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Endzeitgeist's page

4,818 posts. 2,060 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Part II of my review:

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are not particularly good - from numerous punctuation glitches to typos and minor italicization glitches and even a whole paragraph of nothing right in the middle of an ability text make this feel rushed. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's beautiful 2-column, full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Artworks are of a diverse style and range from thematically fitting stock to gorgeous former Pathways cover to beautiful piece.

Let me ramble a bit - I love the concept of playing angels. Perhaps it's Kaori Yuki's manga Angel Sanctuary, perhaps it's the iconic imagery. If someone asks me what my favorite 3.X setting is, I answer, without hesitation, "Engel" - the post-apocalyptic setting in which the angels are pitted against the dreamseed insectoid demons of the lord of flies is stunning and awesome and, while not mechanically perfect, just brilliant. It is a tragedy that the numerous sourcebooks have not been translated to English and if you are capable of reading German, I strongly urge you to seek them out. At the same time, Anger of Angels, the more widely known sourcebook by Malhavoc Press, extremely disappointed me with its lack of fluff, balance or mythological themes.

The good things first - Steven D. Russell's In the Company of Angels gets the feeling right - abilities are highly complex, interesting and wilder widely in the realms of the respective imagery, both real world and in-game. There are a lot of options here that are downright fun and the superb prose is glorious. I also consider the grigori race as such a very fun choice and like its flair, its options. At this point of my first reading, I was truly excited.

Alas, then the paragon class came, and it is one of the most heartbreaking experiences for me. Why? Because Steven D. Russell manages to put extremely complex concepts into a rules-frame; he does so with panache and flair and more often than not, I found myself smiling at the respective abilities and their imagery. Alas, my impression upon reading this was confirmed in the playtest (FYI, we used d8 as HD) - the angelic paragon class is broken. This is essentially a paladin, or rather, magus on steroids. The reason WHY it doesn't work as provided, at least not in a balanced manner, are manifold: Number 1) Glass cannon-argument: The lack of armor, shield, etc. means the angelic paragon is pretty fragile in the AC-department, but that's not the issue. The framework of the class itself, on its own, is already too powerful. Now, one could field the "attack the angel first"-clause, yes, but unlike e.g. the tanimin, the angels herein have all the tools at their disposal - from stealth to mind-games and switcheroo-teleportation that cannot be mitigated, they have the movement-advantage and thus, better chances of avoiding and mitigating attacks. Add to that infinite heal-exploits and we have the trinity of avoidable glitches. The attempt to balance the excessive power of the providence abilities is founded on their relative costliness and short duration, but in-game, this leads to nova-issues.

Full bardic progression, channel energy, flight, copious natural attacks, great framework - this class can get all and that without necessarily excluding that many other tricks, with balance varying wildly between what was obviously based on monster abilities of different CRs and what was intended for player-use. Soulfire's massive range and impossibility to fully mitigate the damage via resistances, magus-like weapon-enhancement at 1st level - this class poaches among the established classes, dials down the minimum required level and then adds its own options. "But it does not get spellcasting!" Yeah, so what? The flexibility in combat provided by spellcasting is there and the collective of abilities and basic class frame, all of which would be strong on their own, coalesce into a class that feels woefully rushed -and capital letter BROKEN. It is obvious that the significant array of complex options provided required a lot of time and effort - it does show. However, how they come together is a mess in everything but the most high-powered of games. This is one of most overpowered classes I've seen for PFRPG and needs a redesign of its bursts, several abilities need to be made into trees and there need to be mutually exclusive clauses to balance this monster.

Now if that all sounds awfully negative, then because for me, it is. This is a tragedy in that the constituent components are great - the rules-language, while sometimes haunted by punctuation errors and the like, is precise and skillful. The concepts are great. The fluff is glorious and the race is fine. But the class is extremely rushed and requires a massive retooling.

I agonized over this. I really, really want to like this book. I can't. With this amount of glitches and, MUCH more importantly, the glaring balance issues, my final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Regarding haunts, there's nothing beyond rite's #30-series. And yes 101 hazards and disasters should have been on my list. Kobold Press' Trapsmith should also see more love.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

@Nicos: Terrain Toolbox and Alternate Encounters by Sneak Attack Press, 101 Mystical Site Qualities by Rite Publishing; Caves and Caverns by Raging Swan Press. Those are my go-to-encounter-upgrade books.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Come on folks, daddy EZG wants his goodies complete and @ maximum possible awesome-level! :D

EDIT: Also, the cover of "The Scavenged Codex" in the KS update is made of 100% awesome!!!


Thank you! And yes, first reading the guru is a bit of a shock. Then, you see the wonderful, intricate details. It's my favorite Akashic class so far, btw. I could literally SEE your growth as a designer. Damn impressive!If you can iron out the minor hiccups, the Akashic Mysteries series will become a permanent fixture in my main campaign. It's that good.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop. Cheers!


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, hen submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted ehre, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


You're welcome! ^^


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You and me, Insain. Michael is not only talented, he also has a very open mind regarding feedback and a keen eye when it's warranted and when not.

