Flames Rising PDF Store
DriveThruComics
DriveThruFiction



Home » Tribality Publishing » Reviews
Close
Close
 Quick Find
Browse
One Page Vehicle Rules
One Page Vehicle Rules
Pay What You Want
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Information
See our Quickstart Guide for information on how to get started.

Having Problems?
  • FAQ - our Frequently Asked Questions page.
  • Device Help - assistance for viewing your purchases on a tablet device.
  • Contact us if none of these answer your questions.

Affiliate System - Click here for information about how you can get money by referring people to Flames Rising PDF Store!

Our Latest Newsletter
Product Reviews
Privacy Policy
How to Sell on Flames Rising PDF Store
Convention Support Program


RSS Feed New Product RSS Feed
Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Three Sorcerous Arts (5E)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2017 09:01:15

The man walked in the inn. He was plain, at least at a first glance. But as soon as people saw him better, there was something special about him. Noone could tell, but there was this...quality. Two hours later, the man stepped out of the inn. People followed, they followed their king.

"You'd better not upset her", said Draph to Kenrick. "You know how she is when she's upset and the moon is not full, yet". Kenrick snorted as a reply. "Yo Kessa, be a good girl and fetch me the bladder, will ya?" A spray of water right on the chest and a close meeting with the back wall was all the response he got.

It was said that the Ice Mages came from the wastes en masse. The legends say of these mages that shaped ice as they willed and they stopped their foes on their tracks just by looking at them. Up to this day the Ice Mages were but a myth. Up to this day though, no one had seen a cadre of Elite Guards frozen in place, or huge ice bridges melting under the summer sun.

The latest Tribality Publishing title is about additional Sorcerous Arts, i.e. three new subclasses for the Sorcerer Class of 5e D&D plus some nifty magical items.

The image of the LARPer (I guess) on the cover is a nice change. The rest of the layout is typical Tribality Doric. I like it a lot as a PDF, but to be honest, a printer-friendly version would be also good, as the big black header on each page makes printing painful.

On the most important stuff, the Royal Sorcerer is a bit weak thematically if you ask me. I guess you could base it in some old lineage of Mage Kings or even in a long-extinct lineage of a superior race that used to rule the land. Or, alternatively, make a thematic change and base the blood bond to a completely differnet source, something charismatic of course (Angels maybe?). In any case, it is Paladin meets Sorcerer and it plays out nicely with the high Charisma value any Sorcerer should have.

The Tidal Sorcerer has that wacky Tides of Fortune feature and I like that a lot. I guess I'll have many debates with my players as to what can pass as a "large body of water" but I believe common sense (aka DM's ruling) will prevail. Finally, it might be a bit of a burden to keep track of which of the Call the Tides feature the player has used, but it's not a game braker in any case. Rightfully, one can trace some resemblance in the theme with the Sea Sorcerer published by WotC, but this has taken a completely different angle, playing nicely with the theme of tides and the shifting of the sea.

Winter Kin Sorcerer is absolutely great. In some instances (Iike the Icy Path) it reminded me of Ice-Man from X-Men. The powers have a nice mix of offense and control, so generally this is nicely balanced.

I loved the Magic Items. Nice ideas through and through and most of them go way beyond the subclasses of the first part of the document.

So, all in all, it is a good adition to any table. I'd change the Royal Sorcerer a bit, but the rest can be a direct fit to my game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Three Sorcerous Arts (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Three Sorcerous Arts (5E)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/21/2017 08:45:25

Three Sorcerous Arts: Three Sorcerous Origins for Firth Edition provides some excellent options for sorcerers in 5E and expands the range of choices for that class. Everything seems well balanced and if you like playing sorcerer, or using them as rivals to the players, give this product a look.

Three Sorcerous Arts: Three Sorcerous Origins for Firth Edition by Brandes Stoddard and published by Tribality Publishing is just that, three new Sorcerers’ origins (or bloodlines as they would have been called in some other sources) and some supporting magic items. The layout is clear with thematic color photographs for illustrations.

After a very brief introduction to the product, it presents Royal Sorcery, the blood of queens and kings flows through you and imbues your magic. Royal Sorcery provides an interesting mix of increased combat abilities, ally support and Charisma tricks which some payers will delight in, especially though that like to take a leadership role in a game.

Tidal Sorcery is, naturally, tied to the sea and if you want to play an underwater campaign, convince some of your players to take this origin; while they are far from useless inland, they shine in, or under, the sea.

The third origin is Winter Sorcery, the fae touched magic of frost and cold, which does mostly what you would expect with some nice weaving in of the fae’s ability to charm when dealing with creatures who are otherwise not much damaged by cold. The18th level capstone ability, Master of the Frost, gives the ability to impose additional conditions but lacks a note of when those conditions end (I would say a save at the end of each of the target’s actions to shake them off, but clarification would be nice).

Lastly, there are seven new magic items several of which are only for spell casters of various type but just one is a sorcerer only item, though several get attritional benefit when used by particular type or sorcerer (and a few others). These items are all quite potent and worthy of being the end result of quests or major victories.

A solid addition to the options for sorcerers, and other spell-casters when the magic items are included, except for the one concern above (easily fixed) I would have no problem with allowing any of these in my campaign.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review. Also, Brandes is a friend of mine and one of the players in my original Sea of Stars campaign, but I like to think that did not influence this review.

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



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/17/2017 04:55:33

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion pdf for the cleric-class clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After a brief introduction to the subject matter at hand, we start off with the Blood Domain...and at one glance, we can see that the spells in the domain's list are not italicized, in a pretty obvious formatting hiccup. However, wait for a second - the spells themselves make sense, so how do the features fare? Well, at 1st level, you gain proficiency in all simple and martial weapons that deal slashing or piercing damage and when you fall below 1/2 maximum hit points, you receive temporary hit points equal to twice your cleric level, but only once per short-rest-interval. If your current hit points are below half of the maximum, you gain temporary hit points of the same amount when rolling initiative...which could be interpreted in two ways: One, it is an additional effect or two, this counts towards the limit. Option one makes more sense to me, but presentation-wise, this could be slightly more elegant. One more note: Since most ranged weapons are piercing, I'd suggest caution in case you're using a lot of 3pp piercing weapons and firearms - in that case, I'd strongly suggest limiting the proficiency to slashing weapons, though that just as an aside that will not influence the final verdict.

Channel Divinity's version for the domain also makes use of the 1/2 maximum hit points threshold - allies within 60 ft. may use their reaction to attack with a slashing or piercing weapon and if these attacks hit, they add your Wisdom modifier to damage. At 11th level and 17th level, such attacks also inflict +1d8 damage or +2d8 damage, respectively. At 6th level, any 1 or 2 you roll on healing effects or damaging effects/attacks is treated as a 3 instead, which is powerful and rewards risky play. 8th level adds +1d8 damage to piercing and slashing weapons, +2d8 at 1th level. You also get to add Wisdom modifier to cleric cantrip damage. At 17th level, things become hardcore - when you reduce a creature to 0 hp, you regain channel divinity or an expanded spell slot, with the spell slot equal to half the CR of the creature damaged or 5. Thankfully, I can put away my bag of fluffy kittens - the feature can only be used twice in a long-rest-interval. All in all an interesting domain that rewards risky playstyle - you basically are at your best when at below half hit points and the same holds true for your allies. In such, this feels like an heir of 4e's bloodied mechanic, of which I never was a big fan. Still, from a neutral position, I can appreciate it.

