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Throne of Night Book Two: The Earth's Wound
Throne of Night Book Two: The Earth's Wound
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Flaws II
von Megan R. [Häufiger Rezensent] Hinzugefügt am: 04/06/2014 10:11:23
Flaws are a neat tool to add dimension to a character which both grants mechanical benefits and provides a vehicle to enhance role-playing - and here is a whole bunch more of them to consider.

Some are based on the character's class, others are more personal flaws which anyone can take. Many provide ample opportunity for role-playing - Centre of Attention, perhaps, or Lovelorn. Others can be quite detrimental, like Cursed or Debtor.

The class-based ones are appropriate, from Druids who are wedded to an Ancient Orthodoxy that compels them to avoid metal items, Rangers afflicted with the Call of the Wild who find themselves fidgety and at a disadvantage in an urban setting, or even a Cleric who is a Heretic, not believing the orthodox 'truth' as preached by his religion.

Anyone might be Flirtacious or Competitive or downright Cruel...

A nice touch is that there is always a way to 'buy off' the flaw, generally by a combination of directed use of level-raise points and a spot of role-playing.

A neat collection to keep to hand when generating characters.

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Flaws II
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Ayutthayan Monk
von Megan R. [Häufiger Rezensent] Hinzugefügt am: 02/23/2014 11:19:16
At first glance you might think, so what? This is just a re-write of the standard fantasy monk. Perhaps it is, but where it scores is that the entire underlying philosophy and history of the Ayutthayan monks is wound through the game mechanics rather than being bolted on as an afterthought to explain what that monk is doing in your fantasy campaign world where there might not really be any of the sort of traditions that underpin a classic oriental unarmed fighting style. (I remember way back in the 1980s playing a D&D Monk as a Chinese person perpetually confused with the standard 'cod-European' fantasy world in which he found himself...)

Here the opening text paints the scene of a single adventurer who retired to a life of contemplation, but was pestered by visitors... some of whom stuck around to become his first disciples, and who - being themselves proponents of different fighting styles - created what became several different strands of the same core martial philosophy. These strands are reflected in the options available as class features as the monk rises in level - the ones you choose chart your progress in your preferred style. Some are acquired by means of mystical tattoos, a beautiful and traditional touch.

The combat styles are based on Thai martial arts and are described well, enabling each monk to develop a coherent - and potentially devastating - combat style. There is also a selection of feats and an array of new weapons appropriate for ayutthayan monks, a new tactical manoeuvre called a Bone Break and a sample character to let you try out this class or just give you some ideas to get you going.

If you want to play a monk, this is a good way to go because of the coherent background philosophy that underpins the mechanics of the styles available. Pick it up, mix it in to your campaign world's history and you do not need to explain how you came to be.

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CJ Ruby's Exploding Aces
von Andrew L. [Verifizierter Käufer] Hinzugefügt am: 02/04/2014 21:47:21
Looking forward to taking this book and it's unique system camping in the summer, perfect system for a pick up game with friends at the cottage.

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CJ Ruby's Exploding Aces
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Dwarves
von Sean H. [Häufiger Rezensent] Hinzugefügt am: 12/21/2013 12:31:34
Player's Options: Dwarves from 4 Winds Publishing. It starts with presents two variant dwarf-kin: Half-dwarf (and half human), children of that rare crossbreeding with talents from both side, and Stone Dwarfs, who are even more closely tied to the element of earth than most dwarves, both useful for various sorts of stories. Fourteen new dwarven feats, including Dwarven Baritone (for the singing dwarves) and Exile, who fights with fury against those that drove them from their mountain home, this provides more options for customizing dwarves as do six flaws (as well as the rules for flaws). The product wraps up with new dwarven equipment including two new weapons and one type of armor, along with the dwarven made qualities for both armor and weapons, some dwarven food and drink, a musical instrument and a false beard (unfortunately called a merkin). This provides some useful additional choices for dwarven characters and some amusing items to use as treasures in abandoned dwarven ruins.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Dwarves
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Shinobi
von Thilo G. [Häufiger Rezensent] Hinzugefügt am: 12/14/2013 06:12:19
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Player's Options-series is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



The Shinobi base-class gets 3/4 BAB-progression, d8, 6+Int skills per level, good ref- and will-saves and proficiency in simple weapons, kunai, shuriken, bo staff and shinobigatana as well as light armors, but not shields.



