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Yuletide Terror
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 12/18/17 04:30:06

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive Christmas mega-adventure clocks in at 119 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 6 pages of SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 107 pages of content, making this the single largest Christmas module I have ever read and played.

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.

Before we dive into the main meat, let us talk about a couple of peculiarities: One: The layout in full-color is gorgeous and sports a ribbon on the right side of the page, which denotes the act/part of the adventure you’re currently in. This makes navigation more convenient, so that would be one plus. Another plus would be that we get a total of 4 pages of player-friendly maps for the battle/exploration-relevant sections, all in full-color – big kudos for their inclusion. It should also be noted that the adventure makes use of the PHENOMENAL skill challenge rules provided in the Skill Challenge Handbook.

You don’t have perhaps the single most important crunch-book I know, the thing that should be CORE? Well…you should get it. But even if you don’t, you won’t need it to run this adventure. Skill Challenges are easy enough to grasp so you won’t be puzzled by their inclusion. The appendix also explains the system, so you can run it easily. It should btw. also be noted that two new, nice occult rituals can be found herein, though I’ll comment on these when they become relevant.

It should also be noted that the adventure is set in the picturesque town of Hollyglen, which not only comes fully mapped and with proper settlement stats, but which features its own little summary in the appendix.

All right, and this is as far as I can go without going DEEP into SPOILER Territory. Only naughty folks would peek now, right? From here on out, only folks intending to GM the module should read on.

..

.

All righty, only GMs around? Great! So, the adventure very much is cognizant of various tropes associated with Krampus and Kringle – within the context of this adventure, Krampus is nothing short of a demi-god, one nasty fellow who was eventually vanquished by none other than Nicholas Krindl, fabled mortal herald of Odin. The Yuletide celebration is hence the commemoration of this epic victory. The PCs have arrived in the sleepy and picturesque town of Hollyglen, where they meet Melilion Parinda, local wizard, who, in the tradition of clueless folks in any dimension, is currently doing some hasty last-minute shopping. She invites the PCs to stay at her place, as a blizzard is approaching and all rooms at inns etc. are occupied. There is just one condition: The PCs should chaperone her son and his friends, while the adults attend a fancy gala. Thing is, her son Wesley is 13. (As an aside: The mansion is provided with detailed, nice full-color maps – as noted before, including a player-friendly version.) Beyond room descriptions, the respective events also come with proper read-aloud text, making the adventure, as a whole, really friendly towards GMs that are less confident in improvising captivating prose.

Yeah, he reacts as positive to babysitters as you’d expect. The young man and his friends do as I would have done in that age: He seeks to prank the PCs and make their life miserable. As an apprentice to the sorcerous arts, and with fellow kids that are similarly not ordinary, the PCs will have their hands full in a massive multi-phase skill-challenge. Now here’s the thing: The kids rank among the most well-rounded kid characters I have seen in pretty much any roleplaying game supplement: There are multiple reasons for that: For one, the kids come with full intrigue-style write-ups for social influences – and succeeding in gaining the trust of the kids will provide tangible benefits for the PCs during the adventure. This whole section only works because, well, the kids are proper characters, not annoying cardboard cutouts; the PCs may very well want to befriend them. (As an aside: If the full, social write-ups don’t suffice: The kids come with full-blown NPC-write-ups and detailed stories in the appendix. The adventure really goes above and beyond here.)

Now, know how I mentioned an occult ritual? Wesley tries to cast whisk away on the evening winds, one ritual, to send the PCs to the gala, embarrassing them and gaining a bit of independence. Alas, he makes a crucial mistake: The ritual’s second page is missing, and so he ends up casting a bastardized version of the ritual, using summon the bonded soul as the second half. The results are unexpected. You see, a certain demi-god like entity was just in the process of rekindling his divine power. The ritual interrupted that and ended up calling KRAMPUS. Yeah, the CR 21 Krampus. He is NOT amused.

Krampus walks all over the kids and PCs. He doesn’t kill anyone, but he will defeat them. Soundly. Wesley does have a wish that Krampus owes him…and so the entity tricks Wesley – he spares the kids and PCs, but banishes them to the Krampus Night demiplane, ripped from Krindl when he stole his legendary Crook! Oh, and guess what? Not only did Krampus effortlessly best the PCs. He also has the power of regression – he transforms the PCs into kids! (Here, you can make great use of Childhood Adventures – though, once again, the module has all relevant stats and rules for kid-PCs!)

Turned into children, the PCs and their wards find themselves in the nightmare manor, a horrid reflection of the Parinda manor (separate maps provided). In case you’re wondering: Yes, we get full-blown planar traits! Oh, and the challenges within the manor? They are really, REALLY amazing: Toy slags. A woodgolem made from toys…speaking of which: If the PCs have been good to the kids, they will help the kiddyfied PCs. Cool: The “request aid from kids”-component of the manor’s explanation actually sports proper rules! There are haunts that seek to enforce a polymorph via ribbons, clothes, etc. What about pied piping presents that may lead towards the hungry gullets of mimics? There are trompe l’oeils and redcap carolers (including a delightfully twisted variant of Deck the Halls…)…and the PCs may manage to find one of Krindl’s gnomes, who can fill them in on some particulars: The PCs will need to get the crook from Krampus – without it, the entity makes all the rules here…

At one point during the exploration, the PCs will have caused enough ruckus to attract Rethspalton, the mighty rodent king – and he is preparing a siege! The PCs won’t have long, but they will have some time…and this is perhaps one of the definite highlights in the module. Preparing for the siege is amazing: Fortifying doors, making traps – it’s AMAZING and one of the coolest mini-games I’ve seen in a long while: The PCs can, room by room, convert objects into raw materials! The module even comes with icons that you can place on the map, sample traps, etc. The rules here are amazing and the siege actually requires these tricks – the PCs will have to withstand no less than 5 waves of assailants and yes, e.g. the rodent king is a lavishly-crafted and potent foe.

Once the PCs have managed to withstand the hordes (or just before they fall to them), the friendly gnome will manage to activate the yuletide express figurine – all aboard the magical railway! The demiplane is Krampus’ domain, who has completely corrupted the Krindlworks…but there is hope: While the PCs have no real chance against the entity, Saint Nick may! Thus, the train is en route towards what remains of the Krindlworks…but once more, the foes are not sleeping: The (fully mapped) train will be attacked by deadly elementals…and if these fail to derail it (yes, badass fights on a winter train!!), Krampus will intervene and crash the train…which would be a good time to note that, even if PCs die here, they respawn, as they accumulate negative levels and Wisdom damage – there is no true death here, only the looming transformation into an allip at Wisdom 0. This also means that enemies slain by the PCs are not really dead – if they are smart and use nonlethal means of conflict resolution, they will possibly have an advantage. The module notes checkpoints, which are particularly helpful to avoid frustration when running this for a younger audience – but more on my discussion of that in the conclusion below.

You see, in Act III, the PCs make their way from the crashed train through the Krampus wilds, and there are quite a few neat optional encounters to increase the challenge; personally, I’d also advocate sending all foes really slain by the PCs after them once more: If they were just tied up, they probably are far away, but the respawning dynamics for NPCs are open enough to allow for that… (Adds an unobtrusive reward for behaving heroically…)

Making their way through the snow-blasted wilds, the PCs will have to contend with horrid Yuletide treants and a winter hag guarding the remains of the proud Krindlworks. It is also here that the PCs can encounter Chillsy. Chillsy is amazing. He is an awakened ice golem kineticist. He’s singing his own theme-song while fighting! To give you an excerpt: “Chillsy, the ice golem, is an overwhelming soul, with a kinetic blade and infusions bold and my cryokinetic cold..:” Come on, that is amazing! Exploring the Krindlworks, the PCs will have to contend with all manner of potent, animated gingerbread foes (led by a gingerbread witch!), a creepy poppet witch (still one of my favorites from Paranormal Adventures; as always, all relevant rules provided)…and remember Nightmare Before Christmas BBEG? Well, there is a representation of the Oogie Bogeyman! (worm that walks bogeyman – really cool!) This thing, as well as a potent orang-pedak, constitute a couple of the dangerous unique creatures that the PCs MUST defeat – for they hold parts of Krindl’s power, who, similarly turned into a child, is imprisoned here.

Once the PCs have managed to defeat the horrible lieutenants of Krampus and reassembled the crook, it’ll be time to face off against the entity once more – with a weakened, but still potent Krindl in their corner, they may actually have a chance against the shadowy vestige of the powerful Krampus – the boss fight is amazing: It sports a total of 3 phases, changes terrain and even has a phase, where the PCs fight on their own, caught within their minds – it is glorious and cinematic! Defeating the vestige returns ownership of the demiplane to Krindl and allows the PCs to spend, concealed by the mighty magic of Krindl, one day as kids…or, you know, the change could be permanent, requiring further quests…or, well, if they were defeated and you’re going for a horror-ending, the module even sports a “bad ending” of sorts, which could yield further adventures as well. (Fyi: The fully-powered stats of Krindl are epic: CR22/MR 6; Rudolph has an effective druid level of 20…)

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no undue accumulation of hiccups. Layout deserves special mention: It is GLORIOUS, full-color and really beautiful; the ribbon for chapters on the side is a nice comfort-plus. The module comes with a ton of original full-color artworks. The pdf is fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks.

