In the Company of Kappa (PFRPG) PDF

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We are a people of laughter and good cheer.

True, our humor is not always understood by others, we find the sound of breaking bones to be hilarious, but we amuse ourselves first and others second. We love loud jokes, large meals and a good wrestling match. There are many stories told of us, that we eat children, or delight in drowning swimmers. Certainly, we have had our share of villains, but, taken as a whole, we are no more wicked than any other race. Most of us want nothing more than to humble the proud and make the wise man feel foolish. We like to think we are well suited to these tasks. And let us not forget, not only did we break the first bone, but we afterward showed the man how to set it.

Author: Jonathan McAnulty

Cover Art: Mark Hyzer

16 Pages

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V3.0. of the book has a great new central mechanics and less errors

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Note: This review details version V3, which has dealt with some issues of the original pdf.
This pdf is 20 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, leaving 15 pages for the Kappa, so let's jump in.

The pdf begins, as all the ITC-pdfs, with an aptly-written IC-introduction to the race and, indeed, their outlook on religion, alignment and the like is presented IC as well, helping one to immerse in the feeling of the race. We even get an origin myth. This takes up 4 1/2 pages. The editing glitches of the old version have been taken care of.
On to the racial traits of the Kappa:

Kappa get +2 Str, are small, have a movement rate of 20 ft., low-light vision, +2 natural AC, a swim speed of 40 ft. and +8 to swim, don't get the small-penalty to CMB and CMD but rather a +1 bonus, always treat stealth and survival as class skills,, have a natural claw attack that deals 1d3 damage, weapon familiarity with Kappa weapons and can be weakened by successfully draining the bowl on their head of water, resulting in Str and Dex-damage.
They come with 5 alternate racial traits:
-Goblin Nature: +2 Dex -2 Wis, goblinoid subtype
-Hard-shelled: natural AC-bonus rises to +4, speed drops to 15ft., swim speed drops to 30 ft.
-Kami-friend: Replaces natural wrestler; Ability to cast dancing lights, ghost sound, pass without trace, and prestidigitation 1/day and a +2 bonus against enchantment.

-Natural Prankster: +2 Cha, -2 Wis

-Soft-shelled: Only get +1 natural bonus to AC, but gain a plus 2 bonus to acrobatics.

In the table containing the ages and heights, there is a editing glitch, putting the "age" from "Maximum Age" in the beginning of the next line instead of e.g. in the blank space below "Maximum".

In the next section on Kappa adventurers, we get their attitude towards the different classes and how frequently they usually follow the specific calling. As a nice bonus, each class is presented with a Japanese-flavored moniker. To my pleasure, the APG-classes have also all been covered here. Two thumbs up for this!

After that, we get 14 new favored class options for the following classes. Alchemist:1, features a missing "+" sign to fit in with the formatting of the rest of the pdf, the same goes for the barbarian; Barbarian:1, Bard:1; Bone-Breaker:2; Cleric:2; Fighter:1; Ranger:2; Sorceror:2; Wizard:2

After that, we get 2 new class archetypes:

-Cleric (Kappa-Kannushi): Can work without focus, focuses on spirits.
-Fighter (Kappa-Bushi): Nice wrestling-focused Kappa-only archetype.

We also get a new Sorceror-bloodline which I found surprisingly cool - you get enhancements to AC, eventually even DR, water and earth-based resistances and even cold claws and an antimagic shell. The capstone ability is also nice.

After that, we get to the crunchy heart of the pdf, the 20-level racial paragon-class, the Bone-Breaker. Unfortunately, we have yet ANOTHER editing mistake, the first paragraph, including the header of the class, is printed twice, once at the bottom of the left column on page 13 and once on the upper right column.

They get d8, 4+Ints kills per level, medium BAB-progression, a good fort- and will-save, improving unarmed damage and bonuses to natural AC. Their table features another formatting glitch, with the columns of the individual stats not being in line with the headers of the table and "damage" from "Unarmed damage" being located under "Will", "AC" from "Natural AC" being located under "Unarmed". This has, as of V3, not yet been fixed.

The bone-breaker class is focused on, surprise, breaking things (bones in particular), but also gets a ki-pool, the ability turn into turtles and water, abilities to temporarily enhance its Str-score. The ki-pool section features blank place-holder blocks instead of hyphens in front of the options available.

The new incarnation of the bone-breaking abilities as combat maneuvers rocks, is balanced and improves via the levels in a balanced manner without relying on wild DM-fiating. All the problems I had with the old mechanics are gone and as an additional benefit, the ability actually encourages only subduing enemies rather than killing them, something I absolutely love and encourage. After all, good guys shouldn't kill everybody, right? ;)

I'll move on to the 10 new racial feats:

-Greater Shell and Shield: "kappa" in the prerequisites should read "Kappa". Gain cover when equipped with shield as long as you are not in melee. Nice idea.
-Improved Natural Armor: +1 Natural AC

-Kappa Crawl: Move at full walking speed when prone, reduce AC-penalty to minus 2; Great idea. "Prerequisites, Benefits" and "Normal" should be bold, though.

-Kappa Kiyup: Big brother of kappa crawl, no more Ac-penalty while prone, standing up provokes no attack of opportunity and is a free action.

-Master Shrinekeeper: When within reach of your shrine, you get a bonus to channel energy and DCs.

-Practiced Swimmer: While the wording of this feat once was rather ambiguous, it now is easily understandable. "Prerequisites, Benefits" and "Normal" should be bold, though.

-Shell and Shield: Gain partial cover when equipped with a shield. nice.

