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Little Black Drug Book
by Lucas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2015 01:14:14
Great little 2 dollar campaign enhancer. Not for every group or every story, but when you need balanced drugs, this will give you your fix.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Little Black Drug Book
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Obsidian Apocalypse: Players Guide (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/08/2015 02:51:29
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 2 pages char-sheets, 1 page monster-mini-sheets, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let's take a look!



So, what do we have here? A collection of the racial traits of the Obsidian Apocalypse races, with reprints of the racial traits? No, this supplement is all about new content supplementing the unique races of the obsidian apocalypse campaign toolbox. We begin, without any introduction or the like, with Zebadiah's progeny, the celestial-blooded Exalted - interestingly, this content, though, is not presented in a cut and dry manner, instead providing nice pieces of introductory prose for each of the races covered before providing favored class options that fit in interesting ways with the base races - take for example the one for the monks: Utilizing the angelic wings racial trait, it enhances the speed of movement via these wings, actually enhancing the unique racial tricks of the race. Guardian Angel clerics replace the option to cause harm with their channel energy with an AoE-alignment-based sanctuary-like effect- solid and makes nice use of the concept of guardian rituals on a lesser scale. Avenging Angels barbarians receive wing attacks that do mention correctly the effects of using wings as weapons, but should probably determine their type as well - still, fully functional. Scaling soulsword and modified DR/SR complement a solid archetype here.



The Genesai witch can learn to enhance the unnatural aura and in a pretty cool manner, the racial archetype for the ranger takes this aura, ties it to the favored enemy class feature and renders the result surprisingly nice for such a small archetype - like it! Dark Comic bards can replace three buffing performances (inspire courage, competence and soothing performance) with pretty cool debuffs, the last of which may even preclude creatures from targeting the victim of it with beneficial effects - the concise wording does get this concept right in as few words as possible.



The Harrowed's FCOs unfortunately sports one minor issue for the paladin "Add +1 to your roll when you channel positive energy against undead or haunts." -that is supposed to be the DAMAGE roll, I think. The Harrowed Predator barbarian receives what amounts to lifesight and gains life from vanquishing foes - and yes, the archetype is kitten-proof! Grave caller summoners are locked into the undead appearance evolution at 1st level. The signature ability is at once great and woefully problematic - the grave caller can create temporary haunts that duplicate spells, which do not need to be on the summoner spell list a limited amount of times per day, but only while the eidolon is not manifested. The issue here is obvious - this is an insanely overpowered wildcard of haunts, essentially access to all spells ever without knowing them. Worse, the archetype does not provide a guideline for the creation of haunts, meaning that notice DC, reset time etc. are issues for most players. I like the general notion and the mechanic that rewards the eidolon not being always active, something seen all too rarely, but overall, I wished this had limited the spell-selection and provided proper haunt-creation guidelines for the purpose of this ability instead of remaining opaque.



The Infernals receive FCO-powered increases of their limited use racial abilities and the paladin archetype for them is law-themed and receives an aura that reduces the elemental resistances of evil outsiders in the proximity, while also, at high levels, learning to prevent the calling in of reinforcements of hostile outsiders. On the evil side, demonic servitor oracles get a fiendish familiar, but are also easily tracked due to their infernal stench. Solid.



The Khymer generally also get cool FCOs, including ranegrs that learn to sustain the host-bodies of favored enemies for a longer duration. Sorcerors can opt for the hemotheurgical leech-archetype, which allow for the borrowing of bloodline powers depending on the host body entered - and yes, the mechanics actually work! This one was very impressive in my book, especially since it also helps the DM with sample bloodline suggestions. This is simple, but also provides pretty unique options. Two thumbs up! Body Snatcher rogues may use sneak attack to intrude foes, gaining the option to issue commands to the targets, later scaling up in potency and effect to dominate monster, while also getting full-blown body invasion against helpless foes. Additionally, bonuses when inhabiting large or small foes complement one awesome archetype - I adore this one and its quick body-switching. Kudos!



The Lykian race can opt for increases of the damage-output of their already pretty much impressive array of natural weapons via FCOs and receives an alchemist archetype of all things - instead of swift alchemy, they learn to make alter self-like mutagens to conceal their nature and conceal their presence as humans, later increasing the potency to beast shape II and its options. The archetype also sports unique discoveries that are pretty much awesome: What about a bomb that cuts down the incubation period of diseased characters? Yeah, pretty cool! The other options also are unique: When a target believes it has turned into a wolf, the imagery is nice. Alas, the wording here, while not bad, could be more precise: So the target tries to attack with "natural weapons only" - how does this work with creatures that have no natural weapons? I assume the default would be unarmed attacks - if so, does the target incur attacks of opportunity? Does the target drop weapons held? Can the target opt to hold on to the weapon and attack at penalty? This one needs some work to properly. Other than this hiccup, which can be solved by a good GM, this is pretty much awesome.