Yuletide Terror is absolutely amazing. It makes use of all the diverse tools that PFRPG offers: Combat, skills, mini-games, social interaction – this is one of the most versatile modules I have read in a long while. This mega-adventures provides a level of quality you usually only get to see in Kickstarters. Alexander Augunas is a great author of crunch, but if this is any indication, he is similarly gifted when it comes to penning adventures; I frankly can’t believe that this is Alex’ first adventure, at least it’s the first one I got to read. Yuletide Terror is thoroughly impressive, from front to back – even if you do not have all the books used here, the module provides what you need, requiring none of them.

Now, there is bound to be the question regarding compatibility for kids: You see, here things depend WHOLLY on the GM and what the GM chooses to emphasize. I’d compare this to one of the darker 80’s kid’s movies. There are definitely some creepy elements here, so in general, I’d recommend that kids should be at least 8, with 10 being probably a kind of sweet spot. Then again, it’s impossible to make proper blanket statements here; heck, some adults can’t stand anything remotely spooky. A good benchmark would imho be labyrinth, nightmare before Christmas and last unicorn – if these work for your kids, then this adventure should as well.

Now, don’t get me wrong: While this can be run as a kid-friendly module, it is one that will challenge and entertain adults just as well; in fact, one could consider this a horror adventure, at least to a point; if you properly emphasize the macabre aspects here and there, then this can become pretty dark pretty fast…but ultimately, how you choose to run this mega-adventure is left up to your own tastes. Both playstyles perfectly work.

Anyway, that’s not the primary achievement of the module: The sheer diversity of challenges encountered, the great pacing and high-concept environments, the lovingly-made NPCS – when the structure, the crunch underlying this module, is analyzed, you’ll realize quickly how good this actually is. We have believable, sympathetic characters, we have an epic threat that requires heroes and a satisfying conclusion-array. The module is interesting from both a narrative, and a structural perspective. Furthermore, and that is a huge plus, at least for me, it is bereft of cynicism. Even if you emphasize the darker aspects when running this, the module very much breathes a sense of wonder and whimsy that is impossible to dislike.

This is not a cynic’s hatred for the holidays made module; instead, this is a lovingly crafted love-letter to all things Christmas-related, as seen through the lens of roleplaying storytelling. Yuletide terror is not only the most massive Christmas adventure I know, it also is, by far, the best. This is a masterpiece that breathes passion, care and is, frankly, fun. Heck, I’d go so far as to say that, even if you hate all things Christmas-related, you may still want to get this. Why? Well, you could still strip off the dressing and have an amazing adventure.

Yeah, at this point you probably won’t be surprised by my final rating: 5 stars + seal of approval. Oh, and yes, this is a candidate for my Top Ten of 2017. Even beyond the holiday angle, this is a module that will be hard to beat.

Endzeitgeist out.



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The Genius Guide to Mythic Subpaths
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 12/15/17 06:23:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Genius Guide clocks in at 18 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page introduction, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, what are mythic subpaths? In short, they are a kind of deviation/modification of an existing mythic path, somewhat akin to e.g. subdomains, one that comes in roughly 3 distinctions: Archetypical subpaths are only available to characters that chose the listed mythic path or paths. Racial subpaths are tied to the race noted and universal subpaths are available for, bingo, everyone. Mythic subpaths thus do sport some sort of prerequisite to qualify for them.

Okay, got that? Humans can choose the dilettante subpath, but need to meet no less than 3 (!!) categories for mythic boons in the adventure that led to ascension. The mythic surge is lowere by one die step for them, but they may gain Dual Path, Extra Path and the extra mythic feast 1st tier universal path ability multiple times; at 5th and 10th level an additional time, which is pretty potent. Instead of gaining a mythic feat, you may choose one of 4 different abilities, which include a champion’s mythic weapon training, path dabbling (synergy with Dual Path included), ultimate versatility (with more uses at 4th tier) and being treated as a fighter for feat prerequisites of human feats. Not the biggest fan of having ultimate versatility’s 3rd tier prerequisite potentially circumvented by the combination of this flexibility ability.

Halflings may select to become fortune’s favored – provided they rolled three natural 20s in the adventure that led to their ascension. They also must have adaptive luck to choose the subpath…and they are problematic: You seem they may use adaptive luck as mythic power interchangeably. That is an instant, massive increase of the most potent resource in the game. Not getting near my table. While this replaces the 1st tier ability and while the non-mythic feat selection restriction is nasty, this still is not a subpath I’d allow.

Herald of the Gods is universal and requires the selection of a patron deity, 1st tier nets you a domain – the spells you get there are cast via mythic power expenditure. Additionally, you can, at 6th tier, cast commune and may even use mythic power to do so as a free action. This one replaces all mythic feats gained as base mythic abilities. At 1st tier, the mythic subpath nets the 6th tier (!!) archmage’s sanctum path ability sans servants and you don’t have a door: You may acess it via mythic power and take 3 creatures per tier with you. Now, what’s amazing is this: The area expands and ties in with the kingdom building rules – you get to properly develop your sanctum as a form of paradise for your faithful, with higher levels providing a permanent gate to it! The subpath is locked into divine scourge at 3rd tier and every 3 tiers thereafter.

The legendary ruler universal path ability is another one I really enjoy – the path is all about being the ruler of a kingdom, enhances leadership, etc. – no complaints regarding this one. The lord of rebirth would be a samsaran-exclusive and requires that you die during your moment of ascension. If you do, you basically become a Dr. Who variant – you immediately reincarnate upon being slain…but only for a total of 13 times. This replaces hard to kill. You also get the sanctum at 1st tier and may expend mythic power while inside it to scry…and akin to the Tardis, you may place the door, though teleport restrictions apply. The Dr. Who reference is btw. earned – much like the Doctor, you temporarily lose mythic abilities when reincarnating, though this restriction becomes less imposing at 9th tier. Very flavorful!

The peacekeeper is exclusive to champion, hierophant, guardian and marshal, and requires that you ended a blood feud, war, etc. prior to ascension. The subpath restricts the choices for Dual Path and allows you to use surges to render all damage caused with attacks benefiting from it to non-lethal damage. The subpath also comes with a potent sanctuary aura and the option to replace mythic feats or path abilities with boons that enhance the aura, the elimination of a save against it for targets that worship the same deity, numerical escalation to Charisma-based checks to resolve conflict etc. – I like this one, particularly since you can help your allies being peaceful and efficient as well. Kudos

The nine-tailed heir kitsune subpath is per se interesting, but suffers a bit from the age of this book; you see, this Genius Guide was penned some time ago and was only recently released; Alexander Augunas has since then grown tremendously as a designer and while this is not bad, the kitsune subpath in particular pales before the amazing kyubi paragon he has penned since.

Now, the final 4 pages of this pdf are not devoted to more subpaths, but instead provide mythic feats. There is a reason for that, at least to an extent – the human-centric luck feats, for example. When compared to Legendary Games’ solutions for these feats (e.g. when looking at Bestow Luck, released in mythic mini #70), you’ll notice that the options presented herein gravitate to a higher power-level than LG’s – this does not make them bad, mind you, but it should be noted that the feats presented herein, e.g. the mythic version of Dauntless Destiny, focus on some serious escalation of numbers – you’ll see + tier daily uses of limited use feats, tier added to rolls etc. here. This does not hold universally true, mind you – LG’s mythic rules support has the massive advantage of being able to draw on a vast resource of mythic feats, spells and path abilities, though for mythic core-centric gameplay, e.g. this pdf’s take on Critical Versatility may be the more down to earth one. LG’s solutions, in direct comparison, tend to favor mythic surges a bit more often than the ones featured herein.

Now, just to make that clear – I don’t begrudge this pdf the inclusion of these feats, not in the slightest; however, considering the redundancy aspect and LG’s MASSIVE array of books that support mythic gameplay, I’d remain with LG’s solutions here, if only to maintain overall consistency. Not a fault of the pdf, mind you…but ultimately, I wished the book provided more subpaths instead.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting on a formal and rules-language level are very good. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games’ two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with solid color stock art and is fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Now, I’ve said as much above – you can very much see the increase in design skills Alexander Augunas has acquired since penning this book. On the plus side, several of the subpaths herein are absolutely amazing and flavorful and should be considered to be fun. On the downside, we have, at times, needless escalation of numbers (which is already an issue in mythic gameplay) and a couple of high-tier options that are unlocked earlier; while this doesn’t HAVE to yield issues, it should receive some contemplation on part of the GM. Not all options herein are for every game and escalations in mythic power availability are a big no-go as far as I’m concerned, being one of the very few things mythic characters need to carefully manage.

That being said, there are some definite gems herein, which may warrant getting this book – as such, I consider this to be pretty much a mixed bag and thus rate it 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



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Everyman Minis: Spells of Childhood
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 12/13/17 04:16:49

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series 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, in case you’re wondering – while, as a whole, perfectly capable of being used on its own, this pdf ultimately should be seen as an expansion to Everyman gaming’s Childhood Adventures-book, which focuses on all the aspects of playing kid/adolescent PCs.

