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Gingerbread Golem Swarm
by Teresa E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2018 14:28:09

Hilarious monsters to throw at my players. I used these critters and the larger Gingerbread Golem in a Hansel and Gretel themed adventure called "The Curse of the Gumdrop Ooze", by Tim Bannock, Matt Butler. The poor paladin in our group was coated in the gingerbread goo by both sets of golems, but he would charge to the front before anyone else!
A big hit with my group.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gingerbread Golem Swarm
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Mundane No More: Texts and Tomes 3, Psionic Repositories
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/20/2015 04:34:37

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The third installment in Rich Howard's Mundane No More-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1.5 pages of SRD, 3 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

After getting massive information on research, recipes and making dungeon guides in the superb first book, adding concise rules for special material in book 2 , now we tackle the psionic component - or don't. For yes, this pdf has information on how to not use the repositories herein with psionics, so even those disliking psionics have something to enjoy.

First of all - my hat's off regarding the creativity of the sample psionic repositories - far from being bland tomes, they come in the shapes of e.g. bound Shedu, crystalline boats etc. - now if that isn't cool, I don't know what is! Now since, unlike books, they can come in nearly all shapes and sizes, they also can become a pretty complex motivator - but you will have already found that out.

Unlike the previous books, 3 of the 5 sample repositories comes with a neat full color artwork, which is an additional plus. For everyone who doesn't like Dreamscarred Press' superb psionics, references towards Green Ronin's excellent 3.X Psychic Handbook and advice for using these with horror/modern or scifi settings provide a round experience.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly 2-column no-frills standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, in spite of its short size. Nice! Hyperlinks also help, mind you.

I adore Rich Howard's Mundane No More-series...the big issue here being that the psionic repositories remain "simple" books. Yes, they're cosmetically tied to psionics and allow multiple people to study them at once, they still remain a pretty minor modification of the base system, one that would have been better served by closer synergy with the psionics-rules - where is the special rule for psionic focus? For studying with linked minds? Psionics offer a lot that magic isn't as adept at providing and this pdf would have been the chance to further cement that. It's not hard, but a pretty significant lost opportunity, especially when the pdf wastes space with quoting various suggestions for sanity in a short paragraph. And yes, I've used A LOT sanity-rules in my campaigns; rest assured that you should use ones that are more concise if you tackle the topic. And yes, I know the official PFRPG-sanity rules. Forget them.

Don't get me wrong - I like that this pdf has done its homework, so to speak; I just feel that properly tackling research/sanity would have been better off as its own tome, as opposed to a footnote, especially when the topic of psionic books is anything but exhausted in this pdf. Over all, in spite of the very fair price-point, I felt pretty underwhelmed by this installment and closed it with the feeling that it had wasted potential galore for tackling psionics within the cool Mundane No More-framework. My final verdict will hence clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down by a margin to 3: The easily expandable content may be great, but it simply feels less pronounced than it ought to be.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mundane No More: Texts and Tomes 3, Psionic Repositories
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Mundane No More: Texts and Tomes 2
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/17/2015 04:24:12

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion to Rich Howard's Mundane No More-pdf on research rules and tomes clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The pdf kicks off with a minor errata of book 1 (which, in my opinion, has nothing to do in the pdf-age -why not simply update the original file?), but oh well.

So what does the book contain - well, to cut a long story short, we receive 4 different sample tomes, including background stories etc. - which would be nice. More interesting would be the massive table that breaks down just about every kind of special material, from adamantine to Wyroot and Aranea-skin as recipes, providing a significant synergy with the main book's cool take on this alternate means of crafting material. Beyond the default, though, we are also introduced to red mithral -which is similar to adamantine, but lighter and less durable. And yes, making weapons and armor of this material has significant repercussions for their efficiency, allowing e.g. one-handed weapons to be Weapon Finesse'd. (And yes, this can be pretty bad, but exerting a restrictive control on the amount of red mithril in a campaign is pretty easy to achieve...)

Finally, we also receive a pretty powerful meditative Yumi as a new magic item.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly no-frills two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, in spite of its brevity - nice service!

