DriveThruRPG.com
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left by this customer:
5E Mini-Dungeon #006: Abandoned Shrine
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/25/2017 10:09:00

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Oh, and the series now comes in an archive that also contains...drumroll a .jpg-version and a .tif-version of the map! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! The dungeon's number-less version of the map doesn't sport any deceptive trap icons or traps - kudos, though the place where the secret doors are can still be gleaned by proximity...but if you conceal that part, it works well. In short: Full, proper VTT-support and help for guys like yours truly that can't draw maps.

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

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

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

What formerly was a shrine devoted to a cult of assassins and their foul deity, now hosts an array of nasty gang members and their ogre boss. The complex itself is pretty straightforward and would be rather conservative in its own place. However, blending skeletal minotaurs and remnants of the cult with the new gang-inhabitants makes the dungeon feel interesting and less predictable. A modified gang member on the basis of ogre stats is nice and hyperlinking is generally consistent, though a decanter of endless water, for example, hasn't been hyperlinked.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos! The cartography, with player and GM-VTT-maps, is nice.

Brian Wiborg Mønster delivers an interesting little mini-dungeon, which, on paper, may look none too impressive. In play, the small dungeon felt more dynamic than I would have expected and the brief statblock modification shorthands render this one pretty much plug-and-play-ish, beyond even the other mini-dungeons. It is also a mini-dungeon that was converted well by Kyle Crider and one that, theme-wise, feels more fitting in 5e than in PFRPG - hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #006: Abandoned Shrine
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Rune of Hope
Publisher: Storm Bunny Studios
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/25/2017 04:41:50

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module for Rhûne clocks in at 87 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 3 pages short story/advertisement (actually worth reading!), 1 page back cover, leaving us with 80 pages of content - a massive amount!

All right, first things first: The mythic sidebar/support from "Into the Pale Tower" is maintained herein; if you've been playing the anti-tech side of the Rhûne factions (via The Ælven Agenda), then...you'll actually have a different intro, gaining specialized Aodain Shrouds. While transition from this angle takes a bit more finesse for the GM, it is very much feasible - though perhaps the coolest way to play this would be to play BOTH previous modules with different characters...that way, if one group gets wiped/defeated, the second can pick up the pieces...and if all fails, you can use the PCs from one of the modules as NPCs...Just my 2 cents, of course! If you've been using the factions from "Into the Pale Tower", they won't play a big role here, though that is bound to change in the third module.

All righty, that out of the way, let's dive into the module - and that means that, from here on out, there are a lot of SPOILERS: Those of you who want to play this should jump to the conclusion!

...

..

.

Only GMs around? Great! So, while the PCs were trying to stop the plot in the Pale Tower, Northgard has been besieged by the barbarian hordes at the service of the eternal winter - the Thrall Lords are making a big move it seems - and Northgard has been in better shape, with commander Dorthgar and key officers having been afflicted by the dread rage fever...which renders open warfare a problematic idea. In his incapacitation, the commander's daughter tries her best to hold the ford together.

So, no matter which prequel is used, we can begin- the Pcs are greeted by refugees...and warlike barbarians won't wait to make their introductions either -sending their famished thralls at the PCs, which should make abundantly clear that these folks and the servants of the Thrall lords in general, should not be trifled with. Finally arriving at the pier where the White Jarl awaits, the PCs will have to contend with the damaged pier and the deadly frigus zombie, who is about to make short notice of the vessel unless the PCs intervene - it is also here that the racial tensions and alien mindset of the automata are showcased, but ultimately, the PCs need to make their way to Northdown on board of the ship - past the plague blockade...and they better survive the thugs sent by Grey Navash...

Knight-Commander Ullsteinnr is not particularly pleased and a combination of Black Hand agent-provocateurs, the nearby hordes and the zeitgeist make Union City not the nicest place to be - the trail that may provide salvation, though, leads to Mikill Bókasafnið (Literally "The Great Library" -love the linguistic consistence the setting often manages to employ!!) - where the PCs will have to explore the complex, searching for a means to deal with the plague...and the magical defenses of parts of the library, so here's to hoping they don't torch the place...and the trail leads to speaking with a glitterfane. If the PCs play their cards right, the missionary may yield the correct information - but the trail leads to Caol, several days away...and with time being of the essence, THE airship (remember the lore of The Sun's Gem from the CS - that's a HUGE honor!) is the only way...but even en route there, the PCs will have to withstand yet another agent of their foes. The crew down to half strength, the journey on board of the legendary vessel (fully statted!) is not under the best of signs...

...and indeed, if the PCs failed to do their homework, they'll be up for a rude awakening when clockwork swarms activate on board...and a mutated, ghastly, huge undead swan gorged on necromantic energies also seeks to take down the ship. If the PCs are grounded due to damage at one point, they may run afoul of ælven patrols and indeed, the pdf concisely covers the option for ælves to resolve this before the attack escalates.

The PCs now finally arrive at Caol - and the full-color maps are ridiculously glorious, gorgeous, amazing. Drool-worthy. The alien glitterfane and their glitterswarms make for an...interesting experience...but ultimately, the PCs will have to convince Vella Lightwing, cleric of Alnara, to grant them access to the chalice: PCs should be up to their best behavior, for not only the formal trials posed by the glitterfane must be mastered: The PC's conduct impacts seriously the support they receive: Favor points are tracked. And yes, there are tricks to the trials of harmony, compassion...and finally, they will encounter glitterfane who are less nice, including a radical renegade oracle...and how the PCs deal with them will make a major impact...and yes, roleplaying is rewarded over just bashing brains in.

