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NeoExodus Legacies: Cold Visitor (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2013 08:14:52

This pdf is 39 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 2 pages monster-sheets, 1 page spell-sheets, 1 page buff sheets, 1 page combat & initiative tracker, leaving us with 32 pages of module – not bad at all!

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

All right, still here? The PCs in this module have been employed by one Sheik Arjouf ben Ibrahim to travel to an island off the coast of Gavea, contested between Dominion and Caneus Empire. The problem is – the Nexus Gateway they are to use for transportation instead dumps them right at some damaged archway, the magic of the archways runes fading fast. A searing cold wind blows right into the PC’s faces and a person clad in thick winter’s robes greets them as newcomers to this strange arctic place called Praegelidus. Following the lieutenant Orgun through the blizzard from continual flame post to continual flame post, should show the PCs how deadly this climate is and also set the mood for the rest of the module - a struggle for survival. Now the PCs are soon led to the camp and here, they will meet Captain Penser, commander of the green griffon mercenary unit and Silas Fedders, head of the researchers secluded in this place.

The first day in the camp is thus spent with establishing no-go areas for the PCs (we know how players love these) and questioning the PCs on the outside world – their reactions to these probing will determine how all the NPCs will treat them later on. Wise PCs are nice, since in the camp military-style hierarchy, they are right at the bottom and should not complain too much about the menial labor that is expected of them. On the second day, at breakfast, things seem to start to get…weird. Perceptive PC will notice researcher Morkin mentioning that “it” is gone and soon afterwards the first body is found and it will not remain the last – the second one has been dragged outside from the watchpost and thus, a search-team will be sent out – containing the PCs. In the dread cold of Praegelidus, it will take 2 miles before they find private Suven – confused, frostbitten – and, unbeknownst to the PCs a shell of an elder evil bound by First One magic to this demi-plane. An elder evil that has been awakened by Silas’ meddling and the proximity of all those delicious souls…

If you haven’t realized what the inspiration for this was: Think John Carpenter’s “The Thing” with the added complication of no technology, being at the bottom of the food chain and completely unequipped for the clime. diabolic laugh

Worse, while the PCs are outside, captain Penser gets a visit from Pah’tharsus’ shard, a fragment of the beast and the culprit of the soul shells – two further privates are turned into soul shells and captain Penser is gone – and with him, the central authority figure of the mercenary company. Upon their return, Lieutenants Orgun and Jandis thus quarrel for leadership of the company, further adding to the atmosphere of paranoia that will be further be enhanced by separating PCs with the menial duties they are still supposed to perform. Over the next couple of days, the shard will continue its slow and inexorable war of attrition – soul shells are, after all practically indistinguishable from regular folks and attacks every 4 hours should soon result in at least 4 of these soul-gathering sleepers. Add to that paranoia between regular privates, an attack on the dogs supplemented by two soul shells demasking as a distraction and further attacks (possibly also on Elise, one of the scholars) and we have ourselves a neat climate of distrust, paranoia and fear. Worse, the Pcs will soon be accused to being soul shells or the instigators of the deaths, the still will blow up and its fire, if not quenched, start to burn down building upon building. Hopefully the PCs can manage to survive to day 4, where an all-out snow-storm will give them some respite from the shard’s attacks – only to have it attack en masse with all its soul shells on the following day. Hopefully the PCs have by now pieced together the clues – in order to strengthen again the prison of Pah’tharsus, they must translate the First One glyphs on the archway, find out that Silas has gone batshit crazy and deduce from his journal the true nature of the killer and origin of the shards. With this information, they may have a chance at finding the correct tome that contains the necessary ritual to be performed at the archway – a final dash through the howling winds while beset by Pah’tharsus shard(s) (soul shells have a nasty habit of turning into these…) will be in order.