The Osirion's range-increment-increase for necromantic hellfire lacks the unit of measurement feet beyond the "Add +1", but that remains a cosmetic glitch. The archetypes allow gunslingers to gain an arcane pool that applies only to the gunslinger's firearm and lace bullets with necromantic hellfire as well as minor arcana abilities. The arcane tattooist wizard archetype is interesting - instead of spellbooks, they inscribe spells upon their flesh. As a free action, a tattooist can cause a learned spell to appear for "his study" - I assume that refers to preparation - not a fan of infinite spellbook-trickery. An arcane tattooist can inscribe a number of tattoos equal to his level in each magical item slot. Activating a tattoo in a slot wherein another tattoo is active ends the effect of the former. Overall, I consider this one to be slightly too strong.



Clockwork prometheans can become clockwork mount-riders and may repair the mounts as well. I'm not sold here - the clockwork benefits greatly outperform the basic animal's traits and a cavalier's mount already is VERY powerful at low levels. Add to that the lack of a need for handling the construct mount and we have an imbalance here. The lack of payout for this component makes me consider this archetype in need of some slight rebalancing. promethean machinesmiths may opt for the new Mobius Body greatwork, which gets 1/2 class levels + Int mod charges per day. On a nitpicky side, the minimum 1-caveat only extends to the class level, so theoretically, a machinesmith with a negative Int-mod (an absurdity) would end with 0 charges at first level. Now granted, this is only a glitch on a design-aesthetic perspective, no any viable glitch, but I still figured I'd mention it - rest assured it does not impede the final verdict. Said charges can be used as a swift action to increase Str- or Dex-based skill-checks by 1d4, upgrading said die-size at higher levels and also learning to negate negative conditions via the expenditure of more charges. The augmentations allow for SP-like effects to buff physical-attributes, extra limbs for the purpose of swift action item retrieval. The improved extra limb addition upgrades this to a fully functional off-hand, which is pretty nasty. Only two such additional hands can be added, though, with the second only becoming available at 10th level.



The Flesh prometheans have a cut copy paste error that denotes their chapter as "Promethean, Clockwork" - a rather obvious glitch that should have been caught in editing. Wildman druids replace wild shape and nature's bond with a hunter's animal focus, applying the animal aspect to herself and benefiting from an unlimited duration, with 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter adding +1 aspect. Now said additional aspects have a duration, which has to be spent in 1-minute increments. Personally, I think the ability would have benefited from explicitly stating this distinction/ option to stack additional animal aspects on the first, especially since the ability fails to mention whether more than the base and a second animal aspect can be stacked on another. The inquisitor archetype here is particularly resilient against madness/confusion-inducing abilities and spells and also receives this bonus to sanity-checks if you're playing with these rules. Instead of greater bane, these guys can inflict temporary insanities on foes and gains more domain powers.



The Raijin's FCOs allow the character to help mitigate conflicts of interest with the avenging spirits powering them. The Sword of Vengeance fighter gains a hatred pool (which lacks an editing glitch of 3 blank spaces missing) equal to Cha-mod, minimum 1. This pool, much like grit, can be refreshed by rolling a natural 20 on an Intimidate check or landing a killing blow against undead - both kitten-proof'd, btw.! Now pretty cool would be the fact that pool interaction etc. is covered and discussed. Deed-wise, immediate action 5-foot steps +2 AC-bonus versus triggering attack, barb-rage (with rage power-crossover, if applicable!) etc. Now overall, I like this one, though I am pretty weary of the high-level ability that allows for hatred (a limited, refreshing resource)to power rage powers (when barbarian rage is a limited, non-refreshing resource), but it is still functional.



