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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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Undefeatable 23: Ninja (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/17/2016 06:11:50

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This little pdf clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, full of feats...so let's take a look!

-All-Around Melee: Share Improved Uncanny Dodge with adjacent allies. Ouch!

-Bloody Advantage: Flat foots opponents suffering from bleed for all subsequent attacks you execute this round. A bit opaque; could be read as needing to cause this bleed and since it seems to indicate that you have to hit foes before they're FF versus follow-up attacks; the trigger could be clearer.

-Clear-Headed Advantage: Same as Bloody Advantage, but for dazed, staggered and confused foes. Same wording complaint.

-Critical Shuriken: Increase shuriken threat range to 18-20/x2. Because we needed more damage output for shuriken builds. /sarcasm off

-Critical Sneak Attack: Add +2 damage per sneak die when criting with a sneak attack. Solid.

-Ethereal Weakness: Incorporeal creatures are no longer immune to sneak attack. Gets magic/non-magic right. Nice one!

-Explosive Smoke: Add +1d6 fire damage on initial impact of smoke bomb, +1d6 for every 4 (not 4th!) levels after that. Ref-save for half damage in splash radius.

-Forceful Shuriken: +2 damage with shurikens. Because we needed more damage output for shuriken builds. /sarcasm off

-Free-Moving Advantage: Same as Bloody Advantage, but for entangled or grappled foes. Same wording complaint.

-From the Darkness: +1atk and damage when striking from areas of darkness. Filler.

-Gooey Weakness: Elementals, oozes and proteans may be affected by sneak attack. Nice.

-Height Advantage: Same as Bloody Advantage, but for prone foes. Same wording complaint.

-Inject Poison: Increased poison DC when used in conjunction with sneak attack.

-Invigorating Advantage: Same as Bloody Advantage, but for fatigued and exhausted foes. Same wording complaint.

-Magical Trickery: Gain ghost sound, mage hand, prestidigitation and spark as an SP "ability total of nine times per day." Wording is nonstandard, but you get what it means.

-Magical Trickery, Improved: Gain charm person, disguise self, illusion of calm, sleep and vanish as an SP "ability total of six times per day." Wording is slightly nonstandard, but you get what it means. Also: Very powerful and has an excess "and" in the spell enumeration.

-Magical Trickery, Greater: Gain ghost accelerate poison, darkness, darkvision, detect thoughts, invisibility, knock and minor image as an SP "ability total of three times per day." Wording is nonstandard, but you get what it means. Again, very powerful.

-Magical Trickery, Superior: Gain ghost blacklight, deep slumber, gaseous form, penumbral disguise, major image and seek thoughts as an SP "ability total of three times per day." Wording is nonstandard, but you get what it means. Again, very powerful.

-Mirror Strike: +10 to ninja or rogue level to determine whether you can flank foes with improved uncanny dodge. Neat one!

-Poisoned Advantage: Same as Bloody Advantage, but for foes suffering from a poison. Same wording complaint.

-Sickening Advantage: Same as Bloody Advantage, but for sickened and nauseated foes. Same wording complaint.

-Slowed Advantage: Same as Bloody Advantage, but for foes suffering from any penalty to Dex, Dex damage or drain. Same wording complaint.

-Smoke Pouch: Throw 2 smoke bombs sans needing ki, +1 free at 6th level and every 3 levels thereafter.

-Sneaky Combat Maneuver: get +2 to executing a combat maneuver, +1 for each sneak attack die you possess in excess of 2d6.

-Starhand: Use shuriken as a melee weapon.

-Stylish Ki: URGH. Makes ki behave as grit. Not even remotely balanced.

-Telekinetic Trickery: Disable Device + Sleight of Hand at 30 ft.-range. Yep. That's the arcane trickster's signature ability as a feat. -.-

-Trick Variety: First time you use a ninja trick each day, it costs 1 ki less. See, this is VERY powerful...but it emphasizes variety and thus can be considered to be neat.

-Unexpected Advantage: Target is flat-footed against each AoO you make after the first.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level, good on a rules-level. Layout adheres to a no-fills two-column standard and is relatively printer-friendly. The pdf has no artwork or bookmarks, but doesn't necessarily need them at this length.

