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Endzeitgeist's page

4,594 posts. 1,942 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.



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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This expansion for LPJr Design's neat Machinesmith-class clocks in at 14 pages, 2 pages advertisement, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

We begin with a new greatwork, the constructor - this greatwork occupies the head-slot and can be used to create items instantaneously from thin air. And yes, if you've been following my reviews, you'll realize that the very concept is a hornet's nest - weight-limits, masterwork items, material restrictions, etc. - there is a lot to take into account. Now here's the cincher - the items are fleeting and come with material and weight-restrictions that, believe it or not, prevent abuse. The necessity to know what you want to make prevents the manifestation of fitting keys from thin air (unless the DM is lenient) and the restrictions even manage to maintain the balancing scarcity/price-level of firearms, clockworks etc. - Which renders the greatwork's basic capabilities one impressive feat of design. Kudos!

Now where a basic nod from me becomes a full-blown grin would be with the progression of the upgrades of the greatwork - here, steel and yes, even progressive magic item creation on a temporary basis become possible. If you even remotely think about the very notion, you'll realize the sheer amount of issues this necessarily creates - and will realize what an impressive feat the avoidance of just all of these problems is. The rules presented are so concise, they even take destructible items à la staves of the magi into account - oh, and the upgrades come at times, when the creation of firearms etc. from thin air become more than valid and not unbalancing. The permanent item creation at capstone levels, feat-interaction - this greatwork is a mechanical beauty and should be considered the reference work for crunch like this. Yes, charges etc. are covered. I can't stress enough how much I enjoyed this greatwork and want to stress that yes, this makes non-magic crazy-prepared characters very much within the realm of possibility.

We also receive new machinesmith tricks - analyzers allow for the rerolls of natural 1s, faster motion analysis and a pretty cool idea: Scanning spells from scrolls to cast them on the fly via the analyzer - once again a hornet's nest of design to cover that manages to get expensive components, etc. - all RIGHT! Mechanus augmentations have a different formatting for their header than the other tricks. The tricks here include additional charges, storing and launching drones from the mechanus, adding poison-biting capacity and even providing a rudimentary intelligence - yes, complete with a limited skill- and feat-list. Moebius suits can have crossbows/firearms installed, can provide monk-style improved unarmored strikes and higher level suit-wearers may even dimension door or spell turn.

If you have a moebius weapon, a crit-stunning impact hammer, additional, charge-costing attacks and progressive replacement of str/dex with into for attacks/damage (with multiple taking of the trick providing progressively better replacements) as well as bleed damage and maneuver-enhancers provide for neat tricks. The aforementioned new constructor can create more items, recall them or produce on greater scales - and at high levels , execute mage's disjunction. The augmentations provided for the converter include environmental attunement, short-range fire-novas and high-level time stops.

Of course, we also receive an array of new gadgets - from alchemical sprayer (including improvements and concise mechanics), crank-powered third arms these are just as awesome - and I'm saying that before the more unique options, like deploying melee-turret-style fighting bots, instant-minimoat-creating brass worms, folding horses, flamethrowers, pneumatic launchers and portable cannons enter the fray. What about circular saws? One-man rampage armors? Dune-style water-purification devices? Sound-based stunners? Yeah. Awesome!

The techniques provided include losing prepared prototypes for greater dispel magic or even share their tricks - the techniques herein may be less flashy than the aforementioned options, but they nevertheless are powerful, nifty options. Finally, we also receive numerous new prototypes, some of which utilize the new and concisely-defined construct-subschool - here, we get animated swordsmen and shieldbearers, concussive bombs, emergency stabilizing constructs, electroshock coils for weapons, explosive tips for ammunition, prototypes tailor-made to blow locks apart and even vibro-blade enhancements.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, but the one component I could complain about - the formatting of the titles and subtitles is not consistent. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with gorgeous full-color art - all original and as beautiful as you'd expect. The pdf's printer-friendly second version is also in full-color - and less than 1 mb! I thought at first something went wrong with my download, but no - fully functional. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

