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Kech Hunter

KTFish7's page

729 posts. 199 reviews. 1 list. 4 wishlists.



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*****

I am associated with Adventureaweek.com, were I operate as the main PDF monkey. My reviews are written with a desire to remain unbiased as many of the designers, writers, artists and publishers are considered friends to me. Having said that I am first and foremost a reviewer, and in respect to these people and their product I intend to evaluate this product honestly and fairly.

Every now and then a product comes along that is utterly so hilarious that one can not help but instantly find themselves drawn in. Gingerbread Kaiju from Rogue Genius Games is one such product. Billed as an edible board game (yes, you just read that) this self contained game requires the usage of a deck of standard playing cards, some markers (preferably with candies), and of course the cookies themselves. But we’ll get to those devour-able game pieces in a few minutes, let’s talk about the game play itself first, shall we?

Kaiju craze has come into its own, with a love for the genre generating a resurgence in the classic giant creature destruction tale. With video games and big budget movies jumping on board to fuel our love of some major monster devastation, not to mention the already impressive body of classic kaiju film material in existence, it was only a matter of time before the genre was taken to a new level, as only the Geniuses could. Laying out a “board” representing the wards, or neighborhoods, of Tokyo with 20 of the cards from a standard deck into a simple 4x5 grid the players prepare to lay waste to this famous of so many kaiju battles throughout history. Populated with both real world areas as well as fictional locations, the cards represent the areas the kaiju will travel through and interact with as they both battle with each other and destroy the locations around them. The remaining cards make up the resource deck, usable by the players with various different effects depending upon the cards drawn. Everything from getting a bonus to damage from using a battleship to strike a foe to a nuke attack. The game stays tongue in cheek and light hearted with a easy set of rules presented here with two lists for the different card decks and their effects, as well as a list of abilities for the kaiju, their special attacks, and a player’s actions available each turn. The game is easy enough that within a matter of 30 minutes to an hour you could fully understand and be playing.

So, there is the basics right? So let’s get to why this is so much more than just a cool and easy game. The kaiju are FREAKING COOKIES!!!! 8 kaiju are presented here in this guide, with templates for each to be used to make your own cookie cutters (kids, find an adult, then tech them to play also). The kaiju all invoke the art of Stan! But that should be to assume, as he illustrated and gave this game its look (which is awesome by the way). The game blatantly states the longest part of setting up for this game is the baking, heck the PDF even gives up 3 ½ pages to the baking between the templates and the recipe. Personally, I would have it no other way. The game is perfect for playing with your friends and taking the steps to design the individual kaiju, planning an afternoon with your kids to bake a batch or two of monsters to let them loose on some cookie carnage. Seriously, a game that is completely tied around the concept of allowing so much interaction and playability from the idea of putting out a plate of cookies…how can you not want this in your world? Adding a bag of Skittles or M&Ms to represent people, and perhaps some wafer cookies to be used as buildings and boom, your in the game folks. Now, before anyone screams about all the sugar, these are suggestions, you can easily use celery for the buildings, perhaps raisins for people, or grapes or equipment and such…the point is, the markers can be anything. The game mechanics are solid enough to be a real game, the fact that it is represented along with the idea of using cookies is just a cool bonus…a very cool bonus, lol.

Now, being as how this is a review, let’s make sure we have covered everything. All art here is from the hand of Stan!, the PDF is laid out in a dual column format, the editing is top notch, and the recipe appears to be solid. I have already made plans to get together with my partner in crime when it comes to baking to make up some batches of Kaiju for friends for the holidays, as this game strikes me as one that would make a great way to get friends and family to slow down and have fun, across the generational gaps of age. I can easily see this being the type of product that sees the Geniuses adding a Kaiju to the game or two in expansion products, if not even going so far as talking Stan! into designing a full deck of cards to make available through either the POD options over at RPGNow or just by PDF.

An excellent enjoyable game, and one I can see bringing many hours to a gametable. More than happy to recommend this game for a full 5 stars, and well worth the price of admission folks! Very well done Geniuses, very well done indeed.


