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Threats: Dawn of the Dwimmerlaik (Diceless)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/31/2014 11:23:31
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The second of Rite Publishing's ecology-style sourcebooks detailing threats for the LoGaS-setting is 26 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving 24 pages of content, so let's take a look!



As per the tradition by now, this sourcebook is written in glorious in-character-prose and depicts documents of the dwimmerlaik - a narrative by one of these threats in LoGaS, taking a cue from LPJr Design's "First One"-pdf and doing something smart - establishing from the get-go that, what follows, are lies. The origin-myth depicted, analogue to Shakespeare's Tempest blended with several classical topoi from mythology, starts with the ascension of the race, elevation from shackles and wilderness and the overcoming of an all-powerful, Typhonian god-like father-figure (though the latter should be taken not in the nourishing way...) to the awakening into autonomy and a new racial self-consciousness that resounds even in nomenclature: The Dallaik became the Dwimmerlaik, "That which is superior." From there, the race set out to erect their world-spanning empire.



Now it should be noted that 2 cool 5-point powers for exalted channeling are provided here as well - one to project one's astral self to other worlds (and if you require inspiration there, just read the weird fictions of old for a vast array of potential hooks to use this...) and one that allows astral projecting dwimmerlaik to place marks while projecting - these work as a kind of tracing beacon...and if you don't have about 20 different great ideas for stories resolving around the combination of these powers by now, think harder or drop me a line. Seriously, these are narrative gold.



Now the weapons/artifacts of the first Dwimmerlaik, those that vanquished and consumed Eos, are also are depicted in here, as is a list of the 8 houses of the race - a kind of rigid, caste-like system. However, the genesis of the race demanded retribution from the nigh-all-powerful Typhonians. While the battle was fierce and indeed, yet another of the beings fell, the resulting onslaught saw the dwimmerlaik at the verge of extinction, with reality, the grand stair or *something* intervening and saving them, destroying Selene, their adversary - at terrible cost for their homeworld Caliban as well as for numerous worlds.



Since then, the Dwimmerlaik have taken back to the stairs...and the Gossamer Lords and Ladies have appeared - here, though, the stair turned against the Dwimmerlaik, offering an uncomfortable possibility that some time, the age of human Gossamer Lords may end as well...still, the war rages between teh Dwimmerlaik and the Lords...



We also are introduced to a ruthless meritocracy as a culture, placing strength above all and seeing lies as a means to end, as a device to prove cultural superiority and expose weakness - a compelling dystopia. The somewhat ancestral worship-like basis of their religion is interesting - the dwimmerlaik essentially create a Grand Narrative in the traditional term - their devotion belongs to the conglomerate history they create, the representation of the collective of their achievements and failures as well as their own unconscious, by the very definition of their object of worship. Glorious and potentially enlightening, this takes the concept of a historic pluralism and makes it work in context of a society by acknowledging the need for a grand narrative on one hand, while on the other putting it into a relativistic perspective by their ideology regarding truth. Glorious and so full of potential!



Birth and Death, life and recreation (like psychic duels called Shayde) are also explained. The Gossamer Lady that delivered this document gets btw. full stats, as does Cicarus, the legendary Witchknife dwimmerlaik assassin and the guardian of Caliban, the oldest of Dallaik and final chronicler of the race. Yeah. Awesome.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RiP's two-column full color standard, with most of the artworks being top-notch original pieces of the highest caliber, while some others are thematically fitting stock. the latter is the minority, though. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Writing an ecology on arguably the primary antagonists of the LoGaS-setting must have been a daunting task - first one requires a society that is sufficiently unique to not elicit yawns when compared to similar races throughout fantasy. Secondly, LoGaS, more than any other setting, thrives on ambiguity, on the option to develop ideas and determine truth. These seem to directly contrast what one would require from an ecology-style book.



Author Andrew Peregrine found an elegant and exciting way to circumvent this conundrum, by providing ample doubts...and via a subtle trick: Much of the respective narrative potential rises from the deliberate blanks in the interaction of potential truths in here, weaving a stunning panorama of world-spanning and epic confrontations, strange creatures and a society alive and organic...and mysterious. This book is an inspiring joy to read an well worth 5 stars + seal of approval, not only for LoGaS-players and DMs, but also for those starved for inspiration for their own world/plane-spanning antagonist empire...

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Threats: Dawn of the Dwimmerlaik (Diceless)
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Random Encounters: Wilderness
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/31/2014 11:02:13
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at a weighty 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page advice of how to read statblocks, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 22 pages of content, so let's take a look!



We kick this pdf off at a list of statblocks by CR, encounters by terrain, by EL (spanning the gamut from EL 2 to 12) and by designers. Wait, what? Yes, for this pdf is the child of Raging Swan Press' freelancer call and as such offers us the winners of said contest. Hence, I will provide the author alongside the discussion of the encounter. Got that? All right! After author biographies (which imho wouldn't hurt ALL RPG-companies - name-recognition for designers = good thing!), we kick off with Jesper Andersen's "Canoes & Crocodiles" - and what a glorious first encounter it is: The premise is simple - crocodiles (which can be replaced by just about every aquatic critter, should you so choose) versus, you guessed it, canoes. What makes this encounter such a joy to run would be the quick and easy summary of base vehicle rules, concisely and coherently summed for all intents and purposes - the same, of course, goes for the terrain and the canoes. I've never run such an easy vehicle combat - two pages of the pdf are literally all you need and even if you usually shy away from them, this one is a cakewalk to run - even sans preparation. Two thumbs up!



