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5E Mini-Dungeon #054: Uneasy Rests the Crown'd Head
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/14/2017 07:39:17

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. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – 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!

This is a direct sequel of "Ne'er Trust the White Wolf's Tameness", but works perfectly as a standalone offering. The PCs venture down into a sinkhole, only to find an air membrane on water that can cling to the PCs, providing 60 minutes of air... -1 minute per round of strenuous activity, so they should better manage their precious air supplies......oh, and the less minutes remain, the more is their visibility impeded, which adds a really cool tactical option to the whole proceedings!

Now, the PCs can engage in plentiful 3D-combat here, as the complex is new and intended to be nothing less than the start of a new aboleth outpost, created by two brethren of this loathsome race. These critters, alas, have not been hyperlinked, but that as an aside – aquatic treants and the like make for interesting and very lethal foes. From a breach to the elemental plane of water and its guardian to other watery foes, traps, merrows and finally, the potentially maddening battle against the bosses, this is a diverse, challenging and extremely evocative mini-dungeon.

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 solid, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley's excursion to the realms below the waves here is fantastic: It provides the means for interesting and rarely faced foes in a thoroughly fantastic environment. The air/vision mechanic is well worth scavenging and could carry a whole mega-adventure complex...in fact, that's what I'll use it for! It is impressive how much flavor and coolness the author has once again squeezed out of these precious few words - and how much fun. That being said, while I adore many choices herein, the module does lose a bit of its strong flavor in the conversion (no idea who did it), which is why this will “only” get 5 stars – well worth checking out if you’re looking for a challenge!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #054: Uneasy Rests the Crown'd Head
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5E Mini-Dungeon #053: Ne'er Trust The White Wolf's Tameness
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/14/2017 07:37:44

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. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – 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!

This mini-dungeon can be run as a sequel to "Look not with Thine Eyes, but Thine Mind", but works just as well on its own. The PCs continue their descent into the bowels of the earth, teleporting into a lethal trap, where multiple, deadly guardians must be bested to escape the "Wolf's Eyes" - a kind of guarded teleport trap. “Everything is ceramic”, the module states – which is cool. I’m less enamored with “relevant check DC 10” – looks like a conversion relic to me.

Free of this challenging gauntlet of rooms and its powerful golems and swarms, the PCs have to make their way through the lethal traps of "the wolf's jaw" - and from here on out, things only get more foreboding, as remnants of horrific fates, 4 random encounters you may or may not use, and a terribly injured group of adventurers speak of worse things awaiting in "the wolf's mind" - a part of the complex where the way leads further below. The 5E-version also comes with a rather cool creature, the Iron Lector – neat!

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 decent, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley sports a nice quasi-puzzle, some challenging traps and foes and a thematically concise and interesting mini-dungeon here. No complaints, well worth getting - 5 stars, and the 5E-bonus critter makes for a cool added bonus. Once again, I cannot comment on who has done the conversion here.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #053: Ne'er Trust The White Wolf's Tameness
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5E Mini-Dungeon #052: Look Not With Thine Eyes But Thine Mind
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/14/2017 07:36:00

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. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – 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!

This mini-dungeon can be played as a sequel to "There are more Things in the Planes and the Earth", but it works perfectly fine on its own as well. After having braved the weird complex and witnessed an elder thing talking to Formians, the PCs now explore a complex where the insectoid creatures represent the none-too-pleasant opposition - random events are provided as well, 4 to be more precise, Wait, Formians? Yep – stats for warriors and workers of the classic critters are provided – kudos, though the formian’s Stinger is one off regarding its damage-value.

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 decent, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me. Really annoying glitch: The text on page #2 is half transparent, making it a strain on the eyes.

Stephen Yeardley's latest installments of this sequence of loosely connected mini-dungeons has a diverse and fun array of foes, a neat atmosphere and generally makes for a cool exploration. That being said, the strange layout glitch on page #2 is less than pleasant to read through. The 5E-conversion, otherwise, has been handled well, though I can’t comment on who did it. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #052: Look Not With Thine Eyes But Thine Mind
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Letters from the Flaming Crab: Monster Circus
Publisher: Flaming Crab Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2017 06:17:05

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Flaming Crab Games delightfully gonzo series clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

As always in the series, we begin with an eponymous letter from our favorite planes- and dimension-hopping vessel, the UCS Flaming Crab, continuing the charming and well-written meta-narrative that leads us to the topic at hand, which would be Argent & Midnight’s Circus Esoterica and Extravaganza of the Strange. This time, however, Gale and Jilius, the writers of this letter and latest members of the crew, actually also provide a second letter – and we get full stats for the friendly harpy sorceress and her harpy unchained rogue (pack rat) half-sister – as well as an absolutely STUNNING full-color, full-page artwork for the two: Kudos to artists Allen Morris and André Karwath!

Now, this circus, colloquially called Monster Circus, does have, obviously, a menagerie – here, we can find Humongous the owlbear, deathmaw the nasty-tempered manticore, flintbeak the cockatrice and also Crusty and Rusty, the rust monster…and the rust-removal monster! Yep, you heard me! One of the various mini-modules/encounters presented in conjunction with the circus deals with this unique and amazing little critter. I know that many an adventuring group will want one of these as a pet…

The astute reader may have noticed that some of these monsters mentioned above are intelligent…well, yeah, but with a ringmaster like the fully-statted Mr. Smiley, a goblin celebrity lich, there is a good reason why e.g. deathmaw doesn’t maul audiences. And his right-hand man Mr. Nick, a doppelganger expert can help cover up…issues as well. Cool, btw.: Mr. Smiley subsists on a unique diet, if you will: His phylactery sustains the lich in a rather devious manner. How? Well, I’m not going to spoil that!

