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Adventure Path Iconics: Path of Winter (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/30/2013 10:52:58

An interesting and potentially useful resource, particularly for groups who have got hold of a Paizo Adventure Path and are itching to get playing. Whilst out of respect for Paizo's copyrights the actual name of the AP in question is not given it is easy enough to figure out which one it is, and of course these characters are suitable for any winter-themed adventures you may intend to run.


The iconics include four human characters honed for the AP in question as well as four further ones along the same theme but drawing on races and other concepts introduced in LPJ Design's NeoExodus: A House Divided campaign setting... so ideal for winter-themed campaigns set there, or for the potentially epic prospect of a mashup between NeoExodus and the AP... (Hmmm. Maybe I'd better stop running my APs straight Golarion and try this twist, has potential!)


All characters are presented as first level, using a 20-point buy build. Notes are provided for those who prefer 15 or 25 points instead. As well as a detailed stat block and a portrait, each character comes with a full background and notes for role-playing. There is also a useful note on likely choices as the character levels up for the next few levels. Naturally, these are but suggestions - base your character about one of these but swap things in and out until it is the character YOU want to play.


Everything is nicely-presented, with each character arranged over 3-4 separate pages so it is easy to print out just what you need, or share them out between a group of players without having to resort to ripping pages in half to give each player the information that they need.


PS. Just in case you are wondering, the AP in question is Reign of Winter from Paizo Publishing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Path Iconics: Path of Winter (PFRPG)
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Enemies of NeoExodus: Cyrix (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2013 04:49:53

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This supplement is 18 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with14 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?


The being known as Cyrix now is not one that is discussed openly - indeed, the very existence of Cyrix is denounced by those in power - and yet, the accounts are there, accumulating for those willing to look. The tale of the creature is one of woe - Alka Kryszkaslawa and her lover Ivan Tobor rank among the finest minds in all the world - the duo of scientists/machinesmiths were geniuses beyond par - until Ivan passed away. Unbeknown to the general populace, both very also lovers with a taste for sado-masochistic games and when Ivan passed away, Alka was crestfallen.


What happens when a god-complex, a penchant for sadism and sadness drive a person to the edge of insanity? As a coping mechanism, she created a mechanical duplicate of her erstwhile lover, seeking solace and fulfillment in the arms of her creation, only to realize that her greatwork lacked the inherent drive, the personality, to fulfill her needs. Frustration grew, and her tendencies got more violent by the day, driving her to ultimately destroy her creation - every single night - and then rebuilding it in a perpetual spiral of disappointment and rage. And then, something unforeseen happened - whether by divine inspiration, by a curious glitch or an influx of energy, Cyrix started remembering - all its deaths, all the pain and suffering it endured. And from then on, its one goal was the construction of a body of its own and while it suffered destruction upon destruction, it finally managed to get into its body - with a grinning skull and mien shaped by abuse and suffering, it almost slew its creator and vanished.


And evolved. While at first, his basic statblock is CR 6, it already is self-aware, comes with a glorious full-color artwork, can fire flaming needles from its mouth and shock foes into stunned submission. And it only gets better (or worse) from there - at CR 11, Cyrix has upgraded its body with a chasis, produces an anticoagulant and has a deadly plasma cannon attached to its body. At CR 16, Cyrix further upgrades this version into a truly deadly adversary - btw. the form you can see on the glorious cover (and in the book as well - impressive indeed!). And then, there's the CR 22-version - where Cyrix has managed to surpass the bounds of a singular consciousness and disperse its being amid a nanite-like swarm with a hive-mind that can emit deadly, disabling pulses and also highjack golems and similar constructed opponents.


That is NOT where the pdf ends, though: Cyrix, at CR 11, learns to create so-called necrotic golems (CR 8), a new monster that is essentially a mix of the dreaded Necrostructs and Flesh Golems - and all awesomeness. Alka (who also gets her own, glorious mugshot), in the meanwhile, has realized that her frail physical form might never be able to deal with Cyrix and thus ventured off on the path of the transmechanical ascendant. Her statblock, which clocks in at an impressive CR 15, thus combines this PrC with the Machinesmith for a deadly ally that might just be worse than the creature she has created.


And that is ONE of the possible stories for Cyrix. And half of the supplement. "What?", you say? Yes.


Another version might be the following: Section Omega, the (anti-)psionic secret agency of NeoExodus sought a way to combine the vast knowledge of the intelligent extranet Kaga with the omnipresence of the Cavian hivemind via psionic matrixes - and, in their research. melded two contrary minds together, creating something new, something alien filled with self-loathing and fear and hell-bent on surpassing its physical bonds. Hence was born Cryix, as a rogue psionic matrix that was to be the only success and only inheritor of the boundless ambition of Project Apotheosis, of essentially creating a literal Deus Ex Machina - a God from the Machine. At CR 6, the rogue psionic matrix is weak still, able to pass on fragments of its own conflicted psyche, whereas at CR 11, things get interesting - Studded with a deadly energy projector that modifies the energy current power in rather ingenious ways as well as with a psychic shockwave that staggers its opponents. As with its first incarnation, CR 11 sees the advent of the creature's chassis. Via the consumption of other minds, its CR 16 incarnation once again grows further in power, making its shockwave extremely lethal (possible unconsciousness - OUCH) and adding further powers to its repertoire. And finally, at CR 22, Cryix actually IS the most powerful psionic entity in all of NeoExodus, has transcended the bounds of corporeality and seeks to devour all psionic minds with the ultimate goal of divine apotheosis, fulfilling the promise of the name of the project that created it.