The shinobi gets a cover identity at 1st level and an additional one at 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th level - said identity can be assumed via a disguise-check in 1 minute. The things is - the "ability" specifies that wielding weapons blows the cover - why? Some identities may actually REQUIRE weapons to properly portray. Also - what's the benefit of this whole ability? It doesn't do anything beyond regular proper uses of disguise on its own and essentially just works as a prerequisite for setting up other shinobi-abilities. I'm honestly baffled what this ability's benefit (on its own) is supposed to be - maintaining the identity does not confer any bonuses - it's just fluff. Shinobi also get 1/2 their level to Bluff, Disguise and Sense Motive. They may also improvise disguises in a mere 1d4 rounds - at -15. At least the penalty slowly diminishes by -5 increments to -10 at level 9 and -5 at level 17. But the thing is - at these levels, magic (items) do the disguise MUCH better already, allowing for full-blown transformations. Not sold, even though at 2nd level, they may make cover identity-related Profession and Knowledge-skill-checks as if trained + 1/2 class levels and at 3rd level, they may bluff truth-detecting magic while under cover. At 4th level, the ability-array starts to make sense, as the shinobi learns to change even alignment auras to match the cover personality.



At 2nd level and every 4 levels after that, the shinobi gets a bonus feat s/he must select from one chosen path of 7 - these allow the shinobi to learn alchemy, assassin tricks etc. Solid arrays of feats. Shinobi also get a ninjutsu trick at 1st level and every 2 levels after that from a selection of 17 available. More on these later.



At 4th level and every 4 levels after that, the shinobi also becomes a master of an exotic weapon. At 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter, the shinbi gets a sneak attack progression. Poison use, skill bonuses and at 10th level, death attack, complement the picture of the secret agent/deep cover assassin.



Now I mentioned ninjutsu techniques - and these do include improved horsemanship, better bo-staff fighting, a lesser form of iaijutsu. Over all, these abilities are neat - though the shuriken specialization that nets +1 shuriken + 1 for every 6 levels may be rather powerful when handled properly. The capstone nets a relatively bland 4 ninjutsu tricks.



We also get 3 new shinobi weapons and 8 new feats - weird here - two feats allow for essentially what the poison use class feature already does. Oo Rather cool would be the option to disguise the effects of poison to make them more subtle. The other feats are actually nice!



We also get a half-elven shinobi as a sample level 1 character/pregen.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column b/w-standard and is rather printer-friendly. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Sean O' Connor's Shinobi is actually a nice a take on the secret agent style character, with per se interesting abilities, versatility etc. - as a ki-less ninja/rogue-like character, it works well within in cultural context. BUT: The disguise. Seriously, it's a tad bit too hard for a class this focused on it - why not offer some unique bonuses? High-level mystic enhancements? And why does it suffer from the HORRIBLE weapon caveat? I get the intention behind it, but it makes neither sense in-game, nor is the class so strong that the DM needs to enforce this at times senseless crippling of the central feature of the class. Note that my verdict will IGNORE the weapon-caveat. It's just unnecessary and I encourage you to do the same. Why? Because the class itself is actually fun!

If you take that away, you actually get a solid, fun class that should be considered a nice, more down-to-earth alternative for the ninja, well worth a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Halflings
von Sean H. [Häufiger Rezensent] Hinzugefügt am: 12/13/2013 14:57:06
Player’s Options: Halflings from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming starts with a disclaimer that while fictional halflings drink and smoke and there are feats and flaw that relate to such in this product, the authors do not condone such behavior, which struck me as a little odd, but there you go. It then presents two variant halflings: Hidefeet, hardier stay-at-homes, and Willowbranch, adventurous and adaptable, useful for variety. A half-halfling template is provided for those odd crossbreeds, which I like in concept but the execution seems a little odd, as half-halflings, while usually larger than pure halflings, somehow are physically weaker than them, still a good idea that can be made to work. Fourteen new feats, including Frying Pan Mastery (for the combat cook) and Underfoot, allowing you to dodge between big people’s legs, provide more options for customizing halflings as do six flaws (as well as the rules for flaws). Lastly, new halfling equipment including two new sling variants, halfling staples (food, drink and pipeweed) and a few other useful things. Overall, a useful expansion for additional halfling options, if you have enough halflings in your campaign to need to expand them.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Halflings
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Timebender
von Thilo G. [Häufiger Rezensent] Hinzugefügt am: 12/05/2013 03:44:30
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Player's Option-series is 8 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Now what does this class get? Well, we're in for d10, 2+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and light and medium armor and light shields and full BAB as well as good ref-saves and fast movement scaling up from basic speed to +60 ft. movement rate at 20th level. Beyond these basics, timebenders get a so-called temporal pool equal to half class-level+int-mod. Said pool can either be refreshed via meditating for 1 hour or 10 minutes, though the latter requires precise measurement of time via a clock or hourglass.



