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Monsters of Sin 1: Avarice (Pathfinder RPG) $2.99 $1.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Monsters of Sin 1: Avarice (Pathfinder RPG)
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Monsters of Sin 1: Avarice (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/27/2012 08:34:07

Out of all the seven deadly sins, avarice is probably the one that motivates the typical adventurer the most. Killing things and taking their stuff is, after all, a fair description of what avarice is all about. So, even were it not for the alphabetical sequence of this series, avarice would have been a good place to start.

There is some brief description of avarice and why it's a bad thing, including a two-paragraph cautionary tale set in the Free City of Zobeck. But that's rather incidental to the purpose of the book, which is to describe four monsters on the theme of the titular sin.

Ignoring the cover, contents and licence, the book is 6 pages long in total. The descriptions are one page each, including the stat block and a fairly large piece of (good quality) art. So, basically, the sort of thing you'd get from a Monster Manual entry, rather than an in-depth discussion... but, really, that's all you need.

I give this product the full five stars, partly because the production quality is unusually good for the price, but mainly because the creatures are well thought out, and that is, after all, the point of the book.

They have a good range of CRs, from 1 to 20. Most operate by tempting an adventurer's avaricious nature, but they do so in different ways. The mimic from the MM is a classic example of this kind of thing, and, indeed, there's a variant of it here that works well alongside the standard version.

On the whole, four rather good monsters, succinctly described and linked by a theme that's somewhat relevant to dungeoneering. For the price, I'd recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Sin 1: Avarice (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2012 17:32:23

This mini-bestiary is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving a total of 6 pages content, so let's take a look what Ryan A. Costello has created here!

After a short discussion on the nature of 7 deadly sins, we delve right into a CR+0 simple template to create avaricious creature that can once per day heal themselves via the consumption of valuables.

The first creature, at CR 12, is the hoard golem - born from the greed of dragons, this massive construct can not only steal items by becoming a whirlwind, it also detracts gazes from other threat - with potentially fatal consequences.

The CR 1 Map Mimic is another ingenious creature that can not only mislead adventurers and make for a great story-creature, it is also potentially very deadly if it can get in your face - one of the coolest CR 1 beasties out there.

Midasites, CR 4, locust-headed fey, can permanently turn their victims to gold via a touch. At CR 4 I'm not even I am particularly comfortable with a save-or-die ability, even with a HD_restriction per day imposed on the creatures.

The final creature is a joy to behold: The rodent-faced, facet-eyed, adamant-scythe wielding, 12-stories high CR 20 embodiment of avarice is simply awesome: Each of its eyes can spawn swarms of spidery rat things to steal, has an internal vault, its own outsider subtype and an aura that can potentially disable all opponents close. I love the thing - it is joyfully, beautifully corrupt and disturbing.

The pdf closes with a mini-section on avarice in the Midgard campaign setting.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. The layout done by Marc Radle is in full-color, beautiful and adheres to a two-column standard. The pdf has no bookmarks and I hope that if/when there'll be a compilation, we'll get bookmarks. The creatures all come with awesome b/w-artworks by Aaron J. Riley - kudos to this talented artist's vision of these beasts. This is one of the best mini-bestiaries I've seen for any game and would immediately go for 5 stars endzeitgeist seal of approval, were it not for SGG's Ravagers of Time - while the bang-for-buck-ratio of both publications is mostly equivalent and the artworks in this supplement are stellar and slightly superior to some in SGG's offering, the latter has more supplemental material. And then there's the midasites one-trick pony ability and its rather unpleasant consequence at this low level. Thus, while this is still an excellent pdf, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded still up to 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Sin 1: Avarice (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/01/2012 11:50:39

Whether or not you believe, you'll have heard of the concept of sin... going your own way, indulging in your own desires, rather than paying attention to the wishes of your deity. This is the first in a series of resources focussing on the so-called 'seven deadly sins' and providing ample material for GMs to lead characters astray...

Avarice - the desire to accumulate wealth and resources far beyond what you actually need - is a sin that probably besets most fantasy adventurers every so often. Here are presented three monsters whose theme is based around avarice, a template to enable you to bring out the worst in any monster or NPC and a creature that is the pure embodiment of avarice itself - fitting climax to an adventure based around this sin.

First up, the 'Avaricious Creature' template. These poor beasties are corrupted to such a level that they literally eat valuable items. Next come three monsters: the hoard golem, the map mimic, and the midasite. Each in some way typifies avarice - displaying it or goading those characters unfortunate enough to meet them into becoming avaricious themselves.

The hoard golem is, like all golems, a mindless construct, one made out of precious items. Said to have been the invention of a dragon so paranoid about his hoard that he found a way to make his hoard guard itself (rather than hire or enslave guards who might be tempted to help themselves!), they take the form of a shambling heap of treasure that can bedazzle characters with the sheer wealth involved, and conduct a whirlwind attack during which they purloin any valuable items that their target carries.

The map mimic is actually an infant mimic, appearing as a treasure map which shows the way not to loot but to its parent mimic! If it does not lead folks astray and into danger, it has a nasty attack of its own - it attempts to adhere to its victim's face, blinding and eventually suffocating them.

As for the midasite, it is a small insect-like creature whose touch can turn flesh to gold, a bit like a flesh to stone spell only with gold rather than stone as the result. It's a small fey, and wears gold armour itself. Some sneaky art collectors have been known to attempt to capture or befriend a midasite, and then have it create them gold statues on demand!

Finally, the Embodiment of Avarice is a CR20 colossal outsider. Impressive at first glance, it has rat-like features and a dirty furry hide wrapped in fine silks and adamantine full plate armour. Its malign influence can cause the unwary to pull out a valuable item and admire it, ignoring peril, whilst having the capacity to steal precious things and store them in its stomach. When an area contains enough avaricious people - or one who is spectacularly so - it turns up to steal their stuff...

Ending with a few notes on where to find avarice in Midgard, if you use that setting, this book provides some interesting ways to deal with those characters who want to gather far more wealth than they could possibly need, or to build adventures around the theme of avarice. Something to make characters think about what they are doing, and what their true motives are, perhaps... certainly with the potential to be entertaining.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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