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Mythic Minis 56: Mythic Jewels
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/11/2015 03:18:23
An Endzeitgeist.com

All right, you know the deal - 3 pages - 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page content, let's go!



-Crown of Iron Sorcery: Provides decreased arcane spell failure chance when wearing metal armor and also provides DR depending on your armor and shield. Also provides synergy effects with certain special weapon abilities and the Arcane Strike feat and very minor spell storing, with mythic wearers receiving additional benefits. All awesome!



-Diamond of Everwinter: Not only sustains you in the cold and makes you less susceptible to the elements, these diamonds can absorb cold and fire damage at the risk of breaking and the endure effect can be extended to allies. For mythic wearers, this one goes all out - not only does it provide access to the Rime Spell feat, it also allows for teleportation between spaces close to massive glaciers et al. Oh, and it gets bonus abilities when in the possession of a mythic character gaining a tier. While I would have preferred a minimum time-frame of attuning for the latter options to avoid abuse, I still adore this item.



-Force Shield Pin: Not only does this act like the bigger brother of the shield broach, it can also absorb unlimited magic missiles, cast (mythic) shield and extend the benefits to an emanation - it can also be recharged via mythic surges. Damn cool and useful!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches apart from something on the line of "sn.owy terrain" - which is kind of hilarious in my mind. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' 2-column full color standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



3 items, all killer, no filler - and while I'm not 100% happy with the diamond's ability-gain and the lack of an attunement period for its condition, I still found myself adoring these items - a great collection and well worth of a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 56: Mythic Jewels
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Campaign Options: The Feat Reference Document
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/08/2015 09:14:59
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive tome clocks in at 282 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 5 pages of SRD, 4 pages of advertisement, 1 page blank back cover, leaving us with 270 pages of content, so let's take a look!



So, in case you didn't know - this massive book collects all the feats released in adventures, companions and campaign-lines by Paizo that have NOT been uploaded on the PRD. This obviously means that this HUGE book has a gazillion of feats - as a reviewer, it would quite frankly be unfeasible to go through them, one by one and analyze them - more so due to them being official Paizo feats, reprinted - and thus not the responsibility of the authors.



It also puts me a strange point as a review - with the obvious goal of collecting material, how do I review what arguably is a compilation? Moreover, more often than not, there is a reason for feats not being put online - said reason being that they often are steeped in the lore of Golarion.



Thankfully, the massive feat reference document does mitigate several of these factors. What do I mean by this? Well, for once, much like Legendary Games' AP plug-ins, filing off the serial numbers of the feats is done extensively as to not infringe upon the closed IP. The instances are made obvious and easily identifiable via the inclusion of a yellow shade behind the respective changed lines. In the case where worship of a specific deity is required as a prerequisite, the feats utilize wordings that easily make the intended patron deity identifiable - e.g. "a neutral evil deity of darkness, loss and pain that grants the domains..."



Uncommon feat-types, from achievement to betrayal and damnation feats and yes, faction feats, are explained. Faction feats and their explanation is no less easily graspable - when Eagle Knights are replaces with Eagle Lords, no one halfway versed in Golarion lore should be confused. Familiar, Story and Meditation feats can also be found within these pages. When using the called shot rules, targeting feats provide the means you need to customize your options. How many feats are in here? Well, the first feat-table, which covers combat, critical etc. feats spans no less than 28 pages. And yes, more uncommon feat-tables also provide even more tables and texts. So far, so good, right?



Well, that is not where this massive book stops - from the halfling jinx to variant tiefling traits to familiar and school archetypes to fleshcrafting of draconic and other grafts to magic items and spells, there is A LOT of supplemental material herein as well. The obediences and their results, introduced in Inner Sea Gods, is also extensively covered, explained, and made viable as closed IP-free reskins, including demon lords, empyreal lords and much, much more. Primal Magic also can be found herein.



So, obviously, in a book that collects so many sources, we have quite a few that are downright broken. This book handles said cases in a more interesting way that I expected it to - some feats have added caveats, for example the first one, Acadamae Graduate, where a caveat has been added that eliminates the means for undead to cheese it. Said modified text also sports the yellow shade, rendering it easily identified as a change, a practice that also extends to full-blown alternate feats. Some feats are obviously VERY broken - thus, the original feat is provided alongside a revised version that may run smoother or simply be better - or just different. This, I honestly did NOT expect to find and I applaud it.



Now the filing off of the serial numbers may obviously lead to some minor confusion or you may just want to ban a constituent book or look up the original's fluff - but how do you point towards the source when you can't say it? With surprisingly smart and creative pseudonyms that are also listed in an appendix by the SRD-contributions - and you probably will understand which book is meant by "The Book of the North", "Complete History of the Dragon" and the like - yes, it is not 100% apparent at one glance, but looking at the feats and with some experience under one's belt, it makes sense and imho is a pretty ingenious way of providing a secondary organization principle to this massive collection.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed a surprisingly small amount of typos and the like in this massive book - surprising and commendable! Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard with brownish borders that thankfully come out as pretty printer-friendly if you try to print them. Artwork ranges from stock to several pieces of full-color art I have not seen before - nice. The pdf, thankfully, comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Owen K.C. Stephens has collected a vast array of feats, nay a colossal bunch of feats in this tome and organizing them must have been an excruciating gruntwork I do not envy. At the same time, I dreaded this review - why? Because point by point analysis would have rendered this review useless. At the same time, I could not skip through these pages either, making the work on this review, though it may not show to you, an excruciating slog on my end as well.



That being said, while this ate up a lot of my time, I am glad I did not opt for the easy way out. Why? Because then I wouldn't have seen the fixes made to several of Paizo's...let's say, less than stellar rules-decisions. Now granted, not all pieces of content will find their way into my game and yes, I consider quite a few options provided in player companions et al. over the years OP. At the same time, some fixes actually make me contemplate using feats herein, fixing exploits and the like.



But how do I rate this? From the get-go, my decision way to not rate this as a feat-collection, but rather on the virtues of it being a compilation - and in said discipline, it excels - the filing off of serial numbers is handled elegantly. The organization and bookmark navigation is easy and concise. The fixed versions SIDE BY SIDE with the originals in the end mean that all camps will be happy - both fans of the original iterations and those that disliked exploits presented by the originals.



In the end, the amount of problematic feats and things I personally would have liked fixed is miniscule when compared to the workload that went into this tome and its overall content and presentation. And yes, while navigation, due to the necessity to avoid closed IP, is less intuitive than one would like, this book makes it as easy as possible within the legal restraints. As such, there is not much to complain regarding this massive book - and hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars for a well-crafted, well-organized reference document.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Campaign Options: The Feat Reference Document
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Mythic Minis 55: Performance Feats
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/08/2015 09:12:34
An Endzeitgeist.com review

All right, you know the deal - 3 pages - 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page content, let's go!



-Dramatic Display: Numerical escalation plus mythic power expenditure for nat 20'd maneuver checks in the round after the display. I don't like nat 20-granting abilities particularly for a reason and this falls into the category - the secondary benefit is arguably better than some primary benefits for combat maneuver enhancement as it also provides a +4 bonus in addition. This one is pretty broken in my book.



-Whip Mastery: Numerical escalation, but also mythic power expenditure for a follow-up attack versus a foe just tripped or disarmed.



-Improved Whip Mastery: Threaten the area of your reach. Also: Move unattended objects with the whip and move medium and smaller foes you tripped. Cool!



-Greater Whip Mastery: Grappling of adjacent foes via whip, option to tie them up and also Chokehold them. Nice!



-Hero's Display: Present Weapon Focus'd weapon for AoE demoralize, with subsequent attacks with the weapon further extending the duration of the effect. Okay, I guess.



-Masterful Display: Select 2 mythic performance or 3 regular performance feats; when making the performance combat check, you gain access to them, but only a +2 to the combat performance check.



-Mocking Dance: Move 5 ft. sans AoO or full movement with AoO, but you can't end the movement in a square that threatens an enemy; Adds bonus to combat performance and allows for AoE demoralize and it makes it possible for Diplomacy or Intimidate to be used to Antagonize instead. I wished this feat had a more precise wording than its non-mythic base, which failed to specify whether the 5-foot movement counted as a 5-foot-step or not. On a design-aesthetic position, I also would have included Antagonize among the prereqs. Finally, while this is a nitpick, I'm not 100% clear whether the skill-substitution for Antagonize only works in conjunction with Mocking Dance, but I assume no.



-Murderer's Circle: Numerical escalation for the granted movement by critical hits and maneuvers, with mythic power allowing for a follow up attack at bonus - nasty, but cool!



