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My top 13 (sorted alphabetically):
Advanced Bestiary (Green Ronin)
It is my impression that at least part of the book will contain army stat blocks for GMs to use in their games. The NPC Codex of mass combat, so to speak. I might be wrong, of course, and it's something else entirely.
In my geekiest dreams, this book is a good mix of support for Legendary Games' mass combat books (stat blocks, etc.) AND support for the troop subtype.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
That's an amazing review as always, End. And I agree with the idea of a mass-combat focused AP, possibly with characters as somethng like late medieval condottieri. I know I'd buy it!
A good mix of mass combat and Heroes of Battle-style adventuring would be an instabuy for me, even if it's "only" a module.
Your reviews have become an important factor in the way I spend my 3PP money. I may not always agree with your observations, but you have a great eye for detail and what makes a good gaming book.
If I don't own a gaming book, I almost always look for an Endzeitgest review before making the purchase. A few companies provide the exception to this rule, of course, but it is a rule of thumb for me.
So, thank you for your insightful and detailed reviews.
I find myself in agreement. Rule of Fear is among the better regional books Paizo has put out. Excellent writing and a good gazetteer of the haunted nation.
Also, for those of youw who might have missed it, here's the blurb on Kavapesta that Wes Schneider was kind enough to post on the forums a while back:
Kavapesta: The largest city in Amaans and a holy city for Pharasmins, Kavapesta is a somber place possessed by a dour variety of religious fanaticism. The city takes its name from Mother Kavapesta, a Pharasmin missionary and teacher whose sermons on perseverance and suffering laid the foundations for the philosophies today known as the Pharasmin Penitence. After the priestess's death, her followers began the construction of Cryptgate Cathedral, which through centuries of renovations and expansions would become the largest church and monastery of Pharasma in the nation. The effort of constructing this monument and the tombs beneath brought droves of pilgrims to the banks of Lake Divirmis, which the faithful eventually renamed Lake Kavapesta. With the cathedral's completion, the assembled congregation lingered on, hoping to create a community based on the tenets of their faith. This community grew slowly, finally becoming the city known today.
Yet a city needs more than faith to survive, a fact the people of Kavapesta stubbornly defy. The foothills around the city are poorly suited to farming and the lake is tainted by poisonous minerals from the Hungry Mountains. A few mines in the surrounding hills scrape tin and coal out of the earth, though one has to wonder if the coin won from these efforts is worth the lives lost to cave-ins, choking maladies, and more mysterious disappearances. But worst of all are the plagues, the rampant sicknesses that seem to boil up from lake Kavapesta once a generation and burn through the city like a field fire. Scourges like the Whithers, Tol's Voice, and, most fearfully, the Black Breath have killed thousands in their beds, with lesser scares and reemergences occurring every few years. But the people claim that their city is blessed - not cursed like so many visitors say - insisting that each new calamity is a test from Pharasma and an opportunity for the citizens to experience ever greater trials, assuring greater rewards after death.
Agreed. Ever since using Urban Dressing: The Watch to great effect, as my review of that product hopefully conveys, I now have a relevant GM's Miscellany PDF open in a tab whenever I run a game. GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing is, as you said, a crucial tome to have in one's GMing toolbox.
A friend told me that Fires of Creation stated that rules for creating robots and getting robot minions will be in Part 6 of Iron Gods.
Your friend is correct. The robot subtype is featured in the bestiary section of Iron Gods #1: Fires of Creation, and the last paragraph in the subtype writeup mentions just that. Constructing robots, modifying constructs to be robots, and obtaining robot minions will be in Iron Gods #6: The Divinity Drive.
Given that this discussion cannot have escaped their eyes (although I'd easily understand that they just have gotten into the office over in Seattle) and that they have written the book, they could then at least give us a heads-up that there is some non-absurd reasoning for this or that we simply have missed something so far.
Jason Bulmahn asked for patience earlier in this thread, explaning that GenCon prep takes up a LOT of time for everyone at Paizo. If the designers have anything to say about the game mechanics involved, it'll happen after GenCon. So, patience. :)
Slashing damage. Weapon Finesse is not mentioned in the item description.
As for attacks of opportunity, it's not specifically mentioned, but text such as "wielded like a whip" indicates to me that, except for what's mentioned in the text (rolls against touch AC, ignores hardness, no Str bonus to damage), it functions like a regular whip.