Said points can be spent to gain int-mod as a dodge bonus to AC. Said points also interact with time-based spells, allowing the timebender to ignore detrimental effects of a very narrow selection of spells, while also allowing him/her to forgo benefits of haste to regain a point. Now the signature ability of the class would be the Temporal Flurry - by expending one point, the timebender may forgo his full round action, instead limiting the class to a standard action. However, the timbender creates echoes, which allow him/her to perform a standard action again at initiative -5 and at initiative -10. During a flurry, a timebender may only make unarmed, natural or light weapon-melee attack, use a move action requiring skill, use an extraordinary ability or take a move action. Any attacks made suffer from a -2 penalty and movements still provoke AoOs.



At 2nd level and every two levels after that, the timebender also gets a time control trick, which include access to e.g. evasion, the option to make ranged attacks in temporal flurries, a healing touch, improved AC and initiative - a total of 10 such tricks are provided. The more interesting effects allow the timebender to walk across liquid surfaces when temporal flurrying as long as temporal flurry ends on ground that may support his/her weight or spend pool points to act in surprise rounds or move up to movement as a swift action. Where personally, I'm drawing the line, is with "Shifting Step", which allows you to dimension door as a supernatural ability for 1 paltry pool point - that's a resource easily replenished, mind you. Via battle analysis, timebenders may prepare for battle, rolling initiative multiple times via the expenditure of pool points, using the best result. With one of the new feats, said ability may even be shared with allies.



At 3rd level, once until s/he meditates again, the timebender may spend 3 points from the pool to reroll any roll. At 5th level, the timebender also gets the ability to shift adversaries that fail a save after a touch attack into the future, taking them out of the action for at first a single round and later up to 1d4 + int-mod rounds. This ability is BROKEN. Taking a foe out of the combat as a supernatural action can and will terribly screw over plans, battle strategy and the amount of tricks one can build around it are rather extreme and can mean the difference between stunning victory and utter defeat - all based on one ability. With the timebender's supreme mobility, getting to casters and taking them out of the combat can and will royally screw over the opposition.



At 9th level, timebenders may also spend pool points to force a reroll upon a foe, useable once per meditation period. At 10th level, 10 advanced time control tricks are added to the equation, allowing timebenders to air walk and use the broken "propel into future"-ability at range. On the more balanced side, improved evasion, temporal flurry at initiative -15 or the option to use the most damaging strike as bleed damage on foes.



As a capstone, the timebender may spend 9 points to enact a time stop. We also get a nice level 1 sample character and 4 new feats: Careful Flurry feels rather strong, allowing you to forgo your last flurry attack for +2 to atk in addition to ignoring the usual -2 penalty - which is broken. That's a potential net gain of +4 per attack. To compare: regular iterative attacks suffer from decreased accuracy, whereas the temporal flurry does not - hence actually getting a bonus. Extra temporal pool points and time tricks are ok in my book.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's printer-friendly 2-column standard and the cover artwork is neat. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



The Timebender is an interesting class, dealing with perhaps one of the most challenging concepts to properly implement in game mechanics and author Ron Lundeen goes an intriguing route here - Temporal Flurry takes a concept which I've applied to big singular boss monsters in my campaign and it did work rather well - but it also increased their potency. Now usually, I'd say temporal flurry is still balanced due to its massive restrictions, but getting rid of the flurry-penalty offsets the tiny bit of balance when compared to full-round actions - speaking of which: Timebenders can use temporal flurry for up to 3 attacks - all at full BAB-2 (or at straight full BAB), AT FIRST LEVEL. That's broken as all hell, even without the OP-feat to get rid of the penalty. And it doesn't really get better over the levels.



I really, really love the concept of the Timebender. I'm a huge fan of the Time Thief. But the execution is terribly flawed, mopping the floor with comparable classes and worst of all, in contrast to ninjas or monks, offering a way to easily, more easily so than the gunslinger, regain the primary resource that powers said abilities. Concept-wise, this is SO CLOSE to actually being really good, but its balancing is all wonky and would require the hand of a stern developer (and quite probably a complete redesign after that) to actually work. As written, I wouldn't allow this anywhere near my group. Phase order style combat works when employed by settings like Little Red Goblin Games' Necropunk, but when a class is the only one who can do it and thus outclass other martial classes, then we have a problem. As much as I love the premise of the class, as close as it may be to being awesome, as written, I can't recommend it and thus will settle for a final verdict of 1.5 stars, rounded down to 1 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Timebender
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Timebender
von Christen S. [Verifizierter Käufer] Hinzugefügt am: 12/02/2013 00:00:00
Players Option: Timebender presents a streamlined class with a tight array of combat related temporal effects. A primary melee combatant, its powers allow it to stagger its attacks throughout the round to gain increased versatility and accuracy. While this diminishes the comparable “Burst DPS” full attack actions against those of barbarians and power-attack themed fighters, it makes up for these dispersed amounts of damage by allowing for a series of standard actions to occur throughout the round. The strategic options and power to course-correct are dizzyingly cool. While enabling amazing movement options like selective time that allows the timebender to walk on water and even air, these “Temporal Flurry” actions bar spellcasting and most exploitable sequences my group could throw at them.