Now this being essentially a horror sandbox with a timeline, the camp is provided in excessive detail – including the necessary gear for survival in these hostile climates. The compound is heated by magical heat stones and if you’re a sadistic DM like yours truly, you may, slowly, but surely, start taking them away via shards and shells, one by one… It should be noted that the camp is provided in a nice, player-friendly b/w-map and that we get a total of 8 hand-outs as well as features of the demi-plane. Think survival horror with magic is too simple? Well, divine magic in the demi-plane works unreliably at best and summoning, blink and similar effects automatically fail and channeling has its effects halved. To aid the DM with his cheerful task in this module, we also get full environmental details for the snow-falls, wind etc. as well as full stats and a neat artwork for the shard, the shell-template and full stats for all the relevant NPCs – commendable!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good and while not perfect, show that the guys from LPJr Design can do it if they set their mind to it - all in all I encountered less than 5 glitches, all of which minor. Layout, as with any LPJr Design-publication, is drop-dead-gorgeous: 2-column, full color and even the alternate printer-friendly full-color version is a joy to the eye. Speaking of joy to the eye: While I’ve seen some of the many b/w-artworks in the module before, they all serve to enhance the excellent atmosphere of the module. Furthermore, you’ll get neat (stock) b/w-artworks for all the dramatis personae (which btw. have been compiled in a list for your convenience) to show to your players, which is also a huge plus. What is NOT a huge plus is the lack of bookmarks – a module of this length should definitely have bookmarks, especially since timeline and location are two separate beasts. I heartily recommend any DM wishing to run this to print this out. Also, the cartography is not particularly helpful or nice to look at.

Modular, sandboxy, urgent, dishing out paranoia and atmosphere by the spoon and mixing unique NeoExodus-style with a healthy dose of horror that could be either focused on gore, psychological warfare…or both, all depending on how you run it. This module is a glorious offer and mops the floor with its two predecessors in the NeoExodus Legacy-line – not only is it longer, better edited and tighter written, it is also much more detailed, concise, offers more room for PC-choices and should be considered a stellar horror-module for any setting, not just NeoExodus. I wholeheartedly recommend this module for all DMs seeking to put a certain sense of dread back into their players, who want a change of pace…and of course for all aficionados of horror. Though admittedly, a DM should have a bit of experience to properly convey the rising paranoia and atmosphere, several troubleshooting tips should make sure that the module works. Still, a bit of experience when playing multiple characters can help. Lee Hammock, Chris McCoy and JP Chapleau have created a module with this I can wholeheartedly recommend, and were it not for the lack of bookmarks, would rate 5 stars + seal. Especially due to the lack of them and the relatively scarce, undetailed map, I’ll have to scale down to 4.5, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform! Still, this module represents infinitely more the quality I want to see for the product-line and reading modules like this is what makes reviewing fun.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Legacies: Cold Visitor (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Daemonwatch Blade (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/24/2013 10:56:54

A neat - and nasty - weapon to incorporate into your adventures, it comes with a new weapon property: Everdeath. This includes soul-drinking on the part of the weapon, and makes it extremely difficult to resurrect anyone killed by it.

The backstory provided includes fragments of a journal that could be used as clues in a search for one of these weapons, as well as a temple-full of fanatics the most notable of whom are issued these blades. See someone with one of those, it's advisable to run... unless you are brave, powerful and lucky!

To look at, a Daemonwatch Blade is a greatsword with irregular serrations and spikes ornamented with a stone that looks like a reptilian eye. Finding a scabbard for the thing is likely to be difficult! As well as the Everdeath property, it is also capable of tracking the last person hit with it, so even if you flee after being injured you may not get away...

As well as all this detail, plus a big drawing and full stats, you also get two item cards. One has all the details as given here, the other is blank so if you like the sword but want to play around with the properties a bit, you have scope to do so.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Daemonwatch Blade (PFRPG)
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Espionage Genre Toolkit: New World Disorder
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/20/2013 22:34:33

For $2, the current price, this toolkit is a bargain. Although there's many ways it could be improved (see below), what you get is a set of ideas, GM advice, simple mechanics, planning forms and an advanced class to flavor a d20 Modern campaign.

