DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories











Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Storm Bunny Presents - The Zhamaja (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/28/2019 02:29:24

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The 5e-version of this little pdf clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page of which is devoted to the SRD, with the other 3 sporting content of some sorts, with the first page sporting the amazing artwork of the monster, as well as the description – the zhamaja is a worm from beyond space and time, prowling the darkness beneath, with horrid, ringed mouths and poisonous stingers – on page two, we actually do get visual close-up representations of the moth and poison-sac-laden stingers, including annotations, making that part look a bit like a field manual, which is a pretty damn cool angle, as far as presentation is concerned.

The zhamaja comes with 2 statblocks – one for CR 6 and one for a CR 13 iteration. Both have in common, that they can either opt for tentacle slams, stinger or bite attacks as far as their attack routines are concerned, and with their telepathy, they are not mere brutes, but actually sentient adversaries. Another plus would be that we do get descriptions of the respective features of their behavior patterns, with the pdfs explaining e.g. the functionality of the acidic maws and behavioral patterns. These diverge between the two variants and add some serious value to the critter, contextualizing them in the context of the game and kicking the creative juices in high gear. A problem here in the 5e-version, is a slight disjoint regarding the flavor and attack array – their Multiattack consists of a tentacle, a bite and a stinger attack, with the stingers actually, flavor-wise, being part of the tentacle; this is in as much a bit odd, as it deals the same amount of damage, but also adds poison damage on a failed Constitution save. This is supposed to be offset, I guess, by the optional attack routine of hitting with additional tentacles instead of bite and stinger, if the first tentacle attack hits. Considering that bite gets bonus acid damage, stinger bonus poison damage, that option usually doesn’t make much sense, in spite of the cumulative (and some might argue “un-5e-ish” +1 bonus to attack with subsequent tentacle attacks.

On a formal level, it should be noted that, while the statblock is solid, it does not properly format the abilities, which are usually both bolded and italicized in 5e, and followed by a full stop. Similarly, “Hit” is not italicized in the attack section. A possible error in the statblock pertains to the stinger attacks, which are +1 too high – this leads me to suggest that the stinger may have been intended at one point to require a previous hit of a tentacle. As far as tentacle attacks are concerned, an easy means to differentiate them slightly would have been a change of damage type. While tentacle attacks are often bludgeoning in 5e, e.g. gricks have slashing tentacles, grells piercing ones, so I don’t object to piercing tentacles per se. Considering 5e’s rock-paper-scissors approach to damage types, though, it’d have made more sense to provide a meaningful choice for the monster there, perhaps shifting the tentacle damage value around.

The introduction of the Outerdark as a new terrain type made me smile, as it reminded me of the much-beloved Ocean Game-based settings by Pelgrane Press, so that’d be another flavor-plus, as far as I’m concerned. So, as far as flavor and artwork is concerned, this is a definite 5 star + seal candidate, but, as noted, there are a couple of components that may end up irking you slightly ona formal level.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting re very good on a formal level, and slightly less refined on a rules-language level. Layout is pretty gorgeous and adheres to a two-column full-color standard reminiscent of a field manual, with the phenomenal artwork by Terry Maranda being one of the highlights of the supplement. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

I really liked Jaye Sonia’s zhamaja, mainly because they are a great example of what I’ve been preaching – good flavor can really elevate a critter. A cynic could call them another worm-like thing without much going for it, but it’s the contextualization of the monster that adds to it, that helps it come into its own. While the pdf sports a few minor snafus and design decisions that could have been refined a bit, the creature ultimately is more compelling in its 5e-iteration. While not exactly reinventing the wheel as far as critters are concerned, it is a solid addition to your bestiary. Having a couple of special abilities that diverge more strongly between versions also helps the two iterations stand out from one another more. In short, this version, to me, feels slightly superior to the PFRPG-version, which is why I will round up due to in dubio pro reo from my final verdict of 3.5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Presents - The Zhamaja (5e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Storm Bunny Presents - The Zhamaja (Pf)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/28/2019 02:27:01

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This little pdf clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page of which is devoted to the SRD, with the other 3 sporting content of some sorts, with the first page sporting the amazing artwork of the monster, as well as the description – the zhamaja is a worm from beyond space and time, prowling the darkness beneath, with horrid, ringed mouths and poisonous stingers – on page two, we actually do get visual close-up representations of the moth and poison-sac-laden stingers, including annotations, making that part look a bit like a field manual, which is a pretty damn cool angle, as far as presentation is concerned.