-Performance Weapon Mastery: Numerical escalation of the base feat. Okay.



-Performing Combatant: Makes all your performance feats available (instead of just one) at DC 20 and spend mythic power to make it count as natural 20. Much like in the base feat, I wished this actually provided full-blown synergy with hypothetical/imagined crowds - think about it: A mythic character "performing" for a crowd of ancestor spirits? That would be pretty awesome. A solid feat, but also a wasted opportunity.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' 2-column full color standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Jeff Lee's performance feats are generally okay, though not always perfect. Over all, they do a solid job at what they set out to do, but also fall a bit flat of a conceptually awesome update - you receive solid craftsmanship with some minor hiccups and missed opportunities here. I will hence settle on a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 55: Performance Feats
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Animal Races: Clan of the Frog
Publisher: Eric Morton Presents
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/07/2015 02:50:00
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Animal Races-series clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let's take a look!



The frog (and newt)-clans presented in this installment as the most civilized of boggards, once again, are presented in the trademark level of detail and believability one expects from Eric Morton's writing at this point. The supplement does cover both the intriguing psychology with distinct differentiations in aptitude and calling between parents and offspring and the resulting deviations of social structures from the default create a society familiar, yet alien.



Racial trait-wise, members of the frog-clan are either medium (+2 Dex, -2 Str) or small (+2 Dex, -2 Str), have the boggard subtype, low-light vision, normal speed of 30 ft. or 20 ft. respectively, scent (5 ft., scaling up to 30 ft. at 6th level), natural armor +1 (scaling up to +2 at 10th level) and it gets a sticky tongue that provides a penalty to AC and a movement limitation to those hit with it. The tongue can only be removed by an opposed strength check analogue to the boggard's ability. A total of 4 Frog Clan variants are provided. Bull Frogs get +2 Str and can select Frog Clan Heritage as a combat feat. Frog Clan members get +2 Int and can choose the Frog Clan Heritage as an alchemist's discovery, while Toad Clan members get the same modification, but may choose the feat in lieu of a hex instead. Tree Frog Clan members must be small, but gain +2 to Wis and the grippli subtype in addition to the boggard subtype, also gaining the Tree Frog heritage feat -which they may choose as a ranger's combat style feat.



Newt Clan base racial traits are identical with those of the frog clan, except that they gain a primary bite attack at 1d4/1d3 instead of the tongue. The Newt Clan members get +2 to Int and may select Salamander Heritage as a witch's hex, while Salamander clan members also get +2 to Int and may choose Salamander Heritage as an alchemist's discovery.



Now as to the racial heritage feats, Frog Clan offers hold breath or swamp stride, adding leap and terrifying croak thereafter. Tree Frogs can get camouflage, climb or swamp stride, adding glider, leap and toxic skin to the fray . Salamander's hold breath, flame resistance and swamp stride complement these options. The pdf also provides a feat that hearkens to the race's proclivities to strange science - Test Subject, allows you to learn a discovery that modifies physiology or body chemistry.



The pdf also provides 6 different alchemist discoveries, one of which nets a natural attack adamantine properties, which is imho a tad bit too soon at level 6. Infusing metal into natural attacks, gills; +4 to Intimidate at the cost of -4 to Disguise and an internal cavity (to store items in) as well as minor DR/piercing + slashing - apart from the adamantine issue being slightly too early in my book, a solid array.



The goddess of the new moon and alchemy and the genealogy as well as the interactions with the diverse mythologies of the clans once again provide compelling intersections with established creatures, thus rooting these clans in the respective cosmology and ecology. As always, we are also introduced to heraldic crests, though this time around, they are assigned to the symbols for alchemical substances, with partial negation of attribute-drain/damage providing interesting options.



This pdf does go beyond that with a second "deity" (or rather, cult), the Templar Cult, an evil organization devoted to literally worshiping technology - and yes, the pdf also sports 5 new technological items, from circuit threading to ray guns - nice ones! The pdf also provides a new cleric domain with Technology Guide-synergy.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to the series' elegant, printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard with thematically-fitting stock art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for you convenience.



Eric Morton's frog and newt clans are interesting and compelling and over all, there is nothing truly wrong with any of the pieces herein: I really enjoy many of the options provided herein. That beings aid, some of the small balance-screws, while not loose, imho could have used some slight additional finetuning - the adamantine discovery is a tad bit too soon in my book. Still, this constitutes a truly fun addition to the series and ranks among the more unique and culturally distinct files in it. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Animal Races: Clan of the Frog
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Shadows of the Dusk Queen (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/06/2015 03:20:43
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 36 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 31 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This module was moved up on my review-queue at the request of my players. The following being an adventure-review, from here on out, the SPOILERS reign. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

All right, still here? Even the shadow fey can love, in their own, alien way - and so, a scáthesidhe, exiled from the winter court and hence known as the dusk queen, retreated to the dark woods and ruled as one would expect from a lady with her moniker. Against all possibility, a man from a far off land of eternal sun and scorching heat found his path into the dusk queen's dominion, where the two promptly fell in love - and here, the story might have ended, were it not for the construction of a dark mirror, which fueled the latent paranoia of the queen. The traveler, then known as sun king, tried to overlook his lover's continuing descent into amorality and evil, but when he noticed her plans to invade his home, he acted - weaving mighty magics, he imprisoned the queen and sundered her mirror; tales of tragic love being what they are, his solution did not prove to be permanent - and thus, the PCs happen upon a foreboding, dark forest, where the wind itself carries the words "She has returned" to their ears.



Entering the forest, a lavishly-illustrated treant weeping acid tears tasks the PCs in cryptic hints to track down the shards of the dusk queen's mirror - and escape is no option. From hampered teleportation to swarms of shadow stirges, the forest does its best to foil the PCs and yes, there is a table of wandering monsters, of which I encourage you to make ample use. The shadow forest's overview map (which is no less beautiful than the artwork) does provide several obvious paths that can be tackled in different sequences.



The locations themselves can be considered a veritable who's who of dark forest locations - from a pool of shadow nymphs to a bog most foul hiding an ancient monument and a spirit naga to a strike-force of bugbears under the command of a half umbral-dragon leader to a massive hangman's tree, the task of collecting the shards is a quick and interesting succession of iconic locales - and yes, of course, the PCs also get a chance to duke it out with a shadow drake.



Once they have finally assembled all the shards, it's time to face the dusk queen's tower, wherein she tries to cajole them into using the shards to repair her mirror and restore her to full power - hopefully barring that, she will attempt to use force - by means of her own theurge-magics as well as a graveknight antipaladin and his companion. Besting the two deadly adversaries (significantly easier if a strong-willed PC uses the powerful shards to blast them!) will see the end of the adventure and the tower's collapse - for now, for a sequel is in the making. Oh, and yes, there is a powerful, intelligent spellbook to be found here.



Now this pdf has GLORIOUS artworks and cartography all around - and you can actually use both: The module provides an art & map section that reproduces the Paizo-level gorgeous artwork (one provided for most major antagonists!) as one-page hand-outs to show to your players. Furthermore, the glorious full-color cartography of the dark wood is provided in a player-friendly version and to trump that, we also get the dusk queen's ruined throne room as a player-friendly, overview with a grid AND in battle-map-style size to print out - now THIS is going one step beyond! Two thumbs up!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I did not notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful, 2-column full-color standard and the artworks by Bryan Syme are staggering -see the cover? The copious amount of interior artwork is JUST AS GOOD. Yes. This is one of the most beautiful modules I've read in ages, with cartography also ranking in the top-tier echelon, especially due to the copious support regarding battle-map, player-friendly versions etc. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



My players still talk fondly of Marc Radle's first module published by Raging Swan Press, The Sunken Pyramid, so when I brought this module to the table, they were keen on playing it. The dark wood has a superb atmosphere that thankfully stands on its own and does not provide overlap with AAW Games' superb Snow White duology (Part I and Part II), instead creating its very own atmosphere and mood - which is a good thing. This module is all about atmosphere that is captured in great detail and enhanced by what could be considered to be some of the most stunning pieces of artwork I have ever seen in a 3pp module. Especially at the low price point, this is stunning.



Now I playtested this one twice, for a reason - my players were insanely lucky and had 14 natural 20s in the run of this module - and since it is pretty much a brief one that focuses on atmosphere, this meant they pretty much curb-stomped the opposition. When I ran it for a second time for a significantly less experienced and optimized group, there was one unlucky PC death, though that is to be attributed to abysmal luck. This module is not a meat-grinder and neither is it particularly challenging - the final fight in particular was very easy on my PCs in the first run.