Now if you think that's it, you'd be wrong again - for Cyrix can replace the brain of living creatures with crystalline structures and annihilating personality (Cha dropped to one), but also creating observing drones -with a self-destruct killswitch. Yes. Detonation. Ouch. We get a sample character (CR 7) as well as the former head of Project Apotheosis - one of Cyrix most powerful slaves at CR 15, who, again, gets a unique mugshot.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's two-column, full color standard and is drop-dead gorgeous - I've said it time and again, LPJr Design products are some of the most beautiful out there. And there are artworks - oh, are there artworks. Drool-worthy artworks in gorgeous, iconic full color and so many of them - especially for such a low price, it boggles the mind. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, with the latter being slightly more printer-friendly, but no less beautiful.


Where to start? Part Marvel's Ultron, part Warhammer's Necron, part ghost in the Shell, put in the blender, add some spice and author Jeff Lee creates something UNIQUE. Not content with providing an expertly written origin stories, we get actually TWO to choose from. We could have been served a regular, normal progression - but that would be the easy way and this pdf instead opt for the high road - in creating UNIQUE versions for every iteration that go beyond regular straight progressions and instead truly CHANGE the villain. The fact that Cyrix' consciousness is not necessarily limited to a body (but to e.g. a mobius core) means that, much like, Ultron, it can challenge your players again and again, be vanquished and return stronger and changed - this indeed is a foe that can, if you choose so, harass your players throughout their careers. And then, we get supplemental NPCs, no less awesome than the main star of the pdf itself.


At this point, we'd already be looking at a massive winner of a pdf, at a full-blown recommendation. And then, we get the content times two: The psionic variant and its progression (fully Psionics Unleashed compatible, btw.!) as well as its supplemental NPCs take this pdf to a whole new level. Not content with simply saying "This is the psionic variant, have fun", we instead get A NEW STORY, new NPCs, new builds with completely different progressions. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a whole new level and I can't emphasize this enough, also a prime candidate for harassing the players throughout their careers. Now, with a minimum of work, enterprising DMs can even BLEND both stories, thus getting 8 (!!) statblocks for the same villain - each of them so unique that honestly, they might be referring to the same mind, but definitely not the same villain, with each iteration bringing new abilities and most of the time, new signature abilities to the fray. And then there's the paranoia-inducing template.


I honestly didn't think I'd ever write these words - but this is on par with the absolute apex. Surpassing all but my all-time favorite Pathfinder NPC Nameless Nil, Cyrix ups the ante regarding content, imagination and production values, providing one of the very best NPCs/villains currently available for PFRPG. This shares the throne with my all-time favorite. Yes. That good.


Even the oftentimes rather stigmatized sadomasochism, while not handled as something positive, at least is here no indicator of evil alignment, but rather only spiraling out of control due to grief and the lack of SSC with constructs as well as the god-complex of the creator - kudos for this tactful and mature, non-explicit handling (if not 100% to my personal tastes - I'm very much in favor of creating more awareness of SSC) of the matter. And yes, if the matter does not interest you, it's sufficiently non-explicit to ignore it - so don't let this tangent keep you from checking this out.


Beyond getting these cool, unique statblocks and NPCs with stories that actually matter and are a good read as well as awesome artworks and production values, we get a significant amount of content. I've been waiting a long time for this pdf and expected to be disappointed by it - oh boy was I wrong. LPJr Design has managed to get EVERYTHING right. Nothing to complain - in fact, there's no component of this pdf I would not gush about. Don't let perhaps the coolest villain (with or without) psionics currently available for PFRPG pass you by. This is an easy 5 star + seal of approval pdf and one that is a candidate for my Top Ten of 2013. And yes, if I could, I'd rate this 6 stars - pdfs like THIS are what I'm reviewing for.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Enemies of NeoExodus: Cyrix (PFRPG)
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Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 25: Storn Cook
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/08/2013 11:07:12

This product - provided only in PDF unlike many art collections which provide material in more user-friendly (at least, if you are putting your own product together) formats - contains five single-figure full colour illustrations with a medieaval and almost Celtic feel to them.


The first is a lady on a throne. If you look closely, you may decide she has pointy ears, and could pass for an elf or maybe half-elf - her features are somewhat harder than I imagine for the almost ethereal beauty of an elf maiden. She has a sceptre and orb of quite interesting design, a long white plain dress and a bejewelled diadem.


Next is another lady, in practical dark clothing and holding a metal goblet... I do hope she didn't steal it! It is nice, though, to see properly-dressed fantasy females!


Then there's a rather fed-up looking chap in a mail shirt, sitting on a block of stone and resting his chin on his sword hilt. He's also dressed practically for adventuring.


Next a scantily - but decently - clad young lady in a light shift, blowing a horn on the edge of some water. Maybe she's summoning mermen or other sea dwellers. Even she looks quite practical with a knife at her belt.


Finally, a pointy-eared female bard, dressed for the road, takes her ease under a tree strumming on a lap harp. I think this is my favourite of all the images, sitting dreaming of things she has seen or might see and setting them all to music.