The second domain herein would be the exorcism domain, which yields your choice of proficiency in Arcana, Insight or Intimidation at 1st level and also proficiency in Abyssal, infernal, Celestial, Sylvan or Primordial as well as heavy armor. Finally, you get the censure cantrip -bingo, not italicized. Channel Divinity allows you to turn fiends and fey and reveals their true form if they fail their Wisdom save. At 6th level, channel divinity can be used as a reaction to grant an ally within 30 ft. a reroll of a save resulting in possession or the charmed/frightened conditions - nice!! Even betetr - if said save is successful, you deal radiant damage to the creature that prompted the save - 2d8 + Cha-mod, which increases to 3d8 and 4d8 at 11th and 17th level, respectively. At 8th level, your weapon attack once per turn gains +1d8 radiant damage, +2d8 at 14th level, and you add Wisdom modifier to any cleric cantrip's damage. The 17th level feature adds a temporary banishment effect to unearthly creatures (precise list includes undead, fey, elementals, etc.) when they roll a 1 on saves versus you - including the option to potentially drop concentration in favor of the banishment. VERY cool! I love this domain. It's a specialist, sure, but it has some seriously cool mechanics!

The spirit domain nets proficiency with the herbalism kit and the spirit claw cantrip as well as proficiency in your choice of Animal Handling, Nature or Survival. You also get a totemic companion of either bear, eagle, snake or wolf - and the mechanics are amazing: You can direct this spirit as part of any other action to move and it is impervious to all but force damage and regenerates all damage after one round; however, 10 points of damage disperse it. Here's the cool thing: When you do not cast a spell (excluding curing spells) or attack, said companion gets to attack! This basically allows the player to contribute in otherwise dead/healing rounds or when concentrating. Big, big kudos!

At 2nd level, channel divinity allows for some seriously cool tricks - depending on totem spirit chosen, the activation can range from reaction to action...and they include damage resistance for yourself or an ally versus one effect, spirit companion short-range teleport (which takes an ally along, in the eagle's case or heals a target close to the destination of the snake totem!) or knock foes prone. Very, very cool - and at 6th level we get even more of these variable options. Absolutely amazing. 8th level allows the spirit companion to gain free attacks versus creatures you damage and 17th level nets resistance against cold, acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison and thunder damage, which may be a bit overkill, particularly since you may also, once per long-rest interval, grant yourself proficiency in a language, save, skill or tool. Know what this domain made me think: Ironically, it is a better, cooler representation of the shamanic concept than tribality's shaman class. It's amazing. It's the coolest domain I have read so far for 5e.

The pdf also includes, surprise, 8 new spells for the cleric, with a handy sidebar guiding the GM regarding their use/whether they're appropriate for other classes - kudos for going the extra mile there! Angelic Boon can be used as either a healing spell for allies or as a radiant damage inflicting melee spell attack. Clarion Call can rouse sleepers and end one condition like charmed, frightened or confused. Harrow deals minor psychic damage, but also adds a debuff to the creature's next roll before the end of its turn. Righteous Accusation can be upgraded with a proper and costly scroll containing a target's sins -and inflicts serious psychic damage and can cause the creature to be frightened. If the more costly version is used, the creature also receives two vulnerabilities...which is very powerful, yes...but also rewards proper legwork...and I'm pretty okay with it, in spite of the spell's damage type being pretty potent. Song of Battle is a cantrip that deals psychic damage and also adds radiant damage to a nearby ally's attack. Aforementioned Spirit Claw is basically a spell-command for the spirit companion to attack and thus does nothing without one. Spirit Wind, at 8th level inflicts selective radiant or necrotic damage to a type of creature or race and bolsters you or an ally with temporary hit points, healing or better damage, though only one benefit may be gained thus - so no, can't be kitten'd and explicitly states that deities do not look kindly upon the spell's misuse. Word of Censure, finally, would be another psychic damage-causing cantrip, but one with an interesting mechanic - if a creature affected moves closer to you, it'll take the damage a second time.

Conclusion:

Editing is top-notch, I noticed no significant hiccups. On the formatting side, the lack of italicization is a bit jarring. Layout adheres to Tribality Publishing's crisp and very unique 2-column full-color standard and the pdf includes the thematically-fitting, kind of photography-like artworks we've come to expect by now. The pdf has no bookmarks, which represents a minor comfort detriment at this length.

All right, while I am not sold 100% on the cantrips and the pretty potent utility they exhibit herein and while I really dislike the bloodied-style mechanics of the Blood domain, this pdf is still amazing. The exorcism domain is extremely flavorful...but it is the spirit domain that makes me smile from ear to ear. The spirit companion mechanics is a stroke of genius and allows you to actually act and do something active, even while healing allies and doing less exciting cleric stuff. Add the tactical options via the channel divinity tricks and we have a full-blown winner that is worth the low asking price all on its own. The spells similarly provide some absolutely evocative visuals. To sum up - one domain is very much a matter of taste, one is very good, one is pure amazing and the spells also should be considered to be among the better examples of their craft. In short: Brandes Stoddard's pdf is an amazing deal for any 5e-cleric (Seriously: Spirit domain. Never look back.) and deserves a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5. Excellent job!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Alchemist (5E)
by Derek N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2017 16:01:41

I have at this point played the Artificer, Irezumi, and Poisoner archetypes, all at varying levels which all independently feel different from one another. I have to say this class feels so much like full official 5e content, it is hard to ignore. The class makes fantastic use of existing mechanics and applies it forward in a very fun way. The use of flavor in the creation of your spells as an alchemist gives so much volume to your own personal story, as well as the flavor of the world. In doing so, the use of this class helps negotiate the meaning of the alchemist in the story as well as adding pieces of lore and material the DM may have not thought about, without risking violating the overall setting. For instance, the poisoner archetype actually uses basic poisons, and makes them fun and interesting. Statistically, I have not, since I started playing and DMing for 5e, seen the use of basic posions by players or have begun to see them take interest in doing so. On top of that, the available options do not interfere with a strict inclusion of magitech/magitek. An alchemist could via most of these archetypes, if not all, appear in any setting, from grimdark Sword and Sorcery style fantasy to high fantasy settings like the Forgotten Realms. That in itself is a testament in Mr. Howard's ability to find design space that exists in the system, work on it, make it fun to play, and make it universal. When I saw the Unearthed Arcana: Artificer, I tried it for two sessions and said, "No, I think I'll take the better one." and went back to this class. This is a must have for any DM or player who wants a crafting oriented class, and is looking for something balanced and unique.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alchemist (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Shaman Class (5E)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/03/2017 06:51:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This base class clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After one page of introductory prose, we dive into the nice, flavorful lead-ins that characterize 5e-classes - this time around, we hear of sacred animals, living spirits and a properly animistic duality of an existence between the world of spirituality and the natural world. In case you were wondering: Yes, this class very much is indebted to the various real world mythologies and the shamanistic traditions. Shamans have their own spell-list, included herein, with spellcasting governed by Wisdom. Shamans begin play with 2 cantrips known and increase that to 5. Their first spell is gained at 3rd level and they learn up to 15. Finally, they cast via slot: At 3rd level, they begin play with two slots and gain an additional slot at 11th and 17th level. They cast by expending these slots and the slot levels increase from 1st level up to 5th. This means that e.g. a 5th level shaman has 2 slots and spells cast are cast as second level spells, regardless of spell level. Spells learned at level up may be of any spell level available for the slots and shamans may cast spells as rituals. Totems as a spellcasting focus are required and may be replaced upon completing a long rest in the shaman's favored terrain.

Chassis-wise, the class gains d8 HD, proficiency in light armor, shields, simple weapons, herbalism kit, Strength and Wisdom and two skills of your choice, chosen from Arcana, Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Intimidation, Nature, Perception and Survival. At character creation, you choose a flavorful totem spirit from bear, buffalo, coyote, crow, eagle, elk, fox, hawk, owl, snake and wolf - unless you follow a certain path, these remain flavor-options, though. Unexpected: Shamans are actually pretty good tanks with the proper build: At 1st level, they gain an AC of 10 + Wisdom modifier + Constitution modifier while unarmored - and yes, you can add a shield to that. 1st level also yields the natural explorer feature, which allows you to choose one terrain type as favored terrain. When making and Intelligence or Wisdom check pertaining this terrain, you double your proficiency bonus in skills you are proficient. Additionally, overland travel for the group in the terrain is not hampered, you can't be lost except by magic, you remain alert to danger and may stealthily scout ahead. You also are better at foraging and may track creatures more precisely.