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*****

I am associated with Adventureaweek.com, were I operate as the main PDF monkey. My reviews are written with a desire to remain unbiased as many of the designers, writers, artists and publishers are considered friends to me. Having said that I am first and foremost a reviewer, and in respect to these people and their product I intend to evaluate this product honestly and fairly.

Wilderness Dressing: Swamps from Raging Swan Press weighs in at 13 pages, with a total of 6 pages of charts and material outside of forwards, TOC, checklist of products available and etc. Fully bookmarked, as well as the TOC linked (always makes me smile) with the typical sparse artwork within the books of this series. For those not aware, the Dressing: series is hands down one of the most useful pdf series I have ever had the pleasure of coming across. Each entire in the series covers one theme, and presents it with a couple of random d100 tables offering fast and easy descriptive tidbits for fleshing out a GMs locations. Take for instance the following taken from this product:

Minor Events D% - 5 The party comes across a wild pig stuck in a patch of quicksand. The pig is partially submerged and exhausted from its struggles.

Minor Events D% - 79 The distant boom of thunder rolls over the party, but the sky does not look stormy.

Or, moving on to the second list of options, also a D100 list:

Swamp Dressing D% - 17 The bleached, mouldering bones of some long dead animal lie partially buried in the mire.

Swamp Dressing D% - 41 A skull decorated with bird feathers hangs from a tree branch. A DC 15 knowledge (local) check reveals this to be a Deep Mire tribal marker.

Fairly basic, right? Yes, you could do this yourself, not doubt….but wouldn’t you prefer to spend your time gaming? That’s where these products excel, giving you the tools easily to use tools like this either for planning or gaming on the fly, all with the intent to bring to the table a better feel for description and immersion in your game.

And for an extra perk, how about a full page of random encounters, arranged on a D12 table just waiting for you to roll the fate of your players. Add to that a sheet detailing the effects of several common marsh features (quicksand, bogs, undergrowth etc.) putting at your fingertips the specifics for the game mechanics for these features. You know, continuing to make this product a solid useful addition to you toolbox.

So, following a dual column approach, editing solid (which is the typical from Raging Swan) and yet another book filled with solid useful material, I am stamping this one with a 5 stars and declaring it worth worth the cost of admission.


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****( )

I am associated with Adventureaweek.com, were I operate as the main PDF monkey. My reviews are written with a desire to remain unbiased as many of the designers, writers, artists and publishers are considered friends to me. Having said that I am first and foremost a reviewer, and in respect to these people and their product I intend to evaluate this product honestly and fairly.

100% Crunch: Orogs from Raging Swan continues this well done series with another collection of stat-blocks ready to go for the GM to make populating their toolbox a faster process. 27 stat-blocks are here presented all for the hybrid orgre-orcs known as Orogs. Formatting follows the standard format of a dual column approach for standard text, and the Pathfinder standard for the stat-blocks themselves. Editing appears to be good and solid. My actual complaint falls in with the layout decisions for the flow of the stat-block entries one into each other, or rather for the odd spacing from time to time between stat-blocks.

The CRs are collected together within the PDF to make them easier to view when scanning the book, as well as them being alphabetized in each CR section. Now, anyone who is familiar with these titles in this series should by this point fully aware of what these books are, but for those unaware, let’s cover the concept here, shall we? Julian Neale essentially creates for these collections a stack of NPCs all based on one race, with a grab bag of classes/templates/archetypes. Some of the books in this series have done very well in regards to the cool builds (like the ones for skeletons, liches or zombies…he really explored the idea of various racial options with those builds), but here I am seeing an extreme limitation in that without fluff, and the orog offering itself as a race to a strict concept for expectations..