This is followed by a page of dense legalese which passes for the 'licence' for this artwork package. I think. Most of the time it talks about 'software' and I wonder if it got lifted verbatim from the back of some software package in the author's possession. Whilst it is quite reasonable to offer different terms to self-publishers and small independent game companies from larger organisations, such terms and fees should be available BEFORE you purchase the art - under UK law (which I appreciate neither the author nor this site operates under) license terms are invalidated if you cannot read them before making a purchase. It might be worth revisiting this to ensure that it is clear and making it available on the product page.


Nice pictures, though!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 25: Storn Cook
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Enemies of NeoExodus: Cyrix (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2013 10:32:58

When folks go to great pains to tell you that something doesn't exist, it's time to smell a rat!


Or in this case, a large self-aware construct - because that is what Cyrix is. There is an extremely detailed background which gives plenty of scope for weaving this construct into your plots, as well as full statistics for not just a single construct but Cyrix at various stages of its development from newly-formed to an entire swarm of malign constructs through which Cyrix has contrived to spread its consciousness forming a hive mind.


A new monster - a golem created out of dead things bolted together into a metal shell - and the creators - instigators - of Cyrix also appear. As you'd expect, these worthies possess many interesting gadgets of their own and have the potential to become interesting and potent NPCs in your game.


This is followed by an intriguing concept: what if the Cyrix construct was psionic? Again descriptive text explains how it came about, and this is followed by several variations of Cyrix itself from newly-spawned through completely-autonomous to the 'Devourer of Minds' and ultimately an incorporeal psionic entity. Given the construct's habits, there is also a 'Thrall of Cyrix' template for its victims! This in particular is fascinating and opens up all kinds of possibilities for the GM prepared to wrestle with the niceties of constructs and psionics.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Enemies of NeoExodus: Cyrix (PFRPG)
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Adventure Path Iconics: Path of the Wicked (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2013 05:39:11

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This collection of Pregens is 27 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 25 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?


This collection of pregens for Fire Mountain Games acclaimed "Way of the Wicked"-AP kick off with some general information on how the characters were built. Following the suggestions of the AP, the pregens are built with 25-point builds and lack starting equipment -since they are prisoners. They also make use of the crime-traits that serve as a fitting introduction to the AP. Much like in the installment for Jade Regent, this installment of Adventure Path Iconics features extensive backgrounds for each of the characters as well as beautiful, original artworks for every character. Also, much like the first installment, half the characters are human, whereas the rest make use of the races from the NeoExodus campaign setting.


So what characters do we get? The pdf's first character is one of my favorites - Anxelia Luris, a daughter of a noble blessed with beauty and good standing always considered her looks problematic. Disgusted with the superficiality and hypocrisy of her circles and family, her disfiguring scars and fascination for body modifications as well as her devotion make her an uncommon inquisitor - and at least in my opinion, the scars featured in her portrait rather serve to enance her allure - but then again, I'm drawn to bad girls. ;) She comes with extensive descriptions of her looks and everything else as well as advice on how to advance her during the next levels. The final page of her entry, the character has her image grayed in the background.


Arok Headtaker is the first NeoExodus-race - a Kalisan, a white-skinned cannibal raised in an orphanage that turned out to be a slave-ring, Arok is equal parts beast and civilized creature. If you're not familiar with Kalisans - have I mentioned that they can consume the brains of the fallen to gain their memories, at least temporarily? The magus rocks and is a well-fitting addition to Talingarde.


Cormas Blackwood, the antipaladin, is essentially anti-Jon Snow: A disgruntled bastard son who in the end tried to murder his inferior half-brother. Impeccable manners and arrogance hide a truly vile man, disappointed by society and hell-bent, quite literally, on taking what he perceives as his rightful place.


Ghostwhisper, a mindbender alchemist of the Cavian race is one of the weirdest characters: A Cavian (ratman) severed from the race's psionic hivemind. Without any sense of tact and a desperate bid for rejoining the hivemind, this sociopathic creature is perhaps the most uncommon of the characters - but his traumatic separation almost makes him a sympathetic character - I would have loved a more evil vibe à la mad scientist there. By the way: The non-psionic version of the Cavian-race is used - I would have enjoyed a Psionics Unleashed-compatible version, but oh well.


Glimemrshade, a sasori (scorpion-people) rogue aspiring to become an assassin makes for a weird, chatty killer that actually really enjoys her profession and brings the joy of killing, painfully, to the table. While also weird, her foreignness is imho better explained than Ghostwhisper's.


Now if you instead would prefer a thoroughly devoted devotee to Asmodeus' glory, take Kalina Rhys - sexual, seductive and already ingrained into Asmodeus' worship, the beautiful cleric is calculating and might actually be interested in those that don't fall for her constant innuendos.


Rajas the Defiler, a P'tan (shadow-infused cat people) equipped with a deep-seated hatred for Mitrans, is another character, much like Ghostwhisperer, one might consider sympathetic - but only for a short time. The barbarian takes his nickname seriously as all hell, an acquired name being every significant to his people and thus seeks to defile and destroy anything related to Mitra.