Now Jeff Erwin's "Death-Dealer of the Gloaming Hills" is something less straightforward -it's essentially a miniature tragedy - featuring death, foreshadowing, a mini-mystery and a shapechanger - and that is all I will spoil here, in case players are reading. Still, experienced DMs will consider this one a been-there-moment.

A neat sidequest indeed and especially nice if the PCs are frequently travelling e.g. between settlements etc. Richard Bennett's "Hunters as Bait" is all about one two types of beast fighting one another - with the PCs used as a means to spring an ambush of one of the parties, so the other monster can annihilate its competition. Nice, though probably an encounter you should foreshadow accordingly. Full-blown buff-suites included. Jacob Trier's "Lost Love" is about a bard seeking his stunning beauty - who is not all she seems to be - and alas, heart-break will resume, should the poor sap survive finding his beloved... Still, as much as I hate to be that guy - the encounter is great, the writing neat...but I've seen this particular storyline done quite a few times before.



Fabian Fehr's "Mourning Monster" once again has this touch of the absolutely special - guarded by her crestfallen young grey render, a wizard's mortal remains lie in a circle of standing stones - will the PCs dare to loot her body? Of perhaps, they require her to be resurrected...but how do you explain that to a faithful beast, determined to guard its mistress, mad with grief? In Denver Edwards Jr's "Secrets of the Swamp", the PCs may save a doe and inadvertently stumble into both the undead, sinkholes, a degenerate tribe of lizardfolk and the globster-ooze they worship as a deity...Neat!



F.D. Graham's "Stuck in the Mud" deserves special applause - good encounters don't necessarily mean that there will be massacres and monster-blood galore - in this one, the PCs may aid a kind halfling free his wagon and horse from the mud in a thoroughly compelling and awesome change of pace. Two thumbs up for being this brave and daring for something completely different! Also by Fabian Fehrs would be an encounter, where the coolness lies in the details - a clearing that houses abandoned brownie-tunnels now is the home of a wasp swarm and may collapse as soon at the PCs step inside -great insult-to-injury encounter, with the tunnels of the fey lending the special touch to everything.



Jacob W. Michaels' "The ants go marching in" is very much a question of morals - the PCs happen upon the gruesome execution of a faun, buried and covered with honey, via ants - slow and agonizing, while two inquisitors watch - whom to help, whom to trust - and the ants march ever onwards.

The final encounter, Brian J. Ratcliff's "The Gray Grove", comes with color-blighted creatures, fey and the true source of the forest's blight, a color out of space. And I *LOVE* the interaction of fey/lovecraftiana here, I really do, but I wished this were a full-blown module; For one encounter, the resolution and scope feel too grand and somewhat too stuffed together. that being said, I very much hope to see such a module one day!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, as almost always in raging Swan Press-products, are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience and in two version, with one being optimized for screen use and one to be printed out. Artwork consists of thematically fitting stock art you may have already seen in other RSP-books, but oh well - take a look at the low price and page-count: Still superb in the production value department.



Random Encounters: Wilderness provides excessively-detailed encounters that range from very good to stellar . while some of the encounters here have basic plots that are a bit old, while one is slightly beyond its scope, you only notice this because they are so good - the respective encounters have many a thing going for them, with "Canoes & Crocodiles", "Mourning Monster" ad "Stuck in the Mud" being my favorites - especially the latter, which is so fun in its utterly mundane premise, which manages to be exciting in spite of no creature-feature overkill and no deathtrap-9000-killer-combo, is just awesome - because it is about very pure roleplaying without sacrificing tension. Now I may have seemed complain-happy throughout this review, so let me make this abundantly clear - this is a neat selection of encounters and well worth 5 stars, just short of my seal of approval. And it has done one thing: Make me universally look forward to the things these authors put out in the future. So go ahead, check it out!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Random Encounters: Wilderness
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Mythic Minis 17: Feats of Seafaring
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/30/2014 13:08:48
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Mythic Mini clocks in at 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This time, we're all about sea-themed feats, so let's check this out!



The mythic version of "Corsair" extends its benefits to any aquatic environment and doubles the bonuses while on board of a ship and also allows you to treat foes as flanked via mythic power. Solid. The "Hoist the Colors" mythic feat allows you to intimidate foes via your flag and, with mythic power, even whole crews/vessels and similar military units - and yes, more power, more severe fear-effect. Awesome, mythic - nothing to complain about!



Naval Commander comes as a regular and mythic-augmented version - it allows you to aid another ALL target allies on your ship. Which is damn cool even before expending mythic power to make the bonus LAST. Two thumbs up, especially since bonus to atk is still limited to once per ally/turn!



Savy Seafarer also offers two versions - the regular one offering bonuses to ship/repair/survival-themed actions, increasing the bonus with familiar vessels. The mythic version further increases these bonuses...and allows you to TRACK VESSELS OVER WATER. Yeah. THAT is what I want in mythic - epic options, more roleplaying potential, stunning derring-do, doing things that transcend the powers of regular PCs. Two thumbs up!



