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Endzeitgeist's page

4,140 posts. 1,675 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.



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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This pdf clocks in at 40 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 35 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

So, what is the masquerade reveler? In the time-honored tradition of Rite Publishing, we are not introduced to a bland exposition, but rather are immediately drawn into the material, as a reveler explains the very essence of what makes the archetype tick, relationships with others and the fluff in expertly written in character prose that is actually a joy to behold and read.

Now I didn't answer, so, again, what *is* the Masquerade Reveler? Well, on the one hand, the answer is relatively simple - "A Barbarian Archetype." On the other hand, nothing could be more deceptive, reductive and WRONG than this statement. Let me elaborate - in the realm of the fey (or Limbo, or the Plane of Dreams, or the Dark Tapestry, or, or...it's just a cosmetic reskin, really), things may seem fluid and everchanging, but there are those strange behaviors you can analyze, those strange unwritten laws which govern how things *work* - you know, the anti-logic of "Alice in Wonderland", the power of superstitions and traditions, of one's word. In realms of transformations, of changes, one has to adapt to survive and sooner or later, the very land will change you. Masquerade Revelers have adapted and learned to wear masks -not the literal kind that occupies a none-too-often used slot, but rather the metaphysical ones - the masks we show everyday to co-workers, family and friends, the constructions of one's identity taken to 11 by exposure to a strange realm and codified into something more extreme, something exaggerated that reflects the realm from which the hail and its strange geometries and power structures. Much like we use masks to survive in our daily lives, so does the masquerade reveler employ them - but, as is the wont with those aligned with faerie, the result is extreme.

"Stop rambling, explain!" Your wish is my command, dear reader. The masquerade reveler chooses a mask at 1st level and every class level after that Like the barbarian, the reveler can enter a second mode, but unlike the barbarian, the reveler her retains senses, may use all the int, dex and cha-based skills she wants, while still taking the penalty to AC. So what do those masks constitute? They consider different battle-forms - upon entering a masquerade, all effects of a mask kick in - and these would constitute of up to 4 evolution points for biped eidolons. Now you can imagine that I'm seeing a lot of crunch I have to take apart and this one's wording - well, it's rife with things to overlook, to not get right. The ability works. It's beautiful, really. Analogue to the base barbarian, at higher levels, the evolution point contingent for each mask is increased instead of getting the rage-upgrades and as a nice touch, higher level masquerade revelers may choose to maintain a limited selection of evolutions from the last mask she wore, adding some tactics and actual strategy to the mix. The capstone, which is aforementioned update as well as a fey apotheosis is nice, but falls behind the variety offered by masks.

Now, of course, the sheer amount of options feels staggering - and hence the pdf does something truly laudable - it provides masks, predefined. Approximately a gazillion of them. The respective masks come with 4, 6 and 8-point versions and are categorized in different types - take fey-inspired masks - Biloko masks, Baobhan Sidhe masks etc. Beyond these pieces of information, some of the masks require the masquerade reveler to be quadruped and for convenience's sake, the masks also come with a level that shows you when a given mask can be taken in its configuration. Masks inspired by Gremlins, by strange animals like Dweomercats,, just Theme-inspired ones, those of the forbidden traditions, yes, even those of a mythic bent - beyond the long, exceedingly awesome pieces of glorious fluff that introduce them, these classifications do so much in establishing a complex, cool tradition for these configurations... The masquerade reveler does not, like most archetypes, feel like it exists in a vacuum, but rather that it represents a vibrant, glorious tradition that is a crucial part of a given setting. Have I mentioned the powerful Tane-masks that have evolutions exclusive to them? And no, these cannot be taken by any masquerade reveler...

Beyond that, one could assume that the evolutions as a base line mean that the class does not get its own unique tools - one would be wrong, for beyond masks upon masks, the pdf offers a huge array (as in: over 50!) of special evolutions for the masquerade reveler, providing more fodder than you can imagine - from becoming tiny to STEALING THE SKIN of creatures, these evolutions wilder in so many of the most iconic concepts of deadly and cool tropes, it is simply bewildering. Additionally, these are balanced for the masquerade reveler, making the pdf not only state explicit caution when using these for evolutions of eidolons and at the same time being an instance where the DM is not alone with this beast - indeed, integration with fey, for example, would be among the covered topics. Want to blend in with light or get a red cap? Yes, such a red cap. It's in here. What about making shadow clones (and actually succeeding at making the ability work) or hair-based secondary attacks?