As the introduction noted, magic for kids and children may actually have a different focus than that of adults – the priorities and, indeed, way in which the world is perceived, is different. This does NOT, however, make them change their priorities – kids want adult magic and have smart concepts of what would be useful and what wouldn’t. Instead of thus thinking of children as different in their sensibilities, the focus of the spells herein is on the experience of childhood and its aspects – and what would have been fun to have in a world where we could grow up with magic powers.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that the first spell herein is the alter meal cantrip, which can change taste of food or drink, diminish or enhance flavors (since I’ve been a chilli-head since early childhood, I’d know what I’d prefer!) or fix flaws in food presentation; the spell does not repair poisoned or diseased food etc. (and wouldn’t help my IRL allergies), but still -reading it, I could see the magical prodigy casting it on all foods to make the pesky greens taste better.

For children, not yet equipped with a fully functional moral compass in many cases, authority is important, a fact that also translates to the pecking orders in social groups and when interacting with the adult world; as such, assume authority could come directly from a funny hijinxs movie – it allows the caster to impersonate a position of authority when interacting with targets. Radical appearance taps into the same vein of thinking, but instead focuses on making the character look particularly cool – which translates to a morale boost AND to potentially being accepted easier by a clique or organization, as you totally get them. (The starting attitude improves.)

Fingerpaint is a particularly rare cantrip, occluded in history…sorry, just kidding. The cantrip lets you secrete paint from the fingers, though the pdf, amusingly, uses the word “Secret” instead…hence my lame attempt at a joke. Gross globule is amazing – it’s basically a nauseating water-bomb! Come on, ladies and gents, I know that a couple of you also enjoyed gross-out battles with algae, dried worms, etc. To me, that spell felt most definitely like something a magical prodigy would research! Humiliating trick is a 2nd level spell that allows you to perform at-range combat maneuvers – cool here, from a mechanical perspective: Each use decreases the duration of the spell and no, grapple isn’t in the cards.

Finally, there would be…the magical tea party! This 3rd level spell conjures forth and animates all the things you’d require for a proper tea party (no, the animated objects can’t fight for you) and the spell fortifies you against diseases, sickened conditions, etc. and allows even for rerolls. The spell is tightly codified, flavorful…and frankly, I can see devoted servant characters, battle butlers/maids etc. cast this one as well. My first associations here were Alice and then a variety of anime inspired by Victorian aesthetics…so yeah, definitely not a kid-only spell!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are, as a whole, very good on formal and rules-language levels. Layout adheres to the relatively printer-friendly 2-column standard of the series and the artwork features is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ spells related to childhood and childhood whimsy are a well-crafted little collection; they make sense, cover all the classes (ACG + Occult support), are flavorful and make sense, not just within the context of kid-PCs. Heck, jester-type characters can have a field day with these as well and there are plenty of other, flavorful uses for this collection!

As a whole, I enjoyed this mini and thus will settle on a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



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Star Log.EM-004: Assassin
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/27/17 04:16:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log. EM-series of minis clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages, including the usual introduction, so let’s take a look!

See, this archetype is a great example why I like Starfinder’s pretty open archetype-system – Assassins should be varied! There’s a reason I adore the more modular solutions presented for Assassin concepts in Pathfinder (most notably, the great Modular Assassin by Interjection Games and the exciting Assassins of Porphyra by Purple Duck Games). But I digress.

The assassin-archetype presented herein grants alternate class features at 6th, 9th, 12 and 18th level.

6th level nets Death Attack. In order to use the ability, you must succeed a Bluff, Disguise or Stealth check against 20 + 1.5 times the target’s CFR; the respective checks are properly codified. On a failure, the target notices you as a threat, preventing you from performing death attacks against it for 1 day unless you spend 1 Resolve Point. Okay, is that an action? I assume not, analogue to many envoy improvisations, but I still think it would have been nice to see it explicitly stated. You must study the target for 3 consecutive round, and after that, you may move up to your base speed and then perform the death attack as a full-round action.

The death attack must be executed with a melee or ranged weapon that you’re proficient with or a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action that deals Hit Point Damage and requires an attack roll against the target’s respective appropriate AC. Minor complaint – personally, I probably would have specified that the means of delivery determine the AC used, but that is pure aesthetics and won’t influence the verdict. If you hit with these paradigms, you deal normal damage to the target, the victim must succeed a Fort-save (governed by your key ability score modifier) and either be temporarily paralyzed or take bonus damage governed by item levels of the weapon in question. Nice for fans of the Starfarer’s Companion: 9th level-spellcasting classes get their spell-levels translated alongside Starfinder’s regular 6-level spellcasting progression. If the damage exceeds the remaining hit points, the target must succeed a second Fortitude save…or he’s dead – no bartering, no resolve – dead. You can’t make death attacks with unwieldy or explosion weapons or those that require a full action to attack. Spring Attack and Shot on the Run synergy are provided. It should btw. be noted that death attacks are NOT death effects!

9th level yields Hide in Plain Sight, already hinted at in Starfinder’s Hide skill use of Stealth, makes an appearance here – it pretty much does what you expect: Hide while observed, provided you have some sort of cover etc. The ability concisely defines interaction with darkvision etc. and other senses. At 9th level, there would be quiet death, which lets you make successful death attacks that kill (but oddly, RAW, not those that paralyze – why?) silent via Stealth. Pretty much the lack of the paralysis-option’s an oversight here. The 19th level ability enhances death attack: You can spend Resolve Points to reduce the number of rounds required for death attacks to a minimum of 1 round (2 Resolve) –spending Resolve this way doesn’t take an action, fyi. Additionally, foes slain via death attacks crumble to dust, preventing the more common ways of returning the dead to life.

The last 0.5 page is devoted to the contextualization of the assassin archetype within the Xa-Osoro system shared by Everyman Gaming and Rogue Genius Games – we hear about the Dragonheir Concordance corporation, a ruthless kobold mining corporation; we learn about the roles of freelancers, the deoxyian gene-trading goliath helix and Sanguinary stewards, sworn to protect the coffins of the vampire lords – some cool angles here.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no grievous glitches. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard of the series. The pdf comes with a solid full-color artwork and has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ assassin had me start rather skeptically – the Skill-check based mechanic may yet be unhinged, as Starfinder, so far, is a very young system. That being said, the strict limitations in place and the relatively conservative formula mean that, basic math-wise, this will, at least for not, not come apart – and after that, the archetype still has some knobs to turn, so kudos there – smart design. I generally liked this archetype, though e.g. the oversight regarding silent paralyzing struck me as odd – particularly, since, as the pdf discusses at first, this THANKFULLY does not sport the evil-only alignment-caveat. It discusses that component, but yeah. Sooo, how to rate this. I did enjoy this supplement, though, frankly, I would have liked to see some benefits for less optimal assassin-weapon-choices; RAW, range is pretty much king here, since the studying doesn’t have a range. That makes sense in Starfinder’s universe, obviously, but yeah, consider that to be a bit of a lost chance in my book. Ultimately, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars – a solid take on the concept, on the positive side; as impressive as the death attack engine is, I wished the archetype sported a bit of internal differentiation. Considering the limited page-count of the mini, I will definitely round up.

Endzeitgeist out.



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Everyman Minis: Black Blade Options
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/22/17 05:28:59

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 5 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, what do the options herein do? Basically, we get archetypes that modify the black blade (a deservedly popular choice) gained by e.g. the bladebound magus archetype. Since they are archetypes, they must be taken as whole packages – analogue to regular archetypes, there’ll be no cherry-picking here.

Okay, so, before we take a look at the archetypes in question, it should be noted that the pdf also sports two new magus arcana: Black Blade Endowment lets the magus spend points from his black blade’s arcane pool to add a selection of special weapon properties to the black blade. This consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. The bonuses persist for as long as you don’t reuse the ability. Okay, I am pretty sure that a line went missing at one point: As written, it looks like the ability consumes the black blade’s enhancement bonus temporarily, acting as a cap to e.g. prevent low-level vorpal, which is good – however, the arcana fails to note how much arcane points the enhancement costs. I assume that the cost in arcana points is equal to the base price modifier of the properties. But then again, is it intentional that you could recover the arcane pool points while retaining your current, favored combination? The arcana should really spell out not only that you need to spend points (it does that), but also how many. Oookay, number 2 would be Learned Blade, which nets you Breadth of Knowledge while wielding the blade.

The pdf contains a total of 3 different black blade archetypes – the first would be the ancestral blade, who gets mental attributes equal to 10 +1/2 the magus’s level, with an ego of 10 at 3rd level that increases by 3 every 3 levels thereafter. These blades gain 2 skill points per HD of the magus and treat skills based on the mental attributes as class skills. It may only use them within its given sense-reach. However, the magus determines the enhancement bonus at -3 levels. Below 2nd level or less, the magus may not apply the enhancement bonus on weapon damage rolls. At 5th level, the blade’s senses reach to 30 ft. with both low-light and darkvision. 9th level extends that to 60 ft. and grants the ability to speak and understand all the magus’s languages. 13th level increases this by a further +30 ft. and adds read magic; 17th by a further 30 ft. – and also unlocks blindsense 30 ft. This replaces energy attunement.