The collection here succeeds in providing a solid collection of orogs, I just felt like I wanted to see more than so many fighter builds (including the cavaliers I count 9 that are fighters in one form or another, or 27). Now that is not to say that there is variety here, as there is the Dire Wereboar Ranger, Rogue, Bard, Monks (hungry ghost, qinggong), Wizards, Advanced and Cleric builds…..ah, perhaps I have seen far too many classes at this point, I find myself wanting to see them all used. But to see a Gunslinger, or Samurai, perhaps an Alchemist or two (ponder as orog alchemist for a minute, lol). No, again, what is here works, but it leaves the entirety of the collection not feeling as inspiring as some of the other entries to this series.

In the end I am going to have to go with a 3.5 star (rounded to a 4 for the purposes of this rating system), as what is here is mechanically sound and good, but I was left feeling that there was a great deal of room left unexplored here.


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*****

I am associated with Adventureaweek.com, were I operate as the main PDF monkey. My reviews are written with a desire to remain unbiased as many of the designers, writers, artists and publishers are considered friends to me. Having said that I am first and foremost a reviewer, and in respect to these people and their product I intend to evaluate this product honestly and fairly.
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Convergent Paths Fey Archetypes weighs in at 16 pages (2 ads, the OGL, cover and credits) with 11 presenting us with new material. Three new archetypes connected to the fey, along with a new monster and a handful of feats are introduced here. Format follows the standard dual column layout, with several pieces of artwork interspersed throughout the book, with several of them being very good pieces.

Opening this with the Faerie Knight (Cavalier), a knight in allegiance and loyalty to a fey or full court of fey. The write up for this archetype made for a great read, as it is presented in the form of a conversation between a knight named Tristan, his mount Meliodas and the writer of this journal, the interaction between the knight an his mount are hilarious. So, what makes this cavalier worth playing right? Well, to be honest, the mount. The mount adds the template for a few creature, with a series of progressive abilities, that make this far more than just a simple means of getting around. When connected the rider and mount can cast a small list of spells (dancing lights, faerie fire, etc.), with the mount being the anchor for the caster numbers and such, along with any concentration checks required, freeing the knight to keep their attention on other things. The mount also gains the ability to be sent into the realm of faerie seeking aid for its rider, bringing the aid as in a successful summon nature’s ally V. Not to mention that being a loyal subject to the faerie the knight works for offers them a level of respect when dealing with fey, as much as one can hope for those chaotic interactions to go well, lol.

Second to the party here would be the Laughing Man (Monk). This archetype presents the first editing hiccups, but they are simply text line justifications (those weird spacing blanks that happen in a justified column of text). There are only a few of them, and they truly don’t affect the product enough to be more than a minor distraction, in other words, I am mentioning them more so that when you read through this book for yourself you don’t find them and wonder what the heck, lol. So, moving on…the Laughing Man offers up an interesting archetype that has taken the concept of words hurt to a whole new level. Short story breaks down to this monk can weaponize his words through a combination of skills and abilities, choosing to do damage as per sonic attacks with their spoken words. I can see a lot of potential here for a very cool character or two, but would require a player willing to make the character worth it in combat. Well worth the effort I believe though.

It takes us to the Masquerade Reveler (Barbarian). One of the most alien thing on dealing with the fey and faerie in general are that our perceptions as humanity, or the mortal world, are constantly shifted and skewed due to their nature. They have the capacity as fey to alter their looks and hide behind various masks and forms, leaving us wondering who and what it is we are dealing with. This archetype seeks to perhaps bridge that, in the form of one who has been touched by the realm of faerie and came back not entirely whole, but far from broken either. The easiest way to shorten this is to say that the Reveler operates at their own eidolon. A rather specific eidolon, but none the less. Using this ability they gain the ability to mask themselves much as the fey can, fueling this ability with the standard rage of a barbarian…yeah, let that stew for a minute. A very cool concept of what one can do with a barbarian outside of the typical “Thunk! Kill!”.