Among the sights, there would also be Hugo Howl, the werewolf conductor, who guides his 12-headed singing hydra (stats provided) in a unique variation of throat-singing. One of the encounters proposed deals with this constellation: Hugo was fancied by a newcomer to the circus family, a vampire, and tried to resist her advance with garlic. Alas, that made him very enticing for his hydra, who ate him. The vampire was promptly disposed of, but now, no one can coax the hydra to sing! In order to help the circus, the PCs can investigate Hugo’s wagon and solve a nice, rather easy puzzle (or brute-force it, if that’s how you roll). Cool sidequest!

Beyond these folks, there is the living tapestry, whose prophecies can provide help for future encounters; Guk the troll and the bugbear Kursha, herself the tamer, make for interesting beings to meet…and finally, there are the Flying lashley twins – choker acrobats! These two unfortunately have some larcenous tendencies that may need to be reined in, as depicted in another sidetrek presented.

Nice, btw.: The pdf does come with a brief glossary of circus terms.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring issues beyond e.g. the level of the rust-removal monster being once called rust monster. Cosmetic stuff. Layout adheres to Flaming Crab Games’ two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports some amazing pieces of full-color and b/w-artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Jeff Lee and Alex Shanks-Abel deliver an impressive set-piece to insert into your campaign. The circus and its colorful, weird inhabitants and their stats make for a fun and diverse backdrop to adventure in. The pre-made encounters and playful tone help differentiate the pdf from similar offerings, making it a really fun, evocative backdrop to include in your game. Writing-quality-wise, this is absolutely top-notch and brims with creativity. On the downside, I really would have loved to get a map of the circus and/or the respective wagons – while the lack of a map doesn’t really hurt the pdf, it also represents my one minor complaint against an otherwise truly excellent, fun little offering. Hence my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars, just short of my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Letters from the Flaming Crab: Monster Circus
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Everyman Minis: Mysteries of Passion
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2017 06:15:16

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All righty, we begin this Everyman Mini with a brief introduction and a new 8th level spell, which would be symbol of debauchery: This duplicates symbol of death, but instead affects the targets with reckless infatuation, treating creatures that they have healthy relationships as objects of desire, attempting to stay as close to as many of them as possible, using their actions to engage in consenting and relaxing activities. These are so taxing that they potentially prevent the regaining of spells. Tastefully handled! Big kudos!

Now the main body of the pdf, obviously, is taken up by the new oracle mystery passion, which nets Bluff, handle Animals and Sense Motive as class skills. The bonus spells gained range from charm person to mantle of calm, matchmaker and later nets the new spell as well as waves of ecstasy and overwhelming presence.

Now, revelation-wise, we have life link from the life mystery, as well as punitive transformation – the latter, however, is incorrectly credited to the nature mystery, when it is a revelation of the waves mystery instead. Beyond these previously used revelations, we also have a couple of new options: Awesome Beauty acts as a fascination-inducing aura that prevents targets, sanctuary-style from potentially attacking you if they could be attracted to you. Cool: Via an exchanging of gifts, you can bond souls together, allowing them to sense the direction of their partner and giving you an idea of the subject’s emotional and health auras. You can also send telepathic messages to the subject, duplicating sending (which is not properly italicized). One question: Does the message reach both participants or just one? Desire sight instantly nets you the 3rd round knowledge of detect desires of all targets within 100 ft., making the oracle a fearsome foe in social contexts! With another revelation, you get Conceal Spell and add Disguise and Sleight of Hand to your class skills, with later levels providing Improved Conceal Spell and forcing witnesses of Conceal Spell that could be attracted to you to roll twice.

Another revelation nets you the option to add mercy effects to cure spells or cruelties to inflict spells, with higher levels yielding more cruelties/mercies. You can also add bard spells to your array and another revelation lets you add Charisma modifier instead of Dex to AC and CMD. Finally, we have scaling save bonuses versus charms and compulsions that increase to encompass immunity. The final revelation is an augmented outsider apotheosis that lets you still be returned to life as normal. You also gain immunity to age effects and a constant greater age resistance as well as at-will threefold aspect, with bonus types changed depending on whether you cast cure or inflict spells and sans penalties. Additionally, you may designate Charisma modifier targets that are in a romantic or platonic relationship, granting them the benefits of the final revelation, minus the DR. Cool!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level, though I did notice minor glitches. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column standard with a white background, making this relatively printer-friendly. The pdf sports a nice full-color artwork and has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Margherita Tramontano’s mystery is pretty much amazing – I really, really enjoyed this one and I love how it represents in a tasteful manner one of the most amazing forces that exist – love, passion and what they entail, concisely represented with viable and even culturally sensible options. I can see a community really benefitting from the gift-exchange tradition supervised by the oracle, for example. It’s a beautiful tradition that imho can serve as a great narrative tool to explain a healthy community. That being said, the minor hiccups do drag this down a bit, if not by much – hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform. If you don’t mind these minor hiccups, consider this a must-own recommendation instead – as a person, I really…loved this! …sorry, couldn’t help myself. ;)

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Mysteries of Passion
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5E Mini-Dungeon #051: There Are More Things in the Planes and the Earth
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2017 06:13:15

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. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – 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!

This can be used as a sequel to the previous mini-dungeon "When goblins die, no comets are seen", though it can also be used on its own. The very entrance to this complex is dangerous, potentially beginning with short-term madness, establishing a sense of foreboding dread that the complex then manages to expand - from traps with insanity mist to cairnwights and gray oozes, the caverns contain some nasty tricks; and yes, burrowing can actually yield treasure...if you know where to look. Moreover, some nonmagical, but potent equipment with unique properties can be found, a big plus for me!

