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SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Superhero Team-Up!
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/15/2022 09:39:45

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/review-vigilante-city-3-superhero-team.html

We continue our tour of Vigilante city with the next book in the series and the first expansion. If this one makes you think of the Teen Titans, then I think that might be the point.

Vigilante City #3 Superhero Team-Up!

PDF and softcover book. 176 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art. For the purposes of this review, I am considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG and the soft-cover books I picked up from Bloat Games' own store.

Classes

This book presents some new classes for us to try out. They are the Alchemist, Getaway Driver, Mutant Hunter, Occultist, Revenant Hero, Sewer Guardian, Tunnel Shadow, and the Weapon Master.

So bits of TMNT poking through again, but that is perfectly fine really. The classes are good and few I really like. The Occultist was the obvious choice and yes I am a fan, but also the Alchemist and the Revenant Hero for running a game like The Crow.

We get some new skills too. The nice thing about VC is the skill system is very flexible. You could even run it without skills if you like. I try not to get too bogged down in the skills myself, but the system here makes it rather easy to use.

Teams

This section is where I am getting the Teen Titan vibe, though it can cover all sorts of teams. The first is team combo actions which give you some ideas on how teams can work together. There is some detail on your base of operations as well. Covers everything from living in the sewers to a giant tower shaped like a T if that is your fancy.

Gear

Alchemists and Occultists can make potions so there is new gear associated with that. There are new items of equipment and vehicles. If you ever needed to know how much it would cost to build your own superhero lair then this book has you covered.

Dr. Azmournus and More

We get into a section of rogues next. Up first is the evil Dr. Azmournus and his crew. This guy does tests on mutants and Anthropomorphs to create even more mutated creatures. He is not a pleasant guy. We also get his mutated crew.

There is a vigilante group that doesn't quite operate within the law, the "Wretch Slayers," and a group of sewer-dwelling crime fighters that face off against Dr. Azmournus and his crew ("Insecto's Sewer Guard").

There are more, but you get the idea. Use them all or none, but they add a bit more color to the streets, and under the streets, of Victory City.

Adventures

What might be the best part of a book full of great parts are the adventures. Included here are "Backup" by David Okum and homage to the "Buddy Cop" movies of the 70s and 80s. "The SynGen Situation" by Melanie R. Meadors, an open-end, even "sandbox" style adventure to get players and characters acquainted with Victory City. You get to meet other heroes and even have a run-in with a noisy reporter! There is even a tavern where you can meet up. Michele Lee gives us "The Demonic Cabal" here you get to meet a mentor in the form of Roadkill an ex-cop and former vigilante. Of course, Roadkill soon lives up to his name and is dead. It is up to the player characters to find out how and why. Friend of the Other Side James M. Spahn is up with "Quiver of Serpents" which is more of an introduction to the criminal organization, the titular Quiver of Serpents as the PC's version of the Legion of Doom.

All in all the book works really well and is a worthy addition to the Vigilante City line.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Superhero Team-Up!
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Beyond the Mundane: Magical Options for Spellcasters
Publisher: Samurai Sheepdog
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/15/2022 09:34:09

Orignally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-beyond-mundane.html

Beyond the Mundane

PDF. 30 pages. Title page, 1-page OGL. Color cover and interior art.

This book has archetypes for all the spellcasting classes for Pathfinder.

Among the ones I like the most are the Choreographer (Bard), Blood-Spiller (Bloodrager), Primal Growler (Cleric), Lunar Touched (Druid), Agent of the Green (Hunter), and Cupbearer (Witch).

There are a lot here and each one does ad something interesting to their base class. It is really good and if you play Pathfinder and want to try something new then grab this.

There is also a new race, the Shadiir, who are naturally magic, so a good race choice for any and all of these archetypes.

I did not see anything I could use with my witches or my Winter Witch in particular, but it was fun all the same.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beyond the Mundane: Magical Options for Spellcasters
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SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Villain's Guide
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/14/2022 08:07:25

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/review-vigilante-city-2-villains-guide.html

Book 2 of the SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City core rules is the Villain's Guide and it was shipped out with Core Rules #1. It's Vigilante City week, so let us get to it.