Difficulty-wise, this is not a particularly challenging module, but it is a very much worthwhile adventure that feels completely like a Kobold Press adventure, breathing a sense of ancient fairy tales gone wrong. In direct comparison, the fights themselves do feel like they could have benefited from more environmental peculiarities and hazards - but that may just be me being spoiled. Shadows of the Dusk Queen is a premium quality module with a unique mood that very much manages to depict a compelling, short trip into a dark forest that actually deserves the moniker. My aforementioned nitpicks can mostly be attributed to me being a spoiled bastard and are offset by the quality of both production-values and mood. I do advise GMs running this for an experienced group to increase the difficulty-levels, though. In the end, I am happy with this module - its story resonates, its production values are superb, its builds are non-standard and interesting - and while it may be brief and none too hard, it was a great experience to run. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval. Now can we have more modules of that caliber? After all, that's what made me a fan of Kobold Pres back in the day when it still was Open Design...

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows of the Dusk Queen (Pathfinder RPG)
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Search for Lost Legacy 4: By Eternal Wrath
Publisher: AAW Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/06/2015 03:18:39
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The final installment of the Search for Lost Legacy adventure arc clocks in at 47 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 43 pages of content, so let's take a look!



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

...

..

.

All right, still here? This installment takes place in Vargon's former private sanctum, which is now under the command of his erstwhile second in command Damon Light-cleaver, though e.g. a Dark naga and certain servants provide ample opportunity for the PCs to sow discord within the ranks of their opposition - as this level is still very much inhabited, it should come as no surprise that the focus is a different one that takes a step away from the theme of abandonment and decrepitude.



In game, this proved to be at once an interesting change of pace and a flaw - while the series so far has excelled primarily in its indirect storytelling, so far almost all of the hints, from diary-entries to the theme of the sins of the ancestor inherited, this module changes its focus into a dungeon that is still operational, with the ancient wizard's lich-transformation being the central theme - sabotaged though it is, it is up to the PCs to complete it and annihilate the proto-lich while it phases back into reality in order to truly stop the wizard. While this is by no means an uncommon trope, it does not sport advice to trouble-shoot the very reasonable refusal of PCs to engage in exactly this practice, which can grind the module to a pretty nasty halt -essentially, the series fails to provide a good reason to actually try to destroy Vargon instead of leaving him in limbo. The exploration of the complex and braving of halls used in the process of lichdom-apotheosis works well as a concept per se, but still - from a dramaturgical perspective, I do think this pdf flounders.



On the plus-side, the social interactions and Bluff/sense Motive-boxes provided go above and beyond for the DM, with plenty of intriguing quotes that should not leave even the most inexperienced DMs baffled - two thumbs up for these!



That being said, to me, the internal consistency and realism the series evoked so far falls completely apart here - with so many powerful, unbound villains and his second-in-command here, with the transformation not completed, this whole level made no true sense to me. How could it go unnoticed? How can it be that Vargon hasn't been properly finished off? With so much of the complex remaining essentially barren and lost, why not extend the domain and claim those resources, rife for the picking? The reasons provided within the context of this module remain flimsy at best and, to me, invalidated the carefully established sense of cohesion and realism established over the curse of the series.



The pdf does collate Damon's story and the proto-lich template in the appendices (oddly featuring the 3.X-template as well as the PFRPG-version, though the 3.X-content has otherwise been purged from this pdf...) and sports the map of the complex in a player-friendly version as well - kudos for that.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, though, as in the previous installment, some fluctuations in writing quality of both fluff and rules-text can be found herein. Layout adheres to a beautiful two-column full-color standard with gorgeous full-color artwork and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



John R. Davis' series' final installment is challenging for the level-range, though not in an undue manner - my players considered it not that hard, but then again, the mechanical challenge was never the forte of the series. This module, ultimately, constitutes the logical conclusion of the series as foreshadowed in part III, though it does so in a disappointing manner. Ultimately, the threat foreshadowed is invalidated pretty much, the sense of logical cohesion established carefully via indirect storytelling crumbles somewhat apart. The extremely compelling leitmotif of the dungeon, carefully established in part I and II, already somewhat diminished by installment III, now completely crumbles apart and, unfortunately, takes what makes the series special with it.



Where the first two installments, and to a lesser extent the third, stood out due to the atmosphere evoked, the unique sense of a strange archeology, this one almost negates that very premise by undermining the very foundation that made this stand out - the presence of a BBEG beyond the story's focus/boss and the traitorous creatures herein almost constitute the antithesis of the cohesion the series has worked so hard to establish.



Don't get me wrong, I don't expect a sense of Gygaxian realism in my dungeons; I can have great fun with dungeons that make no sense whatsoever, living creatures just waiting behind a sealed door etc. But this series began as something logically and thematically incredibly cohesive and consistent. When slowly, but surely, this premise is eroded; when what constituted the main draw and unique flair is abandoned half-way, it becomes problematic. The third module still made sense and was as much a change of pace as an invasion in one of the Dark Souls-games; but instead of a return to form, a module that could have stood by virtue of the vistas and exploration provided, the set-up herein sports several narrative and logical choices that hurt this arc and render it the one thing I hoped the arc would avoid - a bit generic.

Detailed, yes, but still. Add to that the inherited minor issues (minor rules-hiccups, remnant references to 3.X) of the series and we have a module that fell short of the promise inherent in the arc's plot.

I still very much can recommend the first 3 installments of the series, yes, even the less than perfect 3rd one, but to me and my players, this one provided a frustrating anti-climax that cast a pall over our otherwise very much remarkable journey through this arc. My final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded up mainly since I believe that this works alone well, or at least better - but within the context of the series and its themes, it sticks out like a sore thumb. As a personal recommendation; I'd advise GMs running this to heavily modify the final complex and maintain the theme of decay via failing wards and haunt-like effects throughout an exploration of ruined halls.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Search for Lost Legacy 4: By Eternal Wrath
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Mythic Minis 54: Mythic Clothing
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/06/2015 03:16:22
An Endzeitgeist.com review

All right, you know the deal - 3 pages - 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page content, let's go!



The first piece of mythic clothing would be Foamfollower's Jack - a naval jacket that allows the wearer to alter winds and water walk, with mythic wearers having the option extend to other vessels in an interesting modification of the base abilities of the item.



The robe of teeth would make Gholad or Dahlver-Nar proud, as it animates and starts chewing up anyone foolish enough to grapple. Better yet, it can exude a disgusting, sticky tongue which can force move foes - and yes, mythic wearers can exude more of them - this item is AWESOME: Mechanically complex and glorious in imagery, this is beautiful...erhhh...disturbing! All awesome!



The 3rd item herein would be the scorpion cloak, which does not only grant bonuses when in desert environments and improves survival chances in combat with scorpions. More impressively, the item allows the wearer to receive tremorsense while not moving, also receiving a deadly, poison-delivering attack that can be executed from prone positions, with mythic wearers slightly escalating these options. I expected this to bore me and it didn't - kudos!



The 4th item, which can be found on the SRD-page, would be black silken slippers of star-striding, which not only provide an array of spell-duplications - but the interesting point here would be that light-sources can be targeted as a kind of teleport-beacon - oh, and interstellar transportation. Yes, awesome!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' 2-column full color standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Alistair Rigg and Jason Nelson deliver an all killer, no filler mythic mini with cool items that blend mechanical complexity with high-concept style - a great example of what this series can do. Well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 54: Mythic Clothing
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Mythic Skills
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/05/2015 05:40:02
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This mythic plug-in clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 1.5 pages of SRD, 1 page inside back cover, 1 page back cover, 4 pages advertisement, leaving us with 13.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Okay, I'll make this short: If you're playing with mythic rules, GET THIS NOW! Even if you DO NOT use mythic rules - this comes with full-blown rules for using the content herein in non-mythic games! Yes, you heard right - this works for vanilla PFRPG games. Go ahead, I'll wait here.

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Okay, want a more detailed analysis? I shall oblige! This pdf generally introduces an array of new options for mythic characters to keep the skills itself relevant in a game of quickly escalating numbers. In order to utilize these, skill-based feats, skill focus or a certain amount of minimum ranks can be used as gateway values to unlock the powers of these skills, including rules to use otherwise mythic-power based skill exploits (specific accomplishments of skill-based derring-do) and codify them via daily uses - and yes, this extends to hero point-support, should you prefer these. So yes, this pdf sports essentially maximum usability for any game.