Pretty cool: The mini-dungeon contains 2 nice little random events to keep up the pressure….and in 5E it comes with the full stats for the elder thing, a neat challenge 5 critter – big plus here!

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 decent, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley's exploration of these realms below is interesting and the challenges and obstacles faced are fun and create an interesting mini-dungeon, well worth a final verdict of 4.5 stars; the conversion goes the extra mile with the cool monster and items – which is why I will round up for this one. Well done, whoever handled this one!

Endzietgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #051: There Are More Things in the Planes and the Earth
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5E Mini-Dungeon #050: When Goblins Die, No Comets are Seen
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2017 06:11:21

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. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – 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!

This mini-dungeon can be run as a sequel to "Doubt not that stars are fire", but can also stand on its own. After delving into the coldfire-infested tunnels in the previous module, the party dives into the dark, where they'll encounter the remains of a goblin tribe, with the first combat found being a clash between a ghost and a goblin-sized wightfor some rather weird start...and the tunnels also contain horribly weakened goblins, statues pulsing in harsh, fear-causing light…

…and the pdf actually includes the stats for a greater insect swarm monster – nice!

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, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley's take on exploring these weird tunnels has been radically changed and converted to 5E – the execution is lethal, but damn cool and leaves not much to be desired, working imho actually better than the PFRPG-version. My final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #050: When Goblins Die, No Comets are Seen
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5E Mini-Dungeon #049: Doubt Not That Stars Are Fire
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2017 06:09:52

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. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – 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!

All right! This can be used as a sequel to the "Pit your Wits" mini-dungeon, but works well on its own: Following a mutated goblin attack, the PCs have to go down the pit, the walls aglow with coldfire...and worse, there is a deadly substance...and this coldfire substance has mutated the local goblins into goberrations - a variant nothic...and being too close to the substance is really painful. Dried coldfire can result in a similarly horrible mutation for careless PCs and within this place, raging rubble, gibbering mouthers and worse await...but there indeed is a way down...but do the PCs dare continue?

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, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley shows what an awesome atmosphere you can generate with a few monster reskins and some deadly terrain. This is a deceptively hard little mini-dungeon and makes great use of the environments. That being said, the conversion suffers from a serious inconsistency: Where the previous module reskinned all notions of the impact being caused by a starship, this one is littered with references to starfuel. Sure, easy enough to remedy, but something that imho should have been caught. I also noticed a formatting for environmental damage, which was slightly inconsistent, so the 5E-version “only” gets a final verdict of 4 stars. (And sorry to the conversion specialist – the pdf doesn’t state who did the work here!)

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #049: Doubt Not That Stars Are Fire
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5E Mini-Dungeon #048: Pit Your Wits
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2017 05:37:40

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. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – 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 arrive at a well-known mining operation's base...the issue, though, would be that it's gone. In its stead, there lies a chasm filled with inky blackness, the result of a weird meteorite - the fall of the it has resulted in truly strange creatures - like giant toads covered in glowing toadstools. Highly acidic acid bubbles burst, stones may cause insanity; a goblin was turned into a monstrosity of warped legs with tentacle-like bits; intestines have congealed into a slug-like thing and what was once a wyrmling living nearby is now something completely different - investigating the strange place will certainly yield some seriously interesting, horrific foes...and can be seen as a masterclass example in practice on how to properly reskin monsters to make them feel fresh and new. While the 5E-version doesn’t have random encounters, its conversion is rather detailed – in the original, this was a crashed space-ship and this version changes the strange proceedings and hazards rather well.

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, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley proves that he can do the horrific just as well as the creatively weird here - the mini-dungeon shows with perfect ease how you can reskin monsters and make them truly unique encounters, how you can logically and cohesively establish a thematic leitmotif in a mini-dungeon and run with it. This is a fun excursion, and while I personally bemoan that the 5E-version loses the science fantasy component, The person who tackled the conversion has done a great job at changing the theme in a consistent manner and since 5E has so far significantly less source-material to work with, I get the decision. I can’t comment on who did it, since it doesn’t specify the conversion specialist. However, none of the hyperlinks in this pdf are functional, which constitutes a slight comfort detriment. My final verdict will hence clock in at a well-deserved 3.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #048: Pit Your Wits
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Slaughter at Splinterfang Gorge (PF/5E)
Publisher: Total Party Kill Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2017 06:50:57

A Endzeitgeist.com review

This dual-statted module for PFRPG and 5e clocks in at 73 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, so let’s take a look!

So, dual-statted – what does this mean in the context of this module? Basically, throughout the pdf, you’ll have black boxes that note environmental effects for the PFRPG-system, red boxes that do the same for 5e – so yes, actual strategy-relevant terrain and environmental effects can be found within. The statblocks adhere to a similar dual-formatting, though it should be noted that the 5e-statblocks don’t italicize the respective special abilities and actions; similarly, e.g. Hit is not italicized – this remains a cosmetic glitch, though.

Magic items, where encountered, are presented for both systems – big plus: The respective rules-language is proper and well-done for these, though there are a couple of instances, where the wording is a bit wonky – the cloak of blood-matted fur’s PFRPG iteration’s wording allows for stacking with DR and energy resistance due to its verbiage, for example – a reason I’d frankly not allow it for PC use. We have a few minor deviations from rules-syntax and semantics here, but as a whole, this should work. It should be noted that the statblocks for both systems have been made with care: You won’t see blandness here, with PFRPG using interesting archetype-combos and 5e getting unique tricks for the respective bosses – I’ll touch on a particularly neat example in the SPOILER-section below.