One criticism often leveled at d20 Modern is that unlike Third Edition D&D, its predecessor game, it doesn't have a clear tone/core concept. Although Allegiance was a step in the direction of providing that concept, it wasn't clear that this was what the game should be built around. LPJ has come out with Genre Toolkits to try to help push d20 Modern "gently" (my word) in a direction in order to alleviate this problem.

The New World Disorder campaign is one of overlapping and conflicting conspiracies and 1990s-style government clampdown theories. Anyone who watched the X-Files (or, really, any show in that time period) can immediately recognize the style.

The toolkit starts with some flavorful, but not mechanically overwhelming Allegiances, from The Man to The Truth, then gives three GMing tools to help conspiracies maintain a mysterious feeling even as the player characters may be charging into them head on with all they can bring to bear. Next there are the "spook" templates, based on the super-agents that are often deployed to take out or pursue troublemakers. These introduce some interesting mechanics that will pressure characters in ways they often wouldn't be, but aren't overwhelming.

A new advanced class, the Man In Black, seems to pursue that mythology really well. Class features in d20 Modern aren't balanced to start with, so I'm not going to work that out. Suffice to say they seem interesting and flavorful enough, so we'll call it a success. And of course what Man in Black would be seen in anything but the creepiest black cadillac? I question these vehicles' inclusion as a class feature - given the normal means of providing assistance in d20 Modern's organization/allegiance rules, it seems superfluous.

Finally, there's several pages of planning forms that are tailored towards a conspiracy-based game, a welcome addition.

There's some weird stuff going on here. The bookmarks are, hilariously, for an entirely different product. The planning "forms" are not actual PDF forms, you have to print them out to use them. There's a blank page just sitting there. It's kind of bad, format-wise. But I can't argue with the price tag and the pile of stuff you get for it - stuff you might really need if, like me, you like d20 Modern but have to do a lot of work to get it to the table. So it gets an extra star for me for that.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Espionage Genre Toolkit: New World Disorder
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Ultimate Spell Decks: Inquisitor Spell Cards (PFRPG)
by Jason T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2013 21:40:53

I love these cards. I obsess over my character sheets - more accurately, my character books - and I was really looking forward to printing my inquisitor's full spell book into a bound tome. I bought this title, downloaded it, and immediately noticed that it wasn't complete: there are spells missing. Even after going back and downloading the Cleric's and Domain Spells titles, my inquisitor spell book remains incomplete. I get that you don't want a lot of repetition between titles, but I don't want to have to download the bard's cards (for another charge) just to get the two or three spells I'm missing from my selections. Still, the cards are perfect for my purposes... I just wish there was a way to know exactly which packages I need to download in order to get the full product for which I am looking.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Spell Decks: Inquisitor Spell Cards (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Legacies: Encounter at Ramat Bridge (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2013 08:20:22

The first module for NeoExodus since the FREE-RPG-Day module "Undying Legacy of the First Ones" is 26 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 2 pages mini-monster sheets, 1 page combat & initiative tracker, 3 pages of daily spell-list sheets and 1 page of buff sheets, leaving us with 16 pages of content for the module, so let's check this out!

This being an adventure-module, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

All right, still here? The PCs are hired by an agent of the Imperial Alliance to venture forth into the border area between the Arman Protectorate and the Janus Horde, where trouble and possibly even war, is brewing. The PCs are sent out to check out a fort situated at Ramat Bridge after being briefed in the back of a seedy tavern. The module provides short letters to draw them into the module as well as a sketchy overlook of the fort of Ramat bridge, which lies on an island. After navigating/avoiding/talking themselves past a force of the Arman Protectorate and a possible ambush, the PCs pass by an occupied town to find that Ramat Bridge's fort now lies in ruins, the nearby horde-town pillaged, churches of the Sanguine Covenant burned - a lot of mood is set here. It should be noted that for ease of playing this in a limited time-frame, optional encounters are marked as (soft), should you be in need of haste. The fort itself, provided the PCs manage to avoid the potentially collapsing bridge and the subsequent, deadly plunge, seems to be in just as bad a shape - all the more impressive when taking the Protectorate's mechanical servants into account. Booby trapped bodies, slain guardsmen and P'Tan as well as a mysterious merchant-survivor should arouse the player's suspicions when investigating the slaughter.