Vigilante City #2 Villain's Guide

PDF and softcover book. 300 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art. For the purposes of this review, I am considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG and the soft-cover books I picked up either via Kickstarter or from Bloat Games' own store.

This book builds off of the Vigilante City #1 Core Rules. While it says "Villain's Guide" on the cover it is really much more than that.

Victory City

We start out with the titular Vigilante City, "Victory City." We get the layout of the city and its districts. We get a great map of the city (and it is reprinted on the back).

Since this is street-level supers we get a lot of gangs. The gangs do feel like what you might get if you took the gangs from the movie The Warriors and let them populate Gotham City from Batman the Animated Series for a while. Yeah, it is every bit as fun as it sounds. I bet the creative team had a blast working on this.

There is a great section following about building your own city or adding to Victory City. Personally, I would rather add to the existing VC. I mean nearly every superhero story is defined by the city they live in. So for a Vigilante City game, I am going to want to play in Vigilante City.

Anthropomorph Island is our next big section and it is an island of anthropomorphic animals. Not all of them are teenage. It's a neat little addition to the superhero mythos.

There are a couple of sample adventures, which is nice.

Rogues Gallery

At about 75 pages in we finally get the Rogue Gallery. Ok, "finally" is too strong. Everything up to this point has been great. But let's be honest it is the bad guys that are the most fun.

Nearly 90s pages of all sorts of bad guys (and girls and animals) here and they are all fun.

There are a couple of local heroes, some sample characters, and a bunch NPCs.

Bestiary

There is a bestiary that covers normal animals to were-beasts and other threats. Bigfoot is even here! Note: The Dark Places & Demogorgons Cryptid Manual would work great with this.

Community Content

I think this material was part of the Kickstarter where backers could submit heroes and villains of their own. This is that section and it is a lot of fun really. I mean really, we are getting an official version of the Acrobatic Flea? Worth the price of the book alone!

This book could have been also called the GM's Guide, with all the material here. It is great stuff. Can you play VC without it? Sure. And you can also have Batman without the Joker and Gotham City but it would not be as much fun.

I can see this game taking the place of Icons or Villains & Vigilantes in my life. It is at the intersection of them both for me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Villain's Guide
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Witch: The Road to Lindisfarne
Publisher: Pompey Crew Design
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/14/2022 07:45:03

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-witch-road-to.html

One of the things I talk about here is something I call Traveller Envy. This is the feeling I got from watching Traveller and their interconnected RPGs and Board Games. It is something I would love to replicate for my D&D games and for my War of the Witch Queens campaign in particular. I can't always find board games that fit the bill for me, but I have tried. While not a board game this GM-less "story game" does fit the bill of this notion for me. But how is it? Let's find out.

Witch: The Road to Lindisfarne

PDF. 32 pages. Multiple files.

So this is a story game, not something I have a ton of experience with.

It says 4 to 6 players, no dice, pencils, or extra paper needed.

The game takes place in London in 1350 but you head to the Abbey at Lindisfarne; the same that was rather famously attacked by the Viking raids.

Each player gets one of the characters included in this file. The special character is Elouise our central witch, or at least a confessed witch. There are two outcomes her player can choose, Elouise is Guilty or she is Innocent. Depending on which one is chosen determines the end of the game.

The purpose of the game is to take Elouise from London to Lindisfarne. There are many stops along the way and the players describe what their characters do along the way. The other players (and characters) do not know the Truth of Elouise so they seek to discover it. It is entirely possible that Eloise is found guilty and burned at the stake or found innocent and set free independently of the truth.

If this sounds like the 2011 movie Season of the Witch, well the designers agree with you.

The game is very interesting and it does give me a lot of ideas of things to do with my own games.

The game does have re-playability, with different characters being played by the same group, but I can also see that it is a little limited in that respect.