The second archetype would be the dragonsoul blade – you choose one dragon from a massive table that includes esoteric, primal, imperial and outer dragons alongside the classics. This determines the damage type that the altered energy attunement works with: At 5th level, the magus can spend 1 point from his blade’s arcane pool to alter the damage of the blade to the type associated with the dragon. No, umbral dragon based blades, who gain negative energy, cannot heal undead by whacking them – nice catch! The dragon chosen also determines the 13th level ability – the magus can point the blade at a foe to generate a breath weapon of sorts for 1 arcane point from the blade’s pool, with a 1d4 cooldown. This replaces transfer arcana. 19th level yields a 1/day form of the (exotic/alien) dragon III with additional uses costing 3 points – minor complaint: While it’s easy to default to a standard action for the Su, it would have been cleaner if the ability stated its activation action. This replaces life drinker.

The final one would be the levialogian blade (after the amazing monsters introduced in Paranormal Adventures), who must be evil. The blade is hungry, and to gain any powers from it, the master must feed it the equivalent of 1 point of Constitution damage of his body’s flesh per day. The blade has 3 + its Int-mod arcane pool points and at 3rd level, is symbiotically linked to the magus. As a swift action, the magus may sheathe his blade in his own body. He may similarly draw it quickly and somewhat grotesquely. Losing the blade lets the magus regrow it in a special ritual. This replaces unbreakable and Alertness. At 5th level, as a free action, the magus can spend a point from his blade’s pool to cause it to erupt in screaming, gnashing maws – think “Soul Edge.” This Makes the weapon cause bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage and ignore DR and hardness for the attack. If used to sunder, this adds +1 to the sunder check for every 3 magus levels of the wielder. This effect only applies to the next attack made or until the end of the magus’ turn. Love the visuals here, but don’t like the DR/hardness-ignoring – a scaling decrease of the two would have imho been more elegant. Instead of teleport blade, 9th level allows the magus to spend 1 point of the levialogian blade’s pool to change its weapon type as though it was a transformative weapon – any light or one-handed weapon is game, even bludgeoning weapons.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level; on a rules-language level, a couple of minor hiccups have crept into the designs here. Layout adheres to Everyman gaming’s two-column full-color standard and is pretty printer-friendly. The artwork featured is nice and, as always, the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

I really adore the visuals and concepts of 2 of the three archetypes herein – and the third one is nice as well. I really like the customization options they offer. At the same time, I did stumble over one minor oversight and one bigger, rules-relevant hiccup and I’m not perfectly sold on the blade of maws’ DR/hardness-ignoring properties. Still, in spite of these complaints, I consider Alexander Augunas’ black blade options well worth checking out – they are unique and pretty cool – dragonsoul and levialogian blade in particular just beg to be used as high-concept options. In the end, my final verdict will hence clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



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Star Log.EM-002: Shadowdancer
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/20/17 08:08:34

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This little expansion for Starfinder clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, so archetypes in Starfinder have been streamlined, which makes them, per definition, more flexible – as such, this concept does benefit the relatively broad theme of the shadow dancer, which never thoroughly felt right as something limited to rogues, at least to me. The Shadowdancer presented herein grants alternate class features at 2nd, 6th and 9th level, with 12th and 18th level being optional choices.

2nd level provides Shadowed Sneak, which nets both Sleight of Hand and Stealth as class skills (or when you get one later as a class skill or from another source, a 1/day double roll, taking the better result). You also gain darkvision 60 ft. or increase its range by +30 ft. 6th level provides the option to use Stealth while within 10 ft. of an area of dim light as if you had cover or concealment, but you can’t do so versus creatures that easily can see in dim light – darkvision and low-light vision, for example, make this trick fail. 9th level nets shadow jump, which nets you 400 ft. +40 ft. per level in dimension dooring between shadows – the end and start of the teleportation must target dim light areas. You can bring along other willing creatures, but they take away from your daily allotment – the jumps must be taken in 40 ft. allotments, just fyi. This is btw a supernatural ability and as such, represents a standard action. You also gain Dimensional Agility as a bonus feat and treat the feat-tree’s spell-reference as instead pertaining to shadow jump.

What does that one do? Well, usually, it is restricted to 11th level characters and it allows you to act normally after travelling via dimension door as well as granting you a bonus to Armor Class against attacks of opportunity provoked from casting a teleportation spell. The feat stacks with mobility, but has its bonus reduced to +2, for a total of +6. Minor complaint: The pdf mentions AC here instead of Starfinder’s more commonly-used Armor Class term in feats, but since Bodyguard in the Starfinder Core Rules also uses AC, this gets a pass. There are three different follow-up feats for this one – the 12th and 18th level option allow you to choose follow-ups feats in the tree. Dimensional Assault lets you cast dimensional door as a full-round action – when doing so, you teleport twice your speed and make a charge attack with the usual bonuses/penalties. There are two different follow-up-feats for this: Dimensional Dervish Adds the option to just move your speed, but make a full attack instead when using Dimensional Assault; additionally, you may divide the distance teleported into increments before the first attack and all follow-up attacks and the end of the attack sequence – You must move at least 5 ft. each increment. Single attacks with bonus damage may also be thus used in conjunction with Dimensional Dervish. Dimensional Savant provides flanking from all squares you attack from, allowing you to set up basically flanking corridors – from after you make the first attack to the start of your next turn. This can be pretty damn cool, but warrants. Minor complaint in the feat-tree – the Dimensional Assault feat’s spell-prerequisite is not properly italicized.

There is one final feat here, Cloak of Shadows, which does necessitate 5th level and the 2nd level shadowdancer ability: 1/day, this feat lets you alter the illumination level within 20 ft. as a standard action towards shadows: Lights are dimmed, darkness brightened. Magic requires a Will-save to suppress thus, btw., and the effect is a supernatural ability and lasts for your level rounds.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good – the only glitches I noticed were aesthetic. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard of the series and the pdf sports a nice artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ shadow dancer is more interesting that he’d seem at first glance: For once, the fellow doesn’t work in darkness; you actually need dim light; on the plus side, the shadow jumping ability is bereft of the 4-Medium-folks limit of the spell, but…well, not often. Having additional creatures consume more of the daily resource is a solid trick here. Now, you will probably want a shadow orb and a proper light source fast, just to make sure you’re set up correctly. The attack options are potent, but in Starfinder, the changed attack action economy does help here.

All in all, I liked the shadowdancer as presented here – I’m not exactly in love, though Dimensional Dervish and Dimensional Savant are things I’d like to do to foes, at least once. In short: This is imho a good offering if you’re looking for a solid Starfinder shadowdancer. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



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Everyman Minis: Malborgoroth
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/17/17 05:37:58

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 advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, what is a malborgoroth? Something really cool. You know how the cult-critter flumph is a representation of the weird good guys, the foes of the Dark Tapestry. Okay, now combine these with one of Final Fantasy’s most notorious foes – the Marlboro/Morbol! Add a dash of lovecraftiana et voilà – we have the critter in question!

The creature clocks in at CR 13. Its stingers inject acid for continuous damage, which is nasty; they can bury their tentacles into the ground to duplicate black tentacles and remain stationary. They are poisonous and have starflight, can emit entangling, acidic belches and are capable of starflight. The critter has impressive defensive capabilities, ensuring that it won’t be killed right off by potent PCs…and even better, the creature gets the FF-monster’s gloriously vile super-debuff/condition-heaping breath. Epic!

Even better, we don’t just get stats – the pdf weaves a tale of the creature’s origin in detail, providing ample inspiration – oh, and we get 2 CR+0 variants – a cold-based variant and a fire-based one.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no hiccups on either formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s nice 2-column full-color standard for the series. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The artwork provided for the creature is cool as well.

Alexander Augunas once again proves that he can craft thoroughly amazing monsters – from the inspiration to the execution, this critter is inspired and worth the asking price. Highly recommended! 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



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Everyman Minis: Unchained Kangaroos
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/15/17 06:07:45

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 advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, why unchain the kangaroo? Well, they don’t trap foes like e.g. wolves and analogue creatures: They actually have claws. And even the front paws aren’t as harmless as they look. Hence, we get cool alternate stats for unchained kangaroo animal companion stats on the first page – no complaints regarding them in comparison to other animal companion stats. (They advance at 4th level, just fyi.)

The regular kangaroo presented herein would be a CR ½ creature, whose kick causes bludgeoning and piercing damage (which can be a bit odd in DR-interaction) and a threat-range of 19-20. They can’t kick as part of a full attack unless their BAB is equal to or exceeds +6. Crits with kicks can disembowel you, causing bleeding wounds and Con-damage – OUCH!

Things get cooler, though – there’s a second statblock in here. Jack. Jack isn’t like other kangaroos. He is actually an awakened unarmed fighter 5 that uses Everyman gaming’s cool Unchained Fighter-rules. He is quick, deadly, and damn cool!