The class showcases “Time Control Tricks” and a few other time-themed core abilities to fill it out. While several of these abilities lean toward the strong end of balance (Such as the inflicted Re-Rolls of Forced Repetition or the temporary banishment of Shove Forward), a requisite of a high INT score places their usability in point buy games at a limited level. A player will likely have to focus on a damage dealer role or a controller role to excel at either but GMs should probably generally expect a balanced versatility more common to monks and rangers from this class.

A player missing some of the feel of 3.5’s Tome of Battle or one transitioning from 4e to Pathfinder will find this class a good fit with simple resource management mechanics and reusability. On the other hand, GMs running a time themed campaign will find it rounds out the ranks nicely. Other time magic products (Like Time Thief and Time Warden from RGG/SGG) have left the melee niche relatively untouched and the timebender blinks into that place nicely allowing for balanced parties of temporal reavers to vex your PCs.

A strong offering but its straight-forward mechanics prevent it from becoming too powerful, Players Options: Timebender is a 5-star addition for a GM already planning on a temporal magic element in their campaign.

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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Sheriff
von Thilo G. [Häufiger Rezensent] Hinzugefügt am: 10/25/2013 03:31:23
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Player's Option series is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Mechanically, Sheriffs need to be lawful, get d20, 2+Int skills (the class could have used more skills per level, but oh well...), full BAB-progression, good fort-and will-saves, proficiency with all simple and martial weapons and all types of armor and shields, but not tower shields. They also get proficiency with swordbreaker daggers, or repeating crossbows or firearms as bonus feats at 1st level to reflect their training with weapons that can help bring in lawbreakers.

At 1st level, a sheriff chooses a so-called jurisdiction - a country or similar region for which s/he has jurisdiction. This results in a +1/2 class level bonus to diplomacy, knowledge (local), perception and sense motive while wearing his/her badge, but also a bad starting attitude when interacting with chaotic creatures. At 4th level and every 3 levels after that, her jurisdiction is acknowledged in an additional region - like famous investigators that develop fame on a scale that transcends borders.



Sheriffs at 1st level also need to decide on a precinct, which essentially provides them with guidelines and a code of conduct by which they operate. Each precinct nets additional class skills, bonus equipment and a particular special power. Furthermore, at 2nd, 8th and 14th level, they get an ability and at 3rd level and every 3 thereafter a bonus feat drawn from a precinct-specific list.



The sheriffs also learn taking others in alive and hence may choose from a selection of different +2 bonuses (e.g. to non-lethal damage, CMD to resist and CMB to perform dirty tricks etc.) at 5th level and again at 11th and 17th level. At 5th level, they may also declare a warrant on a foe, making him/her more powerful versus the targeted fugitive - not only combat, but also research-wise. This bloodhound-like tracking and investigating is further increased at 13th and 20th level, though the capstone's insistence of "further growth" of the warrant feature when talking about being able to have an active warrant on 3 foes at the same time makes me believe that the +1 warrant for 2 active warrants at 13th level was somehow lost.



Now what about those precincts I mentioned? A total of 5 are provided and they come with quite a slew of abilities: Bounty Hunters are essentially somewhat akin to rangers and adepts at hunting down foes. Divine Justices get a powerful version of smite chaos that also protects them from foes and gain access to a very limited selection of paladin spells and finally may treat weapons for which they have weapon focus as axiomatic. Now if these seem a bit unbalanced in direct comparison, that's mainly because skills and feat-lists as well as starting equipment are also balancing factors . uncommon, but not a bad decision. i actually like it! Some sheriffs are judges, jury and executioner in one person - these sheriffs are not trying to take you in alive - they finish the job then and there and, at 14th level, may for con-rounds make their weapon focus weapon vorpal for one round and reroll misses due to concealment. I'm honestly not comfortable with the vorpal ability at 14th level - but then again, I'm not comfortable with the weapon quality. Still, it seems a bit early for vorpal.



Long Arms of the Law are the firearm specialists - and don't get grit - but do get one ingenious ability - starting at 2nd level, they may, as a free action, add their will-save to their touch AC versus firearms - I would have loved more "anti-grit" abilities like this - the design is solid, but could have been simply awesome. As provided, they are a solid, less risky firearm specialists.



