Luven Lightfinger's Gear & Treasure Shop (PFRPG) (based on
Purple Duck Games
COME ON IN AND LOOK AROUND! I'LL BE IN THE BACK IF YOU NEED ANYTHING...
In his years traveling the lands with the Company of the Sunset, Luven Lightfinger learned a thing or two about what equipment an adventurer really needs. The average general store can provide a lot of the basics, but Luven and his companions quickly realized that there are many other items that can make life on the road (and crawling through dungeons) easier and safer. When the time came to retire from adventuring, Luven drew upon the lessons he'd learned on the trail and opened a store, catering to those hardy souls who hear the call of the open road as strongly as he did.
Part sourcebook, part catalogue, Luven Lightfinger's Gear and Treasure Shop is chock full of new items for outfitting your characters. From weapons, armor and trail gear to potions, oils and kits, Luven's shop has it all. He stocks locally produced goods as well as imports from exotic locales, and he guarantees he'll have at least one item in his inventory that you've never seen before. Interested in purchasing some magic items? Luven keeps his collection of those in the back room. Always ready to help out a fellow entrepreneur, Luven will even tell you all about his shop and how he set it up.
No one will want to spend all of their reward at the tavern again after stepping inside Luven Lightfinger's Gear and Treasure Shop!
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This pdf is 102 pages long, 1 page front cover, 3 pages editorial and ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page blank inside back cover and 1 page back cover, leaving 94 pages of content, so let's check it out!
So. A gear book. I'm actually taking a look at an equipment book. The last equipment book I bought was the "Arms & Equipment Guide" that actually disappointed me. Those of you who have been following my reviews, can easily guess why - I just hate the tendency to make magic items exchangeable commodities. Thus, even though there has been considerable hype about this book, I hesitated a long time. Also due to the fact that I wanted mundane & alchemical equipment from the "Arms & Equipment Guide" and didn't get a lot (or useful) content from it, I was rather hesitant to put this book in my cart.
The extensively book-marked pdf begins with martial gear, i.e. new weapons that range from variations of swords to suitably awesome and exotic weapons like the meteor hammer (Iron ball on a chain) or the wind and fire wheels, ring-like bladed melee weapons. The chapter provides more than just new weapons, but also new armors. More importantly, though, there is a nice innovation in this chapter: Armor components - you can actually customize armors and even combine and design your own armors, e.g. consisting of sabatons, gorgets and a bascinet. It should be noted that almost all items get their b/w-artwork representation, which is absolutely neat.
Chapter 2 contains all the new adventuring gear you always wanted, but never got from the core books - From aspergils, drinking horns, wigs, special silver henna up to different alchemical incenses and even a very cool siege weapon this chapter contains all the useful things your PCs have asked for and more. My very favorite item, though, is the chirurgeon's kit - the item enables one to revive fallen characters with mundane means/operations (within limits, of course) and the mechanics are so simple, so elegant, that I was impressed. This item, while not a substitute for resurrection-magic, it is GOLD for campaigns like mine (I've banned resurrection/raise dead in favor of e.g. RiP's Restless Souls) and just about any gritty low-magic campaign.
Chapter 3 has "Items of Home and Hearth", which sounds boring, but actually isn't. From several clothing materials over food (with a plethora of spices, flours etc.), drink (also containing drunkeness-rules), jewelry up to art and toys, this chapter contains just about anything your adventurers might need. Ever wanted to know what average towels cost? Diverse hats made from exotic fabrics? There you go. While this might at first seem like detail-overkill, it's not - How many times has it happened to you that PCs wanted to trade e.g. goods from exotic locales? I had to improvise saffron-prices and their availability in different countries in my campaign due to one of my PCs wanting to professionally trade in spices - this book, had I had it then, would greatly improved my efforts. The same goes for all the detail-crazy people among you who actually enjoy changing the appearance of characters, expensive shopping etc.