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Do cybernetics add an Augmented or Cybernetic subtype to the modified creature?
Not as far as I can tell, no. Basically, cybernetics take up slots similar to magic items (arm, body, head, etc.). Each cybernetic has an implantation score, and a character's implantations are limited to his Constitution. For instance, if a character has a Con of 18, he can have 18 points worth of cybernetics.
Sounds like they're fishing for Against the Giants nostalgia here, but it is just such a generic title... Not impressed, especially not after Iron Gods.
As has been mentioned before, details will be given during the seminar today.
As for the post-Iron Gods remark, keep in mind that Paizo caters to gamers with very different play styles. Some like the weird and experimental while others like classic fantasy. Paizo tries to reach as many different play styles as they can with their adventure paths. What you see as unimpressive, a lot of gamers see as Paizo giving them some fun stuff to play with.
That's not to say that you shouldn't be unimpressed. Just that Paizo has a lot of different gaming groups to reach out to. :)
Every time a "D&D" RPG comes at a certain point, it answers with introducing Tech, and that's usually close to the end of it. Dark Sun/Spelljammer AD&D, Eberron D&D ...
There's been a demand for a Numeria adventure path by a segment of the customer base since the setting was first introduced. So this is hardly a matter of Pathfinder being close to the end.
I'd suggest that you keep an eye on the Pathfinder Adventure Path line even if you do unsubscribe. Iron Gods is 6 installments and after that a new adventure path sees the light of day.
Paizo caters to a wide variety of gamers. Some like Egyptian-themed adventures, others don't. Some like planet-hopping, others don't. Some like gothic horror, others don't. Some like tech in their fantasy, others don't. Personally I think Paizo's doing an admirable job satisfying the tastes of all those many gamers with an insane range of likes and dislikes. Science-fantasy's up come August, but after that it's something else.
So, if you hate tech in your fantasy, unsubscribe for 6 months, then come back if you feel the next adventure path is more to your liking. Paizo's absolutely cool with that.
Read the book over the weekend and I have to say I liked seeing new feats, prestige classes, deity specific weapons, altars, gear, etc. I just felt the book was a whole lot of putting stuff in from previous books more than a lot of new information. It's nice to see everything updated and in one book, but I felt since a lot of it was previous information it really didn't warrant the price tag on this book. This is just my opinion. This book will get used a lot by our gaming group. Just think there wasn't a lot of new info.
For many current Golarion fans, a lot of the material in the book will be old news. And while it would've been great to see a ton of new material, I think we need to keep things in perspective and look at what this book does. Inner Sea Gods gathers a lot of information that's spread out over 20+ books in one single tome. Furthermore, it'll be the go-to book for information on the 20 core deities going forward, meaning that future fans of Golarion will have one single tome to reference and not 20.
Whether or not that's worth the price tag is certainly a personal matter, but as a charter subscriber, I see the value in gathering those 20 articles in one massive tome.
I just hope we'll get a Inner Sea Gods II at some point that does the same for the lesser deities that have been featured in the adventure paths (Groetus, Milani, Besmara, etc.). That'd be sweet.
I feel bad for people who started this adventure path and probably had to take a break as they finished book 1 and waited for book 2. And now, not as many, but probably several people will start book 2's pdf and will have to wait long stretches of time to run through books 3 - 6.
This is why, regardless of the company, I won't start an adventure path until I have all of the adventure path's installments as well as any supplementary material that is produced. Waiting has two advantages, as I see it: 1) You don't have to stop midway through because of delays. 2) You're able to tweak and prep having the entire adventure path at your disposal.
I love how it is for sale here before the kickstarter supporters receive it. It's even cheaper here with the 15% discount for subscribing to the adventure paths. I am skipping the current ks and will just wait and buy it here before the ks supporters.
It's been a while since the Gothic Kickstarter, but I'm fairly certain Legendary Games never said that Kickstarter backers would necessarily get the book before it went on sale.
Also, our backing the Kickstarter made this book what it is. That's what Kickstarters are about. Helping to make something happen and, once it's happened, helping it grow. You are of course free to do what you want with regard to Legendary Games's current Kickstarter, but I'm hopeful that that's something very few people will do. Because if people do skip the current Kickstarter because they didn't get Gothic Campaign Compendium before everyone else, then the current Kickstarter will suffer greatly, and that would be a shame for all fans of the mythic subsystem.