Once again, though, the PCs are not at the end of their journey - they will have to brave the wilderness trail (and the lavishly-depicted en-route encounters, complete with glorious full-color maps) to approach Drowned Karthæn, desolate ruins where mutated leshy, decaying tentacles and worse roam the streets of this nightmarish locale -and the PCs have to make their way down below into the royal quarter, which doubles as a creepy, ghostly dungeon, where creature-placement, details, haunts and the like conspire as a great example of indirect storytelling...and have I mentioned the savage ghast raging cannibal? or the mighty skergrafa construct? This section could come straight out of a Dark Souls/Bloodborne-game and that is meant as a true compliment: Have I mentioned the rune-cursed coral colony? In a lesser adventure-series, this act would be a stand-alone module! And the final boss-fight is EPIC. Thus, with the rune Laguz secured, the Pcs will probably want to return post-haste from these darkened halls.

The chalice's power sends the PCs straight through Nachtland (German for Nightland, just fyi), a shadow-plane like double where the PCs can metaphysically combat the rage fever in a more direct manner...however, the shadowy version of Northgard is inhabited by dread elementals of void and fire...and worse...and yes, we once again get an absolutely phenomenal map - in a version for Nachtland and a regular one - double-kudos. In order to save Northgard, the PCs will have to defeat a horrid giant, who is primed to actually enter Midgard...and tear Northgard asunder with his mythic power.

Still, the aftermath is grim and it seems like Northgard is bound to fall....but how this saga plays out, well, we'll have to wait for module #3 to determine that!

The pdf also provides stats for the magic items and monsters introduced herein.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting...are actually really good this time around! I noticed no "see page x"-remnants, no hiccups in that way - big plus and kudos for improving that aspect. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard with a white background, somewhat akin to the one employed in Ælven Agenda, but more refined. So yeah, we're back to a more printer-friendly look than "Into the Pale Tower"'s sepia-tinted standard. The full-color artworks are GLORIOUS. The same holds true for the copious, lavish cartography. Now, unfortunately, we don't get player-friendly versions of the maps, but unlike in the previous module, by the structure etc. of this one, that aspect is a bit less jarring - for the most part, you can use the maps presented, go mind's eye or duplicate them quicker - the absence hurts, yes, but hurts a bit less. Another big downside is something you probably expected: Once again, alas, we get NO BOOKMARKS. This constitutes a serious comfort detriment. We also don't have a print-option, so yeah, alas, there is no alternative: The best way, at this point, to run this, is printing it out. Here's to hoping the whole series gets PoD soon! The pdf comes with a smaller lite-version for electronic devices.

Will Cooper, Joshua Kitchens & Jaye Sonia are obviously a winning team. Ben McFarland and Mike Myler provided additional design...and the result is a GLORIOUS module. I mean it. Bringing the two wildly different storylines of the previous modules together is damn cool. The module has a sense of urgency, excellent production values and a lot of different challenges to overcome: Different themes are concisely linked, there is something to be done for every type of character and the atmosphere is generally amazing. This is, in short, a fantastic module.

That being said, the lack of bookmarks and player maps does hurt this a bit...if the module existed in a print version, I'd point to it as the way to go, but yeah - as a reviewer, I have to penalize this for their lack, in spite of adoring the module. Still, considering all, I do still feel like I have to wholeheartedly recommend this - which is why my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down...but I'll still add my seal of approval to it. I wholeheartedly hope that the Storm Bunnies add the player maps and bookmarks and/or print options, though - I want this whole series of adventures in print!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Rune of Hope
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Guarding Galaxy XXX
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/25/2017 04:40:14

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This modules, formerly known as Guardians of Galaxy XXX, clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page full-color artwork doubling as back cover, 1/2 page editorial, leaving us with 7.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This module is intended for use with Kort'thalis Publishing's Alpha Blue RPG, which centers on capturing the aesthetics of 70s and 80s scifi-porn-parodies. As such, the usual disclaimer regarding adult topics applies. If you're not familiar with the system and its tropes and themes, I have reviewed the 3 core supplements for it and assume familiarity with the respective rules in this review. These reviews would also be a nice place to ascertain whether or not you'll be comfortable with the explicit content.

All right, that disclaimer out of the way, let's dive right in - this means that, from here on out, the SPOILERS reign. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

All right, still around? Only SDMs here? Great! So, the players are accidentally awakened from cryosleep, due to a malfunction of their pod-series. You see, a man named Kaufman wanted to awaken a soldier called Rory - who listens, as do the PCs, to the briefing...only to nonchalantly go back to sleep...so it'll be up to the ragtag band of spacers to save Galaxy XXX from certain doom...that is, after one of them got a call via the conveniently retro cellphone attached to the cryopod, promising phone-sex. This is Alpha Blue, after all.

After that, the PCs go into decontamination. Which sports a 1 in 6 chance to die due to a fleshmelting allergic reaction. No save. Yeah, that's just frustrating and needlessly dickish. It's not even funny. In the locker room after decontamination, the PCs, if they're crafty, can witness peep-hole style voyeurism and then, it's time to suit up. Just as the PCs are being briefed, they witness a man succumbing to a grape soda, which turns him into a tentacle monster, the first combat here.

After this encounter, the PCs meet three hipster space wizards who propose a slave-trade and try to recruit the PCs to deliver the doomsday device for them instead. Then, it's time to man a space craft - and suddenly, the PCs get a communiqué from the Targons. After that, we'll have ship-to-ship combat (not the strongest suite of Alpha Blue) and, no matter how it goes, the PCs will end up on P'oon's orbit. On the planet, the PCs will meet the gangster J'aemz Khaan, who take the PCs to his bunker - turns out, there are gigantic desert worms attracted by rhythmic beats. The man is also allied with a nasty dark zedi named Obsidian Shadow. The doomsday device is close and if the PCs don't interfere, the villains will get it - once they're both dead, it'll be up to the PCs to figure out what to do next. Much like Slippery When Wet, the module ends rather abruptly.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no severe issues. Layout adheres to a nice two-column standard with colored veins in the background. The pdf sports nice b/w-artworks - nothing to complain in the aesthetics department. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience - kudos for going the extra mile there!

