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I didn't check the boards for a couple days and it turns out I've won a Letter from the Flaming Crab! Congratulations to all the winners so far, and thank you so much to Taig, Terraleon and all the publishers who've chipped prizes in so far; all this generosity is awesome. Merry third-partymas everyone!
Thanks for the kind words Malwing; your suggestions/minor criticisms will definitely be addressed when we do an update and will certainly be in mind as we create new products! The goal is to collect up all of the eventual taverns with an extra here and there for spice.
I'm really digging your blog; the write up on Rogue Genius and your thoughts on various kickstarters are especially interesting.
This sale will definitely see me picking up a few things missing from my collection; thanks for running it Owen!
As for things I'd like to see from RGG:
1. A nice fat collection of all those Gruesome templates!
Oh, it will be set in the Forgotten Realms, if the cartoon is ever made. I will do you even one better: Not only will it be set in the Forgotten Realms, but it will be set in the Sword Coast, with a tie-in to the Neverwinter MMORPG. That second part may be false, but I can 99% guarantee it would be set in the Sword Coast region, as EVERYTHING released has been (thanks to the Neverwinter MMORPG).
The Sword Coast has been the focal point of the Realms in CRPGs far longer than the Neverwinter MMO... Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2 (though not their expansions)... Even Icewind Dale is really just the northernmost tip of the Sword Coast in my opinion.
It's interesting seeing which third parties the adventures are being licensed out to; it makes me curious who we'll see future adventures from. I'm personally hoping (but not too hard given the Realms focus) that we eventually see some Greyhawk love. I think Raging Swan Press and Frog God Games could be tapped to provide some excellent old school feeling Greyhawk adventures.
I'm still working up my review (It's a big book!), but here are some observations thus far:
I like the detail put into the town of Thornwall with read aloud descriptions of many of the locations and a table of random events, many of which can be fleshed out into full sidequests.
I like how new GM friendly the entire product is.
I like how matter transfer is limited.
I love the art and cartography.
I dislike that many of the new races don't have physical descriptions.
The misspelling of Modren in its chapter header makes me sad.
Overall it is quite good!
I have a few suggestions. I'll start with Pathfinder:
Midgard Tales (Kobold Press) - While the adventures in this beautiful hardcover (with cloth bookmark!) are not linked, it's not hard to come up with a framing sequence to create a longer campaign that will run from levels 1-10. The adventures range from really good to amazing; my players loved running through all of them.
Way of the Wicked, Books 1-6 (Fire Mountain Games) - In thirty years of RPGing, this is the only campaign that I have been able to get my players to stay invested all the way to twentieth level. Even though the books have run out for us, my players are still enjoying it so much that we have continued on via the Mythic Adventures rules. They are now trying to create a tenth layer of Hell... and trying to convince their infernal master that they should be allowed to run it.
Zeitgeist: The Gears of Revolution (EN Publishing) - I haven't run this... yet. It's an investigation/role-play heavy adventure path set in a country on the cusp of industrial revolution. Act one has been released in hardcover via OBS with the subsequent act(s) to follow. This book is beautiful, a fun read, and, I believe, is the thickest PFRPG book on my shelf.
For D&D 3.5 I can recommend:
War of the Burning Sky (EN Publishing) - Another I've read, but not yet played. The softcover collection on OBS is a bargain... under $30 for over 700 pages. There is a hardcover PFRPG version in the offing, I believe, though no release date has been announced. I'm converting this over to D&D 5.
The Red Hand of Doom (Wizards of the Coast) - Not really a 3pp, but this megamodule by Rich Baker and James Jacobs is hands down the best module that WotC released for D&D 3/3.5 in my opinion. I'll be converting this to D&D 5 for my newer group I think.
for 13th Age:
Eyes of the Stone Thief (Pelgrane Press) - This is in pre-order right now, to ship later this month or in March. I've peeked at my PDF copy and can't wait for the actual book to come so I can dig in. It's set in a living dungeon that periodically surfaces to absorb towns, forests, etc... It's written by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan who has done really good work on modules for other Pelgrane Press games.
Feel free to send me a PM if you want any other suggestions... I have a ton of adventures for AD&D 1 and 2 as well.
EDIT: I forgot Courts of the Shadow Fey (Kobold Press)... it's the best PFRPG module I've read, and the first 3pp product I purchased after being burned out on 3/3.5 third party offerings.
Stefan Hill wrote:
I completely agree with this. So far, the few feat options available feel like they have consequence, like they're worth trading that ability score boost for. There are so many feats to sort through in Pathfinder that I dread feat selection, and I'm only building NPCs.
Unlikely as I may be to get them, and assuming there's nothing in the license that prevents them from being produced, I'd like to see 5e converted collections of the original three Dungeon magazine adventure paths: Shackled City, Age of Worms, and Savage Tide. Other than that I'm content with the current slow release of materials.
I have to admit, I'm getting a bit burned out on crunchy bits for Pathfinder; I have so much already. This year, barring a few books I know will be announced or released (the big Pact Magic compilation from Radiance House, the rest of Akashic Mysteries by Dreamscarred, future kickstarters from Interjection Games), I'll be focusing my purchases on fluffy bits I can easily slot into my campaigns. Things like Raging Swan Press' Village backdrops or dressing releases for example. That said, if I'm calling out specific 3pps, in no particular order I would personally like to see:
Purple Duck Games - Lands of Porphyra, more Fairy Tales from Unlit Shores (I know, that's for DCC...)
Little Red Goblin Games - more Necropunk. So much more Necropunk.
Rogue Genius Games - more frequent releases for the Talented class line.
Rite Publishing - more 101 Not so Random Encounters, more variant foes.
