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Weekly Wonders - Drunkard's Grimoire
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
by Bjoern A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/13/2017 13:15:33

Weekly Wonders – Drunkard's Grimoire by Necromancers of the Northwest is a collection of 12 alcohol-based spells presented in the artistic style typical for those product (nice tome-like cover, a few black and white illustration inside the book.) As stated in the introduction, those should serve to extend that theme on spell-casters and is partly inspired by the Cult of Dionysos, while so far, mainly Monks and Barbarians had alcohol-themed archetypes. Also in the introduction is printed a list of official alcohol-based content. It seems not to be complete (a short Google search pointed me at the official combat trait „Accelerated Drinker“), but I still give bonus points for including that, because it is also stated that the part of the spells work in conjunction with those class features and archetypes, so to have this ready as a reference may come in handy. There's also a hint at another Weekly Wonders Issue (Drunken Feats), that also might work with those spells, but as I don't have that product (yet), I can't say if that's the case.

With two exceptions, the spells are cast at either a living creature or at a drink that has then to be imbibed for the spell's effect to take place. In those cases, the drink in question can be drunk as part of the spell casting, so the casting time is unaffected by that (same goes for alchemists that might use such a spell). To give an impression, a short description of some of the spells follows:

Beer Goggles: impairs the sight of the drinker, who gains save bonus against gaze attacks, but also becomes more susceptible to diplomacy checks and charm effects.

Blackout: impairs the target's ability to form memories, so they can't remember what happened after.

Deadly Tankards: makes tankards into weapons. Also, you won't spill the content while using them this way.

Valorous Whiskey: Drinker gains cold resistance and a morale bonus on attack rolls saves and some checks.

In the end, if I had one thing to criticize, then that some of the spells would require the GM to work with the player spell-caster (because there's no use casting a spell on some drinks if the NPCs simply won't drink them), which might be a con for players who don't like such dependencies. On the other hand, as the GM, I immediately had some ideas how to use some spells even to introduce the players into a new adventure, so at least to me, they have a positive inspiration factor. And that you can use some of them as buff spells with (rum) flavor is something I really like very much. Mechanically, the levels of the respective spells seem right to me, and I wouldn't have any problem if one of my players would want to use some of them. So if you like the theme of this product, I think it's well worth it's price and grant it full five stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Weekly Wonders - Drunkard's Grimoire
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The Abbey of the Crusading Goddess
Publisher: Cian's Basement Books
by Bjoern A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/07/2017 16:09:43

The Abbey of the Crusading Goddess by Cian's Basement Books comes in at 18 pages (1 cover page, 1 page ToC, so it's basically 16 pages of actual content). Layout is simple, but clear, and the font size might be bigger than in other products but I found that it made reading the product quite easy, and I didn't feel that it came at the cost of the content.

The product starts with a short description of the history and the location of the abbey. And while it's described in a very general language, it's easy to see that the inspiration for that probably came from Paizo's Mythic AP. Still it's generic enough that you can use it in any other setting easily. You can even reuse the 5 location hooks, giving a group of PCs a reason to travel there, which I think is a nice idea to have for a location. Then we learn about the local area, especially the village that has been built next to the abbey. There are several shops situated next to the abbey's walls, and each of those gets a short paragraph including who owns it and what you can get there.

It follows a very detailed description of the five floors of the abbey and after that several statblocks detailing the abbey's inhabitants, three for the more common members, then two important NPCs running the abbey as leaders. And last, there is a new feat, that grants the benefits of several orisons a number of times per day which is a nice way to grant a PC minor buffs without having the party cleric to cast them.

I haven't talked about the maps yet. They are very simplistic in an old school kind of way, but also very clear and give you all the information you need and that are expanded on in the relevant test descriptions. Those maps cover everything I just talked about, from the abbey itself to every single floor.