The final race covered would be the Uzamati, whose FCOs for example allow cavaliers to extend the duration of necromantic phasing by +1 round. Among the archetypes, the Rift Mystic monk can ignore natural armor, armor and shields with unarmed strikes a limited amount of times per day, replacing stunning fist while still retaining the rules-language required to potentially combine them. Nice! Using phasing and ref-saves to negate attacks may not be particularly elegant regarding competing throws, but at least the math did show that the ability is conservative enough to be feasible sans being too reliable. High level mystics may discorporate foes. The new hexes provided here allow for quicker duration lapses of spells and also provide options to temporarily age foes, cause starvation or progress diseases by one day. Now while most diseases work on a daily basis, highly virulent strains could render this instantly lethal, so if your campaign does feature such uncommon diseases, that's something to bear in mind - settling on a one-step progression along the disease's progression track would have been slightly more elegant.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting is good on a formal level - there are some glitches, cut-copy-paste errors etc. Rules-language is pretty concise and only very rarely sports minor ambiguities, so good job there! Layout adheres to LPJr Design's beautiful full-color 2-column standard with several original, gorgeously nightmarish full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Jacob W. Michaels actually does deliver herein -I did not expect to like this player-guide, but I ended up enjoying it much more than I thought I would. Why? because it gets right what many similar pdfs fail at: A good racial archetype not only ties in with the race's unique individual flavor, but also ties in the best cases the unique mechanics of a given race to a class feature, making the racial archetype truly unique. To a lesser extent, this also applies to FCOs and this pdf gets both components triumphantly right. In fact, while there are quite a bunch of small archetypes, not one of them is boring. NOT ONE. My dislike for small archetypes tends to be grounded in a bland reconfiguration of content that usually just elicits yawns - instead, the archetypes herein not only tie class and race abilities together, they do so in an interesting manner.



Now, if you've been following my reviews, you'll recall two things: One, Obsidian Apocalypse's races are slightly stronger than core-races, so be aware of that. Two, some of the races have slight wording ambiguities. Now the intriguing feat this pdf accomplishes would be that it manages to actually circumvent these issues. It takes a truly skillful designer to pull something like this off. Finally, there is another reason I like this book - its flavorful, fun amount of cool fluff that made this pdf actually exciting to read.



So yes, I am not 100% sold on some of the abilities herein and yes, there are some rough edges herein. But know what? I'll take a glitch here and there in interesting mechanics over boring content that's perfect any day - and the overall package works for me pretty well. As long as you don't expect perfection and/or fixes for the more problematic race-hiccups, this will be a blast for you, offering damn cool options for all those delightfully grim races. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars - round down if the aforementioned glitches rub you the wrong way; but if you're like me and prefer unique mechanics and properly-tied race/class-synergies, round up instead.

Endzeitgeist out

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Obsidian Apocalypse: Players Guide (PFRPG)
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Daily Spell List (PFRPG)
by Ronald G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2015 18:18:59
Tired of the miniscule area for spells on the standard Pathfinder character sheet? At last! A fantastic spell specific sheet to record all the spells your caster needs to keep track of. Love that there are different sizes for characters of different classes or levels so your character portfolio doesn't become crowded. WELL worth the nominal price. Put it in your cart right now.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Daily Spell List (PFRPG)
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Adventure Path Iconics: Lords of Undeath (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2015 02:41:43
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page combat & initiative tracker, 1 page mini-sheets, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look!



What do we get herein? Well, essentially - pregens. Pregens using the unique character options that have been introduced in Obsidian Apocalypse's more recent offerings. The pregens are provided as 20-point-buy characters, with information on increase and decrease to the established 15- and 25-point standard. Each character comes with a per se well-written background story and advice on level progressions.



The first character would be Alberdeen, an uzamati (not uztamati, as the pdf one time puts it)magus who is suffering from seeing the state the world is now after the apocalypse. He is pretty much a standard magus, set apart only by the race - longsword? Check. Shocking Grasp? Check. Not much to say about him.



The second character would be Joa, a flesh promethean barbarian that could have come directly from a Tim Burton movie - were it not for the great and rather nightmarish story - for the body in which Joa was re-created is that of a patchwork woman, while the spirit within identifies as male. Bravo for tackling this taboo topic.



Mixer, the clockwork promethean alchemist provided herein, is, unsurprisingly, asexual, being a brain in a jar on a clockwork body - more interestingly here would be the awesome, chilling narrative on HOW the amoral being of mixer came to life - and no, I am not going to spoil how, just that shoving fragments of vials into eyes and a self-lobotomy are involved. And yes, this constitutes my favorite background story. The clockwork promethean's (overly) powerful traits are somewhat offset by an uncommon focus on melee.



The final character herein would be Siriah, a raijin cavalier and powerful force of vengeance created from tragedy. Siriah is by far the most powerful of the characters herein, btw. - with greatsword, lance and raijin abilities, she surpasses the other characters.



Conclusion:
editing and formatting are okay - the pdf does sport a bunch of glitches, though - from not being able to decide on how many Rs there are in Siriah to bolding errors and cut-cop-paste glitches in the point-buy boxes, this pdf could have used a closer glimpse. Layout adheres to Obsidian Apocalypse's two-column standard with a gorgeous full-color artwork for each character. The pdf has one bookmark per character.



