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Infinite Space: Themes: The Outlaw Crew (SFRPG)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2017 19:37:29

The themes provided by LPJ for Starfinder made me decide to allow all of my characters to take second Themes for their characters. Here are Themes missing from the original Starfinder offering. No matter how good your Mystic is, having a Doctor in the party is essential. And being an Envoy with the Captain Theme makes much more sense to command a starship.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Infinite Space: Themes: The Outlaw Crew (SFRPG)
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Infinite Dungeon: The Halls of the Eternal Moment Level 4 - The Clockwork Catastrophe (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/04/2017 03:51:11

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The fourth level of The Halls of the Eternal Moment clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 14 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

As always, we begin with notes on the general property of the dungeon’s level – walls, light, etc. After level 3’s relatively tame treatment of PCs, the fourth level is back to the attrition tactics – 40% chance of being attacked, per hour. OUCH. Now here’s a mind-bender: Once the alarm is triggered, the dungeon RAW becomes easier – the ambushing default encounter is replaced with a reactivation of dormant constructs, which are finite. One note: The statblocks provided for these encounters sport some glitches: Formatting (bolding inconsistent) and also ones that influence the rules. On the plus-side, a total of 6 ghostly phenomena (harmless dressing to enhance atmosphere) is provided.

Utterly puzzling: Remember how level 3 had temporal anomaly effects? Well, they’re gone once more, in spite of level 4 being lower. I don’t get it.

All righty, let’s take a look at the content, shall we? From here on out, the SPOILERS reign – potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

.

Okay, just GMs around? Great! So, the basic premise is that the dwarven engineer Talpidae tried to dig into the dungeon with a massive clockwork contraption. That did not go well, as the title very much implied. The catastrophe killed the crew, who now haunt these halls – they are a persistent threat…and strangely, once alarm has been triggered, they vanish. Instead, clockwork laborers and archers animate…and indeed, the pdf does employ the theme of temporal twists a bit: There are rooms stuck in time, for example. Downside: As mentioned before, the mechanical aspects fall a bit by the wayside and no, there are no puzzles that employ this angle. The PCs can’t prevent the catastrophe or influence it.

On the plus-side, while the AMAZING potential of the premise isn’t used fully, there are some nice hazards and pieces of the engine that are still operational…and lethal. Down-side: Their damage type hasn’t been properly codified. That being said, the mole machine is really interesting: Its mobility is limited and it behaves mostly like an amazing hazard – smart PCs can have a BLAST here, while those foolhardy may well end up being blasted to shreds. Defeating it is HARD, but incredibly satisfying, making this the highlight of all levels released so far. In fact, the cool encounter against the machine single-handedly improves the rating this pdf would have received. On the downside, a visual representation would have helped, big time, picturing this threat.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are okay – there are a couple of glitches that should have been caught, including several that influence the rules-integrity of the content herein. Layout adheres to a nice 2-column full-color standard. The pdf’s artwork is stock and has nothing to do with the module. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Cartography, as in the whole series, is very rudimentary and somewhat inconsiderate – while we get a key-less version, secret doors etc. are not either version and they are not redacted.

Jeff Lee, Michael McCarthy, Rich Redman and Louis Porter Jr.,’s fourth dungeon-level does a lot of things right: The leitmotif of the dungeon does tangentially influence the proceedings. The level itself is, theme-wise, interesting. The boss fight is creative and phenomenal. In fact, this has the makings of a good, even a very good, dungeon-level. But it feels like interest was lost at one point – one careful pass to fix the issues and slightly streamline the aspects that, mechanically, are rough around the edges, and this could have scored higher. But as much as I like the boss, from the lack of global effects to the minor inconsistencies, the hiccups accumulate and tarnish what would be an easy 5 star + seal module, had it received a bit more care in realizing the evocative, cool premise of both dungeon and level. In the end, I can’t go higher than 3.5 stars, rounded down for this – it is VERY rough around the edges and needs some work by the GM to shine, but concept-wise, it does have its definite strengths.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Infinite Dungeon: The Halls of the Eternal Moment Level 4 - The Clockwork Catastrophe (PFRPG)
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Infinite Dungeon: The Halls of the Eternal Moment Level 3 - The Clairvoyant Halls (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/03/2017 04:22:20

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The third level of the Halls of the Eternal Moment clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, as in the levels before, we get a concise summary of the properties of the dungeon regarding its walls, lighting etc. However, we do get a cool unique dungeon feature – within these walls, you can find columns made of skulls – and inside the skulls are eyeballs that twitch, unless they are actually observing someone – in which case they become eerily still and staring. Oh, and guess what: The theme of the dungeon FINALLY comes into play. While the header of “Temporal Fluctuation” has not been properly formatted, there is a 1 in 8 chance per room (same for random encounters, 3 are provided) that a fluctuation begins: A total of 5 entries can be found - +1 initiative, -1 atk and Ref-saves (this one, annoyingly, makes up 2 entries in a 5-entry-table – why duplicate them??), -4 to Perception and +4 to critical confirmation rolls. …yeah, I kinda expected something cooler as well.

Anyways, as the write-ups of the monsters show, there is a leitmotif here – namely sight or lack thereof – the undead are beheaded and blind and isitoqs are included as well.

…and that is as far as I can go without delving into major SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only GMs around? Great! So, first of all: After two levels sans a unique boss, guess what we get? Bingo, a cool and actually really creepy villain, namely Illquis of the Thousand Eyes, a nasty derro necromancer. While the statblock isn’t perfect, it’s good enough for most…and the derro can actually see through the ocular columns throughout the level, as per clairvoyance (nor properly italicized). This allows an even halfway competent GM to instill a surprising sense of paranoia and eerie creepiness. The resting restrictions of the previous levels, just fyi, are gone…and indeed, paradoxically, the level may actually end up being easier on the PCs than previous ones: For one, the necromancer creates headless zombies, beheaded and isitoqs as primary minions – all of which have in common that their CR is really low. Similarly, even blind beheaded swarms may be taken out with relative ease. While a gray ooze makes for a nasty challenge, the primary combat antagonist here is clearly the derro.

That being said, the traps featured this time around are significantly more interesting than those on the last level, with a vertigo trap or a charnel pit that has been granted limited, churning animation – particularly the latter represents the strongest trap in the series so far. More so than the mechanical challenges, this level excels beyond level 1 or 2 in the respective rooms – “The walls and ceiling of this room are festooned with braids, ropes and nets, all clumsily woven from what appears to be humanoid hair. The room’s two doors are decorated with wreaths crafted of the same material.“ That is CREEPY. The whole level, with its theme and leitmotif, manages to instill a more unique and interesting atmosphere.

