This installment of Rite Publishing's free e-zine is 46 pages long, 1 page front cover, 18 pages of ads and 1 page SRD, leaving, 26 pages of content - so let's check it out!
After the by now obligatory introduction by David Paul, we are introduced to this issue's first bit of crunch, the Cr+2 Poison Dragon template, a template for dragons to recreate dragons that pollute and corrupt the land by their mere presence, in the vain of e.g. the Asian Poison Dragons of 3.5 of old. Neat template that comes with a whopping CR 20 sample dragon which unfortunately lacks the IC-narrative common with many of the templated creatures in Pathways.
Next up is a sneak peak of T.H. Gulliver, master of haunts, to his upcoming 30 Haunts for Kaidan, elaborating on the rather interesting background we'll have to expect, but read for yourself!
Creighton Broadhurst, mastermind of Raging Swan Press, provides us with a sample encounter against the Cr 16 Crystal Dragon in his earth node - a well-made encounter and if you're looking for more, think about checking out Caves & Caverns.
Will McCardell, also known as Cheapy on teh Paizoboards, provides us with expansions to his excellent "Secrets of Forgotten magic Items" by providing us with Wyrne Scrolls, a type of scrolls that enable you to sacrifice spell-slots to cast the spell contained on the scroll. The item does come with a reason why the item was cut, helping you to decide whether to integrate the item-class or not. We also get an alternative version of Cruth Galdr runes, a new rune, a new flask and a new dweomer sigil scroll - excellent, as I want to see more of them. Perhaps 101 Cruth Galdr runes?
Rob Manning introduced us to the Night Haunts, a benign carnivalesque secret police in the latest ECS and provides us with 10 adventure hooks including a secret/twist and an intervention of the Night Haunts - nice supplemental material for his best contribution to the ECS-series yet.
Next up is an interview with Jonathan McAnulty, who, alongside Steven D. Russell, was the designer that made my late joining of the Coliseum Morpheuon patronage project as enjoyable as it was (not to start with Kaidan...) and started the almost compulsive joining of patronage projects I've since went through. The interview is informative and spotlights a rather talented author of whom we're sure to read more in the future.
Next up are some reviews of the best products 3pp's have to offer at the moment by review-legend Shane O'Connor and some humble yours truly.
Editing and formatting are top-notch - while the latest Pathways-issues sometimes had a couple of typos, this one seems ( at least to my inspection) mostly free of relics and the like. Layout adheres to the classic 2-column standard and the artworks are neat, although I consider the Eastern Dragon artwork to be slightly less appealing than the ones from the latest installments. The pdf unfortunately has no bookmarks. Content-wise, my favorite contributions would be T.H. Gulliver's fluffy sneak-peak, which made me anticipate Kaidanese haunts even more and Will McCardell's expansion of his stellar forgotten magic items. Best of all, this pdf is FREE. Starting to sound like a broken record, but nevertheless - how do you complain about a free, high quality labor of love? The answer is, you don't and thus I'll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars.
[5 of 5 Stars!]