This is a solid expansion to the exceedingly inexpensive and awesome first book, with an appropriate amount of content for the low price. Since I really liked the recipe-rules, I did enjoy the addition of the special materials, though in my opinion, general guidelines to price new materials yourself would have been neat to have indeed. From Viridium to fire-forged steel (of interest for Sword & Sorcery campaigns where the riddle of steel has not been made public...), this pdf offers a cool array of recipe-pricing, yes. Then again, pricing guidelines would have really helped. In the end, I'm going to settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 since the pdf is very inexpensive and the materials make a great addition to the base system.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mundane No More: Texts and Tomes 2
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Mundane No More: Texts and Tomes
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/12/2015 03:17:26

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 21 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page blank back cover, leaving us with 17 pages of content, so let's take a look!

I'm a bibliophile and utterly OCD when it comes to the topic - take away my reading material, and I start becoming grumpy - fast. I become slightly concerned whenever either my regular non-RPG-book-pile or my pdf-pile shrinks to below ten unread works. Hence it should come as no surprise that my game somehow reflects this - observers have jested that my game sports an inordinate amount of reading when compared to most PFRPG-games and this has a reason - I never liked the very broad quantum-knowledge PCs enjoy; yes, it is nigh impossible to properly depict all knowledge they ought to have, but at the same time, I took a cue from CoC ages ago and started devising tomes for PCs to read so their PCs actually know a topic. Unlike many games, the first Knowledge-check tends to provide information on a very broad, general basis, with further information requiring books, research etc. - when Rogue Genius Games' Investigator provided research rules, I loved the class for it and still do. Well, this here can be considered a similar take on the topic, though one more complex than one would assume at first glance.

First of all, texts are grouped into 4 categories - simple, learned, scholarly and enlightened. Consulting an appropriate text confers bonuses upon the related endeavors of the PCs - usually the new research bonus type is used, though thankfully alternate codification as circumstance or competence bonuses is also covered. Texts can be sued as reference - in order to do so, one has to spend 1/10 of the books' listed studytime to familiarize oneself with the text and referencing takes 5 rounds per +1 of the bonus conveyed to a given skill-check. Referencing also allows you to perform untrained Knowledge-skill checks with a DC of 10 or higher. Research bonuses from multiple texts do not stack, though -something to bear in mind, should you choose to substitute the research bonus type with another one. If this sounds complex, rest assured, it's not - an easy table helps with the task at hand.

As a cool idea, a whole page is devoted to dungeon guides, i.e. treatises on certain complexes - which ties in perfectly with the Pathfinder organization and finally provides a very good reason for the chronicles to be so sought-after by various adventurers of all stripes! Creating your own dungeon guides is covered in nice and concise details. And yes, they have an accuracy score, so you can still find terrible guidebooks - think of it as sloppy or outdated travel guides...unpleasant indeed.

As an optional rule, finer grading for alchemical recipes can be found herein as well, unlocking new alchemical items by recipe - which is another thing I'm already doing in my home campaign. And since Paizo has recently added a whole bunch of cool basic alchemical traditions, this allows a DM nice control as well as a cool means of rewarding PCs for their travels and dedication to the craft. better yet, armors and shields, potions weapons - all of the diverse crafting results can potentially be broken down via recipes into a more organic form, a more believable and concise presentation: Think about it, why should every blacksmith know how to make xyz? They will specialize and the same holds true for magically adept characters. Of course, this also opens cool hooks for quests: "No, I don't know how to make this enchantment, you'll have to cross the thunder peaks and find the Crippled Smith that is said to have been bound by the giants to weave their plate..."

Examples for concise text generation can be found herein as well, and we receive a new trait (with trait-subclass, but sans trait bonus type) and a total of 6 new feats centered on the topic of the written word - and yes, this includes a shorthand for magic for quicker scroll scribing.

The pdf also contains quite an impressive array of different sample texts of each category.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no rules-relevant glitches. Layout adheres to a no-frills 2-column b/w-standard with thematically-fitting b/w-art and the pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience.

Rich Howard's "Mundane No More" is a glorious little pdf, one of these hidden gems that are easily overlooked, but shouldn't be. The rules herein make bookish characters work better, make the trip to the sage more compelling and generally increase the immersion into a given fantasy world. While personally, I enjoy a more active research (with rolls), combining this pdf's rules with Rogue Genius Games' research rules is extremely easy.

