Just wanted to chime in on the RP-discussion:
My 2 cents are: Make a balanced race, screw the RP. RP have shown that they are NOT a balance indicator and the ARG is imho broken. Do your races work within the rule-set? Good, add RP-info. If not - then ignore it. The end-result imho is what counts. (That btw. applies to all rules - adhering to standards when possible is great and required - but realizing when the standard doesn't work properly and circumventing it with balanced, reasonable, evocative results is the sign of truly good design.)
Looking forward to UP, even though I couldn't chime in for the KS! PE is one of the most used books at my table!
Happy Birthday, Joela! Depends on what you're looking for! Any file on my top 10-lists/candidate-lists I'd stand behind.
Beyond the pieces of advice by ericthecleric and TOZ and my top ten-lists, these are what came first to mind:
Raging Swan's Dressing-and So what's...-series.
Frog God Games - Razor Coast (+all supplements), Scorned
Direct Support for Paizo-APs:
Legendary Games - Their Gothic Grimoires are gloriously gloomy!
With my head in my pdfs, I almost didn't notice - it's this time of the year again, when humble me takes a short, goth-related vacation to Leipzig.
I'll return on Tuesday and reviewing duties will commence as usual - with a bang and 5 new ones and me hopefully motivated as heck.
That being said, I didn't want you guys to have no new reviews, so I dug in my pile and took 4 drafts of very good, appropriately dark-themed pdfs and posted them on my site.
Furthermore, I'd like to draw your attention to a worthy cause: Christina Stiles spearheads an indiegogo-campaign to get writers to Gen Con - and yes, grandmaster crunch Owen K.C. Stephens is part of the group. Oh, and humble ole' me is a stretch-goal.
So if you ever wanted to punch me in the face for shredding your products, buy me a drink, talk to me about design, riddle me with questions on the world of 3pps or campaigns, on my house-rules, character-deaths madness-system etc. - this might make exactly that possible.
Oh, and I actually have a seal and way, so if you really want a real life seal of approval, I'd bring that along. :)
Thanks for the attention, ladies and gentlemen, I'll see you on Tuesday (and possibly at Gencon)!
An Endzeitgeist.com review
This FREE pdf is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Th pdf kicks off by introducing us to a new magical quality called “mirrored” that does not increase an item’s magical bonus, but only its base price. For every plus the weapon has, it gets 13 charges and upon using a spell-like ability, the weapon loses one of said charges. Every 13 charges that are depleted cost the magical item one of its +1 enhancements. This additional power is considered as being an item incorporated into the weapon price-wise. Furthermore, when two mirrored weapons clash, both abilities are activated without depleting a charge – otherwise, the activation is dependant on activation triggers that vary by weapon. Finally, mirrored weapons net bonuses when nearby allies also wield mirrored weapons and count as cold iron for the purpose of DR.
The first item provided is Cyrekksi’s Mirrored Spear, a +2 spear that protects the wielder with 1d4+2 mirror image upon botching an attack. These duplicates last 8 minutes or until hit.
Marizz’s Mirrored Club is a +2 club that may, upon striking a foe with a DR of a specific type, up to 2/day cast versatile weapon with a duration of 8 minutes – per se a cool idea, but does versatile weapon apply to the strike that prompted it or to the next one? Also, the charges of this one are unrefillable in contrast to the mirrored spear – a somewhat odd decision: Either make them all unrechargeable (would make sense to me) or make them all rechargeable.
The final weapon provided is the shortsword of enlarging diminishment, a +1 keened[sic!] shortsword (should be keen) – when wielded by a gnome or halfling, the sword may 1/day affect foes subject to a crit with reduce person, while the wielder benefits from an enlarge person. Unfortunately, the DC of this very specific ability is fixed at DC 14, meaning that the weapon will stop being useful fast.
The final 6 pages are devoted to providing versions of the items for 3×4 index cards and 4×6 index cards.
