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Lini

Dawn R Fischer's page

Editing, Frog God Games. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 302 posts (1,384 including aliases). 55 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 3 aliases.



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the ultimate spell book

*****

I don't have time to wax episodic over the usefulness of this book for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Even if you only use 10% of the material within, that is still a hundred uses!

All I can really do is ask the question, why hasn't every Pathfinder gamer purchased this book yet?

...Other than the fact it is sold out. I am sure that will change. :-)

Congratulations Steve and the folks at Rite!


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Frozen Fear for Free!

*****

Overall Comments: This is a great single-evening adventure with a horror-centered plot, suitable for Halloween, a winter-horror themed event or whenever you want to scare your players. Yes, there are zombies, frozen creepy ones and much, much worse. It can be inserted into any oriental themed campaign; and is in fact specially designed to fit into any Kaidan-based campaign, per the trilogy of adventures from Rite Publishing.

I am not going into the details of this adventure to avoid spoiling this one for players. There are three acts and a sufficient quantity of different encounters to occupy any gaming group once the general feel of the adventure is realized. The adventure is run through the use of event-based acts, but is otherwise fairly sandboxy, at least inside the confines of the monastery. The GM might want to place a restriction upon PC's leaving without first solving the mystery of this place to avoid that problem. The weather limitations may not deter some groups; though a harsh GM dealing out frostbite to recalcitrant PC’s might do the trick.

Spoilers for my players: My own sense of hilarity wants to add humor to horror. So any delay by PC’s after killing a zombie or two would cause ones they just killed to reanimate and attack again. If they wise up and start to dismember the bodies, the arms, hands or bodies with legs would animate and probably be more scary (and/or laughable) than dangerous. Any player genius enough to try to burn a corpse would succeed in ending the reanimation. Obviously other GMs might not want to do this as it would definitely delay the game.

Complaints: The existence of several typos, spelling errors and errors of usage indicate this product would have benefitted from another editing pass. But they don’t detract from the flow of the adventure and are barely even noticeable, unless you are like me. Plus this is free, a couple of typos can’t detract from the overall quality of this adventure, for free!

Cool Bonus stuff: For the players, there is a set of 6 pregenerated characters. For the GM there is a nicely illustrated appendix of adventure specific new monsters as well as several gamemaster aids; a temperature chart that helps the GM track the affects upon and times for saving throws, a countdown track to help the GM keep track of the time limit involved, and a score chart for those GMs who wish to reward the players.

Production values: As is typical of Rite Publishing and Kaidan materials, the appearance is standard and includes nicely drawn maps, original art, and some free domain art from old Japanese sources. Amazingly for a free product this is nearly all in color.

Did I mention this is free? Why haven’t you got it already? You will not be disappointed.
I give this 4.5 stars due to minor editing gaffs, rounded up to five because it’s free!


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Gotta have Faith

*****

Badges of Faith are magical amulets worn from a necklace enhanced with divine magic geared towards increasing the number of devotees of the faith. They provide benefits to the wearer which are mild, at first, but can be increased depending on the type of the badge and the activities of the person in possession of it. In order to increase the abilities of the badge, the wearer must perform tasks which are deemed appropriate by the deity sponsoring the badge. In this way the deities gain more followers and the followers gain access to more of the deity’s power. The way this is accomplished involves both the desire to do so on the part of the wearer and access to a temple devoted to the deity in question. The person is never tricked into it, though if they accept the quest assigned, they are geased to complete it.

I really love this concept of using a magic item for more than mere reward or fulfilling a certain level -recommended quotient of magic items. These Badges of Faith are more than mere magical trinkets. They are whole campaigns awaiting an adventurer. These badges are not specifically worn only by the divine class characters, though they are restricted to only being able to be created by a divine class having a particular domain or subdomain, see the list that follows:
• Aligned – Alignment domain required: chaos, law, evil, or good
• Caprice – Luck domain; or the curse or fate subdomains
• Destruction – Destruction; catastrophe, or rage subdomains
• Claw, Fang, Feather, and Fur – Animal domain; or feather or fur subdomains
• Gibbering and Wailing – Madness domain; or insanity or nightmare subdomains
• Glory – Glory domain: or heroism or honor subdomains
• Hearth and Home – Community domain; or family or home subdomains
• Industriousness – Artifact domain; or construct or toil subdomains
• Insight – Knowledge domain; or memory or thought subdomains
• Midnight – Darkness domain; or loss or night subdomains
• Relief – Healing domain; or restoration or resurrection subdomains
• Swirling Winds – Air domain; or cloud or winds subdomains
• Blessed Dawn – Sun domain; or day or light subdomains
• Bull – Strength domain; or ferocity or resolve subdomains
• Conflagration – Fire domain; or ash or smoke subdomains
• Crossed Blades – War domain; or blood or tactics subdomains
• Enchantress – Charm domain; or love or lust subdomains
• Green – Plant domain; decay or growth subdomain
• Shackle Breaker – Liberation domain; or freedom or revolution subdomain
• Skull – Death domain; or the murder or undead subdomains
• Wave – Water domain; or the ice or oceans subdomains
• Imbued – Magic domain; or the arcane or divine subdomains
• Inscribed – Rune domain; or the language or wards subdomain
• Liar’s – Trickery domain; or the deception or thievery subdomains
• Passport – Travel domain; or the exploration or trade subdomains
• Restful – Repose domain; or the ancestors or souls subdomains
• Royal – Nobility domain; or the leadership or martyr subdomains
• Stalwart’s – Protection domain; or the defense or purity subdomains
• Stone – Earth domain; or the caves or metal subdomains
• Tempest’s – Weather domain; or seasons or storms subdomains