Posse Leaders may deputize NPCs and are essentially capable of temporarily recruiting NPCs depending on their level and increase their abilities to lead others.



We also get 3 mundane items, 4 firearm modifications (different stocks - detachable ones, for example) and the stats for an executioner's sword. We also get 2 different CR 3 sheriffs and 3 statblocks for different posse members.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column standard and the pdf comes with nice full color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked.



Author Sean O'Connor has created a good take on the sheriff-trope that comes with some rather cool precincts and features some abilities I'd really consider well-built and innovative. Taking for example the option to fortify against firearms or the posse leader's recruitment - they are great, but choosing between more options would have made this even cooler. In fact, that's the one thing I could hold against this class - apart from the a tad bit too weak bounty hunter and the potential problem with the vorpal-ability of the JJE-precinct, I enjoyed this class in spite of being relatively linear. In the end, the sheriff is a sufficiently distinct class that could have, with more room and e.g. archetypes and some additional unique powers (why not offer limited grit-access? Why not determine different bonuses based on jurisdiction [theocracy nets other bonuses than magocracies/rural areas...]?) become a true winner.

Within the few pages devoted to it, it works as a solid class that has some excellent ideas that hint at as of yet partially unrealized potential. Speaking of which - the class is, also rather linear when it needn't be - why not tie jurisdiction to categories à la "tyranny", "magocracy" etc. - all worlds tend to have these and providing exclusive modifications for the precincts would have made this class so much cooler and a more versatile experience. Don't get me wrong - the sheriff is by no means a bad class, but it is one very linear one and probably more fitting for NPCs. That being said, we still get a solid offering for a fair price and hence my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform - unless you're looking for an NPC-class - in which case you should consider this a round-up-file of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Sheriff
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[PFRPG] GM's Aid IX: Monster Knowledge Cards II
von Thilo G. [Verifizierter Käufer] Hinzugefügt am: 09/28/2013 10:26:40
An Endzeitgeist.com review

So...I'm going to break my usual format for reviewing here and instead take a look at a deck of cards.



Yes, cards. But what do they contain? Essentially, as the name suggest, Monster Lore - one feature absent (probably for space-reasons) from Paizo's bestiaries. These cards seek to remedy the absence of DC for knowledge checks about the creatures your PCs will encounter. 4 DCs are given per card, one at DC 10, one at DC 15, one at DC 20 and one at DC 25. Alternatively, these DCs could be added to the monster's CR for a more complex formula or modified further due to rarity etc.



At the top of each card, we can read each monster's respective name and at the bottom, we get the appropriate Knowledge-skills for the creature - whether by knowledge of the planes or by religious knowledge or by savoir-faire in the realms of the arcane or of nature, the respective skills can be determined with a quick glance.



Now personally, I'm a huge opponent of giving out crunch-information to PCs via any checks - I am firmly opposed to e.g. spelling out the alignment of NPCs and instead tend to describe a taint clinging to those of evil alignment to minimize the amount of game-terms. Now, it is my pleasure to tell you that the respective cards, when giving out information on the creature's capability, tends to word the respective abilities in a both understandable and concise way without giving away the precise mechanics: While immunities and resistances are laid bare with the higher DCs, e.g. spell-like abilities are described rather than simply listed, helping with the immersion of the PCs in the respective campaign setting. It should also be noted that monster-types also get their card containing general pieces of information on the respective subtype - nice!



Generally, these knowledge-DCs do help the PCs in their dealings with the creatures they encounter, but without laying bare a creatures bones, so to speak. Production-quality-wise, the cards are made from solid cardstock, though not laminated. My deck has a white line at the bottom in the otherwise red borders of the cards. On the backside, we get a picture of 3 Grindylow.



Conclusion:

Production-wise, these cards are well worth their asking price and they offer a way for DMs to both incite players into taking those Knowledge-skills and offer them tangible benefits as well as improved immersion - so in that regard, all's well. The white line at the bottom of the card-deck is a bit annoying, but nothing that would detract from the appeal of the deck and may very well be exclusive to my version, so no penalties there either. But not all is executed in the best possible way - first of all, and that is a personal preference, the respective DCs are always the same - more variation to account for more rare specimen being less known etc. in the basic DCs would have been a diversion from the classic take on these lore-sections, yes, but one I feel would have made sense. Additionally, I REALLY would have loved a small note under the creature's name that denotes the page in the bestiary II in which it is found - it would have made organizing and assigning cards to statblocks so much easier, especially since the very amount of creatures covered is staggering. HOWEVER: I do know that this is not feasible due to license-constraints etc.