Alexander Augunas' pregens here are varied and this pdf does sport my favorite pregen background story EVER, so that would be something going for this pdf. Now that being said, this pdf does suffer from the base-races used to make the content here not being perfectly balanced among one another. The difference in power-level of the characters themselves is exacerbated by the difference in racial power-levels, so take these with a grain of warning.

I am also not particularly excited about this pdf not working as stand-alone - the cool builds utilize rules of the non-standard races, that's the premise. But without the proper book, one has an issue playing e.g. the raijin - or the other characters. The immunities granted by subtypes and races could have used a brief explanation -that way, this pdf could have served as a kind of teaser for the proper racial books while being self-contained. As provided, this is one of the weaker API-installments, with editing glitches etc. rendering this less compelling for me than I expected. If you already have the OA-books and want pregens, you should be aware of the different power-levels and assign pregens accordingly to player capabilities.



In the end, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 since, the +0.5 stems primarily from me really loving the prose.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Path Iconics: Lords of Undeath (PFRPG)
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Vehicles of Legend (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/28/2015 06:43:26
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Okay, the first vehicle herein is called the Calamar - and is a massive, bronze kraken. Yes, including deadly tentacle and arm-attacks. We're talking about a WAR-KRAKEN SUBMERSIBLE!! I thought "..of legend" was a bit much, but oh boy, what a furious first one! Better yet, beyond the default stats, the vehicle also receives a means for an emergency escape - heck yes! Do you prefer your vehicles less far out? Well the 1/day teleporting Century Osprey may then be just what you're looking for, especially thanks to the magical ballistae!



Speaking of superb - the Doom-Lord's Chariot would be the sarcophagus of a vanquished ancient lich, which is now used as a chariot that coincidentally can channel the energy of spells via the lenses of the sarcophagus, enhancing their potency. Even worse, the damn cool vehicle also contains a dread secret, but one I am not going to spoil for you... Thought this was nasty? You haven't seen the frost giant's war tower, a massive mobile fortress of destruction that DEMANDS to be used! What about a dirigible powered by mildly euphoric gasses, with a crew of drugged out air mephits as a crew?



The colossal iron leviathan would be a massive submersible in the shape of the iconic master of the seas. The Nomad of the Void would be a plane's walker's vessel, shielding its passengers from the rigors of the planes, whereas the Shrike as a mobile aerial hunter, can launch alchemical death upon foes and makes for a great representation of the steampunk dogfighter. An appropriate vessel for the terrestrial transportation of the discerning noble/mage, the intelligent carriage of Sir Cullen, the carriage offers means to not only create illusory horses, it can actually threaten foes and yes, trample adversaries. The final vehicle, the stygian warwagon, drawn by cauchemar nightmares, is a deadly thing of obsidian and destructive potential and rounds out a supplement of utterly impressive imaginative potential.



The final page is devoted to a vehicle-sheet for your convenience.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to a gorgeous two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports bookmarks for your convenience. The pdf comes with thematically fitting full-color art, though you won't find direct representations of the vessels themselves.



Jeff Lee's vehicles of legend went completely under my radar. I only recently realized this pdf exists at all and honestly...ladies and gentlemen, this is a hidden gem. The name may sound pompous, but this book delivers. There is not a single "good" or mediocre vessel herein - literally each and every vessel herein is pure awesomeness. Each and every vessel does something mechanically unique and combines awesome special abilities with imagery that had me salivating like crazy. This book is exceedingly inspired, extremely affordable and downright fun to boot. I was honestly quite shocked when I realized for how long this went under my radar. I absolutely adore this supplement and the superb vessels herein. I absolutely recommend you get these inspired vessels - literally all-killer, no filler, this does no retread old tropes and can be considered perhaps the best vehicle supplement out there. A thoroughly impressive book and well worth 5 stars + seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vehicles of Legend (PFRPG)
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NeoExodus Chronicles: Weapons of Machinesmith Destruction (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/30/2015 03:23:14
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for LPJr Design's neat Machinesmith-class clocks in at 14 pages, 2 pages advertisement, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



We begin with a new greatwork, the constructor - this greatwork occupies the head-slot and can be used to create items instantaneously from thin air. And yes, if you've been following my reviews, you'll realize that the very concept is a hornet's nest - weight-limits, masterwork items, material restrictions, etc. - there is a lot to take into account. Now here's the cincher - the items are fleeting and come with material and weight-restrictions that, believe it or not, prevent abuse. The necessity to know what you want to make prevents the manifestation of fitting keys from thin air (unless the DM is lenient) and the restrictions even manage to maintain the balancing scarcity/price-level of firearms, clockworks etc. - Which renders the greatwork's basic capabilities one impressive feat of design. Kudos!



