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Revanchist Hybrid Class
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/25/2017 10:52:12

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This hybrid class clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, 0.5 pages SRD, leaving us with 4.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The revanchist base class must be non-evil and get d8 HD, 6 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons plus hand crossbow, longbow, repeating crossbow, shortbow and whip as well as light & medium armor and shields, excluding tower shields. Chassis-wise, we're looking at 3/4 BAB-progression as well as good Fort- and Will-saves.

The revanchist gains Step-up as a bonus feat at first level, but the defining class feature at this level would be oath of vengeance, usable 1/day as a swift action, with 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter yielding an additional daily use. The oath nets the revanchist a bonus to damage against the target equal to the character's level (should be class level) and you treat the weapon as magic for the purpose of overcoming DR as well as +1 to saves versus "effects and conditions" created by the foe. This increases by +1 at 6th, 10th and 15th level. Starting at 6th level, the revanchist's weapons are treated as lawful and good for the purpose of overcoming DR (which can be weird, since revanchists can be chaotic). Nice catch - 10th level makes the weapon count as adamantine for the purpose of overcoming DR, but not hardness interaction. 15th level yields resistance to one of the base energy types or sonic damage, though the wording is wonky: "Becomes resistant (10) to one type of energy..." is uncommon. This resistances may be chosen anew whenever you swear a new oath of vengeance - I'm not sure if this resistance is supposed to only work for effects etc. by the oath's target, since the ability only has a base duration until the end of the encounter

2nd level yields Improved Initiative and 3rd level yields "Sense Murderer" - which fails to italicize discern lies and faerie fire...and is utterly broken: "Whenever a revanchist is within 30 feet of such a criminal, the target is affected by a form of faerie fire, only visible to the revanchist."[sic!] That's not how faerie fire works and basing the ability on "murderer" a) wrecks pretty much every investigation and b) is incredibly opaque - every adventurer, every watchman, soldier, etc. potentially could qualify as a murderer. Non-operational as written. Also at 3rd level, the class gets immunity to fear and grants a bonus of +4 to saves versus fear to allies within 10 feet. This is basically aura of courage, with a needless name-change.

Roar of revenge is gained at 5th level - once per 1d4 rounds, as a standard action, the revanchist can emit a shriek. All creatures (including allies) within 60 feet must succeed a Will-save versus 10 + 1/2 class level + Cha-mod or cower (!!!) for 1d4 rounds. This is utterly OP for the level, should be a fear effect and needs to be moved to higher levels. Cowering is one of the most powerful conditions, it's per definition a fear effect and should be prevented by immunities and even though allies are affected, this is a horrible cheese-able ability.

The table contradicts the rules-text - ghost mount, per table, is gained at 4th level, while the rules text situates it at 5th level. Which is it? This companion acts as a full-strength spiritualist's phantom companion. The spiritualist's etheric tether is gained and applied to the mount, which can must be an animal capable of bearing the revanchist's weight and the mount is manifested in ectoplasmic form. The mount also gains some modifications of the base phantom engine. 5th level yields DR 1/-, which increases by +1/- every 5 levels thereafter. Starting at 6th level, the mount ignores difficult terrain and 9th level yields water walk (bingo, not italicized) at will.

7th level yields an alternate oath - oath of hatred. Or at least, that's how the ability is phrased. In fact, it has no daily limit that sets it apart from oath of vengeance, should thus be a sub-ability of it, and nets the benefits of haste (CL 20th - WTF??? At least that one is italicized for once...) and an unytped +4 to atk and grapple-checks. So, does that mean net +8 to grappling? No idea. Needlessly confused. This oath consumes 2 uses of the oath, which means that it won't be used often

9th level yields SR 5, +5 for every 5 levels thereafter, which is not how SR usually scales. 11th level yields air walk at will for the mount "(as the spell, no action required)[sic!]" for "1 round at a time" - This ability, which should be utterly simple...is not, at least not how it's presented here. 11th yields stalwart.

Starting at 13th level, the revanchist may expend 3 uses of her oath to get +4 to Strength and Constitution (bonus type not stated), +2 to natural AC (again, not stated) and +10 base speed as well as DR 10 /evil. Dumb: "As a standard action, the revanchist can deal 10 negative energy damage to a target per class level (capping at 150 damage), 1/2 on a save. Which one? No idea. Range? No idea. How often can it be used? No clue. Can it only affect the oath's target? No idea. Broken as hell, even though it can't reduce a target to below 1 hit point. 14th level yields exploit weakness.

At 16th level, revanchists return from the dead as a revenant when killed by a non-outsider, non-dragon. 17th level yields an AoO whenever a foe hits the revanchist or an adjacent ally, an attack that gains a +2 bonus to atk, +5 if the prompting attack was critical. 18th level yields a bonus combat feat and, as a capstone, the revanchist can perform save or die when invoking oath of judgment - once again, this ability fails to specify its target - RAW, you can use it versus creatures other than the oath's target. This is due to the ability being a copy of true judgment, but judgment provides general benefits, whereas the oaths are targeted effects, making this weird, in spite of being a straight copy. As an aside, the save here is strangely governed by Wisdom - which is completely different from the governing attribute of all other class abilities.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are not good. There are a lot of missed italicizations and similarly, several non-standard wordings in the rules-language. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the character artwork is pretty cool. The pdf has no bookmarks. Cut-copy-paste is disabled, which constitutes a serious comfort detriment when using the class.

Robert Gresham's revanchist per se is definitely a class with promise - the idea of a ghost mount-riding agent of righteous revenge is cool. Alas, both in balance and precision, the class leaves much to be desired. The base chassis is superior to that of the cavalier and inquisitor, the mount is VERY strong and a bit opaque and there are a lot of hiccups. On a design-perspective, the class offers no choice, no player agenda - one revanchist will be just like all others, with only feats and races making a difference. In short - this class has some broken abilities, issues in the craftsmanship, no player agenda and is too strong. The concept is cool, but that's all the positive I can say about this class, unfortunately. This may be worth revisiting and rebuilding from scratch, but as written, I can't rate this higher than 1.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Revanchist Hybrid Class
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Skyrider Hybrid Class
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/21/2017 11:16:36

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This hybrid class clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The skyrider base class received d10 HD, proficiency with simple and martial weapons, full BAB-progression, good Fort- and Ref-saves and proficiency with all simple and martial weapons as well as light and medium armor and shields, excluding tower shields. How much skills per level, you're asking? NO IDEA. That info is missing from the pdf. Blergh.

The class gains challenge at first level, +1 daily use for every 3 levels beyond first. The skyrider also chooses an order at first level. Two specific skyrider orders are included here, with the first being the order of the zephyr, who increases the movement rate of skyrider and mount when moving towards the target of a challenge (+10 ft., +20 ft. and 30 ft. at 7th and 15th level). Skill-wise, the order nets Perception and Survival as class skills. 2nd level yields the handy ability to count as 1/2 weight for the purpose of determining mount encumbrance as well as eliminating the penalty to AC when charging. 8th level yields a tripled speed when charging, which is VERY strong. Worse, spear fighter weapon group weapons now behave as though they were lances...i.e. like one of the most problematic aspects of the base game. Not the biggest fan there. 15th level nets a +2 AC bonus versus ranged attacks for rider and mount when charging, an additional 50% miss chance. Additionally, they deal automatic damage (untyped) equal to twice the class level to any obstacles in the way - no save, no attack roll - just broken...and I don't even have to state how this can be highly problematic in its precise rules-interactions, right? They also take only 1/4 damage from damaging obstacles.

The second order contained in this book would be the order of venom, who increases the threat range of the mount's attacks by 1 in challenge...which isn't bad per se. But threat range increases by a further 1 for every 4 levels thereafter. Skill-wise, both Fly and Survival are included...which is weird, considering that the base class already receives Fly as a class skill. For the cavalier, I guess... Weird, btw. - the order of venom's order abilities are formatted differently than those of the order of zephyr. Since the order also yields a bonus on Knowledge-checks made to identify creatures, its 2nd level ability builds on that; identified creatures observed as move actions can thus yields short-term bonuses that increase at 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter. 8th level allows the skyrider to use wyvern poison as a standard action and execute one attack with the poisoned weapon. 15th level lets the skyrider dismount, fall up to 200 ft. and attack a foe at the end; if successful, the falling damage is added to the attack and the skyrider takes no damage. Sooo, is the falling damage multiplied on a critical hit? No idea. The pdf also sports companion stats for wyvern and griffon, though the griffon's advancement-lines lack proper formatting.

Starting at 3rd level, the class receives the high talon ability, which nets +1 to atk and damage whenever attacking from higher ground, increasing the bonus by +1 at every 3 levels thereafter. 4th level yields the griffon companion, which uses the skyrider's level -3 as druid level. The griffon does not receive share spells, obviously, but does gain Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. This feature is weird, since it locks the character in the griffon-choice, contradicting the wyvern-option presented by one of the orders - RAW, the order of venom would thus only be available for the cavalier.

5th level yields mounted evasion, which is pretty self-explanatory. 7th level provides the option for the griffon to carry the skyrider...and this is weird, for, provided the griffon is trained and weight etc. checks out, he could do that before. Carrying the rider also "reduces the fly speed" but fails to specify by how much. The skyrider may use Fly instead of Ride while mounted. At 10th level, things get wonky and the griffon companion is treated as though the skyrider always had a full druid companion progression...which is incredibly clunky.

13th level nets full fly speed when carrying the skyrider...implying a fixed penalty for a rider, but failing to specify how that all interacts with encumbrance etc. It looks pretty functional...but unfortunately isn't. 9th level yields Hover for the griffon, Flyby Attack for the skyrider. 17th level allows for full-attacks of both mount and rider after a charge at the cost of -4 to AC. 18th level provides mounted improved evasion. 20th level lets the skyrider dismount after a charge and execute one attack that automatically threatens a critical hit and may insta-kill the target. May? The DC is 10 + damage dealt...which is hilarious, considering all the crit-upgrades and potential boosts to charge attack damage. Also ridiculous: The skyrider may fall off the griffon, hit a target...and be caught by the griffon, regardless of distance. Yeah...makes no sense.

It should also be noted that the pdf has a section called "Skyrider Archetypes"...and nothing in it. The only content there would be the orders, one of which arguably isn't even for the class.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are not good. From the missing skills per level to typos and inconsistent formatting, the pdf suffers from a plethora of hiccups. Layout adheres to a nice 2-column full-color standard and the pdf has a really nice full-color artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks and cut-copy-paste of text is disabled, making the use of this pdf not very comfortable.

Angel "ARMR" Miranda's skyrider is not without promise, the aerial cavalier...

...oh, who am I kidding? This lacks crucial information, has some seriously wonky abilities, is a one-trick-charge-pony...and worse, everything this pdf does has been done more precisely and better. Get the ultimate, excellent flying resource "Companions of the Firmament" - it literally does everything this pdf does better and so much more. It's an EZG Essential for a reason. Alternatively, if you only want a nice aerial cavalier class, go for "Letters from the Flaming Crab: Winged Cavalry" instead; it also is vastly superior. Let me reiterate - this pdf is not a total wreck...but when compared to two vastly superior products, it has absolutely nothing going for it. Hence, my final verdict cannot go higher than 1.5 stars...and frankly, I can't bring myself to round up.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Skyrider Hybrid Class
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Mysterium Magnus: New Occultist Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/05/2017 11:08:16

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 0.5 page of SRD, leaving us with 7.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

All right, we begin with an array of occultist archetypes, the first of which would be the plague bearer, who is locked into the necromancy implement school at 1st level, as well as being obligated to take that at 20th level. This is called tumor implement and seems to imply that you have a special tumor implement, blurring the lines between implement and implement school, which is problematic as far as I'm concerned - can the tumor be lost? I assume not, but I am not sure. 2nd level yields +1/2 class level to Heal checks and critical hit damage rolls with melee weapons. Okay, got ya. Is the bonus damage multiplied or not? This replaces magic item skill. 4th level adds a couple of thematically fitting spells to the necromancy implement school. No, they are not properly formatted.