Granted, mythic characters benefit most from this pdf, with concise rules for skill uses modified with the mythic rules, both by adding tiers and opening up unique, new options - and, of course, by the new exploits - using mythic power to feather fall via acrobatics may be cool - but what about the best of the best being able to balance across water (insert tasteless "It ain't Jeesus!"-joke here) or even air - yes, you can balance across air at a DC of 70. This is awesome.



What about using Appraise with bonuses and full synergy with the bargaining system or as a literal nose for sniffing out treasure? Planting suggestions via Bluff? Maximizing a limited daily array of surge dice for crafting purposes? Exceedingly accelerated Disguise-changes? Knock powered by mythic power as standard actions via Disable Device... Negate hits via Fly? Yeah. (And yes, I am aware that for some of you, as for me, this skill-use will be restricted to dogfights in the air and personally, I'm NOT a fan of it, but as a reviewer, I can't really complain here...)



I could go on and list trick upon trick, but ultimately, with all the scavenging, I could come up with one "issue" - the spell-duplicating skill uses are supernatural abilities - which have their CL concisely defined. These do feel like they should SPs, but then they'd provoke AoOs....so that's why I put it in quotation marks - it's a non-issue and there imho is no more elegant way to cover this. And yes, this is the only, exceedingly weak nitpick I could find. I'd almost be sad, were I not so happy.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games printer-friendly two-column full-color standard and the artworks are nice full-color pieces, though ones you'll know from other LG-pdfs. The pdf comes fully bookmarked.



Skills have been pretty much the overlooked rules-component of the mythic rules and this rectifies this GLARING oversight; This pdf should have been part of the core mythic rules.

Jason Nelson's mythic skills are a MUST HAVE for anyone playing with mythic rules. It's an inspired pdf and best of all, it provides nigh no overlap with my beloved 101 New Skill Uses by Rite Publishing, mainly due to a completely different focus. This pdf is as close to perfection as you can expect from such a pdf and ultimately, its usefulness even extends beyond mythic rules, being still a very good pdf for regular high-powered/-level campaigns. My final verdict for this glorious pdf clocks in at 5 stars + seal of approval + status as a candidate for my Top Ten of 2015. This is brilliant.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Skills
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Kingdom of Toads Mythic Edition
Publisher: Run Amok Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/05/2015 05:38:24
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive high-level module is 64 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 60 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Upgraded to mythic rules, this high-fantasy/level over-the-top epic action module provides mythic trials galore, should you require them.



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



Still here?

Okay! Being written for level 17-18 characters with 7 - 8 mythic tiers, we can expect some epic reasons for adventuring - and here they are: 2 days ago, the schemes of the vile witch Vakelna came to fruition when she conducted a ritual to turn THE WHOLE POPULATION OF THE KINGDOM of Kelwyk into toads. The kingdom would be lost, were it not for one sloppy flaw in the ritual and the fortuitous fact that Iselin, the king's advisor, was travelling the astral plane when the ritual was unleashed. Now, while he can't locate the witch to reverse the epic hex, he does contact the PCs, for he knows where to start searching:



Some years ago, Vakelna was slain by the mythic dragon Arovarax and it is there they may reclaim her former body. Travelling there will prove to be no problem thanks to the PC's massive resources, but the lair itself will not be a cake-walk - the dragon is worshipped by a ridiculously powerful guard of elite troglodytes. Fighting said menaces, the PCs can rescue a band of hapless adventurers - The Justiciars of Justice. Yes. The Paladin of the group ends every sentence with "and to vanquish evil!" and similar statements, providing comic relief (all too rarely seen in modules!) - powerful, but outclassed by both opposition and PCs, they should bring a few smiles to the faces of your players in a nice change of pace from testing their mettle versus mithril golems, tataka rakshasas and the CR 21/MR 7 advanced wyrm blue dragon Arovarax, who will use a combination of his mirage and breath weapon to deadly effect. The mythic expansions that have been applied to base module render the dragon a significantly increased threat, though I wished the foolish justicars had also been made mythic - it would explain how these numbnuts could survive...



Further complicating things, the kingdom of Stonevale, long-time rivals of Kelwyk, have no intention of letting the PCs save their rivals and thus have taken steps: The Thorn Company, the best adventuring party/agents the kingdom can muster, has been sent to take care of the PCs and end them: And end them they may - a high-level adventuring party striking from an ambush as a dynamic factor should challenge all but the best of groups to their limits - especially since the group has been upgraded to mythic status as well.



Returning to Kelwyk with the corpse of Vakelna, Iselin locates Vakelna's current incarnation -she is within the kingdom's Legacy oak - and she isn't. Sheltered away in a demiplane, the PCs will have to research a ritual to allow for gate to properly bring them there: Unfortunately, a fire has claimed the tome that contained said ritual and now, the clockwork librarian is the only hope. His memory has been jumbled, though, and in order to jog his cogs, the PCs will have to solve essentially a word-jigsaw-puzzle (not too hard, btw.) that comes with neat handouts to cut out and give to your players - and yes, all the various ways to cheat puzzles via spells at higher levels are addressed.



Solving the puzzle, the PCs can now travel into the Legacy Oak's demiplane to challenge Vakelna - if they survive their way through the huge tree-dungeon, in which not only gigantic lice, sap demons (upgraded to mythic) and similar threats lurk. Worse, the tree's "immune-system" is active and sards, terrifyingly powerful plant-creatures that have been rendered mythic, will seek to exterminate intruders as well. The PCs may also inadvertently unleash perhaps the most powerful pugwampi ever statted (who comes with a new feat a new magic item) - who not only seeks to trick the PCs, but also wants to claim Vakelna's cauldron for himself - oh, and CR 20 + 8 mythic ranks = PAIN. Speaking of which:



3 young, agile, mythic linnorms guarding the entrance to the final fight should provide enough time for Vakelna to cast her impressive buff-list and generally prepare herself and her 6 CR 14 giant twigjack rogues for a memorable showdown. Reversing the transformation, the PCs are hailed as heroes and quite possibly, planar threats await just around the corner.



The pdf can be scaled down to level 15-16 or up to 19-20 via information provided herein and the second appendix collates the new feat, magic items and two new creatures (Gargantuan Bark Beetles, baby!) and the two maps are also provided in player-friendly b/w-version in an extra pdf. We also get 5 mythic pregens.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches though there are minor hiccups here and there, with MR being consistently applied in the CR-lines. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly, elegant b/w-standard and the artworks provided are original and nice. The pdf comes with an extra file of untagged maps to print out and use as hand-outs - NICE! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and aforementioned b/w-cartography provided is neat.



Author Ron Lundeen tries his hand at one epic high-level adventure breathing the spirit of broad repercussions appropriate for the level and manages to provide a module that challenges beyond its statblock-builds and also offers some food for the mind. Kingdom of Toads is a great adventure without the mythic rules and it works well with them as well. The builds are powerful and relatively cool and sport some unique tricks. So all's well? Alas, no.

Running this module as a playtest, I couldn't help but feel the serious sting of the limitations vanilla mythic rules provide - the one official hardcover just does not have that much fun material. Once you get used to Legendary Games' massive additional tricks released, you have a different perspective - I've literally used so much of their material that vanilla mythic feels even more incomplete to me without the additional pdfs than it did when the original hardcover was released - so yes, my sincere recommendation to mythic GMs is to crank out those books and add more mythic spells etc. to the fray. But that, I won't hold against this pdf. What I *do* hold against it is that the book's adversaries fall into the trap of vanilla mythic rules simply not being that well-rounded - hence, especially at higher tiers, combats can fall on the rocket-launcher-tag side of things and the adversaries herein imho required means to offset and counter this syndrome.



Much like Wrath of the Righteous, this module also suffers from what I'd consider the lost-chance syndrome - mythic rules as such engender a particular playstyle of high action and over the top stunts. While this module properly upgrades the primary antagonists and elite adversaries, I couldn't help but feel that the areas themselves, the hazards and distinctively unique environments in which this takes place, could have used some interaction with mythic rules: Use mythic power to enhance terrain, play with surges - the like. If one module was predisposed towards said type of shenanigans, it was this one. The absence of the like results in this not necessarily feeling like a "mythic high level module," but rather like a high level module with mythic adversaries. Fun fact - I tested this module with non-mythic PCs and my players, with much dying, some luck and strategy managed to prevail, so if your group is as insane and challenge-craving as mine, this module does test non-mythic characters to their limits and probably, beyond. Conversely, mythic characters had not an easy time, but neither was the party eliminated - in direct comparison, the non-mythic module felt more lethal for non-mythic characters than the mythic module for mythic characters. But I'm rambling.