Still, a fun game to play on a cold wet afternoon in late October.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Witch: The Road to Lindisfarne
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Book of Lost Spells (5e)
Publisher: Frog God Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2022 11:53:50

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-book-of-lost.html

Frog God Games has long been producing great gaming products for a variety of systems. Their dedication to old-school style play comes from their earliest years when they were associated with Necromancer Games. So to see a couple of new spell books (and you know I love spells!) for D&D 5e AND Pathfinder featuring all sorts of old-school spells? Yeah. Put me down for one of each, please.

Book of Lost Spells (Pathfinder) and Book of Lost Spells (5e)

PDF. 201 pages (PF) and 137 pages (5e). Color covers. Black & white interior art.

The content of these two books is largely the same. The 5e smaller page count comes from the rules ability to cast spells at higher levels for increased effects, while Pathfinder (like the games that came before it) needs a different spell at higher levels. Also, Pathfinder has more spell-using classes, so their spell lists take up more page count.

There are other minor differences depending on what spells each of their respective core rules already has, but the focus of both books is to provide classic "1st Edition" era spells to the new editions.

In both cases, the books have the spell lists by class and level first then followed by the spells and descriptions in alphabetical order.

The spells are largely SRD derived and are certainly like the feel of 1st edition spells. Frog God is very, very good at doing this. I have not yet found any specifically from 1st ed AD&D that is not in the SRD but is also here. There are a few that have new names that essentially do the same thing, which is fine by the OGL really.

If you are a Pathfinder or 5e player and you want/need more spells then these books are a treasure trove, whether you played AD&D 1st or not. If you did then you will find something that feels familiar and new at the same time.

Unless you play both games (or level spell books) then you don't need both, but I am happy to have them both to be honest.

In both cases, I have found them incredibly useful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Lost Spells (5e)
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Book of Lost Spells (PF)
Publisher: Frog God Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2022 11:53:44

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-book-of-lost.html

Frog God Games has long been producing great gaming products for a variety of systems. Their dedication to old-school style play comes from their earliest years when they were associated with Necromancer Games. So to see a couple of new spell books (and you know I love spells!) for D&D 5e AND Pathfinder featuring all sorts of old-school spells? Yeah. Put me down for one of each, please.

Book of Lost Spells (Pathfinder) and Book of Lost Spells (5e)

PDF. 201 pages (PF) and 137 pages (5e). Color covers. Black & white interior art.

The content of these two books is largely the same. The 5e smaller page count comes from the rules ability to cast spells at higher levels for increased effects, while Pathfinder (like the games that came before it) needs a different spell at higher levels. Also, Pathfinder has more spell-using classes, so their spell lists take up more page count.

There are other minor differences depending on what spells each of their respective core rules already has, but the focus of both books is to provide classic "1st Edition" era spells to the new editions.

In both cases, the books have the spell lists by class and level first then followed by the spells and descriptions in alphabetical order.

The spells are largely SRD derived and are certainly like the feel of 1st edition spells. Frog God is very, very good at doing this. I have not yet found any specifically from 1st ed AD&D that is not in the SRD but is also here. There are a few that have new names that essentially do the same thing, which is fine by the OGL really.

If you are a Pathfinder or 5e player and you want/need more spells then these books are a treasure trove, whether you played AD&D 1st or not. If you did then you will find something that feels familiar and new at the same time.

Unless you play both games (or level spell books) then you don't need both, but I am happy to have them both to be honest.

In both cases, I have found them incredibly useful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Lost Spells (PF)
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SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Core Rules
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2022 11:51:25

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/review-vigilante-city-1-core-rules.html

Vigilante City has been sitting on top of the computer I use as a home server forever. I figure now is a great time to let everyone know about this great street-level supers game.

Vigilante City #1 Core Rules

PDF and softcover book. 292 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art. For the purposes of this review, I am considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG and the soft-cover books I picked up either via Kickstarter or from Bloat Games' own store.

Vigilante City, or more accurately, SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City #1 Core Rules, is a street-level supers game for the SURVIVE THIS family of games from Bloat Games. The same folks that gave us the awesome Dark Places & Demogorgons and the amazing We Die Young RPGs. So right away these rules feel familiar. But this game is more about teenage angst in the 80s and 90s. There are mean streets out there.