Now, as for the maps – they are still bare-bones; player maps have not had secret rooms redacted and GM maps lack the secret room notes. Similarly, the lack of most terrain features, even in icon form, on the maps means that a GM has to do some work on them. This is not a go-play module.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting re good, but weaker than in previous installments – I noticed a couple of minor hiccups, some pertaining rules-relevant material. Layout adheres to the nice two-column full-color standard of the series. Artwork is stock and has nothing to do with the material herein. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The cartography still remains a big downside of this series.

Jeff Lee, with additional writing by Michael McCarthy, Rich Redman and Louis Porter Jr., finally delivers on the promise of this complex, at least in part. While I wasn’t exactly blown away by the temporal effects, they at least provide a unique descriptive angle for the GM. The fully statted boss and the leitmotif of this level are the stars, though: While mechanically less challenging than the wars of attrition that were level #1 and #2, this level feels, paradoxically, rather tame – particularly when considering level #1’s at times hyper-deadly traps. Mechanically, this is not the most impressive level herein.

However, it’s the first level that reaches the level of originality and flavor I expected from the series: The writing, always a strong suit for the series, is tight in this one; the flavorful rooms and creatures encountered are unique and horrifying and the paranoia an even moderately competent GM should be able to elicit here is just FUN.

While surprisingly easy (apart from the boss), the dungeon level is interesting, flavorful and cool. That being said, editing isn’t as tight here and, as mentioned an abundant number of times, the maps are puzzling in how inconsiderate they are. Still, the writing and unique theme of this level make it worthwhile – though the formal hiccups, alas, make it impossible for me to round up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Infinite Dungeon: The Halls of the Eternal Moment Level 3 - The Clairvoyant Halls (PFRPG)
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Infinite Dungeon: The Halls of the Eternal Moment Level 2 - The Rattling Crypt (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/02/2017 04:20:07

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The second level of the Halls of the Eternal Moment clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page of SRD, leaving us with 14 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Okay, we begin this installment with a brief summary of the opposition and a nice d20-dressing table that sports descriptive hooks and concrete items, for a total of 40 entries – nice and adds a sense of consistency to the level and the adversaries – kudos there!

As before, we get helpful information on floors, walls…and slender pillars, which almost take up a square – destroying these can cause a ceiling to collapse (Okay, how much squares? The whole room? Whole dungeon?) and in some cases, they are connected by iron chains. Both these and decorative copper chains mentioned come with proper stats – so as far as general features goes, this is a step up from level 1.

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only GMs around? Great! If the name of this level wasn’t ample clue – undead would be the leitmotif of this level of the Halls of the Eternal Moment…and they are organized. Under the leadership of the ghast Benivuul and his ghoul lackeys, the roaming skeletons and zombies make for a persistent and dangerous threat. Camping is impossible, with each hour and each campaign attempt resulting in a random encounter – on the plus-side, this level can actually be emptied of the scouring undead, though leaving for too long sees other things move in…Nice: the nature of this second cadre is briefly discussed.

The level kicks off with a sliding staircase trap and foreboding graffiti can be found throughout the level, adding a special sense of gravitas to the whole proceedings. Trapped, evil altars and concealment-granting cob-webbed sheets and an evil altar used for undead creation, cacophonous traps – the undead in the level are keenly aware of the traps and make good use of this gauntlet, which plays significantly better than its vanilla premise would lead you to believe. While it’s a bit strange that room 22’s text refers back to room 22 for a patreon goal. Some passages/secret doors lead to patreon goal rooms and are not included in the pdf.

As a whole, I enjoyed this level more than the previous one – though personally, I would have made even more use of the slender pillars – they are a unique architectural feature that could have yielded some interesting additional options regarding 3D-combat, pits, etc. Their rules-language could be slightly more precise, but oh well. More significant: Apart from the traps, all adversaries herein are painfully vanilla – don’t expect archetype’d, templated or class level’d foes herein – standard critters.

Speaking of which: If you hoped, like I did, that the temporal angle and the potential for cool shenanigans with undead (like in several OSR modules) and traps, I’ll have to disappoint you – the leitmotif of the dungeon remains a backdrop at best.

Now the maps, while still very bare-bones, do sport icons for the pillars, which is nice. Icons for altars etc. are also provided and while the maps are anything but nice to look at, they are a bit better than those in level 1. Slightly annoying: Secret doors are not designated as such on the GM map and on the player’s map, they have not been redacted.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, I noticed no undue accumulation of glitches. Layout adheres to a really nice two-column full-color standard. Artwork is stock and has no relation to the material depicted herein. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks. Cartography, while still bare-bones and not up to the level of detail I’d like to see, particularly regarding player maps/VTT-capabilities, but they are a bit better than the ones for level 1.

Rich Redman, Jeff Lee, Michael McCarthy and Louis Porter Jr. have written a per se solid undead-level here. The chain/pillar motif is cool and I frankly wished the module did a bit more with it (swinging rooms! Crossing pits on chains! Immortal undead that need to be buried… (due to the temporal nature of the dungeon, one could explain reverting collapses…) There are so many cool ideas there that the module simply doesn’t use. The rattling crypt is creepy; it is deadly; it is well-written…and it is, as far as undead dungeons go, painfully vanilla. It’s deadly mainly due to the fact that you can’t properly rest, but a strategic group can empty the level – the boss is underwhelming and so are the enemies encountered. The module doesn’t make use of the cool dungeon-premise, but I expected that; what I did not expect was that it reduced its cool, evocative terrain features and leitmotif only to this extent – the pillars and themes here could have carried so much more.

Don’t get me wrong – the writing’s pretty good and the dungeon level is pretty nice…but at the same time, it falls short of the potential of both the dungeon and the level; the standard enemies and the less than impressive maps also don’t really help this module. If you’re looking for a solid undead-themed level, then this certainly does the job…but honestly, I know a lot of undead-themed dungeons and levels that may, in parts, have weaker writing, but more interesting mechanical components, better components to set them apart. As a whole, this is, to me, this was a rather weak and disappointing installment – not bad per se, but also weaker than level 1. My final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded up by a margin due to the low price and in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Infinite Dungeon: The Halls of the Eternal Moment Level 2 - The Rattling Crypt (PFRPG)
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Infinite Dungeon: The Halls of the Eternal Moment Level 1 - The Overgrown (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/28/2017 04:40:31

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The first level of The Halls of the Eternal Moment clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This level has been claimed as a home by the druid circle of the ages – and as such, we have a nature-theme on our hands here. The pdf notes walls, ceilings, etc. and also provides notes for wandering monsters, simulating a kind of organic and dynamic environment. Each of the rooms comes with read-aloud text, which can help GMs less confident in their improvisation skills.

So far, so good, so let’s go into SPOILER-territory. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

.