PFRPG groups using TPK Games’ pretty amazing Laying Waste-system will also enjoy that this book is actually compatible with the system. There are 5 feats for PFRPG used in the builds of the NPCs – these are not intended necessarily for player use and their rules-language offers some deviations from standard formatting conventions, mentioning “CHA modifiers” and similar, mostly cosmetic hiccups. That being said, the feats do provide rules for visceral trophy-gathering etc. for the adversaries and also net an increase in deadliness for the goblinoids faced, which makes this okay as a NPC-toolbox. An archetype for goblin rangers that specializes on ambushes and employs some of these rules can also be found here for PFRPG. 5e has the analogues of these options, btw., baked into the respective critter features and options.

It should also be noted that a brief deity write-up for the deity of bugbears, Druj Headsplitter, has been included – however, neither in PFRPG, nor in 5e do we get the full extensive coverage; no obediences or subdomains, no new 5e-domains…but the fluffy write up remains detailed enough to use the fellow.

Oh, one more thing: The module does sport scaling options for the encounters contained within, which is a nice plus if you’re looking for a tougher challenge. Kudos there!

It should be noted that the adventure features several hooks to draw the PCs in and also sports weather for 4 days – smart players hopefully know how to make it work to their advantage. Get it? Sorry, I’ll punch myself for that groan-worthy pun later.

Okay, I’ve stalled enough!

This being a review of an adventure, the following review will contain SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only GMs around? Great!

The gorgeously-mapped Perinade forest is idyllic…and then, the module happens. The PCs happen upon an armed altercation between goblinoids and elves, hopefully saving the elven ranger Ralyuka from the attacking goblins. It turns out that the Garnet Gale Aurora is approaching, a strange phenomenon that doubles as a commemoration of the last triumph of the elves against the goblinoids, when they narrowly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by slaying the last warlord of the goblinoid tribes. The green-skins have taken the elven children in their devastating raid – and so, the first major quest of the module will be to save the kids.

In order to do so, though, the PCs will have to traverse the Perinade on the trails of the nasty goblins and their bugbear masters; and the forest is not a cozy place. Random encounters, a self-serving goblin shaman/warlock chief, pit traps with goblin dogs…and ultimately, the PCs will encounter Ghrekjar…and the other warbands. Basically, the PCs will have to face multiple warbands with unique and potent leaders. These combat-centric encounters also act as a kind of guidance for the PCs – they establish the goblinoid host as a credible threat that is not to be underestimated.

Once the PCs have had a chance to test their mettle against the powerful, deadly goblinoids, they’ll realize that, so far, they’ve basically dealt with the stragglers – in order to free the kids, they will have to brave a massive, fully mapped war camp of the greenskins. The camp, in short, with notes on perimeter security and a plethora of deadly adversaries, is nothing for the faint of heart – beyond evidence of the carnivorous tendencies of the bugbears and goblins, the PCs encounter a truly horrific place, one where e.g. freeing a bear may provide a distraction and means to actually triumph against the odds.

This, however, is not the climax of the module – instead, the PCs will have to travel to the eponymous Splinterfang Gorge (fully mapped) and defeat a bugbear cleric and his ghouls there, for he is seeking to tap into the mystic aurora via the sacrifice innocents to empower dread Spragnokk, a bugbear mummy and the BBEG of this module: At a potent AC 28 in PFRPG (in his base form), this guy is an impressive boss – and the longer the PCs dilly-dally in either version, the more potent this guy will get: A progression-chart has been provided to increase the power of this deadly foe in various steps. And yes, the 5e-version of the guy comes with legendary actions to really kick your PC’s behinds – and yes, his progression does include special ability gains. And yes, quick PCs can actually save all elven infants from their dread fate at the hands of the undead menace…

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level; on a rules-language level, the pdf is slightly less refined, but should pose no problems to most GMs running it. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard with a grey background. The black and red boxes with white text aren’t exactly printer-friendly, but oh well. The pdf offers a variety of nice full-color artworks and b/w-artworks of the goblinoid bosses and proceedings. The maps are in full-color and really nice…but unfortunately, they come sans player-friendly versions without keys. If you want to use these for VTT, you’ll be in a bit of a bind. Particularly the camp’s infiltration would have benefitted greatly from a player-friendly version.

William Tucker, with additional content by Brian berg, Egg Embry and Matt Everhart, has written a DEADLY module. Goblinoids in both D&D 5e and PFRPG have lost a bit of their traditional, savage and despicable flair and this module embraces it: These goblinoids are thoroughly loathsome critters you will want to murder-hobo, hardcore. The module does feature some descriptions that are a bit graphic, but nothing you won’t be able to scale down for younger audiences or groups that prefer a less dark type of fantasy. Story-wise, there isn’t that much going on here, but I found myself enjoying this module more than I thought I would.

You see, usually, dual-stat supplements have a pretty big issue, namely that they feel like they have been primarily made for one system; one set of statblock tends to fall flat, some rules feel a bit wonky…and it is my honest joy to report that this module manages to present a BRUTAL challenge for both PFRPG and 5e, both with the respective system’s own mechanics. In short: This book actually manages to get the dual aspect right…and that is VERY important here, more so than in comparable modules. Why? Well, the main draw here would be the challenging combats and adversaries. This supplement very much stands and falls with the potent opposition the PCs will have to face and, as such, stands in the proud tradition of hard, challenging TPK Games modules. It is actually a module, where triumph is something to be proud of.