Perhaps the most tragic of the villains herein would be the sorceror Zachris Swayne - he lost his family to cheating bastards and had to spend a life on the streets - until his latent sorcerous powers awakened and allowed him a chance to exact revenge. His revenge was cruel and his lack of manners contrasts sharply with his high charisma score. In his mind, Zachris is a victim, bent on making foes pay and escape his perceived role as a victim of circumstances and the world in general.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches - here a shout-out to Joshua Yearsley - ever since he has started editing for LPJr Design, the glitches have been SIGNIFICANTLY reduced, eliminating the one weakness I usually had to complain about. Layout adheres to a rusty-chain-bordered, slightly tarnished-looking, glorious two-column standard that once again shows why I consider LPJr Design's varying layouts to rank among the best out there. Also among the best are the GLORIOUS full color mug-shots that each character gets - and characters they are: Even if you don't use them as pregens, they'd make for great cohorts or even a rival adventuring party. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being more printer-friendly. The pdfs come fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience.


Impressive. Author Jeff Lee delivers a cadre of despicable villains to introduce to Way of the Wicked or simply use as low level foes of PCs of other campaigns - with the glorious artworks and neat background information, the characters truly deserve their names. Now, not all is perfect: I would have enjoyed an alternate version of the Cavian and personally, I don't think that the P'tan and Cavian blend culturally too well with Talingarde: The Sasori and Kalisan work much better, proving that it's possible to make these work well within the nation of Talingarde. As these are minor complaints, I'll still settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform. Well done!


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Path Iconics: Path of the Wicked (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Scepter of Perpetual Sacrifice (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2013 03:59:52

An Endzeitgeist.com


This pdf is 4 pages long, 1 page SRD/editorial, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let's take a look!


The Scepter of Perpetual Sacrifice is a dread item and one of the first relics that sprang from the worship of the dread god Khayne - the signature weapon of one deadly warlord of Khayne, the scepter's incantation was completed by an act of mutual destruction, with the fanatic meeting his end when facing one of the legendary sorceror-kings.


Rules-wise, the item is a +2 keen flaming burst spear. Where the item gets interesting is with its critical hits - upon critical hits, the spear deals 2 points of constitution damage to both wielder and victim of the crit. The wielder, though, gets a +2 profane bonus to Str, Dex, Int, Wis and Cha and DR 3/- for damage divided by 4 rounds, minimum 1. Additional crits lengthen the duration and subsequent bonuses are reduced to +1, whereas the DR remains at 3. Since this weapon is definitely evil, good wielders are quite heavily penalized by wielding this weapon and for every week that goes by without the wielder slaying an intelligent, the wielder gets -1 to all skill-checks based on mental attributes. Against foes sans blood, the weapon is less efficient, working only as a regular +2 keen flaming burst spear.


The pdf also comes with item-cards for the weapon.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with a second more printer-friendly version. The artwork, as always, is awesome and beautiful - though honestly, I have a minor issue with it - the weapon works as a spear, when the artwork simply makes the weapon look more like a bludgeoning weapon - I don't get how this is supposed to impale anything. Yes, the blood-draining spikes are there, but still - a slight disjunction here.


Another issue is that the scepter's bonuses don't work as written - the bonuses are supposed to be profane and profane bonuses DON'T STACK. Yeah, it's nitpicky, but it detracts from the item's appeal nevertheless.


Due to the image/text disjunction and the bonus-issue, I'll settle for a final verdict of 3 stars since the issues are admittedly not significant, but still detract from the overall appeal.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Scepter of Perpetual Sacrifice (PFRPG)
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Enemies of NeoExodus: Widowmaker Scarlet (PFRPG)
by David W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2013 10:34:38

The Good: A brand new villain capable of challenging end-game level adventurers is nice, but there's enough flavor here that you could build an entire campaign around her. It'd be a waste to shoehorn her into your latest campaign. This IS your next campaign. Without giving too much away, I'll say that tracking her down is going to be a frustrating experience, and your players will be itching to bleed her at the campaign's end. Also, there's a full page glossy of Scarlet's rockin' bod.
The Bad: Not enough pictures of Scarlet's rockin' bod.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Enemies of NeoExodus: Widowmaker Scarlet (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Claw of Xon (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2013 12:06:09

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Treasures of NeoExodus-series is 4 pages long, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let's take a look!


A legacy of the legendary dread necromancer and war-criminal Xon, these heavy flails are made from a new special material, so-called Blood Iron. This material deals an additional point of damage to bleeding foes and multiple attacks may sicken the victims of the dread ministrations on a failed save. Furthermore, the weapon may repair itself or cure its owner's constitution damage.


Rules-wise, the weapon is a +1 wounding blood iron heavy flail that makes stealth impossible - the howling of tortured souls emanating from it also shakens all foes around it, though, offsetting this huge penalty. The lack of a save versus the shaken condition might be considered problematic, though. Those slain by it have their souls bound within the weapon and the dead can be conjured from the flail as shadows under the control of the wielder.


The pdf also provides us with item-cards.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's full-color two-column standard and the artwork is awesome, as we've come to expect. The pdf comes with a second version that is slightly more printer-friendly and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.


This is a solid, evil item that lacks any subtlety - I don't like that the new material has a fixed DC and there have been installments in the series with slightly cooler abilities, but generally, this is a solid product and well worth a verdict of 4 stars.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Claw of Xon (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Chronicles: Fleshwraith (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2013 06:04:58

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This pdf is 13 pages long, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 12 pages of content for the class, so let's take a look!


The Fleshwraith, (very) loosely based mechanically on the Machinesmith, gets 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and natural weapons and light armors, 3/4 BAB-progression, good fort and ref-saves and access to prototypes of up to 6th level. Unfortunately, the pdf fails to specify the type of HD the class gets, though I assume d8 analogue to the Machinesmith. Nevertheless, a major glitch that renders the class potentially unusable.