Now don't get wrong - this is a supplement that WILL enrich your game and limit the amount of metagaming going on by quite a bit and hence, improve your group's experience while embarking on your quests and overall, should be considered an extremely useful supplement indeed. The pdf, should you opt for it, is formatted so that each page corresponds to one card and clocks in at a whopping 300 pages and comes with bookmarks for easy navigation, should you opt to use it digitally.



And here's the cincher - I'm old-school in that regard and print out EVERYTHING and the physical deck itself, while harder to organize, is simply neat - Handing out cards to players while narrating something going on in game right now makes for a faster flow of gaming and a more immersive one - but if you do opt for the print version, be sure to properly maintain the organization of the deck - I recommend a card-folder. I also use a card-sheathe that allows me to obscure DCs the PCs didn't make when handing these out for added fun. Navigation in the bookmarked pdf, of course, is more simple, but imho also a tad bit less rewarding for the players, but that may be just me.



All in all, this deck is extremely useful and should be considered a neat supplement that enriches your game, if one that by virtue of its medium requires you maintain some organizing discipline. Of course, you may still alternatively just print out about 4 cards per regular paper-page and treat these as a kind of lore-appendix to the Bestiary II, which may be the efficient, if not as fun, middle ground solution. All in all, we get a solid offering here, one well worth of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

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[PFRPG] GM's Aid IX: Monster Knowledge Cards II
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Sheriff
von Megan R. [Häufiger Rezensent] Hinzugefügt am: 08/31/2013 10:51:28
An interesting creature, the Sheriff. Beginning in mediaeval times as a 'Shire-reeve' he was an early law enforcement officer, charged with keeping the peace and dealing with law-breakers in part of a noble's holdings. As law enforcement developed the office faded into obscurity, coming back into prominence in the Old West of the USA when similar conditions of vast areas without any form of policing needed to be brought into order. That's the real world interpretation, of course... and here is a fascinating take on the same office, looking at how it can be made to work in the fantasy context.

As you might expect, a Sheriff must be lawful in alignment - given that his function is to maintain and enforce the law. They need to be good at combat but their skillset reflects the need to investigate wrong-doing too. The Sheriff also needs 'Jurisdiction' - that is, the authority to act within a particular area. A starting Sheriff has a limited area of Jurisdiction, but this expands as he rises in level. Some kind of badge of office is worn to indicate this, and a Sheriff within his Jurisdiction and wearing his badge gains bonuses to his Diplomacy, Knowledge (local), Perception and Sense Motive skills. Neat.

Another interesting ability is called Precinct. Forget a precinct house or geographical area, this is about the particular focus a Sheriff brings to his work. It's a way to customise the character to the particular style of law enforcement you want, and brings tangible benefits in terms of skills, feats and even equipment... but each Precinct also carries a code of conduct to which he must adhere. These in particular have the added advantage of giving motivation to 'go adventuring' as otherwise a Sheriff would pretty well be tied to his Jurisdiction.

The Precincts are Bounty Hunter, Divine Justice (acting on behalf of a deity rather than mortal law), Judge, Jury and Executioner (a kind of Judge Dredd approach), Long Arm of the Law (justice through force) and Posse Leader, who sweeps others up to act as, well, a posse to hunt down lawbreakers.

As a player-character, this should be used with care - a strong player might rather take over the party and direct its path - but if your campaign is built around the concept of bringing order to unexplored or otherwise lawless regions it could be a potent role indeed. If you posit a burgeoning law enforcement structure throughout the area, it could also (at least at low level) provide scope for issuing 'missions' to the Sheriff, and hence the party. As an NPC, a Sheriff could be a useful friend, a patron... or a nemesis!

A neat addition to the Pathfinder ruleset, an option well worth considering. I have this nice murder mystery adventure here...

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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Elves
von Thilo G. [Verifizierter Käufer] Hinzugefügt am: 08/21/2013 08:28:15
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The final installment of the Player's Option-series covering the core races is 11 pages long, with the cover coming as a separate -jpg, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!



After a short introduction on the racially boundaries transcending, star-crossed loves that create half-elves, we kick off with the first variant, so-called strandlings: These get +2 Con, -2 Cha, are amphibious and get a land and a swim speed of 20 ft. as well as low-light vision and familiarity with "elven" in the name and nets and tridents. Nothing to complain here! As an optional variant, selkins are provided, mixtures of terrestrial elves and merfolk - these get +1 natural armor and +1 to saves versus language-dependant spells they cast - which makes no sense - it should either be the DC or they should get this bonus to saves versus spells THEY can cast. They also get +1 to Perform (sing), but lose weapon familiarity and a more limited language selection.