All righty, only GMs around? Great! So, the monsters that constitute the major inhabitants would be leaf leshies, giant caterpillars and headless, fungal zombies held together by dark magics – somewhat annoying – their SQs etc. have not been reprinted in their statblock, meaning that you’ll have to look these up. Each of the rooms does have something to do – a skill to use, a hazard like poisonous vines. Specially planted trees that hamper movement and creative traps, including organic responses by the creatures herein make for an overall interesting dungeon – and a hard one. There are traps here that WILL insta-gib a PC – 6d6 smashing stones into which you may run due to being stricken with fear by a magic pool – this is not a dungeon for noobs.

Indeed, the lack of a maximum value of inhabitants in the monster-placement for cleared rooms etc. means that rest etc. can be a much sought-after commodity – and personally, I applaud that. I do not applaud the boss fight versus a spirit, who animates a fungus leshy, who governs the respawns of leshies – not because I don’t like the boss fight, but because the animating druid spirit is not really covered – killing the fungus leshy ends the influence of the spirit, which is weird to see in a game so steeped with ways to deal with spirits and the like.

Okay, admittedly, I’m stalling. You see, the main draw, to me, for the dungeon is its fluid, erratic time – I said as much in my review of the prologue. And yes, temporal weirdness can be found here. In the dressing. And as a justification for the critters showing up. Do you need temporal tricks to navigate a room? No. Do you get to solve time-based puzzles? No. Are there special ramifications for certain areas? No. The execution of the amazing leitmotif falls flat for me. The dungeon-level is wondrous, yes, but it does not come close to fulfilling the promising theme.

There is another aspect where the pdf does not reach the levels I hoped for: The map. While it comes with a keyless version and while it’s in color, it just shows the rooms. Secret doors are not redacted and neither terrain feature, not traps are noted on either map, making their use rather annoying – basically, you have to print them out and fill them in yourself. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t need gorgeous maps – but I’d like to at least have maps that note the basics.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good – I didn’t notice a big accumulation of glitches, but some formatting decisions/requirements to look things up are a bit questionable. Layout adheres to a really nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports solid stock artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Cartography is worse than in pretty much every comparable dungeon, providing just blank and empty rooms – the work required here by the GM represents a serious comfort detriment.

Jeff Lee, Michael McCarthy, Rich Redman and Louis Porter Jr. have per se written a cool dungeon-level here. The leshy-theme is cool and hasn’t been done to death and the hazards and traps are deadly, challenging and fun. That being said, this pdf falters in the details – it is, most of all, inconvenient. You have to look a lot up; you have to basically fill in the maps to render them operational. One of the rooms notes “Don’t go down the Well” as a header and reference to Rappan Athuk – referencing a superior book may not have been the smartest move here. You see, the dungeon, let me make that abundantly clear, is NICE. The rooms are varied and interesting. At the same time, it is VERY inconvenient to use. I have had an easier time using OSR or 5e-dungeons in PFRPG than with this one, courtesy of a couple of really unfortunate decisions and the cartography being this incomplete. A wholly barebones dungeon. No chairs. No landmarks. No secret door “S”; no trees. I don’t get it and I have never seen anything like it, not even in really rudimentary DIY-supplements.

My disappointment regarding the unrealized temporal angle notwithstanding, this would be a worthwhile dungeon, were it not for these inconveniences. As written, I can’t go higher than 3 stars for it, stars earned solely earned by the good ideas that are herein and the quality of the writing. Let’s hope level 2 fares better…

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Infinite Dungeon: The Halls of the Eternal Moment Level 1 - The Overgrown (PFRPG)
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Infinite Space: Hazards: Stellar & Xenobiological (SFRPG)
by Erik K S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2017 02:57:36

Very cool product! Sure, it's all of 6 pages but 5 of them are devoted to new hazards, nasty creatures and extraterrestial dangers to beware of. There's just enough detail there that any DM/GM can add whatever 'fluff' is needed to make new material a danger PCs will be MUCH more cautious about whenever they're investigating (fill in the blank). It doesn't matter whether the PCs in question are bioforms or constructs, there's some nastiness in here that will make everyone more than a LITTLE nervous, especially if they're near the presence of a corrosive cloud or a corrosive membrane. The cybernetic slime is bad news as well. I think they need a little more imagination in the naming department but otherwise, for a measly 1.49 credits, you can get this which has enough info to launch at least 2-7 adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Infinite Space: Hazards: Stellar & Xenobiological (SFRPG)
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Haven: City of Bronze Campaign Setting
by Wesley F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2017 05:13:45

Pros -Low price tag (~$2) -Great ideas for plot hooks, characters, and locations even if used out of this settings

Best Feature -Seven additional allegiances (Keep in mind a page and a half of information, however)

Cons -Vague Content information (You really don't know what you are buying) -Very poorly edited writing (poor grammar, sentence structuring, spelling, innapropriate use of slang)

Final Thoughts and Rating Overall this product should be at a mininum of a 4 star rating simply for the pricetag to content alone, depite the lack thereof. The primary issue of this product is the seemingly disregard for the english language. If it was an occasional typo or grammatical error it would be completely understandable. This is not the case and is an issue on nearly every single page. In my opinion this is not acceptable as it reflects the lack of effort put into the product regardless of the displeasure in the consumer. i will not be purchasing anymore products from this company.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Haven: City of Bronze Campaign Setting
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Image Portfolio 1.06 Fantasy Cityscape
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2017 14:39:48

This product I've had for a while and never reviewed (but should have). It is a solid collection of 21 b/w fantasy cityscapes (and 2 of that 21 in color). Previously, these were in PDF and extracting them was not always the best. As such, it was not extremely useful.

Recently, however, the publisher released these as TIFs. OMG is that SUPER HELPFUL!!! Now these are ready to use.

Thank you for doing so. I hope the rest of the series (oh which, I have many) are also released as TIFs as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio 1.06 Fantasy Cityscape
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Crisis of the World Eater: The Collected Epic (PFRPG)
by Ron F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2017 17:31:19

Crisis of the World Eater: The Collected Epic Review After reading this adventure I felt compelled to review it. I love my traditional fantasy, but I do get tired of it every now and then. Currently I play 5e, though I've played every thing from Basic to 4e and Pathfinder. I love my D&D.

I say all of that to give you a perspective of where I'm coming from. I was not aware of this product until about two months ago. It was a PF product which already had it Kickstarter and looked a little weird to me to be honest. On a whim, I decided to download the free prequel A Warning Too Late. I was blown away. The story was compelling, the layout looked nice, and the art was top notch. From that point I waited for the release of the main story.

I was not disappointed. The whole campaign is as good if not better than the prequel! It is the most epic "D&D" story I've read. It is fantasy, but blends sci-fi and superheroic action so well. I have never seen such a product. Amazing!

If I have one criticism of the product is that there were some things missed in the editing pass: A mislabled footer here, a "@@" reference there. It's nothing that can't be fixed. And seeing as LPJ Design is essentially a one-man show with a team of freelancers this thing is not uncommon.