Venger As'Nas Satanis delivers a fun little module - sure, it has nothing to do with "Guardians of the Galaxy", but that holds true for more than one scifi-porn-parody, so no complaints in that regard. Now, I totally understand that I am, ultimately, a huge ass here - this is a FREE module, so what are you waiting for? If you like Alpha Blue, you can certainly use this pdf! On a neutral, structural analysis side, I think that the end of the module is rather sudden. The middle finger that is the decontamination also isn't exactly my idea of fun, but yeah. Structurally, this isn't the best module - it is, however, a proper and fully-detailed, short module, which makes it superior to all the adventure-sketches usually found in the Alpha Blue supplements - you can just open this pdf and play, which makes it great for convention-style gaming. It's not perfect, but it's hard to argue with FREE. Considering that, I arrive at a final verdict of 4 stars - a good offering for fans of Alpha Blue.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Guarding Galaxy XXX
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Places of Power: Tumblestone Inn (SNE)
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/25/2017 04:36:07

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

In the middle of the borderlands, in the middle of the wilderness, situated atop the ruins of an erstwhile keep, there lies a place, equal parts armed camp of sellswords and mercenaries and bastion of civilization, bazaar of the exotic and recruiting ground - this place is tumblestone inn, and it may be precariously close to the territory of orcs...but so far it stands, also thanks to the continuous influx of adventurers...and they keep coming, because it has pretty much become THE place to get hired...and so, shadowy patrons always frequent the corners of the place and gold is always changing hands.

Led by Aelliah Wilmaytn, an erstwhile mercenary captain and guarded by many of her fellow soldiers, the place is also surprisingly safe for its location and concentration of capable individuals -some of which come with nice, fluff-only write-ups. As often in the series, we get information on local dressing-habits and nomenclature - but this time around, we also get a marketplace (with custom-priced, lesser magic items for sale - these should not break anyone's sense of immersion, considering how this is basically an adventurer's homebase...), ale and room-prices and the obligatory events and rumors to add further spice to this locale.

Going one step beyond, we also get 10 fluff-only write ups of different mercenaries as well as 8 patrons, making this basically a fully staffed environment to drop into pretty much every hexcrawl or wilderness environment you could conceive. The noted class-lines for the respective NPCs make use of the proper terms like magic-user and thief, so no complaints there.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch. Layout adheres to RSP's elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf features some nice b/w-artworks. The pdf comes in two iterations, one optimized for screen-use and one made for the printer - kudos there! The cartography by Simon Butler and Maciej Zagorski is excellent. I think by joining Raging Swan Press' patreon, you can actually get the high-res map for the evocative place, but I am not 100% sure. The map provided is cool, but sports keyed rooms.

From the Black Tower, still standing from the original keep, to the mercenaries herein, Creighton Broadhurst proves why he's this highly regarded - the man KNOWS what he is doing. Frankly, I should not be liking this pdf to the extent that I do; it's concept is so old and done, it doesn't have this novelty I tend to crave...which just goes to show what good prose and concise writing can achieve, for I indeed found myself loving this extremely useful home away from home, this ready to drop in adventuring hub. There is something about the totality of this place of power that transcends the building stones from which it was crafted, making it stand out and feel distinct, in spite of its conservative theme.

In fact, Tumbledown Inn may actually work best in this iteration - it resonates with the old Greyhawk and Judge's Guild flavor and feels like a perfect drop-in for old-school campaigns. It is unpretentious, yes, but it perfectly captures the feeling and flavor of these regions...and OSR-fans will most certainly experience this warm smile slowly manifesting on their faces. In short: Unlike in PFRPG or 5E, I am not missing the extra crunchy bits here and thus, my verdict for this version, will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Tumblestone Inn (SNE)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Places of Power: Tumblestone Inn (5e)
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/25/2017 04:34:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

In the middle of the borderlands, in the middle of the wilderness, situated atop the ruins of an erstwhile keep, there lies a place, equal parts armed camp of sellswords and mercenaries and bastion of civilization, bazaar of the exotic and recruiting ground - this place is tumblestone inn, and it may be precariously close to the territory of orcs...but so far it stands, also thanks to the continuous influx of adventurers...and they keep coming, because it has pretty much become THE place to get hired...and so, shadowy patrons always frequent the corners of the place and gold is always changing hands.

Led by Aelliah Wilmaytn, an erstwhile mercenary captain and guarded by many of her fellow soldiers, the place is also surprisingly safe for its location and concentration of capable individuals -some of which come with nice, fluff-only write-ups. As often in the series, we get information on local dressing-habits and nomenclature - but this time around, we also get a marketplace (yes, dear 5E fans - you don't miss out this time around - there actually are a few lesser magic items for sale!), ale and room-prices and the obligatory events and rumors to add further spice to this locale.

Going one step beyond, we also get 10 fluff-only write ups of different mercenaries as well as 8 patrons, making this basically a fully staffed environment to drop into pretty much every hexcrawl or wilderness environment you could conceive. That being said, here in this section, the 5E-version partially uses generic NPC stats (guards, knights, etc. - you know the drill) and partially notes character classes with levels - I don't object to that, but it's something to bear in mind. There is one hiccup here, with what should be a "rogue 6" referred to as a "thief 6", though

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good. Layout adheres to RSP's elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf features some nice b/w-artworks. The pdf comes in two iterations, one optimized for screen-use and one made for the printer - kudos there! The cartography by Simon Butler and Maciej Zagorski is excellent. I think by joining Raging Swan Press' patreon, you can actually get the high-res map for the evocative place, but I am not 100% sure. The map provided is cool, but sports keyed rooms.