On its own, sans modification and for mythic groups, this is a good module; surprisingly, it is an excellent module for groups wherein the players crave a challenge and are willing to pit themselves against mythic foes without being mythic themselves. My final verdict, thus, would oscillate between 4 and 5 stars - since the target audience consists of the former, though, I'll settle on 4 stars as an official verdict.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kingdom of Toads Mythic Edition
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Mythic Minis 53: Gunslinger Feats
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/05/2015 05:36:10
An Endzeitgeist.com review

All right, you know the deal - 3 pages - 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page content, let's go!



-Amateur Gunslinger: Gain Wis-mod grit, min 1 as well as a single 3rd level deed. Also use mythic power in lieu of grit to perform a deed. Can be traded for Mythic Extra Grit if getting the class feature.



-Deft Shootist Deed: No AoOs for reloading/firing a firearm while you have at least 1 grit and +2 AC when wielding a firearm versus melee attacks. When attacked in melee, spend 1 grit or mythic power as an immediate action to execute a firearm attack against the foe. At 5th tier, you can execute this +1 time per round by expending an additional grit/mythic power. Now this is a corner case, but since immediate actions preclude you from taking swift actions, does using this ability to execute two counter attacks eat one immediate action or the immediate actions for the next two rounds? Clarification is required here.



-Extra Grit: +2 grit. Use mythic power whenever you regain grit to regain 2 grit instead. Cool mechanic!



-Snap Shot (found on the SRD-page, btw.): +2 AC when hitting a target with a ranged AoO; expend mythic power to make the bonus last for tier rounds. Alternatively, expend mythic power to temporarily gain Combat Reflexes for Ranged AoO-purposes or, if you have it already, increase number of AoOs per round by +1 per 3 tiers you have.



-Improved Snap Shot: Adds free 5-foot step to the ranged AoO and allows for mythic power-fuelled immediate action reload.



-Greater Snap Shot: Add +1/2 tier to damage and crit-confirmation rolls with your ranged AoOs and lets you use mythic power to auto-confirm a critical threat. I am NOT a fan of this latter option - why? Because firearms already deal terrible amounts of damage on crits and this further exacerbates the rocket launcher tag issue of mythic gameplay.



-Leaping Shot Deed: Further increase Acrobatics bonus. If you have the Quick Draw feat, you can drop a firearm as part of the full-round action and draw another, firing at a -2 penalized full attack bonus. For mythic power, you can end the shot on your feet instead of prone.



-No Name: Increases Bluff-checks with and without grit-expenditure. Also allows you to expend 1 grit to treat a disguise check as a natural 20.



-Ricochet Shot Deed: Ignore cover and concealment with ricochet shots; Spend 1 grit to render the target of such a shot flat-footed. That's VERY strong; not sold on this one.



-Secret Stash Deed: Pay only half cost for non-normal bullets, cartridges etc. recovered. For 1 mythic power, instead find 30 bullets, a powder horn or one magical bullet and powder. Magical bullets never exceed +2 enhancement. Sleight of Hand bonus increases when gambling. Solid one!



-Signature Deed: Reduce grit cost for the deed by 2. if the deed's cost is 0, you can perform it for free as long as you have 1 grit as the deeds regular action. The feat also allows you to decrease the action it takes to perform the deed via mythic power - so far, so nice. Then, things get broken HARD - whenever you perform the deed, you regain 1 grit. I don't have to tell you that this eliminates all limitations imposed on grit as a limited resource, right? Broken and needs nerfing.



-Sword and Pistol: Add +1 attack with pistol or crossbow when criting with a melee weapon. For one mythic power, you can double the threat range of the ranged weapon attack. Per se cool - two weapon fighting penalties apply. Got that. BUT: If you have executed 1 attack with your primary weapon and one with the off hand and score a crit on the second attack with the primary weapon, is the granted attack with the ranged off-hand weapon then executed at the usual penalty assigned to iterative attacks or at the full BAB? Since this is not an AoO, clarification is required here.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' 2-column full color standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Jeff Lee's gunslinger feats generally provide a fun array of options with some of them being capital letters-level fun. At the same time, several of the feats herein provide an unnecessary power-escalation in depth - something the mythic rules don't need. Breadth provides a more compelling playing experience and as provided, several of the feats herein distinctly serve as exacerbating factors for some of the nastier components of mythic gameplay. Additionally, there are some minor problems in wording herein that need clarification and thus, I will settle on a final verdict of 2.5 stars, rounded up by a margin to 3 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 53: Gunslinger Feats
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Monster Menagerie: The Construct Companion
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/04/2015 06:05:45
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive tome clocks in at 123 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1.5 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page blank back cover, leaving us with 114.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!



We begin this massive, huge book with an aptly-written piece of prose before diving straight into this massive book, which can be pictured as w2hat would happen if a book of the series formerly known as Mythic Menagerie (renamed due to the release of the mythic rules) took more steroids than an 80s locker-room full of pro-wrestlers. What do i mean by this? Well, this huge book is almost completely crunch - which means that, were I to go into my usual level of detail, this would be a review of epic proportions indeed. Instead of this, I opted for a more dynamic approach and filtered the analysis I undertook for your convenience. I will hence try to give you a fair sampling of what to expect within this book, so let's not lose any more time and get this beast going!



Well, the first thing you obviously have to know is that this book can be considered a toolkit among other things and contains a new expanded array of options for the creation of animated objects - whether it is the option of animated objects to animate more objects themselves, anchoring or a means to avoid detection, special materials and even swarm-form - the options herein enhance animated objects in meaningful, evocative ways - to the point where the few pages devoted to that made me come up with no less than 3 adventures. Better yet, following the design-philosophy of the horsemen's great gruesome monster templates, the inclusion of drawbacks for animated objects allow a GM to create adversaries that reward clever players, rendering this very much in line with my own tastes. This is NOT where the usefulness of this chapter end, though - we receive a second massive list for re-animated objects - whether from the remains of an alchemist's laboratory or from carrion, the added options here in no way remain behind in means of evocative ideas presented.



Speaking of evocative: Animated traps. I have NO IDEA how no one so far, me included, failed to codify a trope I have used in so many adventures, I can't even count it - the concept of a self-aware trap that can reset itself not only can enhance greatly the believability of a given world (who resets those death-traps?), it also sports easy and concise guidelines along samples for GMs to embrace this great concept - one less "A wizard did it." lame excuse. Animate Objects variants for diverse spell levels alongside mythic spell support further complement the awesomeness delivered so far. How can you increase my squee-factor further? Simple - add cool vessels. And indeed, animated dirigibles and galleys can be found here, though I admittedly found myself wishing the authors had opted for at least one options that was more far out.



Golemcrafters and DMs should grins from ear to ear at the selection of options that follows now - construct modifications. Whether as enchantments or templates, the options are glorious. What do I mean by that? Well, Jacob Blackmon's rendition of a plague-doctor-mask-wearing golem with a bloody saw and a hand of injector-needles captures, in spite of Jacob's lighthearted style very much the level of disturbing options here. Oh, and MOBILE SUIT GOLEM. Do I really have to say anything more? Best of all - no overlap with Rite's multi-pilot suit: Here, we have an option for a one-character golem-suit, whereas Rite provided the Saber Rider/Power Rangers "All control one"-style. The constructed creature and golem creature template also add a significant array of unique options to the fray. So that would be the toolkit section herein.



Of course, if you've followed the series, you expect a bestiary - and I never said it was not one. Since I've already gushed about animated objects - need some? Well, this pdf delivers in spades -from ill-tempered gates to wells with delusions of being a gallows, the diversity and imagery evoked here leaves simply nothing to be desired. What about canopic jars with multiple different subtypes? "But endy", I hear you say, "this is not necessarily a 'sexy' type of construct!"Got ya, but what would you say about full-blown mythic support in the guise of a return of our friends, the massive colossi? Gigantic, nay, colossal constructs of ice, vegetation...giant bodies? Yes, they're as awesome as they sound. Now what would happen if the Iron Throne of "A Song of Fire and Ice" were a golem? The CR 15 Broken Blade Golem, lavishly rendered, answers exactly this question. Golems made from the flesh of fey and the 4 unique constructs first premiered in the small pdf by Christina Stiles Presents can also be found within this chapter, though admittedly, one can perceive the growth of the horsemen since then. That being said, receiving mythic alternatives for example for the spiritflesh golem is cool and golden golems, grave golems or lodestone golems are awesome.