All in all, I liked this product very much as it gives you the basics for such an abbey without adding to much fluff to it. This means that you might need to work a bit while you integrate it in any setting of your choice, but it also means that you won't have to ignore too much (or anything at all) if you want to use it. It also has a special touch to it in that as written it is an abbey pretty much run and protected by women, but that doesn't get forced upon the reader and could easily be changed if necessary. Though I like it very much this way.

So I'll give it 3.5 out of five stars. And as this seems to be the first effort of a new publisher and as such, I think it has been well done, even if it isn't on par with the more established 3PPs out there, as far as layout, artwork and maps are concerned, I don't want too be to stingy with my stars so I'll round up to 4 stars. If you have need of an abbey for your game and don't mind to put a bit of work to add those fluff colours that integrate this into your setting, I think it's well worth buying.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Abbey of the Crusading Goddess
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Ancient Idols
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Bjoern A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2016 15:25:49

Ancient Idols from Legendary Games, written by Julian Neele and Jason Nelson, comes in as a 32-page PDF with 25 pages of actual content. The layout is well-done, I also didn't stumble about glaring errors when I read the book first. Artwork is good to great and has not to fear the comparison with the Big Brother.

Ancient Idols, as defined by the designers, are “essentially a combination of artifacts and intelligent items, so a combination of actually those two categories of items I normally absolutely don't care about, because artifacts normally don't come into play at the level range I use to play in and intelligent items, especially those speaking swords, are kind of stupid as far as I'm concerned. So that I'm actually thinking about giving those idols a central place in the home-brew setting I'm working on might already give you an idea about how much I liked this product. But let's not get too far ahead…

What the designers actually do here is taking the age-old idea of deities whose power are depending on the number of their followers and meshing it with the idea of Idolatry, the worship of an image, statue or icon. So their idols are magic items with ability scores, the ability to perceive their environment and communicate with the people in it, an alignment and specific abilities. Most central to them is the Ego score, a “measure of the total power” of an idol, that depends on the idol's mental attribute modifiers as well as on the number of followers it possesses. This Ego score is not a static thing but rises and falls with the increase or decrease of those values. One way to increase it's attributes and thereby it's Ego score is through sacrifices which also get discussed in this product. There is a monthly limit to those sacrifices but like a deity, an Idol also has specific holy days and on these days you can basically sacrifice a month's worth of offerings which do not count against this limit.

Depending on the Ego score is also the number of abilities an Idol gets. 14 of those abilities are listed in the PDF, including for example Channel Energy, giving the Idol the power of the cleric class ability, or Divine Source, granting the Idol's followers access to certain domain spells.

Next follows a template, the Idol Champion, to be used for especially loyal followers of an Idol. The relation between Idols and Ley lines is shortly discussed as well as the relation between Idols and the spirit world.

The next chapter is about “Designing animated Idols”, presenting rules to create such idols, expanding on the rules for animated object and so making it possible to even have CR20 Idols with mystic abilities and the ability to partake in the fight, should the PCs try to destroy the Idol's cult (or joining them in the fight against a common enemy). The chapter also presents 42 short stat blocks for Idols from CR ½ to 20 to be expanded on and to be used for the creation of individual idols.

The book concludes with two class options for Idol-worshipping characters. First is the Qahin, a shaman archetype which also puts a good bit of Occultist into the mix and in fact changes so much, that it might deserve it's own alternate class entry instead of an archetype description. I'm not sure if I like the Occultist inclusion too much, because it will force a player to read through several class descriptions just to find out what his PC can and cannot do. On the other hand, due to the connection between Idols and Ley Lines, it makes a lot of sense to give the Qahin this occult aspect that gets only strengthened with the Idol nexus ability and the Nexus hexs that come with it. So apart from this minor gripe, I really like what the authors did here.

Last, but not least, there's the Idolator Prestige class for divine or psychic spell casters. There is a slight redundancy in the class description as the class abilities Idol Worship and Idol Focus do the exact same thing, in that they both gift the Idolator with the Idol focus ability of the Qahin. Apart from that the Idolator gains some nice abilities that helps them fight beings from the spirit world and at level 10 becomes a part of the spirit world themselves.