Now where a basic nod from me becomes a full-blown grin would be with the progression of the upgrades of the greatwork - here, steel and yes, even progressive magic item creation on a temporary basis become possible. If you even remotely think about the very notion, you'll realize the sheer amount of issues this necessarily creates - and will realize what an impressive feat the avoidance of just all of these problems is. The rules presented are so concise, they even take destructible items à la staves of the magi into account - oh, and the upgrades come at times, when the creation of firearms etc. from thin air become more than valid and not unbalancing. The permanent item creation at capstone levels, feat-interaction - this greatwork is a mechanical beauty and should be considered the reference work for crunch like this. Yes, charges etc. are covered. I can't stress enough how much I enjoyed this greatwork and want to stress that yes, this makes non-magic crazy-prepared characters very much within the realm of possibility.



We also receive new machinesmith tricks - analyzers allow for the rerolls of natural 1s, faster motion analysis and a pretty cool idea: Scanning spells from scrolls to cast them on the fly via the analyzer - once again a hornet's nest of design to cover that manages to get expensive components, etc. - all RIGHT! Mechanus augmentations have a different formatting for their header than the other tricks. The tricks here include additional charges, storing and launching drones from the mechanus, adding poison-biting capacity and even providing a rudimentary intelligence - yes, complete with a limited skill- and feat-list. Moebius suits can have crossbows/firearms installed, can provide monk-style improved unarmored strikes and higher level suit-wearers may even dimension door or spell turn.



If you have a moebius weapon, a crit-stunning impact hammer, additional, charge-costing attacks and progressive replacement of str/dex with into for attacks/damage (with multiple taking of the trick providing progressively better replacements) as well as bleed damage and maneuver-enhancers provide for neat tricks. The aforementioned new constructor can create more items, recall them or produce on greater scales - and at high levels , execute mage's disjunction. The augmentations provided for the converter include environmental attunement, short-range fire-novas and high-level time stops.



Of course, we also receive an array of new gadgets - from alchemical sprayer (including improvements and concise mechanics), crank-powered third arms these are just as awesome - and I'm saying that before the more unique options, like deploying melee-turret-style fighting bots, instant-minimoat-creating brass worms, folding horses, flamethrowers, pneumatic launchers and portable cannons enter the fray. What about circular saws? One-man rampage armors? Dune-style water-purification devices? Sound-based stunners? Yeah. Awesome!



The techniques provided include losing prepared prototypes for greater dispel magic or even share their tricks - the techniques herein may be less flashy than the aforementioned options, but they nevertheless are powerful, nifty options. Finally, we also receive numerous new prototypes, some of which utilize the new and concisely-defined construct-subschool - here, we get animated swordsmen and shieldbearers, concussive bombs, emergency stabilizing constructs, electroshock coils for weapons, explosive tips for ammunition, prototypes tailor-made to blow locks apart and even vibro-blade enhancements.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, but the one component I could complain about - the formatting of the titles and subtitles is not consistent. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with gorgeous full-color art - all original and as beautiful as you'd expect. The pdf's printer-friendly second version is also in full-color - and less than 1 mb! I thought at first something went wrong with my download, but no - fully functional. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



This pdf can be summed up in "Stepping up your game." After the evocative, but rushed and flawed first two machinesmith expansions, I was not looking forward to this one - and oh boy was I wrong! LPJr Design's high-concept books have a surprisingly pervasive way of sneaking into my games, even when I complained to no end regarding a flawed piece of crunch or another - there is usually this sense of pure joy, of high-concept awesomeness in the books. Know what? This one marries this unmitigated joy with crunch mastery of some of the most difficult-to-execute, complex systems for one simply inspired expansion. I am not kidding when I'm saying that this utterly blew me away and that it should be considered a must-own pdf for any user of the machinesmith. Even if you don't use the class, any steampunk/magepunk/whatever-system can benefit from the wealth of riches and precisely-executed crunch. Unless I'm sorely mistaken, this was the first such pdf by Jonathan Palmer I've read (I know him mainly from some Headless Hydra supplements, magic item supplements and the basic machinesmith) - and I definitely want more - Sir, my hat's off to you for this glorious expansion. Same goes for LPJr Design - this level of quality definitely deserves accolades! My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval - and yes, I am very glad I am able to dish out this verdict - the machinesmith deserves tools of this quality.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NeoExodus Chronicles: Weapons of Machinesmith Destruction (PFRPG)
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World of Obsidian Apocalypse: Life After Undeath (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/15/2015 03:19:54
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion to LPJr Design's glorious apocalypse-toolbox clocks in at 25 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving 21 pages. Of these, one is a buff-sheet, 2 are devoted to a character-sheet, 1 to a combat/initiative tracker sheet and 1 to micro-monster-sheets, leaving us with 16 pages of content, so let's take a look!