Seven new feats are presented, with perks for the mentioned archetypes, with two feats for the Faerie Knight and the Masquerade Reveler, and three for the Laughing Man. The Gancanagh closes us out this time, as a new fey monster. Appearing as an extremely attractive individual, with all the charm required to seduce anyone who catches this fey’s attention, it tends to keep the deck stacked in its favor with an excretion from its skin that is addictive (known as Gancanagh’s Kiss presented after the monster entry). Add to this its Mindbender and Sweet Nothings ability this fey will keep a mortal entranced for hours conversing for its entertainment. Not exactly a malicious creature by intention, but the extremely different skew the fey place on the mortal world makes any interaction with a creature with the ability to force anything to entertain it for fun runs the risk of ending bad. Supplied with hooks and a sidebar detailing some of the real world mythology for this fey.

So, checking over the score sheet here, the one thing that stood out was only truly the justified lines, which I am not going to hold against this product. The archetypes all bring to the table their own flavor, with suitable dressings of that taste of fey influenced to them. Looking for some fey affected archetypes this product does a very good job, and would be a worthy purchase at five stars.


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*****

I am associated with Adventureaweek.com, were I operate as the main PDF monkey. My reviews are written with a desire to remain unbiased as many of the designers, writers, artists and publishers are considered friends to me. Having said that I am first and foremost a reviewer, and in respect to these people and their product I intend to evaluate this product honestly and fairly.

Starting with the incredible cover piece from Henry Toogood 20 Variant Foes: Red Dragons demands to paid attention to. Far to often a list of this type ends up a simple rehash of boring numbers, with not truly enough to make the collection worth the effort. Elaine Betts and Justin P. Sluder present here 20 NPCs in the form of Red Dragons that are far more than just the standard big egotistical lizard. They seek to give you characters for your campaigns that will live in the memories of your players for years, earning the right to become reoccurring villains, possibly even allies if presented properly.

Format is presented in the well known dual column approach, with artwork interspersed throughout the book, varying from truly WOW worthy to decent, with only one piece kind of feeling out of place. Now, there are several pieces in an index at the end of the book dealing with templates that include examples of the templates that are not draconic in nature, so they come off as slightly jarring at first due to the entirety of the remainder of the book being all draconic goodness, but the art pieces here all make sense, and are logical and good pieces. When it comes to the specifics of the statblocks, anyone who knows me and my style of reviewing should by now know that I tend to forgive the occasional slip in statblocks, as any GM worth their salt should be able to adjust the occasional errors. That being said, occasional is the important word in their. The very first dragon presented in this book, a very cool build and character concept, is Seer Hekkush, the Undying Oracle of Ash CR 30. He is an (ready for this?) accelerated bipedal dread mummy undead lord very young red dragon diviner 11/loremaster 10. Get all that? In case you are scratching your nogging right now wondering what half of those templates are, have no fear, as they are all covered in an index at the end of the book (included with several other templates as well), Why am I showing off this mouthful of words making up this character’s list of awesomeness? Because of the fact he is listed as a very young, when the character is presented as extremely old, has a freaking CR 30 and is a freaking mummy…he uses his sarcophagus as armor, there is nothing about the write up or abilities of this dragon that feels like a very young dragon. Having said all of that, I have no doubt that someone could run the numbers fairly quickly and deduce the proper age for this beast, but for the purposes of this review, I am not feeling like doing such at this time, What I will say is that the character is not tarnished by this oddity in the aging, the concept for the character made me want to include him as that venerable beast so past the point of what a playgroup could ever take on with ease. Those beasts that almost instantly force your players to respect them as the forces of nature that dragons are, as opposed to yet another disposable piles of XP and GP.. Now, here was a character that was designed to make you think, both as the GM running it as well as the player navigating interaction with a character living on this level of power.