Conclusion: As I hinted at in the beginning, this product has grown on me very fast. I really like how the designers take different concepts already known in the Pathfinder Universe and create something truly original from it. There is a lot of story potential about Idols and I probably would have liked to have some fleshed-out example for it instead of only generic stat blocks. On the other hand and no matter what level your PCs are, if you want to challenge them with an Idol you'll probably find the fitting stat block in this product and might have a better idea how to weave it in your campaign than the designers anyways. And even if the product officially belongs to the Egyptian AP product line, it's generic enough to fit into any other setting background you might imagine. Additionally the Qahin and the Idolator are great additions to the PC class option library, especially if you use them in an Idol focused campaign. The Qahin is probably not suited for newer players as it is more complex than the average class and would (in my mind) have probably done better as an alternate class, but in the end, that's splitting hairs and I give 4.6/5 points (rounded up to 5 stars) for a product that I think is worth the praise.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ancient Idols
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Weekly Wonders - Villainous Archetypes Volume II
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
by Björn A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/12/2016 12:45:16

Villainous Archetypes: Vol. II is the latest entry in Necromancers of the Northwest's Weekly Wonders series. As you may guess from the titles, it's about archetypes usable for evil characters, but is equally usable for GMs to create evil NPCs. It's an 8-page PDF with 4 pages of actual content (the rest is front and back cover, credits and license stuff) which contains 5 archetypes.

The first one being the Brutal Oppressor, a barbarian archetype. With this one, you get to Swap Trap sense against Bully, which gives you a real nice use out of your Intimidate class skill. Which you can further improve with the Gory Display rage power which gives you an additional bonus on Intimidate with each successful critical hit. The other rage powers presented are Grab by the throat, which is more useful for the grappling barbarian, and Stay Down, which gives you an increasing damage bonus against prone opponents. And then there's Bloodlust, a class ability replacing Tireless Rage, which potentially increases the number of rounds the barbarian can rage per day.

The second is the Elemental Defiler, a nice nod to the Dark Sun defiler of old and an archetype for the Kineticist. This archetype replaces Internal Buffer by Drain Energy, ability that basically does the same but is a bit more versatile, because you can use it, when you need it, and that you don't need to accept burn to fill your buffer. On the other hand, you must use the won energy directly in the same round and the action provokes AoOs. And at Level 19, Drain Creature replaces Metakinetic Master and allows you to ignore burn according to the points of Constitution damage your opponent suffers.

The Extortioner is an Investigator archetype prone to blackmail his victims with the secrets he finds out. The Extortioner gets the Secret Finder class ability which improves and expands his trapfinding skill while losing his 3rd level investigator talent. Guilt Sense us a quite intriguing class ability which replaces boring trap sense. At the start, the extortioner gets a bonus on Sense Motive checks. At higher levels he also can cast detect thoughts as a spell-like ability, and even later on, he can force his victims to spill out secrets they are ashamed about. At fourth level, the extortioner replaces his swift alchemy class ability with Lingering Threat which improves upon the use of his Intimitade skill.

It seems as if the designers of this archetype felt it being a bit too strong, though, so they added Stunted Inspiration, which subtracts 1 point of Inspiration from the Extortioners inspiration pool. Seems more of a cosmetic change because in standard games, he might not really need all those inspiration points anyway.

The next one is the Villainous Bloodline for the sorcerer. Without going too much in detail, I generally like the conceptual idea, though the mechanics make it too easy to use it with actually good aligned characters. Ok, to inflict damage while simultaneously healing yourself (as the first level bloodline power Draining Touch allows) may not sound very goodish. And to paralyze your opponents and use them for protection (Hostage Taker at level 15) may also not be a sign for a true hero (though the problem is with the protection part and you don't need to do this). On the other hand, neither Getaway (which allows you to escape via dimension door from narrow situations) nor the capstone ability Master of Deception are particularly evil in design and might come in handy for good-aligned characters as well. And then there's Villaneous Defenses, which might be much more powerful when used by good-aligned characters than by true villains. Reason being that you get DR/good, which might not be as efficient for a villain against a heroic group of adventurers, but can really help the Hero when fighting evil opponents. This all said: you surely can use this with evil characters (especially when used in adventures where the opponents might even more evil), so it doesn't actually goes against the designers' promise.