I gave the adventure 5 stars. I don't even PLAY Pathfinder anymore and I bought this the day it was released. I will have to convert to 5e myself but that's no problem for me.

Also, the fact that so many 3PP signed on to write side treks for this campaign is like nothing I have ever seen. Crisis of the World Eater is Epic in that way. I cannot wait for the other allied 3PP to release their stuff so I can run a high-octane campaign of super-epic proportions.

Get this adventure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crisis of the World Eater: The Collected Epic (PFRPG)
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Image Portfolio 1.27 Romans & Robots
by Troy T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2017 09:44:57

Outstanding illustrations for small publishers who need to artwork for their product. The combination of Romans and Robots is an odd mix, but there was sufficient number of Romans for my needs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio 1.27 Romans & Robots
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Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 14: Storn Cook
by Troy T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2017 12:12:49

This is an excellent example of the quality artwork availble from this line. The illustrations from Storn Cook are of the highest quality. Thank you for providing it as a stock art resource.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 14: Storn Cook
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Rocketships of Pulp Destruction
by Matteo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2017 10:21:16

In its current state, this product is not well made, for a simple reason, it wasn't checked enough and so it wasn't corrected. For instance, the table detailing the venusian starship weapons is wrong, a literal copy paste of the chronian starship weapons table, this mistake leaves one of the three races without any weapons for their vessels. This error should be easy to correct, the second chronian table should be substituted with the correct venusian weapon table. The product is otherwise interesting, it expands the rules for the starships from d20 modern, using them in a different setting, inspired by the old pulp novels, i really like it and i think it could be valued at least 4 stars out of five, but only if the reported error will be corrected.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Rocketships of Pulp Destruction
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Monsters of NeoExodus: Dragons of the Mind (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/02/2017 05:10:01

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This dragon-bestiary clocks in at 35 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving su with 33 pages of content - quite a bunch, so let's take a look!

Okay, we begin this pdf with a recap on dragon age categories, general rules and all the different tools you require to make the respective dragons shine - though this section already sports some cool expansions with new dragon abilities that include power resistance as well as a percentile chance to negate targeted spells, powers or rays. Beyond that, powers and psychic magic can be found - yep, this means we'll both get psychic magic support as well as psionics support! The pdf also sports 3 dragon feats - Deflect Ray and its bigger brother Absorb Ray are pretty self-explanatory, while Slashing Pass is basically Flyby Attack on speed for aquatic combat, restricted to fin attacks. All of these supplemental rules are more than solid.

We begin first with new psionic dragons, the first of which would be the bloodstone dragon - it should be noted that each dragon introduced herein comes with an amazing full-color mugshot. Bloodstone dragons can narrow their breath weapon to a line of acidic, blinding sands and they also have a truly phenomenal defensive ability - they may touch objects to take on their defensive characteristics - yes, this includes potential weaknesses (like crystal shattering via sonic damage), but still, this does add some SERIOUS staying power to any halfway competent dragon...oh, and later, they can emulate liquids and gasses, making them fearsome infiltrators! Have I mentioned that their breath extends to the ethereal plane? CR 8, 12 and 17 versions of the dragon are provided for your convenience, just fyi - this extends to all the dragons herein, meaning you'll have ample statblocks at your beck and call.

Second in line would be the amazingly mineral-style, almost scifi-looking quartz dragon, whose breath not only extends to the astral plane, it may also partially negate an aegis' defensive abilities, providing potentially a rude awakening for those overly cocky. Their electric breath can shut down whole groups, staggering those affected, making these guys truly debilitating and fearsome foes - as they damn well should be! Oh, and they gain insight versus those struck and hitting them causes discharges...amazing.

The aquamarine dragon's icy breath can entangle foes or encase those below the waters completely in ice (and yes, this means rising to the surface - nice to see that dragon's breath is not wholly exempt from physics). Oh, and they may, as an immediate action, reroll any d20 a number of times per day determined by age category Fun fact - they also can manifest mind blades. Opal dragons have fire breath that bypasses immunity partially (OUCH!!) and their blazing light is so strong, they may permanently dazzle those affected...and it passes through walls of force. Have I mentioned the dazing aura of light or the prismatic spray? Their ability to exude a wave of debilitating body alterations that WRECKS physical attributes? Oh yeah, this guy seriously made me chuckle my most sadistic, gleeful GM-chuckle.

So, that would be the cadre of psionic dragons - all killer, no filler amazing so far, so how do the psychic dragons fare? Well, we begin with the BRIMSTONE dragon. (at this point, can you guess their theme/leitmotif? It'll become evident by dragon #3, at the very latest...) These guys can sense thoughts and their breath softens the area's ground affected, regardless of composition, as well as decreasing greatly the hardness of unattended objects. Their breath makes return from the dead an unlikely proposition. Oh, but coolest: Their breath features lingering gasses and chemicals that ignite when in contact with fire, allowing for combos. Yeah, this guy feels definitely distinct from the psionic dragons.

Quicksilver dragons can breathe either bludgeoning damage causing, poisonous metal that may smash you prone, these guys also have a psychic magic hampering emotion aura and may alternative breathe psychoactive gas...and even needles of phrenic metal that allow the dragon to exert absolute control over those unlucky wretches affected. Two thumbs up!

The subdued alchemy-theme continues among the psychic dragons with the aqua regia dragon, whose breath may generate a vortex of acid, combining the water elemental's trick with damage - as aquatic dragons, they lack wings, but more than make up for it with their powerful tails and mouths. Oh, and underwater, their breath weapon may deal less damage, but DOUBLES its AoE. They also sport an aura of mental static, deal all types of physical damage with their natural attacks and have a retributive damage...and their charges are devastating. Obviously, they can also obliterate and capsize vessels...and their breath actually can crush foes. AMAZING.

Last, but certainly not least among the psychic dragons would be the vitriol dragon, who may emit a pulse of homicidal rage inducing rage. Their alkaline breath is particularly effective versus certain creatures and they may change it into permanently blinding blasts of alkaline dust. Oh, and their very blood is poisonous. OH YES.

Speaking of "OH YES" - remember how the first "Dragons of NeoExodus"-book had those AMAZING dragon lords? Well, this one does also feature two of these campaign-end-game-level of threats, both of which come in regular and mythic iterations and feature full-body artwork, with the first being Prism, the corundum dragon at CR 25...or CR 30/MR 10 in her mythic iteration. Prism has superb control over her composite breath weapon's precise elemental and physical composition and the breath also adds a nasty debuff to those affected. She is shielded by an area of telekinetically-charged debris, her scales are fortified and she has a shield that converts regular damage to nonlethal damage...said damage may then be employed for devastating buffs or retributive prismatic ray. I love the words "retributive" and "prismatic ray" adjacent to one another.