Particularly the infiltration and the HARD boss fight in the end should make even experienced players sweat. That’s a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.

While this is not perfect, I consider the module to be a surprisingly enjoyable and diverse challenge – the unique leaders and sub-bosses that can be found herein make this module feel very much alive, fun and diverse, in spite of the PCs mostly killing various goblinoids throughout. That being said, the lack of player-friendly versions of the nice full-color maps represents a significant drawback, as far as I’m concerned. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform. If you don’t mind that, round up instead…and if you always wanted a module will really EVIL goblinoids…well, there you go! Recommended!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Slaughter at Splinterfang Gorge (PF/5E)
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Everyman Minis: Gnoll Options
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2017 06:48:56

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 4 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

We begin this pdf with a brief introduction that also recaps the racial traits of the gnolls, before we are introduced to a total of 5 alternate racial traits. The first of these would be the feral gnoll, who gains Snapping Jaws as a bonus feats, but takes a -2 penalty to Intelligence. Feycursed gnolls replace their ability-score modifiers, instead gaining their choice of +2 to Intelligence or Charisma and -2 to Strength. They also receive Eldritch heritage with the fey bloodline as a bonus feat and ignore the Charisma prerequisites of feats that build on it. This one replaces natural armor.

Speaking of which: Instead of the natural armor bonus, gnolls may choose Slaver Magic, which nets a +1 bonus to the DC of enchantment (compulsion) spells cast and they treat their CL for such spells as one higher. Gnolls with a Charisma score of 11 or higher may also use command as a SP 1/day, with character level equal to caster level. Instead of the standard ability score modifiers, gnolls can choose to be terrifyingly ugly, gaining a +2 racial bonus to Intimidate and treat the skill as a class skill. They can also alter a creature’s attitude by 3 steps instead of 2 via Intimidate, but take a -2 penalty to Charisma. It’s a bit odd, considering that Intimidate is based on Charisma, but also makes sense. Still, this does feel a bit more wobbly. Some gnolls gain proficiency with scimitars and falchions and treat spiked chains, scorpion whips and whips as martial weapons – which makes sense. This one also replaces natural armor.

The pdf also contains 3 racial feats: Canine Gait, which is pretty amazing: It lets you sprint on all fours, with codified standing up and charge synergy that makes for an interesting choice and building block for some cool gambits. Command Obedience requires the use of Ultimate Occult and nets you all obedience spells of 6th level or lower as spells added to your list of spells at their noted telepath levels. Interesting: This does get the undercasting options right and rewards spontaneous casters. Mechanically solid, though I’m not a big fan of Ultimate Occult. Thirdly, Heckling laughter is a teamwork combat feat: As a move action, you may laugh and reduce morale bonuses gained by your foes within 30 ft., with multiple heckles stacking. Additionally, the heckling does hamper spellcasting, which is pretty damn cool – finally, the fearsome laughter of the gnolls has a proper rules-representation.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch. (Ironically, with the editing credited to “@@@” being the only bad glitch I noted.) Layout adheres to Everyman gaming’s relatively printer-friendly two-column standard with a white background. The pdf sports a nice full-color artwork and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’s gnoll options are interesting, fun, and particularly the Laughter-based feat is worth the low price of admission; similarly, Canine Gait is really cool. This is not revolutionary, mind you, but it does constitute a solid, fun little racial pdf that expands the themes of gnolls in a concise, interesting manner, well worth a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Gnoll Options
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Four Horsemen Present: Hybrid Class: The Psychemist
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2017 06:46:45

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This hybrid class clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, the psychemist would be a hybrid of alchemist and medium and chassis-wise, gets d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and light and medium armor, but not shields. The class gets a ¾ BAB-progression as well as good Will-saves.

The psychemist is defined by using occult alchemy, which theme-wise, is based on the harnessing of spirits and their energy. Psychemists may use spell-trigger items if they are included on the class’s list, but not spell-completion items The extract-equivalent of the class would be pnumea, beginning play with two + Charisma modifier 1st level pnumea, and each new level provides +1 pnumea of his choice of any level he can distill. As with extracts, the psychemist learns to distill up to 6th level pnumea. As a minor complaint – the vials containing them are called canopic vials most of the time, but also canopic jars once, which can be a tad bit confusing. On a plus-side, their costs (as arrows) are concisely defined.

2nd level yields a bonus equal to +1/2 class level to avoid being surprised and to detect invisible or incorporeal creatures as well as detect psychic significance at will as an SP. 3rd level yields throw anything and changes significantly how the class operates – you see, the psychemist can throw canopic vials (which deal very minor damage, sans Strength modifier) and unleash the spell stored within. Starting at 7th level, the vials may be used in conjunction with slings, at a penalty and decreased range, with 12th and 17th level improving this ability.

Starting at 3rd level, he may also prepare a pnumea as a so-called pseudo-haunt, which uses a spell level of 1 level higher than usual, generating a psychic haunt that only lasts for 24 hours, triggering whenever a living target enters the square. Thankfully, only one such psychic haunt may be maintained at once – still, a very, very potent ability. Problematic: The Pnumea per day table lacks the level-column…and if it had been included, one may have noticed that 2nd level pnumea are gained at 4th level, which means that, at 3rd level, this does pretty much…nothing. It’s just one level, but still.

The perhaps most defining and important class feature of the class would be spectral mutagen, available from the get-go. This behaves mostly like a regular mutagen, but is also defined by spirit archetypes – the class begins play with the knowledge to capture the essences of two spirits and one mutagen per day, adding another daily use and spirit known at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter. At the same time, upon gaining an upgrade thus, existing spirit bonuses increase in potency by +2.

