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ShadowcatX's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 4,584 posts. 9 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.



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**( )( )( )

So I picked this up on sale as my first introduction to Neo Productions Unlimited and delved in.

This is a 13 page pdf, with the cover and title page taking up 2 and the OGL taking up a third and the back cover taking up a fourth. This leaves us with 9 pages of content. The product adheres to a 2 column layout.

So delving into this product, these are Vampires reimagined for the world of Shadowglade. However, they're a far cry from the typical vampire, confirming to the standard player race attributes (+2 / +2 / -2) and have a con score. They do get quite a few racial abilities, however, some of which are quite strong. To begin with they have a pair of natural attacks, a slam and a bite (where we get the first copy and paste error, referring to the vampyres as "dragon disciples"). That, along with dark vision and negative energy affinity (which specifically calls the vampyres out as being alive, which will later be specifically contradicted by other text) comprise their generic abilities.

Their next racial abilities is called supernatural. (Yes, the ability is called supernatural, as in that is the name of the ability and before you ask, yes it is listed as a supernatural ability.) It basically gives the vampyre a pool of supernatural points (yup, that's the name) equal to its supernatural stat (yup, that's the name, charisma in the case of the vampyre, minimum 1), that it can spend on doing stuff. These points refresh each day, but can also be regained through succeeding on certain hard level skill checks, confirming crits, or at DM's discretion when you do something appropriate to your supernatural race. (I thought they missed an opportunity here to list feeding specifically as a way to regain points, but since the vampyres lack a blood drain ability, I guess I can understand why they didn't.)

The next racial ability, called supernatural acts details the things you can do with your supernatural points. These include adding 10 feet to your speed or gaining 2 points to your AC. Unfortunately, while this ability does say you can spend multiple supernatural points per turn and that spending them is a free action, it does not state rather or not these acts stack with themselves. (You can, however, only use one act per turn.)

Their final ability is to turn into a wolf so long as you have at least 1 supernatural point, kind of. You loose everything you would expect to loose in such a transformation (speech, using equipment, etc.) and gain, well you gain +10 to disguise yourself as a wolf and +10 to bluff to act like a wolf. This ability is a swift action, but has no listed duration.

For racial weaknesses they get a drawback in the form of hunger for blood, casting no shadow, possess no reflection, and being nauseated in sunlight, so nothing super imaginative or ground breaking there.

After the race and a bit about how it fits into the world of Shadowglade (and after they are specifically called out as being dead) it tells you that vampyres are the result of a disease, but it gives no rules for the spread of that disease.

The pdf doesn't end there however. After detailing the vampyres it goes into a section about unnatural hunger (including the vampyre's hunger for blood, where they are specifically called out as undead, so now we have them listed as living, dead, and undead). It is kind of a neat section (my favorite of the pdf) and it talks about how undead that can't feed become paler and weaker and go through withdrawl.

Then we get into feats. These include feats for other beings to become "inflicted with supernatural power" where you can gain a supernatural pool (like the vampyre) at the cost of a feat and having to make DC saves (that scale with character and with the number of made saves) to avoid becoming a terror for a night. Alternatively you can use a feat to turn into a bat or mist, or gain regeneration of varying degrees. There also exists feats that allow the vampyres to over come their weaknesses (and even gain advantages). None of these feats, however, possess a duration, and regeneration without a limited duration is not something I'd give to a player character at the cost of a feat.

After the feats we get some traits and a defect (no information on how to use the defect, though I suspect that is in the shadowglades main book).

So over all this book seems somewhat uninspired in its naming conventions, unsure of rather the race is living, dead, or undead, and is fairly unimaginative in its execution. It has some other typos (like referring to the vampyre as the dragon disciple in the vampyre's text). Finally it is somewhat unbalanced. Because of all these factors I cannot rank this product highly.

Even so, I don't believe the product deserves only one star. The hunger section was interesting and may be worth using separate from everything else. Therefore my final verdict will clock in at 2 stars.


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****( )

This pdf presents us 4 pages of usable material focusing around magical items that allow necromancers of all types to modify corpses before their animation in order to improve upon them. The pdf starts off with a feat tax to use these magical items, but the feat itself is pretty good for any necromancer who wishes to use undead minions anyways, so I don't have a huge problem with that. (I do, however, have a minor problem with it, the feat is written in such a way as to prevent the reanimator alchemist from making use of the tools presented herein, easy enough fix if you're the DM, but it might require some work if you're a player. And really, these ideas are just so flavorful for the reanimator.) Then, it jumps into the 12 magical items that are the real meat of this product.

Now most of these magic items have a solid albeit boring effect, like slightly increasing the undead's natural armor or giving them a bit of turn resistance coupled with positive energy resistance (like fire resistance, but for positive energy which I'm not sure how I feel about). These may help minion type undead remain relevant for a longer period of time (an extra level or 2) but they don't fundamentally change how the encounter will play out.

However, I said most. There are some others, however, that do much, much more. One is a construct that attaches itself to an undead and bestows the undead with any spells cast on it (and it can have any type of spell cast on it, even if it would not normally be a legal target). When that undead is destroyed, or if a better host comes along, it can detach and scurry over to the next in line. A seriously awesome item that can potentially change the feel of an entire encounter. I just wish it came with a bit more umph, like damage when it rips itself out of the chest of an undead or something like that.