The noir sleuth is proficient with simple weapons, one martial weapon, light armor and shields, excluding tower shields. The archetype is locked into divination as one implement school and as 20th level's implement mastery. Instead of 2nd level's Magic Skill, the archetype receives 1/2 class level as a bonus to Perception and Sense Motive. Instead of Shift focus, the archetype can spend mental focus to add a 1d6 surge benefit to Perception or Sense Motive checks, with 6s exploding - i.e. when you roll a 6, you roll again and add the results together.

The possessed occultist is basically a medium-crossover: He loses one implement, but depending on the implement school of the chosen implement she has, she gains the séance boon and lesser spirit power, with immediate and grater spirit power unlocking at 10th and 20th level, respectively. The profane puppeteer is the first archetype that is more complex: these guys gain an at-will ventriloquism (not properly italicized) and Craft (puppets) as well as Perform (puppetry) as class skills with +2 profane bonuses. The puppets come with concise formula for crafting and costs of the process. The puppets are fashioned after summon monster creatures and 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter increase the array of available summon monster options. Problematic: The puppets are treated as constructs, got ya - but this does mean that the puppets do not have the stats of the monsters and instead have construct stats...so what stats do they actually have? No idea. This is non-operational. Puppets require mental focus to animate and can channel focus powers, but must remain nearby. Also non-operational: The hard cap of how many puppets can be maintained at any given time - it uses summon monster as a point of reference. The ability replaces resonant powers.

Silver gunners gain proficiency with one-handed firearms and must choose transmutation as an implement school, using the firearm as the implement, and only gets this one school at first level, but later gains the normal implements. When attacking with the firearm implement for the transmutation school, the bullet is treated as silver. They also gain Amateur Gunslinger and Gunsmith and use Intelligence as governing attribute for grit. 2nd level replaces object reading with the ability to smell nearby lycanthropes and gaining skill as well as atk and damage bonuses versus them.

I already covered the sinister savant in my review of the cult of the colour from out of space, but for completion's sake, here's the archetype's breakdown: At 1st level, the occultist replaces occultist implements with the ability to use magical books and scrolls as implement focuses, provided they contain a magic or effect related to the implement school to be emulated. The lack of implement schools means that the archetype has also modified resonant power: Whoever reads the implement in question gains a +2 bonus to Knowledge for every 2 points of mental focus invested, with a maximum of 2 +1 for every 2 occultist levels.

Reading an implement takes 1 round - valid, considering the benefits conveyed. At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the character has a 50% chance to receive a random insanity and also learns 1 level-appropriate spell from the implement schools known, replacing shift focus. As a capstone, the character receives full information on a CR 20+ creature of doom and may extol its horrid powers, potentially causing panic. The powerful diversity of the variable access to diverse implement schools is offset a bit. However, at the same time, the archetype has a few formatting hiccups - spells not italicized, wording that could be a bit more precise...but it remains a functional option.

The vile conduit receives an evil aura and may not cast good spells; starting at 2nd level, object reading is replaced with the ability to interpret the words of outsiders or aberrations via Craft instead of Linguistics - the more time is spent, the easier the task becomes. Those witnessing the resulting objet d'art can understand the message of the entity - and guess what: I really like this ability! It's flavorful and interesting! Starting at 5th level, these objects may be used as implement focuses for any known implement school, but associated resonant powers must be chosen at the time of artwork creation and thereafter remain fixed. This replaces aura sight. Of all the archetypes herein, this is the one I consider very flavorful, unique and amazing, so kudos to the author of that one!

The pdf also features a new colour from out of space implement school, which uses leaves, roots, hair or similar material. As a resonant power, the implement provides unnatural growth to a creature, which then, after being activated as a standard action, for class level rounds, exhibits the unnatural growths providing +1 to atk and damage per mental focus invested in the implement. This bonus is not applied against the occultist and after the duration has elapsed, the creature takes class level times d6 damage. There is a Fort-save to negate, but it does not specify the DC - does it scale with focus invested? Another idea and sensible option would be to use the focus power's save DC as reference. Speaking of which: The focus power would be eyes of lassitude, which, as a swift action nets an ennui-causing gaze that prevents travel and penalizes Will-saves. Break enchantment (not properly italicized) can end the effect on a successful CL-check. Additional focus powers include a scaling, disintegrating touch attack (yep, requires mental focus) and a full-round mental focus-expenditure-powered short-range Cha-damage that also yields temporary hit points. Apart from the minor glitch mentioned, I like this one and the implement spell list is also solid.

The pdf features new focus powers for the "color out of space and necromancy implement schools"...which brings me to a nitpick that will not influence the verdict, but to me, the colour from out of space feels more like an implement, less like an implement school. But yeah, that's nitpickery and will not influence the final verdict. Anyways, one lets you spend mental focus to make a nearby creature sweat blood, taking bleed damage, with higher levels forcing the creature to drop items and become sickened. Another one yields a kind of mental focus based pseudo-Leadership (or upgrade for it).

There is also an ability to mark dead bodies...which has no precise benefit other than fluff. There also is a confusing gaze, a mind-affecting short-term paralysis curse, shadowy pseudo-shoggoth tentacles that grapple those nearby and cause Con-damage, mental focus based zombie creature summoning, a short-range drain of the Ashen King, or the option to prevent proper rest. There also would be a touch that may have those afflicted rise from the dead, sharing temporary confusion, a scaling stoneskin-like DR-shield - there are some amazing gems here, but the different authors and their differing skill-levels become readily apparent as well.

Touch of the Old Ones features, for example, a lowercaps attribute, references "willpower" and deals massive Wisdom damage for the cost, exceeding in power the other options presented herein. In direct comparison to more precise options herein, it looks sloppy. Stunning foes is also one of the options, as is exhausting them. On the plus-side, I really liked the high-level power that causes target creatures to lapse into colour-fed berserker rages and after that, suffer negative levels.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting can no longer be considered to be good - there are quite a bunch of missing italicizations, incorrectly formatted pieces of rules-languages and the like. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard with nice full-color artworks. The pdf has no bookmarks, which, in conjunction with an inability to copy text from this file, makes the use of the pdf pretty inconvenient.

This pdf is the work of a bunch of designers: Robert Gresham, Angel "ARMR" Miranda, Simon Munoz, Thiago Rosa and Rodney Sloan made this pdf...and it kinda shows. The archetypes mostly are cookie-cutter modifications that play it safe and lack truly unique selling points...but the pdf actually does offer some cool options. I generally really like the colour-implement school and the powers featured, for the most part, are pretty cool and flavorful. At the same time, the quality of their rules-language fluctuates somewhat, making me really wish that a competent rules-dev or editor had streamlined them, also regarding their power-levels. In short, this is pretty much the epitome of a mixed bag. There are some gems to be found for experienced GMs, but I wouldn't hand this over as is to my players. The gems do make this worthwhile, but I can't go higher than 3 stars for this one. Without glitches, this would have been a solid 4 or 4.5, perhaps even a 5-star offering.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mysterium Magnus: New Occultist Options
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Honeymoon of Horror
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/31/2017 07:13:07

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This brief module clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

All right, still here? Situated in the town of Brighton (which is available as PWYW), the backdrop of this adventure is one of a marriage has gone horribly wrong: The beloved cleric of the town, Lyrana, has caught the eye of the noble Silan Kranz and promptly married the man after a tumultuous courtship. It's been weeks since anyone has seen the cleric, though, and people are getting anxious.

On the road to investigate or as an alternate means of getting into the scenario, the PCs meet an embittered old man and trade rival of Kranz, who has not much positive to say about him or his family for that manner - something that ties in well with the observation of some townsfolk, who noticed that the Kranz estate has too few minio...err...servitors to maintain in this pristine a shape.

The Kranz manor's outside, depicted in copious read-aloud text (but sans map) is not welcoming...and it is a pity that the PCs can't really explore it to piece clues together - instead, they are destined to run afoul of the stable boy Finneous. Odd: The pdf reprints the same text twice on one page - and we're talking about three whole paragraphs! The statblock of Finneous, alas, has serious flaws and isn't correct...oh, and the stableboy is CR 5 (!!!). Now this is okay for level 2 or 3, but for level 1, this guy can and probably will kill off a PC or two.

Among his possessions and with some observation, the PCs will be able to dive into the wine cellar of the estate, where the dungeon section looms...and DCs like 30 clearly show that level 1 is a damn bad idea for this module. The second encounter, just fyi, is a cloaker, which, while accounted for in the background story, comes completely out of left field from a player perspective and represents another TPK-machine for level 1 victim...ehr, players.

Oh. And there is a cloaker cleric at CR 7 next, which adds AoE damage as insult to injury...and he is supplemented by mooks. Yeah, even level 2 characters will have serious issues at this point. Oh, and then there would be Silan, a slayer, and his skum transformed uncle, who also has bloodrager levels. You see, Silan is destined to become such a monstrosity as well and thus has elected to join the cult. Anyhow, the combats here are similarly tough...and I guess that one of the females caught in this disturbing little dungeon would be the missing cleric. Btw.: Yes, the statblocks have pretty evident errors and formatting glitches.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are decent on a formal level, though the doubled text and exact location of the target hostage are pretty bad issues. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with nice full color artwork. Cartography of the almost completely linear complex is serviceable, but we receive no player-friendly iteration. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes a comfort detriment.

Robert Gresham, with "Cadditional writing"[sic!] by Liz Smith, has the basic deep one degeneracy set-up here and the prose, let that be known, is nice. The angle is old, yes, but its execution is decent enough for 2 bucks...were it not for the glaring glitches in the formal criteria. Balance of encounters is also utterly baffling. I'm the guy who always screams for hard modules; I love LotFP modules and similar old-school killer beasts. But this one is just dickish - the stableboy's got 6 levels? Cloaker with class levels at level 1 or 2? Come again? The PCs have no chance to prepare for the challenges properly, meaning that there is only luck as a determining factor here; there is no Stealth-option, nothing the like - just a hackfest versus overwhelming, quite literally, odds. This can be won at level 1 or 2, but only by minmaxed monsters or very lucky groups. And that is not what makes a module qualify as horror. It's just frustration. There is no build up, the module just slaps you over the head with "creepy" critters that make no sense from the PC's perspective - they will never know how the cloakers got there.

I...I can't recommend this module. I tried so hard t like this. It's flawed in all important ways and I can literally point you towards several vastly superior FREE modules that are better at everything this tries to do. My final verdict clocks in at 1 star. If you want to support Wayward Rogues Publishing, get one of the Cultures of Celmae or the cult-supplements instead.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Honeymoon of Horror
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The Guide to the Cult of Shub-Niggurath
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/29/2017 04:16:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, first of all, we begin with a history of the deity and origins - which brings me to a crucial point: The Shub-Niggurath presented herein does differ a bit from the depictions in traditional Lovecraftiana; in case you're not that familiar with Shattered Skies campaign setting, the brief description would be that it represents a fantasy setting that employs the mythos as one of its governing leitmotifs. However, unlike the horror-themed settings and games, the focus, while taking the horrific into account, very much appropriates the tropes and puts them in a fantasy setting. As such, we have ostensible connections between the deities of Celmae and the great old one. Beyond the contextualization of the deity within Celmae's fantastic cosmology, we also are introduced to the plurality of cults that can be found, here distinguished from another by the "horn" of the dark mother they represent; the first horn would be the dark forest denizens, emphasizing the collective over the individual; the second horn represents the highly individualistic scholars and sages and madmen beings. No matter the direct representation of the ideology, maddening visions and narcotics, strange rites and odd ritual combats are noted, as are non-human worshipers.