Finally, mythic Sea Legs kilsl most penalties to acrobatics and climb and also lets you move sans delay through water-themed terrain, but does not protect you from it. Solid.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games 2-column full-color standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



See, this mythic mini is what I'm talking about -feats that are bland and subpar in their regular, non-mythic version get better and worthwhile. The new feats are glorious and actually vastly increase roleplaying potential while breathing the spirit of mythic gaming, offering both rules and simply new hinges on which to base storylines and scenes. This one's just awesome and well worth 5 stars + seal of approval - if your mythic campaign goes anywhere near pirates and similar themes GET THIS!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 17: Feats of Seafaring
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Under the Knife: The Grafter, a Tinker Prestige Class
Publisher: Interjection Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/29/2014 04:13:48
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Tinker-expansion clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let's check out the Grafter!



Mechanically, we have a 5-level PrC with 10 ranks heal, 7 ranks knowledge (engineering), skill focus (heal) and 3rd level invention/blueprints as prereqs. The class gets d8, 3/4 BAB-progression, good will-and fort-saves and 4+Int skills per level, but ONLY heal and intimidate as class skills. They also get full invention-progression, with the important caveat that BP per blueprint DO NOT increase via grafter level.



Got that? All right. At first level, a grafter gains a grafting pool equal to class level X 3. These points can be used as BP to apply inventions to the grafter's own body when preparing inventions and do not replenish, unless the grafter removes a given graft to free points. Inventions with limited uses per day refresh upon blueprint-preparation and at 3rd level of the class, the grafter may apply grafts to others as well. Inventions that require activation also require at least int 3 (no grafted oozes, sorry) or int 11 on behalf of the controller in the case of controlled unintelligent foes (like undead). This also provides an interesting precedent for similar master/minion relationships with other creatures such as constructs. A given creature can maintain a total of grafter's int-mod in BP as grafts at a given time.



Now there are restrictions - skill bonuses, class skills and proficiencies cannot be granted via these grafts and any untyped bonus for an automaton becomes an enhancement bonus for an intelligent grafted creature. If a graft requires a given feat via an invention and the base creature also has that feat, it can take the follow-up invention as a graft, but graft-granted abilities cannot be used as prerequisites to qualify for feats etc. Got that? Good!



At first level, the grafter also learns to add int-mod to wis-mod regarding heal-skills (NOT a fan of two attribute-mods to one skill). As you may have noted, grafters can be somewhat neutered in their grafting capabilities by their graftees simply walking away - this is remedied at 3rd level, when they get full control over their grafts, allowing them to declare them obsolete when resting and thus making them break/reclaim their grafting BP...which allows for nice roleplaying potential: "Yes, Mr. Ogre...I can graft you so you can eat those knights in the castle." *ogre flies off with rotor* "I declare it obsolete." Ogre falls...far. (Though this does, unfortunately, not work - design-inventions can't be grafted...)



At 4th level, the class nets those grafted with 5 BP or more one of 5 bonuses (HP, CMD, fort, COn or natural armor) as long as they remain enhanced by you. At 5th level, the grafter may artificially increase his graft-pool temporarily by expending his infuse automaton ability, allowing for even more flexibility in that regard.



It should also be noted that the grafter at 2nd level learns a so-called implant, essentially an invention that can only be applied to organic beings and not automata. He also learn another one every class level after that (though it should be noted, that, like regular inventions, only one of a kind can be applied to a given being, i.e. no doubling of a given implant on a creature). Some of these have level restrictions as well.



I was talking about implants. What about an adrenaline injection unit, that nets a bonus of +4 to Dex (or Str...) for one round as a swift action class levels x 2 per day times? Vastly improved carrying capacity? A nose-installed flame-thrower? (If you're like me and grew up with Sonic, remember the final boss of Sonic & Knuckles and chuckle...) A limited use +5 insight bonus to attack? Limited times per day auto-succeed saves versus toxins and diseases, even if you have failed the save? Immunity to fear at the cost of gaining no morale bonuses? Fortification-like metal plates that help versus sneak attacks? Simply more Hp? Auto-heal via stimpack when reaching 0 hp (but not when dying immediately)?



The most powerful of grafts allow you to grant yourself (and others) dragon-like energy lines (and even cones!) as breath weapons and implant artificial brainstems that temporarily revive your minions as double HD fast zombies that retain their weapon and armor proficiencies - great if your villain just has to run...or if your fighter has no scruples about that sort of last ditch-effort to take down a villain...



Now, I know what you're asking - how does the PrC play with all those inventions? Well, there are (as can be imagined in such a wide field) some cases, where the interaction between inventions and implants, for example, take a VERY experienced player to handle. Take Augmented (or Definite) Structure: +1 Hp per HD of the base-creature at 2 BP cost. Does that one stack with the structural augmentation implant for +5 maximum Hp at 1 BP? (Answer: Yes it does - bonus-types stacking...) What I'm trying to say here is -know the rules, tinker and this book - this is complex as hell.



It should be noted that by now, prior ambiguities as to e.g. arms/legs etc. and inventions have been cleared up and via the now established transparency between implant and invention-usage, another source of potential confusion has been streamlined away.



The revised rules also properly cover action economy for graftees of varying intelligences by being treated like an alpha using the invention, thus eliminating some of the ridiculously action-economy breaking potential builds I could construct. Great to see this smoothed and made work!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Interjection Games' two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Artworks are thematically-fitting stock.