This pdf can be summed up in "Stepping up your game." After the evocative, but rushed and flawed first two machinesmith expansions, I was not looking forward to this one - and oh boy was I wrong! LPJr Design's high-concept books have a surprisingly pervasive way of sneaking into my games, even when I complained to no end regarding a flawed piece of crunch or another - there is usually this sense of pure joy, of high-concept awesomeness in the books. Know what? This one marries this unmitigated joy with crunch mastery of some of the most difficult-to-execute, complex systems for one simply inspired expansion. I am not kidding when I'm saying that this utterly blew me away and that it should be considered a must-own pdf for any user of the machinesmith. Even if you don't use the class, any steampunk/magepunk/whatever-system can benefit from the wealth of riches and precisely-executed crunch. Unless I'm sorely mistaken, this was the first such pdf by Jonathan Palmer I've read (I know him mainly from some Headless Hydra supplements, magic item supplements and the basic machinesmith) - and I definitely want more - Sir, my hat's off to you for this glorious expansion. Same goes for LPJr Design - this level of quality definitely deserves accolades! My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval - and yes, I am very glad I am able to dish out this verdict - the machinesmith deserves tools of this quality.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This installment of what I'd tentatively call the "new" Urban Dressing-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!

We begin this supplement with vistas both unique and wondrous - in the towns of the dwaves, one may witness a plethora of sights and sounds mundane and wondrous - from chimney stacks that bear witness to the industrious nature of the stout folk to dwarves strumming the lyres (there is in fact a correlation between music and productivity), the life of a busy settlement breathes from the massive 100-entry strong table - and yes, of course miners, cave-ins, smiths and the like can be met as well. Few things will endear the PCs more to the populace than quenching a dwarf's beard, recently set ablaze or participating in competitions of boulder-throwing - a thoroughly alive place indeed.

The 50 businesses also reflect the industrious nature of the dwarven people - from the obligatory smithies and architects, one can surely learn wondrous feats of engineering, while here, even second-hand equipment adheres to the high quality-standards set by the dwarven folk. Boneminders and etchers offer their services to the discerning clientele and for those PCs looking for something more out of the ordinary - what about ships to travel on lava? This single entry had me come up with essentially a whole culture, a vast set of adventure ideas - "inspired" is indeed the word to use.

Whereas the primary inhabitants of such a town obviously belong to the stout race, from jailed half-orcs (rightfully or due to racial prejudice?) to halfling couriers to half-elven lawyers and pyromaniac elven exiles, the list of 50 notable folk can be described as adhering to the same level of liveliness and diversity one would expect from such a supplement - and yes, fret not -the majority of the entries does cover dwarves!

Finally, 20 hooks provide for ample adventuring material - from dwarven miners lost in the tunnels to dangerous, tunneling worms that destabilize areas to gas explosions and goblin spies, quite an array of diverse options await.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press' 2-column b/w-standard and the artwork is thematically fitting b/w-stock. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions - one optimized for the printer and one optimized for screen-use.

Josh Vogt's Urban Dressing pdf have become a continuous source of joy for my table - the amount of life oozing from them, their unfettered creativity and their quite frankly astounding diversity has taken the weakest of the Dressing-series and brought it to a level that can only be considered inspired in all the right ways. Now racial settlements tend to be a difficult topic, mainly because you have to cater to a race's iconic stereotypes, while still providing a distinct sense of identity. This manages to do just that - in a glorious fashion indeed. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This installment of the Underworld Races-series clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 14 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Disclaimer: The Colliatur are based on the colloid, an entity I created for Rise of the Drow. This makes me partial to the concept underlying the race. However, I had no involvement in the concept and creation of this race beyond being asked if the concepts would be true to the spirit in which the colloid was written - I provided neither editing, development, writing or the like for these guys as presented here. I entered this review exceedingly skeptical on whether this race would make sense or stand up in any way to what I expected this to deliver - experience has shown that I usually end up pretty disappointed when I tackle any book with serious expectations. I went into this with a negative bias - so could this survive my scrutiny?

We begin this supplement, as had become the tradition with this line of products, with an introduction to the numerous cataclysms that shaped the underworld of Aventyr - and among these, the colloid. The alien crystalline structure that seeks annihilation of all undead, though, did not go unopposed and thus, the colliatur were born as a race - a blending of the colloid's body invasion and a pathogen released in the water that did result in some mishaps instead of annihilation of the crystal: Instead of halting the advance of crystallization or becoming one with the colloid, the subjects instead became something new - the shepherds of those lost in the colloid, independent and free-willed - and thus, also a threat - but only for the wicked. For, surprisingly, the colliatur are friendly and inclusive, with hair and bodies laced with crystalline strands and an origin from various races, though, of course, humans are considered the default origin. Say what you want about the colloid - the entity's intrinsic value of life has a rather interesting effect on the race of the colliatur. In the cloak and dagger backstabbing world of the underdark, tendency towards an ennui-like, benign neutrality is very much a fresh wind.