Also, on a personal level, I have never felt like I was wasting my breath when interacting with him - you don't get inherently flawed arguments when discussing with him. This ability to distance one's self from one's work is a crucial skill of any designer.

Oh, and thanks for the kind words! :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop. Also: Daevic is almost done as well.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and gMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

Cheers!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

Cheers!


Aye, I meant that one, necromental.


Odd, I got the map-pack coupon, but not the one for the Pdf.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.


Part II of my review:

AoE sonic damage emanations are cool, though the wording here has a minor hiccup - "For each additional power point you spend, this power's damage increases by one die (d4)" - This may not be ambiguous, but usually, one would go for a wording à la "increases by +1d4". The words "increase" and "die/dice" in combination usually denote an increase in die-size from d4 -> d6 -> d8, etc. - now this will not influence the final verdict, but I still considered it worthwhile to mention. And yes, I am aware that psionics have used this type of wording before. As mentioned, a nitpick. Spreading fear-based affects between targets is also a cool idea - I btw. also like that this one has different power point costs for dreads and psions/wilders, though here, the massive debuff the surge augment grants is pretty nasty. Sacrificing up to 1/2 of your hit points to also deal this amount of damage to a target, with only a will to negate the added sickened condition would be another power that needs a heavy whack with the nerf-bat. It's terribly broken - a) The damage incurred by the target is untyped. b) The target has no save to negate. c) The damage is extremely reliable. d) The damage can easily be healed. If you can't see how this is broken as hell, make a high Con-character and combine that with reliable healing. If that's not enough to drive home the point I'm making, instead use a monster with high HP and add this power - this outclasses all 3rd and 4th level powers in damage potential as the numbers go up. "But Endy, surely that's not so bad?" - My group's 7th level witch has more than 50 Hp. Were the character a psion, that would amount to 25 points of guaranteed damage per round, with healing the damage being within the paradigm of what his friggin' cohort is capable of delivering. Need a better example? Give that power to a dragon. This archmage enshrouded in immunities and x protective sorceries? Pff, drop 100 hit points and booyah, guaranteed kill, no means to mitigate and through the PR you can cleave. If the dragon has wilder levels and surges, you could use the surge augment to instead deal 200 points of damage! Yeah, not gonna happen anywhere near my game - this 2nd level power outclasses harm and must DIE.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level - I noticed no significant glitches, though here and there some minor deviations from rules semantics have crept in. Layout adheres to Dreamscarred Press' beautiful two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. It also sports some nice original full-color artworks and comes with a second, more printer-friendly version.

The wilder is the one psionic class I considered not too compelling -all about power, at the cost of limited flexibility. While nice for min-maxers who are okay with a limited array of options, I never considered the class too compelling due to its lack of breadth. Jade Ripley does a stellar job at expanding the options at the wilder's fingertips and I adore many of the choices herein: I love the voidheart. The PrCs are quite cool and while not perfect, they actually do some damn cool things with the wild surge - they feel UNIQUE and offer different playing experiences. The Surge-feats and Surge-augments are AWESOME choices and I sincerely hope we'll see many, many more powers with surge augments in the future -adding player agenda to alleviate the one-trick-pony playing experience of the wilder is EXACTLY what this class needs! I love this pdf for all of this and the total absence of anything that even remotely resembles cookie-cutter design -this is complex, worthwhile, high-concept material.

At the same time, I can't fathom how some of the feats and powers EVER got past playtesting. The numbers don't add up for the respective levels and some feats are more powerful than 10th-level-plus class abilities - essentially, there are quite a bunch examples herein that are textbook-broken. I'd honestly bash this further, but at the same time, this pdf provides several choices I absolutely adore - to the point where I was contemplating a 4.5 star + seal rating before properly analyzing the feats and powers chapters. Alas, these issues are here - and they are significant. I sincerely urge DMs to carefully consider allowing some of the options herein at the table, but at the same time, I find myself incapable of not recommending this pdf - it makes the wilder infinitely more compelling and offers some design-innovations I really hope to see expanded in the future - Jade Ripley has, in a nutshell, made a class infinitely more compelling, but also broke balancing HARD in quite a few cases, making this, in spite of the inspired components, a mixed bag that oscillates between "OMG, how awesome is this?" and *Plinkett-voice*"What were they thinking?" /Plinkett voice.

Still, as much as I love much of the content herein, with glaring balance-issues like this, I cannot go higher than 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform - I can still recommend this to any GM seeking to add actual identity to the wilder, though - just be sure you check this carefully and ban the living hell out of some components - what works herein in stellar material, after all.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.

Endzeitgeist out.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.


Reviewed firs on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Totoro-cover ftw.! Also: MUSHROOM, MUSHROOM....SNAAAAKE!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS. Cheers!