Jeff Gomez' ninja feats are...well, less amazing than I would have wished for. The Advantage feats universally suffer from a wording that could easily be a tad more precise, but at least you get what they're supposed to mean. I do not think shuriken builds need even more damage, so those feats will get nowhere near my game. Similarly, the balance of quite a few feats here is off: Making ki like grit is broken; a feat granting an exclusive ability of a PrC is not cool and the SP-array is similarly a blatant escalation of the spellcasting the class already can get. From a diversity point of view, the pdf sports a ton of the advantage feats and I don't like even one of them; the precision-damage unlocks are nice and so are the smoke bomb tricks, but as a whole, I don't really see myself returning to this pdf. Combined with the balance-concerns I have, this makes it impossible for me to recommend this pdf, in spite of its low asking price. My final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Undefeatable 23: Ninja (PFRPG)
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Infinite Dungeon: The Halls of the Eternal Moment - Cusp, City on the Edge of Eternity (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/10/2016 05:04:59

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The first installment of LPJ Design's Infinite Dungeon clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page of editorial, 1 page of SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Cusp is a small town (fully statted), situated beneath the lip of a mountainous crater that surround the eponymous Hals of the Eternal Moment. It is a little adventurer's boomtown and also a center of chronomancy; a number of wealthy patrons control significant expenditures of gold and the city does feature several unique locations: At the pillars of watching, for example, townsfolk stand and watch foolhardy adventurers entering the complex, placing bets on whether and if so, how many, ever get out. Beyond the town, the erratic time of the complex becomes more of a problem.

The city is not depicted as a vacuum, mind you - the place is rules by the survivor's council of erstwhile adventurers that have returned from the halls and as such, are a pretty eclectic bunch. The adventurous owners of the local tavern, master chronomancer Salos Capernicus or the high-class art-dealer Theodora Hill - a total of 7 of these eclectic NPCs come with gorgeous full-color mugshot artworks...and yes, they're original pieces. I have never seen them before. However, you should be aware that the NPC write-ups are flavor-only: Neither alignment nor build or powerlevel can be gleaned from the entries...though this is not something I'd complain about in this context.

Now I mentioned the dungeon: Well, anyone entering it always returns exactly one day, one week or one month after their departure. Similarly, rapid growth and healing can be found due to the slightly accelerated flow of time, though oddly the healing properties seem to be restricted to animals.

The pdf also contains a couple of ready-to-drop-in encounters: A meeting with the council, a curious time loop to interrupt and miniquests like dealing with an angry raccoon or leaf leshies on the way to the dungeon certainly whet one's taste for more.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a drop-dead, gorgeous and yet pretty printer-friendly two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports several absolutely amazing full-color artworks, but, alas, no map of the city. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Jeff Lee, Rich Redman, Michael McCarthy and Louis Porter Jr. have managed to create a tantalizing pitch here. Time instability? A massive dungeon? Heck yes, the Dr. Who fanboy in me in rejoicing. The quality and set-up this provides is certainly tantalizing. Think of the puzzle-platformer Braid, the Sand of Time saga...there is a lot of amazing stuff you can do with time loops, paradox etc. and the fact that this establishes dealing with such loops in a safe environment, "explaining" by showing, makes me hopeful for the dungeon: If it can employ these tropes, this well could become the most awesome dungeon I've seen in ages. Alas, this is also where I am a bit concerned, for this series will stand and fall for me with the mechanical representation of the time-loops and temporal instabilities - it could be either a tool for GM-fiat or simply an amazingly creative way to provide new problem solution scenarios. The potential is immense, but this being pretty much a teaser, we get no real idea of whether the dungeon can live up to its phenomenal potential. As a teaser, this does its job well, though the lack of a town map is slightly galling. Still, this makes me very excited and hopeful about the patreon that will fund the progress of this saga. For now, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to the PWYW-status of this intro-booklet. Check it out and if you like it, consider supporting it - the potential is certainly here!!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Infinite Dungeon: The Halls of the Eternal Moment - Cusp, City on the Edge of Eternity (PFRPG)
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Armada: Expanded Sea Combat and Rules Sourcebook (PFRPG)
by Philip M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2016 21:47:52

The overall layout of the book is nice but the stats and mods for the ship seem a tad overpowered for the price they cost. Streamlining the hull apparently gives your ship extra moves, putting a dagger point on your ship makes it move faster, and other oddities. I still plan on using things from this book but GM's be aware, this book can be a little unbalancing



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Armada: Expanded Sea Combat and Rules Sourcebook (PFRPG)
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Classes of NeoExodus: Protean Scribe (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/12/2016 02:27:27

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The protean scribe class clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Chassis-wise, the protean scribe receives d6 HD, 4+Int-mod skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression and good Will-saves as well as proficiency with simple weapons and light armor. A protean scribe wearing heavier armor than light or a shield suffers from arcane spell failure regarding some of the abilities they have...but more on that below.