Last but not least, we have the Eldritch Slavemaster. This Summoner archetype forces his Eidolon(s) into his service rather than building a link to them. Which may have consequences in case he loses control over the summoned eidolon according to Conjurer's Leash the replacement of 1st level's Life Link. As this ability also comes with some restrictions regarding the distance allowed between summoner and eidolon, the designers added Slavedriver, an ability that let's the eidolon cause more damage with successful hits, but also causes damage to the eidolon itself. At 4th level Shield Ally is replaced by Slave Shield. This ability lets the summoner decrease any hit point damage he suffers, but causes the eidolon to suffer twice the damage that its' slavemaster avoids. At 12th Level, Greater Slave Shield decreases the damage the Eidolon suffers this way. At 14th level, Drain Summoned Monster (self-explaining) replaces Life Bond and at 16th level, Explosive Summons replaces Merge Forms and allows the Summoner to use his summoned monsters as living bombs. And at level 20, Slave Army replaces Twin Eidolon and allows the slavemaster tohave summoned monsters and eidolon simultaneously, He can even have more than one summon monster or Gate spell active.

Summary: From 4 out of 5, the only archetype I would consider to be outright evil is the Eldritch Slavemaster. The other 4 can be surely used by evil, but also by non-evil characters. I mention this because I'm on of those GMs who normally not allows evil characters at his table but would probably allow those archetypes when set into the fitting context. But that's not the important part. The important part is that you can create great evil PCs with them, and you can also use them to create interesting NPCs for your PCs to oppose. So the product does what it says, and it is doing it (in my opinion) without arising balance issues. I also didn't stumble about glaring editorial issues. Meaning that I didn't find anything which lets me substract points from the end note (maybe a half star for my issues with the Villainous bloodline sorcerer, but that I'd be inclined to round up).

So, 5 stars out of 5 it is.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Weekly Wonders - Villainous Archetypes Volume II
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10 Kingdom Seeds: Hills (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Björn A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/02/2016 04:05:52

Rite Publishing Presents 10 Kingdom Seeds: Hills by Liz Smith is part of series providing the GM with short town descriptions she can easily plug-in into her game. These settlements are intended to be used as PC bases, as foundation stones to use with Pathfinder's Kingdom Building Rules, but can as easily just be inserted into your setting, to fill empty regions between your big cities. And while they are written with hill terrain in mind, most of them aren't so specific that they couldn't be used with other terrain types as well.

The PDF consists of 9 pages, with 6 pages filled with actual content (plus cover, credits and OGL). Layout and page design is on a professional, high-level standard and I especially dig the artwork which would be worthy of any major publisher. Actual content are around half-page long descriptions of 10 settlements, ranging from Thorps to Villages. Each entry starts with the rule description (as seen first in Paizo's Gamemastering Guide), followed by a short description of the look and the economy of each town. The last one being something I especially like as this is often the main reason why a settlement is founded at all and it immediately creates imaginery. One thing I also like is that those settlements are very varied as far as their main inhabitants' race is concerned. A chaotic good thorp inhabited by half-orcs can excellently serve to play with the player's expectations (and if you'd rather have humans there, just change it, it's no big deal)

Each entry also describes one or two important locations and concludes with some rumors about the settlement or its inhabitants which, while they sometimes feel like created with a random generator (which must not be a bad thing), still immediately add potential plot hooks and ideas to develop own adventures. I mean what could happen if a caravan with a holy sword comes to a village ruled by a CE cleric? (just to give an example). Here you find a village ruled by a bronze dragon, you have ghosts in the streets, cats stealing magic items (for what reason ever) or simply wandering hamlets made out of wheeled huts. So what this products really is successful at is to spark imagination without losing many words. The GM will have to work, if she wants to use these ideas, but she'll have something to start with.