Starting at 2nd level, you gain spirit sight, which translates to advantage on Dexterity saves versus threats you can see, including traps and spells - but you do lose this if you're blinded, deafened or incapacitated. Curious that being restrained does not hamper this. Oh well. Ability score improvements are gained at 4th level and every level thereafter as well as at 19th level. 5th level yields primal protector, which lets you use your action to make all beasts within 30 feet indifferent to you and yours on a failed Wisdom save, potentially charming them. Problem here: The pdf does not specify the save DC. Analogue to e.g. the wizard's school of enchantment, this should probably be the spell save DC. The shaman may use this twice per short or long rest. 7th level yields an aura that grants you and your allies within 10 ft. advantage on Constitution and Wisdom saves. 9th level grants something pretty damn strong: When you hit a creature, you gain temporary hit points equal to the damage caused, but "only" once per round. This is problematic. If you take a look at the PHB, you'll notice that temporary hit points are usually granted by limited resources and are generally not something that is available in indefinite quantities.

Let me demonstrate why this is broken beyond the math and can seriously wreck immersion (readers familiar with my PFRPG-reviews know where this is going): Take a bag full of fluffy, cute kittens. Before combat, whenever you have a spare minute, you take one out of the bag and MASSACRE it, preferably with a really big, nasty weapon or similar means. You gain temporary hit points that have no duration. The feature does not even have the "hostile creature" caveat (granted, you can cheese that by starving kittens prior to slaughtering them...), much less a duration or a challenge-CR that posits a minimum creature power to gain the benefit, meaning that it'll last until depleted or a long rest. This ability needs a rewrite.

At 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th level, you gain spiritual whispers - these would be a 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th level druid spell respectively, that you can each cast once per long rest interval sans expending spell slots. 18th level decelerates your aging to make only 1 year of your lifespan pass for every 10 you live. As a capstone, you increase Wisdom by 4 and treat 24 as the new maximum score.

The class also features the shaman path class feature noted before, with 3rd level (surprise) providing the choice and 6th, 10th and 14th level featuring the respective path abilities. A total of 4 such shaman paths are provided, with the first being the corruptor, who gains several necromancy-themed spells added to the spell list. As a formal complaint, the spells are not properly italicized. 6th level attracts a foul spirit that imposes disadvantage on concentration checks, but also curses those that attack you, once per turn imposing disadvantage on the attackers next attack, saving throw or skill check. 10th level is nasty: As an action, you can touch others and, on a failed save versus the spell save DC, the target receives one level of exhaustion! Finally, 14th level nets a 30 ft. aura that may be amplified towards one creature, causing it to become frightened and forcing it to Dash away until it's out of sight or beyond 60 ft. away. Slight complaint here: The ability does not specify the action the focus of the dread-inducing aura requires. It could very well be a bonus action or reaction...

The second path would be the path of the elements, which nets resistance to fire damage at 3rd level. Additionally, it allows you to attack with an elemental blast of flame as a bonus action, inflicting 1d8 + Wisdom modifier fire damage. Okay, so is the shaman proficient in this? Is it a spell attack? Is it a melee attack? Elemental blasts of fire sound like ranged weaponry to me, but the feature does not clarify that. 6th level yields resistance to acid and the ability to breathe both air and water as well as immunity to poison damage (WUT? Poison immunity, ALONE, is the 10th level monk feature!) AND a swim speed at full movement rate. 10th level yields a flying speed at full movement rate and 14th level lets you cast conjure elemental (not properly italicized) 1/day without using spell slots or components. Somewhat weird to see 1/day here, since pretty much everything in the class is tied to rest intervals.

The path of the spirit nets the shaman an invisible spirit guide that provides advantage on initiative rolls, prevents being surprised while conscious and negates creatures gaining advantage on attack rolls when being hidden from you. At 6th level, any weapon wielded deals damage versus incorporeal targets, regardless of resistances to the weapon's damage type...which sabotages the rock-paper-scissors-component I so enjoy in 5e...so not a fan. The shaman also gains resistance versus the attacks of incorporeal creatures. Soooo, does this extend to creatures rendered incorporeal by magical means? Could I e.g. theoretically render a golem incorporeal and then pick it apart with a dagger? Starting at 10th level, the shaman can have the spirit guide take care of concentration for him, but may not cheese the spells-in-effect-limit thus - nice one! At 14th level, the shaman can turn incorporeal as an action and takes damage if he ends his turn in an object. He also "does not invoke attacks of opportunity" while incorporeal. I sure would hope so! Who'd want to invoke those? Kidding aside, "attacks of opportunity" is Pathfinder rules-language, not 5e. And becoming flat-out immune to opportunity attacks is OP; after all, being incorporeal has no cap, no limit and is extremely strong on its own.

The final path would be the path of the wild and comes with a massive table that lists totems alongside characteristics and the respective features gained. A total of 17 such are included here. These range from the flavorful (basically blindsight) to gaining pseudo monk tricks that culminate for one totem in the option to execute two unarmed attacks with an Attack action that cause your choice of 1d6 physical damage type and is considered magical, limited flight, etc. There are a couple of minor formatting hiccups here as well.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are okay, if not as precise as usual for Tribality Publishing - I noticed both typo-level glitches and quite a few rules-language issues. Layout adheres to the characteristic, nice two-column full-color standard with photography-style artworks. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes a comfort detriment.

Michael Long's shaman is an odd one: I expected to see a lame druid rip-off...and the good news first: The shaman is very much its own entity and has a unique playstyle, with spells being more of an afterthought here.

The thing is, as much as I love the often very flavorful options, the class gave me serious thematic whiplash. I mean, what do you think when you hear "shaman", class- and competence-wise?

If it's anything but "best tank base class", you'll experience the same flavor disjoint here. The shaman receives a n impressive amount of resistances, immunities and tanking options that make it better as a melee tank than you'd expect from a d8 HD class. In fact, the tanking support fighter is pretty much the core competence of the class...which is really odd...and somewhat at odds with the flavor of the class. Indeed, the closest analogue to the core classes would, surprisingly, be the monk, with a bit of spellcasting added for good measure. So yeah, felt the definite need to note the weird focus of the abilities of the class.

Which brings me to the elephant in the room: The class has some downright broken features that require revision and generally is very strong. It makes for an expert outdoorsman/utility guy that gains more resistances and immunities than any other class I have encountered for 5e. And honestly, that's not "shaman" to me. That being said: The class is not bad per se, just flawed. If the hiccups are ironed out, I'll shrug and accept the shaman as a tanky monk-style class, but the flaws are here.

That being said, the class is not expensive - for 2 bucks, it is something you can check out, though most groups will require some design work to make this class operate at full functionality. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shaman Class (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Alchemist (5E)
by Andrew P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/02/2017 23:02:39

Another great product from Rich Howard and Tribality. Interesting new caster class that feels familiar yet distinct from the other offerings in the PHB. Theres a lot of variety in the type of alchemist you can be, with 7 unique archetypes including Artificer (skilled tinker), Herbwarden (apothecary/healer with a bit of plant affinity) , Irezumi (using ink and tattoos for magic), Metamorph (changing and enhancing the body), Poisoner (pretty self explantory), Pyromancer ( specializing in fireworks, explosives, etc), and Re-Animator (because everyone wants to be Frankenstein). Each subclass brings its own flavor and feeling to the class, granting interesting abilities and leading to interesting story opportunities. Rich does an especially great job of littering the text with helpful tips and suggestions to customize the various aspects of being an Alchemist to create a richer character, story, and gaming experience. And as with all of Tribality's offerings, the layout and design of this pdf is clean and easy to use. I cannot recommend this enough, 6 out of 5 stars, get these excellent options in your game.