Like the Machinesmith, the Fleshwraith can create a greatwork, though there's a major difference here - a fleshwraith's greatwork is a bioengineered construct with d10, fast BAB-progression, no good saves and no skill points. Their whole features are provided in a comprehensive list (and yes, being bio-constructs, they can be healed) before we delve into the different types of bioengineered greatworks.


The Mechanus, Mobius Weapons and Mobius Puppets (Check RiP's excellent "Secrets of Renegade Archetypes" for those) get some additional rules to set the fleshwraith-take on them aside from the machinesmith-take. The class also gets two new greatworks - the Genetic Lab. Unlike other greatworks, this one is not particularly mobile, though a new one can be set up via either some time or a shorter time-frame supplemented by monetary investment. This lab produces so-called gesigner-cells, but more on them later. This lab also provides an array of low-level at-will/charge abilities as well as the option to get 1/2 class level to Knowledge (Nature) and create toxins via this skill instead of Craft (Alchemy) as well as the poison use ability.


The second greatwork would be a more disturbing one - the hivemind, which allows the Fleshwraith to cultivate insects to bring forth 1/2 level + Int-mod hivemasters, which act as a kind of charges. Fleshwraiths with this greatwork gain a vermin companion and use the hivemasters for a limited array of basic spell-like abilities. In contrast to Machinesmiths, Fleshwraiths get a scaling healing touch, usable 3+int mod times per day, which is not based on positive energy and makes for an interesting ability - allowing for non-divine healing.


The Intelligent Design ability is also interesting: The Fleshwraith gets 1/2 level in evolution points, with which s/he can modify her own body just as if s/he were an eidolon. The rules are relatively solid here, but there's a weird disjunction regarding fluff and crunch here: At first, from the description, I thought the Fleshwraith could only modify her constructs via this ability when in actuality it is his/her body that is being modified - the fluff here is just confusing and needs a rewrite.


As the Machinesmith, Fleshwraiths get tricks, to be precise at 2nd level and every 2 levels after that. Beyond Machinesmith tricks, we get 3 new ones for the genetic lab that allow for the addition of alchemical extracts to be added to the list of his/her prototypes, consume unused prototypes to duplicate healing effects or imbibe poisons and drugs to create clouds of spores with the respective effect - nice for an escape-bluff, for example. Adheres to the Hivemind-type of Fleshwraith may get vermin affinity, improved stealth when moving slowly or 1/day web shelter. Other tricks enable her to reappropriate 1/day one point of her evolution pool to another evolution as a standard action, more often at higher levels or gain the craft construct feat - all, of course, with a distinct focus on her/his biomechanical work.


As the machinesmith, greatworks get updates over the levels - this time around a rather cool one: They may essentially highjack racial abilities via RP and temporarily grant racial abilities to the recipient (whether willing or unwilling) of the injection. I'm not particularly sure whether detrimental racial abilities like light blindness and similar traits with negative RP-costs fracture into this ability, though - which is relevant, since the potential for offensive use is there and the lack of save against it means that a cocktail of racial weaknesses might make for a powerful tool. The amount of creature-types that can be used as well as the spell-like abilities are further expanded.


Hivemind-Fleshwraiths can add evolutions to their vermin, as granted per intelligent design class features and mount vermin and even vermin swarms (like a certain Spiderman villain) and heal themselves via their hivemaster insects. Chitinous plating and finally, frightfully powerful insects complement this greatwork's upgrades.


After that, we get a second new base-class, the Host. The Host gets 4+Int skills per level 3/4 BAB-progression, proficiency with simple weapons, good ref and fort-saves and no spell-casting. The lack of class HD here really hurt the class, since whether d12, d10 or d8 are granted really would make a difference - after all, the class is rather melee-centric. Essentially, the basic idea is to allow you to play a creature akin to my most beloved Spidey-villain Venom. The Symbiont that melds with you allows you to create gory shields and also permanently enhance your physical attributes and gain faster healing. Per se a great concept - but the execution makes some mistakes: Level 18 is an empty level - no benefits, nothing - that does not confirm with PFRPG-design standards. Also, the class is terribly linear, offering only a minimum of choice and no e.g. talent/trick-selection etc., rendering its characters more exchangeable than I've come to expect from classes. The decision to make the class 3/4 BAB would require it to be supplemented with abilities on par with that of e.g. the monk and honestly, I don't see that right now. It doesn't happen often, but here I'm actually asking for a power-boost - tricks, full BAB, something in that vein. Oh, and we NEED those HD to play this in the first place.


9 new spells/prototypes for the Fleshwraith have been included in the deal as well, many of which are exclusive to the class: Making animate objects bioengineered constructs is cool, though spells in the description have not been properly italicized. Spitting or sneezing corrosive acid, grant 1-point evolutions, grow spiky exoskeletons, add poison to target creature's attacks, implant brains into bioengineered constructs, throw sticky nets - it's there. Two prototypes in particular are awesome: Larval clone grows a cocoon and makes your body grow a tumor-like larva that can carry your consciousness from your dead body and rejuvenate you or even carry it to other creatures, allowing you to dominate them bodysnatchers-style. The other lets you, as an immediate action, fall prone and be covered with a rather powerful defensive mucus and crawl only while under its effects, leaving a slimy trail - awesome imagery there!