The game really is a great starter for anyone that has played D&D/OSR-like games and wants to get into a supers game. Like all SURVIVE THIS!! games this one in class and level with levels topping off at 10.

Right from the start, this game lets us know what it is all about. These are street-level supers. While there might the occasional mutant, anthropomorphic otter, Super Soldier, or power suit we will not be seeing the likes of Superman or Wonder Woman. This is Batman, Captain America, and Tony Stark down all the way to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and some guy with a baseball bat. If this sounds like your kind of game (and really who wouldn't want to play this?) then buckle in, because this is going to be fun.

The Core Rule book covers the basic hero classes (this is a class/level system derived from the SRD) and basic rules. I am going to point out here that the rules are very much the same as other Survive This!! games with notable areas to aid heroic play. While in the past I have pointed out that teens of the 80s in Dark Places & Demogorgons can grow up to become the young adults of the 90s We Die Young, there is no logical progression here from those games. To be fair that is also not the designer's intent. I can see a world that involves all these games (that and their newer What Shadows Hide line) but let's first appreciate this game for what it is right now and not what inhuman creation I'll make with it later.

The Basics

We start off with the basic rules, or maybe I should say "Basic" rules since these rules are designed from the d20 SRD to feel like old-school D&D, D&D Basic in particular. As mentioned before it shares this design with all the other Survive This!! games. You generate attributes, the usual six plus a seventh "Survival," you generate your saving throws, pick your alignments, calculate your Vigilante Points, work out your Origin/Background (every good hero has a backstory!) and then comes the time to choose your class.

Human Classes

Basic D&D's DNA is peaking through here. You have your normal human classes and then a section on "Mega Humans." But let us talk about humans first. Essentially these are the roles that an everyday, but not really average, human could pick up and say "I am going to fight crime as a ..." Yes a lot of these require training and/or to be born with the right genetic lottery (smart, rich, or both).

These classes are: Athlete, Crime Fighter, Dark Avenger, Gadgeteer, Genius, Hardboiled Detective, Knight Nurse, Martial Artist, Mentor, Mercenary, Protégé, Sharp Shooter, Street Preacher, and True Vigilante. Most, if not all are fairly self-explanatory. Each gets 10 levels of advancement where they gain certain advantages. Like the comics that inspired them the character classes are fairly 2-Dimensional. THIS IS APPROPRIATE. You fill in the blanks with your backgrounds and skills. You can choose "Street Preacher" but you have to figure out if you are Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel's character in "From Dusk til Dawn) or Jesse Custer from Preacher.

Mega-Humans

Much like the split between Demi-humans and humans in D&D, and Meta-humans/Mutants and humans in comics, we get our section on Mega-Humans. Mega humans are both a "species" and a "class" they can pick up skill packages to differentiate themselves, but largely this is what they are. Again, this fits the tone of the X-man comics.

Our Mega-Human classes are: Anthropomorphs, Borg, Mutant, Mystic, Powered Armor, Psion, Super Soldier, and Super Speedster. Lots of choices here.

These classes and their powers (spells for the mystic, psionics for the psion) cover the first 210 pages of or 2/3rds of this book. That is expected really.

The classes are followed with Skils & Skill Packs, XP/Leveling, Gear, Vehicles, Game Terms and Critical tables.

There is a solid index and the PDF is bookmarked.

The game has a feel of Villians & Vigilantes mixed with Mutants & Masterminds with the difficulty of Icons. Any veteran of either of those games will pick this one up fast. Anyone that has played D&D or other Survive This!! games will pick it up even faster. That is already given the fact that this is a quick and easy game to learn and play. There are groups out there that are searching for the perfect Supers game and this could very well be it for them. I find it very, very appealing.

Like all games from Bloat Games, there is a lot of support online and in other books for this line.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Core Rules
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Otherworldly Invocations
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2022 17:30:40

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-otherworldly.html

If you are like me and love witches then Pathfinder is the system that just keeps giving and giving. A case in point today is one of many products I have picked up from Necromancers of the Northwest.