So yeah, this is one of the hidden gems, a great file and well worth 5 stars +seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mundane No More: Texts and Tomes
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Minor Artifact: Book of Eight Restful Retreats
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/14/2014 02:57:23

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1/2 a page editorial (including author bio - nice!), 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 1/2 pages of content, so let's take a look!

If you've read the title, you'll have an inkling of what this is about - a book that is an artifact holds images, rendered in lavish detail -these offer direct portals to luxurious retreats for the hounded adventurer in the guise of different demiplanes. The author should be commended here - the crunch of the artifact is rock-solid - from taking items from the retreats to smuggling persons and items, the rules of this tome are surprisingly rock-solid - including even a means of destruction that can be considered logical within the framework of a magical world, so kudos!

This level of care thankfully also extends to the planar traits provided for the eight realms contained herein - all waited upon by spectral servitors and explained/detailed: Beyond better healing, both natural and magical, each of the realms comes with its own lavish benefits - ever ready mounts, a rowboat to tour the lake of a paradise of an oasis, cabins in lush perpetual autumn, a tower filled with vast arrays of tomes, tropical islands, a rider's perfect retreat, a manor with a huge maze - even ruins for the more misanthropic are provided - the perfect holiday retreat in a pocket...

..

... There's a catch, isn't there? Yes. There is the Beast of the Realm - every time one of these luscious holiday retreats is entered, there's a slim chance of the beast spawning - which is represented by the new "Beast of the Realm"-template - at CR+2, it can be applied to whatever you wish, makes the beast more deadly than its natural brethren...and worst of all, a superb hunter that is tied to the realm - the more targets it eliminates, the worse off are those remaining in the tome - first, healing boosts cease. Then, all in the realm have to save daily to avoid becoming shaken and further saves add to that and increase the penalty to the save...If you can't craft a compelling yarn from that, I don't know what to do - seriously, the idea is simple, yet glorious and reflecting a mounting sense of dread is...interesting. Plus - the beast can never truly be destroyed...it just returns in another form... A sample Beast is provided with a deadly CR 9 elder worg for your convenience.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard and the pdf actually has two nice old-school full color illustrations by Indi Martin - not something I expected to see in such a small pdf - nice! The pdf also is fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Ian Harac delivers an iconic artifact that takes a cool, very magical concept ("I wish I could carry my holiday trips with me!") and translates it into a cool artifact that your players will love - the benefits are tangible, yet will not break a campaign and the inherent adventure hooks are plentiful. Especially in e.g. dungeon crawl campaigns or those, where the PCs just need a change of scenery, this ought to be a godsend. Fun, full of cool adventure hooks and available for a very low price, this is well worth a final rating of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Minor Artifact: Book of Eight Restful Retreats
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Mundane No More: Texts and Tomes
by John P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2014 01:56:36

Absolutely superb. I think Rich Howard did an incredible job of creating an entirely new item class--'Mundane' books--and really following through with how these texts and tomes would be used in a Roleplaying world: a beautiful concept the feels like it should have been in the rules all along. While the alternate rules for crafting new books adds a layer of complexity, it does so in such a way as to turn books into prized possessions; each with a potential story behind it instead of the 'You can now make all this' spreadsheet you get from alchemical crafting.

Well written, well designed, and a great plugin to add flavor and functionality to your game. Fits perfectly for the 'knowledge is power' scholar type character as well as the brutish fighter with no knowledge ranks who still knows enough to go to the library and research this new and dangerous enemy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mundane No More: Texts and Tomes
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Mundane No More: Texts and Tomes
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/04/2014 11:25:35

Books are the treasured wealth of all nations, the fit inheritors of our generations and actions... so why are they neglected in fantasy gaming (which is itself inspired by books)? This work sets out to redress this omission, by making ordinary books interesting and useful in gaming terms as well as for themselves.

