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Vencarlo Orinsini

joela's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 4,640 posts. 7 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.



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Dark fantasy invades the Isles

***( )( )

Thoroughly enjoyed Wendy N. Wagner's Skinwalkers. Quite different from the rest of the Pathfinder Tales. It felt far more sword & sorcery / horror than the almost comic-book level heroes (and protags) in many of the other books. It showed how characters would honestly react if encountering events like those from the Skinsaw Murders and Hook Mountain Massacre from the Rise of the Runelord adventure path. I liked the protag, her background and the society she lived in. Nice to read about the importance of familial and extended relationships as the character interacts with said members without them being casually mentioned all the time as part of the background or in flashbacks.

My biggest complaint with the book is it didn't feel like, well, a Pathfinder adventure. This is typical for me of many Pathfinder tales. As usual, the protag continues to be solo whereas most game sessions would have a party of adventurers. This is especially sad since Skinwalkers has one of the best setups to create a party. This, though, is a common complaint I have with virtually all Pathfinder Tales. (Exception: the excellent Worldwound Gambit by Robin D. Laws.) Also non-Pathfinder: the lack of magic. C'mon, not even a wand of healing? Those islanders are not that primitive! Skinwalkers could have been set in a myriad number of low-magic settings. Again, this is a common complaint I have with most Pathfinder Tales.

Otherwise, recommend Skinwalkers, especially if you're looking for some horror in your fantasy.


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Cast an Epic Spell in the Land of the Diamond Throne

****( )

A Witch's Choice is a solid start of the Rituals of Choice adventure path despite a few encounter bumps. It is decidingly epic from the get go; PCs will definitely know they're the heroes in this adventure. Arcana Evolved GMs and players will be in for a treat as they explore the Land of the Diamond Throne, while GMs using different settings will find WC's to be less useful.

Full review can be found here.


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Surviving after the Fall

****( )

A well-written, professionally packaged science-fiction campaign setting for True20. The extensive history, numerous planets, organizations, and the Rover Station provide plenty of places for adventurers to visit. Reign of Discordia covers most sf genres, from space merchants to political intrigue to outright war between the planets. The possibly biggest issue is the lack of adventure hooks or ideas. GMs will have to come up with their own though given the material, it shouldn't be too difficult.

Only thing missing from the system is means to generate new planets or planetary systems, and animals. Oh, and robots. Gotta have robots. However, these are minor consideration, and I'd recommend Reign even for other sf gaming systems.


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****( )

Items Evolved: Oaths, is a 10 page pdf. Layout is a standard two column with each item section nicely organized.

Each of the ten items has a short, but specific, background, and powers that deal with oaths, a prominent theme in the Land of the Diamond Throne.

The items are interesting and unique. The Olive Branch of the Dove-pledged, for example, adds a bonus to its wielder's non-damaging attacks. It was created in the Citadel of the Dead Gods, providing both an adventure hook and tie to AE rarely seen in most fantasy rpgs today. Unfortunately, the reverse is true as well, since it makes it more difficult to drop an Evolved Item in a non-AE campaign.

Arcana Evolved campaigns will love the items, so linked they are to the unique setting. Non-AE campaigns, though, may not benefit as much unless either the GM is willing to adapt them to their campaign or use Items Evolved: Oaths as a source of ideas. For the price, a buyer can't go wrong.


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Hack-n-Slash in the World of the Diamond Throne

****( )

Full review can be found here.

Overall, the Living Airship is for GMs and players who like to hack-n-slash their way through a game (and who doesn't?). Plenty of interesting foes and a neat terrain (and how!) tests the player characters' tactics.


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