Okay, Bradley Crouch's Grafter's V.1.0 struck me as awesome, but unrefined. I wrote a review and then, life happened. For a time, I was actively out of the reviewing game as you may know and then, I get back and I find this beast. I check back...and by now it actually works. At least I couldn't, from the top of my head, break it and reading this revised edition provided no angle for me to break this beast -and this deserves accolades. No, seriously. Fixing glitches to provide a better experience for one's customers is great, especially when always trying to stretch the boundaries by trying insanely complex rules-stunts and classes and actually getting the job more than done deserves applause. The grafter as such took a mind-bogglingly complex base class and made it more complex while also opening its benefits up to other classes, adding some significant value to your tinker-class in game. Well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Under the Knife: The Grafter, a Tinker Prestige Class
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Mythic Minis 16: Universal Path Abilities II
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/29/2014 04:11:06
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Mythic Mini clocks in at 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This time, we're all about more universal path abilities after the first, awesome installment, so let's check this out!



We begin with 4 different 1st tier abilities, with two of these netting bonus feats from Mythic Magic: Core Spells. Yeah - while I get why they're here, let's call them out for what they are - filler. So what about "Dramatic Reveal". This one is all about roleplaying potential - whether a birthmark or another characteristic - something marks you for greatness and revealing it helps immensely in social skills. While mechanically none too awesome, the potential and concept BREATHES mythic for me, so yeah - as far as I'm concerned: Cool! The final 1st tier ability, "Planar Scholar" makes you a savant of planar knowledge, allowing you detect portals and decipher information about them. This ability is damn cool and carries a LOT of roleplaying potential while feeling distinct and suitable for mythic characters. Two thumbs up!



We also get 3 different 3rd tier abilities and oh boy...neat: Take one that nets you contingency (or its mythic equivalent, depending on your tier!) as a mythic power fueled ability. Yeah! What about being eternally young, including age-disguising/changing and yes, the immortal ability is also granted at higher tiers. Neat! Gaining endure elements and know direction on other planes and further expanding your planar knowledge, this one is a neat follow-up that delivers narrative potential galore: Two thumbs up as well!



The one 6th tier ability allows you to grant one mythic monster ability to your eidolon, companion etc. Solid and versatile, yes, but nothing that utterly wows me.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games 2-column full-color standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Jason Nelson's second universal path-centric pdf offers quite a few cool abilities that range from awesome to filler. While the majority of path abilities herein belong on the winner side, the second column of the pdf is 1/4 empty, offering ample space for additional content and the two feat-granting abilities feel like filler to me. Generally, the overall path abilities can be considered cool, yes, but still, the last spark didn't jump over to me. Make no mistake - this is a cool, nice pdf, but falls short of true greatness due to both the relative brevity and aforementioned points. Overall, a quintessential "good" pdf and thus well worth 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 16: Universal Path Abilities II
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Mythic Monsters: Abyssal
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/25/2014 07:30:55
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Legendary Games' Mythic Monster series clocks in at a massive 40 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages introduction to the product line, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 32 pages of content, so let's take a look!



After a short introduction to the matter at hand, we are introduced to an extremely cool introductory text that serves as a frame narrative - essentially a lecture on a newly discovered species of qlippoth, before we are introduced to options available for those who want to conjure forth these antediluvian threats of evil - including a new way with the so-called qlippoth talismans (in case the sacrifice of pregnant women is not an option for your vile villain...) - no less of 10 such talismans are provided and they essentially make calling these dread beings via summon-spells possible. Neat!



After this cool supplemental material, we kick off with the respective creatures - Baregara get a mythic version of CR 15/MR 6 that has truly devastating grapples (including a maw that consumes targets, automatically dealing damage on grapples, which they can maintain one-armed, and also providing AoE-demoralizing. Essentially, all basic abilities have been upgraded to be more lethal - nice.



Second would be the CR 13/MR 5 mythic bebilith, and these foes are even better at dismantling foes armor (including natural armor) and their rotting bite is truly devastating. At CR 23/MR 1o, shaggy demodands are terrifying forces indeed - blocking any channeling in the vicinity (unless the target succeeds a very difficult save), these are mythic monsters at their best, taking a relatively bland base creature and slapping a vast array of signature abilities on the creature - towards a more concise monster concept, that one being the anathema to divine casters. Two thumbs up and kudos for improving the base creature like this.



The Mythic Slimy Demodand at CR 20/MR 8 can add stun as insult to injury (when foes bleed and take acid damage...) and even highjack channeling and temporarily sever divine casters from their powers - better yet, said duration can be further expanded with the aptly-named "Where is your god now?" - glorious and once again a HUGE improvement over the relatively bland base creature. AT CR 16/MR 6, the Tarry Demodand is slightly less awesome, but continues the theme of anti-divine outsiders, but their sense of faith and entangling tar-like secretions make them powerful hunters - including an anti-divine smite.



Need something at lower levels? CR 4/MR 1 mythic howlers have quills that drive those embedded with their quills insane and furthermore, heal via drained sanity. Evil! TA CR 18/MR 7, the Kauen-Taka can ROT THE EYES OF THSOE THAT SEE THEM. That's damn creepy even before their carrionstorms get mythic templates added... As a minor complaint - the mini-statblock for flesh-mansion-less Kakuen-Taka could have used a better formatting/some highlighting. But then again - mere presence induces hallucinations? Animating flesh piles and withering plants? This one is disturbing indeed! And while the base creature was awesome, unleashing eyeless hounds and killing foes at short range via ethereal hails of soul splinters round out an epic creature indeed.