Oh, and folks observing him have reverse engineered his fighting tricks – represented by a Style-feat chain: Kangaroo Style decreases the penalty to feint non-humanoids to -2, -4 against animal intelligence foes. Additionally, high ranks in Acrobatics increase the bonuses gained from fighting defensively or using the total defense action. The feat also doubles as both Acrobatic and Combat Expertise for the purpose of prerequisites. The follow-up feat is Kangaroo Gait, who allows you to feint as a swift action when moving more than 10 ft. When using Spring Attack, you can instead feint the target as a free action. Kangaroo Roundhouse, the third feat in the chain, lets you add Acrobatic ranks to the damage roll on all successful attacks versus a target you feinted successfully via Kangaroo gait, replacing Strength modifier. Kudos: Feat takes the Vital Strike chain into account.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are excellent, I noticed no hiccups. Layout adheres to a two-column standard with a printer-friendly, white background. The full-color artwork is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at its length.

Alexander Augunas’ unchained kangaroos are amazing. The critter is cool. The companion stats are nice. The awakened character? Glorious. The feats are interesting as well – what’s not to like? My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



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The Genius Guide to the Cruorchemist
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/10/17 11:38:13

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This base-class clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, the cruorchemist class gets d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and light armors, though they do suffer from arcane spell failure. The cruorchemist gains ¾ BAB-progression and good Fort- and Ref-saves. The class has a pretty unique spellcasting engine: Cruorchemists distill their own, potent blood and store it in small vials, producing so-called distillations. The cruorchemist can consume a number of distillations equal to 1 + 1 + the cruorchemist’s Intelligence modifier as a swift action. Like spell components, they are consumed as part of casting a spell. At 1st level, the cruorchemist gains 3 + Constitution modifier distillations, with 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter increasing the distillations by +1. Preparing a distillation requires 1 hour – quite long. Not sure if that isn’t supposed to mean distillation process in total.

Okay, so these tie in with two other components of spellcasting etc.: The cruorchemist chooses a sorceror’s bloodline at 1st level. The cruorchemist doesn’t get bloodline spells or bonus feats and may not activate bloodline powers, unless consuming a distillation. The cruorchemist does gain the class skill associated with the bloodline. The cruorchemist gains spellcasting drawn from the sorcerer/wizard list of up to 6th level, using Intelligence as governing attribute. However, unlike in most cases, the cruorchemist gets spontaneous spellcasting in spite of using Intelligence as governing spellcasting attribute. However, the distillations do allow for more flexibility – the cruorchemist can consume distillations to cast spells known. In order to do so, he must consume a number of them equal to the spell’s level. The spell must be known, obviously. Minor complaint: The engine should mention that distillations can only be used to cast spells gained from the cruorchemist class, otherwise, the front-loaded distillation can allow for a bit of a strong synergy with some classes.

At 2nd level, the cruorchemist gains distill mutagen, which can be drunk as a standard action. One physical ability score is chosen: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution. This ability score gains a +4 alchemical bonus, the cruorchemist gets +2 natural armor bonus and the cruorchemist takes the usual -2 penalty to a mental ability score. As always, other characters shouldn’t drink this stuff. Effects last 10 minutes per class level…and the ability unfortunately does not specify how many mutagens the cruorchemist can brew per day – while it’s easy enough to default to the alchemist’s rules, it’s still a flaw.

Starting at 3rd level, the cruorchemist can use his distillations to pay for the spell level increase instead. While it is clear from the context how this is supposed to work, it should be noted that the ability’s wording is a tad bit wonky. 9th level allows the cruorchemist to apply the effects of metamagic feats to bloodline powers…which may be non-functional, depending on the bloodline chosen. A tad bit weird as well: 4th level and 7th as well as every other levels thereafter yield a metamagic feat – but aforementioned distillation/metamagic ability is gained at 3rd level, which means there’s a solid chance the ability won’t do anything for 1 level.

Starting at 6th level, the cruorchemist gains a metaspell slot: These are quasi-spellslots that allow for the use of metamagic to enhance spells beyond the level the cruorchemist could usually cast. At 6th level, a cruorchemist could e.g. cast a sickening magic missile. The metaspell slot itself is not expended, however, the ability cannot be cheesed – why? Because the cost for distillation still acts as a limiter and since this hypothetic spellslot is not consumed, it requires the consumption of distillations and regular spell slots in a combination that would sum up to the costs. 8th level and every other level increases the ability to cast thus metamagically enhanced spells by +1 – at 20th level, they could e.g. cast a quickened level 6 spell via a hypothetical 10th level metamagic spell slot. This ability is pretty complex and its presentation could be slightly clearer, but yeah – interesting.

7th level provides a homunculus, as via Craft Construct, and uses a distillation to activate it – one distillation keep it active for 24 hours. Starting at 10th level, the cruorchemist gains the ability to enhance the homunculus. They include extra eyes, acid breath, SP, spitting poison, better hides, etc. – these are nice and require distillations to activate. They last for 10 minutes per caster level and an additional such enhancement is learned at 14th and 20th level. Okay…so what action is feeding the homunculus the distillation? Unfortunately, the ability doesn’t specify and the alck of an ability type means that I can’t even resort to a default.

The pdf does sport a couple of supplemental options: 4 feats are included: Aspect of the Homunculus lets the cruorchemist temporarily assume characteristics of a homunculus. Problem: The rules-text implies that the feat transfers the abilities from a homunculus, but prerequisite-wise, the feat only lists distillation, which makes it a bit confusing. Extra distillation nets you +1 distillation (and may not be taken multiple times). Enhance Familiar allows you to use distillations to enhance familiars as though they were homunculi and Craft Advanced Homunculus nets homunculi you make the advanced creature template at +50% cost.

The class also comes with an archetype, the cruormorph. These guys lose spells, but may use distillations to cast bloodline spells as SPs in addition to the usual bloodline power activation. At 3rd level the archetype replaces metadistillation with the ability to apply metamagic feats to bloodline powers or bloodline spells. More on this particular aspect in the conclusion. 7th level replaces the metaspellslot with the ability to craft a specific distillation that allows her to apply the effect of a homunculus enhancement to herself, lasting 5 minutes + 1 minute per class level. 10th level and every 3 levels thereafter yield an additional enhancement. Okay, do these cost additional distillations? Or are the additional homunculus tricks part of the one distillation? At 10th level, the cruormorph can apply metamagic feats known to self-enhancements. Wut? Also: ALL abilities of the archetype lack ability types and are improperly formatted.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level. On a rules-language level, the pdf feels…rushed. While the class is mostly intact, it does suffer from being rather hard to grasp, in spite of its brevity. Some cleaning up would have greatly enhanced this. The pdf comes with a solid 2-column full-color layout and decent stock art. The pdf is fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Frustrating. That’s pretty much how I’d describe the experience of reviewing this class. Why? Because the engine of the class, with all its complexities, is REALLY cool and interesting. Tim Hitchcock’s cruorchemist looks like a class that can actually make metamagic matter more.

That being said, the class also is very rough around the edges, so let’s go through it: Beyond item activation not being properly noted for some abilities, the pdf also sports a couple of seriously rough patches regarding the explanation of how the components of the class work. However, that alone wouldn’t suffice to bring it down. However, we also have some issues in formatting…and then there is the elephant in the room.

You see, the class endeavors to treat bloodline powers like spells. As though they could all be enhanced like spells. That is clearly not the case. While basic metamagic and condition-addition etc. work well enough, bloodline powers can cover a VERY WIDE range of different tricks. And many of these tricks and how they interact with metamagic get really, really wonky. Really fast. As in: I wouldn’t ever want to decide the precise effects while behind the screen. Now, there are complex rules-syntax constructs that could have covered them all – I’ve seen it done, more than once. Heck, I’ve done it myself. However, this pdf leaves you alone with this HUGE problem.

Okay, so you get a damaging aura. How do conditions apply? Hmm? How do natural weapons and the feats interact? How do action economy changes work? A significant component, perhaps THE most significant component of the class, doesn’t work and needs copious amounts of GM fiat. That’s no good.

There is also the aspect of the homunculus. It feels tacked on. As a pet, it is an afterthought at best compared to other classes. It’s gained VERY late and doesn’t really bring that much to the table – why not have a pet from level 1 or 4 onwards? Or, you know, none and instead more customization? The archetype is basically non-functional as written.

Damn, this breaks my heart. This pdf sports several red flags that tell me that something went wrong in a revision, that it wasn’t playtested sufficiently or that it was rushed. Gaining abilities that may quite frankly be useless for a whole level, for example. Or the hand-waved bloodline power/metamagic-interaction. The whole class doesn’t feel like a final release, but like a draft. You know, the thing you send to the publisher for feedback, then expand and clean up into the finished product. It’s sad, really, for I can see the 5-star potential that the class undoubtedly has. As written, though, I cannot recommend it. My final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded down. I hope for a revision.

Endzeitgeist out.



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Blood Space and Moon Dust
por Dillard R. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/10/17 01:32:44

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): Great adventure well worth the price. This is a very reasonably priced alternative to the Adventure Path adventures from Paizo.

Art: 4/5 Not the same style as the Starfinder CRB, but effective! There aren't many pictures but they will give your PCs a good idea of what they are looking at/interacting with.

Layout:5/5 Use of two columns, multiple fonts and colors, as well as text boxes to set off important information makes finding and reading the document quite easy.