There are some things I have to criticize for honesty's sake. The main criticism is directed at the rules section of each entry. As it seems, the designer forgot to include the modifiers from Table: Settlement Statistics into the settlement modifiers of each entry. There is also one major layout error in the Seahollow entry where the rules section has been divided by the text description. Minor mistakes (at least I think it wasn't done intentionally) can be found in the rules sections for Starrywyn (Danger modifier should be -5 instead of +5) and Redhurst (being a thorp but using the magic item line for villages in the Marketplace section). I'm not the big rules guy, so this is nothing to put much importance in (maybe there are even reasons why there are so many items flowing around in Redhurst and why danger is higher in seemingly peaceful Starrywyn?) but if you're using the settlement modifiers in actual play, you should be aware that you have to recalculate the modifiers according to the rules.

This all said, I can recommend this product. If you are building your own setting or if you're using published settings, there will be empty places to fill and to do so, this product can be immensely helpful. This may not be obvious by the first look, but if you're taking the time to really read the entries, you'll find little, creativity sparking ideas helping you to really bring those settlements to live. So I'll give it 4 out of five stars (a half star removed for the rules inconsistencies, another half star because some of the rumors seem a bit to random for my taste), because while not perfect, I'll probably use all ten settlements in my homebrew (meaning that each if these settlements is worth way more than the 15 cents it costs, and that doesn't even count in the splendid illustrations)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
10 Kingdom Seeds: Hills (PFRPG)
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Village Backdrop: Ossoko Draconsha
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Björn A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/10/2015 17:55:28

Village Backdrop: Ossoko Dragonsha (VA:OD) is the latest installment in Raging Swan's Village Backdrop Series. It is my first issue though, so I can't compare with former installments, but if this one is indication for the backdrops' overall quality, I may have to start collecting soon.

VA:OD comes as a 10-page, fully bookmarked pdf with 5-and-a-half pages of actual content (the rest is front and back cover, some legal stuff, OGL and an advertisment for Raging Swan's own Patreon campaign). The 2-column layout is clear, well-structured and easy to read. There is one half-page black and white map of the location, so the actual text is 5 pages long.

It starts with „Ossoko Dragonsha at a Glance“, a 2-page long description of the history of the village (which is basically a lizardfolk village built around a holy site and serving as a trading hub with other people), some of the events happening there (there's something wrong with the holy site), the village's demographics, important NPCs and notable locations. Add some Knowledge check results and some rumors and you've already quite some information to work with.

Notable Locations get expanded on on the next two pages. Short descriptions including the people living there offer some roleplay opportunities and add information about the mystery surrounding the village. There are also two stat blocks for NPCs important for the action behind the scenes.

The last content page explains a bit about what life's like in Ossoka Dragonsha especially with regards to Trade and Industry as well as Law and Order. A d6 random table offers events, that can happen while the PCs are around and also can serve to draw the PCs into the events soon to unfold. Here's also the stat block for Xrakka, one of the two lizardfolk leaders.

It's hard to write about this product without spoiling too much. Personally I really like the story that can be told with the information contained in this product. In fact, there is more than one story to tell. The way Ossoka Dragonsha (which is Draconic for Dragon's Defeat) origined could easily translate into its own adventure. Then there are several NPCs not directly tied into the main story, whose background suggests adventure possibilities. That is something I really value in a product, if it succeeds in inspiring ideas with only a few words. And in this respect, VB:OD really delivers.

Ossoka Dragonsha is an unusual location generic enough to be put into any fantasy setting (and if you're not using lizardfolk, it's easy enough to change the demographics according to your preferences). It's short and compact and still contains a lot of ideas to peruse four your own campaign. It's an instant hit for me deserving of five stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Village Backdrop: Ossoko Draconsha
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15-11 Free Monster of the Month: Giant Toxic Sponge
Publisher: Octopus Apocalypse
by Björn A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/30/2015 16:58:37

nice little CR 5 monster to use in underwater adventure. The Values seem to be in the range for this CR and the one thing I'd probably change is to turn the ability damage effect if its toxic aura into Strength damage, because that would better synchronize with the Sponge's Siphon ability with its Strength based Save. But it made me come up with three little ideas to use the Critter in my own adventures*, and that's exactly what a good monster entry should inspire me too. And it's free which adds to five stars in my book.