From the Black Tower, still standing from the original keep, to the mercenaries herein, Creighton Broadhurst proves why he's this highly regarded - the man KNOWS what he is doing. Frankly, I should not be liking this pdf to the extent that I do; it's concept is so old and done, it doesn't have this novelty I tend to crave...which just goes to show what good prose and concise writing can achieve, for I indeed found myself loving this extremely useful home away from home, this ready to drop in adventuring hub. There is something about the totality of this place of power that transcends the building stones from which it was crafted, making it stand out and feel distinct, in spite of its conservative theme. While not 100% perfect, this conversion makes for an interesting and well-wrought supplement for a more than fair price-point. Hence, this very much deserves the full 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Tumblestone Inn (5e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #007: The Pententieyrie
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/25/2017 04:32:19

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Oh, and the series now comes in an archive that also contains...drumroll a .jpg-version and a .tif-version of the map! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! Something went wrong with the jpg and tif-maps, though: One sports the trap icons, but not the secret doors...and the other sports secret doors noted by the deceptive "S"...but not the trap icons. This makes neither the GM, nor the player maps work ideally.

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

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

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

Okay, beyond the pun-tastic title, this one is interesting - draw a rough image of the map - it should look like an Aztec glyph. The trail leads the PCs to a strange complex, shielded from dimensional intrusion and sporting a hard-to-reach locale -an hermitage, if you will. Within the complex, not only do strange wonders await - there is also a vrock. Yeah, a demon. Only, said demon actually is on the path of redemption! Yes, this may not necessarily be a combat encounter, but rather a module that could help bring unprecedented salvation to a being of pure evil, perhaps serving as a great launching point for PCs endeavoring to redeem a villain or similar foes/morally bankrupt characters. Have I mentioned the option for flight-training and some rather...let's say, unique, properties and dangerous glyph-traps?

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos! The cartography, with player and GM-VTT-maps, is nice.

Okay, this transcends being a mini-dungeon; this one is an AWESOME, unique set-piece - with special ways for avian/flight training and perhaps one of the most far-out potential mentors I've seen in a while, Stephen Yeardley's mini-dungeon delivers more oomph and unique tricks than what one would deem possible within such a restrictive format.

At the same time, this mini-dungeon does lose a bit of its charm in Kyle Crider's translation: It references subdual damage, which does not exist in 5e, and while the hyperlinks are well-made this time around, the lack of a direct flight-based skill in 5e takes a bit away from the complex's unique original property. Add to that the hiccup in the VTTs and we have a conceptually strong pdf hampered by a couple of minor factors - still a good offering, though. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #007: The Pententieyrie
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #001: Buried Council Chambers
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/24/2017 09:22:22

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Oh, and the series now comes in an archive that also contains...drumroll a .jpg-version and a .tif-version of the map! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! The dungeon's number-less version of the map does come with iterations sans the deceptive "S" denoting secret doors, but the secret rooms have not been retouched/covered, so players will still know where to look...but then again, 2 bucks for print, 1 buck for pdf.

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

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

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This mini-dungeon depicts, surprise, the ruined council chambers, sunk by an odd cataclysm, and as such, does sport a massive dome, wherein magical riddles can be found (quite a few, actually!) as well as the suffocated, now undead remains of the tragedy. Rooms that provided for the heating and cooling add a nice sense of the magical society that inhabited these halls, while surprisingly interesting items (a ring that melts in warm climates, for example and duplicates boots of the winterlands!) complement a nice mini-crawl. That being said, the 5e-iteration does sport one aspect I am not that happy with - the pdf's hyperlinks are not always that consistent and e.g. the pink rhomboid ioun stone found, would probably be better off called Fortitude ioun stone - having to read the entry for the item-class is a bit tedious. Not a big complaint, mind you, just something I noticed. Also, as a very rare magic item, it may be a bit soon to dump such a potent treasure in the PC's lap.

The one structural downside of this module would be the lack of an explanation for ingress beyond finding the opening in the dome's ceiling - while it makes sense, the people herein died from lack of oxygen. Breaking through would have been the icing on the cake - and making the long isolation and thus gathered gasses additional hazards that could have further improved a pretty impressive mini-module.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf. The .jpg version included here, which you can easily cut up and hand out to the players as they progress is nice to have, but I wished it came with covered up secret rooms. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Jonathan G. Nelson knows how to craft truly unique, alive cultures and this knack for indirect storytelling even translates to this exceedingly limited format - pretty impressive! With the exception of the nitpicks mentioned above, this module should be considered a great example for a short, sweet sidetrek. Kyle Crider did a nice job translating the dungeon and while this may not be perfect, it is a worthwhile file. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #001: Buried Council Chambers
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Red King
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/24/2017 07:53:47

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 8.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The red king is the dictator of the North in the amazing patchwork planet of Porphyra, an ogre-mage half-dragon with a single, purple eye that seems to be too large for his head - and yes, there is an amazing hand-out-style 1-page version of the glorious artwork depicting him within this pdf.

Ahem. Sorry. I can't do that neutral routine. LOOK AT THOSE STATS! I am drooling here!!

CR 22. AC 48 almost 450 hit points. Yes, please! His class-line reads "Male unique half-dragon ogre mage cavalier (longshanks/warlord) 6/inquisitor 5. And his average damage output is a beauty to behold! While his cohort and followers (an army in its own right) don't get stats, he is a beauty!! He actually killed his father and implanted his eye in his own face, wearing his sire's scales!