Imbibing a spirit mutagen yields a +4 bonus to saves vs. possession, +2 versus mind-affecting effects, but also imposes a -2 penalty to initiative (minor complaint: Reference to Cha instead of Charisma in the duration formula.) The spirits provided are based on the traditional 6 mythic paths, parallel to the spirits of the medium, with each sporting a spirit bonus: The archmage, for example, yields a +2 bonus on concentration checks, Intelligence checks and Intelligence-based skill-checks, while the champion yields a morale bonus to atk, non-spell damage rolls, Strength checks, Strength-based skill checks and Fortitude saves. Weird: Channeling the Marshall nets you and your allies a base movement speed increase of +10 ft. – I don’t have a beef with this, I do like it…but at the same time, the lack of cap or range means that, with enough psychemist followers (or in a military environment), you can generate ridiculous amounts of affected allies – this should have a cap of affected beings and a range.

In addition to the spirit bonus, each spirit provides access to a total of 3 special spectral powers – as part of the action attempted to use the powers, the psychemist performs a Diplomacy check, with the DCs being 20, 25 and 30, respectively. These may be used any number of times, provided you meet the skill check, though the DC increases by 5 every time beyond the first use.

On a failure of one such check, the psychemist takes the influence penalty associated with the spirit and doubles the initiative penalty of the spectral mutagen. Problem here: I have no idea whether the spectral power still takes place on such a failed check – I assume no, but the ability lacks the failure clause. Failing more than two Diplomacy checks thus, causes the spirit to abandon the psychemist, incurring a -4 penalty to influence other spirit archetypes for 24 hours. Slightly odd – this would RAW allow you to choose to fail such a check to deliberately prematurely end a spirit mutagen to get rid of influence penalties. Not sure if that was intended. Anyways, non-psychemists cannot benefit from these and in fact are shaken on a failed save when consuming them. Additionally, I am not 100% clear whether you can consume another spectral mutagen associated with the spirit that abandoned the psychemist after the spirit abandoning him, or whether that aspect is tied to a rest-cool-down: “He cannot access that archetype’s powers and suffers a -4 penalty to Diplomacy checks to influence other archetypes for 24 hours.” Could be read as the 24 hours applying to only the penalty or both the lock-out and the penalty; the latter would make more sense for me, but yeah.

Anyways, why would you want to prematurely end the mutagen’s effects? Well, from -2 to Strength and Constitution checks, Strength-based skill checks and damage/atk-rolls to being forced to fight and cast defensively (as well as -2 damage), the influence penalties are fitting, but yeah….hence the observations above that you may want to fail such a check in certain circumstances. Problematic RAW: The defensive casting mentioned does not really come into play unless multiclassing – after all, the psychemist does not have spells. Not sure if that is intended or not.

Now, regarding the respective powers mentioned before: Guardians can yield, for the duration of the spectral mutagen, DR/- and resistance to the classic energy types + sonic equal to the maximum pnumea you can cast, minimum +1. The more potent options include immediate action concealment – and if a foe misses you, you’ll get an AoO against the target; considering that some abilities allow for non-melee AoOs, a caveat to make that melee-only would have made sense, but that is me being very nitpicky. The highest-powered ability of the guardian allows you to remove a negative condition from a nearby ally. The hierophant provides channel energy (and spontaneous pnumea-conversion into cure/inflict for highest level pnumea rounds – this is pretty potent, considering the potency of ranged healing, but I’m good with this doe to the quickly-escalating DCs.

As a minor complaint: The reference to haste in the additional attack section of the champion has not been properly italicized and while it stacks with that spell’s effects, it thankfully doesn’t stack with other attack-granting options. Where I get a bit cranky would be the champion’s DC 30 attack – for a full-round action AND a swift action, you get to move up to full speed and make a full attack – while it doesn’t combine with sudden attack, it still is an unreliable form of pounce sans a proper minimum level – for the base class, that’s perhaps not too bad, but I still think that simply adding level requirements to spectral powers would have probably made the balancing of the class much smoother; you know, just putting the 2nd and 3rd ability behind a minimum level? RAW, the champion thus would make for a very dippable and potent option…

At 12th level, the psychemist may 1/day when he fails a Diplomacy check versus a spirit “choose to make a second save” to rid himself of the spirit penalty, ending the spectral mutagen on a success. Wait. What? Save? RAW, the psychemist doesn’t get a save against the penalty of a failed Diplomacy check! I don’t get it. 14th level extends the duration of the spectral mutagen to 1 hour per level, or until a new mutagen is imbibed.

But what about bombs? Well, considering that the pnumea behave somewhat akin to them, you won’t be surprised to hear that they are gained a bit later: 4th level yields access to so-called spectral grenades. These are governed by Charisma and…I have no idea how much damage they inflict, what damage type they have…the pdf simply doesn’t tell. Due to the delayed gaining of the ability, there also is no easy means to default to the alchemist: -4 levels? Full levels? No idea. You see, I rattled my brain over this for quite a while, and I came to the conclusion that, perhaps, these bombs are supposed to behave like canopic vials when thrown, with the respective grenade effects added…but that is guessing on my part, since the ability states “Similar to an alchemist’s bomb” and nowhere states that this is the case.

