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N. Jolly's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 3,058 posts. 25 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.



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Green thumb in ya eye!

****( )

Hey there, giving this smaller publisher a look with their new product!

What I liked

-The quirkiness of the seeds being listed in your base gear got a smile from me.

-Weed out is a really cool ability that goes in a direction I wasn't expecting, making it quite unique.

-Stability talents are a good way to make a boring class feature more interesting.

What I wasn't sure about

-I'd have liked more plant powers, but that's just me being selfish here.

-Again, a personal complaint, I'm not a fan of bonus feat design, that's just me.

What I didn't like

-I wish the gardening weapons had been more unique; it's a cool idea, but it doesn't feel like it goes far enough. It's also vague on if they can be enchanted like weapons since some of them would normally be considered tools.

Final Thoughts

This is a considerably small product that's exactly what it says on the tin; it's a gardener class. The lack of feats, archetypes, sample character, and other content wasn't great, but this class does what it does, and it does it in an interesting way for a basically non magical class. The layout work was fine although somewhat spotty at points and it feels like it could have benefited from a dedicated editor, making me give this about a 3.5, rounded up for the sheer quirkiness of the product.


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In another world...another time...this product is still amazing...

*****

Now I have a normal review style, but for this product, it doesn't work. Why you may ask? Because the value of this product is less what I did and didn't like, but about the entire thing as a whole. I can't parse that out without taking away from the real positive qualities of this book.

The layout work here is just inspired; and it fits the theme so well that I had to smile when I looked at it. The artwork is perfect, the theme is consistent, and it's just silly enough to really work for what is trying to be conveyed here. That isn't to say the product itself is lacking in other areas, as the rules language is overall tight and meshes itself very well into the overall theme. Really, this is a product you get to read it and enjoy it, and if you end up using something out of it, that's great too.

The items inside probably won't work unless you have a specific theme for your game that involves a lot of time at home (and honestly, a lot of spare GP you can toss around), but each one of them is just oozing with charm, just like the entire book. The tone is perfect and really, it's a solid offering all around, but if you only like books for crunch (which if you do, LftFC is an odd place for you with the series' focus on flavor and fun over hard rules), it might not be for you.

But for a fun little look into another world with an obvious bent towards the old fashion, this product is solid gold with a lot of personality that makes it a joy to read (with just a hint of Fallout flavored inspiration baked in).


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About as dangerous as Jumanji

*****

And here I am, checking out the dangerous monsters in this volume!

What I liked

-I can almost taste the Indiana Jones homage coming from these traps, but I like that about them, as they let you recreate famous movie scenes, which is always great.

-I like the amphiptere myself, although I wish the tail had a higher crit range to make some of its abilities activate more. But it's still a cool monster with interesting design.

-Why would you make a pugwampi more dangerous? Why would you do this? Some of the new abilities such as trap crafting and healing through natural ones is very flavorful.

-The artwork for this book is amazing; I wish there was more, but what artwork there is happens to be amazing.

-Now the kongamato, this is a really nice creature with some fun additions that I really enjoyed, a nice retooled monster.

-Natural Mirage is probably my favorite monster from this book, it's fun, flavorful, and an absolute joy to drop on a party. This is the kind of monster that your players will remember, and they will hopefully hate you for using.

-The lukwata is pretty interesting as it has a strong disenchantor vibe, and the idea behind its damage reduction is really cool, it's something I'd like to include for things I do in the future.

-The Mobogo has a pretty interesting line up of abilities that help to make it unique, touching on the frog theme as well as just being overall a pretty cool monster.

-While Seps is basically built entirely on its spring attack, its spring attack is cool, making this an overall decent use of mythic power.

What I was unsure about

-The magic items, while flavorful, are a little too specific. They work well for the theme of the book, but in games other than the one that they're designed for, they're only okay.

-I feel like more could have been done with the jackalwere, but it's still a very solid monster.

-The popobala is pretty nice, but it feels like it has too many different abilities to really focus on one. It's still interesting, but more scattered than I would hope.