Next up are Wellens, the offspring of two half-elf parents: These get +2 to an ability-score of their choosing, low-light vision, count as elves, get +2 to saves versus enchantment spells and effects, +1 to initiative, +2 to Perception and Cultured as a bonus feat - no complaints here. Both come with full age. height and weight-tables.



We also get 15 new feats - one requiring you to take it at first level and netting you two languages for each rank of linguistics. Not a particular fan of that one, as it further cheapens languages, but that's a personal preference and the 1st level restriction still makes it viable for me. What feels a bit overpowered to me would be the versatile worker feat - rolling each Craft, Profession or Perform check twice and taking the better result feels too strong for my tastes - especially since Craft is relevant for so many times of item-creation. Splitting the feat in two - one for craft and one for profession and perform may be the way to go. Ignoring the penalty to disguise as races or ethnicity are neat, as are flashes of insight that net +2 initiative and a 20% chance for a +1 bonus to CL with divinations. Also rather cool is a feat that makes you a good pantomime, allowing you to use diplomacy sans a shared language (and potentially silent!). Speaking of diplomacy - the inclusive feat helps with humanoid interactions. Ancestral understanding nets you two class skills of your choice at first level.



Also interesting, not in benefits, but in mechanics, is a feat that allows you to choose either +3, +2 or +1 -and up to three humanoid subtypes, improving either your social powers with one by +3, one by +2 and the other +1 - you get the idea. We also get a complex, cool feat for half-elven stone-rope equipment tricks, providing, depending on your other abilities, up to 6 effects - Let me spell it out: This one is awesome! Two thumbs up for it! Less awesome would be Heritage Compounds, which allows you to enhance either direct hit damage, duration, DC or atk of alchemical items you use - the thing is, the feat lacks crucial information: How many items can be imbued per day? Do mutagens and formula count as alchemical items for the purpose of this feat? Once again cool is the Gemini Style - allowing you to count as having a free hand while wielding a weapon to e.g. snatch arrows. The two follow-up feats of the style allow users of dazzling display to count as if benefiting from concealment or substitute all attacks of your flurry of blows for combat maneuvers. neat one - powerful, but also hard to get.



Next up are 8 new flaws - from an alienating heritage to essentially a dissociative disorder, we get 8 really cool flaws that once again make an excellent addition to the pdf.



The pdf closes with items - chakram bucklers, curved bows (mundane and regular) as well as the half-elven stone rope and a lucky coin - all killer here



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect - I noticed some minor slip-ups here and there. layout adheres to 4WFG's two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but at this length (barely) doesn't need them.



Author Ryan Costello Jr. has created some awesome feats and content herein and balance-wise, i have nothing to complain this time around. Half-elves usually make for relatively bland supplements and honestly, I didn't expect to like this pdf as much as I did - mostly, these options are interesting, balanced and viable, lending more distinct options for the half-breeds that one is accustomed to. While some of the feats herein are not as awesome as I would have liked and while there are some minor ambiguities in one feat, generally this is a very good offering that has a couple of pieces inside that had me smile indeed- hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Orcs
von Thilo G. [Verifizierter Käufer] Hinzugefügt am: 07/29/2013 02:53:17
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The penultimate (as far as I know) part of the race-centric Player's Options-pdfs is 13 pages long, 1 page editorial (cover is a separate .jpg), 1 page SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



The first variant race we get is the orc-kith - a being with some blood of orcs in their lineage, but not enough to make them half-orcs. They get +2 to an ability of their choice, normal speed, darkvision, +1 to intimidate and diplomacy, skill focus as a bonus feat, count as orcs for respective effects and get orc ferocity. *drumroll* NOTHING TO COMPLAIN! In fact, I really like these! I'll introduce them into my game! Nice job!



The second racial variant are the sharukh - spawn bred from orcs and dwarves and most likely not from consensual intercourse. Crunch-wise, they get +2 to Str and Wis, -2 to Cha, get 20 ft. movement and no armor penalties to movement, darkvision 60 ft. and when reduced to below 1/4 HP and without conscious allies around, they get +2 to atk and AC, +1 to Knowledge (dungeoneering) and Survival made underground and count as both orcs and dwarves. And surprise - I like this one as well! I REALLY like this one as well! Again: Two thumbs up - also thanks to the height and weight table.