And indeed, nightfall brings terror to the PC's door, with waves of P'tan and Scythians attacking upon wave - hopefully the PCs have used the provided map (resembling dundjinni in style - ok, but not too glorious) and made some preparations - otherwise, the battles will be a test of endurance. In the morning, a mysterious villain shows and can be seen as an exercise in foreshadowing that should prove to be interesting for the sequel if the DM manages to pull it off. Speaking of sequel - should the player characters survive, they may rapport to a high-ranking military officer and bear witness to an act that may very well mean war... but that are stories for future NeoExodus modules.

The pdf also features 3 feats used by the adversaries herein as well as two spells that are rather interesting: Minion mark and dispel minions, the latter of which destroys the remains of all dead marked with a minion mark - a nice component to explain the complex designs by which the First Ones managed to avoid detection of their schemes.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting could have been better and drag somewhat down what would otherwise be a neat, simple module - glitches à la "Mobile cannon cannot be looted for parts and have no value."[sic!] are unfortunately to be found more than once in the module. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's full-color old (non-parchment-look) NeoExodus-standard and the artworks in full-color are neat, though you will recognize them from other NeoExodus publications. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is by this time a no-go and a definite down-point of the module. Any pdf longer than 4 pages should come with bookmarks by this point.

Author J.P. Chapleau is one of the lead creative minds behind the NeoExodus setting and it shows - he has a firm grasp on the concepts and mood evoked by the campaign setting and manages to transport this feeling to the module. However, not always. The quality of the writing fluctuates rather strangely between compelling reads and accumulations of short sentences that lack conjunctions, prepositions etc. I'm not sure why these subject-verb-object-sentences crop up, but they do. Wording-wise, another component of my gripes vs. the writing are sentences that contain word-proximities derived from the same root à la "support their supporters"[sic!] instead of "support their allies". While per se minor points, they conspire with the subpar editing to drag down what would otherwise be a nice, short, action-packed module. The potential repercussions and sense of gravitas the PCs should have by the end of this module is definitely something I'm missing from many of the PFS-modules. Speaking of organized play - This is something I'm not getting at the moment: The module is an organized play scenario for NeoExodus, which is cool. It also has the (soft) encounter markings, which is a bonus. BUT: As per the writing of this review, I couldn't find out how the module would work in an organized play context - factions? Faction prestige? Faction Quests? PC limitations? Notably absent. The Organized Play-pdf mentions patrons and tasks/favors for them, but none are available in this book- there also in no LR-sheet for the scenario included.

As a short module, the encounter at Ramat Bridge does its job rather well, but the aforementioned glitches and lack of bookmarks drag down what would usually be a good module to just a solid one. Add the decreased usability in an organized play context (as which this was advertised) and we have another downer. Thus, I'll settle for a final verdict of 2.5 stars, rounded still (albeit by only a slight margin!) up to 3 for the purpose of this platform since the general flair and atmosphere don't deserve a 2-star rating.

EDIT: +0.5 stars since we now get a chonicle sheet as well for a verdict of 3 stars

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Legacies: Encounter at Ramat Bridge (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Adventures: Origin of Man (PRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/15/2013 08:45:32

This is an excellent adventure, not only a cracking yarn in its own right but providing an epic sweep across the realms of NeoExodus. At 7th level, it is perhaps a bit high to serve as an introduction to this setting, but it certainly provides a good overview of what makes this a special and innovating place in which to play Pathfinder.