-While the emela-ntouka is unique, it's another monster that could have used just a bit more content.

What I disliked

-I'm not a huge fan of the new changes to the grootslang, it just doesn't feel as unique as the other options.

-The Kamadan is another monster that feels like it wasn't taken far enough.

Final Thoughts

For the most part, I could see using every monster here, and not just in an african themed game. A lot of the monsters feel like they could work well in a variety of environments, making this an overall solid text. Really, only the overall limited scope of the magic items makes me hesitant to give it a perfect score as well as some of the less tuned monsters, but the rules text and design work is very solid throughout. I'm going to personally give it a 4.5, rounding up for Living Mirage.


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Ready to Rumble

****( )

All right, Smarks! It's time to expose the business with a review!

Things I like

-I appreciate both Professional Wrestler and Skillful Combatant for not allowing a 3/4ths BAB to absolutely ruin this class's ability to grapple. It was something I was worried about, and I'm glad to see both of these kick in at 1st level.

-Some of the new social talents are pretty amusing, giving a nice buff to their numbers.

-Aerial takedown is cheesy and I love it.

-For the most part, the new talents are pretty cool, with en fuego being a favorite of mine for the silly visual of it. Some feel like they shouldn't be stable locked like inescapable, but it's not a large issue. There are a few that feel kind of weak, but that's to be expected.

-Earthbound is a fun archetype that I just want to enjoy, and it gives me a very amused smile at the thought of playing that overly solid wrestler. Kudos for not stable locking this one.

-Overall I like Ki Striker. It's not a huge difference from the base class, but it gives just enough to where I can appreciate it.

-Lichador might be my favorite archetype from this book for how much it changes the base class, embraces a new theme, and goes into detail about making this theme viable. It's certainly one that I'd enjoy playing.

-For what it trades, Masked Beast feels like a fun upgrade to me since I'm not big on stables, giving a fun alternative to play a more bestial grappler.

-Masked saint is also basically a straight (if alignment locked) upgrade to the base class, and having a healing brawler is a great thing in most parties.

-I appreciate the amount of effort that went into the race section, rather than just a list of favored class bonuses.

-The feat section is nice and tight with a lot of things I could see using with other classes while still feeling unique, and I just kind of love shoulder throw.

-Call me a mark, but I enjoyed the table and chair, even if I thought you should be able to put an opponent through a table. The rest of the items were fun as well, and I do enjoy championship belt quite a bit.

Things of which I am uncertain about

-While 6+ int class skills is nice, I guess I just kind of see this as a 4+ int class skill sort of hybrid.

-I do like submission specialist as an ability, but it feels like it could have been optional.

-Stables feel like they should mean more, it feels like a very lacking decision.

-The shamanic line of social talents feels off and the idea of being able to summon a shaman no matter your location makes it feel very video gamey.

-From how it reads, I think they can only ever gain one vigilante talent as opposed to luchador talents, which isn't a great situation.

-I really want to like the blood breaker, but I feel it gives up too much. Still, the concept makes me smile even if I'm not in love. I'd probably retool it so that the mutagen was auto scaling rather than requiring you to burn talents on it.

Things which I don't like

-I'm not a huge fan of the word 'corazon' being used here myself, it just feels wrong for the concept being used. Also being able to just beat the opponent that beat you without needing it to be 1 v 1 to get back your corazon feels really cheap. Even certain talents needing corazon feels unnecessary. I guess the entire concept just doesn't feel like it matches the spirit of what I would want here, and the mechanical downside for losing it feels underwhemling.

-I'm not even a little of the fan of the art used in this book.

-Dancing Dervish feels off both thematically and mechanically in a way that I don't love.

-Rudos are our heels, and honestly, to me a heel shouldn't involve teamwork feats. Losing Corazon here is a plus to me, but given the rough penalties for lacking it with some social talents, the entire archetype feels like a downgrade.