The pdf does not stop there and notes three evocative and strange unholy sites of the dread cult. The duties of the clergy of the dread Shub-Niggurath is also explained, though here, the cult in Celmae receives two favored weapons, which can cause some minor confusion in the context of favored weapon bonuses. That being said, the pdf does note that daggers make for an alternative featured in settings like Golarion. The pdf also features notes of the priestly vestments used by the cult and the role of adventurers among the faithful of the dread entity. The pdf also takes a cue from Inner Sea Gods in that it contains several unique unholy texts and festivals, with several nice proverbs adding further detail and substance for this belief...and yes, relations with other beings are pretty much as strained and problematic as you'd expect them to be, though some of the deities of Celmae actually could be considered to be allies of the dread cult. The pdf also sports two fluff-only write-ups of demonic servants that can act as planar allies and features a brief write-up of the demiplane known as "The Garden", which sprang from a rather dark origin, created by the Dark Prince of Auspice, a semi-mythical bard. (Kudos if you got the reference.)

Let me briefly talk a bit about this first section of the pdf: Contrary to my experience, I ended up enjoying this section. While it is my fervent belief that over-explanation has subverted the horror-aspect of the Great Old Ones, this pdf does offer a nice alternative. You see, Shub-Niggurath's aspect as a primordial being of rampant fertility obviously does not translate that well to PFRPG if you wish to retain a PG-rating. Similarly, the existence of deities, planes etc. undermines the cosmic nihilism that makes up the true horror of what Lovecraft envisioned - thus, these entities don't work in their original intentions UNLESS you have a setting like Fat Goblin Games' excellent "Shadows over Vathak" that is intentionally structured around this notion, a section where the existence of a benevolent deity-level entity is highly dubious. (Srsly, Vathak is great for horror!)

This pdf thus does something different - it embraces Shub-Niggurath as not simply the Great Old One incarnation, but instead firmly places it within the context of fantasy. This does take away the concept of existential horror associated with Shubbi, but at the same time, it works better than in comparative fantasy settings. The prose that presents the cult works well, and while some typo-level glitches like doubled "and"s and the like do exist, as a whole, the prose is pretty nice. So yeah, kudos - not what I expected and better off for it.

The pdf also sports a collection of 8 feats. Abominable Rites is interesting - it lets you change the fatigued condition to shaken or vice versa a limited amount of times per day. Confused Rage is also intriguing - you may voluntarily enter a confused rage upon raging, voluntarily giving you the confused condition, but letting you roll twice...and get a +3 untyped bonus to melee damage, but also versus yourself - this would be one of several feats that requires a Wisdom score of 11 or lower, which is a design-paradigm I very much enjoy. Another such feat nets you +2 to saving throws and melee damage rolls versus the fear's source while shaken; thirdly, there'd be a feat that nets +3 damage on melee attack rolls the first time you attempt to deal damage per round when confused, raging or insane, so if you're going for the raging lunatic, you actually can dish out seriously deadly damage. Another feat nets +4 to saves versus mind-influencing and sleep effects. Another feat lets you, as an immediate action, gain a +4 bonus to saves for 1 round. This is probably a feat based on a class ability - the feat specifies that it'll net more daily uses, though the base ability does not have a 1/day use specified. A high-level feat lets you inflict 2 Cha damage and the sickened condition on those critically hit. Weird: There is a feat that has the Evil-descriptor, which is not a descriptor I have encountered in vanilla design. Also a bit weird: The feat-prerequisites are inconsistent in their formatting - some use abbreviations for attributes, others use the full name.

The pdf also contains 5 different spells: Black Goat's Blessing is nasty, transforming the head of the target into a goat, complete with gore attack...but also nets an Intelligence of 2, making the target potentially lethal. Black Goat's Influence is very strong for its spells level (1st) - +2 to damage with melee weapons and ranged weapons within 30 ft. Also odd: The spell is, not kidding you, on the PALADIN spell list. WTF? Cool: There is a spell that allows you to ward an area, targeting plants, the ensorcelled vegetation will yell loudly when the warded area is entered. Dark Young's Appendages allows you to transform limbs to generate hooves and tentacles. Finally, there would be cylindrical acidic gasses.

All right, next up with be the chapter on character options, starting with a new alchemist archetype, the larval progenitor - which is pretty disgusting in a good way: These guys can press their hands together to grow a cyst that they use as bombs. Yes, the cysts scream upon bursting. EW!! The archetype does have a couple of pretty unique discoveries to choose from - these include throwing a cyst bomb that turns into a lemure and that bursts upon being slain, inflicting bomb damage. While 6th level provides some balance as a prerequisite, I'd restrict this option to NPCs. On a nitpicky side, the reference to a spell is not properly italicized. Other options include gaining suckers for better grappling. Very cool (and disgusting) would be the lard bomb - direct hit targets risk swallowing it and then be sickened. The options also include a chaotic mutation-option for bombs and one that leaves caltrops in the bomb's wake. All in all, a flavorful, delightfully icky archetype defined by its cool flavor.

The pdf also features a new bloodrager bloodline, the Thousand Young bloodline; I do not have issues regarding the selection of bonus feats or bonus spells, though the latter are not properly italicized. The bloodline can grow magical, scaling horns that allow for natural attacks - I do think that clarifying whether this would be primary or secondary would have been nice, though that is mostly a cosmetic nitpick, for the ability remains precise enough and thankfully, unambiguous. 4th level increases base speed in light or no armor when hustling or running; 8th level yields a particularly disgusting flesh, which could help avoiding being swallowed. That being said, much like in the prose chapter, we have some hiccups in the prose here - "Any creature that grapples the you with a bite attack..."[sic!] - that aside, I like the ability. 16th level yields immunity to mind-influencing effects and as a capstone, attempts to use divinations versus you can enrage the caster and the character also no longer is an eligible target for challenges and smites, which is pretty novel. All in all, like it! Weird - the sorceror bloodline has the incorrect (Archetype)-descriptor in the header, but does make up for that with properly italicized bonus spells. The Bloodline Arcana increases the duration of polymorph spells by 50%, minimum 1. While it does not stack with Extend Spell, I do think that adding a "non-instantaneous" here would have been more precise. The bloodline also yields the dark horns, the increased movement...yeah, it basically is just a reproduction of the bloodrager bloodline, which is somewhat disappointing, considering that the classes have very different focuses.

Speaking of cavaliers - we do get the order of the whispers, whose challenge penalizes the saves versus the cavalier's spells - and at 2nd level, 8th and 15th level, the order yields spells that may be cast 3/day SPs chosen from witch, cleric and psychic spells...and as a nice flavor piece, there seems to be a rivalry with the order of the tome. Nice and pretty cool - we actually get evangelist, sentinel and exalted boons for the cleric (oh, and here, the italicizations are precise) and the section does contain the information for the obedience as well.

The mesmerist can elect to become body reaver, adding magic jar as a 6th level spell replaces touch treatment with a bonus to Perception checks and saves versus blindness and deafness; problem, though: The ability does not specify how many allies are affected. Later, the ability yields immunity to deafness and blindness. The capstone allows for major mind swap (not properly italicized). Not a good archetype - it replaces an active ability with an imprecise passive one and the idea of the capstone is cool, but hits too late. Fiendish midwife summoners gain Heal as a class skill and modify the Summon Monster ability: The modified version can be used Charisma bonus times per day, can only provide evil critters...but here is the nasty one: The summoner casts the spells through creatures within close range and the creature takes damage as the creature claws its way from the creature's flesh, with a save to negate. The eidolon is treated as a member of teh summoner's race, btw. Disturbing and potent. Interesting.

The pdf also features a 5-level PrC, the devotee of evil, who must be evil and belong to a class with a 9-level spell-casting progression; 6 ranks in 2 Knowledge spells and 2+ Int skills per level, 1/2 BAB-progression, full spellcasting progression and good Will-saves. This PrC is basically a scholar of evil and may add the evil descriptor to various things and enhance them. Downside: Skill-formatting issues. Oh, and the PrC is lacking its HD-information, rendering it RAW nonoperational. This could have been decent; RAW, it's not.

The pdf also features two monsters: Shubian mountain goats are particularly vicious and come with proper animal companion stats. There is also a CR 4 byakhee; while I noticed a cosmetic plus missing here, the statblocks don't seem to have immediately apparent glitches and. The pdf also features several new mundane pieces of equipment- ram staves, iron-shod boots, a particularly cruel net called "reaver's hood", an unconsciousness-causing poison and armor for those that have given birth to the unnatural can be found - pretty neat.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very inconsistent; they're better than what I've seen in most Wayward Rogues' offerings - there are some components that are precise and well-formatted. Others lack spell-italicizations and violate several formatting conventions, from attributes to skills. They, in short, range from pretty good to "needs work." Layout adheres to a nice 2-column full-color standard and the pdf sports several niece pieces of original full-color artwork. The pdf has basic bookmarks for chapters, but not for e.g. specific archetypes. Annoying: The pdf has cut/copy/paste disabled, which represents an annoying comfort detriment if you want to use the material sans printing it or modify it.

This pdf was penned by Robert Gresham, Aaron Hollingsworth and Ewan Cummins and the different authors, alas, do show in the quality of the crunch. As a whole, I can recommend this pdf if you're looking for an interesting twist on Shub-Niggurath as a deity in a fantasy setting, for example as a Lamashtu-substitute. Dressing and prose are pretty solid and concise in how they integrate the lore and concepts within a fantastic context, resulting in a nice dark fantasy cult. At the same time, the rules-component is just inconsistent; there are components here that, while not mind-blowing, are actually pretty cool and worth integrating, but the non-working PrC and the lame copying of bloodline-abilities are pretty big downsides as far as I'm concerned.

Whether you will derive enjoyment from this pdf directly hinges upon 2 decisions: 1) Do you expect flawless formatting/(rules-) editing? Then this is not for you. 2) Are you looking for a flavorful supplement or for hard crunch? In the flavor-department, this can actually provide some mileage. In the rules-area, this can, at best, be considered to be a mixed bag in those departments - slightly on the positive side, but yeah. As just a crunch-book, I could not go higher than 3.5 stars, rounded down, but considering the attention to detail and generally decent prose, I will rate this as a setting supplement, weighing crunch and fluff equally. It is hence I arrive at a justification for rounding up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Guide to the Cult of Shub-Niggurath
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Venommancer
by Jj V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/28/2017 20:10:37

I had a good amount of glee reading through this class. Various things stood out to me, especially the Needle Glove, the Inject feature and the Alchemical Bond class feature. A class that is able to maniplulate on a more physical and near psychic level is amazing and I cannot wait to try this class out in a party in conjuction with other classes. The writing is done amazingly well so that all the write ups were easy to understand and playing the class is going to be a lot of fun!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Venommancer
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The Cult of the Colour out of Space
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/24/2017 06:05:00

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 18 pages,1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, this first very positive surprise you'll notice when reading this pdf would be the general set-up that is presented in the history of this cult. At this point, we have all seen iterations of the color in fiction or CoC/ToC-supplements before, but this pdf actually puts the influence of the entity in an interesting sequence of events: You see, the cult's locale is situated within the Bright Mountain Valley, where the local fey population, xenophobic korreds, have been fighting a losing battle versus the approach of civilization.

The ever more desperate fey resorted to conjuring forth lethal plant-creatures - though that backfired big time; turns out calling mindslaver molds with imperfect control over them is a really bad idea and so the fey fell to the mold's influence. Worse, the color that arrived hijacked the mold, creating a horrid dual layer of control the deadly adversaries. While there are a couple of typos like xatabay instead of xtabay, but still, the set-up is intriguing and makes a surprising amount of sense within the context of the game. The contact of foreigners with the color led in a growing legend that brought a dragon to the vale as well - a being who ended in a stasis between destruction via the color and life, becoming another insane herald for the cult. So yes, the presentation and angle provided here blend the fantastic and the Lovecraftian themes very well with the crunchy realities of PFRPG; basically, this is fantasy with mythos-themes, as opposed to horror with sprinklings of fantasy.