No, I am not going to go through more than a handful of these dragons, nor am I planning to simply run through them presented in order in the book, but the very second I came to stopped me instantly. The Foul Doctor Feulzik CR 28, mythic rune-carved savant great wyrm red dragon. Reading over his “bio” intro there was the feel of a bit of the benefactor in this, living amongst a peoples while looking over them, caring for their illnesses and poor. Of course, that is until someone goes missing to be used for whatever experiment the good doctor is currently up to. It stands to be brought up at this point that there are two specific “voices” to each entry for the individual dragons, the first of the dragon itself, as well as that of the chronicler compiling this tome to be dispersed amongst the lands to better share the tales of these mighty creatures. So, you receive the “selling” pitch from the dragon as to who they are, and the comments and observations from the writer of this journal. It is from him we learn that the good doctor is dabbling in Fleshgrafting. Experimenting on those he has taken to perfect methods before adding the Troll’s Gland fleshgraft to himself. Yes, it is one of many things in a long list of things (he is a dragon after all), but the idea of seeing fleshgrafting brought to usage brought a smile to my face.

The Lord of Fangs CR 24, a freaking ninja….yeah, you read that, lol. Arkaz and Zakra, The Twins CR21…a two headed old red, with a very distinct set of two personalities in those heads of hers. Qux-Nurgesh, Man-Eater, the pygmy….lol…oh man, a pygmy dragon….love it!!!!! However, this dragon handed me the first true area of poor editing, a typo and duplication of a word. Not the worst mistake I have ever seen, but it is there. Tindertwig, a wyrmling rogue, taught by her father to function as a rogue amongst the human world she will have to deal with as well as simply being a dragon. Fell in love with her instantly, as will be introducing her into my campaign world very shortly.

Juerix the Lame CR10 just might be one of the oddest dragon concepts I have ever come across, and mainly for the sheer uniqueness of his circumstances. His egg was broken before he should have hatched, and was felt in the cold away from the warmth needed for the development of a young dragon. When discovered by his mother she intended to eat him as a loss for being flawed and lame but he bite her nose on his way to the maw sending him to his death. A mother’s love after all, and she allowed him to live within her lair, much as a mother with a child who will never fully mentally develop might never leave her home. Yeah, getting this now? He’s not the brightest crayon in the box, along with being physically diminished and wingless, but there is still a great deal of cool personality that makes him excellent for encounters. Am very impressed with the delicateness of handling the idea of a dragon birth with birth defects, this could have been a train wreck offending people easily, but came off instead as a character you can’t help but like, instantly. Well done, well done indeed.

Sparky the Chaos-Touched, and insane dragon….how can you not want to roleplay this???? I mean, seriously????? An INSANE DRAGON!!!!! I think I shall simply allow him to speak for himself, and I quote

"Fire so pretty. Sparky like fire. Sparky like pretty things. Pretty things burn. Then Sparky sad. Sparky hatch in fire. Pretty, pretty fire. Fire burn everything up, but not Sparky. Sparky swallow up the fire. Now it burns in Sparky’s head. Oh it burns! It burns, burns, burns…”

Like I said, how can you not want to unleash this on a playgroup when they need a night of being reminded that sometimes you are supposed to be having fun, lol.

The indexes bring us 7 templates (used throughout the book in the statblocks) as well as 11 feats (with one dealing with fleshgrafting that first appeared in the book #30 Fleshgrafts included here for the sake of those without the book). The spell Flesh Culture also appears here, previously from the #30 Fleshgrafts pdf as well. A simple and dirty breakdown for the rules for Domain Channeling from The Secrets of Divine Channeling/The Secrets of Adventuring are presented here closing out this pdf. Other of course for a few pages of ads and the OGL.

So, what have we got here, a couple of small hiccups in the editing, my personal opinion about the age of a dragon (which, to be true I could be wrong, it happens) and the rest pretty much all being win and confetti rainbows my friends. Yes, this collection will seriously increase your draconic population for your setting without requiring you to write up another handful of “Generic Dragon X” pages. As I stated at the beginning of this review, collections like this can easily end up a list of numbers and boring as watching water dry. Luckily, this is so far from that that this book ends up as one I highly recommend to any dragon loving fan of the mighty reptilian rulers of the food chain.

A well deserved 5 star rating, and well worth the cost of admission!


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