Yeah, that's why I tried it in-game and had my players test it - at upper medium to high levels, temporal flurry isn't a big deal and the class works. But in all our low-level tests, it outperformed other melee-classes - the more standard-action dependent resources the Timebender gets, the better the class becomes and the option to pay off the penalties makes this class simply too strong. Also, at mid-levels the vital strike-build one of my players created was simply insane - especially due to a mobility that make the monk pale in comparison and make almost painfully good slayers of casters, rogues, snipers etc. while still being able to stand their ground with melee brutes. Thanks to the full BAB, evasion etc., this class continuously outperformed other melee classes, both core and 3pp. Oh, and there is the fact that the class has resources that are ridiculously easily replenished. I don't dish out verdicts like that lightly and I do playtesting for classes since they often perform differently on paper and in game, but this one unfortunately performed just as predicted, actually even on a more powerful level than anticipated.
Again, I like the idea, but I do think the class needs some weakness/limiting factor to perform on an acceptable level. Initiative as a luck-factor only does so much to impede the class.
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.
This "Pay what you want"-module is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1/2 a page advertisement, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 13 1/2 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?
This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.
All right, still here? It is the summer of 92 AU in the Caneus Empire when two shepherds named Adler (German for eagle, btw.!) and Karl finds a weird silver skull and a ring in an old laboratory. Gifting the ring to his beloved and showing off the skull's weird glow, the shepherd inadvertently has found remnants of the Cavian Empire. Cavians, in case you didn't know, are the mouse-like hive-mind possessing humanoids with innate psionic powers of the NeoExodus-setting. And yes, this is a full-blown psionics-module, compatible with Dreamscarred Press' Psionics Unleashed. But back to the topic at hand - strange things started happening: The town's women started acting strangely, some of them even falling into a kind of coma. The town's priest committed suicide and poor Adler and his skull have been quarantined. Enter the PCs, in the employ of Sir Otto von Korrien.
On the road to Oldenhaffen from Macawi the PCs have to defeat 2 ogres. There, the local remaining priestess Sister Fritzi has already identified the skull as not the origin of the curse - essentially, it converts spells, but not psionic powers, cast on it into light-spell like effects and is completely harmless. After a short, very rudimentary investigation, the players are led to and the proceed to explore the cavern containing the Cavian complex. Alas, the place is now home to a selection of deadly threats - from the quill-furred, dog-like razorfiends, faulty deranged trepanners to finally finding aforementioned beloved woman - with the ring that actually is the source of the problems, for its is an intelligent weapon created to destroy the Sorceror-Kings of Abaddon in ages gone by. Either by combat (with summoned thought-eaters) or by diplomacy, the PCs can get the ring and lift the mental static "curse" on the town. This is not where the module ends, though - whether the PCs hand over the ring to Cavians or keep/destroy it - the choice is up to them and may very well have unforeseen consequences in the future.
We get passable maps for the complex as well as the overall place on the continent where the adventure is set.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to NeoExodus 2-column full-color standard and the full-color artworks are neat. the pdf comes in a second more printer-friendly version. Cartography is nice and actually better than in older NeoExodus-adventures and the pdf has no bookmarks, but at this length, they are not strictly required.
J. P. Chapleau has created a nice module steeped in NeoExodus-lore here - while at this length, we of course get no epic narrative, but what we do get is a nice little crawl that has some social interaction, interesting terrain features and a climax that does not necessarily boil down to "kill em all" - what more can you ask for in a short "Pay what you want"-module? The answer is: Nothing. An enjoyable read for an unbeatable price, my final verdict for this module will clock in at 5 stars +seal of approval.
Posted this review first on Endzeitgeist.com, submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS. Cheers!
Rite Publishing wrote:
Thanks, Steve!!! For what it's worth, I'd be game for such a project. You covered a lot of the classes I'd indeed include, were I to compile such a book. ^^
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.
I ran 4E as well and while the system isn't for me - I PERSONALLY don't like the design-decisions, I do think it can work if that's one's forte. That being said, I usually don't review 4E modules since I'm simply not that familiar with all the material out. Unlike BASIC (CoC), GUMSHOE (ToC), DCC and S&W and LL, I just never got that into it.
And yes, the Tristam-theme from the Original Diablo OST works well, though for the hounds, I used the track "Salva Nos" from the Noir-Anime OST.