Speaking of which - AT CR 15/MR 6, the Chernobue Qlippoth may be a cool upgrade, but in direct comparison to the former critter, it falls a bit flat. Then again, cythnigots-spawning poison is cool - that might be the Qlippoth-fanboy speaking... Speaking of which - these clock in at CR 3/ MR 1 and their spore-infested wounds can entangle, even entrap targets! Cool and rather lethal low-level mythic threat that works well in that context. The Nyogoth (At CR 13/ MR 5) can attach itself to targets via its intestinal limb bite attacks and upgrades the acid spray with poison - neat!



AT CR 9/MR 3, the mythic shoggti no longer just clouds the minds of foes - it can now utterly dominate them and even stun those subjected to its wis-draining powers. OUCH! Have I mentioned that breaking targets free of the control may see them attack you in a murderous rampage? Yeah - nasty, indeed! The CR 19/MR 7 mythic Xacarba learn to mix their poisons (Yes!) and even spray them over an area - neat improvements of the base creature!



Finally, at CR 16/ MR 6 we get the Mythic Ylyrgoi - huge, hydra-like, multi-stingered monsters studded with countless shrieking maws and eyes. This creature is brand-new and oh boy - an aura that reduces gestation periods of infections, parasites and diseases, improved demon killing, stingers that regenerate, insane reach, egg-implants - utterly disturbing and oh so awesome - its signature abilities taking up more than 1 full page - that does not count the statblock! Add to that the extremely awesome artwork and we have a truly glorious beast here!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I did not notice any glaring glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games nice 2-column full-color standard and the two pieces of original artwork by Ivan Dixon are awesome indeed, with the new creature's artwork taking up a whole page so you can show it to your players. Now, layout-wise, like Mythic Monsters before, this one has some blank space at the end of one monster's entry, which is nice if you just want to print out one, but also means that printing this out is slightly more wasteful on the paper than it could be. It's a matter of preference whether you prefer this or a more "cluttered" approach, so that won't feature in my final verdict. Now what does feature in it would be the glaring lack of bookmarks, which renders navigation more difficult than it ought to be.



Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips and Alistair Rigg provide a glorious collection of uncommon abyssal foes - and deliver in spades. You know, mythic can be often taken as a bland "faster, harder, wider"-contest and yes, some creatures can be seen as a relatively straight progression. The vast majority of abyssal threats in here, though, is not content with such a treatment, instead developing the base creature, often into something truly distinct that works so much better than the base beast - with signature abilities emphasizing niches and foci of the monsters herein, there is not one critter in here that has not been massively improved, with the abilities of demodands and their thus much tighter focus making them my favorites in here and, perhaps for the first time in ages, actually DISTINCT. The new qlippoth is one glorious beast as well, and were it not for the lack of bookmarks, this would be immediately 5 stars + seal of approval. Their lack means I'll refrain from putting my seal on this, but still consider this one superb purchase that any DM who thinks the players should FEAR the denizens of the abyss should get - even if only to scavenge signature abilities...of which there are soooo many...

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters: Abyssal
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Dungeon Dressing: Goblin's Pockets
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/25/2014 07:28:27
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Dungeon Dressing-installment clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!



The first page is taken up by a short explanation of how to use this pdf and a d0-table that helps you determine on which table to roll and how often. And oh boy, do these table's names already spell out the respective themes of the tables:



No.1 would "Utterly Worthless", 50-entry strong (like all tables herein), features delightful things for adventurers to grab - a tangled ball of multicolored thread, a dried up snake. The left arm and head of a doll. A half-eaten shoe soaked in brine. A mouse stuffed with strange herbs. While this one (and the other tables) have entries for roll twice/thrice, in a cool twist, the resulted items are nailed together, glued together, dirty etc., adding more variety than a simple reroll otherwise would. Awesome.



"Broken and Battered" is probably better suited for clues, though the anarchic goblins have spared these in any way - lockets defaced with mustachios, sling stones with traces of gnawing, angel-shaped-pendants that have been bereft of their wings - disturbing and still funny and once again full of narrative potential.



Table number 3 is all about "Yummy tidbits" - with the roll thrice-entry commenting they've been made into a stew. Stew in pockets makes no sense? Pshaw, these are goblins we're talking about! Meat with canine fur, honeycombs with bee-bodies, bird heads, cheese so covered in green fuzz it might run off at any moment... delightful, disgusting, fun.



Finally, table number 4 provides shiny treasures - like whetstones with holes drilled through the center. Small pairs of scissors to run around with. Collections of buttons, preserved eyes, ancient turnips, dented coins from obsolete kingdoms...once again, rather interesting entries. (Though gold, or rather, silver/copper values for some of them would have been appreciated...)



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's superb, streamlined and printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard with thematically-fitting, neat b/w-stock art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.