UPDATE: one of my players has been playing a Poisoner in my new campaign and it has been an EXCELLENT and FUN time. this is the best 5e supplement out there and you need it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alchemist (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

By Flame, Storm, and Thorn (5E)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/09/2017 08:37:12

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This little expansion-pdf for the ranger class clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After a brief page of introduction to the matter at hand, we get a total of 3 different ranger archetypes, the first of which would be the Lantern-bearer. At 3rd level, these guys get a weaponized brass lantern, which inflicts 1d4 bludgeoning damage and acts as a finesse weapon. As a purely cosmetic gripe, while by now finesse weapons are unanimously 1-handed, for future-proofing purposes I would have specified that. The lantern-bearer may expend ranger spell slots to inflict bonus fire damage when attacking, starting at 2d6 for a 1st level spell, +1d6 for every spell slot beyond that, to a maximum of 5d6. The fire inflicts +1d6 damage versus beasts, monstrosities or undead. Additionally, the character can place the lantern on the ground or put it on a hook and expend spell slots to enhance the healing capabilities of those resting within its glow, grant resistance to necrotic and cold damage and advantage on saves versus the frightened and charmed condition. And no, the two abilities do not allow for cheesing.

At 7th level, the archetype gains Shadowed Paths, which can be used only once per rest-interval - two benefits can be chosen: Dispelling obscuring effects of targets hit or bonus action teleport to the lantern's bright light radius' edge while in an obscured area both make for cool effects. 11th level increases base damage of the lantern to 1d8 for both fire and mundane damage. Additionally, creatures of aforementioned types now take damage while within the glow of a placed lantern. 15th level lets allies with channel divinity or healing spells ignore the range limitations of the healing effects while within the placed lantern's light and yes, it does take care of AoE-healing as well. Okay, I'll admit it - as a Ravenloft/Dark Souls/Darkest Dungeon/etc.-fanboy, this had me pretty soon. I love this archetype.

Archetype number 2 would be the stormcloak and at 3rd level, this one has a similar ability like the lantern-bearer - spell-slot expenditure for bonus damage, this time around your choice of either lightning or thunder damage. 7th level provides resistance to both lightning and thunder and when you suffer either damage type, you may use your reaction to absorb part of the damage for 1 round, adding +2d6 damage of the type absorbed to damage; +1d6 if used in conjunction with aforementioned spell-slot expenditure ability. 11th level is a bit weird - when you inflict damage with two weapons in a single round, you add +3d6 thunder damage to one target damaged. 15th level increases the potency of the weapon-imbuing trick, adding 10 temporary hit points (or those suffered, whichever is less) that last for 1 minute. While these persist, you may spend the bonus action to fly up to your speed, but you do fall if you don't end the movement on solid ground.

The third archetype herein would be the Thornguard, who begins third level with snare mastery, which allows you to create a deployable trap during a long rest (only one may be in effect at a given time) - these can inflict the blinded, poisoned, pushed, restrained, stunned conditions and may be deployed as a bonus action. The Wisdom (Perception)-DC to notice it is equal to your save DC, and conversely, said DC is what's required to disable it via thieves' tools. Traps can be sprung as a reaction to an enemy standing in them and deal a basic 2d6 piercing damage, with spell-slot expenditure being possible to increase the damage inflicted. Interesting: Thus magically laced traps can inflict other damage types (lightning, poison, thunder) and disarming not triggered traps is covered as well.

7th level increases the area of effect your snares affect, though the magic enhancements aren't as potent here and, oddly, RAW, does not allow for a similar damage type choosing; the bonus damage is not perfectly codified this time around. The ability also nets your resistance versus damage incurred by traps or glyphs of warding. 11th level rewards dealing damage to one foe per round twice in a single turn, moving hostile creatures and imposing disadvantage on saves versus traps on the target. The base damage of the traps is also increased. 15th level lets you store a second snare when completing a long rest and allows you to reassemble them after 1 minute after combat. This may be a bit late - snares being the unique selling point here, I do think that at least the +1 snare being moved down to 7th level may be sensible.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, though the italicized sections of sub-feature lists are, formatting-wise, not smart. While we have no spell-formatting confusion this time around, as a whole, that could happen. Still, no issue. Layout adheres to Tribality's nice 2-column full-color standard, with fitting full-color photography as artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but at this low length, I can live with that.

Brandes Stoddard's ranger archetypes are generally solid - with one very minor hiccup, the rules-language remains precise and we get one damn amazing archetype with the lantern-bearer. The other archetypes fall slightly short of that one's awesomeness, but as a whole, they're not bad either and make for nice options. The stormcloak would have benefited from an ability that is more than a more flexible tweak of a part of the lantern-mechanic, but that's just me being a spoiled SOB. As a whole, this is worth the fair asking price. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up by a margin due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
By Flame, Storm, and Thorn (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Pirate Adventurers (5E)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/13/2016 09:27:45

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

One issue you'll immediately bump into when playing a pirate campaign in 5e would be that the official backgrounds don't have that much variety to offer; you basically choose sailor. Yeah, that gets a bit old pretty quick when the whole group takes it, right? Well, this little pdf actually features 4 variants of the background: Privateers retain the basic framework, but since they're sailing for a nation, their feature provides friendly shores, where nobles and commoners alike are more likely to accommodate your requests. The ship's surgeon background is slightly more complex, providing a variation of skill proficiencies received, gaining both Investigation and Medicine as well as tool proficiency with Herbalism kits and water vehicles. Similarly, such a kit is part of the starting equipment provided. As a feature, they may use a healer's kit to heal creatures for 1 hit point, but only once per long-rest interval.

Navigators similarly get modified proficiencies: Skill-wise, Nature and Perception, tool-wise Cartographer's tools, navigator's tools and water vehicles. One of the tool kits is part of the starting equipment. As a feature, you cannot become lost while you can see either sun or moon - which is pretty cool! The final background, the explorer, has a story feature that is pretty cool: You are the only one to have returned from a far-off, mythical place - which provides all kinds of cool story-telling options.

The pdf also features 3 new feats: Deck Brawler is only available for those with the sailor background or its variants and lets you increase Str or Dex by 1, to a maximum of 20, provides +2 initiative when standing on something floating on water, climbing doesn't halve your speed anymore and you add your proficiency bonus to any check that involves boarding another vessel. The latter is a bit ambiguous: If the respective action already receives the proficiency bonus, do you add it a second time? I guess that might be the case, but I'm not 100% sure.

The second feat would be Flintlock Expert, which nets proficiency with pistols, doesn't impose disadvantage when using a ranged weapon within a foe that's 5 ft. of you. Additionally, you may use a bonus action to attack with a loaded pistol after attacking with a melee attack. The third feat, Nimble, nets a Dexterity increase, up to a maximum of 20 as well as +1 AC when wearing light or no armor.

The pdf also offers a whole array of new weaponry: Bayonets and belaying pins, boarding axes, dirks, hooks, cutlasses, rapiers and scimitars can be found. The pdf also features a total of 4 martial ranged weapons: Flintlocks, Dragon Pistols, Blunderbusses and Flintlock Muskets. The pdf offers alternate damage outputs for games where guns are rare, which is a nice touch. Both blunderbusses and dragon pistols can alternatively fire cone-spread shots and e.g. attaching or taking off hooks is covered here. On a slightly nitpicky side, the pdf does not mention that the ammunition can't be scavenged after being fired, though that should be pretty obvious. Still, RAW, it can be.

We also get an array of nice items - from astrolabe to eye patches and nautical charts, up to reed breathing tubes, the items provided are cool.

