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James Hunnicutt's page

RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter, 9 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 206 posts (216 including aliases). 6 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 1 alias.

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Excellent Module with Cthulhu Flavor


A very fun adventure, for both GM and player. An atypical blend of exploration, NPC interaction, and dungeon crawl (if you consider a ruined city shrouded with green fog and horrible monsters a "dungeon", which I think you can). The module provides a lot of details, and a lot of gaps, which I view as ideal for any adventure: There is plenty of structure and pre-planned encounters, but endless opportunity for the GM to make up anything. For example, the city can be hidden pretty much anywhere, and I made it a fairly epic wilderness adventure just to find the place. The module gives details for only so many city buildings, meaning the GM can concoct additional adventures around all of the other countless buildings, if desired. There are Lovecraft flavors peppered here and there that boost the fun. My experienced group of players really embraced and enjoyed the mysteries of the remarkably unusual city.

I agree with the other reviewer about the "Return of the Eaten" optional ending. To me, the notion of a few high-ranking Shory citizens consumed by a shoggoth 6,000 years ago suddenly coming back to life when you kill the shoggoth was too much to swallow (pun intended). That just didn't make a lot of sense to me: once a shoggoth eats you, nothing short of a true resurrection can help you. At the same time, I like the idea of that optional ending: a few knowledgeable people of the Shory culture showing up who could really help get the city back to full operational capacity. So I tinkered with this piece of the adventure, and added deposits of magic amber here and there. The idea was that when chaos magic overran the city six millennia ago, some of that manifested as random blasts of amber goo that froze -- and preserved in stasis -- some of the citizenry. I also added a few traps that blasted PCs with the amber. That seemed to work well: the PCs found someone trapped in amber whom they broke free, the NPC didn't experience the passage of 6,000 years, and he eventually turned into a replacement PC when another PC died. At the very end, there was an amber pocket under the "Shoggoth Stone" where there were a couple of the named NPCs described in the "Return of the Eaten" segment. So, the ultimate plot point was preserved: knowledgeable NPCs showing up at the end.

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Unspeakable Dread


Wonderful book devoted to secret societies & mysterious cults. This offers lots of adventure hooks and ideas that will feed PC paranoia. The astrology segment was welcome, offering a new set of traits based on constellations. The elaboration on the Night Heralds and Veiled Masters is a particular treat. There are a few new spells and haunts that appears useful, and the detailed description of several arcane tomes is incredible -- I only wish that reading them drove the reader a bit insane, a la Call of Cthulhu. (I house rule in insanity, no save, usually in the form of a simple phobia that is as fun to role-play as it is frustrating). If you enjoy Call of Cthulhu, you'll like this.

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Labor of Love


You can really tell that the authors and others involved invested untold quantities of love into this ambitious product. Rarely do I get much out of the "From the Authors" intro at the start of a book, but I really appreciated their comments here, which conveyed true love for the material and the medium. There is a sense of enthusiasm that permeates this massive tome.

This book is very dense. There is a lot of material here. Pretty much any kind of psi-related thing you might want to put in your campaign has something here, esp for PC options. The "thunderjarl" sounds like the coolest class to play, and I will the next time I'm taking on a PC role. The new races and other new things seem innovative and fun, but I'm equally pleased with the continuation of what came before, like most of the 3.5 book, which of course built on what came before, like Dark Sun. This provides several psi-related options for the core and base classes and races, so you can have fun dabbling in psionics without jumping in all the way with a psionic class/race.

I'm not much of a numbers-cruncher, so I can't comment on how well-balanced the mechanics are, but so far nothing has jumped out at me as broken. It feels right. Some of the art is hit-or-miss, but most of it was great, and the full color layout is gorgeous. Unlike Psionics Unleashed, Dreamscarred Press has worked hard to make Ultimate Psionics somewhat resemble and feel like a Paizo Pathfinder book, which I think was a wise decision. It flows well with the rest of the PF library, and looks great. I really enjoyed the art and flavor text for the pages that introduce each chapter, in the same vein as how Paizo does it.

This book is fantastic. Unreserved 5 stars.

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I really loved this module. The content and art meshed perfectly, which you don't always get in a module. The background story and creative elements are stellar. As the DM, I greatly appreciated the fact that just about every encounter did not need to be resolved through combat if the PCs came at it from a different angle. You would be shooting yourself in the foot if you play this without a Harrow card deck, so be sure you have that before you get started. The players really enjoyed having those cards in front of them and trying to figure out when and how to use them during the adventure, which is a keen "game within a game" explained in the adventure. I recommend explaining that to the players, even if that takes things a little out of character at first, otherwise they "miss" how the game works for the first bit and can waste some of their opportunities to play the right cards. The theater flip-map would be handy too for one of the encounters. (I substituted the cathedral flip-map which worked well too.) Some of the NPCs are super cool: the personality and stats for the rabbit prince combine to make him a terribly fun character. The strangeness of the realm prompted the players to get really engaged and come up with some innovative and wacky solutions to the encounters. Plus, this module was just a delight to read. I read the module on a flight, and kept annoying the other nearby passengers with little giggles and hoots. If you do play this adventure, afterward listen to the Pathfinder podcast where they interview the author, which I found really insightful. Eventually, Paizo should re-publish this fine adventure with expanded content.

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Good stuff

****( )

The first 20 pages of this book are mundane equipment, weapons and armor, a lot of which is fairly useful esp for low level parties. Players into clever roleplaying can find a lot of fun here: false-bottomed cups, skeleton keys, marbles, sneezing powder, tethers for your weapons etc. This section reminds me of Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog from 2nd ed. Then there are 2 pages with 2 feats centered on your scabbard or shield, each of which allows you to use multiple tricks if you have certain requisite skill ranks. The next 2 pages are mundane religious items that a cleric can use as a focus for channeling energy, which can grant some minor bonuses. The next 2 pages have rules for using alchemical items to supplement the material components of certain spells - I quite liked these rules. For example, you can use a tanglefoot bag to boost your black tentacles spell. The next 2 pages are descriptions of some NPCs; I would've preferred more of the alchemical substances. The final 2 pages are a couple feats and some equipment relating to social interactions, like disguise stuff. The whole book is full color of course. The inside front & back covers is a weapons chart. Overall, I really like it.

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