It starts off by classifying 'mundane' books (those which are not magical in nature) into categories: simple, learned, scholarly or enlightened. Each category can provide a 'research bonus' to relevant skill checks, depending on what the book is about, the size of the bonus or number of skills to which it applies depending on the catergory it's in. This covers anyt hing from a city guide to a bardic epic or a treatise on the mechanics of locks... or indeed any subject you care to consider, and means that any book a character picks up is potentially useful.

Rules are presented to cover the actual studying process: how long it takes and some of the things you can use it for - even gaining new skills/levels, feats and so on; as well as merely finding something out (although that can be useful too if you seek answers to the right questions).

An interesting subset is the Dungeon Guide. As well as generally useful information for any adventurer, some purport to provide information and directions about a specific dungeon. There are rules here for creating guides to dungeons you know, as well as for determining the accuracy (or otherwise) of those you find or are sold...

There's also a section on Crafting Recipes. Not, alas, on tasty eats for the discerning adventurer, this - it's about collections of information on how to make a range of items magical and mundane. You can also find out about writing your own mundane tomes once you have something to share with the world - timescales, costs and so on.

Finally, there's a selection of texts to get you started - leave them lying around where the party can find them and see if they have the wit to start making good use of them!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Minor Artifact: Book of Eight Restful Retreats
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/21/2014 12:51:37

This work describes a rather neat artefact - it's a large book with paintings of eight idyllic scenes which you can actually enter if you know the command word. It has a range of uses from the obvious one of 'getting away from it all' to a refuge in time of trouble (or when being pursued... you can actually take the book with you, so nobody can follow you in there) or even smuggling people into or out of a location by sending them into it, then strolling into/out of that location with the book under your arm.

If that wasn't useful enough, you can gain bonuses in Knowledge (Nature) or Survival by reading the text, too!

Each of the eight scenes is described in considerable detail to make it easy to detail what happens when the characters visit them. There isn't much about how the tome was created - it is, of course, unique; but there is a note on how to destroy it if you really want to, as well as the restrictions on numbers entering, what you can do and what you can take out.

There's a catch of course, but I shall say no more. You might never encounter it, and why spoil your enjoyment!

Something that might be interesting to leave lying around, use as the basis of a mystery or even write a whole adventure (or more) about exploring what it is, how it came to be or what you can do with it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Minor Artifact: Book of Eight Restful Retreats
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BASH! Gingerbread Golem
by John T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2014 12:17:23

Interesting and surprising. I didn't imagine it was man-sized! I am still waiting for a game to test it on my poor players.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Gingerbread Golem
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Gingerbread Golems
by Chris C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/10/2014 15:19:44

Great idea and simply presented. I run strictly 1st/2nd ed. AD&D but it's a simple conversion and the art was really fun. I run an annual Christmas Game for my group and the Gingerbread Golem was a really fun addition this year.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gingerbread Golems
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Gingerbread Golem Swarm
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/23/2013 06:32:35

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 2 pages long - 1 page SRD/editorial, 1 page content - so what do we get?

Essentially, we get Jeff Lee creating a Gingerbread Golem Swarm that clocks in at a nasty CR 7. Not only are these menaces immune to magic (and swarms that are immune to magic are a PAIN), they may vomit liquid gingerbread on victims, potentially encasing them in gingerbread and suffocating them - funny, yet also potentially very dark: Two thumbs up - also due to the proposed alternate rule with a weakness to bite attacks.

Conclusion:

One page, not much space to make editing mistakes (though I didn't notice any here and time has shown that you CAN make a lot of them); Beautiful full color artwork and layout, an original, cool piece of artwork, no bookmarks, but it needs none and a printer-friendly version is included as well - what's more to say? This pdf delivers what it promises on the lid and offers an iconic, cool creature that has potential for both fun and dark situations. Jeff Lee delivers a cool critter well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gingerbread Golem Swarm
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Flesh Golem Variants
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/17/2013 09:25:39

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The first pdf of Christina Stiles' solo-venture into publishing presents concepts by the author-group "4 Horsemen" - consisting of Dan Dillon (Death), Gillian Fraser (War), Steven Helt (Famine) and Stephen Rowe (Pestilence). The pdf clocks in at 8 pages, with 1 page being taken up by editorial/SRD, so let's take a look at those creatures:

The first adversary herein is the CR 8 Crawling Horror - think "Human Centipede as a golem. Also rather disturbing - up to a point, sufficient damage via piercing or slashing damage may actually split the adversary, resulting in a battle versus two of their ilk. Paradoxically, this makes the smaller versions hit better (size reduction resulting in -1 less penalty to atk), but of course also increased damage dice - from 2d8 to 2d6. First of all - kudos for getting that one right...though honestly, in this case, I would have considered a no decrease in damage-dice okay as well - after all, the slam attacks are still done by the same creature's weapons.

