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Endzeitgeist's page

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This installment of the chronicle of the gatekeepers campaign serial clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

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All right, only GMs around? One of the most unique races of NeoExodus would be the Cavians - rat-like humanoids that are all psychics...and that differ radically from any other race by one crucial fact: The race sports a hivemind, which renders them unique and alien in an uncanny way. Large-Biter has news - a group of cavian monks is nearby and may prove vital intelligence on the Vespan's work and the flare of activity of the Nexus gateways. It should soon dawn upon the PCs that there are some racial tensions here - indeed, even before they venture forth towards the Cavians, they'll be confronted by villagers warning them in no undue terms - tensions are flaring and, indeed, this module is about the two disparate groups.

The module tracks every little interaction between both groups, so here's the deal: Teryth's natives are pretty hostile towards the Cavians and thus, each interaction, each wrong word, may provide a mob point; the interaction with the Cavians may yield Diplomacy points alongside information and the PCs better take heed - upon their return to Teryth from the trip to the Cavians, the local populace seems awfully interested in the details of the Cavian's strength, numbers, etc. - and yes, here the PCs better ought to remain unspecific. Now the cool thing here is the following: The points ultimately determine how the final showdown between the two groups turns out - and there are a lot of different, fine-grained results here, with the non-bloodshed ideal case being pretty hard to achieve...but not impossible.

The module also sports one cavian magic item, just fyi.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good. Layout adheres to LPJ Design's elegant 2-column full-color standard for the series and the module comes fully bookmarked and in a second, slightly more printer and mobile phone-friendly version.

Michael McCarthy and Louis Porter Jr. provide one extremely elegant sidetrek here: Focusing on Diplomacy, this humble little module offers a welcome change of pace from the usual adventuring fare, with interesting supplemental rules that render running this one pretty easy. Additionally, this module rewards Diplomacy and bring heroic (i.e. not kill-happy) - it's ideal solution is that no one gets hurt. More importantly, while there are ample skill-checks here, many of the actions and actual points the PCs get depend on roleplaying as opposed to simply rolling a die - a fact that further improves this already cool set-up. I am seriously impressed by this cool, little sidetrek - it is different in all the right ways, fun and a great chance for actual roleplaying to shine. Barring any proper complaints, I can wholeheartedly endorse this fun, uncommon sidetrek, since it exemplifies what you can accomplish with even limited space. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

The second installment of the Villain Codex-series clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page of introduction, 1 page of SRD, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let's take a look!

We begin this pdf with Evetta Laxley, a changeling dreamweaver witch, running an inn as a front for her nefarious operations. Solid one. Ferracyr would be a metal elementalist wizard...but he actually is a venerable elf, which is an interesting twist on what you'd expect - and yes, the ancient pioneer has schemes to prolong his life in nasty ways...but may his mind perhaps even warrant it? Interesting angle!

Speaking of interesting: Nagasorko the Unblinking would e a nagaji mesmerist (a natural fit in concepts), his operations include raids on the nearby settlements and operating a diamond mine...and considering implanted suggestions etc., I can envision a complex escape scenario here...nice. Bimsen Malfilex, a tiefling skald raised by traveling musicians when the black-skinned child was expelled from his family, has sworn to bring the cultural elite down and make them see the error of their ways for flaunting him.

Rhikka Verminclaw, the ratfolk preservationist/vivisectionist featured on the cover is not only build-wise one of the most interesting characters in the series so far, her quest for vengeance after the holocaust of her family to "better the city", she actually has very understandable motivations for her grisly handiwork... The halfling unchained summoner Julia "Foxglove" Apalla was once a greengrocer's girl...until she inadvertently smashed a figurine in a wizard's workshop, unleashing a powerful outsider, who promptly slew the wizard and became the eidolon (sparing her due to her apples - nice nod towards Death Note). It, and Ferrycyr's shield guardian, btw., can be found in the book as well. Similarly, an alternate elemental form, a doppelganger simulacrum...pretty amazing supplemental statblocks here.

Professor Laeroth Rydel is an interesting occultist: First, he is a dhampir...secondly, he has unearthed the robes of famous necromancer Shaf-Ka-Sar and now behaves like the necromancer...is he possessed, has he gone off the deep end...or was he always waiting to snap? The GM decides. Gordakash Saltenclaw would be a cleric of Dagon, a dwarf in league with the clawed forces of the deep. Lucretia Tropin, a famous investigator who dresses the part, is amazing, for she, in fact, doubles as a serial killer - seriously cool angle for a battle of wits!

Rayri Shaden is an interesting twist on the shadowdancer - he actually is a fighter/shadowdancer multiclass, complete with heavy armor! Nice twist here! Madison Grand, an old elven psychic of considerable power, has plotted the downfall of the elves that exiled her.