A psychemist can have one spectral grenade in effect at any given time, with 1 minute of preparation required to make a new one. A psychemist may create one spectral grenade per day, +1 for every 4 levels beyond 4th. Two feats enhance these– one for +2 spectral grenades per day, but still with only one prepared at any given time The second feat nets bonus negative energy damage for them…which doesn’t help, since I have no idea on how much damage they inflict. (There is, btw., also a feat for +4 Diplomacy versus a spirit, starting at 10th level +1spirit bonus, just for completion’s sake.) Spectral grenades are tied to the spirits – each spirit has an associated spectral grenade and the psychemist knows the spectral grenades from the two spirits granted by spectral mutagen.

It should be noted that spirits unlocked later do not automatically net you their spectral grenades, btw.! In addition to the two known for the 1st level spirits, there also are spectral grenade effects regardless of spirits – these are potent: Like cold damage plus paralysis, reduced to staggered on a successful save and negative conditions. There also are some cool tricks to make incorporeal creatures visible and known (type + alignment) or rendering targets corporeal. The more potent effects are hidden behind a level-requirement. Hierophant grenades hamper healing, Trickster grenades impose the influence penalty on the target. Okay…what happens if you target another psychemist who is currently suffering from the trickster’s influence penalty? 8th level and every 2 levels thereafter yield another spectral grenade effect.

6th level provides the haunt siphon ability to always act in a surprise round against haunts before they manifest and may use an available pnumea-slot or a prepared pnumea of the highest pnumea level available, the latter of which may be spontaneously expended to attempt to siphon a haunt, with, once again, a Diplomacy check, trapping it for 24 hours. This allows the psychemist to use the haunt as a pseudo haunt…which is very, very potent if not handled with care by the GM. That being said, you won’t want to risk using this ability to stock up on high-powered haunts – on a failure, you get no save versus its effects!! Yeah, OUCH!

7th level provides location siphon, which allows for the expenditure of a 3rd level pnumea slot to siphon a spirit at a location to duplicate a variant of call spirit – at 11th level, an ally’s familiarity may be substituted for that of the psychemist. 17th level yields the ability to craft a special vial for a target – a willing individual that then perishes has the soul stored inside, facilitating return from the dead. Only one such vessel may be held and the character’s soul may be used to make intelligent magical items. (Wanna try out the horsemen’s amazing Living Objects? There ya go.) 19th level yields spirit blend: “When distilling a spirit blend spectral mutagen, the psychemist gains the spirit bonus and spectral grenade effect from his most powerful spirit archetype, but can choose 2 specific powers from any of the other spirit archetypes he can siphon…” – in addition to those the spirit has anyway. Sounds simple, righty? It’s not. It has a big issue. What is “the most powerful spirit archetype”?? One of the starting ones? Should we judge their power? What if you took the Spirit Focus feat on a spirit gained later?

The capstone is pretty cool, allowing for a variant of capture the soul and even steal abilities! Yeah, pretty cool. The pdf also introduces etched vials as a magic item class, basically the enchantable weaponry of the psychemist.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting on a formal level are very good, with only a few minor hiccups. On a rules-language level, though, the pdf sports very unpleasant instances of imprecision that are both uncharacteristic for the author and rogue Genius Games. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports solid stock art and comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

I don’t get it. Tim Hitchcock’s psychemist is per se a class I enjoy. It is innovative in its tweaks; it feels different from both medium and alchemist; it has great ideas and attempts high-difficulty rules-operations. It is also a deeply flawed class, unfortunately. It is pretty evident that the class has gone through at least one major revision, which may account for several of the puzzling inconsistencies within. At one point, saves, the proper damage notes for spectral grenades, etc. may have made sense – but there are a lot of components that got confused/lost in translation. This is basically a highly complex, well-crafted class…that is one consistency check away from being a very good example of a hybrid class.

Now here’s the thing – I want to like this class. It is much more creative than the pretty vanilla blending of themes would make you believe; it attempts fun things…but it also sports serious quirks and glitches in crucial parts of its abilities. And try as I might, I can’t let that pass. My final verdict will hence clock in at 2.5 stars – though, considering the difficulty and how, upon fixing, we have an interesting hybrid on our hands, I will round up for the purpose of this platform; you can fix this and it’d be cool then…but fixing this WILL require work.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Four Horsemen Present: Hybrid Class: The Psychemist
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5E Mini-Dungeon #047: Stowaway on the Singing Sea
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2017 06:44:33

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. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – 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!

And now for something completely, radically different! This adventure takes place mostly with the PCs cooped up in a crate, with rations, portable hole for...ahem...necessities. Two weeks. Even if you fast forward that, it'll be interesting if you just briefly mention each day and wait for your PCs to interact a bit. I'm serious. If you have good roleplayers in your group, this'll be pure gold.

That being said, there is a reason for this unorthodox way of travelling. You see, the PCs have been hired by law enforcement to catch captain Elloise Drake in the act, with the means of granting her crew amnesty. Thus, they stowed away on her vessel...and once the crate iss opened, the PCs explore the pirate vessel, catch it in the act of piracy and may use their social skills to make more of the crew turn against their captain. And yes, furious fight with a potent foe included. Sure, you can play this as a fast-forward one-big-encounter type of scenario...but if ran as provided, it can actually provide easily a full gaming day's worth of fond memories.

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, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Justin Andrew Mason's "Stowaway on the Singing Sea" is a classic module that depends on whether it is perceived as a blast or as bland on both the GM's prowess and the player's temperament. Roleplayers willing to depict the journey will absolutely adore this gem and indeed, as a kind of break, as a means of taking tempo out of a campaign that seemingly runs from time-limit to time-limit, this works phenomenally well. You know your players better than I do - can they cope with such a set-up? If so, they'll love it; if not, you can fast-forward through the two weeks of set-up, but you'll lose out on the impact of the finale when it hits. This is, more so than most modules, a matter of taste.

