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Ethereal Marauder

Azazyll's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 300 posts. 6 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.



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Best SG class yet

*****

I love this class. LOVE it. This is probably the best put-together class I've seen yet from SGG (and if you've read the Time Thief, you know that's quite a compliment). Despite using a number of ideas from previous classes (notably hexes and bonded objects), this core class comes across as fresh and different.

Basically, it's a substantially modified witch, but the flavor has been perfectly balanced with the mechanics. This is the witch's magus, but with a more instintive grasp of the background so missing in the magus, which, despite filling a need, always fealt like a rather bland fantasy trope to me. Here we have a more aggressive witch, with new unique hexes and patrons that reflect this violence. With a medium BAB and spontaneous casting on the inquisitor spell track, plus limited armor and weapon use, the Hellion is a lot more competent in combat (although perhaps not to the level of the magus - it's not geared to pure gish mechanics). There are also additional special talents accessible to the Hellion that manage to stand apart from the hexes as distinctively shifting the class's focus and abilities rather than simply giving you a spell-like or supernatural at-will spell.

I've not done a thorough read through, but I wanted to give my initial impressions. If you like the witch, or even just anti-heroes, this will be a product you want to pick up. SGG has proven once again that they really understand how to marry crunch with fluff, and produce something which is fulfilling to roleplay and rollplay simultaneously.


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Sinfully good

*****

Three short feat trees all based off a common gluttony feat. The mechanics are reasonable, evocative, and unique (and ten years into feats, you don't hear me say that often). This goes up there among the top ten percent of what SGG has put out. I can't wait for the next installment!


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Good, could use improvement (or am I just being greedy?)

****( )

I purchased this product through a subscription to the seven-part series on the KQ website.

The author is Ryan Costello Jr (I noticed that's not mentioned anywhere on the product description). The interior art is quite good, black and white in the style of the best S&S used to put out (by Aaron J Riley). Layout is fine.

There's not much background here. A paragraph on what avarice is at the beginning, half a page on avarice in Midgard, which here means Zobeck, mostly a one-paragraph adventure hook of sorts and then a short paragraph on avarice for worshippers.

The bulk of the product is the monsters. Solid, but I would have liked to have seen a few changes that went the extra mile. The author has gone for simple and direct. The "template" is a single SQ, but it's good and very evocative.

The Hoard Golem is interesting, but lacks the absolutely essential quality that separates golems from other constructs, namely spell immunity. I'd love to see this corrected, because it otherwise has a very innovative twist on a standard monster ability. Not sure why players have to be punished with the "broken treasure" quality - was it meant to break the characters' treasure?

The map mimic will shock players used to a standard mimic encounter. Very clever and generally well executed.

The Midasite is creative and could provide for a very interesting mini-adventure or encounter, but I have to say that full on save-or-die (or at least save-or-gold) at CR4 is going to be a bit hard on the players. Some kind of solution should have been built in to the monster - it has stone to flesh as a spell-like ability, but even a comment on what they'd want in payment for this would have been nice. Also, if they turn objects into gold, what is the value of the object? Again, very flavorful but I would have liked to have seen a little more thought put into it.

The Embodiment of Avarice is an enormous CR20 outsider with some clever and evocative abilities, but definitely in the less-is-more camp, no huge suite of spell-like abilities here. It's very clear what the monster is supposed to do, namely, beat the crap out of your party while simultaneously stealing your stuff. There's even a bit of a dead man's trigger for the greedy, which is highly appropriate. Personally, I would have knocked down the CR a bit to make this useable at more levels - we're not given the kind of background to make using this critter as a master villain for a campaign, it really comes off more as ultimate summoning fodder.

Overall, some really interesting ideas in need of a few tweaks, and perhaps just a bit more background for the overall concept. I look forward to seeing how this will progress in future installments. Well worth a look if you're playing RotRL or Shattered Star.


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What a roleplaying supplement should be

*****

I don't usually review products unless they truly impress me, and the Genius Guide to Hellfire Magic did just that. This is a perfect example of how some relatively simple mechanics can lead to really superb roleplaying choices. A minute into reading this and my head was swimming with new ideas, which is what truly superb mechanics shoudl always inspire.

Super Genius Games have reclaimed Hellfire as a source of power for the good guys, who in most setting cast the devils down to Hell in the first place, but with the classic and entirely appropriate caveat that power corrupts. Each spell can be cast with the evil descriptor to improve its effectiveness, ranging from simply making conjured weapons masterwork for lower-level spells to giving a forcecage-style prison of hellfire a door openable at will by the caster for the impressive Pocket Hell 8th level spell. This was perhaps my favorite choice, from a flavor perspective, because it perfectly encapsulated, for me, the two different possible applications of Hellfire by the forces of Good and Evil: the former use Hellfire as a tool of just punishment, while the latter have found ways to subvert and manipulate its power for their own ends.

Add to that one spell that does a take on the classic Penance Stare, plus just a hint of ancient and forgotten secrets, and I was hooked. Any campaign that wants to roleplay moral dilemmas and the corrupting power of evil NEEDS to use this supplement. Beware the dark side!


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Solid

*****

Well worth the money. If you liked the earlier pdf of hexes from SGG, you'll like this. Useful and balanced but still evocative in a fairy-tale kind of way. The way the SGG guys are going, the witch will continue to develop into it's own unique class, rather than a wizard-clone.

Worth noting is that these are all just the lowest tier of hexes (unless I'm mistaken). They seem reasonably well balanced - no obvious choices, but no clear losers either.

Exactly the quality of material that made me purchase the Genius pass.


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