Which brings up the other thing I'd have liked to have seen, a guideline about how these items effect the CR of undead. Sure, you can just say that since they count against the necromancer's gold they don't effect the CR, but what if the necromancer isn't part of the encounter at all? But still, this is a fairly minor squabble.

So over all this pdf has some bland but not bad ideas, and then some incredible ideas. Normally, I'd clock that in at 4 stars and call it a day, but there's one other thing that bothers me about this pdf and it is going to cost the pdf a star. The magic items in this pdf all come with an experience point cost. Seriously, from its inception Pathfinder did away with XP costs, and for good reason and I don't think it is too much to ask that a company who is going to publish a book about magic items actually read the rules for the system they're publishing for.

So over all this pdf clocks in at 3 stars, solid if the material presented interests you, and it does have some gems that make it worth the purchase price, but not a must have.

Edit: Interjection Games explained their reasoning for the experience point costs, and while I don't care for it, I do understand it so I will go ahead and add the star that cost them, bringing this up to a 4 star product.


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****( )

In Monster Focus: Zombies we have about 4 pages of content after we get through the cover, OGL, credits, and the little maze who seems to have no purpose but to waste space and ink on the bottom of each page. But what a glorious 4 pages it is.

There's pretty much 3 - 5 of pretty much anything you could want for a zombie themed character or game. There's variant zombies, feats, alchemical items, spells, magic items, even adventure ideas.

However, in my opinion this product suffers a little from a lack of focus, which is ironic considering it has a very tight focus on zombies. What I mean is that when you're only getting 3 - 5 feats in a product about zombies, I want them to be about making or controlling or using zombies, instead we get 1 feat that is pro-zombies and 3 feats that are anti-zombie (and 2 of those are pretty narrow in use unless you're in a full out zombie apocalypse style world). This lack of focus is really the only thing preventing the pdf from getting 5 stars because really, it does come with a lot of cool stuff for zombies.

I'll give you an example, the corpse field hazard. Imagine an area scattered about with the still animate hands / heads / what have you, of zombies & skeletons. This has rules for that.

So all in all definitely a great product, had it been based a little bit more around making and controlling of zombies and less on the fighting there of, I'd give this 5 stars. As is, I don't think I can do that, so I'll settle for giving this 4 stars and a hardy endorsement.


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Amazing Alternate Class for Anti-Paladin

*****

This product is 17 pages long with 1 page of credits / OGL, leaving 16 pages of content. It adheres to the SGG standard 3 column lay out with the standard 2/3 cover image. Alright, with that out of the way, let's get into the meat of the product, shall we?

Death knights are an alternate class for the anti-paladin, making them pretty unusual in that regard. It is worth noting, however, that they do not require being chaotic evil, in fact, they don't require being evil at all. There are 2 types of death knights, evil ones who revel in the undead and in slaying the living, and neutral ones who try and maintain the sanctity of the grave. Beyond that, they're a pretty typical paladin construct, d10 hd, 2 + int skills, martial weapons & heavy armor, same good saves as a paladin, etc. You get the idea.

But when you get to their abilities, you can see the inspirations, but oh my they're unique. And flavorful. I don't want to give away everything so I'll give you a couple examples. The first level aura that paladins put out, the holier than thou aura and anti-paladins unholier than thou aura is changed for the death knights to have an undeader than thou aura, but it isn't just a flavorful aura, it allows them to determine hit points and fortitude saves as an undead would. (So cool.) One more example their smite ability has broader applications than the paladin's or anti-paladin's, but isn't nearly as powerful.

I could go on about this class, but really, I shouldn't need to. If you're a DM wanting someone to lead an army of undead, or if you're a player who likes the idea of fighting to maintain the sanctity of death (or vice versa) , or if you just want to see one of the most imaginative paladin takes in a long time, by all means pick this up, you will not be disappointed. 5 star product all the way.


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I am the shapeshifter you are looking for.

*****

Shapeshifters seem to be a big desire among role players and I've never seen them done better than they are in this product. Taskshapers start with the ability to make minor shape changes to themselves granting themselves temporary abilities or bonuses but quickly progress into shapeshifting into other people, then into animals and even more exotic forms as they level.

But a taskshaper's control isn't limited to transforming himself into normal forms, they can do much, much, more. Imagine having the ability to control your body so well that you can (temporarily) ignore any condition, even death. (Just imagine, someone stabs you in the heart but your control of the body is so great that you can force the veins themselves to press blood on through thus keeping yourself alive for a short time.) Or if you want a creepy Cuthulhu esque shapeshifter their control lets them grow tentacles if you so desire, even while in other forms.

But they're not just shape shifters, they're taskshapers, the ultimate mimic. In fact one of their abilities is called just that, mimicry, and ensures that they can do just that. Need to use scrolls like a wizard? You can do that. Wield a weapon like a fighter? Ditto. Impersonate and replace someone important? Got that in spades.

So if you're looking for a shape shifting class, or if you just look back and remember Gogo of FFIII fondly, you should check out the taskshaper is definitely for you.


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