Otherworldly Invocations: Advanced Witch Patrons

PDF. 51 pages. 1 page each for cover, back cover, title, and credits. 2 pages of ads. And 2 pages of OGL. 43 pages of content. Color cover and interior art.

This product contains 10 HIGHLY detailed witch patrons for Pathfinder 1st Edition.

Each patron is given some history, how they most often appear to mortals and witches, their goals, their typical followers and witches, as well as what sorts of familiars they have.

There is "mechanical" information as well. This includes what spells they offer with their pact, pact boons, and Pact Prices. Think of these as "anti-boons." Often these are tied to the boons they grant.

They are all great, but for me the section on Baba Yaga is worth the price of the PDF alone. The rest are gravy. Though Thyrvinistar, Don of Dragons is also rather fun.

Obviously, these are for use with Pathfinder. BUT a little tweaking would make them work well with my own OSR witches or even D&D 5e's Warlocks.

The artwork is largely stock photos but they make them work for this. Again the text here is what is important to me.

It is just under $8, so figure about 80¢ per patron. Not bad really.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Otherworldly Invocations
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Witches and Pagans
Publisher: White Wolf
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2022 17:28:31

Orignially posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-witches-and-pagans.html

I adore the RPG Mage. Mage: The Ascension, Mage: the Awakening, Dark Ages Mage, and most of all Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade. The witches of Mage, the Verbena, get special treatment and I am here for it. The Witches & Pagans book covers them in detail.

Witches and Pagans

PDF. 96 pages. Color cover, Black & White art.

The cover art is by Christopher Shy who practically defined the look of many occult and supernatural RPGs of the late 90s and early 2000s. So regardless of the actual game, this looks good on my shelves; both real and virtual. All the interior art is by Richard Kane Ferguson.

Chapter I: History

This chapter covers "pagans" as they might have existed in the World of Darkness if they had survived to the Renaissance. If this is a bridge too far for the history buffs out there a quick reminder this is a game of world-changing magic in the hands of mortals.

There is a collection of various "famous" pagans, but no stats to start with.

Chapter II: Knowledge

This covers the pagan magics including all the spheres and how the pagan mages would use them. Note it is not just the Life sphere that the Verbena are traditionally drawn to. Additionally, there are new rotes for mages as well.

Given all the spheres and combinations of magic this chapter is fairly long.

Chapter III: Wise Craft

This chapter covers how the witches/pagans see their magic. Central to Mage's theme is that each mage sees how magic works differently. The witches of this time rely on these tools and the ideas in this chapter because that is how their magic works for them. A member of the Hermetic Order or Cult of Ecstasy has access to the exact same spheres of magic, but they approach them very, very differently. This is the heart of Mage. The pagan witches of the Sorcerer's Crusade are even more locked into this frame of mind. While this means this chapter is the least connected, game mechanics-wise and more like mechanically supported fluff, it also means it is what makes this book the most interesting AND makes it the most useful for me in other games.

Chapter IV: Weavings

This chapter gets back to game mechanics in a bit but also covers the roles of the various pagan "witches" that go beyond "The Old Crone," "The Bestial Hunter," "The Alluring Temptress," and "Dissenfranchished Warlock."

I also found this chapter useful for other games to be honest.

One of the themes I like to play with in my games is the sunsetting of paganism against the growth of Christianity. This game plays that out, though 500 years later than I typically do. Still for Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade this is a wonderful theme and a good one. It is not just Pagan vs. Christian, but Magic vs. Science. Makes for a wonderful interplay of forces.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Witches and Pagans
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Witchfinder - A Swords & Wizardry Class
Publisher: MonkeyBlood Design
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2022 17:25:49

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-witchfinder.html

PDF. 2 pages. One page content, one page OGL. Price: Free.

Let's hit the big points first. This PDF is small, BUT it is for Swords & Wizardry so a page for a class is good really. My own class books notwithstanding. The second one is this PDF is free.

For the price the click you have a new class. Is it worth it?