The final section of the pdf introduces a total of 6 shipboard roles: These are relevant only on board of a ship and provide additional options while engaged in naval combat. Some of them have specific prerequisites regarding background or proficiency. Captains may use their bonus action to grant an ally that can see or hear him advantage on their next attack roll, skill check or saving throw, but only once per short rest interval. Additional, via an Int-check as their action, they may find weak spots in enemy vessels, granting advantage to attacks versus the vessel until your next turn.

The quartermaster may use his action to choose a crew member within 60 feet, granting said member advantage on the next attack, skill check or saving throw - this guy does not have the captain's 1/rest interval-limit, though. Pilots can make Dex-checks to impose disadvantage on attacks versus their vessel until their next turn, but only once per rest interval. The Boatswain may use his action to supervise ship repairs, recovering 1d4 + level hit points for the vessel. Master Gunners may use their action to fire all guns on one side of the ship at the same time, foregoing the usual turns. One attack roll is made for all cannons, with advantage. On a miss, the broadside still inflicts half damage. The Ship's Surgeon, finally, may revive crew members via DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) checks, with two options provided for different degrees of abstraction - nice!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant issues in either rules-language or formal criteria. Layout adheres to Tribality Publishing's elegant 2-column full-color standard and the pdf sports thematically fitting photography as art...which frankly works surprisingly well! The pdf has no bookmarks, but at the short length, needs none.

Shawn Ellsworth's little toolkit is well-crafted; the options presented are a significant step up and render depicting naval combat in 5e significantly more rewarding. My complaints pertaining this pdf should thus be taken as slightly nitpicky, not true detractors: As a brief file, it doesn't offer full background goal, personality trait, ideal, etc. options for the variant backgrounds - these may be dressing only, but I rather like them. The ammunition-scavenging component is another minor hiccup in my book. My third complaint would pertain the ship roles: I LOVE them. I really do. That being said, I think they would be even more rewarding if each featured at least two options...or options to further upgrade them via feats or the like.

That being said, all of these complaints boil ultimately down to the scope of this humble pdf: What it manages to portray in its scant few pages is impressive and deserves being acknowledged. It also was one of Tribality Publishing's first offerings, which makes it even more remarkable and means that it gets a bit of leeway.

How to rate this, then? Well, I don't consider this perfect, but for the very fair price-point, this is well worth getting...and I hope to see the theme expanded at some point in the future! My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pirate Adventurers (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Steampunk Adventurers (5E)
by Chad M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/21/2016 08:21:42

A nice supplement full of useful elements for a steampunk/old west/20's era game. It kind of makes me wonder what Tribality might do if they tried to do Occult-style material. I was pleased with the array of weapons, especially the chain saw, cane weapons, many guns, and riding crop. The Assassin's armor is great and its nice to see the buckler, but I feel like the Masterwork Coat was a missed opportunity, being more expensive, but lighter, than leather isn't really all that great. I'd suggest making it an action to don and doff like PF's armored coat. The Backgrounds are ok, though the features could be better worded. Adventuring Gear such as photographic cameras and wristwatches are nice flavorful items to have, but I wish there was more there (corset, typewriter, bicycle, ballon/dirgible).

Oddly, steamer trunk, tool/utility belt, and wristwatch are listed at the bottom of the Tools table. Of the feats Firearms Expert is good and necessary with the array of guns made available, but Nimble (filling the absent space of Light Armor Mastery from the PHB) is both strong and boring (a speedy don/doff would be good here too, or advantage with Acrobatics as you use the padding to your advantage) and Tinkerer is just boring (granting someone the unloved rock gnome Tinker racial ability... really?) I understand why it may have been done, most steampunk is human only, still... I'd have liked to have seen some stronger-flavored anachronistic feats featuring technology like the adventuring gear made available above, vehicles (dirgible, motorcar), or the horror and discovery themes so common to the (sub)genre.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Steampunk Adventurers (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Genies (5E)
by Customer Name Withheld [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/22/2016 13:31:52

Genies for Fifth Edition is not, as one might expect from the title, a book of genie-type creatures (though it does include four genies of legend) but rather primarily a book about genies and their magic. If you are thinking of including genies in your D&D Fifth edition game, this product, though short, will give you useful ideas and tools to build from.

Genies for Fifth Edition is for D&D 5e by Colin McLaughlin and published by Tribality Publishing is about genies and their magic. The layout is clear with thematic color photographs for illustrations.

It begins with a brief look at how genies perceive the world and the four elemental courts they are organized into, and what they want. It is short but evocative and provides the framework for the rest of the book.

Next are four genies of legend, each one a powerful exemplar of its element and has their own lair, briefly described, complete with lair actions. These are tough (CR 16) beings so not everyday encounters but good to have access to in a world with genies about.

Next there are new spells: one aligned with each element for Cantrip (Zero), First and Fourth Level spells. The First level spells are an interesting design as each enhance the cantrip of the same elemental type. While the fourth level spells let you call upon the power of the genie-kind, granting you a spark of their power including protection from their element.

Eleven new magic items (the “Genie’s Horde”) round out the product with a good mix of weapons, defenses and utility items including a cursed hat and a carpet that functions as a trap. A nice selection even if a few are quite specialized, a common trait among D&D magic items though.

A good selection of genie-based magic and idea here, that being said, it really seems like this book should have had a genie-based subclass or two to really have a character type who was integrated into the lore presented here.

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

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



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Genies (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
by Emmanouil T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2016 07:56:33

Fire and steel. All he could see was fire and steel. Fire and steel and war, a maelstrom of blades and blood, so much blood. Father will be pleased. But it is never enough, never enough to clench the thirst of a God. Shouting his name out to the sky he rushed to his brothers for one final stand. Father will be pleased.

Rinse and rub, the breastplate was almost ready. She always wanted to do it herself, despised magic for such mundane tasks. She focused now on the most difficult parts, the edges near the collar or the hinges at the shoulders. This was her favourite; there were scratches and dents that escaped the armorers that repaired it. This scratch here must be from that devil’s claws, that dent over there from the heretic’s maul. All of them made to cleanse this world. Just like her breastplate. Satisfied, she stood up, the sun just appearing from the window of her cell. Maybe with haste she’ll be on time for the morning prayer.

Running like the wind, she made good time on the glade. She could feel Yal’thearas pouncing at some distance on her left. Leaves and branches rushed by her, some brushing her tanned skin, others giving way with loud cracks as she rushed on her way in the forest. Now it is not time for caution, just speed. With a big leap she found herself amidst the younglings, as they are surrounded by the wraiths. She pulled out her horn and let loose a piercing cry that made birds fly away and the shaken younglings were able to stand firm again. As for the wraiths, Yal’thearas was already upon them.

Tribality and Brandes Stoddard bring us the Mysteries of The Gods-New Cleric Domains and Spells. As expected, the publication is broken down in two major parts, the new Cleric Domains and then the spells.

The Cleric Domains are three:

Blood Domain, where your Cleric becomes more Fighter-y gaining proficiency to more armor and weapons, increased ability to keep on fighting plus the ability to help others do the same. At bigger levels you’ll be able to inflict more damage too. They can take up the mantle of the party heavy-hitter and combined with another such character can really pose a hard-braking line. I can see this a must-have options for battle-heavy campaigns.

Exorcism Domain, where your Cleric becomes able to turn Fey and Fiends as well, clear your allies’ minds (thematically this ability is not only great, but also so much theatrical) and at bigger levels you are an even much bigger threat against Fey and Fiends. Thus, they have tremendous RP potential. The mechanics are there for sure, but you can build upon the idea behind this Domain for really memorable characters. My only concern is that generally I dislike player options that narrow down powers and abilities against certain creature types, making these options redundant if the DM has something else in store.