Editing and formatting is good, but not perfect – I noticed a couple of different minor glitches. Layout adheres to a full color standard with a parchment-style background that renders the pdf not particularly printer-friendly. Each weapon comes with its own artwork – and when taking into account that this pdf is FREE, the quality of them is actually rather nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but at this length needs none. More significant is the absence of a proper SRD, which might prove to be problematic in the long run for the company.
This pdf actually offers some nice magical weapons with uncommon mechanics and solid fluff to back them up, though the club could use some minor clarification and the short-sword’s fixed DC and very specific activation conditions mean that that one becomes mostly useless fast, though it’s concept is ok. Personally, I prefer scaling DCs that keep items relevant.
That being said, while not perfect, author Mike Myler has created a solid pdf for FREE and even if you don’t use the items, at least you get some artworks to show players – all in all, this is a solid offering that is FREE and as such is definitely worth a read and the space on your HD. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.
This pdf is FREE but can't currently be purchased here and linking would be bad form.
I told myself I wouldn't do it. I told myself no more kickstarters for 3 months. I said I wouldn't do it, since my budget these days is next to non-existent and my bank-account weeps tears of blood every time is use an ATM-machine...
I caved in harder than a cave subjected to the tender caresses of a kobold demolition-team.
Pledged for print.
EDIT: On another note: I really hope you'll get an editor for ToN - the one thing not 100% glorious with WotW were the few glitches and typos that snuck in here and there.
I'm missing the ECS-series and like that Haiku of Horrors goes into that direction.
Personally, I'm not that into even more races/feats, though once in a while, some good ones still pop up.
What I like are complex options or those that cover gaps in the system - like your recent supplement on curses, Interjection Games +0 modifiers etc.
I've been hoping for a full-blown Kaidan player's guide, a HotJO-setting-book etc.
For the 30-series, I'd love to see incantations get some love.
With Ultimate Campaign coming up - supplemental rules for kingdom-building, temple organizing, mass combat and all the rest.
Vehicles + Vehicle-templates.
Options for hero points.
And I'd LOVE to get a Rituals of Choice/ Diamond Throne-conversion to Pathfinder.
I'd also love someone tackle monster-climbing rules/skill-gambits in battle à la Iron Heroes.
Mechas. We need Mechas in PFRPG.
What I could think of at the top of my head!
Radiance House + Dreamscarred Press - No regular magic, only psionics + Pact Magic would be an awesome concept for a setting. However, I'd first love to see MORE Pact Magic - say 2 -3 books? Now? *looks around* Damn, why doesn't my Reality Revision-power work? ;)
And I think Christina is on to something - personally, I loved the interlink-system and I think two publisher-crossovers that tie to together might work very well...
Hmmm... Id also like to see what TPK Games would do with Obsidian Apocalypse. I also think that an AaW/LPJr Design team-up would be interesting regarding aesthetics - LPJr Design's artwork + AaW's maps = Beauty.
TPK/FGG would be an awesome team-up! Generally, I'm all for team-ups and taking a look at what came of the ones I know, I can say that they tend to result in cool stuff!
You know what I'd also love to see? An NPC Codex full of statblocks using 3rd party classes - you know, with dreads, swordmasters, mediums, malefactors, cryptics, machinesmiths, occultists, tinkers, time thieves/wardens, witch hunters, etc. - and archetypes galore! I know this probably won't happen, but I'd consider such a book immensely useful!
@ Aelryinth: I may be slightly biased, but I consider Northlands to be an absolute must-have for any fan of Norse myth - one of my favorite supplements...EVER. And my no.1 product of 2011, for what it's worth. Just in case you missed that one!
Two thumbs up for your classy response, Creighton! It's hard to stay calm and friendly when one's character and integrity are questioned. I've been there, more than once.
I have called out sockpuppet reviewers before, but Megan is definitely not one - and I for my part am grateful for every review she (or any other person on the boards I trust) posts.
For my part: I get why many reviewers only post "good" reviews - they're faster to write, you don't have to defend a case, you don't have to point out flaws in math, balancing, presentation etc. AND people actually thank you for it.
Bad reviews are more work,unfulfilling to write, frustrating and make you feel like a bastard either way - if you ripped a product asunder and the author responds with kindness, you feel bad. If they attack you in response, you're angry. Oh, and perhaps they force you to articulate a disappointment with a pdf you wanted to like, which is also not too much fun. It's a classic Catch 22.
Perhaps I'm not enough of a troll; I don't get off of bad reviews, but I consider them a necessary evil.
That being said, writing essentially score-less reviews and adding a rating is a valid approach and since it works for Megan and allows for a fluid assessment of content not tied to a regular verdict.
You're as popular as you are because your products are good - it's that easy. I don't like all your pdfs, but I enjoy the vast majority and more often than not, RSP-products rank among the finest out there.
So take that for what it's worth. I didn't even know Thistle Games existed before, but his mentioning of my name (including wrong information) makes me think I might be next up on his anti-reviewer's-list.
Oh - and readerbreeder - I'm not reviewing everything, just almost everything /jk and the more, the merrier!
The guys from little Red Goblin Games have kindly provided me with the Alpha for their current Necropunk kickstarter and by now, I've had some time to digest it - if you're interested, you can get some in-depth information on my home-page.
Hope you'll enjoy! More reviews to come at the very latest on Monday! Cheers!
I could do Youtube-reviews, yes - not sure, though, they'd be particularly popular. Gotta think about it.
Regarding ads - well, there's the thing with ad-blindness - recent research has shown that most people have managed to completely block any input from advertisement. Additionally, it could come off as dishonest: Say I have an advertisement of publisher x on my site and give a book of the publisher a good rating - might be problematic. I'd be suspicious. And then there's yet another thing: If a publisher pays me for advertisement and I rip a product to shreds, wouldn't that be weird? Also: Not sure whether there's an interest in advertising thusly in the first place....
So yeah, I contemplated advertisements and used banners for some time, but they just don't work.
Thanks for the suggestion, though!
First of all, thanks for all the feedback - tagging definitely gets some priority and I did some 50ish files today. :)
It does look like facebook is not particularly likely by now, though that may change. A tip-jar...well, I don't know...gotta think about it, but I might get one.
To answer especially Anguish: I get where you're coming from and I certainly won't stop posting my reviews on paizo - the thing is, they take A LOT of work.
So why the site: On the one hand, it's a bit of an ego-thing, I admit - and there's another reason. I understand that some people like to search by genre, author, publisher etc. (all covered by my tags, btw.) - and getting e.g. a chronological list of all reviews of that author, at least to me, seems sensible, as would for example being able to click "old-school module" and get a list of reviews of old-school modules. You're free to disagree, of course, but I think comfort-wise, that's definitely something a review-site can offer, especially with links provided conveniently. And then there's of course the slim hope I'll see at least a bit of revenue via affiliate sales, enough to cover one monthly purchase would be nice, though that will have to show whether it works.
I get that it depends on your approach, but I feel that the site does have something to offer. Also: I have an RSS-feed if you'd be interested in that. ;)
Thanks for the feedbakc, everyone! I GREATLY appreciate each and every one of your replying and each and every visit and encouragement! I salute you, ladies and gentlemen!
In the mean-time - the reviews on my (relative young) site are tagged by product-categories. While I'm still busy tagging my backlog, all new reviews will come tagged for your convenience. ^^
I do between 6 and 18 reviews of 3pp-products a week, so there'll bound to be some pieces you'll like!
Oh: And thanks to Hyrum for the shout-out! ^^
Raging Swan Press' Dungeon Dressing-line is EXTREMELY useful for any GM, so is their "So what's the..."-series. They provide all those little details that help a world come to life.
Regarding books I wouldn't miss in any PFRPG-campaign:
Rite Publishing - 101 New Skill Uses
I'd rather not use Ultimate Combat and Magic or the Race Guide than not use any of these.
I have my own site now! Endzeitgeist.com will from now on be the first place I post my reviews - fret not, I'll still post them slightly later at all the usual places.
But if you do want to get the latest review, Endzeitgeist.com will be the site to go to - and no, you won't be annoyed by banners or flashy images - I promise!.
I've included links towards most 3pps and am in the process of tagging/sorting my massive backlog - so that e.g. you can click "monsters" and get all the latest monster-pdfs. I'm also sorting pdfs by series, author, publisher etc. If any publisher wants his/her link to their site removed, don't hesitate to drop me a line and I will do so ASAP.
Beyond a metric ton of reviews, this will also be the place where I post my musings, so in case you're inclined to read them, they'll be there as well.
Now, I'm new at this and tagging/sorting the reviews will probably take some months, but I'll still resume regular reviewing duties - first on the blog, then on all the other sites. Today saw 3 new reviews and more will follow.
Thanks for your attention and if you have some series/books that you want me to sort first, drop me a line. :)
Cheers and thanks,
You have huge potential, Haakon - I look forward to your next module, since e.g. the investigation at the beginning of the module is simply awesome - with a map of the mansion, it would have been even better. If you want more detailed feedback, don't hesitate to drop me a line! ^^
A: The answer is simple: we are hiring experts to design and develop the rules sections. Green Ronin and Fiery Dragon have a lot of experience with the d20 rules but we understand that Pathfinder is its own beast. Our focus will be on the expanding the city with new locations, NPCs, adventures, and the like. For the rules sections we are working with experience Pathfinder freelancers to make sure they are cutting edge. We intend to use existing Pathfinder classes, monsters, magic items, and so on where appropriate. We want this to be a great book in every respect.
That's reassuring to hear! As is that Christina might be involved. I'll have to scrounge some bucks together, I guess...
Regarding the classes from the Freeport Companion - I honestly don't see the reason why Corsair, Monster Hunter, Survivor etc. need to be classes - they should be archetypes instead and I hope they will.
@brvheart: I get where you're coming from, but there already is a 3.5ish Freeport-book out there, the Companion, which is imho a 3rd edition book with VERY minor tweaks. Not wanting to come across as unpleasant or something, just wanted to point you towards it - if you don't want too pathfindery Freeport, that one has you covered.
Personally, I really want a full-blown pathfindery Freeport, with judgments, teamwork-feats, archetypes, firearms and vehicle/naval combat-support (of the paizo-system) etc. and hope the book will deliver.
Just my 2 cents and not wanting to step on any toes here. :)
Erik Mona wrote:
I am confident that Green Ronin will make this product super awesome. They are experienced hands at the publishing game and knows what it takes to meet the demands and standards of their audience.
I would have once believed that too, but after the Companion, I'm not so sure anymore, especially with Fiery Dragon as PFRPG-inexperienced designers holding the reins...
I'd second Dungeon Grrrl's sentiment: If Grandmaster Crunch Owen K.C. Stephens were doing this or if Christina Stiles or another name that has some positive mechanical PFRPG-design-credit was involved in a lead-designer role, I'd be much more inclined to believe that this will be awesomesauce.
Also: Progressing meta-plot and new content and the amount we'd get would be crucial information for fans of the setting like me who have Buccaneers, the Companion and a ton of other Freeport books.
Most importantly, though:
PFRPG is no longer 3.75. New classes, races, archetypes, firearms, naval and vehicular combat - all there for the picking. Having an official statement that makes sure that we don't just get the companion-material reprinted and instead a system that is truly using PFRPG-rules would assuage my fears and the concerns of many of the posters here.
Again, not trying to be negative, just trying to be helpful.
I should be all excited for this, since I own all Freeport-books. All of them. And "Cults of Freeport" still is one of my favorite system-neutral books ever.
But after watching the video... Well, I'm not that excited. I slept over it and have arrived at the conclusion why:
I don't really know what this new massive campaign book will offer. On the one hand, Freeport has brought hours of joy to my campaigns and on the other, the last city sourcebooks for it, imho, were rather mediocre when compared to "Cults". Adventure-wise, e.g. "Peril in Freeport" still ranks among the worst modules I've read for Pathfinder and the Companion, while an ok book, has never been updated to include e.g. all the APG, UM and UC-content.
I wouldn't be so careful, were it not for the fact that Fiery Dragon Games so far has not released a single PFRPG-compatible supplement and experience has shown that even experienced designers tend to make at least some rookie mistakes when designing for Pathfinder. This is especially relevant when e.g. city statblocks, naval/vehicle combat rules, firearm rules etc. are concerned.
Furthermore, at least for me as a long-time Freeport-fan, getting 3.5 modules I already own doesn't make for that exciting bonuses. Were they converted to PFRPG, that would be different, but right now, with all the new classes and rules, conversion has become more complex than it was in the advent of PFRPG.
What I'm trying to say is: I'd be interested to know who exactly works on this, what the credentials are, what the design-goals are and whether this will be a combined reprint, whether aforementioned rules will be used, whether there are plans for further support/ using rules etc. How much information will be updates, how much will be new?
From the information released so far, I can't glean either of these pieces of information from the kickstarter.
Just my 2 cents! All the best for the kickstarter!
Slumbering Tsar and Rappan Athuk by Frog God Games are longer, but exquisite.
Rite Publishing's Coliseum Morpheuon is the imho best high level sandbox out there.
Kobold Press has several excellent anthologies, Tales of the Old Margreve, Streets of Zobeck, Journey to the West, to name a few.
If you're in for Japanese Horror, Rite Publishing's 3-part adventure arc of the Curse of the Golden Spear in Kaidan is GREAT.
Adventureaweek's Rise of the Drow is a GREAT arc that currently has a kickstarter running that expands it and brings it to hardcover. (I'll be contributing a piece to the kickstarter, though my verdicts for the original pdfs still stand.)
Gaming Paper's Citadel of Pain is a glorious mega-module/sandbox.
If you're playing online/via VTTs, there's no way past "Breaking of Forstor Nagar" by Rite Publishing.
And finally, if Vkings/Inuit float your boat, then check out Frog God Games' Northlands Saga.
If you've got some bucks to burn and are willing to wait, Nick Logue's infamous Razor Coast has been salvaged by the Frog Gods and will eb released - finally! A vast mega-adventure in full-color with supplemental material galore. TPK Games also have a massive low-level horror module coming up with "The Bleeding Hollow", though that one will also take some time to be released. I wrote reviews for most of these, so feel free to read these and get an idea what the respective modules are about.
hope that helps!
#8 if you use Alluria Publishing's Cerulean Seas rules. #6 Caravan if you use official caravan rules. #2 also sounds nice.
BUT. They all aren't adventures, they're settings. Detailing setting-specifics alone in sufficient detail will gobble up your page-count like a starved tarrasque. Plus, I don't know whether you have any experience regarding professional writing, so additional complications (layout, artwork, cartography, editing) await.
I don't want to be the boogeyman/nitpicker, but be careful to not try to reinvent the wheel when it already exists. I think a free teaser is great, short products to show us what you can do would be even better.
Just saying since some new companies get it right from the start while others struggle VERY hard. Oh, and by the way: Not all 3pps actually make money with their products. I know that a couple do and use it as their day-job, but there are also quite a few that make a loss with products and do it because they enjoy what they're doing.
Hope that helps!
Legendary Games - Construct Codex. Best mini-bestiary out there for golems. (As monsters.)
Necromancers of the Northwest - Codex Mechanica: Fabricants.
I did reviews for all of them.
Does that mean the AP is on hold until the setting is released? Honestly, I think that would be a good idea, if only to take the space that articles flesh out to portray details, much like RotRL did back in the day.
Perhaps a stretch-goal for psionic vehicle-combat? Psionics and the Planes? Optional rules for "Psionics are different"?
I'd also suggest a player's guide - Ravenloft is still ym standard staple for that: The player's guide included information the PCs know, whereas the DM's guide featured what was REALLY going on. While RL didn't do it perfectly (some DM-info slipped in), I think the idea per se is great.