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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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Victorian Age Feats
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/11/2014 11:45:59
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.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Victorian Age Feats
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Twin Furies (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/07/2014 07:21:17
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 Twin Furies are two kamas crafted for the vile religion of Khayne and as such have interesting abilities - one is a +1furyborn kama, one is a +2 vicious kama that only deals nonlethal damage to followers of Khayne. The dread weapons make the wielder harder to intimidate and when used in conjunction in a full attack (or flurry), and both weapons hit, the wielder may also execute a rend attack.



The pdf comes with item-cards for the Twin Furies.



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 Twin Furies are nice weapons with unique options, but they fall a bit behind the last, glorious installment of the series - it's a nice pair of weapons, but not one that blew my socks off. A good installment of the series, well worth a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Twin Furies (PFRPG)
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Treasures of NeoExodus: Gentle Hand of Law (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/03/2014 05:56:49
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 gentle hand of the law is a powerful weapon - steeped in a history that could have stemmed from the tales of real life religious warriors, these beloved weapons, named in honor of the lady commander of the Caneus Empire's high guard - the mace would be a +1 merciful spell-storing heavy mace that also deals dexterity damage on crits and causes targets hit by the critical to drop anything they hold - neat, elegant idea.



The pdf also provides one page of weapon-cards to print/cut out.



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.



Author Jeff Lee weaves a compelling yarn and provides a nice weapon with a unique bonus ability - well done, nothing to complain, my final verdict will be 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Gentle Hand of Law  (PFRPG)
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Obsidian Apocalypse (PFRPG)
by Simon H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2014 02:13:23
I'm torn on this one, basically four out of five is a compromised review no matter how you look at it.

Okay, let me explain. I have some signifigant gripes about this book BUT a lot of that feels more like a matter of taste and nitpicking. Even taking them as seriously as possible I'd still say the book earns a three out of five. On the other hand there are some things this book does really well and I'm feeling a bit guilty for not giving them more weight and giving it the five.

The current other review does a really good job on the details so I'll not go into the full breakdown here. I think the problem is the book claims it's a setting and tries to pass itself off as one (even saying so on the cover) but I just can't feel it. It's basically a toolbox and rules expansion with a few seeds you could use for a setting. A REALLY excellent toolbox, don't get me wrong, but just a toolbox. I guess that's the real problem for me, there's the potential for four or five really excellent settings here but I feel the book does a half hearted job in portraying them and their presence drags the other stuff down. Especially when the book isn't always clear about what they'd intend to be in what setting and what isn't.

I think the purest example of this is the 'map' included in the book. It's really a combined map that includes locations from different settings, what's really important in one setting doesn't even exist in another which might be something unimportant in a third. There's no indication of scale or distance on the map, what the terrain is supposed to indicate, or whether this is supposed to be a continent or the whole planet. This is sort of indicative of the whole problems the 'settings' had for me.

Be careful this warning doesn't sour you on the book though. Yes, the settings seem a little half hearted. As a toolbox this is an excellent book and without overdone details there's a lot of adaptability in the settings they have provided, probably even more important in a post apocalyptic setting then usual! There's some very interesting seeds here and some rule mechanics to back them up (I especially like the sanity rules here, a nice CoC DnD mix). I'm a little skeptical about the spells and how they're balanced but I think I can give them the benefit of the doubt for some of the post apocalyptic settings they're supposed to be used in.

I guess the best way to put it is that as a setting book this one's three stars. Not actually bad but I'd have trouble calling it good. As a toolbox it's got a lot of good ideas and some new rules and monsters (and races) to work with and should probably get the five. If you know what you're getting into it's a worthwhile buy, for all my hemming and hawing I'm strongly considering using this combined with a homebrew take on the Dragonstar setting.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Obsidian Apocalypse (PFRPG)
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Races of Obsidian Apocalypse: Flesh and Iron (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/05/2014 05:38:39
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This racial supplement clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let's take a look!



We kick of this book with the Prometheans. These guys and gals thankfully have nothing to do with the ridiculously bad sci-fi movie and its clumsily disguised anti-science propaganda, but rather hearkens to the standard set by White Wolf to describe Prometheans as an euphemism for the created/artificial species - -or rather, for golem-like races.



Here, we make a distinction between cobbled-together Flesh Prometheans in the vein Frankenstein's Monster, who receive +2 Con adn Int, -2 Wis, can sniff out carrion (and those severely wounded), have darkvision 60 ft, ferocity, may 1/day tap into old memories of one of their parts to get an insight bonus equal to their character level to a skill, get +2 to saves versus diseases and poisons and are healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy as a drawback (or bonus in the apocalyptic world of Obsidian Apocalypse). All in all, a solid race, with the energy affinity making for a nice tip .in the high-powered OA-default environment, this is a bonus, in a regular setting probably a hindrance. Nice take on the Half-undead race.