In appropriate Pathfinder style, the characters are asked to accompany a professor as he undertakes an expedition to prove his latest theories. It's likely to be dangerous, so he'd like some stout adventurers to go along - no use, after all, finding out that he was right all along and not getting home to write papers and deliver lectures about it!

The adventure falls into three parts. In the first, the characters are hired on and get to know their employer and his theories. The expedition itself follows and then... suffice to say, it wouldn't be much of an adventure if everything went according to plan and the party was home in time for tea! This of course provides plenty of scope and opportunity for characters with different skillsets and approaches to shine: the ability to handle oneself in social situations or to investigate and explore can often be as much of a survival skill as a strong swordarm or ready spellbook. The adventure is structured such that the GM can emphasise those aspects his players enjoy most, and bring plenty of challenge to bear.

Material is presented clearly, with 'read aloud' text as appropriate and plenty of options to empower the NPCs to respond appropriately to whatever the characters do or say. There are plenty of neat little touches that help bring the whole affair to life, and at points a palpable air of horror... this is pulp-style fantasy and should be played in appropriate cinematic style.

A fine adventure, well worth the running. Now to entice some players to NeoExodus...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Adventures: Origin of Man (PRPG)
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Obsidian Apocalypse: World of Abaddon (PFRPG)
by Jacob N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2013 01:49:22

As a primer to the World of Abaddon and what is in store for the Obsidian Apocalypse campaign setting, there is plenty to gain and get excited about. A world made dead via cataclysm from the skies, undead lords fighting over the scraps, celestials and fiends stranded amongst mortals, and a small living populace which otherwise has no chance at survival in the harsh world. Not only is this a grand entry for PCs looking for some horror, but it's a possible means to "end" and campaign setting, having the party strive for their ends in a world gone to hell. So much potential from this, and it's really just a historical introduction to the world, with plenty more to come. Those who are on the fence about Abaddon and any of the Obsidian Apocalypse products need to give this a read, and it will either sell or kill it for you. More than likely sell it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Obsidian Apocalypse: World of Abaddon (PFRPG)
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Ultimate Spell Decks: Druid Spell Cards (PFRPG)
by Dan D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/06/2013 15:13:35

The cards are complete in the spell description and are nicely formatted. The biggest drawback is that the PDF is formatted to print one card to a page!?! A great number of rainforest animals will be made homeless by prinitng the 205 pages of this file.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Spell Decks: Druid Spell Cards (PFRPG)
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Super Powered Adventure Planner
by Wayne P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2013 11:10:04

There is literally nothing in this document that could not be provided by your standard GM. Evernote could accomplish what this does, very easily and for free!

I came for the random encounter lists, and found blank entries for adding your own content. Actually, there is NO content here.. just provided organization, which has no interactivity or form fillable fields or anything.

For $1.99, I guess you get what you pay for... unimpressed.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Super Powered Adventure Planner
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NeoExodus Legacies: Ruins of Trovaska (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2012 08:32:19

The second scenario of the NeoExodus-legacies-series is 21 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page Buff-sheet, 2 pages daily spell-lists, 1 page combat & initiative tracker, 2 pages mini-monster sheets, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let's check this out!

Set after the first scenario, "Encounter at Ramat Bridge", this is the sequel and drives on the metaplot of the setting, so you may wish to play the other one before this. Some encounters are called "Soft" and be left out when running the module at a convention or otherwise starved for time. That out of the way, this being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

All right, still here? This module takes place during the offensive the Arman Protectorate launches into Sametian territory to guard its borders, including nasty side-effects of such incursions like slave-takings and forced mass-conversions to the Sanguine Covenant. Mother Ulana, one of the priestesses of the covenant tasks the PCs with the salvaging of a crystal that is a part of a matched pair of scrying devices stolen during Sametian raids. They are to travel to Trovaska's ruin and return it to the hands of the church before the Arman army can lay claim to it.