What I like the most about the Badges represented is that in order to activate the abilities of the badge, certain tasks must be performed by the PC. The successful accomplishment of holy quests needed to add to the powers of the badge offer up some really interesting possibilities for role play. I like it when I can tie a player of a priestly class into his character’s chosen god in this way. It becomes more than merely a power build option. For me, anything which pulls the game away from pure metagame and into roleplay is ideal.

I love the Badges of Faith. This is an amazing concept which can be expanded upon into a full-blown campaign. It gives me some ideas of how to add to the badge’s power. I can turn it into a customizable unique lesser artifact through the actions and faith of the possessor and into a deity-inspired high level campaign. Well done Michael Welham and the folks at Rite Publishing.


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The Call of Chaos

*****

This is exactly the type of Cthulhu campaign that I remember and cherish from years gone by. From the detail in this entire book, serious research was done to maintain a high level of verisimilitude necessary to make a Cthullhu campaign come to life. Multiple time periods and locations are used as settings. Historically accurate details are fleshed out in each of the five settings. From art, to maps, to source material and literature, to depictions, and translations of the multiple languages the investigators would need to know, everything is either an excellent replication or an outright true place, item, or event taken straight from the annals of history.

An example of this is in the first part. This is set on an island just off the British coastline. The level of detail of the map of the island and the monastery are accurate enough to fool anyone. And in fact if you were to look up the Holy Island and Lindisfarne in Northumbria, you would note that it is a real place with a real temple to St. Cuthbert and the ruins of the ancient church can be seen via satellite. Granted the island is in fact much bigger than the one presented in the adventure. But still – wow – the level of factual detail is amazing. This is the kind of thing I used to love to do for my own Call of Cthulhu campaigns. It speaks to the ancient historian, storyteller, and the amateur archaeologist in me.

Now for a very minor quibble, the maps used in the later parts of this campaign, while clear and useful, do not have the same sort of authentic feel to them. Instead, they clearly have a computer generated look. Normally this would not be a problem, but with the utterly awesome authentic feel of the maps in the first parts of this campaign, they seem out of place. The challenge level represented by the encounters in this book and the adventure as written hearkens back to the true feel of a Call of Cthulhu campaign in which death was the least of an investigator’s worries.

In addition to the maps and content of the adventures, a multitude of player handouts for each of the parts as well as extremely useful and in fact necessary player character pregens are included. For the Keeper, full NPC information, motivations, and stats as well as useful note on how to run the different parts and finally timelines of events. In short, everything a Keeper needs to run this campaign is present, except for the rules.

This is an epic campaign and plays to the heart of what a truly amazing Call of Cthulhu campaign should be. However many stars or other award handed out to game materials and supplements, this one has earned as many as I could give it. If there was one higher category of awesome, I’d give Red Eye of Azathoth that as well. “That which is dead shall refuse to lie” is true of Call of Cthulhu too.


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All about skill

*****

Skills are a very useful feature of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, one that is often overlooked for splashier spells and feats. While not all of these 101 new skill uses will be useful for my own campaign and some of them I have already conceived on my own, I find many that hadn’t occurred to me. Many are useful as suggestions on how to extend the core skills further. Players are always trying to do more with the skills anyway, at least mine are. This book gives the game master many really good ideas. I already found one in the free sample that I already copied and sent to one of my players. It was perfect for his PC. I am certain that more will appear equally useful for my other players. These new skills offer a great deal of potential for many styles of gaming.

As with most of these suggestions, I recommend adding minimum ranks a PC must have in a particular skill prior to being able to perform the specific actions listed. That is really the only thing I see missing in this otherwise excellent supplement. I am not going to judge balance issues with each new skill use, that is subjective for the most part and easily resolved by setting prerequisite minimum ranks in a particular skill prior to allowing the PC to attempt it. I had considered dinging my rating for this lack. But then I realized something, this is very personal for each game master and the style of their campaign differs greatly. How much or how little the GM in question wants to emphasis pre-requisites in skill level is a decision best left to them.

This supplement was an interesting read and gave me some ideas for skill usages I intend to use as certain NPC antics. It is also fully bookmarked per skill, which is extremely useful despite the smallish size of this pdf. There is a wealth of excellent ideas and added support for game masters when players attempt crazy maneuvers. I can’t recommend this supplement enough. For the price you will gain many useful ideas for your own campaign and players, even if you don’t use them all. This is worth four and a half five stars which I am rounding up to a full five for excellent layout typical of Rite Publishing’s products.


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