Chapter 4 features prosthetics for poor adventurers that e.g. don't have access to regeneration-spells (another one I banned in my campaign...) or want clockwork legs, iron limbs etc. From mundane/alchemical prosthetics to enchanted ones, this new class of items is pure gold for everyone, who, like me, thinks that the loss of a limb can both be iconic and dramatic and need not be the end, but rather a cool station in the ongoing narrative of one adventurer. This chapter alone, at least for me, was worth the price.
I dreaded chapter 5, I seriously did. The back room of the shop contains magic items. I steeled myself and got ready to yawn and while I was not impressed by the armors, I liked all the magic weapons and wondrous items (which of course, also mostly come with their own artworks - nice). My absolute favorite item is "Fletcher' Finkleberry's Fabulous Flying Feather" - a tongue-twister-powered feather that enables you to fly. Pure awesomeness.
This book is called "shop/inn & tavern" and while the book is interspread by Luven's IC-comments on the items, it is here where we actually get the stats for the staff of both Inn and shop. 4 completely detailed, beautiful maps are provided for shop and inn and all the characters get their own artwork to show to the players. I want to emphasize the stunning amount of detail of both locations, from DCs for individual locks to detailed descriptions, this rather large chapter actually contains enough information and a page of hooks to make the place a valid, awesome hub/starting point for adventures. Just to give you an impression on the amount of detail provided - even Luven's children get their individual statblocks, the bouncer/barkeep's mace has a name and, what impressed me beyond all expectations was that there are even menus for all courses. Wow.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, in spite of the length of the book I didn't encounter even A SINGLE glitch. Wow. Just wow. Layout adheres to the 2-column standard and is easy on the printer. Usually, equipment books are a complete bore to read, but the wealth of both the ideas and the associated rules and the aptly and concisely-written prose of Luven's numerous comments serve to deter from that convention and subsequently the book is a great read. With the stunning attention to detail, rules-information, numerous artworks and innovations, the book leaves nothing to be desired. Actually, the extensive appendix goes the extra mile for the DM to add another dimension to the whole book - granting you a great adventure locale in addition to all the equipment. Soooo...was there anything I didn't like? Ahem...well...I didn't like the artwork of the cover (I know it's old-school, I still don't like it.) but the interior artwork rocks.
That's about it. All the criticism I can muster. Yep. Nitpicky, equipment-book hating Endzeitgeist is stunned and just blown away. My final verdict will be 5 stars with the Endzeitgeist seal of approval - people, if you haven't picked this up yet, do it as soon as possible. You won't regret it.
If you don't want this book, then I'm not sure we're playing the same game.
When Paizo itself eventually makes a huge collection of items both mundane and magical, it's going to have to be on its toes to touch the level of awesomeness that this thing has in a single one of its pages. HUNDREDS of new items, cool new enchanted items, and all of them have their own interesting story, told by a truly fascinating NPC that the book itself stats out. I've read campaign settings with less depth than this thing. It's just a work of genius... and one that no gamer should be without. Buy it.
An excellent book with a few debatable art choices
Dark_Mistress's review goes into much more detail than mine will, but she said one thing that I agree with whole-heartedly - I really regret not buying the print release of this wonderful book, probably for the first time in years of buying almost exclusively PDFs.
Not being familiar with Everything and a 10' Pole, there's really only one book for me to compare this excellent new release to, an almost-twenty year old 2e release by the name of Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue. Any older gamer will immediately perk up at mention of that classic, and they absolutely should. This is a excellent book, and any GM who's wanting a more detailed approach to their PCs' gear beyond "We go back into town and buy rations" needs to check this one out. Wonderful detail, even extravagant by some measures, but so familiar when one compares it to the classic Aurora's, and a welcome return to Pathfinder-era gaming.