A protean scribe begins play with a stylus, a special instrument that is hardier than its mundane version. The stylus can be used to erase something the protean scribe has written. Without a stylus, using her abilities requires making a concentration check with a DC of 10 + twice the number of eloquence used. Eloquence? We'll get there in a second.

As the name scribe implies, the protean scribe obviously is all about writing - writing is categorized in three distinct categories: Embellishments represent buffs; phrases are used offensively as debuffs or damage and stories are about creating creatures, objects etc. from thin air. Regardless of the type of writing used, protean scribes may add primordial words to their writing. Adding a primordial word adds at least +1 eloquence to the cost, potentially more depending on the word in question. A protean scribe begins play with 4 + Wisdom modifier points of eloquence and gains +1 eloquence per level. This pool refreshes upon resting. Upon death, effects of writing persist for 24 hours before dissipating.

Now let's take a look at the types of writing: Embellishments have a range of 30 feet and grant the target affected a morale bonus to atk and damage or a morale bonus on all skill checks. The morale bonus is equal to the total number of eloquence used in the embellishment and may not exceed 1/3 of the class level, minimum 1. Embellishments are supernatural and last until erased or when the protean scribe recovers eloquence and are suppressed in antimagic zones etc. or when removed further than 1 mile from the protean scribe. Starting at 7th level, protean scribes can choose to grant the bonuses granted to an additional creature within range per point of eloquence spent.

Phrases allow for the direct assault of enemies - as a standard action, protean scribes may make a ranged attack against a foe within 60 feet, dealing 1d6 of either slashing, piercing or bludgeoning damage, using Wisdom as the governing attribute to determine bonuses to atk and damage. Phrase base damage increases by +1d6 at 8th and 15th level, respectively. If a primordial word was added to a phrase, it affects the target even when the phrase fails to damage the target, with a save DC of 10 + 1/2 class level (min 1) + Wis-mod to negate unless otherwise noted. Starting at 11th level, a single phrase may target an additional creature in range, including the effects of any primordial words added, sans additional costs.

Stories can be distinguished in two categories - storied objects and storied creatures. Both have in common that they emit dim light in a 5 ft-radius and that writing a story is a full-round action that costs 2 eloquence. Upon completion, the respective creature/object manifests within 30 feet of the scribe. Storied objects may be any nonmagical object (or well-defined set of objects - you'd get a set of lockpicks, not just one) and may not exceed 5 ft. in the longest dimension. Storied objects must be composed of relatively common material and those with a certain complexity or moving parts require a Perform (Oratory) skill check against the Crafting DC of the object to be created in a manner that actually is functional. Masterwork objects can similarly be created via Perform (oratory) versus DC 15, though failure by 5 or more provides a broken object instead. Storied Creatures can either be Medium or Small and share an array of base stats, with each additional eloquence spent providing one Hit Die to the storied creature. At 3HD and every 2 HD thereafter, the creature gains a feat of your choice and similarly, skills are covered. Stories remain in effect until they are removed more than 1 mile from the protean scribe, reduced to 0 hit points, willingly erased or the protean scribe regains eloquence.

Beginning at 4th level, the protean scribe may generate magical storied objects - this requires no less than 10 minutes and make Spellcraft check against Dc 10 + the item's caster level + twice the number of spells listed in the item's construction requirements. On a failure, only a mundane version is created. On a success, the scribe spends an additional 2 eloquence, plus additional eloquence depending on the item type and price: Consumable items are more expensive than non-consumables and the break-down is pretty simple.