The second dragon lord featured herein would be coterie, the dread cabal - a powerful entity of 3 spirits inhabiting the body of a single dragon, whose very breath may bull rush foe...but the by far coolest aspect of this dragon lies in its unique nature: The composite sprits mean that the entity undergoes physical changes, depending on the dominant spirit as well as that it is fortified versus mayn nasty tricks - the aspects, Phrenzy, Fatalis and Rigor also significantly modify not only the look of the dragon, they can make for a truly hardcore battle: A well-played dragon adversary will test the mettle of all but the best of adventurers; one whose powers can change mid--fight, however, becomes even harder to manage. Oh, and the entity eats spells and heals if magic fails to penetrate the SR of the dragon lord. The creature is ridiculously impressive in its regular iteration, more so in its mythic variety, and represents one of the best bosses I've seen in quite a while....particularly since the new tricks gained are...well, devastating.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no grievous hiccups in either the formal or rules-language departments. Layout adheres to LPJ Design's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Additionally, there's a smaller version of the file included, for easier use with tablets etc. - only approximately 3 MBs! Kudos!

Jeff Lee's first collection of dragons for NeoExodus was already amazing and felt like lightning caught in a bottle. This, then, would be proof that the installment's quality was no coincidence: The dragons featured within this book are universally killer - as they should be. Each has not only one, but several truly devastating tricks up their draconic sleeves; all have a damage output that should send GMs into BBEG-Muahaha-level plotting immediately. For my part, I certainly am contemplating when and how to integrate these beauties in my campaign. The fact that both psionic and psychic dragons have very distinct identities and themes that set them apart just adds this level of consistency and awesomeness to the table and shows a distinct understanding of what makes both systems tick, what makes them great. This is a superb addition to any game and a worthy candidate of 5 stars + seal of approval. Now get these dragons and start scheming -your players have been complacent for too long and these dragons should end any cockiness or demystification dragons may have undergone in your game.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of NeoExodus: Dragons of the Mind (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/09/2016 09:08:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The revised and expanded version of the NeoExodus campaign setting clocks in at a massive 272 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC/KS-thanks and dedication, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 266 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Before we begin this review, let me mention that this book is more than just an expansion of the material we knew from the previous iteration; while, obviously, there are similarities between the previous iteration of the setting and this one, it is pretty apparent from the get-go that the very scope of this book exceeds what we got to know about NeoExodus; for one, the organization of the book makes more sense, at least to me. We begin with the troubled history of this planet and the leitmotifs of NeoExodus, which already set it apart.

You see, NeoExodus' history is one, ultimately, of emancipation, one where the struggle of actually establishing sovereignty for the races of the land was a hard-won process based in significant ways on the exertion of magical or psionic might. The assumption of the setting is that once, the mysterious and evil First Ones (over whom few know anything - and you shouldn't ever believe what anyone's saying), cloaked in mystery and malevolence, lorded as supreme lords over the races. Scientists and arcane theorists, slaving at the behest of these beings, managed to create perhaps one of the coolest concepts I have seen in a fantasy content: They basically made a humanity god-collective; a repository of the most brilliant minds of the age, which was destined to become the facilitator of the defeat of the First Ones and doubles as a kind of extranet, including avatars of its vast knowledge. Instead of lording over the world as a godking, the Kaga retreated - and an age of barbarism and sorceror kings began and battle they did with the psionic ratpeople named cavians. This war of mind and magic broke the backbones of the sorceror kings and Cavian alike, and in the aftermath of the titanic struggle, the seeds of vast nations were sown, as each region spawned different cultures that would develop further. The arrival of the Armans. the free folk, only exacerbated tensions after the khagan had returned and established the Dominion, to forge order out of chaos and similarly, from chaos and intrigue, the mighty Caneus Empire was born. Meanwhile the Sanguine Covenant, the dominant religion of the land, a uniquely cool blend of basically blood magic and Catholicism was on the rise and after the establishment of the Arman Protectorate, it was the Reis Confederacy as the final "super-power" of NeoExodus that forged disparate city states into a powerful nation.

The following years were ones wherein the very world sat on the precipice of disaster more than once, as the massive nations clashed again and again; it would only be a matter of time, before mutually assured destruction would be the only outcome of further feuds and ultimately, the organization of the janissaries and cooler heads ultimately prevailed, resulting in the calendar-changing event dubbed the Unification, creating the Imperial Alliance, basically a kind of United Nations, wherein everyone is eyeing the other nations with suspicion. Beyond a history of almost hot-flaring cold wars and posturing. Tragedies happened and the world continues to teeter back and forth towards full-blown war, as a current change in regents greatly destabilized major players; assassins are on the loose; the senate tried to impose martial law on the empires...and they declined to comply. Elite janissaries have been deployed. The scenario is unquestionably and nastily close to the events that led to WW I, through a lens both fantastic and creative. It's only 91 years AU (After Unification)...and the world needs heroes.

After the extensive history that generates sufficient awareness of the status-quo and what led to it, the book conveniently depicts the unique selling propositions of the setting, and if the above didn't provide ample clue, its general setup is radically different from pretty much every d20-based campaign setting I have ever seen. While NeoExodus is a high fantasy setting, it is not one in line with the traditional medieval status-quo; instead, the very state of the world hearkens closer to the complexities of modern life, the political zeitgeist reflecting more the highly volatile situation of the 20th century. As such, the politics of empires and the options of PCs to influence these introduce a different type of tone, one that also emphasizes espionage and deal-brokering. That being said, NeoExodus is at the same time a world that consequently applies the options that magic would bring to nations; so no, magic is not just a technology stand-in. In spite of it actually fulfilling similar functions, magic manages to retain its unique flavor. The existence of the Nexus Gateways, basically stargates as a means on inter- and extra-planetary travel also means that NeoExodus can, in fact accommodate a ton of home-brew races or uncommon races and influences without much tweaking; no other setting, perhaps apart from Purple Duck Games' Porphyra allows for such an easy and internally consistent way to introduce new races and creatures.

In short, NeoExodus, ultimately, is closer to a "new" type fantasy that gets rid of the traditional Tolkienesque tropes; the unique racial set-up of the world similarly emphasizes this, with none of the player races just reskinning tropes, providing for unique playing experiences beyond what you'd see in pretty much every comparable fantasy setting. The emphasis on consipracies, politics and intrigue is also reflected in the significant amount of information we receive pertaining the cabals of the world: From the brotherhood of the god of murder Khayne to the First Ones, the AMAZING Folding Circle (still one of my favorite NPC-books ever), the phoenix guard, the order of kaga, the sanguine covenant and beyond, there are a lot of movers and shakers to align with, to support or thwart. The return of the cavians with their psionic collective (and thus pretty alien thought-processes - think of Borg minus assimilation) also prompted the exceedingly cool Black Ops magic/psionics-suppressing task force of Section Omega...and have I mentioned the locari, basically Giger-aliens bred by the First Ones, currently thankfully quarantined to an island? Yeah, the massive section alone lets you add a ton of options beyond the respective empires.