Now, the pdf also contains stats for some of the creatures that are now controlling the cult - the mind-enslaved color-blighted korreds and the mindslaver mold, for example. The statblock of the korreds does unfortunately contain some glitches. Beyond these two, the pdf also introduces us to Ichabod Krona, a somewhat cringe-worthily-named occultist of the sinister savant archetype. The man has studied the mysterium magnum, a dread grimoire, and his has brought him towards the cult. The aforementioned book is btw. included in the pdf: The cursed book has some nice benefits for those with Psychic Sensitivity or psychic spellcasting and can help automatic writing...but this also comes with a pretty random and evocative array of strange side-effects when using this ability...side effects that are not only creepy, but can provide some further adventuring angles. Nice job there.

The aforementioned sinister savant archetype is included in the book as well: At 1st level, the occultist replaces occultist implements with the ability to use magical books and scrolls as implement focuses, provided they contain a magic or effect related to the implement school to be emulated. The lack of implement schools means that the archetype has also modified resonant power: Whoever reads the implement in question gains a +2 bonus to Knowledge for every 2 points of mental focus invested, with a maximum of 2 +1 for every 2occultist levels.

Reading an implement takes 1 round - that should probably be "full-round action", considering the benefits conveyed. At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the character has a 50% chance to receive a random insanity and also learns 1 level-appropriate spell from the implement schools known, replacing shift focus. As a capstone, the character receives full information on a CR 20+ creature of doom and may extol its horrid powers, potentially causing panic. The powerful diversity of the variable access to diverse implement schools is offset a bit. However, at the same time, the archetype has a few formatting hiccups - spells not italicized, wording that could be a bit more precise...but it remains a functional option.

I already mentioned the horrible dragon, kept in stasis between life and annihilation, the green brute Novastarov, kept alive by her ring of sheltered vitality. Her CR 13 iteration was included, though the powerful ring she has is imho underpriced as far as I'm concerned. Similarly, the sheltered vitality spell that provides immunity to all ability damage and drain as well as fatigue and exhaustion is utterly OP for its level and needs a serious whacking with the nerf-bat.

That as an aside, but the pdf does contain more than those powerful scions of the cult - it also contains the stats and precise motivations of the dread glowing god, a colour from out of space with the mighty template, with history, lore DCs and detailed write-ups - though, once again, the rules-components have some flaws - Knowledge (dungeoneering) is e.g. written as "knowledge dungeoneering (oozes) - which does not exist. That being said, the lore section and components of this write-up otherwise are pretty well-presented and actually evocative.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are okay on a formal and rules-language levels - while there are quite a bunch of obvious errors in those components, they generally do not tamper with one's ability to employ the material. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports several nice full-color artworks. The pdf does not have any bookmarks, which, in conjunction with the disabled text-copying option, constitutes a severe comfort-detriment when using this pdf.

Robert Gresham, with additional writing by Rodney Sloan and Angel "ARMR" Miranda, provides an interesting cult that could have easily reached the lofty levels of excellence. In fact, this pdf does make for a viable purchase if you're looking for flavor, for ideas and the like - the pdf feels like it does offer heart's blood, careful consideration of the game's realities. That's a big plus for me. However, if you are one of the people who expect flawless rules, you will like the prose, sure...but the execution of the rules-relevant components leaves something to be desired and shows that this pdf could have used the hand of an experienced editor and/or developer. From the utterly OP item/spell to the other components, most rules herein sport deviations from standards, hiccups and the like and may really gall some people.

As a person, I actually did derive some joy from reading this book - the very stringent and logical entwinement of the tropes of traditional fantasy and mythos makes for an intriguing offering. At the same time, as a reviewer, I have to rate the formal criteria of this pdf as well, and beyond the comfort issues, the glitches do accumulate. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars - those of you looking for mostly flavor should round up...but my official verdict, alas, can't do that.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Cult of the Colour out of Space
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Players Guide to Whispers of the Dark Mother Adventure Path
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/14/2017 07:47:50

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Player's Guide for the "Whispers of the Dark Mother"-series clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 10 pages of content. It should be noted that a nice full-color map of the area featured in the AP is included between SRD and back cover.

The modules takes place in the nation of Bryndell, defined by the worship of ancestral heroes and begins in the town of Brighton, a relatively busy little trade-hub (and available for free if you require further details!). With such a background, it should not come as a surprise that seasonal adventurers, common folks taking up swords instead of plowshares, are not uncommon - but the relatively open nature of the environment also mean that characters from other backgrounds can relatively easily fit in within the story to be told. The pdf also provides from the get-go a relatively concise overview of the common knowledge in the locale - the Laughing Dragon as the "Adventurer's pub" is mentioned and similarly, the mysterious beast that supposedly haunts the area and has remained conspicuously silent for a long time... Beyond that, if you require some motivation for adventurers of a more scholarly or pious bent, there is a bit of guidance for those as well.

The pdf also specifies, from the get-go, the theme of horror the AP will try to maintain as a leitmotif - and as such, it comes as no surprise that flawed heroes are preferred. A selection of a total of 8 flaws are presented and taking one will not only enhance the roleplaying aspect of the series, but also conveys a +1 trait-bonus on Knowledge (local). This bonus is pretty fixed and if you have access to other flaw-featuring books, I'd suggest adding them and the trait-selection they usually feature to the selection. Still, not a bad collection.

A total of 3 different feats are included in the deal: Bravado of Olde lets you add Cleave to the end of your charges - and all follow-up feats of Cleave. Pretty strong option there. Flyer's Remorse is pretty amazing, though: As a move action, it lets you ready an attack versus a flying creature - if it moves within your 1st range increment, you may shoot at it, re-readying the attack thereafter if you expend an AoO. This is mechanically interesting, and the prereq makes sense. Like it! Heroic Legacy, finally, nets you +1 to atk and damage when facing a creature with double your HD or 3 or more creatures with HD equal to your own. Yeah, not that cool.

Next up would be a selection of 10 traits - Combat traits include a damage bonus with holy water and better atk with polearms; there is a trait that represents having grown up in the cult of the dark mother and there's one that represents having drunk enough to be more resilient against poisons. Similarly, pilgrims can be found and 1/day bonus damage, being a survivor of ogre's aley - there are some seriously nice, flavorful traits here, with one of them actually containing two different options, bonus-wise. Nice.

A total of 6 spells can be found within the pdf as well; Grey Maiden's Tears let you weep ashen tears in a basin to contact a passed individual - provided you have someone mourning the respective individual. Emergency Succor is powerful, but interesting - cast as an immediate action on a target that would be reduced below 1 hit point, it transfers the excess damage to the caster and actually sports a caveat that prevents it from being cheesed/negated. Gran's Minor Lance lets you conjure forth a lance of force energy to throw at your adversaries, hitting everything in a line - basically, an AoE-variant of magic missile with a short range and a save to negate....with the added use of acting as a short-duration lance before that. The wording could be more explicit/slightly streamlined. The improved version of the spell has functional, but still non-standard verbiage, in its stating that the attacks with it are calculated using the spellcasting ability modifier of the character in conjunction with BAB. It also no longer allows for a save to negate, which is powerful considering the spell's damage type, but also valid, considering its spell level. Nice catch - the lance's return to the hand of the caster includes a caveat that avoids the issue of iterative attacks.

Sinew Spasm is relatively interesting, enchanting a corpse to attack a target - though RAW, the spell has an issue in that it does not specify that the target square for the corpse to attack needs to be within the corpse's reach; RAW, the corpse can twitch and spasm into pretty much any area of the spell. If this is the intended function, it should have been made more clear. There is also a spell that drops a rock on targets in an area. It should be noted that rules-formatting in these is not always perfect - the latter spell, sky stone, has for example a Saving Throw-line that reads: "Reflex;" - that should be "Reflex negates" and the text e.g. does not capitalize Reflex properly. This is not necessarily a big issue, but if you're picky with the like, it can be slightly annoying.

On a more positive note, the pdf does offer two pieces of equipment - the grapple arrow, which can help bring down flying foes, and the weighted javelin, a similar means to penalize flying foes. (The pdf does a pretty good job of making PCs seriously contemplate having some means to deal with flying foes...). After that, we are introduced to a total of 5 sample faiths and philosophies for the PCs to follow, all of which come with domains, favored weapons, etc. - on a slight nitpick, the goddess of the sea Amaura has one domain more than the other gods, totaling 6 domains.

Finally, the pdf concludes with the dust warden archetype for the paladin class. This archetype replaces detect evil with detect undead. Their smite is modified to only affect undead...but oh boy will they suffer: 3 times class level bonus damage on the first smiting attack and every hit of such a smite against the undead actually also debuffs their defenses. Divine bond either nets a chosen mount at-will detect evil or adds ghost touch to the available bonded weapon options. It should be noted that the archetype misses a couple of italicization instances. Decent, if unspectacular anti-undead-type of archetype.

Conclusion:

Editing is pretty good on a formal and rules-language level; there are a few cases that sport a bit clumsy, but functional rules-language. Formatting f the rules is slightly less refined, missing a couple of italicizations and proper formatting conventions. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports several really nice full-color artwork, though fans of Wayward Rogues Publishing may recognize some from earlier publications. The cartography is solid and in full color. Really annoying, though: The pdf has neither bookmarks, nor can you copy text from the pdf - if you want to use the material herein, you'll have to either print it out, open the pdf and scroll there or hand-write the effects down. I don't get this peculiarity with Wayward Rogues Publishing's offerings - I really don't. Not one of the big 3pps does that and it is not particularly customer-friendly.

Anyways, Jarret Sigler, Rodney Sloan, Robert Gresham, Ewan Cummins, Simon Peter Munoz and James Edger's Player's Guide is actually a pretty nice book - it does not spoil the plot of the series, has some actually interesting and cool options (particularly the anti-aerial creature tricks) and is significantly more refined in its crunch than earlier offerings. While editing and formatting remain a bit of a weak-point and while I was not blown away by everything herein, this remains a nice little Player's Guide...and it's available for PWYW. It's pretty hard to argue with that. The pdf may not be perfect, but it actually does have some really interesting options and is certainly worth checking out and leaving a tip. Taking its PWYW-bonus into account, I feel justified in rating this 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform. Take a look and check it out, you have nothing to lose!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Players Guide to Whispers of the Dark Mother Adventure Path
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Ogres New Boots
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/09/2017 07:05:44

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 18 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let's take a look!

All right, this being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Okay, still here? Only GMs around? Great!

So, this adventure, in a way, is the story of one special ogre called Bruboe, mocked relentlessly by his brutish brethren for his artistic ambition. In exile, he found his calling - becoming a great actor! The audience he found was ultimately that of mutated belching goblins. While the ogre has managed to accumulate a variety of costumes, he is lacking good boots - which is where the eponymous new boots come into place. Bruboe has kidnapped Nogget, the best cobbler of Bright Moon Valley by luring him under false pretense with a letter (note that if your game treats literacy as rare...among common folk or ogres...), imprisoning the man. Guess what the PCs are supposed to do? Bingo.

The PCs are hire in the Laughing Dragon Inn by a gnomish child and the PCs will probably jump at the chance to offset their ennui. The first encounter, thus, takes place at the site of the ambush, where they deal with the belcher variant goblins left there. While the caravan ambush site does have a map, it is only a small one and no proper-sized version to print out or hand out is included - something that extends btw. to all the encounter maps herein. On the plus-side, the pdf does provide upgrade-notes for higher APLs and even alternate stats. The scaling advice is nice.

Tracking the belchers is not too hard, though PCs failing hard at Survival will have a harder time - the more checks they fail at, the worse it'll become. Particularly successful PCs will find a hidden vale with a dryad. Ahem. Well. The artwork is...nice. Okay, so if you're sensitive to that kind of thing: The artwork depicts the dryad stark naked, with her wooden behind towards the reader. Personally, I don't mind, but some readers may be put off by this display of cheesecake.