Now as you may know, I'm a HUGE Ravenloft fanboy and hence, I obviously also have run Vecna Reborn and Die, Vecna, Die!- though heavily modified since both modules sucked hard. I made them essentially a end-times scenario of the worst kind. Why am I bothering you with this? Because, when my players infiltrated the fortress-city of Vecna, the group's paladin led his final charge with the last survivors against the armies of Vecna's undead, duking it out against "The Eye", one of the 2 unique golems of Vecna. Well, there is a golem in that style in here as well, the disturbing, eye-themed Oculus Golem, who coincidentally comes with AWESOME upgrade templates for blinking and cursing glares. I ADORE this golem. Crystalline record-keepers, things entirely made of poisonous stinger - in here. What about a mechanical kraken or sand or salt golems?



Fans of Catherynne M. Valente's "Cities of Gold and Spice" will enjoy the tooth golem, a way to potentially represent the dread being entirely made of teeth, Gholad - once again, especially due to the glorious CR-modifying additional options available for the golem. Totem and Tusk golems can also indeed prove to be fertile grounds for the imagination, though the soldier-storing war golem should also be explicitly mentioned as a creature I enjoy. Beyond golems, guardian lions, mechanical butlers, disturbing construct butchers, telepathic link and poison combining mechanical scarabs - this chapter is thoroughly exciting, with all creatures sporting some sort of unique and compelling combination of options and signature abilities.



This is more than just a bestiary, though - we also have a new player race with the Impendigs - obviously artificial creatures that get +2 Con and Int, -4 Wis, darkvision and low-light vision. They may choose a skill each day and receive the benefits of Skill Focus for the chosen skill and are half-constructs. An okay race, I guess, though I can name a couple more compelling ones. The Adaptable Arcanist Wizard archetype receives a wildcard-slot at his highest spell level known (later on all ) that can be used to cast any spell in the arcanist's spellbook (or learned via Spell Mastery) instead of Scribe Scroll. At 5th level, the archetype can also choose a specialization every day with freely chosen opposing schools, but without gaining bonus slots or focused arcane school powers. All in all, okay, if a bit on the strong side - not a fan of further increasing the flexibility of the already very strong wizard class. The awakened would be a construct-themed druid, using Cha instead of Wis as governing spellcasting attribute.



The Inexorable construct race receives +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Cha, get darkvision 60 ft. and low-light vision, ferocity, 6 + level SR, a slam attack at 1d4 + 1.5 times the Str-mod and the half-construct type. Again, okay though I can name some imho more compelling construct races. Racial-archetype wise, we get the drone fighter, who get modified proficiencies (minus heavy armor, plus firearm), base skills per level (4 instead of 2) - drones are created for one of 3 divisions: Command, strike or infantry, all of which modify the class skill list and various abilities of the archetype, rendering it more versatile than one could expect -at least thematically. While I LOVE this concept-wise, the actual impact on gameplay imho should have been more distinct - as written, we get a cool design-idea that is only carried through halfway to its logical conclusion. Still - kudos on a design-aesthetic level, also for the skill-deviation. :)



The second archetype would be the Munitionist gunslinger, a gunslinger with an integrated firearm who can spend grit to temporarily enhance the firearm with enhancement bonuses and weapon-qualities, magus-style. Solid.



There also are a selection of non-race specific archetypes to be found herein, though construct/half-construct as types remain prerequisite for the bloodless sorceror, for example, who essentially replace bloodline powers with natural armor, slam attacks et al. as well as one wild-card spell. Golem Slayer rangers are pretty self-explanatory concept-wise, though the immunity-negating and nasty debuff sigils render them more than a default bland nemesis archetype. Idolater clerics summon construct creatures and channel elemental construct healing energy. Lawbringer cavaliers get a construct companion (its own template/companion archetype) and the accompanying law-themed order fits, though it is not revolutionary. The Progenitor summoner replaces summon monster with animating objects and gets appropriately-themed substitution for the eidolon, in which he can also store spells. The capstone exoskeleton deserves special mention here - I honestly wished the archetype had focused on that one instead of its current focus. The Shielded magus is the first of these archetypes I truly consider cool - a shield specialist, these guys can grant properties of animated objects to their shields - and with new arcana and scaling effects, the tactical options this one allows are intriguing indeed. Finally, the warmachine fighter is also interesting, gaining half-construct benefits at the cost of permanent penalties of mental attributes and appropriately themed benefits. Over all, a nice archetype that allows for several concepts and narrative twists I like, though I have solved the same concept in a more scaling-heavy way in my own game.



Among the PrCs presented, the maker (d6, 2+Int skills, 1/2 BAB-progression, 1/2 will-save progression, full spellcasting progression) determines a creature she has made as her guardian and thus provides scaling benefits, including skills, feats and abilities for said construct - pretty much a pet PrC with spell storing, no berserk etc. On the nitpicky side, the special column is usually in the class table between saves and spell progression, not at the end, but that is a cosmetic gripe at best. The second PrC, the Martinet (d8, 2+Int mod skills, 3/4 BAB-progression, 1/2 fort- and will-save progression, 7/10th spellcasting progression) has the same presentation peculiarity and can be considered a bard-based commander-PrC - solid, though I've seen so many options to execute this theme that I can't really get excited about it. It's solid. The aforementioned template for construct companions and construct familiars respectively do not share this fate - I really like both options.



The pdf, obviously, also sports feats - a LOT o them: From natural armor to DR, you can expect quite a few customization options, with the themes, obviously, being construct upgrades and item creation feats. Not much to complain here. Where the pdf returns to full-blown form, though, would not be with feats that render golem creation a valid option during an adventurer's career - it's with the magic items, which btw. include their share of mythic items - for example golem armor, which, powered by mythic power, can confer temporarily the tricks of these iconic sentries upon their wearers.



Speaking of mythic - I have intentionally so far kept my mouth shut regarding abstraction golems - these would be mythic golems that represent special concepts from love to time, with corresponding templates and unique abilities as well as sample builds. The academic in me ADORES this chapter - why? Because it enhances the narrative cohesion by allowing a GM to provide mechanically relevant options for constructs that serve to emphasize chosen leitmotifs - from the temporal immortality of death golems to the obsession-inducing love golems (in case you need inspiration for a horror-story with this theme, play the indie-adventure Anna and unlock the final ending...), these golems are absolutely glorious. and combinations can provide more - take the sample dust golem, crafted from sand and time: Fear in a handful of dust indeed!



Oh, and if you're on the time-starved and/or lazy side, you will definitely appreciate the sample encounters provided in chapter five, where a recap's gambit (lavishly illustrated) can end up extremely nasty for the PCs or where golden and lodestoen golems combine for lethal threats in defense of the treasures of the kind of thieves. Have I mentioned the deadly tooth fairy swarm?

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are excellent, especially considering the size of this massive book - on both a rules-language and a formal level. Layout is the one component of this book I positively loathe - each page has wide margins left and right, above and below, which also sport colored graphics in the background. Not only does this mean that this pdf takes more pages when printing it out, it also drains more printer. I don't understand why the fragmented artwork, mostly obscured by the main area of text anyway, still remains - it has NO FUNCTION and does not look good: What help is half an elven lady's head o the left side? The only thing this does is distract me from the text and wonder why the artwork has been cropped into the borders. Urgh. On the plus side, you will be hard-pressed to find a 3pp-pdf with such a vast density of qualitatively high full-color artworks: Jacob Blackmon's distinct style is evident in every artwork and renders a sense of visual cohesion to this pdf that somewhat serves to offset the layout faux-pas. So kudos to master Blackmon! The pdf comes fully bookmarked with extensive nested bookmarks for your convenience.



The author-collective/roleplaying think-tank called the The Four Horseman, consisting of Steven T. Helt, Stephen Rowe and Dan Dillon have a reputation with me - why? Because their templates rank among the very few monster books that still elicit excitement from me. Let's face it - with over 2000 reviews and most 3.X monster books by 3pps at my place, I've read more monsters than I probably should have. I still have all those second edition appendices and still remember the time when monsters were defined by story, not just mechanics. PFRPG's current development, at least in the 3pp-market, has thankfully moved away from the bland reconfiguration of mechanics towards unique and compelling creatures - but still, at one point or another, you have just seen SO MUCH. You get déjà-vus ALL THE TIME.



Where am I going with this rant? Well, usually it falls to Rite Publishing's complex builds or Legendary Games' unique mythic abilities to provide this sense of the exciting and new to me. This pdf manages exactly this feeling as well. Once you've read a certain amount of books, you get a kind of radar for when an author phones in a creature. You won't find that in here. Indeed, it can be considered stupefying how many unique tricks can be found in this massive bestiary/toolbox- for this is exactly that: A huge kit to render constructs relevant and exciting, a smart book full of inspired concepts that reward brains. Now the toolkit aspect, imho, is also a minor flaw of this book - for as inspired as I consider the monster/item sections, I would lie when claiming that I was blown away by races or archetypes.