And here, the book, beyond the cosmetic renditions of NeoExodus' movers and shakers and visual representations of the cabal's signs, expands significantly, introducing a selection of new government types and settlement qualities for settlements - racial enclaves, asylums...there are some nice expansions here. After this section, we begin taking a closer look at the respective regions, which are set apart by an easy way to establish a character hailing from the region, with character option- advice being provided for the respective regions. The areas actually also influences the proficiencies and languages of the character in question, which is a pretty cool and easy way of establishing a sense of cohesion.

These regions also sport unique threats and hazards - like exatar's shawl, mirage-like clouds of negative energy. Granite storms may ravage the land and in the right (or wrong) circumstances, the echoes of the long-vanquished sorceror kings may be found, feasting on the magical energies of those present. Important movers and shakers generally receive nice, flavorful write-ups and often, cool artworks. While some may be known to fans of NeoExodus, this still remains an art-heavy book, one that sports A LOT of new material. It should also be noted that the book sports several neat pieces of player-friendly, key-less full-color cartography for major cities within the respective regions - with obvious, cultural differences in how they are build and, more often than not, amazing full-color renditions of the cities in question - often highlighting a truly evocative flavor of the region, with obvious aesthetics of utopian science-fiction and post-apocalyptic settings being employed in creative and new manners, adapted and changed. As a whole, the setting ultimately feels fresh in tone and execution.

This uniqueness does extend to the racial options provided herein; if you've read my original review of NeoExodus' first iteration, you'll know that I really like several of the races the setting introduced; at the same time, I originally did complain about some races being more geared towards specific classes. This has been taken care of in a rather interesting manner - you see, each race features several alternate racial traits that often allow for less-specified builds to retain their viability. Power-level wise, the races presented here generally actually manage to hit a concise level, in spite of their unusual natures: There is no race that absolutely exceeds the power-level I'd be comfortable with and the races all fall in the same category, which is approximately on par with aasimar/tiefling - so powerful, but not to the point where they would hamper the mathematical assumptions of modules for the respective levels. This setting also introduces the Android race to NeoExodus, with a slew of new alternate racial options, so yeah, veterans get something novel here. The thought-sensing cavians with their hive mind and option to implant clairvoyance/audience in the targets of their bite via a cool alternate racial option still remain the only ratfolk-iteration I know that I consider on par in terms of coolness with Warhammer's Skaven...so yeah. I like these guys.

The crystalline Cyneans, powerfully build and balanced by susceptibility to force and sonic damage and higher costs for their armor and non-magic equipment do have some unique tricks as well: What about gaining Cha-mod as a deflection bonus to AC after casting a spell, for example? Yeah, powerful...no, can't be cheesed; you get nothing for casting orisons or cantrips...and since it's spell level cast, that also influences the strategy here. The options provided here are strong, yes, but the stronger ones do come with a price. The bestial Enuka are the one race that is lopsided, i.e., that has its racial bonuses solely on the physical side, but considering the flavor of the race, I can kinda live with that...also since their numerous mutations, of which you may choose 2 at character creation, would make for pretty nasty power-gaming options for casters, making that, at least as far as I can see, a conscious balancing decision. The humanoid plants called Dalreans, with their photosynthesis manage to avoid the pitfalls of plant-races and come with some really cool options: Beyond bioluminescence, those struck by lightning may get fire or electricity resistance or heal faster in sunlight (natural healing, mind you - thank the deities!), but as a balancing restrictions, they actually are more susceptible to environmental hazards. The half-giants presented here make for an interesting twist that emphasizes a clan-structure as well as druidism, changing what one would usually expect of them in a nice manner. The Kalisan, civilized versions of the calibans would be the orc-stand-in and are the second race that is lopsided towards the physical aspect of the attribute-array, though, considering the stigma attached to their blood, that ultimately makes the race non-problematic as well. The scholars and arcane polyglots called prymidians have had the benefits of their tentacles changed in an interesting manner - they now can begin play with Lunge, which renders the idea of a smart fighter more viable for a race otherwise more geared toward scholarly pursuits. The feline P'tan with their hatred for the First Ones and shadow-themed abilities are cool - but not even close to the insectoid Sasori: Information brokers, stigmatized by other races...and smart. These guys can analyze opponents and receive poisonous blood...and via alternate racial traits, they may call forth swarms of increasing power or emit a debuff/obscuring gas. They are one of my favorite races for Pathfinder - unique, flavorful and interesting from both a flavor- and a mechanical position.

Also interesting would be the ability sexual dimorphism for tieflings - females and males may choose different racial and alternate racial traits...and you can emphasize your dark heritage further to gain more of the alternate racial traits...which adds a more complex morality to the race. Why? Well, you may detect as a frickin' antipala...but you may also be so gorgeous you can Intimidate an attack to stop and get better healing capabilities...so playing a saint that detects as a malicious knave is indeed encouraged by the abilities provided. From a rules-precision point of view, I was positively surprised to see proper classifications for natural weapons herein, as well as an array of intriguing abilities that transcend in creativity what you usually see for races. The most grievous glitches you'll find here would be "electrical damage" instead of "electricity damage" and similar, mainly cosmetic hiccups. It should also be noted that, in spite of the power of these non-human races, the setting's dominance of humankind still makes it a rather enticing proposition to play humans of the various ethnicities - not only because of the kaga's focus on the race. It should also be noted that we do receive full age, height and weight tables for all races herein.

Beyond notes on the religions of NeoExodus (including domains and favored weapons, but sans obediences etc.), we do receive some nice class options: 8th level alchemists may pressurize splash weapons to increase their splash range; gunslingers not from the protectorate are marked for assassination...oh, and there is a healing alchemist, a dragon-themed barbarian, the arcane cleric of the kaga, Peacekeeper fighter (who replaces armor training and mastery with diligences like religious trances), at-will shield of faith and similar tricks. The Janissary monk would be a psionic monk who may actually stop fighting parties and make for a cool arbiter. The neat machinesmith base class has been integrated into the book (sans the expansions) and we receive a total of 6 PrCs:

-High Guard: Personal guard of the Emperor of Caneus, 5 levels, d10 HD, 4+ Int skills, good BAB, good Fort and Will-save; these are basically an elite bodyguard class. -Imperial Man-at-arms: 5 levels, d10 HD, 4+ Int skills, good BAB, good Fort-save: Non-magical tougher-than-nails elite soldiers with armored Stealth capabilities. -Khalid Asad: Eternal Lions, anti-spellcaster elite assassins of the Dominion. 5 levels, d8 HD, 4+ Int skills, moderate BAB, good Ref and Will-saves; 2 sneak attack progressions. -Panther Warriors: Feline-affine wild-shaping elite of the Reis Confederacy. 5 levels, d10 HD, 2+Int skills per level, full BAB, good Fort and Will-saves. Pouncing death at the cost of spell progression. -Protectorate Artillerist: 5 levels, d8 HD, 6+Int skills per level, medium BAB, good Fort-and Will-saves. Very cool PrC that is extremely deadly against constructs and can call down artillery fire when near a battery. Awesome idea - whip out the big guns without being over-powered. -Wyrdcaster: Spellcasting elite of the Dominion, d6 HD, 2+ Int skills per level, non-standard-saves (with a minor hiccup - 10th level's Ref-save should be +3, not +2), 10 levels, full arcane spell progression, bad BAB. Learns kind of super-meta-magic via talents that is called wyrd and comes at a price.