The only real issue I have with the book is some of the art choices, particularly in chapter 1. The weapons and armor art looks more to me like the rough sketch of an idea that should be sent out to the artist as something to work from and improve, not finished, publishable work, to be honest. And I know the book has a lot of 2e nostalgia going for it, but Larry Elmore's style never felt "3e" to me at all, so to me it feels even more out of place for NPC portraits in a Pathfinder release.
The (relatively minor) art issues aside, this is a great book. Don't hesitate to pick it up if you want a more detailed, realistic approach to PC gear, or even just as a nicely detailed gear shop and inn/tavern for your PCs to make their home away from home.
EDIT: If you haven't noticed from the commentary on this product recently, there's now a 2nd edition of the PDF featuring new and improved art for the armor and weapons. You can ignore what I said above in my initial review about any art issues. They've all been fixed.
This is now exactly what I hoped it would be, the best 3rd party equipment guide for Pathfinder, period.
Ok I have only done a couple of reviews ever. First I will make a few general comments then a list of each chapter and my general feeling about them.
I rate this as one of the 3 best such books so far published that I own. The other two is ...and a 10ft Pole by Iron Crown Enterprise
Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue by WotC
This book is more like the second than the first.
The Artwork in this book is passable, not great but good enough to give you a solid idea what the items look like, which is all you need. Better artwork would have been nice but the artwork in the book gets the job done.
The book is narrated by a NPC named Luven, it is a nice touch that makes the book just a bit more interesting. There is a few sidebars in the book. Either comments by Luven or GM suggestions.
Introduction (2 pages)
A short bit of info about the book and then a IC welcome by Luven.
Chapter 1 - Martial Gear (18 pages)
This chapter is mostly about new weapons and armor. I liked the new weapons and especially some of the new armor which was very nice. Nice supporting text for the gear as well. The chapter also has a section on add on armor pieces such as helms, shoulder guards and the like and 3 optional ways to handle them in game. Next are some more substances to make weapons and armor from and what they do and how much they cost etc. Bronze, Ice and Tytanite(new stuff). Final the chapter finishes with a small section on Ceremonial and non-combat weapons and armor.
Chapter 2 - Adventuring Gear. (12 pages)
This section has general gear, what any adventurer might typical take along with them. To Tool kits, Alchemy items, musical instruments and Trade goods.
Chapter 3 - Home and Hearth (32 pages)
This section has a next wide range of clothing with different types. From outerwear, to underwear, to overwear like jackets, hats and boots. Next there is a section on different kinds of material clothes can be made out of. My only complaint about this chapter is, I wish they had had a little section on how to figure up costs for existing items made with some of the martial they have listed. You could do it yourself with a bit of math but having a side bar to help you out would have been very nice and helpful. This follows with sections on sewing items to make your own clothes, spices, foods, drinks, baking supplies, jewelry, art/writing and supplies, toys/games, and finally Misc stuff such as candles, camp ovens, pipes, pots, boxes etc.
Chapter 4 - Prosthetics (7 pages)
This chapter is about replacement limbs. This has a wide range of types from basic crude ones, to cosmetic, clockwork, weapon types, to magical ones. With a nice variety of each replacement limb of each type above.
Chapter 5 - The Back Room. (6 pages)
This is a section on a handful of magic items in the book. There is a few magic items all seem to be well done. While it is nice, I would have honestly rather seen this section removed and some more mundane items added or the above sections expanded. I think there own magic item book done later would have been better personally, but that is just more a matter of taste and a opinion.
Appendix (17 pages)
The final section of the book has map of the shop along with room descriptions and NPC information about Luven ans his family. There is also a Inn(including a nice menu and drink list) as well that his family owns that is likewise detailed including the people that work the Inn for them.
Next is the OGL and page for upcoming products. All told there is 102 pages including the front and back covers, Title, copyright, Table of Contents and one blank page just before the back page of the book.
All and all I am very happy with my purchase, the few problems I have with the book are all honestly little nitpicks and/or more to do with playstyle than anything. I am honestly considering getting the print book for this as well now. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a nice wide range of equipment to add to their D20 fantasy games.