And here is a unique adversary: Hanne Bullard is an oathbound paladin. No, not antipaladin. A paladin.She has instigated martial law to uphold civilization and order - and her measures are a slippery slope, well-intentioned though they may be.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glaring glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard and the pdf features a great b/w-artwork for each of the adversaries herein. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Phoebe Harris, Steve Johnson, Mikko Kallio, D.L. Loutzenhiser, Luis Loza, James McTeague, Matt Morris, Rep Pickard, Stephen Stack, Robert Thomson, Christopher Wasko and Nicholas Wasko, with development by Mikko Kallio and Jacob W. Michaels, have delivered a cool collection of adversaries here. The respective villains certainly are high concept and interesting, with my favorites being the ratfolk alchemist as well as the investigator - but as a whole, each of the villains has something cool going on and build-wise, they are pretty neat as well. In the end, this pdf leaves not much to be desired and thus clocks in at a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

***( )( )

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Penitent's Rest, also known as Alikandra Lat, is a remote wilderness temple, named after a paladin seduced to the side of evil, who journeyed to this far-away place to atone for her sins. To this day, the temple is the goal of repentant pilgrims seeking redemption - and it is said, as mentioned in the lore provided, if the PCs do their research, that the paladin's spirit still shows herself to those praying at her cenotaph, sometimes possessing willing supplicants for quests of utmost importance.

This would btw. be one of the 6 events provided and, as often, whispers and rumors are provided. As a pilgrimage site, it only makes sense that there is a fluctuating array of people coming through, with a total of 11 penitents coming with fluffy write-ups - and each one can act as both dressing and as a further adventure hook. It should also be noted that the pdf sports brief notes on the daily life at this place, as well as full stats of aforementioned ex-paladin ghost alongside extended NPC-info: I.e. with appearance, distinguishing features, mannerisms, etc. A detailed account of her fall has similarly been provided for the GM's convenience.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are generally top-notch, I noticed no significant hiccups. Layout adheres to RSP's elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf features some nice b/w-artworks. The pdf comes in two iterations, one optimized for screen-use and one made for the printer - kudos there! The cartography by Simon Butler and Dyson Logos is very good. I think by joining Raging Swan Press' patreon, you can actually get the high-res map for the evocative place, but I am not 100% sure. The map provided in the pdf is cool, but sports keyed rooms.

Jacob W. Michaels' Penitent's Rest is a nice place of sanctuary you can easily drop in just about any wilderness environment; it makes for a nice, easily inserted location with some solid options for crafting further adventures from. At the same time, the location, while easily inserted in just about any context, also, by virtue of its more general theme, doesn't make for a strong anchor; it's more a place to pass through or to catch one's breath in the deadly wilds and does that job well. Still, personally, I didn't get that much out of the place - I can and literally have made such a location myself before.

My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars - experienced GMs may wish to round down, while time-starved GMs should round up. In the end, I believe a unique angle could have helped the location and provide a proper unique selling proposition...you know, loci, unique enchantments, the like. Hence, my final verdict will round down.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

All right, you know the deal by now, right? 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, 1 page content ...though it should be noted that 2 feats can be found on the SRD-page. Got that? All right, let's go!

-Delay Blast: When delaying a blast from 1 to 5 rounds, you can trigger it as a swift action; if you instead trigger it as a standard action, you may instead alter previously made choices, like target positions, infusions and shaping the area; you may also select your current position as point of origin. You also add tier to the blast's dispel DC. For mythic power, you may delay the blast for up to tier hours. AMAZING one; very powerful, very flexible. Two thumbs up.

-Efficient Focus Shift: +1/2 mythic tier daily uses, +1 use per non-mythic iteration of the feat beyond the first. Also gain +1/2 tier as bonus to concentration after shifting focus. Nice one that rewards more flexible playstyle.

-Extend Resonant Power: You may extend the benefit of resonant power as though you had invested half as many points of mental focus in the implement to up to 1/2 tier allies. Alternatively, an ally within 30 ft. and you can gain the full benefits. You do not have to expend mental focus from the implement to pass the effect to a new target. Creative and cool.

-Extra Focus Power: Gain +1 focus power, even if it's not from your implement school, though you need to have the implement and you still have to qualify; alternatively, choose two from your implement school. Neat flexibility for a pretty vanilla base feat's upgrade!

-Extra Wild Talent: +1 wild talent whenever you take the non-mythic iteration; alternatively, you can elect to only gain a single wild talent that can be up to 1 level lower than the highest level one you have and the talent may be a simple blast or defense talent. Neat, though a lot of defense talents can be pretty strong in the hands of a proper player.

-Implement Focus: Choose two implement schools when taking the non-mythic version. Alternatively, choose one, but when wearing or wielding the implement, you gain +2 to CL and concentration when casting spells from the school whose spell level is lesser than the mental focus placed in the implement.

-Interweave Composite Blast: Immediate action option to interweave into the blast of an ally within 15 ft.; no readying required. Range may be increased to 30 ft. or allow the feat to work with an ally who only has the non-mythic version within 15 ft. The feat also lets you determine the point of origin of the blast at any point on a straight line between you and the ally. Pretty amazing one, whose rules-language I'll use to upgrade the base feat.

-Kinetic Counter: use mythic power to use the feat as an immediate action; when readying, you instead gain +mythic tier to CL to counter the energy effect. Neat!