The way through hostile territory should prove to be interesting or the PCs - tailed by hordesmen, they will find the traces of the recent clashes: Vanquished soldiers, remnants of battlefields, impaled heads on spikes, church ruins that now house swarms of scavenging rats, cockatrices and stragglers left of an Arman unit that is rather nervous and might initiate combat with the PCs.

The deadly wind carrying wasp eggs and a Sametian ambush should also provide some opportunities for the PCs to test their mettle. In Trovaska's ruins, they will find strange things going on - in the ruins, humans and p'tan are busy excavating something, obviously enslaved and urging the PCs to meet the "master". In order to free them, they will have to disable a strange war-machine hidden in a shed and then make their way to the Nexus Gateway hidden here - where they can also find the crystal sphere that is the target of their quest. They could leave now (or sneak inside and skip the disabling of the strange machine) - but then they won't find the grisly, enslaved harem of the "Master", who is sometimes man and sometimes a woman and who has impregnated all of them. In the papers here, they can find papers with mixed gender-markers in their description (which unfortunately have spread to the module's text, resulting in severe he/she inconsistencies as well as a sentence fragment missing) and evidence that the Khaynite Arem'sher (the same one responsible for the attacks on Ramat Bridge) is seeking to amass an army and lead them through the Nexus Gateway. The papers also mention that a new "golden era under the will begin"[sic!] - seriously, that's unnecessarily sloppy editing!

In order to reach the Nexus Gateway and the soul-gatherer, which enslaves all the people, the PCs will have to first vanquish a weakened scythian bone golem, though - not a pushover at this level!

The adventure also provides consequences for their actions - whether they aid the Protectorate or the Church, they have chances to improve their standing with one of them, though a more tangible faction prestige mechanic than the abstract "rise/decline" would be appreciated for organized play modules - as would individual benefits instead of group benefits.

The module also provides stats for the enslavement device of the first ones - which remains a loose end in my opinion. Any political body with a modicum of self-interest would probably covet an enslavement machine like this and the destruction/handing over of such a device should have some ramifications. But that may just be me. We also get full stats of all NPCs featured in the module as well as a nice map. What also has me puzzled is why not keeping quiet about what went on results in a near-defeat of the Armans - telling the Horde, yes, but this consequence feels strangely disjointed from its instigating effect.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are mediocre at best, with sentences missing parts, typos and word omissions - LPJr Design can do better and the module deserves more care with editing. Layout adheres to the beautiful, new NeoExodus-2-column-standard with parchment-background and the module also provides a more printer-friendly version that adheres to the old NeoExodus standard with white background. The pdf has bookmarks, but bookmarks that are clearly from "Encounter at Ramat Bridge" and not working to boot - another clear indicator of a sloppy job.

This module is a little tragedy for me: On the one hand I like the scenario, the atmosphere and progression of the metaplot regarding the clash of the Armans and the Horde as well as the continuing threat posed by the grey eminence. On the other hand, though, this module suffers from sloppy editing, faulty bookmarks and a continuation of the problem of the first scenario: The repercussions are hard to track. Like the "Encounter at Ramat Bridge", this module has left us almost completely in the dark regarding the repercussions of the PC's actions.

While there now are repercussions, they are limited, abstract and feel slightly disjointed from their instigating effects. Oh, and then there's the woefully abstract way in which faction prestige is handled in the module (and worse, in its predecessor): I really hope to see a more tangible way of tracking the INDIVIDUAL prestige with factions and patrons, preferably in addition to a group prestige-score. As written, all remains rather nebulous. The module also lacks an LR-sheet to track character-success in the module, which is a pity and almost ironic, considering all the sheets included in the pdf.

This module could have been a 4 star-file and an interesting choice and still has the chance to be so via a major additional pass at editing as well as a revision of the faction-system, but as provided, its flaws detract much from its appeal - my final verdict will thus unfortunately be 2 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Legacies: Ruins of Trovaska (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Death’s Folly (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2012 04:25:34

This installment of the Treasures of NeoExodus-line is 4 pages long, 1 page SRD, 1 page item cards, leaving us with 2 pages for the weapon, so what do we get?

