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RPG Superstar 2015

Darkness Without Form: Secrets of the Mimic (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

Our Price: $3.00

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Most adventurers assume mimics are just wizard-created guardian monsters, and don't even think about them until a treasure chest sprouts arms and fangs. But mimics have a secret legacy—they were created by the aboleths to help dominate the surface world and enslave humanoids, and the well-known dungeon predators are merely the survivors of these experiments gone rogue.

In this book you'll find out more about the history of the mimics, the aboleth-symbiote "landwalker suit" that is the progenitor of all mimics, two kinds of humanoid-symbiote mimics, and more than a dozen new mimic abilities.

Written by RPG Superstar™ finalist Clinton J. Boomer and contestant Matt Banach.

Includes three new symbiote mimic templates, two new types of mimics, and sixteen new mimic abilities!

RPG Superstar is a trademark of Paizo Publishing, LLC.

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

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****( )

Mimics are often used in Roleplaying Games, and yet, I don't think I've ever used one . I've met a couple as a player, but somehow they have escaped my gamemastering grasp thus far.

Darkness Without Form (Secrets of the Mimic) was actually one of the first Pathfinder compatible pdfs that I bought and I've read it several times (it ain't that big, merely 24 pages). So... lets see what it contains.

It starts out with a short history of the mimic, which is also a history of the aboleth, as the two are tied in with eachother. It's a nice history, dark and fleshy, yet, I started to get annoyed by the end of it, as it merely paints a picture of the mimics as servants of the aboleths. I would have liked a slightly broader perspective. Perhaps a few escaped their master's grasp and made a 'life' for themselves somewhere else.

Then we get to the section on mimic symbiotes, which are fleshy mimics that capture a host and dominates them. These symbiotes come in two different shapes (templates, actually), the Puppetmaster symbiote and the Warhulk symbiote. I actually like these and could easily see both used in my current campaign setting, both gave me a very alien feel. By the end of this section, we are also presented with two new mimicky monsters, the lair tyrant mimic (a huge mimic that is often tied to a single location over many years... they also tend to bind themselves with other creatures), and mimicling swarm (not a fan of the name, but it is just that, a swarm of diminutive mimics. In the description they are described as coins). I really like the flavor of the lair tyrant and there are three really nice sidebars that will give your game a lot of flavor.

The last thing we get in this small pdf is a short toolbox on how to give mimics a different feel and power level (imagine a flying mimic...) It is easy to use and probably the thing that I liked the most, since it allows you to create mimics of you own that will definitely surprise your players.

Overall, this is a nice book on mimics, if a little singleminded. I remember a short article on the KQ site that painted a very different picture of the mimics and I would have loved a greater variation. In these days, a lot of 3pps tend to publish pdfs that appeal to both GM and players, but beware, this is a "GM's Only" type of book.

I should probably also note that it has excellent artwork and a very nice and easy to read layout. However, because it is so single-minded, I am going to end at 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this format.


One of the best monster ecologies I've ever read

*****

This pdf is 24 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC and editorial, half a page SRD, 1 page biographies and 1 page back cover. That leaves 19.5 pages of content – not a bad ratio for the price, so let’s dive in!

The pdf kicks off with an Introduction and History (4 pages) on the origin of the mimic. While I have to admit I didn’t expect more than “magic gone haywire”, this chapter already made a good impression by crafting a cool and elaborate backstory and even providing a goody for aboleths, the mimic-suit. The prose in this chapter is gripping and cool and made me want to read on immediately.

The next chapter deals with two kinds of mimic symbiotes (6 pages!), living battle garments with a will and an agenda not wholly of their own – I’d use both immediately and one of them was enough to prompt me to spawn several adventure ideas on the fly.

After that, we get a evolved form of the mimic, the CR 8 lair tyrant. (4 pages) The lait tyrant is a scheming creature that might be the perfect grey eminence and is so utterly cool in both concept and execution, that I considered the two sidebars delivering both awesome adventure (or even campaign) hooks as well as a minor upgrade to the tyrant to be just…well extraordinary.

The next mimic variation is not a schemer, but the CR5-mimicling swarm (2 pages) succeeds in one very rare endeavor – it creeped me out. I’m a jaded guy, but I really read such a vivid description.

Finally, we get a chapter on conventional mimics (3.5 pages), presenting 17 new abilities for mimics as well as 4 ideas to use mimics as traps.

Conclusion:

The artwork ranges from fair to a cartoonish “meh”, but the full-color pdf per se, with its slime-splotched layout is a beauty to behold – Hugo Solis did an awesome job. Unfortunately, that means that there is no printer-friendly alternative. Editing and formatting is top-notch, the pdf is easy to read and I didn’t notice any typos or glitches.

I have to confess something: I have this file for about a year now, resting in my pile, waiting to be read. I wish I had done so earlier. I’m usually hard to sell on monster books, but the ecology of these critters, the sheer astounding wealth of cool ideas blew my mind.

I always considered the mimic to be a lame one-trick-pony, but this file actually manages to make an iconic, interesting and potentially complex creature out of them. “Darkness without Form” manages to breathe the spark of creativity and even the notion of fear into one of the blandest creatures with its captivating prose. I’d usually detract a star for the artwork and the lack of a printer-friendly version, but this file features something a reviewer doesn’t see too often – the spark of genius in a brilliant, captivating prose that is matched by cool mechanics and a well-spring of ideas. For $2.00!
Not only do you get quality, but a LOT of it. Frankly, if all ecologies and critters were like this, I’d be reading monster books all day long.

What else can I say but: If you haven’t checked it out yet, buy this! I’m quite sure you won’t regret it, especially if you’re inclined towards the creepier aspects of fantasy or enjoy a scary critter.

My final verdict is 5 stars.


Sure, its all realated to one monster, but for the price . . .

****( )

The ideas for mimic related monsters are really interesting, and the new monsters, including the huge freaking mimic, are really cool and make me want to use them.

Even if some of it is kind of situation, that's all mitigated by an awesome price. If anyone is interested in mimics at all, its worth the 2.00.


A worthy Book!

*****

I'm very impressed with this book. Solid ideas meshed with great artwork.2 thumbs up guys!


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