In such an environment, laden with glorious potential, the ability to make allies burn bright, but die young and the ties of that ability to the deadly gifts and mythic abilities for a thoroughly iconic take on the trope or even stealing the souls of mortals via fey skulls? A total of 9 different feats allow you to take masks associated with non-bipedal forms, get extra masks etc. Additionally, we also receive 3 new magic items - rather complex ones, like the double-sided Mask of Lost Identity that helps you disguise, but subverts your own identity. Or a shawl, that allows the dancer to store power in it via dancing a fey minuet. Or what about the stilettos that make the entering and exiting of a rage a gradual, rather than an instantaneous process and accompanies it with imagery most iconic?

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with various pieces of gorgeous full-color artwork - original pieces I haven't seen before. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Mark Seifter, as a relative newcomer, now works for Paizo. If someone asks me why, I can answer the question in just one double-click - by opening this pdf. The original masquerade reveler archetype in RiP's "Convergent Paths: Fey Archetypes" was excellent and this book makes it SO MUCH MORE. In my opinion, the Masquerade Reveler is the BEST BARBARIAN ARCHETYPE out there. Heck, there are next to no archetypes for ANY class that can stand up to it in its glorious fluff, its cool mechanics and the simply stunning imaginative potential. With a precision like clockwork, Rite Publishing and Mark Seifter blend mastery of crunch most complex with top-notch production values and concepts so high in style, so ridiculously awesome, were all pdfs like this, I'd hang up my hat right now and just be content. This archetype has more flair and feels more alive than most base classes I get to see. This pdf belongs into the library of all people who want to see what to expect from Mark in the future and what it takes to claim Paizo-status. I am of the staunch belief that our favorite game were better off, had we more archetypes brimming with potential like this, featuring such a grand unity of the mastery of fluff and crunch. This beast requires and demands to be recognized - it receives 5 stars + seal of approval and is a candidate for my Top Ten of 2014. There's a reason Rite Publishing is one of the big 3pps and this is an excellent reminder of why. This is a must-have, must-own beast of a book. Get it.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This mini-pdf clocks in at 3 pages, ~1 page of editorial, logo, SRD, leaving ~ 2 pages of content, so what do we get here?

The Reaper is a man in interlocking metal plates who has been around for years - at least according to the history of this strange vigilante, though the rumors allow a DM to easily add one's own spin on the mysterious killer that annihilates those that oppose him. The truth is rather strange and as such, 6 sample research ideas allow a DM easy ad verbatim investigation structuring around the characters.

Of course, I could spill the true history of the character...but I won't. Just be assured that some tropes from super-hero comics find a cool resonance in this guy. 3 plot hooks supplement him, as does a new weapon, the slayer's gauntlet and a CR +1 template utilized in his build. This template also contradicts (somewhat) a certain alignment line in the character's statblocks, hinting at the dark future that is to come. The Reaper clocks btw. in at CR 10 and is a rather deadly build.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard that is still relatively printer-friendly. The character has an AWESOME artwork, an original piece that is worth the price alone. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length and comes with a second version that provides copious hyperlinks of the good type.

Jaye Sonia delivers with this awesome character - with a glorious artwork, a cool build and a very low price, this guy is a sketch of an adventure (or even a series of them) in one pdf, for the low price of a buck - and as such, is well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

****( )

This pdf clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page about Fat Goblin Games, leaving us with 3 pages of content for the battlefield defiler, so let's take a look what this magus archetype does, shall we?

Battlefield Defilers must be of evil alignment and get an assortment of necromancy spells added to their spell-list - which includes quite a few powerful spells; Something to bear in mind when thinking about taking this archetype - magi can easily get access to them, so that's one power-upgrade there - or it would be if this archetype wouldn't lose Spell Recall and Knowledge Pool. No complaints. Now the archetype also modifies the arcane pool -whenever a battlefield defiler successfully performs a coup-de-grâce on a living target, he may expend a point to cast a prepared spell that creates (explicitly NOT summons!) undead as has a casting time of a standard action or less as a swift action. The spell only targets this one corpse, even if it otherwise would affect multiple target corpses. The weapon of the battlefield defiler can be enhanced with the arcane pool like that of the magus, but receives a different list of properties and may only do so at 5th level onwards. A nice balance with the enhanced casting list.

The battlefield defiler also gets to choose from 3 new arcana that allows them to expend points from their pool to add templates to the undead they create. As a nitpick - one arcana specifies that when using any iteration of undead anatomy, the battlefield defiler is treated as if his spells benefited from silent spell and is treated as having a higher cha-score. This is slightly problematic since the ability fails to specify whether the level-increase of silent spell does apply or not. High level magi may exert energy drains on targets.

In lieu of a knowledge pool, the battlefield defiler gets the option to channel negative energy, but before you scream OP, hear e out - he may only heal himself and undead, not deal damage. 11th level battlefield defilers may keep animate undead-spells in their weapon, not expending them until a killing blow is struck, following the rules for holding a charge. Nice take on a complex mechanic that replaces Spell Recall.