The player-centric material, while solid, just does not have the space and detail to shine - from missing FCOs to traits, age, height and weight-tables etc., it is evident that these components are bonuses that have been included to make this a definite resource - and in the end, at least to me, they detracted more from the book than they added to it. Why? Because the other components, from the expanded animated object options to the mythic abstraction golems universally reach a level of quality only seldom seen in a bestiary, much less so in one with such an excellent bang-for-buck-ratio. It is against this backdrop of stellar concepts that anything "only" good seems infinitely less compelling. So, at least for players, this is perhaps not the revelation that it most definitely is for GMs.



The golems and options here are varied, unique and inspired - and were all components of this book as awesome (and the borders not as &%$§$), this would be a candidate for my top ten. As written, it remains one STELLAR, huge book that showcases well the reason why the Four Horsemen have developed a following in such a short time. This belongs in the library of any GM looking to make golems interesting and fun...and, most of all: Versatile. This is one of the best monster books I've read in ages and demands 5 stars + seal of approval - and rest assured in a book of a lesser quality, my rant on layout et al. would have been much more pronounced. Here, though, both that and the aforementioned pieces just are swallowed by awesomeness. Get this!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Menagerie: The Construct Companion
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Urban Dressing: Elven Town
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/03/2015 08:39:53
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of what I'd tentatively call the "new" Urban Dressing-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!



So this time around, our trip through diverse towns brings us into a town of elves - where the sights and sounds, of which no less than 100 are provided - from mist that stubbornly refuses to yield to the encroaching rays of the sun to out-of-place snowless lakes to newborns ritualistically drinking the sap of trees, this provides an aptly mystical glance at the insides of elven culture.



A total of 50 different businesses, from animal-shelter-style menageries to courier-services that utilize the branches above for fast travel through the forests and crystalline wind-chimes, all provide a distinct and somewhat unearthly flair. Of course, these places would, on their own, remain pretty opaque - hence, we get a massive array of no less than 50 entries detailing short fluff-only entries of sample inhabitants, which, while in focus obviously elven, also sport a diverse array of characters not belonging to this ethnicity -from obviously xenophobic "newborns" to halflings with a nasty temper, the array of characters covers quite a broad spectrum from benevolent to malicious - have I mentioned the incognito vampire?



In case all of these entries do not spark your interest right from the bat, you can still count on the final table covering 12 hooks and complications, with elven funerals and warriors providing quite a bit of nice hooks to draw this in.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press' 2-column b/w-standard and the artwork is thematically fitting b/w-stock. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions - one optimized for the printer and one optimized for screen-use.



Josh Vogt's Urban Dressing on elves could have been pretty much bland, but thankfully, that is not the case - much like the installment on dwarven towns, this provides inspired fluff galore to make your elven towns, no matter the precise look and feel for them you prefer in your games. This installment of Urban Dressing once again is a wonderful installment and well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Dressing: Elven Town
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Classes of NeoExodus: Mythic Machinesmith (PFRPG)
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/30/2015 07:20:10
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



The machinesmith class is a deservedly beloved addition NeoExodus has contributed to many a group beyond the scope of its own campaign setting - and here we get the material needed to run these guys in a mythic context, so how do they hold up?



We begin this pdf with the 10-tier Futurist mythic path - which already provides imho a basic issue: Is it a path for just the machinesmith class? The answer, thankfully, is NO. The path nets 4 hit points per tier and a path ability at every tier, with first tier granting one of 3 futurist revelations: Surprise grenade allows you to expend a swift action and mythic power to draw and throw an alchemical item, thrown weapon or grenade, suffering a penalty to saves equal to your tier. per se cool, but why lock alchemist bombs out of the equation? As written, bombs are not covered, which remains my one gripe in an otherwise nice ability. The second revelation would be the energy shot, which allows you to attack with a ranged weapon as a swift action for the expenditure of mythic power, increasing the attack's damage by + tier and changing the damage-type for this attack to force. An issue here would be the omission of specification at what BAB the attack is executed - while the default, obviously, is full BAB, this still constitutes a minor blemish in rules-precision. The third option would be to use mythic power as a substitute for uses of extracts, prototypes or wands without expending a slot or charge, forcing non-mythic creatures to roll twice. This ability has two issues: Can one mythic power act as fuel for an ability or effect that would require the expenditure of multiple slots or charges? Would it instead decrease the number of charges by 1 or can't it be used? Secondly, what action does this require? Swift? immediate? Free? Part of the activation? While not rendering the ability unusable, it does constitute an issue.



As always, you can select more of these revelations as path abilities, but you may want to think carefully here - why? because the path abilities are pretty much unique: What about making all damage your vehicle does (including all attached weapons) ignore ALL DR? Yes, this is damn cool, but I very much wished it was not automatic and had a scaling mechanism that progressively unlocked DR-ignoring at higher tiers - as written, it means low level futurists can pretty much mow down legions of golems beyond their levels. Disarming traps and opening locks as move action sans provoking AoOs kind of works, though, once again, I wished it had a scaling-mechanism tied to the tier.



On the nice-side, this does provide full-blown support for the Technology Guide, sporting a means to offset glitches and firearm mishaps, an integration I also hope to see in the compiled machinesmith. Less charge-consumption for such items due to mythic power is also an intriguing option that adds a nice level of versatility. A humble and yet cool path ability allows you to wield firearms one size larger than you without penalty - though I'd definitely prevent large PC-races from taking this ability. On a design-aesthetic perspective, I am not a fan of an ability that allows you to return any single-target arcane spell or spell-like ability back to its originator when you save or SR against it for one mythic power - while limited by mythic power - there ought to be a discrepancy here between non-mythic and mythic magic. This is baffling since the similar ability for divine spells has just that caveat - though here, it pertains to the duration of short-term STUNNING - without save to resist, mind you.



A nice ability that takes the DiY into account would be Force Armor, which allows you to add AC bonuses of any armors you craft to touch AC, but only when wearing them yourself. I am also pretty much a fan of an ability that allows you to reverse-engineer spells from magic items to add them to your spellbook. Now while the spellbook does imply a sense of limited usefulness, I would have preferred a more open wording to allow non-spellbook-using prepared casters to benefit from this path ability. What about doubling any AoE spell or effect via the expenditure of mythic power, while also increasing the damage output AND knocking non-mythic targets prone? That one is incredibly broken -stack that with metamagic and/or class abilities get HUGE blasts - not gonna happen in my group.



On the plus-side, upgrading weapons in a flexible manner to higher technology tiers on the other hand is pretty much awesome! Class-specific options can be found inside as well - greatworks that are not the mechanus can provide a mythic power-based buff to allies upon activation. Nice! Cybertech implantation can also be found alongside the option to add metamagic to spell trigger or spell completion items. I also enjoy particularly the option to UMD past magical traps without triggering them, potentially allowing you and your allies to turn a deathtrap dungeon against its inhabitants.



Among the 3rd tier abilities, scaling DR 1/epic that improves by 1 for each implant and using mythic power to make one drone-spell or prototype permanent (and only one at a given time) is a neat idea, as is firing through foes. Among the 6th tier abilities, construct-apotheosis and turning non-magic items into universal crafting material grey goo also is nice, though perhaps a bit high up the tier-scale. Merging magic items for slot-convenience also constitutes an interesting design-choice. Awakening constructs and mythic power-based rerolls can also be found within these pages. As a capstone, the path allows for the creation of technological items in one day and for the purposes of cybertech, your capacity is vastly enhanced.



A feat nets you +1 machinesmith trick and we also get 8 new mythic versions of feats - which include, obviously, rules from the technology guide - from Craft Technological Arms and Armor to quicker crafting of Pharmaceuticals, these feats generally make sense and do a good job at integrating technology and mythic. We also get a total of 6 mythic versions of drone-spells that include unlimited ranges for exterminator drones - which is awesome. I am VERY weary of mythic moebius converters - why? Because it can be used to restore mythic power IN ADDITION to spells, extracts or prototypes - seeing how mythic power can be used to power these, this regeneration of mythic power as the most powerful resource available is something usually avoided - and for a good reason.



The pdf also provides a CR 10/MR 5 Mythic Ironforged.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting generally are very good, I noticed no significant issues regarding the formal language, though rules-language could be more precise. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's gorgeous two-column full-color standard and includes some beautiful artworks you may know from other NeoExodus-supplements. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes a slight comfort detriment. The pdf comes with a second, no less beautiful, but more printer-friendly version.