Spirit Domain, where your Cleric becomes effectively a Tribal Shaman, gaining a ghostly animal companion (restricted to four specific animals). Pretty much all the special abilities you gain through this Domain play around the use of your animal companion, except the last one that makes the Spirit Cleric more resilient and potent. Spirit Clerics (aka Shamans) are a cleverly executed “Pet Class”.The options available of the said animal companion are limited to four but these four are actually four different types of companions. So, easily one can alter the name of each option accordingly to the campaign setting and/or character background. Interestingly enough, this is not the first Shaman provided by a Tribality Publishing product; the “Shaman Class for Fifth Edition” by M. Long has the Spirit Shaman subclass that thematically is identical, but approaches the subject from a different angle (M. Long’s Shaman is a Spirit Warrior with a Spirit Companion focusing on completely different aspects than the Spirit Cleric).

The second part of the document provides eight new spells, half of which are cantrips. Some of them are given as extra spells in the new Domains of the first part, but pretty much all of them can be added to the spell lists of all the spellcasting classes. The author provides in a relative sidebar some ideas about that.

The cantrips in particular are really original. All of them are damaging cantrips, with damage that scales per level, plus some other minor effect. I’d prefer some different wording in Song of Battle though, because as is seems a bit too powerful.

The rest of the spells are relative to the themes already discussed. My personal favourite is Righteous Accusation that really embodies all of the idea behind the Exorcist.

All in all, Mysteries of the Gods looks like a really helpful supplement for 5e Clerics. You get fresh options build upon some classic ideas. For the price tag offered, it can be proven to be a fine purchase indeed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Gunfighter Class (5E)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/27/2016 09:38:11

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This review was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons. The review is based on V.1 of the pdf.

We begin this class with a brief, concise introduction to the subject matter at hand, including advice on creating a gunfighter and quick-build information. Gunfighters begin play with the option to create ammo and the like, with a nice, suggested alternate rule based on Intelligence modifier. In a minor nitpick, the material cost and maintenance-section of the item mentions $1.00 of the item's market value - a conversion rate of $1 = 5 gp is provided, but generally, considering the setting-agnostic nature of the class, this may be perceived as a needless complication by some. I won't penalize the pdf for it, but it is something to keep in mind. If a PC is not using at least 1 hour in a long rest to clean the guns he owns, natural 1s and 2s result in the broken condition for the weapon. A gunfighter can keep a number of firearms in good repair like this equal to his Intelligence modifier. At 13th level, you may craft twice your Intelligence modifier bullets during a long rest.

Now, let's take a look at the gun-rules required here: Ammo can't be salvaged (check!), broken condition requires an Intelligence saving throw on critical misses to avoid (no auto-blow-up). Focus is important - these weapons require steadying - as an action, movement is reduced to 0 ft. and, on the next turn, the gun can be fired. Guns are loud and can be heard FAR away and reloading is an action. Firearms with spread deal AoE-damage, but allow for Dex-saves based on you Intelligence modifier and proficiency bonus to negate.

The pdf provides 4 such weapons: Single action revolvers, repeating rifles, shotguns and buffalo rifles, with the latter being the only one requiring focus - and it better should, considering 4d10 piercing base damage, as opposed to 2d6 for the revolver.

The class gets 1d10 HD, simple weapon and firearm proficiency, vehicle (land) ans smith's tools as well as Dex- and Int-save proficiency and their choice of Animal Handling, Deception, Insight, Investigation (called "Investigate" here), Perception, Sleight of Hand and Stealth regarding skill proficiency. The starting equipment contains a revolver and a horse and includes notes on costs of animals in the Wild West. Gunfighters begin play with a gunfighting style that includes melee-shotgun-using sans disadvantage or double pistol fighting. The latter is somewhat awkwardly phrased "You can treat the weapons as light, and take advantage of two weapon fighting with them." Does this mean the style grants advantage on attack rolls when dual-wielding? I assume no, but wording wise, the use of "advantage" isn't too great. Duel specialists add Intelligence modifier to atk and damage when one-handing guns. Long-distance shooters don't suffer disadvantage at long range and add Intelligence modifier to attack rolls. Fast draw specialists have advantage on their first attack each combat and can't be surprised.

2nd level provides an action surge for +1 action, but only once per rest-interval as well as advantage on Dexterity saving throws versus effects you can see coming - like traps, spells, etc. Ability score improvements are gained at 3th, 8th, 12th, 14th, 16th and 19th level. 11th level allows you to attack twice instead of once.

At 5th level, you may reload one firearm as a bonus action and 6th level allows you to ranged disarm foes once per rest-interval.

Starting at 9th level, you may infuse cold, fire or acid damage into up to 12 of your bullets. 17th level nets you evasion and 20th level allows you to add Wisdom modifier either to attack or damage rolls...which feels a bit odd, considering that the base chassis of the class is otherwise themed around Intelligence and Dexterity.

As you may have figured, the gunfighter does gain the obligatory archetype-selection, this time around called gunfighter path. A total of 3 such paths are included and they net abilities at 3rd, 7th, 10th, 15th and 18th level. The first of these paths would be the bounty hunter, who can choose creatures as their mark, gaining advantage on Intelligence (Investigate[sic!] - should be Investigation) and Wisdom (Perception) checks, gaining +2 to attacks versus them...but they can only have Intelligence modifier marks a day, with long rests resetting the timer. They also deal bonus damage versus marks and at 10th level, heal minor wounds once per rest-interval. 15th level nets a potentially paralyzing shot. 18th level, allows for special double damage shots - oddly, the pdf refers to being affected by "Wing 'em" - which I suppose was a WIP-name for the mark. Still, slightly confusing.

Desperados gain cunning action at 3rd level, 7th level sneak attack (scaling up to +4d6 at 19th level), uncanny dodge at 10th level and vanish at 15th. 18th level lets NO attack roll against you have advantage....which is pretty OP, imho. Somewhat odd: "If you are hit, you may take a reaction to make an Attack against the attack that hit you" - I think, some text is missing here...or the wording's a bit odd. You can target an attack, okay...what happens if you hit the attack? Do you shoot a missile out of the air? Do you sunder an axe? Or should that be attacker? No idea.

Finally, the Lone Ranger is the outdoorsman and gains advantage on Wisdom (Perception) and Wisdom (Survival) and 7th level nets crits on 19s and 20s. 10th level "Adds another fighting style" - which should probably refer to "gunfighting style" instead and 15th nets you a stunning shot, while 18th level allows you perform 1 level of exhaustion causing shots 1/day. Pretty cool.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are generally good, though, oddly, the final pages seem to drop a bit regarding their precision. Rules-language similarly is mostly precise and well-crafted, with some minor hiccups. The pdf comes with great, thematically fitting photography-style artworks and the pdf has no bookmarks, but at 6 pages, that's still okay. Layout adheres to Tribality's two-column full-color standard and is clean and concise, though the upper and lower borders are pretty broad.

Michael Long's gunfighter is per se a damn cool class - and for the most part, it is precise and well-crafted, with the first couple of pages only featuring very minor hiccups like "Investigate" instead of "Investigation" or the aforementioned unfortunate wording choice pertaining advantage being good examples. The gunfighter paths have somewhat more glitches and unfortunately, the pdf does have some glitches that influence the rules-language. While the gunfighter is functional and elegant and appropriate for new players due to the relatively easy to grasp rules and low complexity, it is the collection of these minor hiccups that makes it impossible for me to rate this as high as I'd like to. The gunfighter certainly is no funfighter; the gunfighter is a cool class for its low, and more than fair, price point. While not perfect, it certainly deserves a final verdict of 4 stars - if you expect no perfection, you'll probably love this class as an easy to use, fun Western-class.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gunfighter Class (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Alchemist (5E)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/21/2016 09:34:24

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

This class for D&D 5e clocks in at 20 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 17 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This review is based on V.1 of the file.

The alchemist class comes with a sufficient array of introductory fluff, quick build rules and then proceeds to provide the respective crunch: The previously missing plusses have been added to the proficiency bonus and the notation of the HD, 1d8, now also 100% conforms to D&D 5e standards. Proficiency-wise, alchemists gain simple weapons, blowgun, hand crossbow and net as well as Aachemist supplies plus herbalism or poisoner kits. Saving throw proficiencies, fittingly, would be Con and Int and skill-wise, two from Arcana, History, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, perception and Religion are available. The starting equipment choices are sufficiently varied and allow for a nice array of customization and properly adhere to the standards established.