Arriving at the belcher hide-out, the PCs must pass some decent traps and arrive at the grim theatre of the ogre, stumbling on a performance by the ogre - if they play along, they can actually hold off the attack of the belcher and firebat audience. Bruboe is an ogre skald, btw., and comes in a level 2 and 4 version. This would also be as well a place as any to note that the neither skill- nor attribute-checks are consistently and properly formatted herein. Also weird: The finale mentions tiers instead of APLs for different scaling options. The ogre will make a run for it while the PCs slice and dice through the belchers, the PCs will have to hunt him...and pass the captured cobbler, who tells them to trick the ogre into putting on the boots.

If the PCs manage this, the boots, suffused with alchemist's fire, burst into flames, making the combat easier...though why they only burst into flames after putting both on can be considered to be a minor logic bug.

There is an optional final encounter after Buboe has been defeated - there are lava children and a magma elemental hidden below Buboe's base, whose presence accounts for the belchers flocking to the area - getting rid of it represents basically the optional bonus benefit and encounter for the module.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are okay, though there are a couple of issues in the formatting of rules-text. Layout adheres to Wayward Rogue Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports several solid full-color art pieces, mostly stock. The maps in full color per se are nice, but the lack of both proper-sized GM- and player-maps make their inclusion useless for the GM - you'll still have to draw them. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes a comfort detriment.

Nicholas Milasich's little module is a basic one - in format and length akin to a Pathfinder Society scenario, a type of module it suspiciously looks like. Like many PFS-modules, it's very combat-centric and extremely linear. The premise is funny and a capable GM can make the unconventional twist on the BBEG memorable, even if the "trick" mentioned for the final stand can be an issue. The bonus encounter feels a bit tacked on and the variant goblins also fall a bit short of their potential. The module per se is not necessarily bad, but neither is it particularly compelling. First level parties can potentially be wiped by the pretty strong opposition - I'd rather recommend this for level 2 - 4 characters. If you have no prep time and need a society-style scenario, then this may deliver for you- as this is PWYW, you may decide for yourself if this is a worthwhile offering for you.

It is due to this fair decision that my final verdict for this module will clock in at 3 stars - it may be worth checking out for you, but don't expect to be blown away.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ogres New Boots
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Vivisectionist Hybrid Class
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/08/2017 09:36:35

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This hybrid class clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Vivisectionists are locked into an evil alignment and receive d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons, bombs and light armor and the class receives a 3/4 BAB-progression as well as good Fort- and Will-saves. The class begins play with alchemy and Brew Potion and receives extract-spellcasting akin to the alchemist. The class draws its extracts from its own list of available formulae and the governing attribute here would be Intelligence. While the vivisectionist receives the bomb class feature, it is used in a different way and more in line with a very soft crowd-control, as the only level in which the ability is increased would be 13th. It should be no surprise that vivisectionists thus begin play with Throw Anything as well. Sounds much like an alchemist? Well, 1st level also yields channel necromantic energy, usable 3 + Cha-mod times per day. This special channeled energy does not cause damage, but can be used to command and heal undead - those affected by it may fall under the sway of the vivisectionist on a failed Will-save.

Starting at 2nd level, the vivisectionist receives DR 2/bludgeoning and magic, increasing this by +2 at 6th level, 11th level and 15th level. As a minor nitpick, the formatting of the DR in the class table lacks the slashes. 2nd level and every even level thereafter yield a discovery, but more on those later. Starting at 3rd level, a vivisectionist may 1/day emit a 5-ft-burst of negative energy that inflicts 1d4 damage per class level, half on a successful Will-save. As a minor formatting nitpick, it should be "+ Charisma modifier", not "+Cha modifier". This ability can be used an additional time per day at 8th, 12th and 18th level and it heals undead. Additionally, their channel can be used to further activate the ability more often. I assume the default standard action for activation of this Su, but would have still appreciated an activation action - and, pretty important, a note on whether this provokes an AoO. I assume no as a default, analogue to channel energy.

3rd level yields swift alchemy, which contradicts the table that puts the ability at 4th level. 5th level yields the eponymous vivisection, which allows the character to, as a free action, inject specially-charged brain matter, granting a +1d6 surge-like bonus on one skill check within 1 minute, even those requiring the taking of 10 or 20, with the choice being required after the check is rolled, but before results are made known. The interaction with taking 10 and 20 are a bit weird here, but retain their functionality, so this gets a pass. This can be used "1 + Cha modifier" (again, should be "Charisma" -I'll stop commenting on this type of formatting hiccup now) times per day, +1/day at 7th level and every other level thereafter. Alternatively, as a move action, the vivisectionist may gain the benefits of a combat feat for the duration, but has to meet all prerequisites, with 7th level decreasing action economy for this type of activation to a swift action.

The vivisectionist may only have one such wild-card feat at any given time...at least until 9th level, where the ability can also unlock general feats and may benefit from multiple such feats at any given time. The interaction here can be a bit wonky: The vivisectionist still has to meet the prerequisites of such feats, but can subsequent uses of the ability grant feat trees? Iron Will and Improved Iron Will, for example, if the vivisectionist uses three vivisection uses? Does he lose access to e.g. Improved Iron Will, once the vivisection duration for the granted Iron Will feat elapses? Does the multiple-use-caveat for the stacking of granted feats via vivisection also apply to combat feats, or are these still locked at a maximum of 1 wild-card feat? The ability has some hiccups in these finer details. Starting at 15th level, the vivisectionist may use the ability to gain a non-spellcasting 1st-level ability of a core class, but is locked into it until the duration elapses. Also at 5th level, the vivisectionist receives a 5-ft.-radius fear aura with a hex "Immune after successful save for 24 hours caveat."

Starting at 7th level, the vivisectionist may 1/round deliver a melee touch attack that inflicts 1d8 untyped damage, +1 per 4 class levels. This also heals undead creatures, which can be a problem if you're playing with an undead PC-race, as it means infinite healing. The attack may also be delivered via spectral hand - the spell is, just fyi, not properly formatted here. Starting at 12th level, the vivisectionist learns two alternate uses of this ability: On any given day, she may bestow a total of up to 1/2 her class level negative levels, with a maximum of 2 per touch. Alternatively, she may paralyze foes for 1/2 class level rounds, with both cases allowing a cha-governed save to resist. I assume the save to be Fort, but the ability does not clarify that. In order to use either paralyze effect or negative level, the vivisectionist must spend a swift action charging her hand. If the at-will paralyze seems OP, then because it is (RAW, it can be used infinite times per day), but the upgrade at 17th level makes clear that the intent was for paralyzing to have some sort of cap: Suddenly, negative levels and paralyze cap at class level levels/rounds per day. sigh

8th level adds +4 to Str and Dex and +2 hp per HD to all undead created by the vivisectionist and allows her to control 4 + Cha-mod undead HD per vivisectionist level, with 2x class level doubling as the cap for those controlled by channel necromantic energy. The wording here could be a bit more precise and elaborate. 9th level yields +4 to saves to resist negative energy, some ability drain, level drain and inflict spells. As a capstone, we have an undead-apotheosis as well as a grand discovery.

Speaking of which: The pdf contains, unless I have miscounted, a total of 13 class-exclusive discoveries and 4 exclusive grand discoveries. Grand scale corruption of wells and even larger bodies of water, a discovery that lets you rig an alchemist lab to make it generate undead-animating vapors, making a nasty weapon from a unicorn-horn...Know what? In all Wayward Rogues Publishing-pdfs I've covered so far, these are not only the most precise pieces of crunch, they also are inspiring and evocative. A lot of the discoveries basically ask to be made into the central plot-device of a given module. Preparing alcoholic beverages to hamper saves? That just sounds like step one of a delightfully dastardly plan, and disguise self and alter self as formulae, with the option to use a deceased person's blood to take their appearance, makes for a delightful package that just screams "Make me a cool villain in your next game! - even when the spell-references are not properly italicized. Cooler than that: Flashes of memory can be added to the impersonation! There is also a discovery-tree called graveflesh, which provides camouflage and protection from mindless undead, a black thumb that kills off vegetation (unfortunately without stating the effect on plant creatures) or some bonus spells - the abilities which grant those, just fyi, are perfectly formatted - italicized spells and all.

The grand discoveries allow for the assumption of permanent control over mindless undead, extended command and control limits, act as a living shrine to an evil deity (which also includes desecrate -bingo, not italicized) and provides auto-undeadification for those that die within your desecration range and finally, you can spontaneously call forth large amounts of weak undead. Per se nice options, though their power ranges a bit.

The pdf closes with 4 spells, one that allows you to damage foes based on your wounds, a low-level undead-only sanctuary-variant, a variant geas that animates the target upon death to continue his quest and a variant spying spectral eye. The spells sport some minor formatting hiccups, but generally remain viable. Weird: Though they are on the vivisectionist formulae list, their spell statblocks don't mention the class.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, particularly the latter, are the bane of this pdf. While significantly improved from earlier offerings by Wayward Rogues Publishing, this still has a lot of hiccups, some of which influence the functionality of the class. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the pdf sports a GORGEOUS artwork of the class. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes an unnecessary comfort detriment, particularly when combined with the fact that you can't highlight or copy any text in the pdf.

Robert Gresham, Wojciech Gruchala and Angel "ARMR" Miranda's vivisectionist is, let me state that clearly, a nice hybrid class. It has unique tricks, a distinct playing style, sufficient player-agenda, a concise identity and even some seriously inspiring discoveries. This class, in short, would receives 4 or 5 stars, easily. Unlike earlier hybrid classes by Wayward Rogues Publishing, it is one worth getting...if you're willing to spend a little time to work on it. As written, there are a lot of formatting hiccups and some ambiguities within the framework of the class that drag it down a notch from the praise I'd otherwise bestow upon it. The fact that some core abilities require further clarification is a nasty strike against the pdf and while I still can endorse this to GMs willing to work with the crunch, the editing and formatting deficiencies leave me unfortunately no choice but to rate this down to 3.5 stars, missing the rounding up by a tiny margin. I do hope this'll get a revision at some point - the cool ideas herein deserve the chance to properly shine.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vivisectionist Hybrid Class
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Hybrid Classes Vol. I
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/01/2017 05:27:01

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This collection of hybrid classes clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page empty after editorial (why?), 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 27 pages of content, so let's take a look!

All right, the first class herein would be the forgepriest...hey! Déjà vu! Bingo, this pdf compiles hybrid classes from the Cultures of Celmae-series and adds two new ones, the Mariner and the Looter. I'd usually revisit the respective hybrid classes...but, to give you an example: Forge-priest from Cultures of Celmae: Dwarves? Still missing his skills per level...and guess what? The missing information and wonky wording? Still all here. Forest Warden from Cultures of Celmae: Elves? Still opaque and horribly broken. Shadowskiver from Cultures of Celmae: Gnomes? Still redundant in a game that has Antipodism and Path of Shadows as better alternatives. These three are full-blown misses, here bereft of the fluff and racial origin myths etc. that salvaged their inclusion in the respective pdfs to some degree.

The mariner (available as a stand-alone PWYW-file), while mechanically better than these three fellows, is a decent, if unremarkable coastal specialist. I have covered all of these classes in more depth in my respective reviews of the books. I'm not going to repeat all my gripes with them here.

That leaves us with the looter, so let's hope for a gem in this compilation of misses, shall we? the looter is a hybrid of barbarian and rogue and receives d8 HD, 6 + skills, and "looter's are proficient with all simple weapons, plus hand crossbow, rapier, sap, short-bow and short sword." [sic!]. They are proficient with light armors as well. They gain good Fort- and Ref-save progressions and a nonstandard BAB-progression: While they start at +0 at 1st level, they gain full BAB-progression each level, excluding the 5th, which means they'll end up with a BAB of +18 at 20th level. They begin play with fast movement (+10 feet) and also receive sneak attack at first level, increasing sneak attack every odd level thereafter. Additionally, they begin play with Weapon Finesse, which, at third level, may apply Dex to damage instead of STr, gaining this benefit for another weapon at 11th and 19th level.

