ship blocks, too.

Original Review: http://realmsofchirak.blogspot.com/2018/01/starfinder-reviews-robots-of-known.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer's Companion
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Star Log.EM-006: Kyubi Paragon
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/26/2018 07:25:29

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Hej. Wait. Yep, you’d be right – the Kitsune is obviously not a race featured in the Starfinder Core Rules. Its Starfinder iteration was released in the Starfarer’s Companion by Rogue Genius Games. Since both RGG’s Starfinder supplements and those of Everyman Gaming share the implicit setting of the Xa-Osoro system, this makes sense. Now, the Kyubi paragon for Pathfinder was a massive, highly customizable racial prestige class – a degree of flexibility that this one does not attempt to duplicate, or indeed, need to duplicate, considering Starfinder’s archetype system.

That being said, this pdf absolutely requires Starfarer’s Companion to properly work.

In order to qualify as a kyubi paragon, you need to have the kitsune subtype and you must have taken Magical Tail as the 1st-level feat. Speaking of feats: The pdf includes two: Alter Shape nets you Life Science ranks in Small or Medium humanoid races: You get a specific alternate shape for these races, allowing you to Disguise yourself. The races chosen may be modified when gaining levels. Minor, and purely aesthetic nitpick: The feat notes “You must have at least 1 rank in Life Science to

select this trick.“ In an obvious cut-copy-paste-glitch. Realistic Likeness builds on the change shape racial trait and allows you to assume forms other than the specific forms and alternate kitsune forms. This has a synergy effect with the previous feat, just fyi.

Now, the kyubi paragon archetype provides alternate class features at 2nd and 9th level. At 2nd level, we get chakra, which lets you select two spells from the Two Tail Spell-array in Starfarer’s Companion. 1/day as a move action, you may add one of these spells to list of spells that you can cast with the Magical Tail feat. This lasts until you do it again and you may not use it again before finishing 8 hours of rest. Whenever you gain a level, you may replace one of the spells with one you haven’t selected, but have the required number of tails for. Starting at 6th level, you may use the ability additional times per adventuring day for the expenditure of 1 Resolve Point. Costs increase by +1 Resolve Point for each additional swap; the costs reset upon finishing an 8 hour rest. At 9th level, you choose an additional 3 spells, and when you swap spells, you may swap two at once.

Whenever a feat or class feature would net a character the option to select a spell via the Magical tail feat, he may instead elect to learn a kyubi trick. Tricks are grouped in 2 categories: Two Tail tricks require 1 feat; Five Tail Tricks require 4 feats. Yes, alas, this means that the most potent of kitsune tricks are lost to the Nova Age. Tricks also have a minimum character level. Important: If applicable, the save DC of kyubi tricks, if any, is not governed by a general key ability modifier; their save DC is governed by Charisma, regardless of your base class. It should also be noted that these tricks make use of Magical Tail’s AE (arcane energy)-resource, and as such, sport some interesting resource management gambits. The tricks include additional uses of Adaptive Fighting, shapechanging-upgrade via feats and the like. We also have the option to use shapechanging and AE-expenditure to attempt to escape e.g. grapples here. You may also wield additional tools and weapons (though that does not influence your number of attacks) with tails, and you may use shapechanging as treat deadly wounds and first aid with shapechanging, using Disguise as Medicine, with subsequent uses increasing costs. We can also find a quick shapechange that may cause targets unaware of your nature to become flat-footed (ouch!) and increased longevity by number of tails – yes, table provided. Gaining claws or fangs and limited climb/swim speed also fall into the Two tail trick category.

Among the Five Tail Tricks, we can find a pounce-like feat: When using Shot on the Run, charging or using Spring Attack, you may make an Acrobatics check (not a big fan of DC being partially based on CR of the foe, but oh well – the cost does prevent abuse here). On a success, you get to make two attacks with the triggering attack form, instead of one. Really cool: the second trick allows you to assume pipefox or kumiho shapes! Yes, this includes a half fire, half electricity breath weapon. Nice!