Racial trait-wise, colliatur may freely choose one ability score to receive a +2 bonus, are native outsiders, get darkvision (not bolded in a minor formatting glitch) and a +2 bonus to AC. 1/day they may deflect a ray as if using the Deflect Arrows feat via their crystalline refractions. Also rather interesting - they receive resistance against negative energy 5, do not lose hit points when taking a negative level and receive a +2 bonus to saves versus necromancy, death, etc. effects. Contact with acid triggers fast healing 2, but thankfully, this healing caps at 2 hp per level per day - solid minor healing sans abuse potential. As sociable and nice fellows, colliatur may try again to positively influence attitudes when only failing by 5 or less. They receive +2 to concentration checks to cast spells defensively and colliatur with Int 11+ may cast comprehend languages, detect magic and read magic 1/day. They also receive +1 to attacks versus undead. This quite an impressive ability array with numerous unique signature abilities - which is great. However, balance-wise, we'd have an issue in spite of the relative scarcity of negative energy...this is offset somewhat by a weakness - the colliatur's partially crystal bodies are susceptible to sonic damage, rendering them vulnerable. So all in all - the race works.

And yes, in theory, you can combine these guys with other races, but that is beyond the scope of this pdf (and quite a challenging expansion to design!) - now interesting would also be the favored class options, which, unlike those of quite a few "good" races, actually reflect the compassion of the race - we can see quite a few nice non-lethal damage upgrades and, also rather neat, a gunslinger archetype-specific FCO. The inquisitor's FCO also deserves special mention, its benefit depending on the type of judgment active, resulting in either DR/nonlethal (VERY interesting) or a nonlethal damage bonus. As far as FCOs with their limited design options go, these are inspired indeed.

Now I noted a racial archetype, which would be the crystal cannonade, a gunslinger archetype for everyone - even those of you who do not like guns. The idea is as follows: You take a crossbow and your own body's crystal fuses with it, granting you the option to reload it as swift actions - with one hand. Your body does the reloading for you, meaning that you also have no need for ammunition. Shots fired thus are touch attacks and deal nonlethal damage - unless the target is immune against it - then, they deal half damage as bludgeoning damage. Yes, this not only allows you to play a gunslinger in non-black-powder games, it also provides a means to dual wield heavy crossbows and pull off some nasty tricks with them (yes, feats and deeds work with this...) - even before you get dex to damage and further increase that amount over the levels. It is odd, though, that these weapons still can be disarmed, though they become an extension of the colliatur, oh well, not a big gripe. Personally, I would have preferred a slight upgrade to the base weapon's potency to bring the archetype's basic weapon framework closer to that of firearms, but again, this is me being a very spoiled reviewer. This is a deceptively cool archetype - for one, it's not LOUD. It's not expensive at low levels. It renders crossbows a valid weapon choice. And its synergy with the vast array of reloading options ensures that you can make some pretty nasty builds that were not possible before. On a nitpick, the reload for heavy and simple crossbows via this ability remains the same, but since the feat-based action economy remains the same as before, the combinations thereof lead to different results - so I'm going to assume this choice to be intentional. So yes, one of the subtle-good-archetypes.

Thankfully, this level of quality extend to the alchemical items -from divination-enhancing powder that taps into the colloid's foresight to improvised weapons of crystal pried from the fallen, the colliatur get some cool tricks. The feats available mostly also fall into this category - some colliatur may emit dancing lights or light at will, whereas others can reduce the amount of negative levels taken per attack, making them predisposed to battling the tougher undead threats. This does not end here, though - what about breaking off parts of your body to make crystalline tools (and yes, later even weapons!)? Yeah, these feats are pretty awesome, though the follow-up feat could have used the line of the base feat again how to heal the speed reduction and damage this may cause. Mind you, the feats are functional and all is there, the presentation could just be slightly more detailed. Finally, what about morphing your hands into crystalline weapons, even ones with reach, provided you have additional colliatur feats? And yes, there is a positive energy-damage booster feat for casters, further emphasizing the anti-undead stance alongside the scaling feat that increases negative energy resistance.