Next up are 18 new feats - and they are actually interesting, essentially introducing a class of feats called "storm" feats - they have in common that they work in the first round of combat/surprise round, adding damage to your attacks as you wade into combat: Whether dealing +1d4 damage, gaining additional attacks at -5 to atk, daze foes for one round etc. A cool idea that carries with it the idea of the orcs crushing into melee - especially with the chance to reposition foes. Offsetting cha-penalties (but no chance for retries) and capitalizing on exotic allure are also fitting and while not brilliant in their execution, can serve to make uncommon character concepts viable. And then there are the ferocity feats - and these are imho what racial feats should be about: Enhancing racial abilities. Take e.g. ferocious maneuver - while ferocity is active, you do not provoke AoOs for bull rush, disarm, steal, sunder and trip attempts. Awesome! Also extremely cool: Grit your tusks - when raging and failing a save, you regain 1 round of rage, up to your daily maximum and only once per round, limiting what could have been overpowered and turning it into awesomeness. Have I mentioned the goblinoid/orc-centric leadership variant herein that could easily serve as a template for any number of evil leadership feats? Seriously - these feats are actually intriguing, smart and varied - two thumbs up!



6 new flaws, in the established awesome quality of the series are also part of the deal - and while I personally abject to masochism being portrayed as a flaw, I won't hold that against the pdf since the execution of the flaws per se is neat - whether black lungs or cannibalism, the drawbacks are interesting indeed.



Finally, we get gear - a new slaver's whip, orc iron jaws, an arena mask, kits for seeming human and scarification and liberation jewelry that denotes you're no longer a slave - interesting for e.g. Andorans...



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to 4WFG's two column b/w-standard with some beautiful full color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Designer Josh McCrowell has done a great job here - I actually consider both races balanced and well-crafted and love what he has done with the classes of feats - resulting in the by far best supplement in the series so far, offering well-crafted, interesting options for half-orcs and definitely enhancements to your game - my final verdict hence will clock in at enthusiastic 5 stars + seal of approval. Congrats to the author and PDG/4WFG!

Endzeitgeist out.

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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Elves
von Megan R. [Häufiger Rezensent] Hinzugefügt am: 07/26/2013 09:54:20
This is a quite interesting, if a bit random, collection of thoughts, game mechanics and useful items on the topic of the Half-Elf... well worth a look if you play one, or if you GM them.

It starts with a discourse on the dissociation half-elves feel. Based on the wildly-differing life-spans of their human and elven parents, many come from broken homes and even when parents stay together their halfbreed children never quite seem to live up to expectation... naturally causing difficulty for both parents and children alike.

We then read of two particular types of half-elf, complete with full game mechanical information for those wishing to play them. These are the Strandlings, children of aquatic elves and land-living humans (or land-living elves and merfolk), and Wellens, the result when two half-elves have children. Wellens are particularly interesting because they do not feel so much at odds with the rest of the world as most half-breeds.

Next comes a collection of feats designed with half-elves in mind. Take care, several need to be taken when the character is created (such as Ancestral Understanding), but they are an interesting array, seeking to highlight the particular uniqueness of half-elves.

If you use Player's Options: Flaws there are some new ones for half-elf characters to consider, mostly ones highlighting that dissociation caused by being neither human nor elven. Played with care, these could prove impetus for potent role-playing (or could end up in self-indulgent wallowing, don't go overboard!).

Finally, there are a few new items of equipment designed for or by half-elves. Interestingly, there are some weapons developed out of a half-elvish response to outsiders assuming that half-elves have the same natural proficiencies as elves! These should be fun to experiment with...

A nice collection, highlighting the distinctive traits of half-elves - not the best of both elf and human, perhaps, but interesting in their own right.

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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Elves
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[M&M] Deus ex Historica: Polkovnik Oktober
von Megan R. [Häufiger Rezensent] Hinzugefügt am: 07/03/2013 10:59:05
An interesting one, this - not really a super-villain at all... for one, he has no super-powers. Moreover, he's not a 'villain' in the strict sense of the word, although nationalistic super-heroes may find themselves in opposition to him as he is a loyal communist spy in the service of the Soviet Union.

Being firmly rooted in communist-era USSR however, unless your game is set during the Cold War you will have to decide what such a loyal communist did once the Iron Curtain came down. You may choose to have him remaining loyal to his ideals and seeking out those who wish to reestablish communism, or he may become a 'freelance' spy operating for hire. (Remember MICE - the basic reasons for anyone to become a spy: Money, Ideals, Country and Excitement!)

The background presents Polkovnik Oktober as an athletic close-combat expert with disguise skills, good at both unarmed combat and gun-play. He is a competent assassin but can lose control of himself and tends to be confrontational rather than subtle. It's not very clear where - if? - he'd fit in to a non-espionage based standard supers game.

His costume is not clear, either - vague references to a red hood and military-style garb coupled with a greyscale sketch. If you know classical Russian military uniforms, you might imagine a variant of a gymnasterka (shirt-tunic) and breeches with jack boots - a style that was dropped in the 1960s, but fits in well with his somewhat antique views on the merits of communism!

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[M&M] Deus ex Historica: Polkovnik Oktober
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