Beginning at 2nd level, the protean scribe receives her class level as a bonus to Linguistics checks and at 5th level, she may write 60 words per round when writing mundane texts. She may even scribe scrolls for other characters, at the pace of 5 minutes per spell level. At 6th level, the protean scribe learns a so-called spell word, which is an SU duplication of a 1st level spell she may write 1/day sans expending eloquence; any subsequent use costs eloquence equal to the spell level. At 8th level and every 2 levels thereafter, the protean scribe learns an additional spell word for a higher level spell, as noted in the class table. The governing attribute for spell parameters is either Int or Wis, whichever is higher, and CL is equal to class level.

Now I've already mentioned primordial words: The protean scribe begins play with 3 of them and gains additional primordial words as the levels progress, up to a total of 13 known at level 20. Not all primordial words have effects for all types of writing, so there is a chance that a given word only has an effect on embellishments and storied creatures, for example. Unless I have miscounted, a total of 24 such primordial words are provided. With the exception of one word, they do not have prerequisites, since their effectiveness is directly tied to the bonuses e.g. embellishments grant. From adding different types of energy damage to phrases to providing temporary hit points, making storied creatures undead, the effects are wide and diverse and contain unique boons like the ability to seemingly occupy (one or more) contiguous adjacent square for the purpose of flanking, teamwork feats, etc. Disguise self (not properly italicized, as are other spell-references in one of the few glitches herein), adding senses to creatures, growing in size, SR, miss chances - the interesting component here is most certainly the means by which the effects are concisely capped via bonuses and the like.

Starting at 13th level, the protean scribe reduced the eloquence cost of the first primordial word added to a given piece of writing by 1. Starting at 17th level, the protean scribe may 1/day ignore the eloquence cost of a single primordial word and add it to her writing - whether she knows it or not. This ability can be used an additional time per day at 19th level.

Starting at 3rd level, protean scribes may inscribe harmful words directly onto foes: As a standard action she, may use a melee touch attack to affect targets with primordial words, but unlike utilizing phrases to deliver them thus, the target takes a -4 penalty to saves against it. At 9th level, the effect of phrases is also added to this. At 15th level, she may incur a penalty of -2 to such a tattoo combat attack to basically flurry versus all creatures within reach, applying the effects to each. OUCH!

Capstone-wise, protean scribes may select from gaining one permanent embellishing tattoo, Constitution bleed causing phrases or stories that have their eloquence cost reduced by 3..oh, and if the cost is reduced to 0 or below, the creature/object becomes permanent.

The class comes with no less than 5 archetypes: The scrollblade makes stylus and scrollblade a weapon and gains Two-Weapon Fighting at the expense of reduced eloquence and the loss of the Linguistics-enhancer. The worldwriter replaces phrases with the ability to write a demiplane in a book: At first, it is only a sensory experience, but at higher levels, you can enter it and even shove unwilling creatures inside. The Censor flips embellishments on their head, making them debuffs (yes, with proper language). Runewriters replace the creation of magic items via stories with Craft Wondrous Item - no wonder, they replace stories with a limited array of runes that are used as eloquence-powered spells. Orators may prepare writing in advance, though it only takes effect upon being spoken aloud - this does not require a stylus or writing material. Instead of tattoo combat, orators get increasingly powerful taunts that duplicate the effects of phrases, at higher levels even against mindless targets.

The pdf also contains a total of 6 feats: More range for phrases, higher DCs, making stories linger when refreshing eloquence, extra eloquence, recovering a bit of eloquence when erasing a story or adding eidolon evolutions to storied creatures...all possible.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are good or very good, depending on how you look at it: On a formal level, there isn't much to complain about, even though the italicization-missing spells annoyed me. On the plus-side, the internal formatting of the class is precise and to the point and I can field no complaints there. The rules-language is similarly rather precise, particularly for the complexity of the subjet matter. Layout adheres to the beautiful two-column full-color standard used for NeoExodus-supplements and the pdf comes with a second, more printer-friendly version. the artworks featured herein are absolutely gorgeous. The pdf comes with minimalist bookmarks for general sections, but not e.g. individual words, but at this length that's still okay.