We also get a new feat that allows you to demoralize flat-footed creatures in the surprise-round and a new 2-point evolution that nest your eidolon a small pool of 1-point evolutions that can be changed for a more versatile companion.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are not particularly impressive: While I didn't stumble across any too glaring glitches, non-italicized spells in text and the overall formatting and at times disjunction between fluff and crunch make this pdf a harder read than it ought to be - especially with complex classes like this , this is an issue. Layout adheres to NeoExodus 2-column full-color standard and is beautiful to behold, as is the alternate, slightly more printer-friendly standard in the second version of the pdf. The pdf comes extensively bookmarked with nested bookmarks as well as several pieces of full color artwork which will be familiar to fans of NeoExodus-products, as they've been used before.


Damn. This is one of the cases where I just don't like being a reviewer. Why? Because I LOVE THE IDEAS TO DEATH. Author Benjamin Rombeaut has created a compelling class/variant with cool abilities and a sufficiently icky feeling. However, this pdf features several issues beyond the subpar formatting - while now the class-tables are included, the pdf still lacks the HD of the respective classes, which renders them unusable as written.


Worse, I somehow feel as if the Host-class just doesn't belong - linear design, dead level, overall rather weak, this one feels like it desperately needs another takeover/its own pdf to properly shine. Said space should have been devoted to providing more abilities/greatworks and especially, tricks, for the fleshwraith - as provided, the Host feels like half-done filler material that has been dropped into a pdf where it doesn't really belong.


This pdf has/had potential galore, but as written, it falls terribly and painfully flat of its own potential, with the lack of necessary information and the none-too-easy to process presentation conspiring with these glitches to force me to rate this at a verdict the pdf doesn't really deserve - 1.5 stars, upgraded to 2 for the purpose of this platform - I hope the issues will be addressed and that I'll be able to upgrade this pdf's rating in a manner similar to what happened with the Machinesmith back in the day.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Chronicles: Fleshwraith (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Chronicles: Fleshwraith (PFRPG)
by Carl A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2013 20:31:23

I really liked the way the MachineSmith class worked. I wish it had a hero lab file, but I liked it enough that I seriously thought about playing it when we decided to play an evil campaign, where the characters started locked away in a sort of extradimensional super-max prison. But it didn't quite fit the character concept I decided to go with in the end: A flesh crafter.


After using a custom craft skill we sort of made this work, but it didn't quite have the crunchiness I wanted. I looked at a couple of supplements, almost went with one but it quite have what I really wanted.


Enter the Fleshwraith. The only thing I don't really like is the name. Based upon the Machinesmith in much the same way the antipaladin is based upon the paladin (antipaladin, even worse name for a class than Fleshwraith) and this class can do almost everything I envisioned my Flesh crafter is supposed to be able to do.


The pdf is 13 pages long, but since it builds upon another class there's more possibility here than you might expect. The class skills change, the abilities are in some cases similar, and in other completely different than the Machinesmith. Attacks, saves and hp are the same. Prototypes are a different list, but the overall choices are on par. One thing I consider a bonus is their healing by default works on living creatures, and at full strength, where a Machinesmith needs a feat to get it to work at half. They lose the ability to repair objects (and constructs) but that seems fair, and since most parties will have more living characters than constructs, probably makes the Fleshwraith a decent backup healer.


As they level, starting at second level, they start getting a few Evolution points to spend on themselves like a Summoner's Eidolon, to represent their own "intelligent evolution" experiments upon themselves. It isn't a lot of points, at 1/2 their level, but it isn't bad, especially since as they level they gain abilities to adjust it a bit per day (Don't need wings today but really need gills and a swim speed? No worries! Standard action and swap them out, and then swap them back tomorrow.)


Just like with the Machinesmith, you pick a Greatwork. But they add a few options. If you go with a construct, it is a biomechanical construct, which has a few effects on it (it can be healed, but is still mindless, etc). My favorite is the Genetics lab, because it allows you to store racial traits, which you can implant into other people (or your self) to give you that racial trait for 1/hour per level, with some limitations. Eventually you could even change the racial traits a character has permanently, though I'd like to see a way to add a template or something as well, that seems like a good candidate for a feat.


Finally, there's another class in this pdf that is related to the Fleshwraith, but trades the prototypes (spells) and repairing touch abilities for better Evolution Points and direct combat oriented abilities. It seems like a great companion or minion/master creation of a Fleshwraith.


I didn't even talk about the Hivemind and his.her/its love of Vermin!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Grasscutter (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2013 03:09:36

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Treasures of NeoExodus-series is 5 pages long, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?


When a great warrior and his best druid friend were stranded on an island and the foolishness of said warrior cost the life of said friend, the legend of grasscutter was born - a blade of wood, by now infused with the intelligence of a guardian spirit that has since become a legend. Rules-wise, the blade is a +1 club - unless wielded by a fighter, in which case it turns into a +2 impervious keen longsword of speed that compels its wielder to never use another weapon again. Rather cool: If you happen to belong to the great swordsman's bloodline, you may call upon the blade's guardian spirit that functions like a summoner's eidolon.


Full stats for said guardian spirit are provided as well, though sans a CR. The pdf also features item-cards.