The eponymous looting ability of 1st level translates, rules-wise, as Improved Steal (not properly capitalized in the pdf), with 6th and 9th level providing the next upgrades in that maneuver's feat tree. 12th level nets even the mythic version of the Improved Steal feat, substituting 1/4 of her looter level as mythic tier. I get the idea here, but why bring mythic into it? Sure, the feat's bonuses are pretty standard and work in non-mythic gameplay, but personally, I'd have translated them to non-mythic gameplay and added "This doubles as blablabla for prerequisites..." - if only to take a it the edge of a kneejerk reaction of suddenly seeing mythic in a regular class progression. Still, only cosmetic as far as I'm concerned.

15th level nets the option to execute a steal attempt as a swift action before or after taking a standard action once per round. Now RAW, this would make it impossible to use this ability when using a full attack. 20th level lets the looter perform the maneuver as an immediate action - the once per round caveat, in both cases, is a bit odd, but doesn't necessarily hurt.

2nd level nets evasion and the swift foot ability, which adds +10 ft movement rate for 4 + Con-mod rounds, +2 rounds per class level, with 8th and 14th level extending the benefits to +20 and +30 ft., respectively. 3rd level nets Danger Sense, 4th Combat Expertise (not properly formatted) and uncanny dodge. 5th level provides Deep pockets, which provides the Sleight of Hand skill unlocks. 10th level provides, analogue, the Appraise skill unlocks. Finally, 15th level nets the Perception skill unlocks. Which is weird: Either you play with these...or you don't, right? If you already play with them, they make less sense as class features, particularly as late as 10th level. If you don't...they make kind of sense...I guess. On a formal level, it is evident that they have been ct-copy-pasted, since they use the second person instead of the third, so if that's something that bothers you, now you now.

6th level nets a 1/day Sleight of Hand reroll, +1/day at 10th level and every 5 levels thereafter,. Improved Uncanny Dodge is unsure where it's gained: The text reads 5th level, the table 8th. 10th level nets improved evasion. 12th level nets skill mastery (as the table calls it) or Sleight of Hand mastery, as the class text calls it - skill mastery with one being locked as Sleight of Hand, basically. 14th level nets immediate action no escape (double movement, only for purpose of following a withdrawing foe), usable for as long as the character still has swift foot uses left. 16th level nets defensive roll and 17th careful scavenger, which nets + Con-mod rounds +1 dodge bonus to AC versus melee attacks "which increases by +1 for every 6 levels the looter has attained" - which makes it pretty clear that this ability was ccp'd from a lower level. Why not rephrase it properly? 18th level provides Opportunist. As a capstone, the class gets the option to spend a swift foot use to gain a dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves equal to Constitution modifier for 1 round. Additionally, 20th level provides the Sense Motive skill unlocks.

The pdf also contains several feats collected for your convenience, from Mythic Improved Steal to those featured in the mariner pdf as well as the aura of inconspicuousness and renew air spells previously published.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are not good. The classes have inherited all original issues, making it pretty clear that none received a further close examination when compared to their original sources. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full color standard and the pdf sports some nice artworks, both original and stock. The pdf comes sans bookmarks, which is a HUGE no-go for a pdf of this size, particularly one that, like all Wayward Rogues Publishing-pdfs, does not allow for text-search...which is quite ironic, considering the amount of previously published material that was used in making these classes.

Robert Gresham's compilation of hybrid classes is not one I can recommend. While the mariner is decent on its own, the forgepriest, shadowskiver and forest warden are all problematic, bordering on non-functional. Which is somewhat of a pity, considering that the looter is by far the best hybrid class he has penned among the books I've covered so far. It is flawed, has, like others, abilities that contradict when they're gained and similar no-goes, but the focus on stealing and the swift foot-mechanic make for a unique idea. I wished there was more interaction with it as a resource, but hey. The use of Skill Unlocks in the class progression and the quote of one mythic feat (which is not that strong, mind you!) as well can limit its usefulness for some games, though. The class feels like, with a pass by a good dev who can refine it and some actual choice and player agenda (it has none and is completely linear!), it could have been a good class. As written, one looter will be identical to all other looters regarding class abilities. As a person, I dislike the non-standard BAB-progression, but as a reviewer, I can live with it. You have to cherish the small things in life, right?

...

I so wished this was the improved version of those Cultures of Celmae classes. I so wished that the looter was this piece of genius that would elevate this pdf. Instead, we have two extremely linear, decent classes, one of which is available as PWYW, and 3 trainwrecks. I can't recommend this pdf. My final verdict will clock in at 1.5 stars, rounded up by a tiny margin due to the presence of mariner and looter. Unless you're a completionist, skip this. Here's the good news, though: This represents the low point of the early Wayward Rogues Publishing hybrids. It gets better.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hybrid Classes Vol. I
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Cultures of Celmae: Elves
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/28/2017 07:49:46

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Cultures of Celmae-series clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 20 pages of content, quite a lot for the low price-point, so let's take a look!

The elves, in an interesting twist of the traditional myth, are not the oldest humanoid race of Celmae: Instead, the mysterious beings have suddenly appeared on the world as the Shattering was unleashed...alongside many a significantly less benevolent entity. As such, the arrival and war-effort of the elves against the creatures unleashed was met with a mixed response, with treaties confining them to their chosen forest homes for the most part...though a dwarven prophecy of global annihilation at the elven hands still floats like a portent of ill omen over the race's dealings with the stout folk. Considering that Delwynndynn Morningstar, greatest hero of the elven race, succumbed to ghoul fever and turned into a horrible mockery of his erstwhile noble nature (think Athas of Warcraft-fame, in elven), that prophecy may yet come true. And yes, this legend is indeed represented herein as a badass CR 19 dread ghast magus/slayer. Oh, and guess what? You won't believe that: His stats, while not perfect, italicize the spells! Okay, the magic items are not italicized properly and there are some formal hiccups here...but it's a start! On a plus-side, his artwork is phenomenal and cool.

But I digress: Things turned more confusing for outsiders with the arrival of the Dray-kel'aravaas, a completely different type of elf who promptly won an internal war against the other elves, one that also meant an end to the previously-enforced exile and confinement of the elven people. This reorganization also meant the splitting of the elven people according to the lines of different houses, with the original elves being further known as members of the house of the lost. The scholar Brezzleman has an interesting and somewhat controversial report that tries to explain the elven mystery: He claims that the Dray-kel'aravaas are aliens, who have been sent by their Mi-Go-masters to find the fugitive original elves, who were led away by a mythological figure. The Dray-kel'aravaas were then abandoned by their fungal overlords...and it is hinted that elf-like behaving orcs may be tied to the Dray-kel'aravaas as well, allowing for a Middle-Earth-y overlap, should you choose that aspect to be true. So yeah, much like Golarion's elves, these guys are aliens, though the focus is admittedly different.

Racial trait-wise, the elven people herein are modified from the default: Their weapon familiarity is changed to hand crossbow, lightning rod, rapier and short sword and instead of elven magic, they can cast dancing lights, darkness and faerie fire 1/day as a SP - oddly without requiring the standard minimum of 11 in a pertinent ability score. They also get +1 to atk versus dwarves (not as a racial bonus) and SR 6 + their class levels. This, as a whole, constitutes a significant upgrade of the power of the race. The Houses represent different alternate racial trait packages that alos modify the weapon familiarity: The House of the Sun gains +2 Str and Cha, -2 Con and applies the grudge bonus to orcs instead of dwarves and loses darkness. The house of the moon gets +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Con, +2 to Sense Motive (erroneously called "Keen Senses") and changes the SPs to detect magic, enhanced diplomacy, guidance. The House of Stars gets +2 Int and Cha, -2 Con (making them lopsided caster-focused), +2 to all Knowledge Checks, daze, charm animal and charm person as SPs, making them imho stronger than other houses. There is one background trait included (erroneously referred to in the plural) that nets +2 to intimidate versus non-elves, -2 to Diplomacy versus non-elves. The trait is not properly formatted and does not feature the proper nomenclature and verbiage regarding bonus type etc.

The pdf mentions elven short- and longblade as alternate origins of katana and wakizashi, though the latter is not spelled out and must be deduced from context. The pdf also introduces us to two elven nations: the island-nation of Aravaasa (including the settlement stats of the city Moonmeadow), as well as the forsaken forest of Endiel, which is now haunted by Delwyndynn Morningstar and his ghoulish legions. The description of this region and its horrid transformation represents one of the highlights of this pdf, so kudos there - though if you expect to see the level of detail allotted to the Briranor's realm, you won't find that here.

Marsila Moonbow, patron deity of elves, is depicted herein as well, with 4 domains and subdomains assigned to her and both elven long- and shortblade as favored weapons. As always, this can result in some favored weapon interaction chaos, but considering the thematic unity and rules-precedence that treat a daisho as one entity (like Oriental Adventures, back in 3.X), I can kind of, sort of, see it. Kind of.

Next up is a new class, the forest warden, who receives d6 HD, 4 + Int-skills per level, proficiency with simple and martial weapons and light as well as medium armor and shields, excluding tower shields. The class receives 3/4 BAB-progression and a completely weird save progression that begins with good Fort- and Ref-save progression and then switches it up to make Will the best save, culminating with +9 Fort and Ref, +13 Will at 20th level. I am not a big fan of this decision.

Oh, and the class receives Wisdom-based spellcasting that is spontaneous (uncommon, but I don't mind that attribute-choice) drawn from both ranger and druid-list, using the lowest spell level if it shows up on multiple spell-lists. That in itself would already be pretty strong, but starting at 5th level, the class can also select spells from the sorc/wiz-list, the most powerful list in the frickin' game. So, spellcasting alone...makes this class overpowered as F: We combine two of the most powerful spell-lists in the game, cherry-pick the lowest level AND add a spell-list (ranger), whose 1st level exclusives are balanced for 4th level access. Oh, and guess what: They're divine spells! You can cast in armor! F ME. If that sounds horrible, wait for this gem: "A forest warden cannot use spell completion or spell trigger magic items (without making a successful Use Magic Device check) of sorceror/wizard spells of 7th level." You can read that in the spell-section. So, what about 8th level and 9th level? No idea. Oh, and 8th level nets you the option to ignore arcane spell failure in nonmetallic light or medium armor...which does not apply in the first place, since the class casts divine spells. This class is a mess. So base spellcasting is jumbled wreck and even with that unlock, even if I'd assume the base spellcasting had the proper wording to prevent that...this ability would provide full armored sorc/wiz-casting in addition to all the druid/ranger/hunter-tricks.

And yes, this being a hybrid of hunter and sorc, we further add animal companion and focus, bloodline (at 5th level), trackless step, woodland stride, etc. And no, I'm not going to dignify this abomination of a class with a detailed breakdown. Whoever wrote this chucked out any notion of balance out with the bathwater. This is better than both druid and sorc. That says everything. Unless you go for insanely powerful gaming, this class is broken - and when you do, you'll have issues with rules-precision, something VERY important in high-powered games. I usually try to find something positive to say about every class. I tried really hard. I can't.

takes a deep breath We close this pdf with two pages of elaboration on the various houses of the elves, which here make up the seelie court...which can provide a fluff-disjoint if you sue that nomenclature for fey, but that at least remains a nitpick that you can ignore.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are not good: There are several obvious formatting issues in the rules-language and the hybrid class is confused and not balanced in any way, shape or form. Layout adheres to an aesthetically-pleasing two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports a blend of amazing new artworks and older pieces. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes a comfort-detriment.