I did in fact get "Call you a Fool", but it will take some time to get to - I'm usually covering the complimentary copies I get from publishers first since that's the only benefit they have for sending them to me, as my final verdict is not influenced in any way.
That being said, I did read the basics - gutsy move to remove CRs, but also problematic - while I agree the system doesn't work perfectly, the abstract value allows for modification of XP for encounters that take detrimental conditions for the PCs into account via collated ELs.
Just my 2 cents, of course!
the hunger for more wrote:
YES! YEAH! *drool* WANT! Jungle sandbox? Desert Nomad adventure? Gimme! :D
@OSW: Yeah, felt the same way. Thule never really kicked off with me - too politically correct and inclusive, not that raw sense of a dark, wondrous and savage land. But maybe I'm wrong and they'll get it right.
@Trace Coburn: The 3.X version...no. Honestly, that was the product that made me get a Paypal account. Seriously. O_o
Xoth also has a lulu-account and I *think* lulu takes credit cards...
Here's the link.
You and me. It's my second favorite setting after Ravenloft. I found it by chance after googling whether the author of Necromancer Games' "Ancient Kingdoms: Mesopotamia" (one of the BEST 3.X adventure anthologies - PERIOD.) had written anything else. If he ever kickstarts a book, I'd back the living hell out of it.
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.
Well, I assumed the demiplane was in a constant process of formation/change, so I didn't consider the module to reflect Black-Box-level of formation. Think later additions à la Islands, the content from Kargatane/FoS - to me, the demiplane is constantly scouring worlds for new (perhaps temporary?) additions.
Still, at least for me as an open Ravenloft-fanboy, this was awesome to read. And it GOT the FEELING RIGHT. I HATE it if a supplement declares itself Gothic Horror and fails to live up to the standards of the genre. You did it. So yeah, great job there!
Beyond layout and statblock-formatting - PLEASE include bookmarks. Seriously. They are NOT optional at this length.
Other than that - I'd love to see more/more complex modules. Great job that honestly was a surprise to me - I don't see "little" 3pps excel that often in that level.
I'd echo The_Silver_Prince's sage advice and urge you to provide a crunch-sample. I know you guys can do good crunch and if the quality is sufficient, you have nothing to lose. Also: generally, an idea of the setting/crunch or Players Options/DM Options-ratio would probably help and make people decide whether this is for them. Personally, I was a huge fan of your Island of Life, but don't require the new crunch. I'm sure the opposite scenario will hold true for other people out there and the more information, the easier it will be for them to get hooked.
Just my 2 cents, of course!
Thanks for the pimpage, Caedwyr! Unfortunately, I have not (Yet) had the options to get ALL online, but I'm glad it obviously works well enough to cover those a tad bit obscure ones. (Sword & Sorcery fans - CHECK those Xoth-publishing modules. Still love the anthology...)
One that has slipped through the cracks, mostly due to being unnamed for quite some time, would be Adventureaweek.com's world of Aventyr. On their site, there's quite a bit of information on the setting.
Also on my to-do list:
-Space Potato Production's Space Opera setting.
@Necromental: Eclipse details one land in the Oathbound setting.
I think the selling-point of adventure-paths is that they DON'T _require_ DMs to insert modules - campaign-in-a-can, essentially. Yes, you can add more modules, supplements, but don't have to. All connected modules that are not of campaign lengths are usually called adventure ARCS.
Another thing: Sandbox-APs work, but are hard to pull off. APs, by their very structure, require a set of assumptions that puts the PCs in certain positions at the end of a module and at the beginning of the next. Personally, due to exactly this continuity/divergence of individual installments even in a story-focused game, I think that sandboxes (at least TRUE sandboxes) work better as mega-adventures à la Slumbering Tsar, Razor Coast or on a smaller scale, à la Horn of Geryon. In an AP, they can become problematic.
That being said, limited sandbox environments can ROCK - WotW II "Call forth Darkness" would spring to mind - a very sandboxy environment, but limited in its repercussions. I think in APs, a balance of 40%/60% in either way works well.
Hope that helps! Looking forward to reading your AP!
Honestly...I'd rather have #3.
Similarly sounding templates/templates that do ALMOST the same things always end up creating confusion. Also: If in doubt, most groups would probably use the Paizo-templates, so not sure about the utility of double templates.
Reprints are imho just a waste of pages.
Just my 2 cents, of course.