Execution: 5/5 This is execution of story objectives. Very well done. The NPCs motivations and plans are laid out in black and white. The GM should have no trouble ad libbing when (not if) his/her PCs go off script. Each NPC has tactics laid out sometimes round to round. Nothing seems to be disjointed with each transition between scenes logically progressing the story without forcing the PCs on any set path. Information is laid out in tables that cover most of the possible questions that PCs would ask (or try to learn). Included in the adventure are 4 very detailed pre-gen PCs using only the Starfinder CRB. There is also a ship for the PCs.

Story: 5/5 The story is imaginative. The back story is effectively told in a very concise manner. (The PCs get to learn about Blood Space literally from the moment they start the adventure) PCs don't get bogged down with exposition, but learn through the action. The pacing for the most part is quite fast paced, however, there are opportunities to slow things down to allow the PCs time to acclimate themselves to this new star system introduced by RGG.

PS: Starfarer's Companion goes into greater detail about the star system (and new classes, races, feats and more), but is not necessary to play this adventure. I really appreciate that RGG went to the trouble to make this adventure work for purchasers of just the CRB as well as folks who buy the Companion.



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Everyman Minis: Way of the Eight
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/09/17 04:48:55

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

On the first page, next to the introduction, we are greeted by supplemental material – this time around, that would be 3 new feats: Eight Steps Acolyte, Eight Steps Initiate and Eight Steps Master.

But before we can take a look at them…what is this “Way of the Eight”? Well, it basically is a philosophical concept that revolves around transcending the physical limitations – it is thus geared towards martially-inclined characters. Only characters with ki, martial flexibility or stamina may attempt climbing the 8 steps – note that Combat Stamina does not suffice. Additionally, the character must have the Endurance feat. Beginning to ascend the Way of the Eight costs a swift action and 1 point ki, 1 use of martial flexibility, or 2 stamina. Stamina thus spent may not be recovered until the character has finished 8 hours of rest. On subsequent rounds, the character may expend additional uses/points and actions to ascend further. Alternatively, a character may ascend multiple steps at once as a full-round action, with costs being cumulative. A limitation regarding steps would be the base attack bonus (cool!) – in order to ascend to a step, the character’s BAB must be twice the step’s number. Step 3 would hence require a BAB of +6 or higher. Each round while the practitioner has ascended at least one step, she takes nonlethal damage equal to twice the number of steps ascended – 8 while on 4th step, for example. When using a full-round action to hasten along the journey, the character takes nonlethal damage equal to 10 times the step ascended to. Nonlethal damage thus incurred can’t be reduced or redirected, nor can they be healed unless the character has been reduced “below 1st” (here, “step” is missing) and rested for 10 minutes. Creatures immune to nonlethal damage can’t ascend on the way.

Ascending on the way grants a number of special abilities, dependant on the step, and a practitioner can remain ascended for a number of rounds equal to the character’s Constitution score – after that, it requires further ki/martial flexibility/stamina expenditure to remain ascended. If lethal and nonlethal hit point damage exceed maximum hit points, the character similarly crashes down. After losing the steps, the character remains exhausted for a number of minutes equal to the highest step reached.

Okay, that out of the Way: The Initiate feat lets you ascend as a free action, but not more than once per round. You can use it in conjunction with the usual activation actions (allowing you to take 2 steps sans the full-round action extra nonlethal damage). The Acolyte feat decreases the rank of the step by one for purpose of nonlethal damage incurred. Okay, does that mean no damage from step 1? Not sure there. The Master feat lets you retain the abilities unlocked for Constitution score minutes, with nonlethal damage only once per minute.

Okay, so what do these steps net you? First, a HD-governed atk and damage boost; at 2nd level damage die increase for weapon attacks, as though affected by lead blades/gravity bow. Step 3 nets more movement, short-burst Fly (must end on surface) and slowed falls. Step 4 nets an AC and Reflex-save boost governed by steps, as well as a DR (which is halved versus adamantine – interesting!). Step 5 nets supernatural versions of scorching ray (free) and cone of cold, fireball, lightning bolt (cost ki/martial flexibility/stamina) that deal force damage. These are SUs, with CL based on BAB and Constitution as DC-governing attribute. Step 6 nets haste. Step 7 makes movement instantaneous – the practitioner disappears and reappears at the place in question. No AoOs from foes sans Combat reflexes. For double the usual activation cost (2/2/4), the character can grant himself the benefits of displacement. (Italicization is missing.) Step 8 provides basically advantage (rolling twice, take better result) for all ability and skill checks, attacks and saves. The practitioner doesn’t lose steps upon being reduced to 0 hp, gains ferocity and adds BAB to Constitution score to determine negative hit point thresholds before dying.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are pretty good, I noticed no glaring hiccups. Layout adheres to Everyman gaming’s nice two-column standard and the full-color art is ncie. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Luis Loza’s “Way of the Eight” is an interesting twist on the design-paradigm of chakras presented in Occult Adventures – the flexibility and relatively painless options to ascend make sense. In fact, I could see this concept carry a whole series of pdfs or a bigger file, all with different ways. This is an interesting, fun offering. Now, personally, I would have enjoyed slightly more unique benefits from the steps, but of well – can’t have everything, right? As a whole, I enjoyed this. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



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Star Log.EM-001: Exocortex Options
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/08/17 05:16:21

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This small supplement for Starfinder clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisement, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, this time around,w e take a look at new options for the exocortex choice of the mechanic – at 2nd level or higher, mechanics get 3 new choices for mechanic tricks: Enemy database builds on combat tracking: When you’re tracking a foe, you may substitute Computers to identify the tracked creature instead of using the usual skill; however, failed attempts can only be retried after 10 minutes, at which point you may take 20 on the skill as though accessing a database. The Exocortex datajack makes the exocortex count as a datajack with an item level equal to your mechanic level, allowing for combination with a custom rig. If connected to a network or data set, you may make Computers to recall information related to a variety of skills. As per the clarification-request of one of my readers: The exocortex gains the ability to work as a datajack, freeing your brain augment slot. This exocortex datajack may by used with custom rigs, etc.

Improved combat tracking lets you attempt an identification of a tracked creature when attacking with a special property or small/long arm – on a success, the attack deals + class level damage. This stacks with Weapon Specialization. Only one target takes this bonus damage, if multiple ones are targeted.

There also are 3 tricks unlocked at 8th level – the first would be AI Usurpation: The exocortex must have access to the system to hack and uploading the exocortex into the system is a move action – a total of 2d4 rounds need to be expended thus, and the exocortex uploaded behaves like an AI using your social skills and only obeys your spoken command. While thus uploaded, you lose all exocortex abilities and mechanic tricks tied to the exocortex. Instead, you gain an untyped bonus on all Computer, Engineering and Piloting checks involving the hacked vessel. Additionally, this bonus extends to starship stunts and crew actions and you may spend 1 Resolve Point at the start of the round to gain an additional crew action. If unused, said action is lost, as is the Resolve Point. Downloading the AI again also takes time, and losing it lets you replace it without much hassle. While uploaded, the AI can’t fill a starship crew role.

Martial rewire lets you treat your mechanic level as BAB for prerequisite purposes of combat feats. You select 3 combat feats for which you meet the prerequisites. As a move action, you can have your muscle memory rewired, gaining one of these feats until you spend a Resolve Point and have a 10-minute rest to regain Stamina, at which point you can change the feat you have access to. Upon gaining a level, you can change the combat feats in question. Enhanced memory lets you reroll Int-based skill checks, even if not recalling. You may also spend 1 Resolve Point as a reaction to failing such a check, gaining a reroll at +5.

Finally, there are two tricks that are unlocked at 14th level – the first of these would be construct usurpation, which does what it says on the tin, thankfully with a CR-cap and a temporary duration – this duplicates control machines (not italicized) in a way, with the AI handling concentration, allowing you to act normally. Nice balancing tool: 1/24 hour caveat. Enhanced martial rewire nets you a second set of 3 combat feats to choose from, and allows you to access two of your pool of 6 at once.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, on both a formal and a rules-language level, are very good. No complaints here, apart from a missed italicization. Layout adheres to a nice, colorful two-column full-color standard. The artwork featured is nice and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ exocortex options makes sense to me – while the added crew action is potent, it makes sense to me – so do the virtual feats. Note that RAW, martial rewiring does not allow you to stack combat feats due to the prerequisite fulfillment caveat, which prevents abuse of feat trees there – breadth instead of depth. As a whole, I enjoyed this supplement and consider it to be a sensible addition to the mechanic’s options. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



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Starfarer's Companion
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/07/17 09:55:20

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive expansion-tome for Starfinder clocks in at 235 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 229 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing-queue as a prioritized review.

Okay, so the content herein is contextualized by the Xa-Osoro system – while we only get a brief introduction to this meta-setting, it does influence components of the following material – for example, the languages, which are noted in the beginning of the race section. Speaking of which: This is basically a massive crunch-book that takes care of several concepts that are beloved, yet not already covered by SFRPG; as such, we begin with races. A ton of them. As such, the respective racial write-ups note homeworlds, society and alignment, etc. I’ll be brief regarding the races, since most of them should be familiar to PFRPG players.

Aasimars: +2 to one ability, 4 hp, resistance to acid, cold and electricity (“resistance” is missing once, in a purely cosmetic hiccup) as well as SR equal to 6 + character level versus evil spells. They gain +2 to Diplomacy, Perception and Intimidate, have darkvision and can manifest a halo, which acts as a portable light with an item level equal to or less than the aasimar’s level. I assume that to be “character level” – minor hiccup in the rules here that happens twice – also in regards to the Daylight 1/day SP.