Robert Gresham, John C. Rock and Michael Whitney provide a pdf on elves here that sports some nice fluff. The power-upgrade for the elven race(s) herein puts them on one level with the more powerful races, meaning that they eclipse regular gnomes, dwarves and humans of Celmae in direct comparison. The prose is generally nice, though a couple of hiccups do exist on a formal level. The hybrid class should have crashed and burned alongside the elven starship and seriously needs to go back to the drawing board as one horribly overpowered mess.

...this leaves me with not much to recommend. The prose is nice. The background flavor has some pretty nice bits and the inclusion of high-CR villain stats are nice...but the statblock sports several formatting glitches and errors as well. I like much herein, but if crunch is involved in any given section, you'll find an error here....and prose can only do so much to salvage a pdf, even one that is relatively inexpensive for the page-count. My final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded down. If you're not in it for the fluff, steer clear of this one.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cultures of Celmae: Elves
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Cults of Celmae: The Ashen King
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/21/2017 09:07:36

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The first pdf depicting the diverse cults of the Celmae-setting (also known as Shattered Skies), clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The believers of the Ashen King's creed hold the conviction that the cataclysm that shattered the lands of Celmae, the central, original catastrophe of the setting, was but a means of staving off a yet worse apocalypse. Worshiped, unsurprisingly, by the duergar and similar underworld-dwelling creatures, the creed of the Ashen King, fully reproduced here, begins with the words: "We follow the shadowed path of He who destroyed the world and saved it." - yes, this is indeed an interesting duality.

The aforementioned beings receive further coverage and, if you will, contextualized origin-myths: Adherers, for example, once were leper-bandits, transformed by their worship of this deity. Similarly, the kobolds also receive a brief history of their interaction with the deity...and we hear of the hell-candle of Brynndell, where strange dust rendered miners sick, hellish lights began dancing in tunnels and ore containing the undead make for a nice set-up for a high-concept mine-crawl. Finally, orcs whose skin has sloughed off, with sinew and muscles turning gray, represent a nice take on the classic creature with a distinctly Ashen King-like flair.

The Ashen King is depicted as a Lawful Evil deity with 4 domains and subdomains and two favored weapons: Pick and scythe. As always with Celmae-deities with multiple favored weapons, that leaves me to question how this interacts with class features and proficiencies pertaining the favored weapons of the deity. A deity of fire and ash as well as of rigid principle, the write-up manages to evoke a resonance with the Dark Souls-series in themes, which is a nice touch as far as I'm concerned.

The pdf provides 3 fully statted servants of the Ashen King - a deep dwarven (duergar) warpriest at CR 11, a rogue (charlatan) at CR 11 and an adherer dread mummy cleric at CR 9. I'd be significantly more well-disposed to using these fellows if their statblocks were properly formatted: There is not a single italicization in sight, which renders running the statblocks more tiresome than it should be. Also annoying: One ability of the mummy uses the second person instead of the third, making it quite obvious that the ability was just ccp'd. On a more positive side-note, 3 complex and relatively detailed adventure-hooks are included.

The pdf also features a selection of spells, namely 3: Ashen King's Gloom is cloud that imposes fear-based effects on those inside and may even panic those trying to dispel/disperse it from the inside. Lava Ball is just a renamed Giant Lava Ball from Rite Publishing's 1001 Spells. Similarly, Sphere of Disintegration is just a transparently renamed Disintegration Sphere from that book. You know, I don't mind this type of borrowing, particularly of good pieces of content, but the renaming without any flavor additions is odd and does look a bit to me like to me like obfuscation, since the spell-names are not closed IP. Generally, I consider it a sign of courtesy to denote when one is borrowing another person's design, beyond the confines and demands of the Paizo-standard books/OGL. I won't penalize this book for it, but it also shows as an inconsistency in the spell presentation, with the first spell's formatting being incorrect in several cosmetic details.

The pdf introduces the gloom helm, which can duplicate aforementioned spell, enhances Intimidate versus said targets...and gets a per se cool trick that allows for a premature end of the cloud, as it draws towards victims, heating their equipment. All things that should be italicized....are not. Also: +4 to Intimidate versus targets affected by the spell plus a 1/day spell-in-a-can with a unique modification feel a bit underwhelming for the massive price of this helm: 28 K.

We get a specialized summon monster-list for the servants of the Ashen King and also, and that is quite nice, an Inner Sea Gods-style write-up of the deity, with full-blown obedience, evangelist, sentinel and exalted boons. These are, for the most part, nice, though adding disintegrate to an attack should probably be SU, not SP. The option to truly dissolve corpses in sticky soot, preventing the return to life is nice, though, once again, the formatting of abilities is slightly inconsistent here.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are better than in previous offerings by Wayward Rogues Publishing, but formatting in particular is still off in several immediately obvious ways that could and should have been caught. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with a solid blend of original and stock artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes a serious comfort detriment.

Jeff Lee, Robert Gresham and Ewan Cummins deliver a nice deity write-up here; the ashen king tapping into visuals that have been popularized by the souls-franchise certainly generated some interest on my end. That being said, if you're expecting notes on a cult or religion's structure, fame or prestige benefits herein, you won't find them - so if you're accustomed to e.g. Fat Goblin Games' "Final Phase", you'll consider this to be a bit barebones. I do know now about several of the servants of the Ashen King, but not much about an agenda, modes of operation or the like.

The flavor that is here is nice, though: In particular how adherers have been fitted with a cool origin story makes me consider them more than just a lame twist on mummies, so big kudos for this one. There is quite a bit to like in this pdf, but at the same time, the flawed formatting of the pdf, its inconsistencies that become even more obvious when comparing material that has been ccp'd and renamed from other sources...that aspect is really, really rubbing me the wrong way and further decreases the oomph the pdf offers.

Don't get me wrong, the fluff herein is pretty nice and has some cool ideas, but mechanics-wise, I found myself less than impressed by this. If you're just looking for mechanics, consider this a 2-star-file. However, if you do not mind the reprints and are in it primarily for flavor and ideas, then this may be something worth checking out and closer to 3 stars. Since I make it a habit of trying to see the positive in a given book and since this is primarily intended as a flavor-book on a cult, I will rate it as such...though honestly, as much as I like the ideas here, I still feel that the whole religion and its structure are pretty opaque to me. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo, with the aforementioned caveats.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cults of Celmae: The Ashen King
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Cultures of Celmae: Briranor
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/16/2017 03:33:53

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Cultures of Celmae-series clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 19 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The briranor, prior to the Shattering, were an isolated people, dwelling on the Emerald Isle (fully mapped in full color!) - a tribal people fighting as much amongst themselves as with the orcs. When the Shattering tore Celmae asunder, they faced titanic beasts and had to retreat, in unity, to the newly unearthed cities of ruins opened to the sky by the now floating landmasses. Occupying the remains of this erstwhile civilization, they tried to rebuild...but soon had to come to grips with not being alone: The majestic behir and the briranor, after a tentative first contact, entered into an alliance that persists to this day, an alliance that allowed them to reclaim their lands. Initially reluctant to mingle with the strange new race they found in their once homes, the briranor soon mingled with the new elven race - and thus was born a race that could be summed up as Celmae's half-elves...though I prefer briranor. Why? Because, perhaps for the first time in ages, I feel that the hybrid race has a concise and distinct identity. Massive kudos!!

The nation of briranor receives its full write-up - with massive mountains and fey-haunted forests, the nation has plenty of adventuring potential and the sample settlement Baitha is a nice addition. The second nation depicted herein would be that of the Gallfaen - and yes, if you recall the Brynnyn, these fellows would be the ardent foes of Shub-Niggurath's cults and the dread titanic creatures unleashed upon the world, a tribal people. (They also gain +1 to Intimidate checks.)

The supplement then does something remarkably different - something I applaud: It takes a deeper look at the lands of the Briranor, covering all major settlements to be found within this region of the world, including settlement statblocks and lore galore and copious adventure hooks contained in the vivid prose. This made the region, at least to me, come to life more so than any before in the series. As a nitpick, the gold values in the statblock marketplace sections have been italicized, when they shouldn't be, but that's, as mentioned, cosmetic.

The gazetteer also covers the emerald pull, the fey-territory mentioned before. The pdf also sports crunch, though - in this instance, that would be the behir rider, who receives d10 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, full BAB-progression and good Fort-saves. The PrC can be taken at 8th level, provided you can meet its criteria, and has a cool flavor requirement (two thumbs up) - namely that the prospective rider must have single-handedly defeated a behir. Ouch! Love it!

The PrC begins with a young behir companion (proper animal companion stats included!!) as well as behir empathy, a behir-centric-version of wild empathy. The base behir companion is powerful - and has a great catch: If the behir rider has another mount, eidolon or familiar, the "behir will kill and eat it". That's so deadpan...I love it. It made me actually laugh when I read it. 2nd level nets behir's stance, which provides a +1 bonus to CMD versus trip attempts, which increases by +1 every even level thereafter. 3rd level nets natural armor +1, increasing this every odd level thereafter. At 4th level, the PrC receives combination charge, which nets the behir a free bite attack when the rider is charging. 8th level allows the behir to execute the breath weapon at the end of the charge (with a caveat to prevent recharge abuse!) and as a capstone, we have a decrease of the recharge time for the breath weapon by 1 and immunity to electricity for the rider.

The behir companion begins play with 8 HD and increases these to 15, has good Fort- and Ref-saves, increases skills from 8 to 15, natural armor from +6 to +12 and increases Str and Dex by up to +6 over the course of the 10 levels of progression. During the class advancement, the behir also receives 7 bonus tricks. It begins play with link, with 2nd level providing devotion (+4 to Will-saves vs. enchantment) and grab, 3rd level providing evasion, 4th constrict, 6th rake, 9th improved evasion and 7th level breath weapon. The 10th level provides swallow whole. Powerful, yes, but ability-dispersal-wise and considering the relative dearth of good abilities in the base PrC, more than justified. Now, there is one baffling oversight: The second page of the behir's rules-text...is completely italicized. It's a cosmetic glitch, but one that even casual inspection could have caught. Still, as a whole, my favorite class-design in the series so far!

Next, we are introduced to 4 new deities (all with their own full color symbols) - there would be Ametus, the creepy deity with the needle-pointed fingers that wrested the secret of undeath from the Grey Maiden (Vecna, anyone?), Lyria, patron of sun, passion and art, Reata, dual deity of love and lust as well as war (which makes a lot of sense to me!) and Wyre, master of dreams, magic and knowledge. Now these deities do have a couple of minor issues: Ametus and Lyria have two favored weapons, which makes the proficiency question and interaction of favored weapon mechanics problematic - do both weapons apply bonuses, if any? Lyria also gets one subdomain more than the other deities.

The pdf sports 3 domains: Art, Dream and Passion: Art allows you to temporarily make regular items masterwork and 4th level allows the character to take bardic masterpieces, substituting spells known with spell slots...which sounds reasonable. Unfortunately, bardic masterpieces require the expenditure of bardic performance, which means that the domain...doesn't do anything there, unless you have somehow access to the bardic performance class feature. The movement subdomain lets you touch a target 3 + Wis-mod times per day, forcing them to move gracefully away from you (nope, does not provoke AoOs). This one should have a save to negate. The sound subdomain provides basically a weaker version of inspire courage. Not blown away.

The dream domain nets you the option to 2/day to apply a +5 bonus to AC or Ref-save of a companion. The wording makes me think that this should have an immediate action activation, but the ability does not specify one...so yeah. 8th level lets you scry while sleeping...and nope, the spell's not italicized. The Passion domain lets you touch another to grant them bonuses to Perform, while 8th level provides immunity to non-magical fear effects and a bonus to saves versus magical fear.