Prose-wise, I'll get that right out of the way, this is the best installment of the series so far, telling the tale of a boy who bested death thrice to escape the reaper's wrath, hearkening in style back to the fairy-tales of old. Death's Folly is said man's morning star. The weapon, however, is only a morningstar +1 that deals 1d4 con damage via a poison effect on a successful attack. As great as the story is, as bland are the mechanics of the weapon.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are good, though I noticed e.g. spacing glitches and a punctuation glitch - at this length definitely avoidable. Layout adheres to the beautiful full-color two-column standard used for NeoExodus-products and the pdf comes with two versions, the second adhering to the old, backgroundless standard. Both versions lack bookmarks and the artwork of the weapon is awesome, as we've come to expect from LPJr Design. The prose of this installment is interesting in that it deviates from what I expect from NeoExodus-publications, feeling very fey/old-world-style in its hearkening to classic themes of contests with death. Unfortunately, the supremely bland weapon and its terribly boring abilities all out fail to add solid and cool mechanics that would be fitting for the story, instead providing us with a superbly mediocre weapon that ANY DM could come up with. As much as it pains me to do so, I'll settle for a final verdict of 2 stars on this one.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Death’s Folly (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Legacies: Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/05/2012 02:27:18

This free guide to organized NeoExodus-play is 23 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let's check this out!

NeoExodus' idea is one of a setting involved in a meta-plot and NeoExodus-legacies-scenarios will deal with mini-campaign-arcs that allow players to shape the future of the setting - at least that's the idea. This being an organized play-guide, it includes basic terminologies and sets the rules for organized gaming by specifying types of adventures and how e.g. item-acquisition in a scenario is handled. We also get a short primer on the history, nations of the setting, religions and dangers. The pdf also uses a 20-point-buy for attributes, specifies legal races and classes etc. as well as special rules for classes: Gunslingers must e.g. be from the Arman Protectorate, Alchemists may replace brew potion with extra bombs etc. Religions come with a table of alignments and domains and HP-progression of characters is fixed as well, with 3400 GP being starting gold.

Characters are supposed to be sponsored by a patron, who may or may not be known to the player. & sample patron organizations/courts are provided and the entries are interesting per se and they come with requirements and benefits. The pdf also sets the rules for organized play:

No PvP, only "extra gold" rewards when replaying scenarios, no bullying/being a jerk, only one character per player per scenario, no trading/selling between players. As soon as a character reaches 4th level, they can't be modified further apart from retraining. Each player may have only one combatant creature.

DMs are told to award creative solutions (which is nice) and handling death is also a part of the deal as is advice on elementals of courtesy like turning off cell phones etc. Also cool: Players will have the option to ask the Kaga and gather word on the streets. Each NeoExodus Legacy module grants between 1 and 9 XP. As soon as a character reaches 9 or a multiple of 9 XP, they gain a level. The monetary/item rewards, LRs for players and DMs and max item available per level-limit.

Prestige-acquisition is covered via Favors as using favors for NPC-spellcasting, item favors etc. is covered. The book also has 3 pages of lists covering the allowed books and 1 page that covers a sample Level Record, but no blank level-record sheet to print out, which is a pity.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are ok, while I noticed e.g. punctuation glitches and e.g. words that should have been bold but weren't, the problems are minor. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's 2-column parchment-background standard and is a beauty to behold, including really neat artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and with a lite version for tablets etc., which is neat as well. All right, so this is the organized play handbook for NeoExodus? Well, from what I could tell, it looks like we'll get an interesting campaign out of the modules - and that's the point. For me, the success of organized play mostly depends on the quality of adventures and the consequences the respective prestige-gathering has on the setting/factions. Only time will tell how NeoExodus will handle them. For now, in no small part due to this being a free pdf, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for a nice organized play guide that features some good pieces of advice for players and DMs alike and could be interesting especially for novices to the world of roleplaying.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Legacies: Campaign Setting (PFRPG)
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Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 23: Storn Cook
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/04/2012 18:05:13