His armor employs the grace ability, which increases the maximum Dex-bonus and aforementioned eye can pierce illusions...oh, but that's not all!! You see, unlike many comparable supplements, we do receive a gloriously detailed background for this villain - beyond the detailed and lavish story, which has ventured into the realm of legend, the red king also sports a rather intriguing array of tactics - and yes, he has actually strategies to escape death.

Beyond these lavishly detailed aspects of the pdf, we also get specific adventure hooks and a new legendary weapon, namely the Red King's Judgment. In case you're new to the concept of legendary weapons: These were introduced by Purple Duck Games as an alternative to the concept of Legacy Weapons - but unlike those, they don't impose unnecessary penalties. The respective items have prerequisites and increase in power over the course of the wielder's levels, with the weapon featured herein increasing in potency in 10 steps. I love these items, as they help combat the Christmas-Tree-syndrome and makes magic matter more.

Anyways, beyond gaining multiple straight upgrades, we gain increasing, scaling invulnerability to fire, minions via Vile Leadership, nets Proficiencies/Focus and provides e.g. flame strike with 1/2 unholy damage...which does not exist. I get what it tries to do, but still -an obvious and unnecessary glitch. It also can bypass fire resistances and allow the wielder to discorporate and weather the storm, emerging once again from the flames...

It should also be noted that material uses and special weapon properties featured in the build - kudos!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good - I noticed no serious hiccups and rules-language is similarly concise, with the minor exclusion of the aforementioned unholy damage glitch. Layout adheres to Purple Duck Games' two-column standard, which is printer-friendly with purple highlights. The artwork of the king is GLORIOUS. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn't necessarily require them at this length.

Derek Blakely has made a little dream of mine come true. I don't know about you, my readers, but I know that my players crave challenges and many a published module doesn't really live up to that aspect: If I threw a vanilla AP final boss at my group, then chances are in many (not all!) cases that they'd utterly annihilate the foe. I am a huge fan of really challenging, deadly villain-builds and when both the amazing Faces of the Tarnished Souk-series and Enemies of NeoExodus ran their course, I sighed and got back to making builds.

I expected not that much from this humble pdf and I got so much more: The red king is a glorious foe - lavishly illustrated, detailed and deadly, he makes for an amazing BBEG in the tradition of these two superb series. I adore this NPC and his tricks and the addition of the legendary weapon is a nice plus as well. For the low and fair price-point, this provides a great, deadly villain that should really challenge even powerful groups. What more can you ask for? Exactly! The one aesthetic glitch I found wasn't enough to rate this down - this is a great, amazing little pdf, well worth the asking price and deserving of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Red King
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Deep Magic: Illumination
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/24/2017 07:52:50

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Kobold Press' Deep Magic 5e-books clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This school of magic, associated with light and school, if fittingly represented by just that, the school of illumination. At 2nd level, costs and time to copy illumination spells to the spell-book is halved and additionally, you can forecast danger in the next 24 hours by studying the stars for 1 hour. This nest advantage on up to 2 initiative checks, lasting for 24 hours or until the end of the next long rest. Alternatively, you may grant an ally said advantage, but then you may not benefit from it in that combat. The decision must be made before rolling dice. At 6th level, you gain a bonus of +1 to spell attack modifier and spell save DC in dim light or darkness - not the biggest fan of that one. At 10th level, illusions for which you lose concentration exist for another round, provided the spell's duration has not elapsed. here' I'd have referenced duration instead of maximum duration in the rules-lingo, mainly since maximum duration could be taken to mean a spell's theoretical maximum duration, including increased spell-levels...but that is a nitpick and will not be considered for my final verdict. At 14th level, during a long rest, you can watch the stars, gathering ambient energy in a small item like a star chart or astrolabe. While holding said item, you can use a bonus action to expend the stored energy to duplicate one of the following: Alter self until the next long rest, net a creature in sight disadvantage on the next save versus an illusion or enchantment, reroll up to Intelligence modifier damage dice of a necrotic damage causing spell of 5th level or lower or, finally, treat a divination spell as though you had cast it using a spell slot one level higher.

The pdf also contains a new feat, namely Star and Shadow Reader: Upon taking the feat, choose necrotic or radiant damage: Your spells casting that damage ignore resistance, but not immunity, to the chosen type. Additionally, you can cast augury sans expending a spell slot once between long rests (which is very feeble, considering the spell's ritual tag) and gain darkvision 15 ft. - or increase an existing darkvision's range by +15 ft. The prerequisite is btw. the ability to cast at least one spell. I'm not a big fan here - ignoring resistance takes away from D&D 5e's rock-paper-scissors type of gameplay.

Unless I have miscounted, we get a total of 21 spells: Black hand lets you fire a ranged spell attack, imposing disadvantage an attacks, ability checks and saving throws made with physical attributes. The effect can be ended via a Con-save at disadvantage. Not the biggest fan -the spell would be less open to weird uses if it was tied to the target. Black well has a massive range of 300 ft. and drags those within 90 ft. of it towards it on a failed Strength save. A target within the well is stunned on a failed Con-save and suffers necrotic damage, with a successful save reducing that to incapacitation. Creatures take no damage from remaining in the well, just from exiting it - and creatures within the well at its end land prone. This spell is a bit too strong - it's AoO instant suck for all foes: The multiple saves don't really help, considering how far the well drags targets. Even successful saves of those on which the well is cast lock them down. Cloak of shadow nets you advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks relying on sight.