  • I'm not sure if this is considered bad form here at drivethru, so instead of linking to my blog, I'll just copy what I came up with regarding this monster:
  1. The PCs are tasked to retrieve some treasure from a ship sunk before the coast during a heavy storm. Unluckily, the ship’s body has been infested by a pair of Giant toxic sponges feeding from the fauna living near the wrack. They won’t surely mind greater prey (like some meaty PCs for example who will literally have to go through the sponges to get what they came for).

  2. When some townspeople go missing and the local authorities aren’t able to find any clues about their whereabouts, the PCs are hired to solve this riddle by the brother of a wealthy merchant who hasn’t been seen for several days. Hints point to a nearby lake and the PCs may find that the missed persons fell prey to a giant advanced toxic sponge. How did a salt water creature get into a sweet-water lake. And how is it able to survive there? The answers to these questions may lead to a mass murderer on the loose thinking he had found a way to commit the perfect crime.

  3. For mysterious reasons a portal to the water plane opened in a big mountain cave looming over a little town. Poisonous Water pouring through the portal threatens to destroy the town but finding a way to close the portal involves exploring the cave. Meaning to handle the creatures coming through the portal as well as handling the portal itself which seems to be a gigantic living creature drawing the water out of the plane of water onto the material plane.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
15-11 Free Monster of the Month: Giant Toxic Sponge
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Adventure Princesses
Publisher: Skortched Urf' Studios
by Björn A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/26/2015 09:04:29

Chris A. Fields „Adventurer Princesses“ is a curious product, which made me a bit hesitant at first, but in the end, curiosity won.

The strangeness begins with the cover illustration, a manga-style princess in a blue ball gown and a golden crown on her head, which seems to fit in a grimm-style fairy tale but doesn't seem too adventurous. I'm not too wrong with this interpretation but we'll come back to that. The layout of the product is fine with and while I not particularly like all of the interior illustrations that's certainly a matter of taste and it doesn't take away from the product in any way.

The strangeness continues with the categorization of the Adventurer Princess as a race (instead of a class as I had assumed first). So the product starts on the first three pages of this 16-page product with a description of the background of this „race“. Princesses typically aren't of noble blood but most often maidens from the common folk who excel with courage, charisma and leadership abilities. And while they are humanoids with the human subtype, they have different racial traits; the have their own ability modifiers, start with an animal friend who functions like a wizard's familiar, can choose between different skills they get bonuses for, and they get a 3x/day spell-like ability as a bard of the same level.

There are also some alternative racial traits offered, for example the Foreign Princess which enables you to play a non-human adventurer princess, or the Modern Princess to use in a modern setting (immediately Lara Croft comes to mind). For Xena-style characters, there is the Warrior Princess. Other alternatives modify the spell-like ability, the skill choices and look interesting and playable as well.

Next three pages are filled with 19 base character traits. For combat traits, we have the Air Princess (fly as class skill with +1 bonus on skill checks), the Dragon Slayer (bonus against dragon-type monsters) which I really like for how it plays with the normal stereotypes. The Duell Princess gets a magical one-hand weapon from the start and the Tomboy gets bonuses when competing with men (see my criticism at the end of the review).

With the magic traits we'll finally land in the realms of Grimm fairy tales I alluded to at the start. Animal Helper makes Cinderella's doves (or other animals) help with the daily chores and the Fairy-woven Finery obviously comes from the same source (the ball gown even changes back to normal at midnight), while the Little animated Buddy seems inspired by the Disney version of Beauty and the beast (I mean, come on, who wouldn't want a two-legged candelabra as companion – or better yet- an animated snowman). The Ball-gown Parachute does exactly, what he says and the Elemental Birth Sign increases the damage of elemental spell damage. At last, there's the Princess countersong, which enhances the respective bard's class feature.