Once again LPJ Design provides an excellent selection of stock art featuring industry art name Storn Cook. The pieces in this collection (six in all) are perfect for use as cover or spot illustrations for a commercial role-playing product, particularly for publishers on a budget who could not normally afford an artist of Cook's caliber. This art collection, like the others in the Image Portfolio Platinum edition line, does not disappoint.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio Platinum Edition 23: Storn Cook
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Euhudi’s Sacrificial Knives (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2012 04:18:22

This installment of the Treasures of NeoExodus-line is 4 pages long, 1 page SRD, leaving 2 pages for the magic item and 1 page for item-cards, so let's check it out!

The set of knives portrayed in this pdf is peculiar in that it supposedly belonged to the notorious queen of the people of Bal that was notorious for her impact and the way in which she carried the bloody religion of Khayne in a swathe of death and destruction into the lands of other nations. Her bloodmagic-infused 3 sacrificial knives did not vanish with her defeat, though, and like the bloody Khaynite religion, may resurface...

Mechanics-wise, the knives are +1 keen daggers that impose a -4 penalty on attacks, as they are ill-suited for combat. When coup-de-gracing an opponent, they compel the wielder with greater command to perform an elaborate, 3-round spanning sacrifice to Khayne. Whether the compelled wielders act as helpless, flat-footed etc., though, the text fails to state. Once performed, they grant a +2 bonus to saves to all Khaynites of the party (though not specifying HOW MANY can be affected) , +1 per additional knife used, up to +4 when using all of them. They also grant a +2 bonus to AC, both abilities lasting 72 hours, decreasing each time the knives are used until the bonus only lasts 24 hours.

Using the blades on non-sentient or dead beings potentially curses the wielder and effects on non-Khaynites are less powerful. Furthermore, the sacrifices are addictive, but their save does not stack up, remaining at a paltry DC 13.

The pdf also features item-cards for the knives.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's new full-color two-column standard for NeoExodus publications and the printer-friendly version adheres to the old two-column full-color standard sans background. The artwork for the knives are beautiful and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

The idea of addictive blood magic sacrificial knives isn't new, but the implementation could have been awesome. Could. The lack of information on how many people can benefit from the boon renders the item wide open to varying interpretations and unusable. And then there's the fluff - Ehudi is supposed to by this ancient warlord boogey-queen, a legend, and her knives and the bonuses they grant are surprisingly paltry. Worse, unless your PCs are utterly corrupt already, they won't use them. There's no seductive lure of power here, no spiral of addiction and ultimately no incentive for your players to use the knives in a setting like NeoExodus, where so many vastly superior weapons and ways to power are available. And breaking free of the sacrifices is a joke, even at the lowest levels. There's a massive disjunction between fluff and mechanics going on here and unfortunately, that ruins the item further in my eyes, making me arrive at a final verdict of 1 star. Good idea, but very flawed execution.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Euhudi’s Sacrificial Knives (PFRPG)
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Lost Classes: Crescent Occultist
by David J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2012 19:14:14

The bulk of the product is written for the Dark Avenger (which is another Prestige Class within this same line of Lost Classes products).

By this I mean that the exact write-up, powers, BAB and special abilities--INCLUDING THE TERM "Dark Avenger"--is copied/pasted into the bulk of the Crescent Occultist article. (I know this because I have the Dark Avenger PrC as well....and it's a copypasta job.) There is, in fact, no spellcasting whatsoever in this PrC (as advertised in the product's advertisement blurb).

Until the text is corrected to feature an actual "crescent occultist" PrC, skip this product and just get the Dark Avenger instead.

Disappointing that no-one's caught this mistake after all this time.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Lost Classes: Crescent Occultist
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