The magic items follow this weird, but awesome trend - there are implants that grant a telepathic bond, even in an antimagic field and which can be tuned to diverse frequencies, allowing for elite-squads to act in silent unison. There is also a shard that REWARDS nonlethal spellcasting - while wielding it, you cast a spell merciful, but at CL +3 - which is powerful, but fittingly so.

The pdf also sports 5 new spells - from communion of minds that allows for Knowledge-rerolls to eidolon evolution-like tricks via alien surge and its greater brother, the spells are interesting. On a minor nitpick - regular alien surge scales while the greater one does not. And yes, there are two pretty powerful nonlethal damage-spells.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches beyond the two minor bolding issues. Layout adheres to AAW Games' two-column full-color standard for the Underworld Races-series and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and with copious amounts of gorgeous, original full-color artwork - and I mean gorgeous. Jacob Blackmon has outdone himself and created colliatur that at once are beautiful and still evoke a sense of uncanny-valley-like alienness that still is somewhat captivating. I am not engaging in hyperbole when I'm saying that the pieces he made here rank among my favorites of his work.

I get the allure of the darkness. The flair of the brooding antihero. The gritty protagonist. But know what? Beyond all those grimdark races out there, the Colliatur are a breath of fresh air. Why? Because they are, unabashedly so, a hero-race. They are kind, friendly, not dour or xenophobic. They may come off as a bit arrogant, but they're beautiful and even the worst examples of their race can be superb allies versus the undead. The race has a very distinct style and aesthetic that sets them apart and makes them unique - and one of the races I'd never ever want to miss in my games. Beyond making superb adventurers, they are a balanced race (approximately on par with the planetouched races) and one that has a mechanic distinctiveness beyond what aasimar or tieflings offer.

The anti-negative-energy-shtick is pretty innovative, but it is the mechanic representation of their tendencies to value all life set the colliatur apart for me. Colliatur are a great reminder that adventurers, especially good adventurers, do not need to be murder hobos. They can be knock-out hobos as well. ;) Kidding aside - thematically, one of the glorious things about them is that they provide a concise feeling for elements that had no fluffy identity - beyond the focus on nonlethal damage (and the mechanical REWARDS for using them!) they also provide a cool alternative for the crazy-prepared trope of feats...and mutable bodies. We've seen a lot tentacley-mutatey takes on scavenging some of the versatility of the eidolon et al - but let's face it, you won't be playing a paladin that grows tentacles with razor-fanged suckers anytime soon. (If you are, great for you!)

A race perpetually gleaming white teeth, star-shaped pupils in the eyes, crystalline strands in hair and body that can form their hands into beautiful instruments of destruction? A race suitable to combat some of the vilest foes out there? Yeah, more like it, ain't it? Essentially, this race is a thoroughly fresh take on the radiant champion trope, exceedingly distinct from the aasimar and still mechanically more than valid. The pdf does have some minor rough edges here and there, but for each rough edge, I found at least 2 pieces of crunch I considered awesome or ideas that were downright inspired. The fluff of these guys is superb. Their identity is pronounced -and yet, they fit easily within the frame of just about any campaign. Better yet - they are not necessarily geared towards an alignment - and picture one of these guys as a master torturer/slaver (very good at capturing prey alive...) or as a psychopath stalking the streets, slaying undead and living alike and you have some cool adventure potential - just picture the vampire whimpering in fear of the "white teeth, the star-eyes...." Yes, I am running that module sooner or later...

In case you haven't noticed - I adore this race. They have an awesome visual style, the story to back them up, unique rules, a unique niche and still manage to not be restrained by it. DMs can easily blend other races with the colliatur in their home-game as well... In one sentence -this delivers all of what I look for in a race - with equal capacity for being radiant heroes and slightly uncanny-valleyesque beings or even villains, Mike Myler's colliatur are inspired in all the right ways - final verdict? 5 stars plus seal of approval. Check out this race - it is definitely worth it!

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

****( )

This pdf of the Warrior Prestige Archetype-series clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/introduction (explaining the base concept of the series), 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

What are Prestige Archetypes? Well, I reviewed the whole first series, so here's the tl;dr-version: They are prestige classes blended with one (or more) base-class(es) to result in a new, 20-level-class - much like you had modified the base class with an archetype. Get it? Yeah, not a hard concept to grasp, is it? Now personally, I use Prestige Classes with an emphasis on the PRESTIGE-component, archetypes more like a career path, but this differs wildly from how PrCs are handled in most cases. Hence, e.g. the PA: Assassin from the first subscription was pretty much a godsend for my party. But can this one stand up to or surpass its first series?