We begin, as in the core-book for these apocalypses, with a very brief timeline of destruction in the last 100 years, explaining how things gradually became worse and worse - this time around, the very veil separating life from death has thinned - dangerously so. Sounds familiar? Well, this is essentially Obsidian Apocalypse's Ghostwalk. So how does this work?



When a character dies, he rolls 1d20 + level. If the result is 25+. the character becomes riven, rejecting the threshold of death. Riven change their type to undead (augmented humanoid), do not age, radiate an aura appropriate for the alignment, gain the unnatural aura ability and, they lose their constitution score, instead using Cha for fort-saves, special abilities etc. They thus also become immune to fort-save prompting saves unless they also affect objects. They are destroyed when reaching 0 HP and can heal damage on their own. Riven do not eat, drink, sleep or breathe and cannot reproduce or have sexual desires.

Now pretty interesting, the riven may progress in a kind of 10-level racial paragon class, with d8, 3/4 BAB-progression, good will-saves and they progress darkvision and continue to receive the numerous missing immunities the undead usually receive - in the first 3 levels. They also receive scaling channel resistance and natural armor. They also receive undead-themed spell-like abilities - alas, without specifying the CL - I assume = character level, but I'm not sure. Extremely interesting, the rive also receive a pain pool - the points in this pool can be used to heal creatures...I assume. Why? Because the Transfer Pain ability is terribly opaque. "First, as a standard action, the riven can touch an injured creature to heal it, adding points to his pain pool equal to the damage healed." - so, does this mean the riven takes the HP as damage? This, alas, is not specified. The Riven may then inflict damage equal to any number of points in the pain pool by executing a touch attack. The points last for cha-mod rounds, but have no caveat for expiring. So, what this effectively means is: INFINITE HEALING! For the whole party! BROKEN!!! URGH. This alone would be enough to disqualify the class in my games, but add the copious immunities at low levels and the lame high level abilities and we have a thoroughly unbalanced class that would have benefited from tighter control, a smoother dispersal of immunities... etc.



The second racial paragon class, the sundered, has one thing in common with the riven - it does not mention class skills per level or a list thereof. The Sundered are also undead, much like the riven, but they also receive the ethereal creature special ability. Note that they thus become immaterial and invisible. Permanently. It should be noted that such creatures, unless they utilize special tricks, cannot influence the material plane. This requires the sundered 10-level racial paragon-class, for example. Sundered can manifest character level times/day and maintain this for cha-mod rounds and the sundered remains incorporeal when manifested. At 10th level, sundered may manifest as physical creatures. The racial paragon-class receives d8, good will-saves, 3/4 BAB-progression. Alas, the immunities of these spirits utilize a similar, even more front-heavy ability progression, meaning that yes, I still consider this pretty broken. Now worse - ethereal as a constant ability means that the sundered, as depicted, will sit around, unable to interact with most material plane creatures, NPCs etc. - it's the spectator-race! Note that etherealness specifically is defined as being only influenced by force effects and abjurations originating on the prime material plane, BUT NOT vice versa. Yeah. Unpleasant.



Cooler would be the idea that undead gaining a level may see their soul and body severed, allowing for some overlap between the two races - which would be rather elegant, but note that the instant-death clause of the save can provide excessive frustration for the PLAYERS - you level up, botch one roll and die? This is design-wise not a good idea. Why not tie this whole mechanic to another, more linear mechanic and instead tie it to gradual HP-degradation, for example?



The pdf goes on to provide advice for handling undead PCs and how certain classes have their class features modified and a short, but relatively uninspired spectral crusader paladin archetype can be found. Next up would be an array of different racial feats for undead, riven and sundered. Cloaking your undead nature is pretty cool and stealing an item, bringing it into the ethereal is cool - but why should I pay for that when it's pretty much a necessary basic and required ability for the sundered? Extensions of the numerical abilities of the racial paragon class. Riven temporarily turning incorporeal, causing negative energy at touch, massive resistances to resist the severing - the feats generally are well-crafted, but a lot of them feel like they ought to have been included in the base race, instead of having the racial paragon classes spam undead immunities at low levels.



Magic item-wise, sundered wanting to use items will require a +2 new enchantment - which pretty much cripples their magic item arrays. We also receive 8 new specific magic items and, once again, they are pretty interesting, focused on dealing with the undead and spirits. A total of 4 very brief organization synopses can generally be considered neat, as can the 4 nice settlements.