I do not begrudge author Eric Hindley this task - goblins are hard to depict properly - on the one hand, they ought to be somewhat comedic, on the other hand utterly psychotic - plus, they are since Burnt Offerings the iconic humanoid antagonists that set the tone for Pathfinder (and made me, back in the day, start getting the books...) - what I'd like to say is: This assignment was probably hard...and fun. And the fun translates. I'm writing this review after a bunch of underwhelming, crunch-intense books that dragged down my mood considerably. (Contrary to what some of you might think - reviewing bad books is a ton of work and no fun at all...) After reading this one for the first time, my mood was back to excellent - you might not exactly need this book, but it enriches your arsenal when depicting goblins. And some entries are plain funny and made me smile. And there aren't that many lighthearted supplements out there. Add to that the top-notch production values and this bland of the hilarious and horrific that so well reflects the goblin mindset gets 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Dressing: Goblin's Pockets
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Pathways #36 (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/24/2014 09:30:10
As you may have noticed, real life’s been busy – so I’m trying to catch up to the backlog and hence, I had to make a decision – while usually, I write full reviews for Pathways-issues, this time, I’ll just give you brief bullet points for each issue – they’re free, after all, so go and download them and judge for yourself!

Highlights: Great time-themed template by Steven D. Russell (wished it had synergy with RGG’s Time Thief, though), psionic red grindylow by Elton Robb, great rakshasa monk by Creighton Broadhurst

Flaws: Formatting of my Top Ten-list a bit awakward.

Final verdict: 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #36 (PFRPG)
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Pathways #37 (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/24/2014 09:28:54
An Endzeitgeist.com micro-review

Highlights: Ruination Creature by Steven D. Russell neuters healing; Creighton Broadhurst's fighter level 14 Lilith Girisu is neat. Laughed at the "Path less travelled"-comic by Jacob Blackmon, nice to see interview with my friend Joshua Gullion of AaW Games. Formnatting of my reviews is very good! (thanks)



Flaw: Pet-peeve - don't like female characters being called Lilith, unless its THE Lilith; (A certain important someone at the Paizo-boards is exempt from this rule.)

Final Verdict: 5 stars, short of seal due to being somewhat brief.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #37 (PFRPG)
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Pathways #38 (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/24/2014 09:24:29
An Endzeitgeist.com micro-review



As you may have noticed, real life’s been busy – so I’m trying to catch up to the backlog and hence, I had to make a decision – while usually, I write full reviews for Pathways-issues, this time, I’ll just give you brief bullet points for each issue – they’re free, after all, so go and download them and judge for yourself!


Highlights: Dread Banshee alternate banshee template; wail makes you run; people that fail hard die. 2 solid NPCs by Creighton Broadhurst; Laughed out loud in "Path less travelled" because I had EXACTLY that situation happen at my table.

Flaw: Formatting of reviews a bit blocky. that's nitpicky, though.



Final verdict: It's free, has nice parts - 5 stars.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #38 (PFRPG)
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Pathways #39 (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/24/2014 09:20:38
An Endzeitgeist.com-micro-review



As you may have noticed, real life’s been busy – so I’m trying to catch up to the backlog and hence, I had to make a decision – while usually, I write full reviews for Pathways-issues, this time, I’ll just give you brief bullet points for each issue – they’re free, after all, so go and download them and judge for yourself!

Highlights: Truly stellar anti-movement, foes-engulfing amber creature template by Steven D. Russell. Glorious. Ghast wizard and minotaur fighter by Creighton Broadhurst also neat. Formatting of review-section AWESOME this time around.



Flaws: No significant ones.



Final verdict: For FREE? 5 stars + seal of approval.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #39 (PFRPG)
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Threats: Echoes of the Typhonians (Diceless)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/24/2014 08:36:20
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement for Lords of Gossamer and Shadows is the first providing a spotlight for a particular kind of threat (D'unh) faced by the Gossamer Lords and Ladies (and other - we don't discriminate on the great stair...) clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page editorial, 1 page front cover, 21 pages of content - so let's take a look!



So, as has become tradition with Rite Publishing's supplements, this one as well in written in aptly-crafted in-character prose, introducing us to the so-called Usari. What are these people? Well, you're probably familiar with the saying that everyone has a Doppelgänger out there? Well, we have one world. With infinite worlds at one's beck and call, the existence of strikingly similar versions of one's self would be a given then. The book goes further in concept, though - Usari that actually meet are locked into a strange trance and then, rather inexorably, reality bends and both merge, with equipment and all and a stronger Usari emerges, the weaker one's personality subsumed, but part of the new, merged being. The Usari become progressively stronger via these mergers and both items and memories create new beings - thsi merger is btw. properly codified in LoGaS-rules as a 10-point power.



Now one of my favorite things about LoGaS would be the infinite potential for creativity and this pdf thankfully does not delve into the trap of providing one canonical truth about the Usari and their true nature/origin - instead, we get a vast amount of different theories that range from the Usari being God, to them being avatars of the universe, seeking to destroy the rifts in space and time, to them being servants of the stairs or the fragments of a particularly legendary Typhonian, seeking to recreate itself. The interesting thing here is, though, that Usari are free-willed and may not want their whole being to potentially be "diluted" or worse, utterly suffused under another will - the roleplaying potential with the vast array of origin myths is significant indeed.



We also get sample stats for Usari - depending on their power-levels, these beings are classified in five types, from weakest (1) to strongest (5) and while the first 2 provide generic sample stats, the former 3 provide full-blown original NPCs, all with simply stunning, drop-dead-gorgeous, highest tier original artworks, powers, background story and advice on using the respective Usari as ally or enemy, of course also providing artifacts and creatures, info on domains and their goals if applicable - all 3 are glorious characters, btw.!.