The zhamaja comes with 2 statblocks – one for CR 6 and one for a CR 13 iteration. Both have in common, that they can either opt for tentacle slams or for bite attacks as far as their attack routines are concerned, and with at-will telepathy, they are not mere brutes, but actually sentient adversaries. Another plus would be that we do get descriptions of the respective features of their behavior patterns, with the pdfs explaining e.g. the functionality of the acidic maws and behavioral patterns. These diverge between the two variants and add some serious value to the critter, contextualizing them in the context of the game and kicking the creative juices in high gear.

The introduction of the Outerdark as a new terrain type also made me smile, as it reminded me of the much-beloved Ocean Game-based settings by Pelgrane Press, so that’d be another flavor-plus, as far as I’m concerned. So, as far as flavor and artwork is concerned, this is a definite 5 star + seal candidate; alas, the critters themselves are mechanically less interesting, offering not much in the way of truly distinctive tricks, and sort some glitches in the statblocks, like missing the application of special size modifiers to CMB/CMD, for example. The glitches are not bad, mind you, and these remain usable, but if you’re particular about mechanical precision, this may irk you.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting re very good on a formal level, and slightly less refined on a rules-language level. Layout is pretty gorgeous and adheres to a two-column full-color standard reminiscent of a field manual, with the phenomenal artwork by Terry Maranda being one of the highlights of the supplement. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

I really liked Jaye Sonia’s zhamaja, mainly because they are a great example of what I’ve been preaching – good flavor can really elevate a critter. A cynic could call them another worm-like thing without much going for it, but it’s the contextualization of the monster that adds to it, that helps it come into its own. However, at the same time, I can’t well ignore the fact that the critters per se don’t really have anything unique going for them on a mechanical level; their feat load-out is clever, but combined with the minor hiccups in the mechanics, I can’t rate this higher than 3.5 stars, rounded down. If you don’t mind these components, this is still worth getting!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Presents - The Zhamaja (Pf)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Alessia Promo PDF - Seirye Qin, Captain of the Skyship Amethyst Myst.
by Monica G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/26/2019 12:21:12

Let me start with a disclaimer: I have several friends at Storm Bunny studios who worked on the World of Alessia and I ended up backing the Kickstarter. With that being said, I've also played some of the test material, and I'm really looking forward to it. Alessia is an awesome blend of sword-and-sorcery type fantasy with some elements of science fiction nicely worked in. All of that includes some beautiful stylized artwork that has something of an anime/Blizard sort of feel to it that ties everything together in a consistent way. The rules are going to be compatible with 5th edition D&D and Starfinder, which will make its a flexible game for players of different systems.

This promo PDF will give you a good overview of what is to come, but the setting and the system itself is much more rich and datailed than a promo can show. It's shaping up to be a really exciting setting, and I can't wait to play it once it's released!

My website did an interview with game developer Jaye Sonia a while back. Have a look for more details.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alessia Promo PDF - Seirye Qin, Captain of the Skyship Amethyst Myst.
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Bloodlines & Black Magic
by Matthew D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2018 20:54:18

Hoo boy, there's a lot to unpack here. TLDR is that fans of modern fantasy, modern d20, or playing Pathfinder on a scale that keeps fear of the supernatural very real, this is the book for you.

The big thing that sticks out with this book is its size. Similar to some other Storm Bunny products, this book is incredibly extensive, clocking in at over 250 pages. Quite a bit of it is illustrated and tightly detailed, so you can expect to get quite a large bang for your buck. We've got a revised race system, some revised classes, a whole bunch of modern fantasy rules, and of course the oft-toted O7 rule system.

The O7 system (adapted from 3.5's old E6 rules) works great, creating a system of accelerated progression that makes characters feel powerful while keeping the dangers around them very real. The fact that the supplement offers a lot of details on how to accommodate a system of low-level gameplay into a high-fantasy game like Pathfinder is a nice touch. O7 is overall a very versatile, capable of being utilized in worlds far afield from the urban fantasy setting of BL&BM. I should mention, however, that the full alterations from O7 extend into the "Building your character" chapter of the book as well, so those wanting to utilize the full bevy of mechanics will have to check that chapter as well.

Now, let's get to the crunch itself. The first thing that needs to be talked about is the Bloodline system which replaces race, and I feel that this could be improved upon. Flavor-wise, the different heritages are all very distinct, with numerous lore tidbits being given for each and distinct flavor being established for every kind of character. The concept of custom-building bloodlin abilities through a point buy system is also fascinating. However, something that sticks out as distinctively lacking is the inability to customize ability score bonuses. This is particularly problematic when only one bloodline grants a strength bonus, a prospect which limits the number of viable strength-based builds.