The pdf closes with a flavorful, brief description of kyubi in the Xa-Osoro system.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious hiccups. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s nice two-column full-color standard for the series and the pdf comes with a nice artwork in full color. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ kyubi paragon is a concept that is near and dear to my heart. The execution of the kyubi in Starfinder is interesting, flavorful, and makes good use of the material from the Starfarer’s Companion, building on it in a tight and interesting manner. Now, granted, I wished that this was a longer file – I’m somewhat spoiled by the sheer versatility of PFRPG’s kyubi, but Starfinder’s version has to, system-immanently, go a wholly different route to account for the archetype flexibility. Locking options behind feats and using AE as additional resources definitely makes sense and the theme of flexibility and trickster-style shapechanging is retained…so, when all’s said and done, this most definitely is a well-made little supplement. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-006: Kyubi Paragon
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Star Log.EM-005: Infosphere Mystic Connection
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/23/2018 06:58:33

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

After the usual, flavorful Query-entry as a brief introduction, we begin sans much ado with the new connection: Associated skills would be Computer and Engineering, and spells include dream from Starfarer’s Companion – the series assumes the shared Xa-Osoro system, after all. However, in a rather nice twist, we also get a new spell that is granted by the sphere (otherwise, tech 5): Digital profile, which lets you name a creature by name and attempt a Computer check with a DC of 30 + 1.5 times the creature’s CR. Pseudonyms and aliases, if any, can influence the DC as well. On a success, you create a blog that contains all online posts and uplinks made by the creature…but this does NOT help you sift through the information – that can take a LONG time. In short: While a help for investigations, it does not render them obsolete.

The connection lets you add +1 language per rank of Culture and allows you to substitute Culture checks when lying or changing your appearance. I am generally not a fan of skill substitution, but I’ll let that one pass for its limitations and the fact that it does make sense. It also has to be compared to the potent abilities of other connections, so some better cosmopolitan (haha) sleuthing can be considered to be okay here. At 3rd level, we get a mystic router – a free datajack that doesn’t count against the cybernetic augmentation limit, with datajack level equal to mystic level. It may also be used to interface with online networks, but still requires Computers checks. Basically, this makes you somewhat akin to Shadowrun’s Otakus.

6th level yields lightspeed searching, which lets you use your mystic router while connected to an online information network to research topics related to Culture, Life Science, Mysticism, Physical Science, or any Profession skill and research time for these is halved. 9th level provides wireless delivery, which is the later, but deservedly so, really powerful active trick you’ve been waiting for: You can cast spells with a range of touch over wireless networks at range. Upgrade to close range costs 1 Resolve Point and a spell thus cast only affects one creature. You still have to hit target’s EAC with non-harmless spells. Alternatively, you can upgrade this range to medium range for 2 Resolve Points. This obviously requires wireless coverage. I have a bit of a conundrum here. Does this require that the target is included in the area of wireless coverage? Personal jamming via e.g. a signal jammer that includes the target, but not the mystic in range could use a bit of clarification here. (And yes, this is a pretty specialized case.) If you’re btw. thinking about abusing this, remember, though, that the spells still need line of effect, as per the global rules, so the ability, while cool and potent, remains in line.

12th level yields a clairvoyance/audience-duplicate, but one that is based on a given online network; the ability can be recharged with a brief rest and a Resolve Point. 15th level yields an upgrade for the aforementioned digital profile spell, providing significantly more detailed information, including terminal location, for, bingo, 1 Resolve Point. The final ability would be diviner’s database, which makes your spells basically copy information into a mystic form of cloud server, allowing you to download and process rather impressive chunks of data. And yes, you can willingly delete data from it.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring hiccups. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s 2-column full-color standard for the series and the pdf comes with a nice piece of artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none.

The infosphere connection is really interesting, in that it expands the role of the mystic to the net-wizard, the Otaku, the coding guru…or the mega-creepy cyber-stalker. Its focus on research and sleuthing/secret agent-y skills is fresh for the class and makes sense to me. I’d enjoy playing one of these fellows, with cultural knacks, profiles etc. As a kind of shadow broker, the connection could make for a potent tool for villains as well and I’d enjoy seeing two mystics with this sphere attempting to duke it out while avoiding capture. It’s a remarkable subtle sphere, and one that can fit in rather well even in games that are closer to scifi than full-blown space opera/science-fantasy. In short, I did rather enjoy this supplement. My final verdict will be 5 stars, missing my seal by a tiny margin. Still, highly recommended if you’re looking for a more subtle mystic!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-005: Infosphere Mystic Connection
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