Compelling fate is pretty cool: If the target fails a Cha-save, you get advantage on attack rolls, may mirror its movements on the creature's turn (deducting that from your next movement) or use a reaction to grant yourself and all allies within earshot of the subject's intentions, providing a +2 bonus to AC or saves versus the prompting attack. At 7th level spell level, starry wisdom lets you cast a reaction-based variant of the spell. Flickering fate, at 4th level, is interesting: You or a target touched can see fate: All creatures within range make Wisdom saves - on a failure, they need to declare their intended actions and then follow through on their turns -additionally, the recipient has advantage on attacks ability checks and saves and creatures affected suffer from disadvantage. Once again, I think this would have made more sense of the spell conveyed advantage only with regards to actions prompted by or against creatures actually affected by the spell.

Guiding star prevents you from being lost due to stars and sun - as a nitpick, I think the spell should specifically state that it can only work on open ground: While the spell's flavor states that it works by tracking sun/stars, RAW, it can be cast underground and works - one could argue the tracking to be "magic" and thus feasible in such environments as well. Icy grasp of the ether, at 7th level, inflicts nasty cold damage and restrains the target and accumulates exhaustion of the target is not immune to cold and breathes. Orb of light blinds the target 1 round and deals 3d8 radiant damage, with a Dex-save to halve damage and negate blindness - compared to similar 2nd level spells, a well-balanced option. Shadow bite is a necrotic variant of acid splash that instead of targeting two creatures, halves the speed of a being affected by it until your next turn, with Con to resist. personally, I'd have reduced the damage dice since necrotic damage is slightly more valuable than acid, but oh well. Shadow blindness is one cool cantrip: It temporarily negates natural darkvision! Elegant and cool!

Shadow hands is another tweak: 1st-level spell, 15-ft.-cone, 2d4 necrotic damage + frightened on a failed Wis-save, which also potentially halves damage. Shadow trove lets you temporarily store items inside. Downside: "Items that are still inside the shadow trove when the duration ends are lost forever." WTF? That's 3rd level. Unwelcome artifact? Put it in the magic garbage disposal! Need to make documents disappear? there you go. Since only the caster and certain designated individuals can access it, that further exacerbates the issues. This spell needs a serious overhaul. Shield of star and shadow nets resistance to either necrotic or radiant damage and makes you shed dim light. Silhouette lets you do a magic shadow puppet show - decent cantrip. Slither temporarily makes you a shadow is cool in theory. However: "You are immune to all damage, except force, psychic and radiant damage." WHAT THE EFFFF??? This is ridiculously potent for a 2nd level spell. Dragon breath? No biggie, I'll go shadow. This needs to die in a fiery blaze. Or at least be seriously nerfed.

Starburst is a radiant-based cantrip for 1d6 radiant damage, range 60 feet. Starfall has a range of 60 feet and lets you cause 8d6 radiant damage to 5 targets within range, with hit targets blinded on a failed Dex-save, which also can halve damage. In spite of a slightly decreased damage output, this has: a) a better damage type than cone of cold; b) better control (no cone, choose targets) and c) no duration for blindness effect - as a whole, this makes the spell too strong for the level. The blindness effect should go, at the very least. Last rays of the dying sun first blasts for 6d6 fire damage, then for the same amount of cold damage in a 40-feet burst - at 7th level, a solid option. Summon star calls forth a deva that charms those that look upon it. Star's heart, the 9th level spell, increases gravity within 50 feet - all creatures within drop objects held, become incapacitated and can't move. Solid objects encountered triple fall/collision damage. Creatures within the area or entering it must save or suffer the same fate. Anyone starting the round prone takes bludgeoning damage and those than make their saves while prone take only half damage and may move at 1/2 speed. Big plus: Manages to get spell interaction, ranged weapons, etc. right.

We end the pdf with Talithe Val'Shiar, a sample challenge 6 NPC.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are excellent on a formal level. On a rules-level, the language is precise as well, though balance-wise, I disagree with several choices. Layout adheres to Kobold Press' two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The full-color artworks herein are absolutely gorgeous.

Greg Marks delivers a per se solid pdf here. There are quite a few aspects to like and enjoy within this supplement. At the same time, when compared to previous installments in Kobold Press' Deep magic-series, this feels like it falls a bit flat. It does not sport the evocative visuals of Clockworks, the cool rune engine of rune magic or the impeccable balance of the void magic book. Ignoring resistances is a slippery slope and there are a few spells herein, where comparable PHB-spells are obviously worse. I also think that the celestial alignment-theme could have been more pronounced/better integrated in the material presented. As a whole, this is not bad - but it does have a couple of rough edges and a bit more "variant of spell x"-material than I expected. This is not bad, but compared to previous installments, it feels less compelling - my final verdict, as written, can't go higher than 3.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Deep Magic: Illumination
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #005: The Soularium
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/24/2017 07:49:48

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Unlike the first three 5E Mini-Dungeons, this one does not come with VTT-maps or player-friendly iterations, which is a bit of a bummer.

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

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

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

The Soularium is pretty uncommon in that it does not represent a classic dungeon, but rather a cult's dread operation disguised as a charity - what at first looks like a benevolent organization, quickly turns out to be the soul harvesting operation of a nasty quasit and his faithful cult - including and alignment seeing statue and pretty concise defenses - conceivably well--crafted for such a small module and sporting actual traps and the like herein. Big plus - the hyperlinking this time is pretty consistent and the traps/skill-checks have been translated well into the context of 5e.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a nice 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf, but there is no key-less version of the map to print out and hand to your players. Stats, as mentioned above, obviously are hyperlinked to the SRD.

Rory Toma's Soularium is an interesting, fun sidetrek with cool defenses, nice ideas and a solid cartography to boot. The lack of player-friendly maps once again drags this a bit down, but balance- and treasure-wise, I have no complaints this time around - Kyle Crider did a nice conversion job.There is not much to complain about here - hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #005: The Soularium
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #004: Summoner's Remorse
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/24/2017 07:48:45

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Unlike the first three 5E Mini-Dungeons, this one does not come with VTT-maps or player-friendly iterations, which is a bit of a bummer.