Final Thoughts
This class has a lot of fun to it, but I think there's just some design that I'd rather see changed in it. Submission specialist being mandatory and thus pushing back the acquisition of stable talents was less than ideal, as one of the things I liked most about the vigilante was the quick-ish rate at which they accrued. Without an extra stable talent feat or any other way to get them, a lot of these options for characters are too limited to be of use, making me wish submission specialist hadn't been included.

As a whole, the flavor and such is a lot of fun, especially for wrestling fans who have no doubt spied a few references thrown in, although I'd have liked Rudo to have been a stable rather than an archetype to give a stronger base to that idea, since heel wrestlers are very important in the industry.

While not as strong as the vigilante, this is a perfectly viable Tier 4 class that simply oozes charm and finesse and will really help to make you feel like you're playing your own jobber, so I'll leave it with a solid 4/5.


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Mixing Psionics and Kineticists for fun and profit!

****( )

Hey all, N. Jolly here looking over Psionics Augmented: Kineticists, a book I'm sure a lot of people have been waiting for my opinion about. Rather than delay, let's get started

What I liked

-Starting with a bit of info about how magic and psionics work together was pretty nice, and a good tone setter for the book, something that I appreciated myself.

-I love the Avant Guard kineticist, I really do. It's fun, creative, and puts a great spin on the base class. Getting an astral construct that can be modified helps keep it new while also staying true to the original class. It also has nice text to keep it from being barred from other archetypes, a very nice touch. There's a lot of intelligent design here that shows a deep understanding of the class, and I really enjoy it.

-The new feats were all nice additions, giving opportunities for interesting multiclass as well as strongly integrating the psionic side of the product into the kineticist side. Fire Starter and Inner Fire were huge additions in my opinion, although kinetic duelist may be too strong for some games.

-As a whole, I like the new infusions and wild talents, as they're fun inclusions into the already wide array of 3p talents we've already seen. However...

-Slow burn is an interesting variant for how to play the class, and I think it's a nice change, making for a completely different experience while still holding onto the core mechanics of the class.

What I was indifferent towards

-The flicker gauntlet from the Roil Dancer is here, and while I like it, it's a reprint, so it's just so-so here.

-The new athanatic essence and sound blast are fun inclusions, but they're both shoehorned in, with their mechanics feeling a little janky. Both are heavily unresisted types, and while wood did need something (even if athanatic essence with wood infusions doesn't make much sense), sound blast was a bit too much for me, especially if you're already going air. You could also argue that even though you can apply infusions to it as though it was air blast, those aren't added to your wild talent list, meaning other elements that take it might not be able to learn infusions that work with it, but a sensible GM should overlook that issue.

What I disliked

-I didn't feel like we needed text about how archetypes worked in the opening, it felt like it wasn't vital to the content. Same goes for Astral Constructs being reprinted in whole here, this feels like it could have simply been referenced.

-Unfortunately, I didn't care for the Gambler archetype myself. It has issues with feeling like it's not even a kineticist itself, instead feeling like another class with kineticist leanings. While functional and strong, it felt lacking in some ways, and burning wager could have used more wagers to really fill it out, as I found myself mostly a fan of Double or Nothing over most others. It's a 6th level psionic caster without a lot of things tethering it to the base class, making it an odd duck for those who wanted more kineticist content.

-...The amount of wild talents is certainly lacking, making this hard to buff any existing kineticist. With only 2 infusions (one for the athanatic essences) and 3 utility wild talents, the amount of customization that this book grants for existing elements is almost nil.

Final Thoughts
Overall, the content in this book is very solid as well as finely balanced. Forrest Heck shows her knowledge of the class in a lot of the design choices made in here, and Avant Guard certainly has a place at my table. You won't be disappointed in a lot of the content in this book, but at the same time, it doesn't do as much as I would like to expand the base class, feeling very insular about how it changes things. I harped on the Shifu for the same reason, so I can't leave it alone here.

This is a very well done product, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new way to play their kineticists!


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