The Living Monolith receives d12, full BAB-progression, 2+Int skills per level and good fort- and will-saves as well as proficiency with light armor, simple and martial weapons and shields, but not tower shields.

Okay, so what do these guys get? Well, for once, we receive DR 1/ and a 10% chance to ignore critical hits and sneak attacks at first level, scaling up by +1/+10% at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Which is solid, seeing how in my experience DR tends to be an overvalued commodity. The living monolith also has a finely-carved scarab embedded in his forehead – said scarab not only provides a passive bonus to a bunch of saves, but also can be utilized to enlarge person the monolith. This carries a kind of issue – for once the ability is supernatural, not spell-like – which I do not object to – playtest did show that the bad armor-situation does mitigate somewhat the range received. That being said, I do have an issue with the lack of a CL – seeing how enlarge person’s duration is dependent on that and with SUs providing no default, we have a rules-gap here that ought to be closed – unlimited duration size-increase would be a rather hard pill to swallow, especially considering the lack of options to dispel it. At higher levels, enlarge person is replaced by righteous might, but alas, the problem persists.

Automatic stabilization at 2nd level is nice and at 3rd level, when the lack of armor would start becoming a huge problem, the massive +8 armor bonus granted by ongoing petrification steps right in. Stability and deathwatch/detect evil as well as meld into stone at will are solid and 8th level is okay for disease immunity. Higher-level abilities include planar ally sphinx-calls, tremorsense and talking to the stones once per day – alas, again sans CL. Why not simply go SP, like the high-level statue ability that allows the monolith to weather the ages? The highest levels allow for the questioning of both the living and the dead, while the capstone renders them immortal.

The pdf comes with favored class options for the core races and the anpur-race (all solid – especially the human one, which grants limited rogue talents, is VERY interesting!) and the pdf comes with sample NPC builds at 1st, 5th, 10th and 15th level. Alas, the sample NPCs use the wrong HD – that ought to be d12, not d10. It’s not hard to adjust the bonus HP, though.

Beyond these, we get a slightly retooled shatterspike and stats for various pieces of mundane equipment – nice bonus!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Purple Duck Games' printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and sans art apart from the cover.

Carl Cramér's Living Monolith is EXACTLY what I’d like him to do in the series – take risks, expand the concepts of the PrCs, expand their focus and rewire them in an awesome way. The Living Monolith is, hands down, my favorite WPA in the series so far – it is inspired, fun and has a bunch of abilities that could be really nasty, all finetuned with relatively subtle balancing mechanisms. I really like both fluff and execution of the class and it is, hands down, the most inspired in the series so far. That being said, the CL-glitch is annoying indeed and, unless the DM makes a ruling for a limited duration, could be rather unbalanced. It is not a serious glitch, mind you, and any DM with a modicum of experience can make that call, but still – it constitutes a significant, game-impacting oversight. It also is the only reason I can’t rate this 5 stars + seal of approval. I really, really like the living monolith and I sincerely hope that Carl Cramér continues on this design-path, enhancing lame base PrCs with unique, cool options. As provided, for now, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars!

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This installment of the Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 21 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

As always, we kick off this installment of the Mythic Monsters-series with a supplemental piece of content – which this time around turns out to be nothing less than an awesome, disturbing piece of prose – really liked this flavorful introduction!

After getting thus in the mood for all kinds of nastiness, we dive in head first with the CR 6/MR 2 Achaierai – flinging bites and nigh impenetrable legs enhance this creature in just the right way – so we’re off to a good start. And it does not become worse – or it does, at least from a PC’s point of view. The Ankou (CR 17/MR 7) now is a true force to be reckoned with – in the careful hands of a sadistic DM like yours truly these guys can be rendered nigh-unkillable, thanks to the awesome new shadow double-related trickery they can pull off. The build also utilizes two mythic variants of feats provided for your perusal. Indeed, that is a tendency, for the next creature, the CR 13/MR 5 Dorvae also utilizes such a feat. With an aura of psychic poison and grappling/poison-bite synergy, these beings receive an appropriate lethality upgrade over their non-mythic brethren.