At high levels, a spell-like Undead Anatomy IV and a devastating capstone that creates beheaded make for nice end-game abilities for the archetype.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, if not perfect -I noticed a minor glitch here and there, but nothing that would have impeded my enjoyment of this pdf. The pdf's layout adheres to Fat Goblin Games' beautiful 2-column full-color layout and the pdf comes with the good type of hyperlink, even though e.g. the magus undead template has been forgotten among the otherwise great hyperlinks. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Tyler Beck's creations usually take a look at a complex concept and to this date, had mixed success at making them work perfectly. This pdf seems to represent him getting the stuff right - utilizing various complex abilities, the Battlefield Defiler offers a distinct, different playstyle for evil magi that allows them to be the creators of undead in the field of battle, something they quite frankly sucked at before. The nerfing of some of the base magus' most powerful abilities ensures that the archetype works and the lack of options to kitten-cheese this archetype is a further plus. While not (yet!) perfect, this proves Tyler Beck's potential and is well worth a final verdict of 4 stars. Good job!

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This sourcebook for Little Red Goblin Games' glorious, innovative Scifi-setting clocks in at 41 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 37 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

We kick off this pdf in style, with a fully-depicted Battle-march for the Sentinels - "O, Death". And yes, I tried singing it and it does work, cadence-wise. We hence kick off this pdf's coverage of the Ewgee with a survey of the sentinel organization - from ranks in the military, to training and even including their oath, this one oozes flair and style.

The Psychic rules of Necropunk also get suppelmental information here, with the Psyoff. While nomenclature may sound none too impressive here, these guys essentially generate a tactical grid, in which allies can share senses, memories and even have PPI assigned to them - the storytelling potential, beyond the combat potential, for this one is vast. And yes, entering the mind of hostiles and talking to them, soothing golems - possible. A power is also tied to the new crown of god weapon, which can be made to fire lines and yes, bursts.

The Living Saints of the (in my opinion) somewhat creepy Prime Bloodline get a wildcard archetype that gets a free perfection at 1st level and may spend potential points on a number of unique Perfections -essentially, their potential is more geared towards becoming an Übermensch - enhanced immune systems, perfect immune systems, eidetic memory, truly superb vision, including the option to see e.g. x-rays and similar usually invisible forms of radiation and spectrums. Nice, even though an explicit mention of "this modifies Genius" etc. would have made the archetype somewhat easier to use. Sentinels of the Prime Bloodline may opt for the new Father archetype, which represents veterans of countless battles fought, with arrays of tricks that allow them to provide combat support to allies - think teamwork-enhancing commander. Solid one.

Sisters are the immaculate seductresses of the Prime Bloodline - while sterile, these wildcards can adopt personas - adopting these allows her to e.g. borrow the diplomat's social competence, sneak attack and trap sense, bombs, monks etc. - cool idea for a jack-of-all-trades-class that actually has a distinct fluff, if not perfect balance between personas.

Engineer-members of the Necromancer's Guild may become Devs -addicted to change exists here as well as gaining a retractable tendril that can grapple foes, may biohack others and also get to choose from an array of controlled bio-mutations that allow you to hyperstimulate allies with your tendril, deliver poison etc. Phagen of the assassin's guild provide a cool dichotomy - they've got the license to kill and extract the problematic elements from the Necromancer's Guild.They also recieve a kind of pet ghoul slave made from a convicted serial killer that they can unleash on their foes and upgrade over the levels via body mods - powerful and something for everyone who wanted a summoner-style class for Necropunk - with the conundrums we've come to expect from the setting. No less than 13 new body mods, from doll skin to grappling rocket fists, frog skins, skin that can see, detachable eyeballs - the amount of strange options is cool and awesome and the potential complications reflect that.

What about a disc that can heighten bad moods and interrupt sleep? (I guess I have one of those implanted into my neocortex...). Beyond these, we are introduced to 10 exile shards, three of which come with their own racial stat modifications, one with an alternate racial trait and teh Gravs, born and bred for space, being particularly adept in Zero-G-environments - including two new armors/suits and a new weapon/tool.

While primitive in comparison, the gunslinger archetype space cowboy will find its fans among Cowboy Bebop fans, with a vehicle to represent the nomadic ways of the class being sponsored in the beginning - though, as fans of Firefly or said Anime may attest, these things may break down...

We also are introduced to the assassin's guild's tomb foot style and its 4 follow-up feats, one of which ought to point out whether the bonus it grants also extends to potential AoOs, but apart from that, an interesting, defensive style. If a sister chooses, she can learn the psychotic Bathory persona, which not only may sever limbs and is a deadly combatant, but also simply...dangerous. Familiarity with bioskins, improved awareness and control of one's body - solid feats here. We also get three cool new campaign traits - one that represents being in service to the planetary defense force and one *I'd* choose - unchecked ambition in the Byronian sense. And there would also be an antiquated sense of honor, from which I probably irl also suffer - so much roleplaying potential in these and solid benefits as well.