The second type of Prometheans would be the Clockwork Prometheans - or, to give you a better understanding - brains-in-a-jar in power-armors. Yeah. Awesome concept. These fellows receive +2 Str and Int, -2 Dex are slow, receive resistance 5 against negative energy, lose no hp when they gain a negative level and also receive a +2 bonus to saves versus death-effects, energy drain, negative energy and necromancy spells and SPs. They also receive a +2 natural armor and +2 to saves versus disease, mind-affecting effects, poisons and exhaustion/fatigue-inducing effects. They need non eat, sleep or breathe. They are considered half-constructs and cannot be raised or resurrected. Both receive the Promethean subtype and the clockwork Prometheans are also rather strong (and not suitable for low powered gaming), but fit in well within the context of Obsidian Apocalypse's high-stakes gaming. That being said, if you don't bat an eye at the ARG-races, these probably won't prove too much either.



Gaining weaponiszed weapon-grafts (or if you're a machinesmith, even mobius weapons), shutting temporarily down all emotion, stopping bleed effects, natural attacks - okay feat options. Now personally, I don't like the automatic detection of magical auras and undead one of the feats grants - auto-detects tend to result in broken in-game logic. The race comes with favored class options, which suffer in parts from minor glitches - like "Gain a +1/2 bonus to rolls to critical hits while raging." Yeah, not all crits are meant - there's a "confirm" missing here. +1 to CMD versus two maneuvers of your choice is cool, though I would have appreciated information on whether these can be taken again with different maneuvers or whether the bonus always applies to the same two maneuvers. Nice to see - FCOs for both Machinesmith and psionic classes.



Now the spirit-of-vengeance-possessed Raijin, absent from the basic OA-book also make a return. They receive -2 Cha, a Die Hard-like effect (with synergy with the feat), +2 to will-saves and fort-saves, treat any part of their body/weapons/armor as +1 for the purpose of bypassing DR and their possessing spirit receives an ego and follows the rules for magic items - smart. Instead of being a base-race, the Raijin is essentially a story-reward, perhaps the result of a story-feat etc.A total of 7 feats accompany the race and allows the Raijin to affect the minds of otherwise immune mindless undead. Slightly annoying - the cool and iconic, if a bit powerful option to control creatures via possession sports quite a number of easily avoidable editing glitches that make the ability slightly harder to understand than it ought to be. Personally, I think this feat requires a kind of daily limit - control of foes via touch as a supernatural ability sans limit is rather powerful even before further augmenting the ability with supplemental feats. A final feat allows you to make necromancy-spells sickening.



The final race would be the Uzamati- and they are weird - they have darkvision 60 ft., are immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue and exhaustion and the sickened condition. Uzamati are healed by negative energy as if they were undead, but unlike undead or constructs, they have con-scores and need to make fort-saves. They also heal damage normally, are not immune to mind-influencing effects, are subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, stun, ability damage and drain and death/necromancy-effects. As beings of pure negative energy, the Uzamati cannot be raised or resurrected and do not need to sleep, eat or drink. They also get +2 to Int, Wis or Cha and Necromantic Phasing as a bonus feat. ...which should simply be part of the race write-up, since every Uzamati gets it.



This feat nets you the ability to phase away for cha-level + chosen mental attribute modifier rounds per day. While phased out, they receive half damage from corporeal damage sources., may phase through and enter solid objects, deal +1 negative energy damage with unarmed attacks that cannot heal the Uzamati or other negative energy-healing creatures. Foes trying to perceive you receive a penalty of -2 to perception and using the ability on a plane "That has a strong negative energy makes you vulnerable to all damage." So...does this mean double damage from everything? +50% damage? What constitutes strong negative energy? The planar trait for strong negative energy affinity? Don't know. There are also 4 traits - one of which makes it possible to be healed by positive/negative energy normally...which is weird, for the racial traits specify that these do work normally on you. Something went wrong here. For just a feat, channel energy can have all dice upgraded to d8, which is too strong and phased out damage-increase to d6 is okay, as is affecting incorporeal creatures. Phasing through walls is also awesome.