Now as you may realize, introducing these guys and gals as a mystery to be solved would be most effective and hence, extensive advice on planning the reveal and even going full-blown Usari War (especially nice, if you want to go captain exposition via an NPC and go full blown...). Better yet, the advice for playing Usari that DOES address the potential for power creep and the inherent risk of fusing - lose the merger, lose your character... and yes, this has potential galore!



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RiP's two-column full-color standard and the artworks (mostly original) rank among the best you'll see in any publication - GLORIOUS.



LoGaS stands and falls with the power to incite the imagination, to foster creativity and not stifle it and this book does a superb job - exploring just enough of the concepts to make this supplement a just fun to read, even if you don't play LoGaS - the concept translates well into just about all systems and settings. Author Cam Banks does a superb job and makes this a glorious addition to any LoGaS-game and beyond - well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Threats: Echoes of the Typhonians (Diceless)
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Village Backdrop: Trickletrek
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/24/2014 08:33:33
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Village Backdrop clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Trickletrek is an idyllic town, situated next to the river of the same moniker and to the forest of the Great Greens - life is good in the gnomish village and all is well...until an asteroid crashes down into Swishswirl Cove and the dreaded loss of color (whether already known via Golarion or a new phenomenon) starts spreading, leaving mutated, dangerous folk in its wake that seem to show signs of a strange color not 100% of this world...



As always, full village statblocks, nomenclature, whispers and rumors and events are provided for this interesting retelling of the Lovecraft classic - add in two neat statblocks, one providing a relatively complex CR 7 blight druid now enslaved to the otherworldly intruder and we have a potentially awesome backdrop to retell the traditional story suffused with some gnomish humor.



The fact that Golarion's gnomes already suffer from such an affliction adds further potential to use red herrings or devise one's own telling and provide alternate explanations for the happenstances in the by now, rather dangerous village. (Danger-modifier +20 - ouch!)



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's superb, streamlined and printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard. The pdf's b/w-cartography (of which you can download player-friendly versions on Raging Swan's homepage for free!) is just as awesome as I've come to expect from the series. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.



Alexander Augunas is one of the most talented crunch-authors currently writing 3pp-material, but he also has an uncanny knack for the weird and potent, captivating, fluff - this being no exception. Where the basic frame to most will be a "been there, done that", the details are what makes this work - from the gnomes as racially distinct to the coinciding with their racial sickness in some worlds to all the small details of the town's politics between progress and tradition, this village backdrop serves potential galore and a unique spin that makes a tired trope work again. (And yes, Lovecraft-aficionados - another creature from the great beyond might be involved - this review is partially deliberately vague in that regard...) And that is a hard thing to achieve indeed - barring any gripes and bearing that in mind, well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Village Backdrop: Trickletrek
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The Genius Guide to Horrifically Overpowered Mythic Feats
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2014 05:23:42
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 14 pages of content, so let's take a look!



In case you're new to the concept - first released on April 1st, these horrifically overpowered feats are essentially feats on steroids. Scratch that. Know the Batman villain Bane? Yeah, they're more like his drug of choice, venom, injected in copious quantities into feats to create brutes. Owen K.C. Stephens back in the day wrote "No one should use these" - well, people don't listen, do they? In fact, I wasn't alone in considering them great tools for legendary foes, high level bosses etc. Rite Publishing's much-lauded NPC-series "Faces of the Tarnished Souk" (If you haven't checked these one out, you're missing something!) made use of them in some builds and indeed, they do adhere to a power-curve. A horrifically powerful, weird power-curve of dynasty warrior-like proportions, but a power-curve nontheless - and for some truly high fantasy games, they were just what the doctor prescribed. Then along came superpowered mythic gameplay and these suddenly felt even less "utterly broken" - "broken" perhaps, but still. They certainly did see use in some games in know of. Mythic = challenge accepted here and thus, we get horrifically overpowered mythic feats now - to teach mythic PCs (or Cthulhu-level foes) some humility.



What do I mean by this? Well, let's take a look at the first feat, Acrobatic, as an example: Taking this feat allows you to roll a maximum of 1 acrobatic or fly-check per session, all others counting as 20s. You may roll, though, and on a 15+ on the roll, you may potentially stun non-mythic adversaries. Yeah, that level of power is what you'll get. What about adding evolutions to ALL your summoned creatures, allowing you each day to select the evolutions in question?



What about a bleeding critical that dispels a target's invisibility, makes the target potentially slip on their own blood or even blind them. Of course, there would also be a feat to eliminate all sight-based penalties ever. What about a version of expertise that can increase your AC to 25 + level and allows you to expend mythic power to have attacks miss you when using expertise. What about combat reflexes that kick in whenever a target is in your threatened area, even if the target already was there? Yeah, these feats fundamentally change some of the dynamics of how the game works, but they also make for exceedingly cool options versus players who think they've seen it all and get cocky or, on the player's end, for truly high-level game. Yes, immunity to all missiles that qualify for deflect arrow may be powerful; as may be additional actions if your initiative is really high (a nod to systems like Shadowrun or LRGG's Necropunk's phase combat) - but know what these have in common? Yeah, they're not instant-win buttons. Heck, a minor sorc-gestalting feat is actually less OP than the regular getsalt-feat and the massively reach-extending mythic lunge-feat is insane, yes, but unfortunately I've seen more broken takes on that one intended for vanilla PFRPG...so yeah, wouldn't want that in a standard level game, but high-powered mythic? Well worth teh consideration, even if you don't skim on the edge of power.