Mythic Rules are VERY hard to get right, not only because balancing them is exceedingly peculiar and hard, but also because the intricacies of rules-language are amplified by the inclusion of new terms and components. Worse, the balancing of mythic, as peculiar and fragile as it is, very much requires a lot of knowledge of abstract, implicit rules-decisions and it is this component that this pdf, alas, flaunts in quite a few instances - essentially, mythic is, at least in lower tiers, not about absolutes, but about enabling a distinction to operate on the power-level of heroes like wonder woman or superman instead of on those of batman or green arrow - you get some tools on the superman-level that are extremely efficient versus mere mortals, but you don't yet get to walk right over them - that comes at higher tiers. While not per se bad, this pdf gets exactly this component wrong in quite a few instances. Author Jonathan Palmer has grasped the basic concepts on how to write and use the syntax and semantics of the mythic rules - you can see that he gets the grand picture and delivers something functional. At the same time, it is apparent to me that the interaction and way things work diverge from the base mythic standards - and this constitutes an issue in a system this fragile.



At the same time, this pdf juggles another component, namely the Technology Guide-sub-system and it does this rather well - as problematic as some decisions in the path are, as awesome is the blending of both systems. I also pretty much like how you could mash this and Legendary Games' genius-path together without that much overlap.



On the one hand, and there is no denying this, we have here an example of a flawed pdf. At the same time, though, universally, the issues can be caught by a capable DM and yes, ironed out with a minimum of effort - fixing the balance-issues that are herein pretty much would probably amount to about 2 hours and that's it - if you do that, you'll have a functional and fun pdf for a more than fair price at your hands. This has the potential for full 5 stars +seal of approval, but as long as the issues persist, I cannot rate this higher than 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Classes of NeoExodus: Mythic Machinesmith (PFRPG)
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Mythic Minis 52: Mythic Weapons
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/30/2015 07:18:34
An Endzeitgeist.com review

All right, you know the deal - 3 pages - 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page content, let's go!



-Blade-eating Battleaxe: This battleaxe can essentially dual-sunder as a standard action and apply mythic surge benefits to the two sunders. Furthermore, with the expenditure of mythic power, it allows for whirlwind-sundering and allows for reflexive sunderings to counter certain combat maneuvers and abilities. The complex mechanics required here actually work out very well - nice one!



-Kinslayer's Knife: Nasty blade with blood biography and the target's relatives becoming apparent to the wielder, making this one very lethal for those carrying out a bloody vendetta.



-Redflame Trollblade: A +1 flaming burst humanoid (giant) bane bastard sword that has its bane further enhanced versus trolls, while also sporting color-coded glowing warnings regarding the presence of certain types of adversaries. In the hands of mythic characters, it also gets the mighty cleaving property and can use mythic power to grant Mythic Cleave, adding in a 5-foot step. Alas, the blade also calls all trolls within 1 mile, compelling them to seek out and slay the wielder or perish in battle. Nasty!



-Silverspark Longbow: Arrows fired from these intelligent bows made to slay evil wizards and witches are silver and grant SR in addition to their significant enchantments. 1/day, they can fire a lightning bolt modified by the Disruptive Spell feat - and one that is half divine energy. In the hands of mythic characters, limning and shocking burst are added versus targets and the lightning bolt can be shot multiple times per day, powered by mythic power.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' 2-column full color standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Jason Nelson delivers 4 mechanically complex mythic weapons here, all of which have in common that they tackle complex rules and manage to execute them in interesting ways. Additionally, they all sport this nice extra oomph - the unique ability that goes beyond an accumulation of properties and renders them unique. Nice and well worth 5 stars +seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 52: Mythic Weapons
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Adventure Quarterly #6 (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/27/2015 06:44:13
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The sixth installment of Rite Publishing's spiritual heir of the Dungeon magazine clocks in at 72 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with no less than a massive 67 pages of content - quite a huge array, so let's take a look!



As always, we begin the issue with a nice editorial by Robert N. Emerson before jumping into the meat of the respective modules. This being a review of an adventure-based magazine, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

All right, still here? Great! The first module herein takes us back into the iconic training ground/artificial dungeon of Questhaven's Questor's Society, the Ruins Perilous, wherein 4th level PCs are challenged by Mike Welham to enter the Fungarium! What once was a gigantic banquet hall has since the various cataclysms befell the ruins turned into a kind of interesting fungal habitation, one that is by now separated in two factions of fungoid life-forms that exist in a brokered, uneasy truce - and yes, this means that the best option indeed boils down to actually negotiating with the strange fungoid creatures. If Diplomacy is not up to your PC's alley, fighting does remain an option, though they will miss out on a boon for the PCs. However, this is not where this dungeon-level shines alone - indeed, the creepy atmosphere is well-supplemented by a diverse array of cool hazards and yes, these strange mushrooms add a nice dimension to the encounters. Fungal forlarren queens that share a mind may be there for negotiation, but unaligned fungoid creatures and a dangerous spiny otyugh do make for quite a few nice, challenging foes for combat-centric PCs to defeat, rounding out one of the arguably coolest levels in the ruins yet - fun, diverse and consistent - I love it! This gets even more awesome by supplementing tidbits like stats for the trap-resetting ratfolk workers, an anti-fungus weapon and stats for groundkeepers et al.



The second module, Bret Boyd's Fire and Ice, not related to the neofolk band of the same name, begins with the death of adventurers, though thankfully not the PCs - instead, a company of competing adventurers has been all but wiped out while trying to thwart an evil organization's plan to harvest divine essences. Their sole survivor, as it happens, is on the same ship as the PCs - and draws the ire of the primary antagonist, the immortal assassin Malkin and an iceberg-vessel - upon temporarily defeating the threat, the poor survivor comes clean and asks the PCs for aid and so they're off to the island of pleasure, Mibre, a small paradise, where an order of enigmatic monks poses an interesting puzzle (including trouble-shooting advice and means t brute-force it) - for without the help of the monks, the PCs will have a hard time bringing the magical crystal to the plane of fire to sunder it and thwart the plans of the evil cabal. My one gripe here would constitute in the lack of vessel stats for the iceberg ship and the PC's ship, but on the plus-side, the settlement at least does sport a full settlement statblock.



The final module within these pages, penned by Alex Putnam (and Danielle Doss), would be "In Iron Clad," wherein 14th level PCs have their business trip to a mercane merchant (and a remote metropolis)rudely interrupted while aboard a massive, dwarven sand-steamer used to traverse the massive, lethal badlands - only to have it be attacked by a massive behemoth - and this is only the first of things to come - deadly divs herald the shape of things to come, as the PCs happen upon the massive artifact, the metal heart. Bringing this to the metropolis, the PCs are tasked to pilot the Iron Knight -and yes, we're talking about the Saber Rider/power Rangers-style mecha also featured in the glorious Kaiju Codex. Much like its rendition there, the rules provided could be a teeny tiny bit more precise, though they should not overexert the capabilities of most groups - and yes, the task thereafter is to pilot the gigantic mecha to vanquish the corrupted, elemental-themed kaiju-sized creatures. But that is not where the module ends - indeed, the PCs have to brave a legendary, vast tomb to find a magic weapon for the iron knight, the Sword of Ages' End, and use it to vanquish the legendary corruptor in one massive boss battle of gargantuan proportions - quite literally!



After these modules, Creighton Broadhurst provides an array of complex, multi-round hazards/encounters to drop into your game, some of his best work, btw., while Steven D. Russell continues his advice for wide open sandboxing campaigns, including some handy lists t use at one's convenience.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-level. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's 2-column full-color standard with a significant array of gorgeous, original full-color artworks AND there are A LOT of awesome maps in here - if you need any more proof that Tommi Salama is perhaps THE heir to Jonathan Roberts, this one delivers - in diverse styles and color, the maps are ridiculously beautiful. Better yet, the maps also come as high-res jpgs for use with virtual tabletops or the printer AND there are player-friendly high-res versions of the maps as well. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



This is a first in the run of Adventure Quarterly - for the first time, more than module blew me away - and honestly, I really like all 3. Each sports unique locations, nice, compact storylines and deliver, in spades, some absolutely imaginative vistas. Better yet, Alex Putnam's final module is perhaps the best high-level module in any Adventure Quarterly - high-stakes, unique and supplemented by lavish, copious maps, this module is a stroke of genius and will have your players talking about it for years to come - heck, it may be the perfect transition from regular gaming to making full use of the superb Kaiju Codex and truly high-fantasy gaming! This installment is creative in all the right ways and sports glorious ideas as well as Rite Publishing's trademark focus on high concepts - even the supplemental material went above and beyond - well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Quarterly #6 (PFRPG)
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