One of my favorite creatures ever, the CR 8/MR 3 hellcat not only receives deadly telepathy to coordinate attacks, they also get a menacing purr – and yes, the imagery is glorious: What is worse than an invisible extraplanar predator seeking to tear you asunder? A group of them, always present and coordinating the attacks launched on the unsuspecting mortal fools...and always, there’s this purring. There’s a classic gothic novel/horror adventure just begging to be constructed around this creature.

Mythic Immortal Ichor (at CR 21/ MR 8) can squeeze through the tiniest of spots, cause acid damage and charm effects…oh, and it can use mythic power to actually friggin’ drown foes. NASTY!!! And yeah, their swarms are nastier as well. The Night Hag (CR 11/MR 4) can use mythic power to make the curse inflicted by her claws permanent and has infectious, carnivorous maggots in her mouth. Yeah! But that is NOT where these gals stop – beyond summoning mythic mounts (with synergy of exactly that installment of this very series), they actually can come back to haunt (and potentially kill!) you in your dreams, forcefully reincarnating into you, killing you in the process. And you thought Freddy was bad news…

Okay, at Cr 6/MR 2, the Shadow Mastiff is just one of what my group calls the “hellhound-wannabe-clan” – i.e. low CR, canine evil outsiders. Thankfully, the mastiff finally receives some distinct, unique tricks – namely shadowporting and becoming a cold-based incorporeal shadowy form – thank you for finally making these poor puppies stand out a bit! At CR 4/MR 1, the Yeth Hounds also belong to this club – and with the stunning, potentially madness-causing cursed critical, they also finally receive some tricks to make them stand out and not feel like “hell Hound minus fire, plus lame fear.”

At the same CR/MR, the Urdefhan with their suicide blasts and lethal swords can also be considered a well-made upgrade of the basic creature. The lowest end of the spectrum, CR and MR-wise, is provided for by the Vargouille at CR 3/MR 1 – which may now execute kisses via mythic power at range – nice idea and a kiss you definitely don’t want to catch! Another, even better example for great low level mythic monster upgrades would be the Soulshriver at the same rating – these guys can attack reflections to cause cha-damage, mirror hop, etc. – and a perfect candidate to show some overly cocky adventurers who’s the boss. A classic example of a creature, which now, even more so than before, can drive whole plots and cut down foes beyond its usual CR when played smart. Superb one!

At CR 15/MR 6, the mythic version of the shining child provides a nice example of a mythic upgrade that can be considered a numerical escalation, an increase in power and flexibility, but at the same time, I felt as though the awesome concept of the base-creature could have provided for some more disturbing abilities than those provided – yes, using mythic power for massive bonus damage is nice and all…but still. Then again, that may just be the fan of the creature speaking.

The original creature of this installment could have been taken, at least from the neat one-page artwork, right from the Fatal Frame/Project Zero-games. The CR 6/MR 2 Maldonado is the discorporate remnant of a fallen angel, forever depending on the bodies of mortals, whose faces it may change. And it IS deadly – I’ve never seen a build so consequently focused on possessing beings – from being able to perform the deed via multiple abilities, sans touch and with various action-types, these guys will be pretty hard to keep out…oh, and yes, it can force rerolls. It can also potentially bypass protection from evil and similar tricks. And its compelling, cool write-up and prose make what otherwise would be another possessing incorporeal creature a) distinct and b) awesome beyond the narrow mechanic focus on being the master-possessor.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games’ nice two-column full color standard and the artworks by Mike Lowe are beautiful and very distinct, breathing a sense of appropriate history. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with unobtrusive bookmarks.

This installment is the work of more than the core-team for the series, a quick glimpse at the author-line among the credits-lists reads like this: Jason Nelson, Alistair Rigg, Tom Philips, Mike Welham, Todd Stewart and Sean K. Reynolds. If you’re halfway familiar with designers, you won’t wonder anymore why this installment of the Mythic Monsters-series is literally all-killer, no filler. Even creatures I personally loathe in their original iterations have received a couple of cool tricks that set them distinctly apart from their mundane, lamer brethren. My special applause, though, is reserved for night hag and soul shriver – these two are so inspired, so infinitely cooler, I absolutely adore them – they are the stand-out beasts in an excellent installment that truly deserves the moniker “Legendary” - 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


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