As for the 15% discount, that's a discount that's unique to paizo.com AND to your subscription to the adventure path line. It's not a discount that everyone shopping in this webstore gets. It's not something Legendary Games can or should factor in when setting the price for their products.
Jason Nelson wrote:
Yes, the coloxus demon is really part and parcel of the Count VonKaval villain; the monster behind the man who has become himself a monster. Their story and history are combined in one awful mess.
Yeah, I realized my mistake as soon as I started reading the fluff that came after Count VonKaval's stat block. Boomer hit a home run with this one. :)
N. Jolly wrote:
And by that statement I was thinking from more of an optimization standpoint, which the title "strategy guide" would lead me to believe. I see strategy guide, and I'm going to assume this guide gives me an optimal strategy for playing X, Y, or Z class. And the level of optimization as shown from things like the Iconics is not high. We know that the Devs aren't the biggest optimizers, that's fine. It's a legitimate play style, same as any other. But having someone on the lower end of thing offer advice doesn't draw my attention that much. I'm interested in seeing it, maybe I'll be proven wrong, but mostly I'll just be looking forward to the artwork in this book.
It is my understanding that the Strategy Guide isn't a guide to optimization at all. It's a tool primarily for people who are new to the game, guiding them in the right direction. "Want to play an archer? Well then this feat and that feat will work well for you." "Here's how specialist wizards work and which game mechanics go well with the concept." All this from the perspective of helping people who are new to the game navigate through the monster that is the core rulebook.
For optimizers, this is probably not the best option out there, but then they're not the target audience for this book.
While I agree with most of your points, just figured I should point out that according to James Jacobs, the "aliens" who piloted the Numerian starship are human, so the "beings so inherently different" argument kind of falls apart.
This doesn't exclude an alien mindset, though. Or at least a vastly different thought process based on current scientific theories, technological advances, and the presence/absence of magic to spur different platforms of scientific thinking.
And who's to say outsiders don't already know about that sort of technology? There are several cases where daemons for instance have deliberately spread harmful technology. I could easily see devils granting schematics for some technology just out of reach in return for a human soul.
Certainly, but that possibility doesn't necessarily mean it has to be so. As powerful and knowledgeable as the various outsiders are, they aren't omniscient. It is possible that some things remain beyond their grasp, at least until they manage to wrangle it from mortals. And, quite frankly, that adds a lot to the dynamic between outsiders and mortals. That mortals are able to construct/invent/design and have access to knowledge that outsiders may not yet have.
Yeah, this was my reaction as well when I browsed through the PDF. I'll be starting up Wake of the Watcher soon and the hound of Tindalos provoked maniacal laughter.
As for the subscription thing, I'd be on board in a heartbeat.
Really paizo, why you do this?
This is a playtest, and as such it's meant for us to find issues in the classes before the final book is released. So, the only thing Paizo has "done" at this point is release a free document that enables us fans of the game to playtest the classes and provide constructive feedback for Paizo's design team. These are NOT the final versions of the classes.
That's something I don't get about these complaints about a lack of race points in the Bestiary 4. Like all bestiaries, the Bestiary 4 is a GM toolkit, presenting the GM with critters of all shapes and sizes to pit against his players' characters (or to use as allies to the players' characters). It is NOT a player resource, or at least it's not intended as such, I think. So why is there a need for the race points? Does a GM need the race points to slap class levels on these critters? I'd say no. Sure, using them as playable races is an option, but I imagine that's secondary to the monster's primary function, and I'd prefer that the focus be kept on the primary function as a critter.
Player-friendly books such as the Advanced Race Guide or the Player Companion books are much better venues for these race points to be included, I think.
It's my impression that your theory about Kingmaker's popularity is correct. However, I think there's more to it than just popularity. Since day 1, Paizo has given me the impression that they're all about telling the story they want to tell, and, while Kingmaker is very popular, there are a LOT of stories to tell. Some of those stories do not mesh well with the sandboxy nature of Kimgmaker at all, others (such as Wrath of the Righteous) might fit somewhat, and yet others are tailormade for the concepts that Kingmaker introduces.
So, Paizo will get around to another Kingmakeresque adventure path if/when the story they want to tell is perfect for the concept. They undoubtedly know it's a popular form of storytelling. In the meantime, there are many other play styles and preferences out there to cater to and tell stories for.
In this particular scenario, I'd probably help out a fellow Bizkit and kick some half-elf/half-orc Bizkit-dissing butt. :D