The class has flavor and enough crunch to make it worthwhile. The details work for me. The XP calcs feel right, the powers they get also track. I would switch the 17th level Holy Word power to 14th level myself. Clerics of 14th level can cast Holy Word so it tracks for WitchHunters to be able to do the same. I would also have given them some sort of, well, witch-finding ability. But this was written likely with no specific witch class in mind.

If you are using this with one of my S&W Witch classes then I would rule that Witchfinder can spot the magics of one of my witches and identify them.

So yeah, I rather like this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Witchfinder - A Swords & Wizardry Class
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Legendary Villains: Wicked Witches
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2022 17:24:12

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-legendary.html

PDF. 36 pages. 1 title page, 1 table of contents, 1 page OGL. Color cover and interior art.

I went into this expecting some NPCs, and I got that, but this is also more here.

There are three new archetypes presented here, the consort of fiends, the curio collector, and the shadow sister.

All are presented as being evil, which is great fun really. I do love an evil witch. All of these are quite fun too, but it is the consort of fiends and shadow sister that have the most of my attention.

Each archetype has appropriate powers to call on. The Consort of Fiends for example has powers and fluff thatmake it feel like a 5e Warlock. The Shadow Sister works with any of the various Shadow prestige classes we have had since the early 3e days.

Speaking of which there is also a prestige class offered here, the Hag Matron, which makes the connection between witches and hags stronger. The witch in question actually transforms into a hag as she gets stronger. This reminds me a bit of the old Van Richten's Guide to Witches from the AD&D 2nd Ed Ravenloft days. This would certainly fit in well with that. Also different sorts of hags have different powers.

We also get a bunch of Patron Oaths, which are different ways at looking at the patrons.

There are new witch hexes, new magic items, and a lot of "lesser" familiars.

All in all a very fine addition to the trove of witch related material available for Pathfinder. The focus on evil witchcraft is a great bonus here.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Villains: Wicked Witches
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OSR Alternative Classes
Publisher: Third Kingdom Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2022 17:22:43

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-osr-alternative.html

PDF. 48 pages. 1 table of contents page, 3 pages of OGL (which could have be brought down to 2 with better formatting), rest content.

Ok the PWYW suggestion is 50 cents. That puts this book at 1 cent per page practically. Easily the best page-to-cost ratio here.

The layout is basic to point of non-existence really. Not to be to judgemental but it looks like a PDF save of an MS Word document. There is very little art.

The 13 classes are Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, Thief, Assassin, Scout, Dervish, Berserker, Cerves Brave, Witch, Ironskin (Siderenos), Sorcerer, and Bard. All the classes are presented in B/X style; levels to 14th limited spells. The classes have some connection to an existing campaign setting that is not explained well here. Moreover they are also compared to other people's IP/Copyrights that really you can't do with the OGL. Each class also has a set of alternate rules that are interesting and would likely work well in Old-School Essentials or B/X game. The company behind this document has gone on to do other OSE-compatible products.

All of the new classes have quite a bit of detail which is good. A few notes. The Assassin and Scout get arcane dabbling which I like. The Cerves are Deer-folk and has one of the few examples of art. Though I would not use the word "Brave" to describe a warrior type. The Ironskin is a neat idea. The Sorcerer here follows the 3.x mold and that is a good thing in my mind. The Bard looks like it would play well, to be honest, but there are so many out now you can usually find one that does exactly what you want.

The Witch

Let's get why I bought this. These witches are divine casters, so wisdom is a prime along with Charisma. XP values are similar to clerics as is spell progression, though they do get spells at 1st level. This witch has various powers. They can use animals to see at 2nd level, brew potions at 3rd, craft fetishes at 5th level, dominate animals at 7th, scribe scrolls at 9th level, and at 11th create magic items. They form covens at 9th level and can curse or bless others.

This witch has a spell list, drawn from Labyrinth Lord, but no new spells. There are also a fair number of optional powers.

Ok. So there are a lot of good ideas here that are almost lost due to the sub-par layout and formatting. I am betting that newer books from the same publisher/author are much better. This one could go for an upgrade to be honest. There is a designation of Open Content, but it also seems to be from another book. So I am not sure whether or not it is for this book or not.