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches this time around. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's drop-dead-gorgeous full-color two-column standard and the pdf comes with a second, more printer-friendly version. The artwork for the weapon is, as always in the series, beautiful. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Coming with a compelling, yet not brilliant story and solid rules, Grasscutter is a great blade that is further enhanced by the guardian spirit and his stats - the one thing I would have loved to see how this item and it's eidolon influence the CR of NPCs. Apart from this - nothing to complain about. Final verdict: 5 stars, just slightly short of the seal of approval.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Grasscutter (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Chronicles: Cutting Edge Machinesmith (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2013 05:37:33

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This supplemental pdf for the Machinesmith-class is 9 pages long, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1/2 a page advertisement, leaving us with 7 1/2 pages of content, so let's take a look at this!


This pdf kicks off with two new types of greatworks, the first being the converter, which fluff-wise converts latent energy into effects that duplicate a limited array of spell-like abilities. Converters get 1 +1/2 class level + Intelligence charges - at least that's what the pdf specifies. Which makes me doubt whether this is correct - usually, we'd be looking at an addition of the intelligence MODIFIER - adding the whole stat is something completely different and hopefully just a glitch. From at will powers that don't use charges to those taking up 3 at the fourth and final greatwork update, the converter allows for access to spell-like abilities running the gamut from dancing lights at will to implosion for 3 charges. What's rather odd is that implosion takes up as much charges as telekinesis and reverse gravity, two power-wise rather inferior spells. Also, getting telekinesis at 20th level is too late. On a nitpicky side, the spell discordant blast has not been italicized in the pdf. I don't know, the curve at which the powers become available feels a bit off.


The Converter also gets 4 new augmentations that allow converters to assimilate limited amounts of energy, increase DCs by 1 and may, as the coolest of the abilities, shape one 10 ft. cube per two levels, allowing for really cool ways of modifying non-instantaneous energy effects - walking literally through forest fires, for example or creating holes in roaring blizzards conjured by hostile forces. The final one allows that at 12th level even as an immediate action for double charges.


The second Greatwork would be the Mobius Suit, which is obviously inspired by one particular Mr. Tony Stark - based on an armor, the suit grants armor-bonus and can use its charges (of which it gets 1/2 class level + int modifier) to gain either DR 1/- or energy resistance 5 to one chosen energy for int-mod rounds - essentially, the suit has charge-powered abilities that become progressively more versatile. More's the pity that the basic ability of the suit fails to specify whether it can be used multiple times at once - could e.g. a machinesmith grant him/herself 5 resistance to fire for 4 rounds and on the next round also get 5 resistance to cold for a second expended charge or can only one effect be in place at once? This becomes especially relevant on the first upgrade, which suddenly nets DR 2/- and energy resistance 10. Does the Machinesmith still have to specify which type of energy? I assume so, but the wording is ambiguous. The suit also grants proficiencies with armors and up to 4 integrated gadget-slots as well as the option to retain its AC versus firearms, increase AC versus crit-confirmation rolls and use swift actions to temporarily gain access to evasion for a ref-save.


The Mobius Suit also gets 4 new augmentations, which allow for enhanced str-and dex-based skill checks, lift as if under the ant haul spell (which the pdf fails to italicize), supercharge the suit for a massive +6 bonus to Str and Dex at the cost of 1 hour of not working (cool) and use charges to extend the duration of integrated gadgets.


After that, we're off to 14 new gadgets. We get one to launch snapdragon fireworks over multiple rounds (again, lacking italicization), create temporary Resilient Spheres, Defensive Shocks, temporarily suppressing machinesmith gadgets and dazing constructs (sans save), add firearms to turrets and create a power gauntlet-like device -at least in theory. EDIT: I botched. Impact Knuckles do specify what they're supposed to do, though the entry lacks italicization of the spell effect they duplicate


He may also duplicate the Polypurpose Panacea-spell via an injector, create proximity mines that duplicate blast glyphs and shout non-lethal restraining cables at opponents, enhance the invisibility cloak to follow up with displacement (Imho a great idea!), duplicate excavations via sonic diggers, the battlemind link-spell via tactical communicators (though construction options to widen the network from two presumed participants would have been nice), get a beacon that makes hitting illuminated foes via turrets faster and more reliable (nice!) or suspend him/herself in temporal stasis.


We also get 4 new tricks (though the header faultily calls them techniques): Caustic Refuter stuns those affected by Axiom or counter-science, Drone Expert improves all created constructs (including the pocket army), increase your to-hit prowess with your tools and recycle prototypes (i.e. his/her spells): Upon using a prototype, the machinesmith may for one round change one of his prepared prototypes of the same or higher level into the one he just used.


Next up are two archetypes: The Gadgeteer, who sacrifices his/her greatwork for more spells and a focus on being faster at creating magic items and commanding/enhancing drones. The second one, the Wonderbuilder, does essentially the exact opposite, sacrificing part of his prototype spells for a secondary greatwork (and later even a third one), but at the cost of never having his primary greatwork reach upgrade 4.


The pdf also provides us with 6 prototypes to revisit the topic of drones, which had been scrapped from the original class-pdf. Two of the prototypes allows you to grant limited mobility to your turrets or grant them climb speeds respectively, while the other 4 create small assisting drones - at level one drones sans combat capabilities, at 3rd level conjure up swarms of nauseating drones, create at 4th level spying drones to track foes and provide visual feedback and at 5th level finally create deadly extermination drones with melee and ranged attacks. My only gripe with this one being that it does not specify what action a reload of the ranged weapon is and how much ammo the drone gets. Other than that, the concept of drones has been quite adeptly been salvaged.