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

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

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

Okay, so recently, villagers have been kidnapped by a nefarious cult, HEL-bent (haha) on rescuing a dark naga from the limbo of HEL via terrible human sacrifice. The mini-dungeon kicks off by a maddened villager slitting his throat in front of the PCs, thus conjuring forth scarab swarms - 3 scarab stones need to be destroyed in the complex to thwart the scarab swarm-controlling cult in a surprisingly atmospheric, dark module that has an atmosphere I did not expect to see in this series.

Now, conversion-wise, hyperlinks this time around are mostly consistent - apart from a potion of speed, a potion of heroism and the scarab of protection the links are all consistent and lead where they should. That brings me to one aspect, however - the scarab was a legendary item last time I checked and as such may be a bit too much for the level of the module for some groups

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches apart from an acolyte being referred to as an adept in a conversion relic. Layout adheres to a nice 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf, but there is no key-less version of the map to print out and hand to your players. Stats, as mentioned above, obviously are hyperlinked to the SRD.

Justin Andrew Mason's module was converted rather neatly to 5E by Kyle Crider - the conversion was done rather well and provides a challenging, but fair and atmospheric module that ranks among the better of the early mini-dungeons. While the lack of player maps is lamentable, this still is very much worth the price of admission and should be considered a worthwhile addition for 5e-groups. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #004: Summoner's Remorse
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #003: Shrine of the Earth Barons
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/24/2017 07:47:37

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Oh, and the series now comes in an archive that also contains...drumroll a .jpg-version and a .tif-version of the map! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! The dungeon's number-less version of the map doesn't sport any deceptive trap icons or traps - kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

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

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

The PCs find a capstone that opens to a dome that once housed a cabal of gnomish earth elementalists, now obliterated by a staff of power's breaking by a fanatical adversary. Now what's rather awesome, the dungeon does sport moving teleportation vortexes as well as deadly golems and earth-themed adversaries, often with interesting reskins to add a further sense of unique identity. Less awesome: It should be noted that the treasure for this mini-dungeon contains two ioun stones, one of which is legendary...which may be a bit much for the level...and it should be noted that they are not named for the benefits conveys, but for their shape, which may require reading the description. If you're as picky as I am, that may annoy you slightly.

If PCs are capable, they'll also score two manuals of golems. Speaking of which: Iron Golem adversary. That's challenge 16. Don't get me wrong - that's beatable by a well-coordinated group...but it's also very, very lethal and chances are that the PCs may not even be able to harm this monster!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Stephen Yeardley delivers a concise, golem/earth-themed mini-dungeon I loved in its original iteration. Unfortunately, Kyle Crider did not translate it that well to 5e this time around. The balance of monsters is off and makes this a brutal meat-grinder that will curbstomp all but the hardiest of groups. Moreover, the pdf wastes precious space by noting "CLs" -which do not exist per se: 5e cares about the caster's level in some cases (cantrips, for example), but is more occupied with actual spellslots used...which renders these relics puzzling at best.

The hyperlinks don't work all - while the material can be found on the Open 5e SRD, only a few of the hyperlinks actually point where they should, detracting from the go-play aspect.

As a whole, this module has suffered quite a bit in translation - and while I still like components of it, I consider it to be problematic. My final verdict will hence clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #003: Shrine of the Earth Barons
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #002: Hobgoblin Lair
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/24/2017 07:46:25

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Oh, and the series now comes in an archive that also contains...drumroll a .jpg-version and a .tif-version of the map! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! The dungeon's number-less version of the map doesn't come with iterations sans the deceptive "S" denoting secret doors, but at least the trap icons have been purged in these VTT-versions. Still, I wouldn't be able to use them as is, with the deceptive "S" around...but then again, this is really inexpensive.

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

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

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

Herein, we receive the seasonal home of a bunch of goblinoid raiders led by a bugbear - as such, the place is rigged with an array of basic, conservative traps - and yes, their home does hide an old, Dwarven shrine. The details provided for the rooms per se are captivating, and the boss, a bugbear, is a solid choice for a boss.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

There is a big issue I have with this pdf, and it pertains the argument that I'd try to field for its time-saving aspect - apart from one trap and one monster, none of the hyperlinks actually points to its target. Even though the open 5e SRD contains all those stats for the traps etc. featured, the lack of hyperlink functionality is somewhat annoying and mitigates the "Hey, you have no time, just get this and go play!"-aspect. Formally, the conversion by Kyle Crider isn't bad, though.

On a content-level, I loathed this mini-dungeon in PFRPG and I still dislike it in 5e - it's the boring, vanilla anti-gobbo-crawl. I have literally seen this done a gazillion times as a reviewer and while it's not bad per se, I can improvise more compelling material. Still, for the time-starved GM, this may provide some help, though the hyperlinking hiccups can be a bit jarring there. In short, the author Jonathan Ely has since then improved significantly and I'd urge you to check out one of his more recent offerings in the series. My final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded down - unless you really need a vanilla anti-gobbo-crawl.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #002: Hobgoblin Lair
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

10 Kingdom Seeds: Plains (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/23/2017 06:04:58

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This inexpensive pdf clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look!

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

After a brief piece of introductory fluff, we dive right into the nit and grit of this file, namely villages that you can use to craft, bingo, kingdoms from them - each of these settlements comes with a village statblock, but does not end there: Beyond a small summary of the village, we also get one or more sites of interest and 3 different rumors per village to potentially jumpstart adventures from.