The Uzamati as a people of artificially created body-simulacra for negative energy-bound souls are a downright awesome concept. I also like quite a few of their rules and the phasing is cool - but since it's essentially an outsourced racial power, it does far too much at once - had this feat been split up into multiple feats and the race studded with some vulnerability, it would be utterly awesome - as written, it is an overpowered beast that imho even transcends the power-level of the strong Obsidian Apocalypse races with the vast array of unnecessary immunities. Fixable? Sure.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, but not glorious. There are quite a few glitches in here that could have been easily caught, but formal ones and in the rules-language. The pdf adheres to a drop-dead-gorgeous 2-column standard and the ridiculously awesome artworks, all of them originals (though two have been used before in Obsidian Apocalypse) make this one of the most beautiful pdfs out there, especially for the low asking price. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is a minor comfort detriment.



Authors Rich Redman and Wendall Roy have created an array of truly inspired races that all breathe high-concept awesomeness. The balance in respect to the Obsidian Twilight-versions, where available, has been significantly mproved, though imho, there are still some hick-ups and feature-bloat, especially with the Uzamati, to be found here. These races are not for low-powered games, be aware of that. While the Uzamati could use a nerfing, the other races are high-concept and damn cool. On the downside, we get no FCOs for the Uzamati and no age, height and weight tables for ANY of the new races, which is a major detriment in my book - especially knowing how much the massive Prometheans weigh would have been more than crucial; Raijin and Uzamati can be explained by just adhering to base creature/human defaults.



This pdf has all the makings of greatness and awesomeness and falls short by a small margin - with the Uzamati's balance-issues, glitches and missing age, height and weight tables conspiring to make this slightly less than its awesome concepts deserve. My final verdict will hence clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for the purpose of this platform due to the high-concept, cool ideas and with an explicit recommendation if you're looking for strong races, are willing to do a bit of crunch-balancing or just in love with the cool concepts.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Races of Obsidian Apocalypse: Flesh and Iron (PFRPG)
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Leader of the Pack: Humanoids (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/22/2014 02:51:57
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The first installment of LPJr Design's "Leader of the Pack"-series is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Know the feeling? You've had your game derailed/a adventure idea, but no ready to go statblock for the boss of a tribe/group? Don't want to slap on the advanced creature template on that sucker again? Well, Leader of the Pack is here to remedy that by providing boss-adversaries for roaming tribes, lieutenants etc. - this time, the focus being on humanoids:



Bugbears are the first humanoids covered herein, and the two characters provided herein would be a torture-master (fighter 2/ rogue 5 at CR 8) and the Lord of Fear, a CR 10 antipaladin 8. Problem - the Lord of Fear should be CR 9 - 8 levels -1 +2 for the racial HD. Yes, a minor hick-up, but in supplements like this, all designed for drop-and-go, such glitches way heavily. Each of the leaders in this supplement comes with one short plot hook as well as an array of different sample encounters (i.e. with mooks, ELs and XP-values assigned etc.).



Gnolls get the Gnoll Huntsmaster, a ranger 5 at CR 6 that has a formatting glitch that does not have Defense properly highlighted and a Shaman at CR 7 that is a cleric 7. If you haven't figured out - the CR of the cleric is wrong.



Goblins may now be led by a fighter 6 chieftain (for a CR of 5) or a pyromancer (sorc 5) at CR 4, withe specially the latter being more potent than one would expect for a creature of this power when played properly by a DM.



Hobgoblins may be led by a CR 4 Lieutenant (tactician fighter 5) or a CR 7 Battle Priest (cleric 8), with both builds fitting well the martially-inclined, relatively strategic mindset of these beings.



Finally, we get a CR 6 Scarred Witch doctor 7 for orcs as well as an orcish barbarian king at CR 9 - both builds being okay, if not that mind-boggling.



The pdf ends with a glorious sample 1-page lair map with a grid - this map is awesome and will see some use in my games!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, though I did notice some glitches. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard with fitting full-color stock art. The map deserves special mention, since I did not expect to get such a high-quality full color map at this price-point. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and with a second, more printer-friendly version.



The pdf offers interesting builds and some that are a bit more straight-forward than I would have liked - a bit more archetype use or slightly more lethal builds would have gone a long way here. Perhaps it's just me, but I consider archetyped/ multiclass-monsters much more useful than just ones that have straight vanilla class-levels applied - I can add 10 levels of fighter in my head on the fly, but add multiclassing/archetype and it gets a tad bit more complex. So yeah, I'd like to see more of the slightly more complex builds found herein and less of the straight, relatively bland one-class-no-archetype progressions.



Still, Mike Kimmel has delivered a nice kick-off for the series, though one that has still room for improvement: More complexity, no glitches and we have a cult-series in the making here. At the fair price of $3.50, I feel justified in rating this offering a solid 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform due to the glitches preventing me from rounding up by a margin.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Leader of the Pack: Humanoids (PFRPG)
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