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Xanesha

Neverwillibreak's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 44 posts. 6 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.



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Dragon Tiger Rocks

*****

LRGG has proven themselves to be one of the best companies to take advantage of style feats and Wuxia themes in their products, and DTO is no exception.

Pros:
-Flavor is top notch and oozes throughout the product
-Many, many options are present and serve generally as expansions rather than totally new subsystems; the product's developments coexist and make use of existing frameworks
-Honorable/Dishonorable as alignment is a nice touch
-Extremely cool presentation of "Forbidden feats" in a way that makes them appealing without being broken, provides appropriate drawbacks without being crippling, and provides a great mechanic for characters wishing to go just a little further than they should. This, while relatively minor in the scheme of the total product, is probably the first d20 ability that manages to sit at the balance between absurd brokenness and unusably bad.
-The wolong offers a great representation of the archetypical tactician, and is fresh and innovative, if a bit difficult to use.
-Style support is awesome.

Cons:
-The Shifu class is [edited: slightly!] unbalanced due to the master's inspiration mechanic. I did like that it is a roundly resource, and can be shared among a party, but a lot of the shifu techniques are pretty nuts for only a few levels of investment.
-The jade warrior class seems needless. While I like the effort put into "eastern prestige paladin," I'd have preferred a flavor swap than a whole new class.
-Lots of references to previous content with respect to prerequisites, without listing the feat again in DTO or indicating where the feat can be found in another product.

Despite the flaws, this product is SUPERB for anyone running a Wuxia setting, playing a monk, or just trying to get a whole bunch of awesome content. On a bang per buck basis, DTO is easily the best third party product I've purchased.


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Solid Addition to Carrion Crown

****( )

As a huge fan of gothic horror in general and the Carrion Crown AP in specific, I've found that Legendary Games has consistently provided support to shore up the weaker aspects of the setting as written.

In particular, Legendary Games' previous modules "The Fiddler's Lament" and "Murmuring Fountain" pull quite a huge amount of weight as far as fleshing out and focusing The Haunting of Harrowstone, so the bar for this mini-adventure is pretty high. In "Feasting at Lanterngeist," LG has taken on one of the most commonly criticized aspects of the AP (aside from the fifth volume): namely the changeover from the pace of the first three to the fourth volume.

The adventure is pretty short and simple, but solves motivational issues for the PCs, as well as fleshing out the presence of alien taint within Illmarsh, making the town a far more eerie, sympathetic place than a merely relocated Innsmouth.

Lanterngeist's writing and editing are top notch, and the presentation is excellent.

I'd like to see Legendary games take on the numerous issues in the fifth volume regarding seemingly obvious player choices, but "Feasting at Lanterngeist" comes highly recommended for any GM running Carrion Crown.


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The Practical GM's Guide

*****

I'm normally a huge fan of expert guides to game design, and as such make a lot of purchases to get outside perspective to augment my own game design and worldbuilding.

And let me say, this is far and away a departure from the normal means of setting design. While most resources typically take a top down approach and list repetitive if useful tools for designing fantasy settings, the essays in this collection approach individual campaign components in insightful, pragmatic, and logical ways. While this style of writing is not for everyone, nor is every essay of equal versatility, I found it useful in the following ways:

1. In General: The guide presents a well-rounded approach to a wide variety of campaign types and options without losing specificity or resorting to describing campaigns and options as extremes, thereby allowing exploration of a spectrum of options. For instance, Magic and Industry are addressed as a single topic with magic as technology, magic and technology at odds, or campaigns that include one or the other.

2. In Specific: The essays are crafted with utility in mind for a given topic, such as the design of religions, conspiracies, and locales. I don't feel a single one of these essays fails to live up to the author's intent of providing thought-provoking and educational data on a given topic.

3. Weaknesses: Despite the obvious strengths of the guide's essays, I felt that some authors opted to market their setting under the guise of using those settings as examples. While I acknowledge and appreciate the poignant example, the repetitive use comes across as shameless advertising rather than an archetype for design choice.

I highly recommend this to anyone who has grown accustomed to the standard GM advice guides.

PS: The introduction includes a quote by Tim Powers from a writer's workshop about how gamers and writers "don't feel at home in this world" and that is why we play and write the games we do. That's genius.


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Excellent class, poor editing

****( )

The luckbringer class itself, and the fluffy introduction are awesome. However, the document suffers a great deal for it's terribly shoddy editing. This includes referencing the class by a different name, and generally poor punctuation, such as the omission of commas, words, and misspellings.


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A Perfect Capstone

*****

I've enjoyed the Jade Regent Adventure path so far; it had the right mix of story, combat, roleplay, and new mechanics to keep my players in check.

By the time we reached the Empty Throne, the adventure itself facilitated the campaign's close with a sense of urgency and triumph. My favorite part was how the nature of the campaign leads up to not only Ameiko's development, but also the power increase of the PCs. It has been a very long time since an adventure path has done this in such a novel, marked fashion.

I highly recommend this adventure and the Jade Regent adventure path as a whole.


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