-Kinetic Leap: Use at will whenever you run, charge or withdraw; you also gain + tier daily uses. Also, when you expend mythic power, increase the bonus by +10 times your tier. Very cool stunts possible with this one.

-Parting Blast: When using the feat, you don't gain burn and you may elect for your body to not be destroyed. If you accept 1 point of burn and expend mythic power, you may increase the radius to 5 times tier and ignore non-mythic creature's DR, resistances and immunities. For accepting 2 points of burn and an equal amount of mythic power, you may add one or more infusions to the Parting Blast, though total burn cost may not exceed your tier. The infusions added do not require paying burn cost. Blaze of Glory indeed! Devastating and cool.

-Rapid Focus Shift: +1/2 tier uses, +1 per non-mythic iteration of the feat. You gain +tier as a bonus to concentration when taking damage during the transfer. For the expenditure of one point of mental focus from an implement, you may use the feat as a swift or move action instead. Neat!

-Strong Implement Link: Affects all implements of an implement school; add + mythic tier to concentration checks to cast spells from the school, even if they are further than 30 ft. away. 1/day expend mythic power to treat an implement you handled within 24 hours for 1 minute as though had selected this feat for the implement.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant hiccups. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two column full-color standard and it features the artwork on the cover; that's it - the one page content is solely devoted to crunch. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Jason Nelson tackles two of the more complex and hard-to-design-for classes that came out of Occult Adventures with these mythic feat-upgrades and while certain design-paradigms are used in some feats that are similar to one another, he went the extra mile to actually modify them and make them stand out. This flexibility is what elevates a book that is, craftsmanship-wise, exceedingly precise, to the level that makes it excellent. 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


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****( )

All right, you know the deal by now, right? 4 pages, 1 page front cover, ~1.5 page SRD/editorial, leaving us with 1.5 page content - so let's go!

-Bleeding Stare: Add +1/2 mythic tier to bleed inflicted; makes it harder to resist/cure the bleed. Solid.

-Compounded Pain: Lets you switch stares if a target resists one via save, immunity, etc. Cool!

-Demoralizing Stare: Suppresses morale bonuses of those affected; additionally imposes the shaken condition; via mythic use expenditure, you may bypass fear immunity or bonuses. Nice.

-Excoriating Stare: Sickens target; if it has less HD than you, it is sickened even on a successful save. Cool: When an ally crits a creature, you may use the stare upon the target, even if you have already used painful stare before. A creature can only be affected by this once per round, avoiding stunlocking via crit-fishing.

-Extended Stare: Range increases by 20 ft instead; for one use of mythic power, you can affect a target in line of sight; for 2 mythic power, you can even use it through scrying et al. Nice: The target must be able to see you, so no using of a spyglass or the like while invisible.

-Extra Mesmerist Trick: +1/2 tier mesmerist tricks to be implanted in a given day. Additionally, by expending one additional trick and mythic power, you do not end the effect of previous mesmerist tricks implanted, though you can't maintain more than 2 at once. If you add one in excess, both previously implanted tricks end unless you expend another use of mythic power, in which case only the oldest ends. This one is amazing regarding its options.

-Extra Touch treatment: +1/2 tier daily uses of touch treatment; also, as full-round action, expend two daily uses to touch two allies while delivering the same touch treatment to them. Nice action economy upgrade here.

-Fatiguing Stare: Fatigues target; if it has less HD than you, it is fatigued even on a successful save. For mythic power, you can exhaust the target, to be followed up be fatigue, and affect the creature with a lullaby effect. Kudos for going the extra mile and not just making this a copy of Excoriating Stare!

-Mesmerizing Feint: Decreases the penalty for fainting non-humanoids/animal intelligence creatures and nets a bonus for those with Bluff 10 ranks or more. Okay, I guess.

-Mesmerizing Feint, Greater: Decreases the penalty for feinting the mindless and decreases chance of the critter ignoring your feint. Also nets you a kind of bonus feint when successfulyl feinting a creature targeted by hypnotic stare. Okay one.

-Intense Pain: +mythic tier to determine bonus damage; damage die size increases to d8 when directly employing the stare.

-Intimidating Glance: When sued as a swift action, you add mythic tier to the Intimidate check; ma be used as a free action, but sans bonus and if you fail, the target becomes immune to it for 1 minute.

-Ready for Battle: Ini bonus is upgraded to +4; AC and Ref-bonus of +2 versus attacks made against the target while flat-footed.

-Ready for Pain: DR 2/- nonlethal, +2 per 5 levels; also provides +1 to saves versus exhaustion, fatigue nonlethal and pain effects. Okay one.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant hiccups. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two column full-color standard and it features the artwork on the cover; that's it - the one page content is solely devoted to crunch. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Jason Nelson's mythic mesmerist feat upgrades run the gamut from "basically required" to okay - the "Ready for..." feats imho could have used an upgrade and not all feats herein are totally amazing. The craftsmanship is excellent, as we've come to expect, though. In light of an absence of issues, I will settle on a rating of 4.5 stars, though I will round down for this one. There are some excellent upgrades herein, but, as a whole, this feels closer to being "good" than to being amazing.

Endzeitgeist out.


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