The pdf closes with concise and generally, solid advice for DMs GMing the undead.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are pretty good on a formal level, I can't complain in that regard. Layout adheres to the gorgeous two-column full-color standard of Obsidian Apocalypse and the artwork is thematically-fitting, cool full-color stock. The pdf sports no bookmarks.



Rich Redman is a great designer, yes. And yes, I am pretty much a total fanboy of Obsidian Apocalypse and Ghostwalk. Alas, this pdf does not manage to really blend these well - Don't get me wrong: I love the blending it does and the fluff, the idea to codify the undead immunities in the racial paragon class - I just wished the immunities and classes were more smooth in their ability-grants. I wished the sundered would actually work - the whole ethereal ability dooms the character to passivity for most of the time, which is just a bad decision. Why not eliminate immunities and go incorporeal instead? That would still be a unique playing experience and once you could easily balance. As written, the base races at the heart of this product have issues and that radiates outwards. However, it should be noted that the supplemental material herein is pretty much cool and inspired, but also flawed. The pdf can be a neat scavenging ground, but alas, falls short of true excellence, with missing skills etc. No FCOs for the races, no alternate racial abilities - all of these show quite clearly the potential which is instead covered by feats, imposing an unnecessarily steep feat-tax. Balancing could have been much smoother here. Still, at the end, I can't bring myself to dislike this book - it does have some cool ideas, unrefined though the crunch may be. My final verdict hence will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded up by a margin.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
World of Obsidian Apocalypse: Life After Undeath (PFRPG)
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Image Portfolio 1.11 Superhero
by Sheldon F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2015 00:02:59
My first review was founded on incorrect assumptions; you can read more details on the discussion page.

The artwork is well-done, and has been clarified to be modifiable, and my worries about a license fee have been satisfied.

In short, I have no further concerns, and have rated this piece appropriately.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio 1.11 Superhero
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Obsidian Apocalypse: Players Guide (PFRPG)
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/07/2015 19:20:54
This is a very cool introduction to a dark, twisted setting where the Apocolypse didn't just happen, it IS happening. This PDF is 24 pages long, including the OGL and front cover. It includes 20+ pages of racial archetypes, class options, and more... all customized for the Obsidian Apocalypse Campaign Setting. It also includes printable character sheets for Obsidian characters (pages 21-23).

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Obsidian Apocalypse: Players Guide (PFRPG)
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Obsidian Apocalypse (PFRPG)
by will S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2015 10:42:05
I picked this up with moderate expectations for some bits to pick up and use in my own writing, and campaign, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this book is. The take on core races is refreshing, and interesting while the new races show a great deal, of not only creativity, but thought to make them balanced. The chapters on various different types of apocalypse has inspired me to work on my own post-apoc setting, and you can bet that I will be using a great deal of the information that is in this book. I am very happy to have picked up this book, and I will be on the look out for more great books by this publisher. Good work!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Obsidian Apocalypse (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Dancing Dragons (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/17/2014 07:31:18
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Treasures of NeoExodus-series clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page of SRD/editorial, 1/2 a page advertisement, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The dancing dragons were the nunchaku of the Monkey Prince, NeoExodus' take on Son Goku and as such, are powerful, legendary tools - they are +2 mithral countering nunchaku that allow the wielder to choose damage type (bludgeoning, piercing, slashing) and upon disarms, the nunchaku animate the weapons of foes and have them attack the target. Finally, the nunchaku can blast foes in short-range, deadly cold bursts a limited amount of times per day.

As always, the installment comes with item cards for the weapon.



Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's drop-dead-gorgeous 2-column full-color standard and the pdf features a glorious original artwork of the weapon. The pdf comes in a more printer-friendly full-color version as well and while both pdfs have no bookmarks, at this length they need none.

Jeff Lee's Dancing Dragons are...AWESOME! Unique! Powerful! Iconic! With not one, but 3 relatively unique abilities, I thoroughly liked this one! One of the best installments of the series, my final verdict will clock in at full 5 stars + seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Dancing Dragons (PFRPG)
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D20 Victorian Era Bundle [BUNDLE]
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/11/2014 12:28:24
Victorian Age Feats
14 pages of new feats (12 of content and 2 of OGL). While there is a Victorian sensibility to these, most, if not all could be used in Pathfinder or d20 Modern. In particular I liked the Astrology, Bookworm, Charmed, Empathy, Expert Healer and Look Harmless feats. Others like Puritan Witchfinder might be more suited for 200 years before the Victorian times. A bit of a different feel to feats which I like. With a price of under 2 bucks this is a pretty good deal really.