The social traits encompass the Centre of Courtly Life, the Fairest of them All (Mirror, Mirror...), the Orphan Princess (free Courtier's Outfit), the Rat Princess (which prefers Intimidate over Diplomacy) and the Student of History, who gets bonuses on Knowledge (nobility) and Knowledge (history).

Finally, there are racial traits like the Fairie's Blessing (Little Briar Rose says hello), the mysterious Night's Princess (gets low-light vision) and the Sibling's Bond which creates an especially narrow bond between Little Brother and Little Sister. This trait seems mechanically problematic, because it relates to the psion's sense link ability which is known from 3.5 but has no official equivalent in Pathfinder. Now we have the Dreamscarred version, but as there's no entry in the OGL section 15 and as this version not quite equals it's predecessor, I assume that the author rather meant the older version. I guess one could easily adapt the Binder's sense link ability but if so, that should be clarified in the text.

Now let's return to the fairie tales realm with the racial feat Fairie Coach functioning like Disney's Cinderella version (even transforming the animal friend into two coach horses). It gets even better at level 10 when you get two winged coach horses instead which enable the coach to soar through the air. The second racial feat, the Noble Equipage is a bit more down to earth and may be inspired by Joan of Arc. It's mainly chivalric equipment you get (including a war horse or pony).

And then, there's five and a half pages full of magic items. I won't go into detail too much, but it's 3 armors, 3 weapons and 10 wondrous items, some of them also inspired by Grimms' Fairie Tales. For example, there's the Applewood Bow bestowing resistance bonuses against poisons, or the Princess' basket preparing fine meals from the raw ingredients put within. Another item, the Farie Dust, gold certainly takes its inspiration from Peter Pan (and I let you guess what it does ;) )

Conclusion: I'm still not sure what to make out of this product. I can see the advantage in making the Adventure Princess a race rather than a class, because it enables the author to take inspiration from diverse sources; still, most members of this group are of human stock, so the concept doesn't quite fit into this mechanic. Another thing is about the definition of this „race“. There's basically no need for a category including extraordinary women in a game, which already defines an adventurer as an extraordinary person and makes it quite clear that men and women are absolutely equal in game terms. Which would make every female adventurer to an Adventurer Princess.

This said, I still like the product. I don't think that children are it's main target group but I guess that the fairie tale elements are perfect to introduce them into the game. I can easily imagine my daughter wanting to play an Adventurer Princess inspired by Frozen's Elsa (especially if she is allowed to use an animated snowman as familiar). But even for me as a male adult, who likes to play female characters, the product contains quite some ideas to use in my own games. I mean; what's not to love about Xena, Joan of Arc or Lara Croft inspired characters.

And even if you don't like the Adventure Princess as a race (or even as a concept), the product still contains 16 pages full of rules material to use or be inspired from in your own game, and that for a real fair price. So 3 of 5 stars, because you still get useful material even if I have my doubts about the concept. Should you even like the concept, than add another star to my rating.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Princesses
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Bjorn, thanks so much or the lengthy, super detailed review. My rationale for making the Adventure Princess a race rather than a class is instead of having the concept tied to just one thing, by making it a race you could have Adventure Princess Fighters, or AP Bards, or AP Druids, or any other class combination you liked. I\'d wanted to do something Disney-esque for a long time, but couldn\'t find a way to do it that seemed mechanically interesting. I got the idea to do Adventure Princesses while I was working on a revamp of my Heavy Future setting, and I invented a few new race that was genetically human but so culturally different they had mechanically distinct powers and abilities. I realized if I could stretch the definition of \'human\' to play to the tropes of 70s sci-fi I could also bend the definition to do Disney. Finally, give your daughter an animated snowman and let her go adventuring! That sounds like the perfect use of this book. Have a good one, CHRIS
Pridnor
Publisher: MadCartographer
by Björn A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2015 08:45:58

I'm a big sucker for maps, but unluckily I also suck big time at creating them by myself. Which made bying this map a no-brainer, especially at this low price. What you get is a full-color map for GMs and a greyscale map as a player handout. Both look great, though I personally prefer the full-color part.