Kobold Press - more Midgard based adventures written by Wolfgang Baur, Tim Connors, Morgan Boehringer, Ted Reed, Marc Radle, etc... basically a nice hardcover sequel to Midgard Tales.
Forest Guardian Press - more alternate/hybrid classes along the lines of the Savage. Much nicer than anything in the ACG in my opinion. And, um... Yggdrasil Fanzine... please?
$4 Dungeons - please keep doing what you're doing.
Broken Earth by Sneak Attack Press
I'm hoping the completed Liber Influxus Communis, Akashic Mysteries, and Strange Magic will make my best of list for 2015.
I'm not sure if it's suitable for a one shot, but the first part of EN Publishing's Zeitgeist AP, The Island at the Axis of the World, might fit the bill. Act one starts with an investigation that transitions to a social scene on board a steam ship loaded with dignitaries. It's free on Paizo, so it may be worth checking out to see if you can pillage it for ideas. Good luck!
My print copy just arrived and I have to say that, even in black and white, this is a sharp looking book. I was worried that the art and layout wouldn't translate well to b&w but my worries were unfounded. I find that Storn Cook's grayscale artwork in particular is pleasantly reminiscent of Larry Elmore's pen, ink, and wash illustrations from the old D&D box sets.
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
Thank you for the Talented Ranger; I'll be sure to post a review when I've had a chance to read it!
I'm very interested to see how a full caster is implemented as a talented class so I'm very eager for the Talented Witch.
I'd forgotten that Rite had the two Renegade Archetypes books... I'll have to check them out.
Congratulations on your big year Owen!
A few things I'd like to see from RGG: The Talented Bard. The Talented Rogue, Fighter, and Monk have become the standard in my games; I eagerly anticipate a day when there is a Talented version of every class! For purely selfish reasons I'd like to see the bard sooner than later though.
I'd love to see some archetype support for other RGG base classes, particularly the Time Thief and Time Warden.
A hellfire fueled base class that uses and expands the awesome Genius Guide to Hellfire Magic.
If you're offering... the Genius Guide to the Talented Ranger certainly wouldn't go amiss in my collection!
This should be coming out pretty soon if the recent updates are any indication.
There are something like thirteen new classes in the book, so there will be something for everyone in it. The highlights for me are:
The Mystic, an elemental or force infused martial artist. I have no frame of reference for benders or what they can do, but one of my players has been rocking this class and loves it.
The Demiurge as OmNomNid states above is very neat and complex.
The Battlelord is a battlefield support class that can hold its own on the front line while supporting its companions. There is a fair bit of variety in the class as well; one of my groups is thinking about playing through Kingmaker as a party of all Battlelords.
The Metamorph evolves his own body, buying evolutions as they level in a manner similar to a Summoner's eidolon.
The Plane-touched may not have the greatest name, but their planar derived powers are cool, especially once access to a second plane's abilities is earned.
The other classes are fun too, for the most part. There's a lot to like.
Alexander, while I'm sure your comments about just being a 3PP are just self-deprecation, they're unwarranted. My disappointment with the Advanced Class Guide really indicates to me that the most interesting work, especially regarding character classes, is being done by the third parties. We'll see if my opinion changes once i have time to look at the Occult Adventures playtest.
Prince of Knives wrote:
I'd have to disagree; narrative usefulness has nothing to do with character class. The captain of the guard that hires you to investigate the brittle iron coming out of the local mine is as narratively interesting as a Warrior 4 as he is as a Cavalier 4. Statistical usefulness is another matter of course...
Back on topic, I think the Cavalier and Gunslinger are dreadfully linear in design and could use some love.
I'm impressed with Ssalarn's design work on the Battlelord for the upcoming Liber Influxus Communis, plus I always liked the idea of Incarnum, so I'm definitely interested in this.
Does purchasing the work in progress entitle the purchaser to a discount on the eventual print compilation, as was the case with Path of War?
I'll be wrapping up my WotW campaign soon. You're in for a fun ride; my players have had a blast being the villains. Primarily the group is a human antipaladin, her twin brother (think Jamie and Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones) Inquisitor (Purifier of the Burning Pentagram [Rite Publishing]), elf sorcerer (daemon bloodline), and human talented rogue [Rogue Genius Games] who was tightly focused on lies and deception (no trapfinding).
The campaign, except for a few bits, is really a big sandbox that allows a fair amount of latitude to the players. The Asmodeus as written, can't use any of the Golarion fluff of course, but inserting it is easy; he's still a lawful evil devil-god after all!
I was hoping I'd be able to get a complete compiled copy of Pact Magic someday :)
I believe Scott from Little Red Goblin Games started a thread in this forum for people to post their dos and don'ts 're Kickstarter campaigns.
I quite like the campaigns that get you in for a PDF and an at-cost print copy of a book via OneBookShelf / Lightning Source. This also has the added benefit of offloading the shipping of books onto people who do it for a living. If I have heard one common complaint from KS project leaders, it's either that shipping is a logistical pain in the bum or that they underestimated the cost of shipping.
All of them are boring. In previous editions I would be thrilled to have that ogre slaying knife that gave, like, a +10 against ogres, and would never consider selling it. It would likely be the only magic item my character would ever possess regardless of the level they reached.
With wealth by level baked right into the challenge system of 3.5/PFRPG, magic items have become required thus they are common and generally dull in my opinion.
In my games I've adopted Purple Duck Games' Legendary Items series of scaling magic items to ensure that each character has one cool unique item and I eschew other magic items aside from the occasional scroll or potion. I also have not compensated for the loss of the ubiquitous item + x; my players tell me they appreciate the increased challenge and emphasis on tactically smart combat :) Other's mileage may vary of course.