Catfolk gain +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Wis, 4 hp, +2 on Reflex saves (and 1/day roll twice, take the better result), low-light vision, +2 to Perception, Stealth and Survival and +10 ft. when charging, running or withdrawing.

The deoxyian race would be all new: They gain 6 hp and choose a player race at 1st level. They count as the chosen race and as deoxyians and develop a racial trait of the chosen race. More can be chosen by taking Expanded Deoxyomorphism as a replacement feature at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 12th or 18th level. They gain +2 Int, +2 to an ability of their choice and -2 to an ability of their choice that does not already have a “bonus from race.” 1/day, they can take 10 on a d20 roll or check (except those failing on a natural 1) and gain +1 to checks they take 10 in.

Dhampirs get +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Con, 4 hp low-light vision and darkvision and are dazzled in bright lights. They gain +2 to Perception and Bluff and when saving against disease and mind-affecting effects and take no penalties from level drain, though they still can perish from accrued negative levels.

Grippli (YEAH!) get +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Str, 2 hp, speed 20 ft. (plus climbing speed 20 ft.), +2 to Stealth, darkvision, +4 to Athletics made to jump (and are treated as having a running start). They also secrete poison 1/day as a swift action (which passes grippli armor to be on the outside of it – think semi-permeable membrane) and may coat their melee weapons in the poison.

Ifrit gain +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Wis, 4 hp, darkvision and may create the flashlight equivalent of flame as a free action. 1/day, as a standard action, the ifrit can generate a firebomb with an item level equal to the ifrit’s level (should be character level). They gain +2 to saves versus fire-based effects and +2 to initiative.

Of course, we also get Kitsune, who gain +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Str, 4 hp, +2 to Acrobatics and Athletics, change shape and Kitsune with Cha of 11+ gain at-will dancing light. They may choose Magical Tail as a replacement class feature at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 12th, and 18th level. They also gain low-light vision and their natural weapons deal 1d3 lethal damage and isn’t treated as archaic – analogue to the Vesk ability.

Kobolds get +2 Dex and Con, -2 Str, 2 hp, are Small, get +1/2 level (should be character level) to damage rolls with attacks and spells versus foes that are flat-footed, off-kilter or denied their Dexterity bonus. They get +2 Engineering, Perception, Profession and Stealth. They also gain a 1d2 natural weapon, otherwise analogue in function to the Vesk. They gain +1 resolve point at 1st level and have darkvision and are dazzled in bright light.

Mechanoi are sentinet constructs with the technological subtype. They have a size of Small or Medium, speed 20 ft. and have no Constitution score. Problem here: Having one ability score less does influences character creation/point assignment – the pdf should acknowledge that and provide alternate. The race gets +2 Str and Int, -2 Cha, 6 hp, +4 to saves versus mind-affecting effects (and no immunity). Spells that target constructs or robots and don’t allow for saves now do for the race, with an engineer. They take -2 to Sense Motive and such checks against them are also at +2 DC. They also get to choose to minor mods and a major mod, which work as basic drone mods. Once chosen, this can be changed via a mnemonic editor. Additional Mechanoi Mod may be chosen as replacement feature at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 12th and 18th level. Mechanoi have low-light vision.

Nagaji get +2 Str and Cha, -2 Int, 6 hp, +1 to AC, low-light vision, +2 to Perception, +2 to saves versus poison and mind-affecting effects. They can spit poison as a ranged attack versus EAC, 10 ft. range and one range increment. The poison temporarily blinds foes on a failed save and may be used 1/day.

Oread get +2 Str and Wis, -2 Cha, 8(!!!) hp, 20 ft. speed, darkvision, +1 to AC, 1d3 natural weapon (analogue to Vesk) and +2 to saves versus acid- and earth-based effects and attacks. They also get acid resistance 5.

Samsarans receive +2 Int and Wis, -2 Con, 4 hp, low-light vision, +2 to saves versus death- and negative-energy effects and to saves to remove negative levels, They also get +2 to Constitution checks to stabilize. They get one 0-level mystic spell as an at-will SP and may choose Minor Psychic Power sans meeting the prerequisite. They gain +2 to two skills of their choice and add them to their list of class skills.

Suli get +2 Str and Cha, -2 Int, 4 hp and low-light vision. They gain acid resistance, cold resistance, electricity resistance and fire resistance 5. As a swift action 1/day, they can shroud their arms in elemental energy (4 types mentioned before), for +1d6 damage of the chosen type to “all attacks made with their hands or weapons held in their hands.” – I think this is supposed to refer to melee weapons, but RAW, it holds true for ranged weapons as well, which is a serious difference regarding the power of the ability. The ability lasts for 1 round per character level.

Sylphs have +2 Dex and Int, -2 Con, 2 hp, darkvision, +2 to Acrobatics, Piloting and Stealth. They gain electricity resistance and +2 to saves versus air- and electricity-based effects. They can use Acrobatics to glide. They also increase their maneuverability by one step. Tengus get +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Con, low-light vision, +2 to Culture checks (and learn 2 languages per rank in Culture gained). They get +2 to Perception and Stealth and natural weapons (1d3); they are proficient with basic and advanced melee weapons and gain specialization with them at 3rd level.

Tieflings get +2 Dex and Int, -2 Cha, 4 hp, darkvision, +2 to Bluff, Slight of Hand, Stealth. They get cold, electricity and fire resistance 5 as well as SR 6 + character level against good spells. They gain a fiendish extremity and may choose to gain one as a replacement feature at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 12th and 18th level. These include a prehensile tail, scaly skin, natural weapons and vestigial wings.

Undine gain +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Str, 4 hp, swim speed 30 ft., can breathe water and doesn’t take penalties when fighting underwater. They are immune to the effects of depth and pressure and gain Athletics as a class skill as well as darkvision. They can quench up to 5 sq-ft. fire with a touch sans taking damage and 1/day may execute bull rush, disarm, dirty trick (blind/dazzle only) or trip with a 30 ft.-range. They can use their character level instead of BAB for the roll. Problem: The ability doesn’t specify the activation action – I assume standard action. They get +2 to saves versus cold-and water-based effects.

Vanara get +2 Wis, 4 hp, are shapechangers, with 30 ft. speed, 20 ft. climbing speed, may change size between Small and Medium and, while Small, they get +2 Dex and -2 Str, but their Dex in medium armor may not exceed 16. Longtails get +2 Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand and Stealth and have a prehensile tail that can hold +1 item at the ready. Whitecape vanara get +2 Athletics, Intimidate and Perception, Improved Unarmed Strike and +2 to KAC versus bull rush and trip. They gain low-light vision.

Vishkanya get +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Wis, 4 hp, get +5 Disguise to pass as humans, +2 to Acrobatics and Stealth, low-light vision, +character level as a bonus to saves versus poison. When they have taken at least 1 hp damage, as a swift action, they can 1/day apply their poisonous blood (saliva sans damage) to melee weapons. Wayang get +2 Dex and Int, -2 Wis, 2 hp, 20 ft. speed. I am not sure regarding their size – I assume Small. The race gets darkvision. They can, as a standard action 1/day use invisibility as a SP. Wayang can reverse spells that behave differently versus undead/the living as a reaction, counting as undead or living, respectively. This can be used 1/day. They gain +2 Perceptio and Stealth and +2 to saves versus illusions.

All right, as a whole, the race-chapter has me a bit concerned. While there is no really broken race herein, there are a couple of races that exceed in power what we get in the Starfinder core book. More relevant would be the numerous cosmetic hiccups in rules-language (level vs. character level – particularly weird, since some abilities (like natural weapons) taken directly from the SF core book’s abilities often specify character level in the core book… There are also a few instances, where the rules are a bit wobbly. Not to the point where I’d consider the section problematic, but it’s less refined than what I’m used to see from the authors.

Okay, so next up would be no less than 6 (!!!) classes for SFRPG: We get an adaptation of bard, cleric, magus, paladin, ranger and wizard.

In all brevity: Bards get 6 + Con stamina, 6 hp, 6 + Int skills, proficiency with light armor, melee weapons, grenades and small arms. Spontaneous spellcasting of up to 6th level (governed by the muse – may be Int, Wis or Cha), ¾ BAB progression and good Ref- and Fort-saves. Okay, so the class itself probably doesn’t need a discussion on how it works, so let me note what I enjoyed here: Even bardic knowledge has choices; bardic performance is properly codified (Audible/Visual) and the class gets talents to choose, an array of two classes of talents, which allow for PC customization. Definitely one of the best bard versions for d20-based games.

The cleric gets 6 + Con stamina, 6 hp, 4 + Int skills, ¾ BAB-progression, good Fort- and Will-saves, proficiency with light and heavy armor, small arms, deity’s favored weapon, grenades and prepared spellcasting governed by Wisdom. Now here is an aspect that may provide a bit of confusion at first: Unlike in Starfinder’s usual design paradigm, the spellcasting of the cleric goes the full 9 levels; granted, some spells of the mystic or technomancer note that the higher-level cleric spells behave as lower-level mystic spells; and yes, there are a ton of converted spells. Similarly, the class provides AoE-healing via channel divinity – basically, you don’t have to choose to be the healer mystic, you get this regardless of choices made. On the plus-side, domains and devotions allow for a ton of customizations for the class, which, choice-wise, is really cool to see.