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are not that great - apart from nitpicky issues like non-italicized spells, the pdf also suffers from a missing sentence in one of its gadgets. All in all, this feels like it could have used another pass at editing in order to properly unleash its potential. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's beautiful two-column standard for NeoExodus and we also get an additional version that is slightly more printer-friendly. The pdf features a beautiful new piece of full color artwork and is fully bookmarked for your convenience - nice! The pdf also comes with spell-deck cards of all the new prototypes - very nice if you use them, especially for the very fair price!


I love the Machinesmith-class to death - it has seen some justified support by Super Genius Games and Rite Publishing and deservedly so - the class rocks hard and is a great treat to play. Unfortunately, much like the first iteration of the class it's based on, this expansion by Wendall Roy suffers from several issues - nothing too significant, but quite enough to drag down the actually REALLY cool, glorious concepts. Without glitches, I'd gladly give this 5 stars - but as provided (and I didn't mention every glitch), I can't for the life of me, rate this higher than 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3. I'm hoping for a revision I can rate higher and truly recommend.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Chronicles: Cutting Edge Machinesmith (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Scepter of Perpetual Sacrifice (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2013 09:10:59

What a refreshing change! Not, I hasten to add, a bloodthirsty and cannabalistic cult that produced this treasure; but the statement that "No true minister of the dark god’s teachings considers his own blood too sacred to spill" - it is good, if that's the appropriate word, to hear that the priests are as ready to mutilate themselves for their god as they are to spill other people's... there are far too many such that will sit back and expect others to do all the bleeding and dying for them!


Herein there are all the materials you need to create and run an entire nasty cult worshipping a deity called Kahyne, who demands blood - plenty of it - from followers and enemies alike, as well as a powerful artefact created by a devoted preacher of the cult. Acting as a +2 keen flaming burst spear, this sceptre lusts for blood to the extent that if its owner does not use it to spill the blood of an intelligent creature at least once a week they suffer mounting impairment to intelligence, wisdom and charisma until they either kill something or manage to get rid of the thing.


Perhaps your characters will have to face cultists led by a blood-crazed cleric wielding the sceptre, or they may find it lurking innocently in some treasure hoard and discover its dark secrets the hard way. A neat (and nasty) thing to have around, enjoy!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Scepter of Perpetual Sacrifice (PFRPG)
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A Place Beyond Hell (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2013 08:52:28

Do you want to have something really weird going on in your campaign world?


If so, you might just find the resources, the tools to arrange for some serious oddness here, especially if you like Lovecraftian-style weirdness. Apart from a few references to the world of Abbadon, on which it is assumed this infestation of alien beings has landed, it is not tied to a specific location so it could come to a campaign world near you.


The resources provided are rich and varied. The core aliens, the H'laqu, that are bringing about the weirdness are gone in to in quite a lot of detail. There are new feats, traits and spells galore; even a new cult based around misperception of their almost god-like abilities deluding people into thinking they deserve or even want to be worshipped. A real gem is the array of 'new monsters' each of which has not only the usual bits and bobs you expect with a monster listing, each one also has its own selection of plot seeds to help you incorporate them into your game.


There's also an illness that can be contracted, and the way - through 'breaching points' - that the aliens arrive on your campaign world in the first place. These too come with masses of ideas on how to weave them into your plots or create whole adventures around them as the characters - and no doubt just about everyone else - battle to save their world from the infestation.


There's a lot of magnificent stuff here... but it lacks any overall coherence (hence 4 rather than 5 stars... it's so almost a 5* product!), rather its a toolbox that you'll need to sift through and work with to attain your desired outcome.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Place Beyond Hell (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Infinite Fury (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2013 04:18:46

An Endzeitgeist.com review


This pdf is 4 pages long, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!


The blade Infinite Fury was crafted by the legendary Cynean arcanist Kal-Dor upon mastering (at least in his perception) the arcane arts and turning to physical combat. The Cynean saw the end of his lifespan approaching and tasked the entity within the blade, one Sana-Dol he created, to continue to track the progress of wielders in order to one day accomplish mastery of the martial arts. The blade has since, guided by the intelligence, changed hands multiple times and is an intelligent item.


Rules-wise, the blade can cast 1/day Tactical Acumen. While the write-up features a minor glitch (“insight” has slipped one word ahead of where it’s supposed to stand), the blade can bestow a +2 insight bonus upon identifying creatures. As a full round action, the wielder can even focus on a creature within 60 ft. to gain a +10 bonus to identify the creature and the weapon gains the appropriate bane quality for the type/subtype for the respective creature. You can also use Transformation at will – rather powerful – and lacking the italicization in the text. The blade is a +2 defending transformative mithral longsword, btw.


The final page of the pdf is devoted to beautiful weapon-cards of the sword.


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are not up to the recent standard of the line – two (minor) glitches in such a short pdf could have easily been avoided. Layout adheres to LPJr Design’s drop-dead-gorgeous 2-column full color standard and the blade’s artwork is awesome. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none and the pdf comes with an additional, more printer-friendly version.


I really like this blade- not only does it allow mages to stand in the front-lines, should they choose to do so, it also makes for great roleplaying/questing goals – perhaps the PCs need the knowledge of the blade. And what if it deems its task complete? That’s narrative potential there. The glitches still somewhat weigh this pdf down, unfortunately, and make it impossible for me to rate this the full 5 stars. Instead, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars – author Loren Peterson has done a neat job.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Infinite Fury (PFRPG)
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