The book also has, obviously, feats. A TON of them. The table for them alone spans more than 2.5 pages. It is here, that the races of the setting can gain a significant array of customization options; P'tan adding their shadowspark to their unarmed attacks, eat the brains of your vanquished foes to gain temporarily some of their skills, disrupting the use of spell-trigger items, storing spells within a cynean's body...or what about the option to wield spears as double weapons? Yeah, there are some flavorful, nice choices here - and disrupting spell-trigger items, for example is something I had feat-codified in my own game...so yeah, I like being able to do that.

After a massive assortment of spell-lists by level, we do get a bunch of...bingo, spells. This chapter begins with a bang, namely a spell that can, based on concentration, halve an existing non-instantaneous, non-permanent, non-concentration's spell's duration. A sphere that hampers communication, hampering both spellcasting and even item activation based on command words and the like. High-level annigilation of foes, locking shapechangers in their current shape...and there would be the super nasty bloodletting, which lets you execute an untyped damage-dealing attack that also causes nasty bleed...and said bleed accompanied by an effect that basically curses the target to have SR versus healing spells for the duration, making it tough to stop the damage...and cauterization a very real option. Specialist spells available only to specific clerics (or those that dabbled in the forbidden secrets of the First Ones), total sensory deprivation - there are some seriously cool ideas here. The editing of the spells, originally an issue in the previous iteration of the setting, has been improved. As a whole, the options here tend to be on the upper level of the power-scale, but considering the flavor-restrictions imposed n many, I'd generally consider the chapter to be a significant step forwards.

The book also contains a significant array of alchemical items, from smelling salts to stabilization-enhancing wines and instant ropes. Magic item properties alongside specific magic items can be found here as well...oh, and remember the Treasures of NeoExodus-series? Guess what: The items with their extensive back stories can also be found here: Grasscutter, Ichor Sting, Mordant Wrath, Peace & Tranquility, Raindrop and Rampager's Irons are included - for a reason, mind you: These are the gems of the series, the items that reflect the best and most creative it has to offer so far. So yeah, some really detailed gems here. The book also contains easy to use, fully described tomes, with detailed notes on languages employed, benefits gained, current status of the book, etc.

Now NeoExodus obviously also features some unique threats, and thus, the book goes on to depict just that: Arcanebloat template (CR +1) can detonate upon death and receive a chaotic, reactive retribution for being harmed. Alchemists can btw. learn to make these... At CR 4, arcaneslimes get a retributive splashback, emit noxious fumes and feature 2 variants. Aspic creatures ( At CR +1) are basically poisonous. Calibans and their nasty hounds (CR 1/3 and 2), 6-legged feline crystalline cynean-hunters, CR 8 draco-humanoids...some nice critters here. The holocaust and wrath conflict dragons from the excellent Dragons of NeoExodus-pdf are featured here as well. At CR 1, mebers are mischievous fey with a penchant for pyromania and protectorate golems...well, are badass. A total of 4 of them can be found. The Giger-Alien-like Locari and the CR 14 melted flesh ooze (!!!) are neat; the thermal vampires Necryos (CR 4), the needle-firing avians (CR 9) and the sonic-vulnerable CR 3 Razorfiends similarly are nice. The dreaded extraterrestial slave-making oozes called quickslavers get their representation, as do the scythians. A nice section of appropriate monster cohorts, inlcuding stats, complements the section.

After this, we take a look at the "influentials"-chapter - it is here we get the lowest level (and least impressive) iterations of the amazing Folding Circle as well as of the glorious threat that is Cyrix before gaining several helpful statblocks, NPC codex-style, for various beings. Now, I mentioned psionics before, and indeed, the powers of the mind have been an integral part of NEoExodus lore for some time; as such, I very much applaud the inclusion of the previously pretty obscure Psionic Cavian racial variant in the book...oh, and the chapter also features alternate racial traits that tie in with the psionic rules. Favored class options for cavians are included here as well. The Hive Mind Martyr archetype for the vitalist is pretty intriguing: Anyone within his established collective may instead be the recipient of any benevolent effect; granted, I am not a fan of using opposed Will-saves to settle the differences, if any here, but e.g. the option for members of the collective to heal the martyr by touching him, transforming effectively damage into nonlethal damage (you heal and then take nonlethal damage) is VERY interesting...and abuse-proof due to daily cap; indeed Health Sense, as a whole, is improved as well, with the collective gaining interesting options here. Here is the really cool component of the chapter, though: Know how people are suspicious and prejudiced towards powers? Well, in my campaigns, more often than not, people's reactions to magic tends to be pretty much getting the pitchforks ready...and psionics don't fare better. In NeoExodus, there are some nations that REALLY fear these gifts; as such, there are several feats to make the non-subtle tricks of psionics...well, more subtle. Glamered astral suits, nondescript astral constructs, redirecting displays...I love these options. Oh, and there is this one cool swift telepathy-power that allows you to erase one round's actions. Advice on handling psionics in your campaign and different ways to emphasize them can be found before a couple of powers that are linked to the racial flavor - like Dalrean Photosynthesis. 3 psychoactive skins and a the mindlink interrupter represent the items featured in the book.

The chapter's focus on Stealth and subtlety hearkens from the new cabal features herein, the Unseen Hand of the Seventh Order, who can best be envisioned as the anti-Section Omega. They also get a 5-level PrC with +3 Ref-and Will-save progression, moderate BAB, 6 + Int skills, d8 HD and full manifester progression. Basically, these would be the covert-ops psionics guys that try to shield the psionic beings from persecution. With means that emphasize getting away and smart playing, they make for a thematically concise little PrC well in line with the themes of NeoExodus. The psionic amalgam swarm (CR 7) may absorb other swarms, growing in size and potency (OUCH!) and we also receive a CR 12 imprint of the kaga. The phrenic scourge, in its CR 8 iteration, can also be found here.