Now Spiritflesh Golems are where it gets weird - at CR 10, these beings deal str-damage and can possess foes magic jar-style and as flesh-golems...well, they have no flesh. They are essentially flesh golems whose flesh has been dissolved in a special creation. Now where I'm not wholly sold on the efficiency of these creatures is with the result of their incorporeal touch -upon reducing foes to 0 str, the foes turn permanently incorporeal. While there are means of surpassing said hindrance and restoring corporeality, overall, the ability feels more like a boon to me: While in-game, losing the body is horrific, out-game being in an incorporeal state offers A LOT of significant bonuses and unlike similar abilities, the player seems to be able to maintain control over their character. Essentially, the golem makes the enemies stronger in the long run, which makes it a curious adversary that is rather cool, but also one that can unhinge game-balance. Personally, I'd advise you to kill off reduced characters and spawn them as incorporeal undead.

The third critter herein is the CR 14 Stitch-Golem. Wow. Just wow - this golem has a beneficial aura that automatically quells bleeding and stabilizes the dying - which can be surpressed. War is hell, they say - and this one is hellish indeed - trudging the battlefields, these golems, stabilize their own allies while at the same time grappling foes, pinning them and RIPPING THEIR LIMBS OFF. Yes. Ouch. Worse, their magic keeps the torn apart limb fresh and allows them to apply their ghoulish trophies to their ally, essentially stealing the limbs of the fallen and dying foes to heal the ranks of their allies. Now if that is not a weird, deadly and twisted idea, I don't know what is - awesome!!!

The final creature herein is the CR 8 Witchfleshgolem: Those subjected to this golem's attacks become more susceptible to the special abilities of hags, witch hexes and necromancy [curse]-spells. Worse, they also come with an aura that forces you to roll d20 twice on a failed save. Worse - one of these things counts as two hags for the purpose of forming a coven, allowing essentially for covens of one! Oh, and they don't require active actions to contribute to cooperative magic. OUCH!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good - apart from one harmless "/" missing in a DR-entry, I did not notice any glitches. Layout adheres to an easy-to-read two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Jacob Blackmon delivers one haunting piece of awesome full-color artwork per creature - not something I would have expected at this fair price-point! Especially the Witchfleshgolem's artwork is haunting and evocative indeed! The pdf comes in two versions, with the second being more printer-friendly.

The first golem was a mechanically solid oddity-creature that managed to get the relatively complex split right. Still, while following the rules, I can't help but feel that in this instance, e.g. specially shaped threat-ranges, a grappling/pinning option...something like that that utilizes all those limbs, would have rocked. The Spiritflesh-golem is a cool idea, but doesn't work logically in-game for me. The Stitch-Golem and the Witchflesh-Golem, though - disturbing GOLD with abilities that make sense, are unique and just glorious. Especially the Stitch-Golem is just impressive as I can see the pragmatist's reasoning, the veterans returning home with discolored, alien limbs, the ostracized shell-shock, the phantom-pain...the friggin' VAST narrative potential. The Witchflesh Golem is similarly intriguing and allows for races versus hags to creating and lends itself well to investigations of missing familiars etc.

At first, I wasn't too blown away, but getting two SUPERB creatures, 1 good and 1 okay one with top-notch production values for a price that is a steal indeed means that this pdf is well worth a final verdict of 5 stars. I'm looking forward to any future offerings of Christina Stiles Presents!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flesh Golem Variants
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C&C Fantasy Races Unlocked! Kobolds
by Bill D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/10/2013 19:14:20

This is totally a great expansion. Usable with a tiny tweak or two with d20 type games too!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
C&C Fantasy Races Unlocked! Kobolds
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