Engineers may learn a nigh perfect sense of time or a kind of echolocation that helps in total darkness, Magpies may learn to change minimum damage to maximum damage, Stalkers may use skills instead of teh steal maneuver in combat to deprive foes of their tools.

Finally, the linguist in em rejoices as we're introduced to the language of money as well as see Esperanto enter the fray and a total of 5 new dialects.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are this book's weaknesses - the sourcebook sports quite a few bolding-glitches and minor formatting issues and minor rules-editing issues, though never grievous ones, can also be found herein. Layout adheres to Necropunk's simple, relatively printer-friendly b/w-2-column standard and the interior artwork deserves special mention: Don't be fooled by the cover, seriously, the b/w-line-drawings herein are plenty, gorgeous and downright awesome. This is a beautiful book on the inside! The book also comes fully bookmarked with extensive, nested bookmarks.

Okay, let me get one thing straight from the get-go - the crunch herein is good, but not always perfect - designers Scott Gladstein, Caleb Alysworth, Jeremiah Zerby and Dayton Johnson have overall done a good job, but at least for me, Necropunk was never about playing the "I got better crunch than you"-game. Necropunk is about the setting, the ideas - much like an alien-less, thinking man's Warhammer 40K, it is a dark vision of the future, but not a grim one. Nor is it a rip-off, it has its own, distinct identity that appeals greatly to me, because it's for once a scifi setting that is not illogical or been there, done that. It's innovative.

The questions posed by each class, the conundrus, they are alive and the base campaign setting provided more ideas to me for any campaign than just about all campaign settings I've read in a while. This sourcebook proudly follows in that tradition by creating more content, more information, more philosophical questions to explore via classes and playstyles, should you choose to. Necropunk is about ROLEplaying with a heavy emphasis on the ROLEplaying - more so than just about all Pathfinder settings. The ideas herein - they are simply brilliant. The sisters with their personas, the serial killer-enslaving assassin that may end up on the other end of the leash - these are concepts so glorious, so exciting to explore, that I was grinning from ear to ear. Yes, this book may not be perfect, but it incites the imagination in glorious ways. Usually, I'd rate this down further for its avoidable glitches here and there, but after much deliberation, I can't ever justify this - the Ewgee sourcebook is too rich in ideas you can scavenge even if you don't use the necropunk setting. There are too many cool concepts herein. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform. Here's to hoping we'll see much, much more Necropunk in the years to come - this has all the makings of a cult setting in the making.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

****( )

This installment of Purple Duck Games' short micro-pdfs clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of SRD/editorial, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

So what is this - animated skulls, yeah, but instead of just a set of statblocks, this actually is a mini-generator! A kind of Monster-Dressing, if you will.

We get a d12-table to determine locations of the skull, an excessive list of 10 potential origin-legends for the skull (like being a fragment of an outsider lord's consciousness, a lich gone wrong etc.) and then, things become interesting indeed:

3 sample partial statblocks await you to roll basic stats - one of these would result in you rolling on a d12 list of PC-class levels, while a d20-table allows you to randomly fill in the skull's skills and a further d12 table covers feats. Finally, movement, from levitating to hopping (!!) and flight can be determined and voilà - that would be the basics.

The pdf does not stop there - a 5-entry appearance table can result in further spell-like abilities via implanted gems and you may optionally determine alignment via a d8 table. If the skull has an implanted magic item, a 2-entry micro table covers that.

The pdf also provides 12 sample temperaments/personalities and 10 potential special purposes for the skull. We end the pdf with one sample skull and its background. I also should mention that the pdf also covers taking an animated skull as a familiar.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a digest-style one-page no-frills standard and the pdf comes bookmarked in spite of its small size - kudos!.Apart from the cover, there's no art, but that's to be expected from a micro-pdf like this.

Perry Fehr's Skull-generator is GLORIOUS. I really, really love this easy-to-use skull generator, the skill/feat-selectors etc. - this makes crafting animated skulls exceedingly fast. Now this would immediately hit my best of ratings, were it not for one issue: The statblocks this generates are non-standard. Looking much more like DCC or 2nd edition statblocks, they have all you need to run the skulls, but e.g. lack CMB/CMD etc. and just feel unnecessarily obscure when adhering to standard statblock conventions would have been easy - why no simply state the senses, ini, etc. according to statblock conventions? This is baffling to me and unnecessarily opaque, especially since the generator could easily support standard statblocks. As much as I love this pdf, due o this strange, strange decision, I can't rate this higher than 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4. This is still a glorious buy for the low price.

Endzeitgeist out.


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