The magus presented herein gets 6 + Con stamina, 6 hp, 4 + Int skills, ¾ BAB-progression, good Fort- and Will-saves, prepared Int-based spellcasting of up to 6th level. Spellstrike is tied to resolve and works with both melee weapons and small arms. The class does what you’d expect.

The paladin gets 7 + Con stamina, 7 hp, 4 + Int skills, proficiency with light & heavy armor, basic and advanced melee weapons, small arms, longarms and heavy weapons. They have full BAB-progression and good Fort- and Will-saves. At 4th level, they get spontaneous Cha-based spellcasting of up to 4th level, drawn from the cleric list. Lay on hands has nice limits and is tied to resolve. The customization comes in with different oaths and associated abilities. Solid version.

The ranger gets 7 + Con stamina, 7 hp, 4 + Int skills, proficiency with light armor, basic and advanced melee weapons, small arms, longarms, sniper rifles and grenades, full BAB-progression, good Fort- and Ref-saves. Beyond tracking, rangers come with a more complex modification – their styles allow for meaningful choices. Spells, for example, are spontaneous, Wis-based and drawn from the mystic’s list and are exclusive to one style. There also are a ton of talents, ranger methodologies that help, big time, to make the class feel unique.

Finally, the wizard gets 4 + Con stamina, 4 hp, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with light armor, basic melee weapons, small arms, grenades, ½ BAB-progression, good Will-saves, prepared Int-based spellcasting from the wizard’s list. Much like the cleric, the spell-levels go the full 9 levels of progression, thus deviating from Starfinder’s basic spellcasting engine. The wizard has a spellpad and the usual bond – object or familiar. There is a ton of customization via both arcane secrets and a massive array of arcane traditions. Notes for alternate or replaced class features are provided for all classes covered within this book.

The book does come with a nice companion-building engine that covers both biological and technological companions: Hit points scale up from 10 to 230; companions have ¾ BAB-progression, gain up to +18 AC; their good saves increase to +9, the bad saves to +5; 6 ability increases, up to 8 feats and up to 10 evolutions. Link, share spells, (improved) evasion, devotion – you get the idea here.

The book does contain a TON of feats – the table covers 3 pages on its own! Beyond the obvious ones (like Fox Shape, Magical tail, etc.) that supplement the races and those that supplement the classes, there are several rules-relevant ones beyond that. Though, much like in previous chapters, there are more editing hiccups here than usual for Rogue Genius Games or the authors – “as areactiont action”, for example. Options for paladins to revive those that have just died, better exploring of new environments – it should be noted that quite a few really cool options can be found in this chapter. There are quite a few feats here that allow for the use of limited racial abilities via Resolve expenditure. So yeah, this chapter, as a whole, is nice.

In the equipment chapter, things become really cool: We get not only various shields, we also are introduced to computers – to be used as basically a complex help or hindrance for the PCs – modules, basic functions, secured access, tier-rating,e tc. – all in all, a cool array with a ton of sample computers provided. I smiled from ear to ear when I read an expansion to the starship scale: Planetoid! It comes with a new frame and we also get a serious array of cool new frames. This is easily my favorite chapter in the whole book.

The final, approximately 60 pages, are devoted to a massive TON of spells. Since this book adds 9th level spellcasting to Starfinder, there are some explanations regarding variable level spells for the spells. The chapter, as a whole, provides a ton of the spell-classics we know from PFRPG – wail of the banshee, for example. It inflicts a massive 150 points of sonic damage, ½ on a successful save. If you are really picky about design-aesthetics, you will note that e.g. snuff life from the core-book follows a different design-paradigm that codifies damage for death effects by CR. On the plus-side, I really like that quite a lot of the spells have different effects for the different spell-levels – not just an escalation of numbers, but wholly different effects.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good on both a formal and rules-language level – as a whole, this book may contain quite a few hiccups, but most of them do not influence the rules-language. Layout adheres to a really nice two-column full-color standard with a lot of neat, original full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks. Cool: The pdf comes with a second, more tablet-friendly, smaller version – kudos!

Alexander Augunas and Matthew Morris deliver a book that a select clientele will absolutely adore. This massive tome nets you all the options you’ve come to expect from the time playing Pathfinder – the favorite races of many folks, and, more importantly, also the classes – if you’re looking for a way to transition your PFRPG-game to Starfinder, then get this ASAP – this is exactly the book you’ve been waiting for.

The craftsmanship of the design for the class conversions is definitely high quality; the player agenda components, the choices, the engines of the classes – all of these are done with the expert skill-set that we’ve come to expect from these two critically-acclaimed designers. I can absolutely see why so many people (judging from the reviews) love this book.

At the same time, as a person, while I appreciated the skill that obviously went into creating this book, the supplement left me honestly concerned. As a book that deals with a lot of heritage options, it does exhibit a lot of design paradigm decisions that I could not extrapolate from the Starfinder core rules. It should be noted that I do not think that 9th-level spell-progression breaks the game; it allows for a finer-grained progression of power, obviously – but honestly, I’m not sure why this type of decision was required by the demands of the system or the design of the classes. Another issue I can see here would be the cleric’s healing abilities, which are very pronounced – more so than those presented in the Starfinder core book. Why do I consider the totality of these design-choices problematic? While they remain closer to PFRPG and thus easier to convert, they change the gameplay of Starfinder.

While, admittedly, my playtesting experiences with the Starfinder rules so far are not as excessive (the system is pretty young, after all), so far, it looks like the discrepancy between the power of martials and casters has decreased, courtesy, in part, due to the cap imposed on casting potency. This book subverts these pretty central tenets. There are a few remnants regarding references to bonus types that don’t exist in Starfinder, some references to AC bonuses that have not been properly recoded for SFRPG, but these instances remain relatively scarce. More grievous to me, there are, design-wise, some aspects in spells, etc., that feel closer in their design-aesthetics to PFRPG than SFRPG.

Okay, so rating this book, for me, is pretty much a reviewer’s nightmare. Sure, I can complain about the formal hiccups mentioned, but they are not that many really bad ones; they mostly pertain to smaller aspects and components. My issue as a reviewer is that this book covers options to make Starfinder closer to Pathfinder. It’s the goal of the book and, for what they are, I love a lot of the designs here – I enjoyed, for example, the converted classes more than I thought I would. Here’s the thing: As a person, I really, really dislike that. One of the aspects I love about Starfinder is that it’s not just PFRPG with a coating of scifi. New races, new classes – all different, shiny, new.

I think that, for a serious part of this book, you can see that, while it is definitely a Starfinder book regarding the totality of the rules, its design aesthetics in the smaller components, tend to have sprinklings of PFRPG inside. This is understandable; it’s not bad…but it rubs me the wrong way and that sense, particularly combined with the hiccups here and there, left me with this constant feeling of unease regarding, particularly, the full casters herein. In short: This book was, most assuredly, not made for me.

At the same time, it is my responsibility as a reviewer to acknowledge that it represents what a TON of people wanted and enjoy – and, while not perfect, it does achieve its mission statement in a rather admirable manner. That’s why, ultimately, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform. If you wanted more of your favorite PFRPG options in Starfinder, feel free to add another star.

Endzeitgeist out.



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Everyman Unchained: Eidolons
por Kass K. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/03/17 16:14:08

No complaints at all on my end. I enjoyed this content. My players and i really made good use of it and my player playing a Summoner made great use of the new types and subtypes for eidolons. Great content.



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Everyman Minis: Pumpkin Kami
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/01/17 05:53:40

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Everyman Minis clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 4 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

We begin with a low-cost, cool class of magic item: Costumed confections are magical sweets that can be consumed to create a regular disguise, which does not modify your clothes (minor nitpick: spell reference not italicized); the second type transforms into a monstrous humanoid or humanoid, as per disguise self, affecting all senses (and no disbelieve). Finally youthful confections transforms the target into a younger version – all effects are polymorph effects and last for 4 hours. Cool!

The main meat of the pdf, though, would be the Kabochahito, the CR 7 pumpkin kami. And no, this is NOT another evil scarecrow/pumpkin monster – in fact, the kami is NG! It is incorporeal and conjure forth confections. Oh, and it comes with a TON of unique abilities: It can swallow beings and transform them into other shapes – the behavior of creatures is then made innocuous to onlookers. This can also be combined with a geas/quest – failure may see the target trapped in that form. Unlike most kami, kabochahitos can switch wards pretty quickly and assume pumpkin/plant-form with stat-modifications included. They can also generate massive growth spurts among plants. Big plus: Unlike many monsters, the kami is properly contextualized within the gaming world, with a lot of inspiring prose.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious hiccups. Layout adheres to the nice two-column standard of the series. The nice pieces of art are in full-color. The pdf does not come with bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Luis Loza’s pumpkin kami are amazing. They are creative, benevolent and fun; they can make for genius Halloween-themed adventures and are a welcome deviation from the well-tread path of evil pumpkin monsters. Interesting, creative – no complaints. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



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