Alchemist spellcasting works a bit differently - while they gain cantrips, they refer to their spells as mixtures. While alchemists do gain 7th, 8th and 9th-level mixture slots, these only can be used to trigger or empower formulae from 1st to 6th level or utilize class features. Alchemist casting is a bit different: You expend a slot and then get the mixture's effects...but you may delay the onset/use of the mixture to a later date, with proficiency bonus denoting the cap of mixtures you can have ready to trigger at any given time. Here's the kick, though: Creatures with an Int of 4 or higher can spend their Action to trigger the mixture - you don't have to do so yourself! Attacks made by other characters with your mixture use their Intelligence modifier, but your proficiency bonus - this previously slightly wonky sentence is now streamlined and can't be misinterpreted anymore. Kudos!

You can prepare formula to turn into mixtures on a given day equal to Int-mod +alchemist level, minimum 1. Preparing a different formula does not require a short rest, only 1 minute of preparation per formula level. You need to succeed the concentration checks, if any, for your mixtures, even if someone else triggers them...unless you have reached 9th level and 15th level, at which point you may delegate the concentration of one or two mixtures simultaneously to other characters. The governing attribute for mixtures is Intelligence.

Some formulae can be prepared as rituals, provided they have the correct tag and alchemist formulae have Somatic and Material components, but no verbal components. At 1st level, you begin play with 6 1st level formulae, with each level providing +2 formulae of your choice. Formulae may be copied from spellbooks, scrolls, etc. and alchemists may attune magic items usually restricted to the sorceror and wizard classes as well as other, general spellcaster-exclusive items. 2nd level nets you more item preparation efficiency for alchemical items (proficiency modifier per day of downtime with your kit), excluding poisons or herbalism-based items. 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter (minus 20th, plus 19th) net you ability score increases. The capstone lets up to 3 creatures maintain concentration in your place.

The defining feature of the class, though, would certainly the alchemical tradition chosen at 3rd level, which truly defines the class - basically, these are the domains, the archetypes of the class. Each tradition sports bonus formulae, which are added to the formula-list of the alchemist in question, with the first such tradition being the artificer. At 3rd level, they get proficiency in three toolkits and at 6th level, the jack-of-all-traditions ability - which lets you add 3 formulae from other traditions, though these do not count as bonus formulae. 10th level lets you ignore class, race and alignment restrictions for item-attunement.

Additionally, you may choose to not regain mixture slots upon completion of a long rest, instead maintaining the functionality of those you already have created. 14th level becomes interesting: When you use a 7th level slot to prepare a mixture of 4th level or lower, it may be triggered twice before being expended. Long rests eliminate, as usual, both uses and rest the process. If the duration exceeds instantaneous, it can only be used a second time after the first use has elapsed. As soon as you have access to 8th level slots, you may do the same for this slot and mixtures of 5th level or lower.

At 18th level, 9th level and mixtures of 7th level or lower get a different upgrade - namely, duration: It increases to 10 days!!! If it is instantaneous, the mixture may be trigger your Intelligence modifier times per day. Effects that require concentration can be suspended as a bonus action and resumed as an action. Linked gates can be reopened by resuming concentration.

The second tradition would be the Herbwarden, who gains proficiency with Herbalism kits at 3rd level (which may be redundant if you haven't chosen poisoner kit at first level) and either Medicine or Nature, with Medicine being governed by Intelligence for you. Also at 3rd level, you may use field medicine to allow a target to expend HD as though he had completed a short rest, with higher levels increasing the number of HD a target can spend. Once a creature has thus been healed, it can't be healed again this way unless it has completed a short rest, providing a nice anti-abuse caveat. 6th level nets advantage on saves versus poison and versus effects generated by oozes, plants and plant creatures as well as increased item creation in downtime with herbalist kits, analogue to the previous archetype's crafting-enhancement.

10th level lets you double Int-mod when making Intelligence (Nature or Medicine) checks and when making healing mixtures. 14th level's ability has been revised and is rather cool: After a target has been healed or stripped of a negative condition or disease by you, it can choose, upon failing the next saving throw or ability check, to reroll one failed ability check or saving throw. 18th level nets the herbwarden the option to expend a 9th level slot to animate plants as a shambling mound that can be commanded via telepathy.

The third tradition would be the Irezumi, most of whose mixtures are intricate tattoos. As such, they gain proficiency with tattooing supplies at 3rd level -a new kit that now comes with a base price and weight.. Also at 3rd level, the irezumi gains two cantrips from any spellcasting class. At 6th level, irezumi can create mystic tattoos in an 8-hour process. Once the tattoo is created, you can charge a number of mystic tattoos equal to your proficiency bonus. You can charge the tattoos of other irezumi, if you want to. Tattoos can be triggered by the target as an action much like mixtures and the benefits last one hour.

The benefits depend upon the region: Arms grant resistance to one damage type chosen upon being tattooed, which imho could have used a finer restriction, since physical damage types and e.g. force or radiant are situationally more powerful and useful than others. Head can net you Advantage on Insight or Perception or Darkvision; Legs can provide these benefits to Athletics/Acrobatics or net +10 ft. movement and the torso nets advantage on one saving throw. 10th level allows the irezumi to grant a subject up to 2 mystic tattoos and 14th level allows you to charge a bonus formula of 4th level or lower into a mystic tattoo, allowing the user to trigger that formula.

Here's the thing, though: The formula is permanent. It is not expended upon being triggered, but any use beyond the first in a long-rest-interval incurs one level of exhaustion. I am a bit weary of this one in the long run - for as long as D&D 5e maintains the very high value of exhaustion, this is okay. As soon as a game has means of mitigating exhaustion, this may become problematic. This is just me being meta, though - so far, exhaustion remains one of the most crucial conditions in 5e and thus, this is solid. 18th level lets you create a master tattoo, which works analogue to the aforementioned tattoo, only with up to 6th level qualifying and two levels of exhaustion incurred upon repeated use.

The metamorph is pretty much the Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde alchemist - at 3rd level, expenditure of a 2nd level slot lets these guys trigger a combined alter self/enhance ability/mage armor with a duration of Concentration, up to 1 hour - but for the duration, you gain disadvantage on a mental ability's associated rolls. 6th level lets you use Int instead of Con to determine hit points, retroactive to 1st level, and 6th level further enhances the mutagen's effects. At 10th level, stoneskin is added to the fray and at 14th, regeneration is added alongside better natural weapons, advantage on concentration checks and an enhanced duration. Finally, at 18th level, the benefits are further expanded. Cool one!

The next one would be the poisoner, whose bonus formulae are considered to be poison effects. At 3rd level, you gain 6 doses of basic poison and now, also proficiency with the poisoner's kit. You also get proficiency in Sleight of Hand, Stealth and may apply poisons as a bonus action (3 for ammunition). You create proficiency bonus doses of poison per day in downtime and the may be ingested, inhaled or injury and deal 2d6 poison damage on a failed save- now properly used damage-type-wise. Kudos! After a long rest, you may refine poisons not crafted by you to apply benefits to them as though they were made by you - which now, in a didactically cleaner manner, directly points towards the respective abilities.

Well, yeah - at 6th level, you increase their save DC to your mixture save DC and when you harvest poison, you instead get proficiency modifier doses from a given creature. At 10th level, targets also acquire the poisoned condition when succumbing to your poisons and your poison creation quickens, now also for non-basic poisons. At 14th level, you may expend mixture slots to weaken targets versus poisons and diseases or even bypass poison immunity/resistance. At 18th level allows you to expend slots to make mixtures particularly lethal and poisons generated thus nigh impossible to negate.