So that's the format employed here - but what kind of villages are we talking about? Well, for starters, LG Belpond, is a surprisingly lawful and cozy village of guild-organized structures, where a visit of the local tavern may see your pockets emptied...only to have the goods be returned to you before leaving! Lightley, in contrast, would be a LE thorp of only 13 folks and is known for its bears.

Taking the example of settlements tied to creatures, the hamlet Morlea, situated between these spectra of the alignment axis at LN, actually does not rest - instead, it follows the migration patterns of the mammoths, making for an interesting and rather evocative backdrop. Ornesse would be an interesting, touristy destination with serious population fluxes, for the chariot race tracks always draw plentiful folks to the hamlet during the racing season.

In contrast to this place, the folks of Prydwin are living by their herbs, which are grown in excessive herb gardens that are meticulously maintained by the populace. Have I mentioned the druidess and her pest-devouring chameleon companion? Revale is either white or red - steeped in snow or showcasing its red sandstone beauty - and the theme of color extends to the primary industry, which hinges upon the extraction of color from rare lichen. Unlike its name, the hamlet shadowhurst is actually known to be a rather lively place, famed for its straw-related craftsmanship and corn.

Soulhill sounds foreboding - and indeed, the village, after an uprising and burning of the previous rulers, has taken to a rather selfish and dangerous demeanor. Westerfox is build around a horseshoe-shaped abbey, with sprawling buildings around, and represents a community that is rather disciplined and tight-knit - formally a meritocracy, but in fact, controlled by a nasty elite. Finally, Woodedge would be a place you don't want to visit: Buried in banks of tall flowers and flanked by beehives, it may seem idyllic enough, but gigantic bees and rather nasty halflings make this place a dangerous prospect for visitors.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience: While the bookmarks haven't been labeled properly, they are functional. The pdf sports nice full-color artworks.

Liz Smith delivers a nice variety of small settlements to visit and develop. The respective places have sufficiently diverse themes to make this worthwhile and while I wished this had more room for the individual villages, it does provide enough to jumpstart one's imagination. Considering the very fair price point and the writing, which provides a nice array of different concepts this time around, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars - and due to the low price, I'll round up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
10 Kingdom Seeds: Plains (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Everyman Minis: Interval Spellcasting
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/23/2017 06:02:54

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The first of Everyman Gaming's mini-pdfs clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, what is interval spellcasting? In short, it represents a variant spellcasting tradition available for arcane, divine and psychic casters and the decision to do so must be taken at first level, since it represents a significant component of the base fundamentals of the spellcasting tradition. Only one such variant spellcasting tradition may be known by a single character per class; multiclass characters may choose to use a given variant spellcasting tradition in one class and be general spellcasters or adherents to another tradition in another class - but each class can only hold one variant spellcasting tradition. Variant spellcasters have one fewer spell per day at each spell level - ouch, particularly for the prepared folks! (And yes, I do like that, since the spontaneous guys can use some love...)

So, the basics out of the way, what does an interval spellcaster get, benefits-wise? Upon becoming such a spellcaster, you choose one school of magic and that school is hindered or enhanced, based on the interval of the day, which is concisely defined as a 6-hour sequence: Dawn is 6 A.M., midday starts 12 P.M., dusk starts at 6 P.M. and midnight at 12 A.M. - obviously, the GM may freely adjust these to his or her needs. Each such period is split into three phases: Waxing, essence and waning - all of which consist of 2 hours each.

During the chosen school's interval period, your spells of the school gain +1 to CL and +1 save DC, if any. During waxing, you increase the CL bonus to +2 to CL-checks for the purpose of overcoming SR. During the waning phase, you get +1 to all saves versus effects from your chosen school. During the essence-phase, you get both benefits and, additionally, once per day, you may cast a spell from your school and apply Enlarge, Extend, Silent or Still Spell sans caster level or casting time increase, adding some crucial, but limited flexibility there. Additionally, you gain an interval ability while your school's interval lasts, which, unless otherwise noted, is a free action and may target yourself or an ally within 30 ft. This ability may be used once per day, +1/day at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter.

These benefits do come at a cost: Each school has an opposed school, and, during your school's interval period, you take a -2 to saves and a -1 penalty to CLs and save DCs of the school. Sooo, what happens if that would reduce CL to 0? I assume that would prohibit casting the spell altogether, but specification would have been nice here. It's a very minor flaw, but one I noticed due to the otherwise immaculate presentation of the material.

The intervals and how they have been assigned to the respective spellcasting schools makes sense - abjuration is assigned to dawn, enchantment to dusk, necromancy o midnight - this resonates with the respective tropes and can generally be considered to be a rather well-made array of choices. Abjuration nets a save-reroll with casting attribute modifier as an insight bonus, which conjuration provides an immediate action very short-range teleport...which brings me to another minor complaint here: The effect should be codified as a conjuration (teleportation) effect for the purposes of spell etc. interactions. Additionally, the school-abilities, while pretty obviously Su, are not declared as such in the pdf. Divination nets the target a bonus to initiative, enchantment nets a morale bonus to atk or skill-checks, illusion a scaling miss chance. Necromancy yields temporary hit points for 1 minute and transmutation an enhancement bonus to an ability score for spellcaster key attribute rounds.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the full-color artworks by Jacob Blackmon are nice. The pdf does no have bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Luis Loza delivers a damn cool concept: I found myself often wishing that there'd be more such basic tweaks to the spellcasting engine and while this requires a bit of time tracking, it makes for a rewarding engine. The concept is amazing and I sincerely hope we'll get to see more such traditions, perhaps even suffused with a bit of flavor, special rites etc. - this represents the very basics of the concept and, while it does so rather well, I found myself wishing it had at least provided some basic guidelines and suggestions for further modifications. That being said, I'm complaining at a high level here - my final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Interval Spellcasting
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 2988 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates