Designers of classes I consider very capable/that have thoroughly impressed me in the past:
-Owen K.C. Stephens (D'unh)
Not sure which one of the designers did Alluria's Aquanaut, but that person as well. Same goes for James Olchak and Brian Berg's cooperative Malefactor.
First of all: If you like the class, please support the publisher by buying it. It's not expensive and a well worth purchase.
Let's handle these questions:
2) ? It's a class skill. Where's the problem?
3) It's a bonus to all craft-skills, analogue to the cavalier ability.
4) Bottom line - producing inventions cost money as scrolls.
5) Automatons may learn to craft magic items, but require a PC/NPC to supply the spells/skills to ignore required spells.
Hope that helps.
World Of Xoth is ACTUALLY kind of semi-pathfinder. The first glimpse at the setting/adventure anthology/campaign book is "Tales of the Spider God and other Tales of Sword & Sorcery" and is written for 3.5 and has since been also converted to the Legend-rules-set.
The two other modules ("Song of the Beast-Gods" and "Citadel beyond the North Wind") though, are Pathfinder. I just wish there were more modules like these...
Shadowlands has btw. 2 more modules, both of which are high up in my pipeline and will see reviews as soon as next week - at least one of them, that is.
To add some ideas:
-ANY further support for released classes like Witch Hunter, Shadow Assassin Hellion etc.
-books of pregens/sample NPCs (NPC Codex-style) using these classes (including talented builds - any left fro playtests? Compile them and release them!)
-Doing Shadow Magic that doesn't suck
-+1 to KTFish7's suggestions of magitech à la Chaositech
-MORE CHAOS MAGIC
-DSP-support, Pact Magic support
-Truename magic that doesn't suck
-Ultimate Campaign-support; more downtime
-+1 to The_Silver_Prince's suggestions for space - including 0-g-combat etc.
Nice review, Joshua! You have a point with the age-category - I assumed since the CR 30-beast was humanoid and no dragon in the strict sense, but an immortal, that that would be the reason for the age-category - measured in context to infinity, he'd be very young. I also assumed the low age category was chosen deliberately to maintain the size, but honestly, I could be wrong there.
On another note: Awesome to see you do some reviews! :D
If modules with conversion docs count:
0onegames - The Bloody Fix ( level 4-6, though; It is HARD, however, and very investigation-based... BEST haunted mansion module I've seen for any d20-based module)
Rite Publishing - Frozen Wind (FREE and works with reskinning in a non-Kaidan context)
Speaking of FREE - LPJr Design's Cold Visitor is Pay what you want right now in a place which shall not be named.
Run Amok Games - The Underdelve Menace (might not look like horror on paper, but in my playtest, all players considered it a horror-module - more so than the slugfest Curse of the Riven Sky (worst Monte Cook module I've DMed) or Blood of the Dragonscar, anyways...
Run Amok Games - Kingdom of Toads is HIGH fantasy for level 17-18 - but CREEPY high fantasy.
TPK Games' Ship of Fools is an AWESOME nautical adventure.
Frog God Games Hollow Mountain is a deadly cthulhoid dungeon crawl.
Frog God Games' Razor Coast is THE dark fantasy nautical monster.
Now if you're going for exotic locale + horrifying cannibalistic Firefly-Reaver-like army storming the gates... Rite Publishing: The Breaking of Forstor Nagar can be played as a very grim, fast-paced fantasy/horror mash-up.
For REALLY high levels - Rite Publishing's "The Rabbit Hole" for Coliseum Morpheuon/Plane of Dreams-tied campaigns.
I'd also recommend AaW's "The Foul Passage of Progress".
Kobold Press - Tales of the Old Margreve covers levels 1 - 10 and is CREEPY.
Richard Pett's and Colin McComb's modules in "It came from the Stars" are both defiantly horror and extremely easy to scale up.
Legendary Games' Under Frozen Stars might also fit the bill - while intended as a JR-plug-in, it features a city in eternal ice, otherworldly machinery etc.
Haven't yet read Legendary Games' Feast of Lantergeist.
Slumbering Tsar is an end-times-style horror vista of a blasted land and "The Crooked Tower" makes for a great stand-alone, if you don't want to run the whole saga.
One final addition: Adventureaweek.com's Cry of Ill Omen might also suit your tastes! As would "The White Worm of Weston" - which is incidentally my favorite module of the B-series so far! Frozen Nightmares is also ncie, but requires some work to make it more creepy.
Other than that, you pretty much already have an great array ready - All the modules you mentioned are well worth running! "To walk the dark road" especially will probably be right up your alley!
I can. If anything, I really like the mode-style the personas net the puppetmaster.
If I may: The skeptic/realist-persona could use more incentives; perhaps bonus feats, a better BAB or...what about a VERY limited selection of alchemist discoveries/abilities? Science versus Magic via personalities in addition to the interaction restriction? Just sayin' since full-round action to change is a significant pain economy of actions-wise and a benefit for not always being wonderist beyond the relative paltry penalty would be neat.
Generally... I love your archetype fluff-wise.
(And if Dreadfox Games reads this - still looking forward to "Secrets of Sword & Strings", should you ever release it! Both Swordmaster and Puppetmaster rank high among the 3pp-classes I use...) :)
Apart from those already mentioned:
Headless Hydra Games' Mor Aldenn: City of Mages makes for a compelling city setting in a magocracy that can easily be inserted into larger realms. Unfortunately, HHG seems to have gone on hiatus/abandonned Pathfinder. Still, the setting book is a steal.
Rite Publishing's Kaidan (campaign setting book coming up, multiple adventures released) is Japanese Horror par excellence - what Asian Ravenloft should have been.
Finally, Rite's magical renaissance city-setting Questhaven counts among my more anticipated setting-books.
A non-human-centric high fantasy WuXia-book by Rite Publishing, Heroes of the Jade Oath also contains setting information. Not sure whether there'll be more Jade Oath-books, though.
Black Star Studios is working on the Shadowlands Campaign Setting. Not sure when it'll hit shelves.
Storm Bunny Studios has a unique setting as well, so far depicted in various small sourcebooks - Rhûne, a world blending electricity and industrial revolution with an impending doom. Think Arcanum meets Norse lore - Stormpunk.
There is a steampunk-setting called Terah, but I don't have the book.
Also rather awesome: Jon Brazer Enterprises' Shadowfall - essentially adventuring in the shadow plane.
I did not enjoy this and it took me quite some time to analyze why the module doesn't work. It's not Alvena-level crap, but after looking through my backlog and taking a look at modules I 2-star'd, I realized that this wasn't even up to par with them...so yeah... hence this review. This module's issues are not ones that jump in your face, but rather an accumulation of things that are subtly off, slowly accumulating and as soon as you actually try to run this, these flaws come to the fore with a vengeance.
with more than 1K reviews under my belt, I can say the following:
My go-to guys for crunch are Rite Publishing and Super Genius Games. While they sometimes (very rarely) have files that sport some flaws, generally I am VERY happy with both and they are extensively used at my table. Rite are also the go-to guys for uncommon fantasy-ideas in modules and supplements.
Dreamscarred Press IS psionics - the best psionics there ever was.
For adventures, there is no way past Frog God Games' mega-modules and Kobold Press' anthologies/modules. If you're looking for something uncommon, take a look at what Adventureaweek.com has to offer.
You've already mentioned Legendary Games - their plug-ins are almost universally required purchases when using supplements like Ultimate Campaign.
My GMing has benefited excessively from all the extremely useful tools by Raging Swan Press and their modules are also universally a joy to run.
One of my favorite base-classes EVER is from Purple Duck Games and their old-school modules rock. Also: THE place to get magic items that level with characters.
Urban adventuring is covered well by 0onegames, dark fantasy is done superbly by TPK Games and if you enjoy a sense of otherness, take a peak at LPJr Design's NeoExodus setting - there are often superb ideas waiting here.
That would be the big ones. Small pdfs by Abandoned Arts, classes by Interjection Games and Dreadfox Games...there is a lot cool stuff out there.
If you're looking for something specific, feel free to drop me a line here or on my homepage endzeitgeist.com . And by the way - I've covered A LOT of the supplements with detailed reviews.
For what it's worth: More than 10 years experience with psionics: 2nd edition and 3.0 - not so cool.
Then, BAM: 3.5. More than 4 years practical experience, not overpowered at all.
Every contributing author can be proud of what has been delivered here - this KS overdelivered regarding my high expectations in all regards - two thumbs up indeed - this is a hot contender for #1 on my Top Ten-list for this year.
I really hope the Weird Cycle will get further installments!
#3 and #1. +1000. Roleplaying is not just math. Now the numbers are important, yes, but so are good fiction and content. To me, they are more worth than a pretty picture. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE it if I can show great interior art for Monsters or NPCs to my players. And yes, sometimes artworks make me want to get a product. But the contrary, if done right, could also be the case. I know I got Retribution back in the day BECAUSE it had no cover artwork - and still looked professional and not like something an amateur had cobbled together. And yes, back then, that was the only RSP-book out there... Time flies...
-Ironborn of Questhaven by Rite Publishing
Between these, there probably is something for everyone... Just my 2 cents, of course.
I know I've written that in other posts as well, but since I'm almost done writing my review for "It cam from the Stars", here's what I'd like to see:
Theme-based event books. Whether it's "When the Sky falls", "Requiem for a God" or "Chaositech" - there are scarcely books in 3.X that saw more use at my table. As soon as crunch is tied to great fluff, the chance of me using it becomes so much higher. While Rite's "101 Hazards & Disasters" and Sneak Attack Press' "Terrain Toolbox" did great jobs to cover basic premises, I think DM-toolboxes that blend crunch with all the info to do events are awesome.
(That being said, having contributed to Bite Me!, I think this upcoming book could also be considered to be in line with this, as does Obsidian Apocalypse...)
Integrating Ley-lines woud e.g. be a nice candidate, preferably if it would allow for the inclusion of e.g. KP's rules in a given setting...
It's not only the fey component - it's the whole fluff colliding with the crunch. Paradoxical revelations hampering foes? Doesn't sound very lawful to me and honestly, while I like the idea, the whole archetype felt clunky to me. YMMV, of course!
The Reveler on the other hand - just wow! Two thumbs up for imho the best barbarian archetype out there.
I'm gonna be unpopular here: I love the City of Brass. I have two boxed sets, one still mint and unopened. Yes. That much. And no, I don't want to sell it. But honestly, I'd rather have FGG create new stuff than update 3.X-Necro-products to PFRPG. What about an epic campaign in the inner planes that partially takes place in the city? I've been waiting for good inner planes action for quite a while...
Just my 2 cents, of course!
The Genius Guide to Love
Yes. Love. Not lust. With options for characters in love, seeking to fall in love, unhappily infatuated ones etc. Make one of the most driving factors for character development actually MATTER. With feats for couples, widowers etc. There's so much bloodshed in our game, why not devote some time to explore options that are nice for characters?
Quality matters, not alignment! If DMs can insert some good adversaries in e.g. WotW, that's neat - and PCs need allies, preferably with e.g. a short note on how to barter for services etc. - Age of Worms handled planar allies rather neat, if I recall correctly.
(And if in doubt, one can always slap a "fallen" template on angels etc. ;])
The Genius Guide to More Riven Magic
The Genius Guide to the Shadow Mage (->Shadow Assassin)
Shadow Assassin expansion
The Genius Guide to Death Ascendant (Death Mages and Knights - Expansion)
More Gruesome Templates
A whole compendium of Apeiron Staves! (Psionic Apeiron Staves? Tige Vierge-rules for Apeiron Staves?)
Genius Guide to Hazards
Genius Guide to Diseases & Poisons
Genius Guide to Combat Drugs
Genius Guide to Power Components (see RiP's Special Materials and Power Components)
Support for the Samurai
More Bullet Points for 3pp classes
Waysides with player-friendly maps
Christina Stiles taking on uncommon races
Genius Guide to Downtime-Rules (New teams, new rooms etc.)
Krazy Kragnar's slightly leaky boats
Krazy Kragnar's mostly buoyant balloons
Relics of the Dead (akin to Relics of the Godlings)
The Genius Guide to Vile Options (Expansion for Hellfire Magic, Argonax and similar painful options to make villains truly hurt PCs)
Personally, and I don't want to harp on anyone's parade - this is just my personal preference, I wouldn't be too keen on another Artificer-class - with Interjection Games' Tinker, LPJr Design's Machinesmith and Drop Dead Studios' Artisan, that area is quite covered - though perhaps SGG could bring something new to the table.
The Genius Guide to Exalted Characters (for character who are capital GOOD - exalted deeds done right)
The Genius Guide to Madness
The Genius Guide to More Options for Chaos Magic
P.s.: If you choose any of these, give the pdf someone else and tell them I said "hi". :)
What Kvantum said +1000. My issue is not that martial characters get cool toys on par with spells - it never was. That's in fact what I LOVED about Bo9S. That's why I used it extensively. But in the long run, "Per Encounter"-abilities BREAK my immersion - the abilities are not defined by the characters, but by arbitrarily constructed frameworks like what constitutes an encounter and what not.
Plus, per encounter abilities CAN actually be weaker than cooldowns. Think about it: Once the combat is done, the per encounter abilities refresh - nice. But when a martial artist is fighting e.g. in war over an extended period of time, when using cooldown, s/he can use the maneuvers multiple times instead of having to retreat from battle, wait and rejoin. Another example that I find jarring about "per encounter" is the following:
PCs defeat foes xyz - and just as the last foe falls, more break through the door. Same encounter? New one? Casters could continue casting... The boundaries of what constitutes "encounters" range from short bouts to epic conflicts and thus, as a mechanic to define when any ability can be used, FAIL. And think about the poor character: So s/he can use his maneuvers as often as s/he likes if the battles are short, but as soon as one prolonged combat hits, they start running out of maneuvers, even though the combined duration of the short combats may exceed the one of the lengthy one? To me, this makes zero sense and should result in a lot of confusion in-game. And yes, I had that happen - and it was a frustrating experience both for the player in question and me and ultimately is the reason why I haven't allowed Bo9S in PFRPG - not due to the rules (I can handle conversions), but to the fact that even within a world where PCs can survive immersion in lava, the framework used to limit BO9S powers makes no sense.
By instead going for a cooldown ability (not one general one, but one for each maneuver), one would make martial artists CLOSER to casters while still keeping them different AND enforce PLANNING and STRATEGY on part of the martial characters - they have to manage their maneuver-resources. In my book, that's a GOOD thing.
And then there's the rule-aesthetic side: There are no per encounter abilities in PFRPG. None. That's one of the reasons I do not play 4th ed.
There are a plethora of cooldown abilities, most iconic a dragon's breath. Personally, I'd prefer a system that seamlessly integrates with the existing rules-canon to one that requires tacking on a new concept, especially one as problematic in its definition and in-character repercussions as "per encounter". If you think about it, even if you are an advocate of "per encounter", you'd probably have to concede that a cooldown mechanic would be less metagamey, as it is not based on an arbitrary boundary between combat and non-combat.
So yeah, that's my little manifesto in favor of cooldown.