The class list in this book is restricted, but this works to it's advantage. The open classes are Brawler, Investigator, Mesmerist, Occultist, Psychic, Slayer, and Spiritualist (although it seems implicit that Alchemist was supported at one point), seven classes which I feel do not get enough love. Many of them get new abilties at first level that suit the setting well, and the new archetypes for many of the classes are not only thematic but also fun to play. What's more, they are capable of being used in regular Pathfinder at low levels (high-level versions would be appreciated in future expansions should they occur).

In addition to bloodline and class, BL&BM introduces a third choice known as Careers. These determine your wealth and can grant a wide variety of potent non-combat bonuses if you progress enough in them (which is an entirely separate track from levelling up). It adds a modern aspect into the game without causing such rules to intrude on class functionality, and I could see quite a few games adapting it.

The system of feats and traits has received some revision in this book, and I feel that the changes are for the better. The use of a Tarot deck for deciding traits is darn creative, and the new and enhanced feats not only do a good job of making these options more suitable for modernized play but also more impactful on character concepts (Ability Training can actually boost your scores permanently, Demolition Training allows you to build and utilize all sorts of explosives, Weapon Proficiency feats now grant proficiency with multiple weapons every time you take them). Even better, these feats embrace creative strategic play, allowing the characters to utilize them in inventive combinations that offer a surprising amount of depth.

Equipment is also a consideration, and I feel that BL&BM does a good job of representing modern firearms in Pathfinder's ruleset. The sheer variety of weapons is impressive, allowing for players to customize their arsenal in some mechanically relevant ways. Armor, on the other hand, is less well-executed, with rules being ambiguous as to what guns (and melee weapons, for that matterr) can punch through what armor.

One final issue I have is that the PDF is poorly optimized and takes quite a while to load on my computer (a curse of the stylized design, I suppose). I'm hoping that this gets fixed up at some point.

Overall, there is a lot of good stuff here, and while some of it could use improvement I feel that there is more than enough fantastic content in this book to justify a purchase or run a campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Bloodlines & Black Magic
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for your review! We wanted to add so much more, but we were working with a tight budget and much bigger dreams. Our latest issue of Whispers & Rumors will address a few things. I plan to simplify and expand on the armor rules in the future (which could be streamlined some). All in all, we love reviews and look forward to making better games. Cheers, Jaye
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by Dain N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2018 19:07:45

Good layout for what will be an expanding catalog document. The transition from one title to the next is clear based on, I assume, the publication's cover and inidivual background. Definitely works for the purpose it serves.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by Duncan N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/05/2018 07:27:17

It's a free catalog of products showing the wide vairety of settings put out by Storm Bunny. Even if you aren't interested in getting the products within, you may as a GM find inspriation for a unique setting or bit of storytelling within your campaign by previewing the variety of worlds they have on offer.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by Ken M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2018 01:43:00

Storm Bunny has always had some of the best art, so I pretty much always look forward to their catalogs. No exception here; the art is beautiful, and I have a weakness for Rhune (melding technology and magic). Looking forward to how the catalog evolves over time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by David B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2018 13:52:58

ne of my favorite publishers! plenty of great stuff coming out this year



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by David H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2018 08:53:43

I'm a fan of Mists of Akuma and was told to check out Storm Bunny Studios offerings. Downloaded the free catalog --- nice format! Reminds me of the glossy catalog pages they used to include with boardgames (Axis and Allies era!). Didn't know they had other settings -- definitely looking into!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by nicholas M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2018 18:39:02

The art and the settings are great. It'll be cool to see pf rules for rhune, and the Alessia setting is really cool - my wife loves the art. Good stuff!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by Jesse B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2018 13:10:52

Let me know what else the studio was doing and now I've got another RPG to check out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by Geoffrey G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2018 12:38:31

This catalog does a good job of informing me and building excitement about Storm Bunny's forthcoming releases! Alessia seems particularly intriguing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by Thomas G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2018 12:31:47

If there ever was a catalog which caught my interest, it's this one - just enough infos to tease me! Rhube, Black Magic and Shadowlands definiately are things I need to check out now! Those products look very intriguing!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by andrew l. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2018 12:18:26

as far as free PDF product teases go. This fits the bill.
Just enough info to make me look closer.

Mists of Akuma now has my attention!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Storm Bunny Studios: A Catalog of Ideas
by Neal L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2018 12:07:41

This got me excited for what's to come. Big fan of Rhune, and seriously looking forward to the Shadowlands finally seeing the light of day!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 15 (of 55 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates