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idilippy's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 563 posts. 6 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters.



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Excellent underwater content, oh, and there's a campaign setting too

*****

This book is everything I never knew I needed to have to run an underwater adventure, and has made me interested in an all underwater campaign, something I never would have wanted to run without this book. While they required a little thinking to wrap my head around, the rules for buoyancy, drag, and pressure really add a lot to the feel of an underwater game.

The races come next, and offer a nice variety of exotic races to choose from as well as more familiar races like sea elves and seafolk. classes chapter, aside from including a few interesting new classes like the Kahuna and Siren, gives short conversion notes for the core and APG pathfinder classes that keep them relevent in an entirely underwater campaign.

Not to be overlooked in all the excellent rules is the fact that this book is called a Campaign Setting and does include some information about the Cerulean Seas. Small nuggets of campaign details are sprinkled through each section of the book, and a short 26 page section gives a little information on the history of the various races and a tiny amount of information on cities in the setting. This is probably the section of the book that could use the most expansion, and if my primary interest in the book was as a campaign setting I would probably disappointed with this section. As it is it's a nice little bonus add on to the rules and serves to give some flavor to the different races.

All in all this book provides everything you never knew you desperately wanted for underwater campaigns. If you have any interest in running an underseas campaign this book will be valuable to you. If you never thought you wanted to run an undersea campaign this might convert you like it did for me.


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An excellent, flavorful campaign setting

*****

I bought this book as a pdf and this review covers the pdf version of the product.

It was a campaign setting (the Forgotten Realms) that got me involved in RPGs, hooking me to the idea of playing (and running) adventures in an actual world that keeps on spinning regardless of the adventure's outcome, with nations, power groups, and individuals with their own goals and plots full of gaming potential. Flipping through the pages of a good campaign setting usually leaves me with dozens of potential adventure or campaign ideas.

The Midgard campaign setting is no exception. This wonderful, mythical world is overflowing with fascinating locations, horrifying evils, and excellent, original takes on many fantasy tropes. On most pages there is at least one or two ideas ready to be made into campaign or character ideas. There is an excellent mix of folklore inspired and truly original creations. Some particular standouts for me include the subterranean Ghoul Empire, the Seven Cities and their wars, the Wasted West with the slow moving horrors, Ley Lines, Shadow Roads, and the Gnomes, oh the awesome of the gnomes.

If you are looking for a world oozing with fun, flavorful locations and beings, with intriguing adventure ideas on almost every page, pick up this setting. Even if you don't move your campaign to Midgard you can find lots to use in this great book and setting.


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Updated and better than ever

*****

I am primarily a Pathfinder GM, only rarely do I roll up a character, and from the first time I encountered monster templates I loved the concept. For most of my campaign I used the original Advanced Bestiary, along with other monster template books, to great effect in my games. When I learned of the Kickstarter to update the Bestiary to Pathfinder I jumped in and backed it at the pdf level.

Now that I have received the pdf and had a chance to use it in my current campaigns I can safely say that this is my favorite Pathfinder monster resource book. This book is a must have resource for Pathfinder GMs in my opinion, at least as valuable as the various Bestiaries themselves. This over 300 page book contains dozens of fantastic, evocative, and deadly templates, as well as example creatures for the templates ranging from CR 1/3 to 29. Aside from being a great resource for beefing up well known monsters, there are many templates in this book that drip with story potential. Finally, even in pdf form the book's looks great, with wonderful illustrations for the example creatures.

This is hands down a 5 star book and a must have resource for any Pathfinder GM


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Excellent Collection of Interesting Items

*****

I'll start off by noting that I have a bias in this case, as I have always loved unique equipment, intelligent items, and magic items with history. As this is a collection of unique, intelligent magic items that each get their own history this book would have to work very hard to disappoint me.

Right off the bat the book starts off strong with an introduction written as a letter in character which is interesting enough to draw me in, then followed up on by a few paragraphs on reasons why an item could be intelligent. I like the rationale used in this book, the view that the potential for intelligence lies in many items, and especially the idea that being wielded by a passionate or significant individual can draw out the intelligence in an item. This provides a great in character reason for a PC to have a favored item of theirs start to develop intelligence.

Also present in the introduction is a bit on how the PCs can learn about the items and a bit about changing the more generic histories given for the items up a little to fit a specific campaign world. The table for identifying the intelligent items seems to have DCs a little low for me, and I am a little uncertain why they chose to have the DC for knowing most of the item's history be less than the DC for knowing what the item is. As these are legendary items it seems that knowledge of them is expected to be widely spread, which explains the low DCs in general, so this little quirk doesn't affect how I feel about the pdf.

Moving on we get into the meat of the pdf, the intelligent items themselves. Each item is defined by the usual statistics, then has a description for appearance, history, personality, powers, it's special purpose (if applicable), and construction requirements. As a side note, I really like that the introduction makes it clear that fulfilling the magic item creation construction requirements doesn't necessarily mean that the specific intelligent item can be recreated exactly. Each of the items is well described, and a couple of pieces of artwork are scattered throughout, though nothing particularly noteworthy to me.

A few notes on the items themselves:
Astijhen and Ranklikor: CE and LG intelligent plate barding each forged by a brother who fought and slew each other in battle, which now each have the special purpose of trying to destroy the other. An interesting idea that is fairly unique (I've seen magical barding rarely, intelligent barding never) with a story that makes sense and links the two items together.

Ha-Min's Circlet: A great item with a decent power and a very interesting purpose. I'm a little confused why an item infused with a sense of justice that exists to help others and be charitable has a CN alignment. Other than that (which could be a typo) this item has an excellent story and could be very interesting, especially for a too-greedy PC to find for a time.

Marrija: A cool item, it's personality (mirroring the owner's behavior so long as they are a powerful mage) makes for interesting plot possibilities, as does it's ability to preserve a copy. Evil and cautious mages could use this item to have a backup in case they are slain which is limited but still useful.

Nasirdil: Interesting, so long as a PC likes the idea of being a part of a formerly great noble family. Also, I am amused by the idea of an intelligent item which is encouraging it's wielder to continue the bloodline and produce heirs.

Red Najaddi: A cool item with an argumentative personality that could be fun or obnoxious depending on the group. Useful for a party but very opinionated, I really like the bit about it being pulled into arguments easily but refusing to stop talking even when drawn to a topic it knows nothing about.

Salchuk Carpet: A carpet of flying with the cool side effect of basically being a portable trap, able to affect those who step on it if the carpet feels they are hostile to the wielder.

All in all this is a fantastic resource for any GM who wants to add some interesting items to their campaign. Between the price tag and the amount of value I greatly recommend this to anyone who likes intelligent items, or even just interesting items with history in general if you're willing to do a tiny bit of work taking out the intelligence.


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An Excellent Spell Suppliment

*****

A short pdf packed full of goodness, the Genius Guide to 110 Spell Variants adds 110 new spells to the game in quite an efficient way, by building off of spells that already exist. By both tweaking existing game spells slightly and extrapolating higher level versions of existing spells SGG is able to fill the 10 page pdf (1 page cover/intro, credits/OGL) with just the material needed to modify the existing spells.

This book provides a GM with an excellent resource for their magic using NPCs as well as for unique or custom spell ideas for player PCs to research or discover as treasure. For the price this pdf packs a lot of content. This pdf also is notable for including spells for the APG specific classes. Antipaladins, Alchemists, Inquisitors, Oracles, Summoners, and Witches are all given some love with the new spells.

The pdf itself is laid out well, easy to read, and all in all well done. The spells seem to pass the eyeball test for balance, and in play I haven't run into any problems with the spells I've used as a GM or left as treasure for the PCs. If you are a GM looking to add some spells to your game, or a player looking for balanced spell options for your character to research give this pdf a look!


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