In fact, this is kind of a two-in one map because it contains Pridnor and Darlath, both part of the mapper's world of Lerchanth, which I automatically got for free as part of the transaction. In the description, Pridnor is called a continent, which would make Darlath another one, so this card nearly suffices as its own campaign world. Luckily, there's no scale on the map, so you could easily insert it into your own world as a big isle complex (if there's no place for additional continents, that is).

There are some minor and one greater nitpick I have with this map as follows:

  1. If taken as a continent I wonder how many countries are located on Pridnor. There seem to be no capital(s) and as there are no boundaries either one could get the idea that Pridnor is one big united nation. Given the geography, this seems kind of unprobable.

  2. Maybe it's a matter of taste, but the desert regions' color is to red and don't fit into the overall style of the map. Nothing dramatic, but it's a tiny bit irritating for me.

  3. The greyscale version contains the same information as the GM color version. Clearly a matter of taste but I'd prefer less information so my players could explore the continent without knowing too much beforehand. Luckily, the free world map solves this problem for me.

  4. Minor typo (?): The Shreeking Forrest. I love the name, but as other forests come with one 'r' I guess here's one too much.

Which brings me to my greater nitpick:

looking at the world map of Lerchanth, the Shreeking Forrest region is covered by Ice as is the southern region of Halsorff. So looking at the Pridnor map, the question arises, where has all the Ice gone? I don't mind this inconsistency too much (personally I prefer the iceless version), but it makes it difficult to use both maps together.

This all said, I do love the map(s) and will probably find use for them in future campaigns.

4/5 stars from me.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pridnor
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review... I will correct the spelling typo for \"Forrest\". As for the Ice covered portion... that was a HUGE mistake on my part. It has since been corrected. It should be ice. I will upload the corrected version. All you need do is re-download the map to get the corrected version. MadCartographer
1 Correction to the map... Forrest on the bottom was removed.
Waypoints 0: The Village of Cowfold
Publisher: Chubby Monster Games
by Björn A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/22/2012 12:45:45

Well, first off, I've to admit that I'm a bit biased when it comes down to backdrops like this. I loved the town

descriptions Paizo did back then in the old Dungeon days (and their newer ones in their Pathfinder product line), and

that's the standard I compare similar products with. Which naturally is a bar raised too high for Chubby Monster Games'

first product (and a bar they probably didn't even try to reach).

This said, the Village of Cowfold still seems like a highly useful product to me. You can put it in nearly any campaign

setting (even non-fantasy ones), it contains several interesting locations and NPCs. And it's full of little details

you normally miss in such a description (really, anyone putting a price tag for a Mug of Cow's milk in his book gets a

big bonus point from me).

But let's start with the beginning. The product consists of three parts: an entry from Lexx's journal, in which said

Lexx describes his impressions from his visit; it is well written if probably a bit long drawn out. But I could nearly

smell the aromas coming out of Penny's bakery (and I like to see through the eyes of a world's inhabitant).

Second, there was the description of several locations, including the NPCs living and working in them. The description

of the NPCs seemed a bit too repetitive (and sometimes sounded as if rolled on a random table) but apart from that were

full of details (and sometimes hinted at/described secrets which could translate into adventure possibilities)

And thirdly, three direct adventure hooks, some of them referring to those secrets.

So, as said before, even with those little "flaws", the product seems highly usable, if only for mining it for some

ideas/NPCs/locations. It's well layouted, easily readable, and as it's free, I'd recommend it for anyone looking for a

village he can insert in his own campaign world. Could well be the starting point for my next campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Waypoints 0: The Village of Cowfold
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the review, we appreciate the feedback.
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