Our favorite goblin merchant of items both wondrous and weird is back, this time at 14 pages, with the cover doubling as introduction, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Each of the items herein comes with a well-written piece of introductory prose as well as an adventure hook, both helping to root the items in the lore of the game. The first items would pair a pair of deadly cesti/warhammer, both providing very powerful synergy-effects for magi, including a new enhancement that adds a stagger/daze/stun-effect to spellstrike-criticals, with severity scaling up according to the critical modifiers. Speaking of powerful items - what about a plate that increases the range threatened by 10 ft.? Yeah, OUCH! 50+K value may be much, but the benefits definitely outweigh that...thankfully, this only extends to movement-provoked AoOs...interesting. The plate also allows you to use up your movement as part of these AoOs (so you don't have to swat at thin air), utilizing movement rate of the next round as a resource - pretty smart.

A fire-themed variant of shocking grasp with a splash-dazzle added in makes for an interesting variant spell. At 2nd level, an improved entangle that causes damage and potentially bleed could be slightly clearer regarding whether the bleed damage is in addition, though one can argue that's the intent. Worms of light that cause Con-drain bleed at high levels provide one spooky imagery, and yes, they can effect undead, with modified wording. A canned trapsmith is a small, cute mechanical construct that can spot and disable traps autonomously. A pair of goggles that can not only perceive certain auras, but also make the visible to those not wearing them, may be interesting for some people.

A spell that increases damage-output versus creatures suffering from perception-impeding spells and effects is an interesting one in that it combines spellcasting, conditions and attacks/sneak attacks. Now where the pdf becomes glorious would be with the bandoleer of distractions, which consists a significant array of unique - from prone-knocking balls of fur to animal-frightening whistles, this item is made of awesome and win!

If you're like me and enjoy rock throwing monsters, what amounts to an enchanted orb that can cause earthquakes and the like as well as acting as a nasty piece of ammunition will be right up your alley. *cough* Giant Slayer Ap */cough* And yes, weight = 216 lbs. - player will have fun trying to haul this piece of loot around...

The final item herein would be the cremated ashes of a loremaster, which help identifying command words and items and by rubbing them on one's eyes, one can apply the wisdom of the ancients temporarily to one's own Perception.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting on a fromal level are top-notch, with the notable exception of italicization often being not implemented perfectly. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf provides copious full-color representations of the items in question - nice to see! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Wendall Roy knows his craftsmanship -while the pricing of a bunch of items herein feel a bit too liberal and low for my conservative tastes in that regard, the items themselves and their prose/hooks deliver - why? because not one is just a lame variant of accumulation of benefits. Instead, they come with unique, mechanically-relevant bonuses and often, complex rules-language that properly makes these qualities work. Indeed, this is one of the best little magic item books I've seen in a while - though, balance-wise, I'd still consider omitting my seal of approval, especially due to the added italicization oversights. But on the other hand, this pdf's items are, in part, gleefully bonkers and some are downright stupefying - they're FUN. They actually feel magical, unique, more than the sum of some bland bonuses - and for that, in spite of the minor flaws, I'll gladly rate this 5 stars + seal of approval.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

Endzeitgeist out.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

More to come! ^^


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's good to know! I'll hold my review until the final version hits sites! So far I btw. LOVE it!


Goody White isn't the final version? Good to know, I'll hold finishing my review until it's the final version.


I liked Goody WHite much more, which comes around pretty soon. ^^


Hej Jacob!

You definitely did a good job - thanks for the clarifications! The haunt-mechanic of the grave-caller definitely is NOT clear. i showed it to my players and no two people could agree on how exactly this was supposed to work. I think a short haunt-creation-guideline sidebox would have very much been in order here. How many players know these rules, after all? None of mine did and they are very rules-savvy.

The Lykian-solution sounds...well, sound.

Regarding "smaller" archetypes - essentially, if less than 50% of the class are changed, I consider the archetype "smaller" - unless the archetype TOTALLY changes the way the class is played. Rare, but happens. Cheers!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Backed, though not due to the Sasquatch addition -I've been hoping to be able to back this and due to this being a longer KS, I had the time to make it happen. ^^


Just to reiterate and since Jason has chimed in - LG's short adventure plug-ins à la Under Frozen Stars are short, but don't *feel* that way - they have all the details, the fluff etc. required to make them great.

I'm just wary of short modules because they often skimp on the details.

Other than that, I really love the idea of proper 3pp-APs - as much as I love Paizo's campaigns, I tend to enjoy something different once in a while. ;) Speaking of which - thanks to the long running time of Legendary Planet, I could make preparations and will join that one. (Just as a nod to publishers - people with tight budgets sometimes really appreciate the financial maneuvering space long KS can provide!)


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.


Hmm, as mentioned, it depends - I can get behind short modules; Cold Night, Winterflower, The Sinking's better modules, the short Kobold Press anthology modules. At the same time, I have played A LOT of society modules in my game and they disappointed VERY often; same goes for the old 32-page Paizomodule-line; thta one got much better with longer modules.


Yes, definitely. One caveat: If the adventures are not short modules, but "proper" length. Some short modules offer plenty of material (e.g. AAW Games' Winterflower), but these days, I've had 3 (!!!) short modules in one epic-length session (12 hours) - build-up and denouement took longer than playing the modules. A module should at least take 6-8 hours to complete.


Ouch. Still, good job!


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

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