Victorian Age Feats 2
Like Victorian Age Feats, this product is 14 pages (11.5 for content, 2.5 for OGL). It offers a wide variety of interesting feats to use with your d20/Pathfinder based game. Again what strikes me the most about these is how well they work with Pathfinder out of the box. A minor quibble though. Some of the feats are related to guns, this is fine, but the Victorian era saw a wide variety in technology related to firearms. The "Rip a Clip" feat is fine, but only useful for firearms created after 1890 (near the end of the era). Also not appropriate for Pathfinder even with the Gunslinger (but that is not a strike against this product).
For under 2 bucks it is a good deal, but I didn't like it as much as the first.

Victorian Horrors: Jack the Ripper
It is very difficult to talk about the late Victorian period and NOT mention Jack the Ripper. This 6 page PDF covers how to use Jack in your games and assumes that he will be an adversary of the Characters. Two possible means of link Jack to the PCs as a nemesis are discussed. Some detail is given on the public and police reaction to the Ripper case. Some basic d20 crunch is given to help move the players along.
Stats are given for Jack the Ripper (d20 Modern) and some ideas are given based on the level of magic in your games.
The text of the "Jack the Ripper letters" are reproduced.
While I think this is a good starting effort a lot more could have been done. For example a time-line of the Ripper case should have been included and the names of his victims. Also a map of the killings would have been extremely helpful. While all of this is readily available, that is also the exact reason why it should have been included. As it stands this is just a PDF of a potential threat to the PCs with not much in it that says it is Jack the Ripper.

Victorian Horrors: Martian Invaders
A much better effort here than the Jack the Ripper product. This details the Martian invasion ala H.G. Wells. This product details the Martians, their crafts and their technology. Though curiously missing are stats for the Martian alien themselves. Also while the inspiration is obviously Wells, he is not mentioned in this product. Quotes from the War of the Worlds text would have also been nice. Plus there is not much here that says "Victorian" to me. This could have been about the Wells book or the classic 1953 movie. Actually it seemed more similar to "Day of the Triffids" to me.
7 pages, 6 of content, 1 of OGL.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
D20 Victorian Era Bundle [BUNDLE]
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Victorian Horrors: Martian Invaders
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/11/2014 12:27:15
A much better effort here than the Jack the Ripper product. This details the Martian invasion ala H.G. Wells. This product details the Martians, their crafts and their technology. Though curiously missing are stats for the Martian alien themselves. Also while the inspiration is obviously Wells, he is not mentioned in this product. Quotes from the War of the Worlds text would have also been nice. Plus there is not much here that says "Victorian" to me. This could have been about the Wells book or the classic 1953 movie. Actually it seemed more similar to "Day of the Triffids" to me.
7 pages, 6 of content, 1 of OGL.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Victorian Horrors: Martian Invaders
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Victorian Horrors: Jack the Ripper
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/11/2014 12:15:57
It is very difficult to talk about the late Victorian period and NOT mention Jack the Ripper. This 6 page PDF covers how to use Jack in your games and assumes that he will be an adversary of the Characters. Two possible means of link Jack to the PCs as a nemesis are discussed. Some detail is given on the public and police reaction to the Ripper case. Some basic d20 crunch is given to help move the players along.
Stats are given for Jack the Ripper (d20 Modern) and some ideas are given based on the level of magic in your games.
The text of the "Jack the Ripper letters" are reproduced.

While I think this is a good starting effort a lot more could have been done. A lot more. For example a time-line of the Ripper case should have been included and the names of his victims. Also a map of the killings would have been extremely helpful. While all of this is readily available, that is also the exact reason why it should have been included.
As it stands this is just a PDF of a potential threat to the PCs with not much in it that says it is Jack the Ripper.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Victorian Horrors: Jack the Ripper
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Victorian Age Feats 2
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/11/2014 12:02:21
Like Victorian Age Feats, this product is 14 pages (11.5 for content, 2.5 for OGL). It offers a wide variety of interesting feats to use with your d20/Pathfinder based game. Again what strikes me the most about these is how well they work with Pathfinder out of the box. A minor quibble though. Some of the feats are related to guns, this is fine, but the Victorian era saw a wide variety in technology related to firearms. The "Rip a Clip" feat is fine, but only useful for firearms created after 1890 (near the end of the era). Also not appropriate for Pathfinder even with the Gunslinger (but that is not a strike against this product).
For under 2 bucks it is a good deal, but I didn't like it as much as the first.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Victorian Age Feats 2
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