The penultimate tradition would be the pyromancer, who can manipulate the damage-type of evocation-cantrips and spells by changing it to one of the classic energies or physical types. 6th level provides resistance to one of the classic energy damage types, though you can change the type after a short rest. 10th level adds Int-mod to the damage of evocation mixtures and 14th level provides an array of benefits that allow you to double the radius, range or make the AoE into cones or single squares by using a 7th level slot for a 5th level or lower evocation. The 18th level ability fails to specify the level it is gained, but imposes disadvantage on saves versus 7th level or lower evocations prepared via a 9th level slot.

The final tradition would the nod to ole' Herby West, the re-animator, who gets find familiar at 3rd level and may choose a crawling claw or homunculus . Any familiar is undead, though it gains advantage on saves versus effects specifically targeting the undead. Also at this level, you double your Int-mod for Medicine-checks and gain sneak attack progression of up to +5d6 at 18th level. At 6th level, undead you create also have the advantage of your familiar and at 10th level, you gain advantage on saves versus disease, poison and fear as well as the option to use a bonus action once per activity interval to temporarily gain resistance to damage from non-magical weapons and advantage on ability checks for 1 minute. At 14th level, you can use create undead to make (or assert control over) flesh golems and revenants and at 18th level, you can make either two flesh golems or two revenants...provided, for both abilities, that you expend the high-level slot.

It should also be noted that the pdf has a nod towards the intriguing Salt-in-Wounds-series (Think high, dark fantasy with a society based on the regenerating flesh of the subdued tarrasque) and advice on creating your own traditions.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting have been SIGNIFICANTLY improved and now are top-notch. Where the rules-language wasn't 100% perfect before, it now is. The sub-abilities no longer are italicized, which means you can easily see the now properly italicized spells. Even cosmetic and didactic complaints I nitpicked are fixed. Kudos indeed! Layout adheres to an elegant two-column, full-color standard with pretty big borders at the top and bottom and several pieces of thematically fitting art that has a photo-like-look. First, I considered it to be a bit jarring, but it rather grew on me.

Rich Howard and Tribality Publishing have taken an already good, evocative class and sanded off teh rough edges, showing that they care for their books, rendering the new alchemist superior in every way to its predecessor. The special casting of the class and its internal nomenclature are surprisingly consistent. While I wasn't blown away by all traditions and while I think they do vary slightly in power, I was particularly surprised by the poisoner and irezumi. While the latter can be considered to be perhaps one of the strongest options herein, it also is a class that requires the interaction with a group to prosper. And seeing unifying tattoos on a group by the same artist can be pretty cool roleplying material. If an irezumi dies and a survivor looks at the tattoo as someone asks how she got it...well, let's just say that I think the class and its modular traditions (of which we'll hopefully see more in the future) proved to be interesting to me. The level of care and detail that went into updating this pdf and the significant improvements make this revised edition now well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alchemist (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Steampunk Adventurers (5E)
by Emmanouil T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2016 10:06:39

Through his monocle he could see the flaming airship lost in the cavern. With a grin, the Tiefling adjusted his collar and patted the dust off his forearms. "Well chaps, it seems our work here is done" declared with his -usual- pompous tone and headed to the horses.

Nothing but a toy soldier was on the floor. At least it seemed so. The orc slavers entered the dimly lit room with their cutlasses in hand, their eyes moving nervously in all directions. Like a whisper a hand shot out, once, twice, thrice, the orc slavers' bodies hitting the floor. The Elf Assassin wiped the bloody dagger on one of her victims' clothes, hid the dagger in one of her sleeve pockets and the toy soldier in the other and silently as death left the room.

Bursting through the valley, the train looked like a beast from hell. Dar'rgurn new, this IS a beast from hell. He counted his heartbeats as soon as the human contraction passed the Bloody Boulder. On the count of five Dar'rgurn fired his cannon, the lead ball hitting the train engine at the side, the explosion that followed rocking the valley some more. The humans should not pass through here, not any more.

The latest Tribality Publishing product gives us the tools and equipment to create Steampunk flavored characters. There are three major parts of the product are:

Backgrounds Equipment Feats Plus an Appendix

In the Backgrounds section we find the Fortune Teller background, a really thought of background that uses characteristics found in the Charlatan background of D&D 5e PHB. I do not know if this is too much steampunk, as we can find a fortune teller in pretty much any setting and this is a good thing. Also, we find a variant Guild Artisan, the Apothecary. As also with the Fortune Teller, you can very easily adjust the Apothecary to many settings.

The Equipment section is the biggest of the publication and one can find a lot of arms, armor and equipment to really flesh out a proper Steampunk themed character. You can find really unique stuff here, like the Sawblade Launcher and the Assassin Outfit or some more mundane ones that could as well be in the 5e PHB but are not, like the Sabre. Additionally, there are some found in 5e PHB that get a slight twist, like the Whip. There are a couple more that are common with 5e PHB and they have no changes whatsoever, I guess they are included so as the list provided can act like an easy to use list of steampunk flavoured equipment, rather than a list of purely new equipment.

The Adventuring Gear and Tools provided assume the appropriate level of technology, we are talking steampunk here after all, so we even get wristwatches and matches. In any case, a nice assortment of equipment.

The Feats presented are three, but they are nicely done. We get a couple that play around with the ideas already presented in the publication plus a more general one (Nimble) that I’m surprised that wasn’t already in the 5e PHB.

The Appendix provides us with Inspirational Steampunk Material. We get a really helpful list of books, comics, TV shows and movies so as to be able to immerse to a steampunk-flavored world. The icing to the cake I’d say.

All in all, another really quality product from Tribality Publishing and Shawn Ellsworth. The format keeps up with the norm already presented in the previous publications, the ideas are there, the price seems a steal. Finally, the low-res version of the pdf is a nice touch, although a printer-friendly version would be much better.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Steampunk Adventurers (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/11/2016 12:16:23

Mysteries of the Gods: New Cleric Domains and Spells for D&D 5e opens some interesting options for Clerics in 5e with both new Domains and new spells. Each of the new Domains suggests an interesting direct for faith in a world and the spells provide some solid support, if you are pondering what to do with clerics in your game it is well worth looking at.

Mysteries of the Gods: New Cleric Domains and Spells for D&D 5e by Brandes Stoddard and published by Tribality Publishing presents just that, three new domains and eight spells. The layout is clear with thematic color photographs for illustrations.

The Blood Domain draws on the idea of blood as potent force both of life and death, its tricks are mostly combat oriented enhancing both healing and offense. A nice balance and suitable for both heroes and villains.

The Exorcist Domain is much more focus and, as a helpful sidebar note, may not be suitable for all campaigns because of that. Its focus is on driving out possessors and denying the ability of otherworldly creatures to control others and it should be very effective in that role.

The third Domain, Spirit, slightly recasts the Cleric as shaman and mediator with the spirits (rather than a prestress of a god or gods), this domain gains a spirit guardian who protects and aid the Cleric and provides useful ability that are triggered by Channel Divinity. A interesting adaption of the clerical powers to a different aspect of spiritual belief.

Of the eight new spells, four are damaging cantrips, two of which are associated with the new domains (spirit claw for the Spirit Domain and word of censure for Exorcism) which are appropriately flavored, I would live to see a version of song of battle cantrip for the Paladin as it is so well themed. The remains four spells are 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th level and all are strongly in theme with the cleric, especially the Exorcist, righteous accusation which has the optional material component of a scroll detailing the target’s crimes is fantastic. While a few the spells might lean a bit too much towards a Christian vision of the divine for some, I think that framing has always been part of clerical magic in D&D and thus appropriate.

A solid addition to the options for cleric, I would have no problem with allowing any of these in my campaign.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review. Also, Brandes is a friend of mine and one of the players in my original Sea of Stars campaign, but I like to think that did not influence this review.

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



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 38 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
Powered by DrivethruRPG