This is not everything, however - the final chapter of the book is devoted to mythic power on NeoExodus - in the setting, there is a strong disparity between mythic monsters and characters, with only a precious few being chosen by the powers-that-be...or rather, branded, for in NeoExodus, deities brand those chosen. The deity most commonly associated with this practice would be the mysterious Lawgiver, whose Lazarus Brand provides the source of the mythic power of the character in question...but at the same time, this does mean that it can be suppressed...a noteworthy and required drawback, considering the significant powers the brand bestows. The pdf also features a significant assortment of mythic iterations of feats featured herein and we conclude the book with fluff-only notes on some known ascended as well as an array of mythic versions of spells featured within this book.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are pretty good as far as I'm concerned - there are instances of a word missing here and there; you can find minor glitches like "electrical" instead of electricity and untyped damage that should be typed. That being said, these glitches do not, as a whole, botch the rules-language and don't wreck the generally evocative prose herein. Layout adheres to a drop-dead gorgeous two-column standard. The book's artworks are absolutely glorious; fans of NeoExodus may know some from previous books, but there are actually more new ones herein, some of which rank among the best the setting has featured. The pdf-version sports copious, nested bookmarks, making navigation simple. The cartography for the cities herein is excellent, though I wished we got 1-page-hand-out versions. I cannot comment on the physical version of the book, since I do not own it.

This is the work of a lot of people: Neal Bailey, Thomas Baumbach, Clinton Boomer, J.P. Chapleau, Joshua Cole, Richard Farrese, Lee Hammock, Marc D. Irvin, Jeff Lee, Owen K.C. Stephens, Christopher Alaniz, Andrew Balenko, Thomas Bell, Santiago Delgado, Richard Goulart, Marc Irvin, Kevin A. Shaw, Kary Williams and Louis Porter Jr. It is thus pretty surprising in how holistic the whole campaign setting feels; this is a very sensible, unique world steeped in high fantasy; a world that feels distinct.

Now the question for fans of NeoExodus, at least partially, will be whether to get this, in light of some overlap with previous publications. The reply to this inquiry would be a resounding "Yes" - the revised iteration of NeoExodus is superior in every way to the previous iteration, and it features a significant amount of new content, much of which is exceedingly evocative and fun. I was pretty positively surprised to note the fact that this is not just a compilation of previously released material; instead, we receive an impressive assortment of new information. More importantly, this version of NeoExodus feels more like a big, concise campaign setting - we simply have more information, more space to make the setting come alive.

There is another aspect I feel I should mention. I've been using NeoExodus files for several years now and they have a pervasive habit of creeping into my games; I often talk about idea-scavenging, but ultimately, more so than in many comparable settings, NeoExodus' concepts, organizations and critters have made their way into my game. Quite probably, this is at least partially due to the massive assortment of novel ideas and their execution. This book portrays a fantasy world that stretches the meaning of fantasy; a setting that is a breath of fresh air for everyone, regardless of system, who is tired of Tolkienesque fantasy. While the execution of rules-operations herein is significantly better than in the previous version of the setting, it is ultimately the ideas that represent the capital, the unique selling propositions of the setting.

After having read a ton of fantasy settings, I can attest to this being pretty much the antithesis of generic fantasy and, by virtue of its ideas, a book of great value, even if you do not intend to use the setting at all. In fact, the book contains several races I'd consider to rank among my favorites available. So yeah, this is well worth getting for the fair asking price, even if you already have all the other NeoExodus material. The campaign setting's increased page-count and expanded material help form this into a concise whole and I found myself pleasantly surprised to read the new psionic material, which provides a perfect counterbalance to Section Omega. How to rate this, then? While not perfect (no book of this size is), the campaign setting as presented here is an awesome book well worth having for the ideas alone. The original NeoExodus setting, in spite of its flaws, made my Top Ten at that year, in spite of its flaws and by virtue of its concepts...and this, while not perfect, is better in pretty much every way. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars + seal of approval -and I will round up for the purposes of the diverse platforms. With a caveat: If you go into this expecting mechanical perfection, you'll probably consider this more of a 4 or 4.5-star-book; as a reviewer, though, I rate this as a campaign setting and in this regard, it absolutely excels. There is one more aspect to note: Since the original iteration already made my Top Ten list, this one can't make the list again.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
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Undefeatable 24: Magus (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/22/2016 08:00:46

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Undefeatable-installment clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of feats, so let's take a look!

-Advanced Fighter: Use total magus level to qualify for fighter feats. High prereq, solid! I like it!

-Death-Taker: Treat cure spells as on your spell list for the purpose of items, etc.; also +2d6 damage when using these spells to damage undead for 1 arcane pool point. Cool!

-Destructive Spellstrike: Treat your weapon as admantine when delivering a spell versus something with hardness.

-Destructive Spellstrike, Improved: When using the former feat, you may expend an arcane pool point for +2d6 damage. Solid.

-Enhanced Alchemy: As a swift action, enhance alchemical items, adding +1d6 per two caster levels of the same type as the object usually causes. Splash damage is increased by +1 per die. Very, very cool - I may steal that as a houserule for rare magic/no magic campaigns!

-Enhanced Necromancy: When delivering cure or inflict spells from wands, staffs or spellstrikes, use you CL instead of the item's CL.

-Flight Arcana: Spend 1 arcane pool point as a move action to gain the effects of fly for 1 minute. The spell's not properly italicized; you may expend more to prolong the effect.

-Kinetic Caster: Choose an element for which you have the Elemental Focus feat. You may accept 1 point of burn as a standard action to increase damage dealt with spells that inflict the energy by 1/2 caster level for 1 minute. Solid!

-Kinetic Caster, Improved: Gain a simple kinetic blast wild talent, with the associated element needing to correspond to that of Kinetic Caster. The blast counts as a spell for the purpose of Kinetic Caster.

-Kinetic Spellstrike: Use simple kinetic blast wild talents gained via the Improved Kinetic Caster feat in conjunction with spellstrike. Complex rules-operation, deftly executed.

-Life-taker: the mirror-image of Death-taker, applies to inflict spells instead.

-Phrenic Caster: Gain one phrenic amplification. You may use it to affect your spells as though they were psychic spells, using arcane pool instead of phrenic pool.

-Psychic Training: Gain detect thoughts as a 1/day SP. You may also expend an unused spellslot of 1st level to cast this SP, calculating the DC as though it's a 1st level spell.

-Spellstrike Training: Gain the fighter's 5th level weapon training. The DC of spells delivered via your weapon increases by 1.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are pretty good, I only noticed very minor hiccups, which are aesthetic only and don't influence rules-language. layout adheres to a no-frills two-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none.

Tyler Beck's feats herein are actually surprisingly cool - the options they provide are power-level-wise appropriate for feats; even the kinetic poaching works out as intended and the pdf actually features some nice, novel tricks. The distinct lack of sucky filler feats is another definite plus here. While not absolutely perfect, it is a nice, humble feat collection that is worth getting for the low price-point. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars - a good, fun little book.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Undefeatable 24: Magus (PFRPG)
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