In fact, if it has one neutral weakness, that would be that exploration of the pirate vessel does not really yield advantages when turning the crew - some one-sentence angles for key-crew-members to turn them would have been the icing on the cake. Still, this represents a great example of how cool a module you can craft even with a minimum of space and Kyle Crider’s conversion does a great job maintaining the original appeal. 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #047: Stowaway on the Singing Sea
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Places of Power: Beacon Promontory
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/11/2017 05:18:49

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 back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

A ferocious storm has swallowed the village of Beacon Cove - and from the ruins of the storm's horrid aftermath, the ragged survivors rebuild around the lighthouse, overlooking the watery grave of the once proud fishing village. Weatherworn, proud and defiant, the survivors are still here, as the notes on how the folk look and dress explain. The pdf also sports lore to unearth for the PCs, and no less than 6 different events and 6 whispers and rumors that can be unearthed by PCs with the proper social skills. These, obviously, also can also be used by the Gm to add some neat complications to the subject matter.

The pdf also provides a proper marketplace section for consumables or crafting services, which is a nice plus. The survivors also fear supernatural things behind the horrid occurrence that has forever changed their ways and the worship of the sea queen Serat is also touched upon as a brief sidebar. The inn comes with proper prices for accommodations and food/drink and with a hard daily life and continuous downpours on the verge of normalizing, the place is most definitely an intriguing one - the great b/w-artwork depicting the place is inspiring and daily life also is covered in a helpful sidebar.

The respective write-ups and details, though, are what makes this inspiring: The basic feeling is that of a somber outpost and catastrophe, sure, but it is blended with a strong leitmotif of defiance and hope...and if you take a look at the detailed entries for the places of interest, you'll soon realize that the place can be run as an example of the effects of trauma after a catastrophe...or as something with a more sinister, horrific undertone, with the fear of parasitic, mind-controlling things gaining traction...but is it real? Only the GM can decide.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The b/w-artwork of the lighthouse and environments is an amazing pieces. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized to be printed out. The cartography by Maciej Zagorski is well-made and in b/w. Supporters of Raging Swan Press' patreon can get access to a player-friendly, key-less version of the map, at least to my knowledge.

Mike Welham delivers big time here: This place of power is not only inspired, it can be spun in a variety of ways by the enterprising GM: Whether supernatural or group delusion, this somber place is basically an adventure in disguise and as such, it basically begs for the PCs to be dropped in and watched - speculation will run rampant sooner or later, doing the work for the GM. This is a great place and yet another example of Mike's abundant talent. As a very minor complaint: This is, to me, technically closer to a village (or rather: thorp) than a Place of Power and as such, the place could have used settlement stats, but that may be me. Similarly, I would have loved to see magical properties for the place. Don't let that keep you from this cool locale, though: This promontory is an amazing set-piece that breathes the spirit of Raging Swan's flair in all the right ways. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Beacon Promontory
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Publisher Reply:
I'm delighted you enjoyed this Places of Power, Endzeitgeist. Thank you for the review.
Places of Power: Beacon Promontory (SNE)
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/11/2017 05:16:58

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 back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

A ferocious storm has swallowed the village of Beacon Cove - and from the ruins of the storm's horrid aftermath, the ragged survivors rebuild around the lighthouse, overlooking the watery grave of the once proud fishing village. Weatherworn, proud and defiant, the survivors are still here, as the notes on how the folk look and dress explain. The pdf also sports lore to unearth for the PCs, and no less than 6 different events and 6 whispers and rumors that can be unearthed by PCs, provided the referee/GM considers the knowledge appropriate. These, obviously, also can also be used by the GM to add some neat complications to the subject matter.

The pdf also provides a proper marketplace section for consumables or crafting services, which is a nice plus. Weird: A bracket in the section's not closed that has been closed in the PFRPG-version. Oh well, that's typo-level. The survivors also fear supernatural things behind the horrid occurrence that has forever changed their ways and the worship of the sea queen Serat is also touched upon as a brief sidebar. The inn comes with proper prices for accommodations and food/drink and with a hard daily life and continuous downpours on the verge of normalizing, the place is most definitely an intriguing one - the great b/w-artwork depicting the place is inspiring and daily life also is covered in a helpful sidebar.

The respective write-ups and details, though, are what makes this inspiring: The basic feeling is that of a somber outpost and catastrophe, sure, but it is blended with a strong leitmotif of defiance and hope...and if you take a look at the detailed entries for the places of interest, you'll soon realize that the place can be run as an example of the effects of trauma after a catastrophe...or as something with a more sinister, horrific undertone, with the fear of parasitic, mind-controlling things gaining traction...but is it real? Only the GM can decide.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The b/w-artwork of the lighthouse and environments is an amazing pieces. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized to be printed out. The cartography by Maciej Zagorski is well-made and in b/w. Supporters of Raging Swan Press' patreon can get access to a player-friendly, key-less version of the map, at least to my knowledge.

Mike Welham delivers big time here: This place of power is not only inspired, it can be spun in a variety of ways by the enterprising GM: Whether supernatural or group delusion, this somber place is basically an adventure in disguise and as such, it basically begs for the PCs to be dropped in and watched - speculation will run rampant sooner or later, doing the work for the GM. This is a great place and yet another example of Mike's abundant talent. In the system neutral version, I can hardly complain about wanting more mechanics, so for this iteration, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Beacon Promontory (SNE)
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Publisher Reply:
I'm delighted you enjoyed this Places of Power, Endzeitgeist. Thank you for the review.
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