The pdf concludes with a new material, azure luster: The material is used for weapons exclusively (being to malleable for armor) and increases the damage of the respective weapon by one size category, but are ALWAYS treated as broken. The material also ignores the AC or shield bonuses granted by iron or steel armor (explicitly just these - bronze, mithril, etc. are good!) and may not even damage these materials - iron creatures would be completely immune versus these weapons! The cost, at +5K gp, is pretty low for the benefits...but then again, I LIKE it. It provides a great in-game reason for making armor and shields out of strange materials, for getting that bone armor...you get the idea. It feels a bit rough, but offsets that by being imaginative, ending the pdf on a high note.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting...are not that good. I noticed several typo-level hiccups and formatting in particular, while better than in previous installments, sports some very obvious hiccups that should have been caught. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and artwork consists of a blend of nice full-color original pieces and stock art. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes an unnecessary comfort detriment.

Jess Carson, with additional writing by Robert Gresham and Angel "ARMR" Miranda, delivers the by far best Cultures of Celmae-supplement I've covered so far. The flavor is more in-depth, with the gazetteer painting a more vivid picture of the regions and people in question. The briranor have a more distinct identity than most half-elves I have seen, which is a big plus. In fact, I was getting ready to sing some more pronounced praises here...and then, I stumbled over the deity-write-up section and the problematic (and partially boring) domains, which stick out like a sore thumb in the book. The deity-fluff is generally nice, if not too mind-blowing, but the domains...are simply not as refined as they should be. Compared to both PrC and new material and the cool ideas they represent, this section feels...less compelling.

This is an inexpensive pdf, yes. But the domain issues do drag this down a bit, unfortunately, to the point, where, in conjunction with the pretty nasty formatting issues, I can't rate this as high as I'd like to. It should also be noted that bonus types could have used a more rigorous codification in this supplement. Still, of the early Cultures of Celmae-books, this is BY FAR the one most worth getting! If you're looking for more culturally distinct half-elves, it could very well be exactly what you're looking for! Still, with the formal issues, I cannot go higher than 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cultures of Celmae: Briranor
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Cultures of Celmae: Gnomes
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/09/2017 10:13:07

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Cults of Celmae-series clocks in at 18 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let's take a look!

We begin this installment with a brief recap of the gnome's mythology - when forge father Adan's hammer blows created the azer, the sparks of his forge also made the dwarves and gnomes and, according to gnome myth, it was the gnomes that carved out Teran-Jarraian, the world below. As the myth states, it is during this age they made contact with the devastating gugs and pioneered many spells now common to spellcasters across the nations of Celmae. In this golden age, they raised a subterranean library of untold knowledge, but it would only be a matter of time before strife would send their realms into chaos, as the dwarves proceeded to breach the Deep Ore sphere in their quest for the legendary deep ore and thus instigated the core calamity of the setting: As magma erupted and the shattering began, gnomish wards failed and foulest monstrosities were spread across the lands; dragons awoke and the gnomish hero Kremenesh sacrificed himself and his comrades to reseal the dreaded World Dragon, ascending thus to god-hood - and ever since, the gnomes have started adapting among their shattered home, its cultures and environments...though, understandably, there are serious resentments towards the dwarves still lingering.

The myth-weaving in this history is pretty evocative and in fact, exceeds in prose quality that sported for the dwarves, making this a very interesting start for the pdf! Okay, racial trait-wise, the race is split between svirfneblin and the gnomes that took to surface and skies, the pech. Svirfnbelin mostly adhere to the racial traits we know, with some tweaks: Their hatred applies to reptilian humanoids and dwarves instead of goblinoids. They have slow speed in Celmae and receive a dwarf's stonecunning. They also lose fortunate's save bonus and low-light vision and the Stealth-bonus, tough the Craft (alchemy)- and Perception-bonuses remain - the former is btw. formatted as "Craft Alchemy." The SPs of the race are not italicized either and the attribute bonuses are not properly bolded - both of these formatting issues can be encountered multiple times, so if you read me referring to a SP, expect its formatting to be wrong. As a whole, a sensible nerf of the pretty strong base race.

Alternate trait-wise, these guys can replace defensive training with a 1/day darkness SP - that also features the following sentence: "A svirfneblin with the skilled racial trait gains a +4 bonus to Stealth skill checks to hide within the are affected..:" - which constitutes, alas, a pretty nasty fault: You see, svirfneblin in this iteration do not receive the skilled racial trait - it has been broken up into components, making this, RAW, not work. Darker SPs (that are formatted differently than those among the base racial traits) can be found...as can Spell Blocker, which is OP and does not work: When an arcane spell fails to pierce the svirfneblin's SR, the caster may not target the the svirfneblin again for 1 round - no save. It also replaces skilled and alchemical insight, which is puzzling - the base race does not have the "skilled" trait anymore. Speaking of problematic: What abut a constant, level 1 nondetection instead of the usual SPs, PLUS several stone-related high-power tricks? Yeah, not even trying to look balanced here. The final alternate trait works -+2 AC versus aberrations, +1 to atk, replacing hatred and defensive training. 1 out of 5...is not a good quota, particularly considering the easy nature of the design-task here.

The pech gain +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Str, are slow and Small and receive the gnome magic. They gain +2 to saves versus fear, illusions and halfling luck. Skill-wise, they gain +2 to Perception and Acrobatics. Both gnome subraces receive proficiency in both gnome and halfling weaponry. In case you haven't noticed - pech are pretty much the replacement for the hairy-footed race.

The alternate racial traits for the pech allow you to lose the Acrobatics-bonus in favor of 30 ft. movement, with another replacing that and the Perception bonus in favor of Perform and Craft, while Wanderlust diverges from the benefits of the trait with the same name: Instead of the fear-save-bonus and hafling luck, you gain +2 to Knowledge 8geography) (correctly formatted!) and Survival as well as +1 CL for spells that enhance movement. 3 out of 3. Nice job.

The first city featured herein would be Carbas...and it is not a nice place: The inhabitants of this dismal subterranean place are afflicted by incurable black sores, as weird mold grows and the very walls ooze slime: The legendary city of gugs, Ukosh, once sealed, lies below - and its corruption seeps from the black monolith to the realms above....oh, and if that is not enough, the realms elow also hold Celmae's most notorious, magic prison. A look at the settlement statblock won't make you wonder why the place has a danger rating of +43.

Now, I already talked a bit about the hero Kremenesh and his sealing of the World Dragon and ascendance to godhood, but the pdf goes one step further, sporting a detailed, two-page recap of the legend in nice prose - much like Carbas, the flavor is certainly nice and interesting.

The pdf also contains a new hybrid class, the shadowskiver, who receives d6 HD, 6+ Int-mod skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons, longbow, shortbow, rapier, sap, shortsword, whip and shields (excluding, as almost always, tower shields) and light armor. They gain Charisma-based spontaneous arcane spellcasting drawn from the bard's list of up to 6th level and sport a 3/4 BAB-progression alongside good Ref- and Will-saves. The class receives sneak attack at first level, increasing the damage output every odd level thereafter to a maximum of +10d6. As a purely cosmetic complaint, there is one instance in the table where the "d" in the sneak attack's damage tally is capitalized.

The class must spend 5 of its skill ranks in "Acrobatics, Bluff, Climb, Jump and Stealth." See the odd man out? Yeah, there is no Jump skill. Second level nets Quick Draw and evasion, with 3rd level providing Spell Focus (Illusion), with 4th level providing uncanny dodge, 6th Point Blank Shot - nice here: Bonus increases if the character has the feat. 8th level nets improved uncanny dodge and TWF, with 9th level providing Rapid Shot. 10th level unlocks the ability to no longer provoke AoOs when using thrown weapons versus adjacent characters as well as Snatch Arrows. 11th level nets an at-will supernatural cloak of shadows that grants concealment that can also provide means of using Stealth.

12th level nets a bonus to AC when adjacent to an opponent. 13th level nets free Still Spell for illusion spells, 17th Extend Spell for illusions, with 14th level increasing movement by +10 ft. as well as providing poison use. 15th level makes illusions infused with the essence of shadow and thus, partially real. The 16th level nets a 1/day (3/day at 20th level) variant sneak that can stun foes. At high levels, Snatch Arrows is upgraded and 18th level nets 10 ft. ranged flank, 19th level increased substance for shadowy illusions and 20th level master strike.

The hybrid class, as a whole, while not perfect, is a decent take on the shadowy rogue with spellcasting. Its very potent shadow tricks are somewhat mitigated by them being...well...squishy. Very, very squishy. However, it does have some issues: For one, its ability-progression basically forces you down one path - there is no choice here. One shadowskiver will be just like another. It has exactly 0 player agenda. Secondly, and more importantly - the niche's been filled by vastly superior takes on the concept. If you're looking for a light/dark-oscillation, going for Interjection Games' antipodism-classes will have you covered. If you don't want the nice variant system these use, I'd point you towards Ascension Games' excellent Path of Shadows-supplement instead.

The pdf also features racial feats, 4 for the svirfneblin, 2 for the pech: Svirfneblin can have a Dispelling Touch, which is interesting: 1/day (+1/day for every 4 levels), you may execute an attack as a full-round action. On a hit, you greater dispel magic and the opponent receives your SR, non-lowerable, mind you, while you lose it, with the transfer lasting for character level rounds. The feat can't affect characters with SR. As a minor nitpick here: I assume you can't have more than one use of the ability in effect at any given time - explicitly stating that would have been helpful. Still, I like this one - the daily limitations make sure it's properly kept in check, though the dispelling fails to clarify its CL. Not perfectly operational, but nice. Keeper of Secrets boosts your saves versus an array of mind-influencing/probing effects, while Knucklebasher is pretty cool: It lets you perform AoOs versus Large and larger creatures as though you were adjacent to them, provided they miss you. Nice one, and has a per-round limit that prevents abuse. The final feat basically nets you a type of freeze. Yeah, not too excited.

The pech feats let you treat, for class level round per day, a skill as a class skill or gain proficiency in a weapon., while the second feat lets you reroll a save versus an effect that results in a fear-based condition up to 2/day.

The pdf also contains 3 new background traits, all of which tie in well with the racial history of the gnomes, no complaints here! The pdf closes with 3 racial spells - detect kobolds is self-explanatory, while aura of inconspicuousness is interesting in that it only affects beings under nondetection and imposes a penalty on noticing them, based on the target's HD. Finally, renew air is basically a nice spell-version of the gas-annihilating spells of former editions.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting have improved in comparison to the previous offerings, though missing letters, missing italicization and obvious cut-copy-paste remnants are still here. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf's artwork is pretty nice, though I have seen the majority of it before. The pdf comes has no bookmarks, which constitutes a comfort detriment.

Robert Gresham, with additional design by Jeff Gomez and Jeff Lee, has improved his prose over the last installment - the shattering as a hallmark and the nice fluff in this book is more refined and reads better than that in previous iterations of the series....to the point where I honestly would like to read more about the setting. So that's a definite plus. On the down side, the formatting is pretty bad and could have used an at least casual glimpse by an editor/proof-reader. The fact that the svirfneblin alternate traits are mostly RAW not operational is a big downside, as is the fact that their balance is wonky. The base race-modifications are decent enough. The shadowskive is a better class than the one the dwarves got, though it does suffer from being very squishy and very linear - from power-levels to design-asethetics, it feels more like a 3.5 class than a PFRPG-class, with no choice, no player-agenda whatsoever and all unique abilities delayed to the higher levels. So yeah, while the craftsmanship is better, it's still not a class I'd consider a worthwhile addition to any game's roster.

On the plus-side, there are some gems in the supplemental material; from traits to feats and spells and the legend provided certainly paint a nice picture. HOWEVER, from a crunch point of view, I wouldn't consider these sufficient. Whether to get this or not ultimately depends on if you're interested in the setting or not: If you are, then this does deliver some nice ideas, a cool city (definite highlight herein!) and some nice fluff. If you're primarily interested in rules, however, I'd suggest looking elsewhere. In the end, this is a bit better than the dwarf-installment, but not by enough to elevate it beyond a final verdict of 2.5 stars. Whether to round up or down depends on what you're looking for. Due to my in dubio pro reo policy as well as the low price, my official rating will round up.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cultures of Celmae: Gnomes
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