For the price though it is good. Even if you only ever use one class here, or even just the additional ideas for the basic 4 classes it is totally worth it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OSR Alternative Classes
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Witches of Porphyra
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2022 17:21:08

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-witches-of.html

I bought this one as soon as it came out. Purple Duck Games does a lot of great stuff so I had very high expectations for this one. This is for Pathfinder, but likely it would work for any 3.x d20 OGL game.

Witches of Porphyra

PDF. 52 pages. 1 cover, 1 title, 4 pages OGL. Rest content. All text open gaming content. Color covers and interior art.

A bit about the art. We have seen a few of these pieces already. The cover by Gary Dupis, interior art from Brian Brinlee and Brett Neufeld. I mention it because I really want to collect all the products that use the same art a build something, maybe an NPC witch using that Gary Dupuis art and all of these books. So yeah, for me this is all a value add.

We start with an introduction to Witches and Witchcraft in Porphyra. A nice little extra that many books do not do.

We get right into the archetypes next. The Blooded Hag, the Brewer, the Impetuous Dervish, the Insufflator (a "breath" hag), Legionmaster (lots of familiars), Mentor, Polytheistic Witch (many patrons, nice idea), Sanguisuge (feeds on their familiars), Sightless Seer, Warweaver, the Whitelighter (!), and the Wood Witch. All are fantastic and I'd love to try them all to be honest.

We get some new familiar archetypes. As well as new familiars (4). Our cover girl is set for example with the new Hoop Snake on pages 31-32. If you want something a bit more classic there are winged monkeys too.

Of course, with a new world, there should be opportunities for new types of Patrons. This book delivers on that with 13 new patron types. I say new because I have seen these Patron types in other books. That is not a slight against this book. It just means the authors all had similar ideas.

Hexes are one of the Pathfinder's witch's biggest features. So this book does have some new hexes as well. Nine hexes, six Major hexes, and three Grand hexes.

There are also nine new feats.

There is a section on new materials and a sample witch.

The book is great and if I were to say it was missing anything it would be spells. But there is so much here that I didn't even think about it in my first read-through.

So for just under $4 you get a lot.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Witches of Porphyra
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Heroes Weekly, Vol 5, Issue #3, Witchcraft
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2022 17:19:07

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-heroes-weekly-vol.html

Some more Pathfinder tonight. This time for the Heroes Wear Masks RPG.

Heroes Weekly, Vol 5, Issue #3, Witchcraft

PDF. 13 pages. Color covers and interior art.

This one is a bit of a mixed bag really.

I love the idea of having an evil witch class. This one is also different enough from the base Pathfinder witch to make it worth a look.

I don't love that they chose to call their evil witch a "Wiccan." After all no one would make an evil cleric class and call it a "Catholic" or anything like that.

These witches get powers but no spells to speak of; though the powers take place of the spells.

There are some print and fold minis near the end. The art is mixed. I am not a fan of the cover. If this was for a modern sort of game it feels out of place. The witch on page 2 would have been a better choice.

In the end, there is not enough here for me to recommend it.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes Weekly, Vol 5, Issue #3, Witchcraft
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Bloodlines & Black Magic - The Witch
Publisher: Storm Bunny Studios
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2022 17:17:09

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-bloodlines-black.html

Back to a little bit of Pathfinder tonight, though with a modern twist.

Bloodlines & Black Magic - The Witch

PDF. 21 pages. Black & White art.

This is a supplement for the Bloodlines & Black Magic RPG. A dark modern RPG based around Pathfinder. This one presents a witch class.

It is largely the Pathfinder witch class with 5 levels. There are some new hexes presented here so that is nice.

The art is really nice. Black & white, but fits the mood and tenor of the game, so it works here. Color would be a distraction.

It could work with Pathfinder proper or even with D20 Modern 3rd edition as a Prestige or Advanced class. Personally, that is what I would like to try with it.

I'll have to check out the full Bloodlines & Black Magic RPG.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bloodlines & Black Magic - The Witch
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