What about becoming "Uber-Mythic" (though that's supposed to be the Ü-Umlaut, damn it...), treating mythic creatures as non-mythic? Yeah, lot of fun to be had here... What also made me smile was the take on weapon finesse - add str, dex and int all to atk and damage rolls. Why? Because I often complain about multiple attributes being added to the same roll more often than not meaning that the design is wonky or flawed...but that may just be the jaded reviewer in me.



Now beyond these horrifically overpowered mythic feats, there also are mythic horrifically overpowered feats, the latter being essentially mythic versions of the respective horrifically overpowered feats. What about e.g. powering the by now infamous "Denied!"-feat with mythic power in addition to daily uses? Yeah, Ouch. This may be a subjective impression, but if you were thinking after the first chapter, that there's still wiggle-room upwards, these feats go there. Use mythic power as, literally regrowing resources for extra lives? Check. Penalty-less full casting action? Check. Mythic tier +1/2 level for gestalting? Check. What about the feat that literally makes you the first to act, always, existing only once per setting and requiring the former owner to die to learn it? Check. Mythic tier to all mental or physical attributes? Check. It should be noted that these feats can be considered a kind-of-appendix, since they do not offer the non-mythic feats they're based on and thus require the previous non-mythic book, so that's something to bear in mind if you want to make maximum use of the second chapter as well. But lists of feats come with handy tables of the feats and what they do - nice.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games' easy-to-read two-column standard and the pdf sports neat stock-art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and unobtrusively hyperlinked for your convenience, with the latter ones I tried always working as intended.



"OMG, deez feats are s000 imba1111!!!! Can 1 uz dem???" and "These are what's wrong with the game! Back in the day, we rolled a d1 and subtracted 10 to hit a Goblin and only did so on a zero!" are both wrong ways to approach this book, so let's be mature and flat-out state this - these feats are designed for very specific circumstances and groups and do not pretend to be balanced. The book flat out tells it like it is and points toward an art that seems to be the source of many a table's problem - player entitlement and DM stubbornness/campaign Mary-Sueing. So if your players think they have a right to use such feats...don't use them. If as a DM, your world is so precious to you that you want to run your PCs and force your vision on how a world's narrative is supposed to run on them...don't even think about it. These feats and their power-curve require dialogue, an ability to maturely discuss them and decide which ones to use and which ones to ignore. They are NOT balanced with the core game or even mythic rules (though, mythic rules honestly lose any semblance of balance at the higher tiers anyway...) and thus require a mature table. Got that? Great, for if you do, then this will quite probably rock your world. Let me elaborate.



Owen K.C. Stephens delivers a bunch of feats that scrape the top of power-levels - and yes, they are extremely powerful, some even horrifically so. But know what they also are? Are great toolkit to stump the "seen-it-all", an array of options for truly apex-powered campaigns that border on the ludicrous. These feats, especially the mythic versions of already horrifically overpowered feats, are insanely powerful and let the players (or adversaries) wilder in the power-realms usually reserved for demi-gods, full-blown deities and similar beasts - and as such, they do actually offer a superb addition to a DM's toolkit to fluster these exceedingly powerful level 20+/MR 10-characters, to provide something truly awe-inspiring (or downright mean). Just bear in mind - each of these feats can significantly alter the power-curve and is at least up to a CR +1 template. If you bear that in mind and take heed, then this is a great offering indeed, providing some of the nastiest tricks for infinity and beyond gaming I've seen in a while - well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to Horrifically Overpowered Mythic Feats
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Mythic Minis 15: Feats of Treachery
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2014 05:20:35
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Mythic Mini clocks in at 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This time, we're all about feats of treachery, so let's check this out!



All right, we begin this collection with "Betrayers" mythic version, which makes the attacks against foes you befriended is further increased - very much a standard improved version with slight mythic bonuses. Okay, but bland. Deceptive Exchange's mythic version is more interesting, allowing for disarm/steal to accompany the feint and even replacing items in foe's hands. "Disengaging Feint" as a mythic feat can be used as a swift action or as a standard action sans AoO, regardless how much you move through the threatened creature's spaces. "Disengaging Flourish" works analogue to the previous feat and "Disengaging Shot's" mythic feat allows you to add a dirty trick sans AoO with your shot - neat!



"False Opening" increases AC and makes foes falling for the AoO flat-footed. Okay, I guess. "Flick of the Wrist" is neat, allowing for sleight of hand to make drawing light weapons as free actions possible, potentially flat-footing foes. And yes, this one has a mythic tier-based per combat cap - interesting, if potentially problematic logic-wise. Why does the DC not increase for witnessing the trick/falling for it?



"Two weapon feint's" mythic version allows you to use mythic power to reroll feints and sacrifice multiple primary hand attacks for multiple feints. The improved version of the feat allows you to sacrifice the highest BAB attacks to render the foe dex-bonus-less for longer durations, potentially even until your next turn - Okay, I guess, but VERY specific. In a lot of cases, I consider the trade-off not worth it here, though I like the idea behind the feat.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games 2-column full-color standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Jason Nelson provides a solid array of different treachery-based feats that allow for some nasty tricks...while some of the feats herein did underwhelm me. In the overall concept, none of the feats herein truly blew my mind and while they're not bad, I also wouldn't consider them must-purchase material. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 due to In dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 15: Feats of Treachery
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