So, the protean scribe is a class that you will either love or hate - if raw damage is what you're looking for, then there may be better choices. I won't lie, this is a class that, on paper, didn't look like it would have too much staying power or too fun in play. I was pretty wrong in that regard, as the playtest showed. While it takes a bit to grasp how the system works (presentation here could be a little smoother), Michael McCarthy's class actually played rather well - in a 15-pt.-buy context, I needed no nerfing and at higher point-buys, it still worked rather well, though eloquence is a conservative resource; you will want to take that extra eloquence feat as soon as possible.

Role-wise, we have a support-class here, but one that exceeds in spontaneous modularity just about every class I know and has some serious crazy-prepared tricks written into it. The option to create glowy creatures and objects can offer a TON of fun and roleplaying potential. In a pure hack-and-slash campaign, the protean scribe may be useful, but she shines brightest in an intrigue and roleplaying-heavy campaign where there is a lot of problem-solving beyond "I bash its brains in" - in such scenarios, the flexibility of the class becomes absolutely impressive and extremely rewarding.

As a word of warning - more so than the bard, for example, the protean scribe is a jack-of-all-trades; this does mean that it requires really understanding the class, which could have been made a bit easier from a didactic point of view. (Explaining primordial word use in the primordial word section again, for example.)

Beyond that, though, there is one aspect that will determine whether you enjoy the class: Your own creativity. In an interesting way, the focus on creativity inherent in the act of writing the protean scribe uses, also extends to the player: The more creative the player, the more fun and efficient will the protean scribe be. In short: The class can reward improvisation rather well and does so beyond the confines we usually see in class design. I know a bunch of classes with modular systems; Bradley Crouch delivers them rather often and in crisp precision and detail. However, this class may not reach that level of precision, but it does make up for it in creativity. Younger players that are frustrated by the confinements of most classes in particular, provided they grasp the rules/have them explained, have enunciated that they were more than pleased with the protean scribe class.

In short: This class, even after the literally hundreds of classes for Pathfinder I've reviewed, feels fresh in its playing experience and remains reigned in, in spite of its wide-open focus. Ultimately, beyond didactics, there is but one gripe I do have: We can really use more primordial words for this fellow. Well, that and the TWF-archetype is a horrible trap - melee focus (instead of last-ditch resort) with d6 HD? Not a good idea. If you want to know a quick analogue for the class - to me, it feels like "Read or Die" - the class, with the focus taken away from the medium of paper and geared towards the content itself. But how to rate this? See, that's where things get tricky - I really like the class herein, but, in a rare case, I actually believe it could have used a bit more eloquence per level; plus, it does have a trap option; while the rules are pretty clear, their presentation could be a bit clearer...but at the same time, this was met pretty enthusiastically and does offer a novel playing experience unlike any I've seen in a while. So how to rate this? Well, the engine can be modified pretty easily sans breaking the class, which is a good thing indeed.

Oh, and it allows for truly astonishing flexibility. This may not be perfect...but I don't often find myself enjoying a class to this extent. If you're looking for a class where creativity and flexibility are the bread and butter, you'll love the protean scribe. In the end, I will settle on a final verdict of 4.5 stars, and while I'd love to round up, the pdf could be slightly more refined in the presentation of its concepts and the class could use favored class options...so I'll have to round down. But since I really, really enjoy some things this guy lets me do, I'll still slap my seal of approval on this guy. Can we have more material for this great class?

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Classes of NeoExodus: Protean Scribe (PFRPG)
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Classes of NeoExodus: Protean Scribe (PFRPG)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2016 11:09:19

This class is filled with amazing creative potential! The protean scribe's concept is so strong and execution so fun it literally kept me up all night consider all the ways to play the class. And best of all, there is so little required "locked in" class features that you can change your play style with as little as a full-round action. Living stories! Magical phrase attacks! Day long augmenting embelishments! If you CAN'T decide between being a buffer, a pet master, a ranged attack specialist or a debuffer... DON'T. Just play this class and switch up your style with your stylus when ever want!

More thoughts here.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate NPC Deck
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2016 16:04:06

It's okay for what it is, the art is good, but for my money there are way, way, way too many "gonzo" characters. An otter pirate? When am I EVER going to use that? More importantly how could I EVER use that MORE than once!

So while there are 68 cards (and one blank - what the heck am I going to do with a blank), I'll be lucky if I can use 30 of them.

If you're okay with each of these guys being usable only once, you might like this. Otherwise, there's not a lot of 'normal' NPCs here.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate NPC Deck
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