-Shrine-keeper: Attaches you to a shrine - when close to it, you gain +1 DC to all spells you cast. Boring.

-Swimming Jump: Jump from the water, Dolphin-style. Nice one. Why is there no charge-follow-up-feat? Would have made a nice feat-chain.

-Turtle Speed: Run while being prone or on all four limbs, gaining a +4 AC bonus against ranged attacks.

Finally, we get two new Kappa weapons. The Kappa dagger, which can be used under water with no penalty and the Kappa net. Thanks to a new piece of artwork and additional text provided, I now actually know what the web does and like it.

Conclusion:

The layout of this file is beautiful and Japanese-themed, plus, it is actually full-color. The cover artwork is stunning and made me see the Kappa with whole new eyes. The IC-writing filled me with anticipation, which in the revised edition, has been more or less fulfilled - while still plagued by the odd layout and editing glitch, the mechanics no longer suck, most of the mistakes have been taken care of and the file has improved a great deal, proving that RiP is not content to let glitches slide and just move on. Thus, due to the several improvements made, the complete rewrite of the core mechanics of the class and the significantly less editing and layout glitches (though there still are some left...), I'll upgrade my review of this pdf to 3 stars.



I wanted to thank the Paizoians for getting this up.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good to see this up! Thanks Vic (and Co.).

Though this is in the "Other" section, its a full race/class book with information for playing Kappas as a PC race from level 1. The kappa offer the chance to play a race of small creatures who actually excel at physical combat. Besides class archetypes for the kappa, it also contains the kappa bone breaker prestige class.

Though written with the Kaidan setting in mind (Japan based horror/fantasy realm for those not following us closely) the book is presented in a way making it adaptable to any fantasy setting, but especially those with an oriental flavor.


yeah that was my bad I will ask vic to see it gets moved to Races and Classes.


Actually, its the Kappa Bone-Breaker paragon class - not prestige class, a 20 level racial paragon that best represents this goblin of Japanese folklore as it fits Pathfinder and Kaidan.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Correct. I mistyped. The bonebreaker is a full class from 1 to 20 available only to kappas (unless you bribe the DM).

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Quote:

Kappa Net: A net on two stout poles, this weapon

can be used to ensnare creatures the same size as
the user or smaller. The kappa net follows much
the same rules as a thrown net but is used to

This is from the Kappa weapons section. I'm wondering how the description is supposed to finish.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My apologies. It came to my attention yesterday that there were problems in the manuscript which, due to problems in communication between editing and layout, were not corrected. A corrected version should be put together sometime in the next few days and we will try to do better in the future.

The following is from my unedited manuscript so please forgive any grammatical errors:
"Kappa Net: A net on two stout poles, this weapon can be used to ensnare creatures the same size as the user or smaller. The kappa net follows much the same rules as a thrown net but is used to make touch attacks against adjacent opponents and the poles are the limiting factor in the ensnared creature's movement (replacing the rope). Additionally, the net does not need to be folded in order to be used. Those not proficient in the use of the kappa net suffer a -6 penalty to attack rolls when using it. Those proficient in its use suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls when using it. "


I caught that too the day before yesterday, made the correction in layout and uploaded it to Rite Publishing, perhaps it hasn't been uploaded into the Paizo Store, but it has already been corrected.

I am pretty sure this is my error done in layout, not the editors fault.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I'm guessing that the unarmed damage of the paragon racial class also applies to the claw damage, or am I wrong?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chris Ballard wrote:
I'm guessing that the unarmed damage of the paragon racial class also applies to the claw damage, or am I wrong?

Yes. It should.


Wicht wrote:

My apologies. It came to my attention yesterday that there were problems in the manuscript which, due to problems in communication between editing and layout, were not corrected. A corrected version should be put together sometime in the next few days and we will try to do better in the future.

The following is from my unedited manuscript so please forgive any grammatical errors:
"Kappa Net: A net on two stout poles, this weapon can be used to ensnare creatures the same size as the user or smaller. The kappa net follows much the same rules as a thrown net but is used to make touch attacks against adjacent opponents and the poles are the limiting factor in the ensnared creature's movement (replacing the rope). Additionally, the net does not need to be folded in order to be used. Those not proficient in the use of the kappa net suffer a -6 penalty to attack rolls when using it. Those proficient in its use suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls when using it. "

Sobs quietly in the corner while clutching his printed & bound copy of 'In the Company of Kappa'.

Ahh well...it was only 6 bucks! :)


What Type is the Kappa supposed to be? "Humanoid (Kappa)"?


A kappa has two arms, two legs, one head, and is bipedal - its a humanoid. Its just the type and subtype description, its still a kappa, though.

GP

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
R.A.Boettcher wrote:
What Type is the Kappa supposed to be? "Humanoid (Kappa)"?

Humanoid (kappa, yokai) would probably be the best designation.

We are defining yokai as humanoids with animal features and the designation will include kappa, hengeyokai (shapechanging yokai) and Tengu.

The Yokai subtype has lowlight vision; and survival and stealth as class skills.


gamer-printer wrote:

A kappa has two arms, two legs, one head, and is bipedal - its a humanoid. Its just the type and subtype description, its still a kappa, though.

GP

Unless of course, your a mite, pixie, succubus, ettercap, etc, etc, etc! Lots of things have the basic humanoid config but don't have that type! :)

I was thinking it was a fey type myself considering its rather river spirit kind of nature.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
R.A.Boettcher wrote:

I was thinking it was a fey type myself considering its rather river spirit kind of nature.

Fey was an option, considering the historical monster. Humanoid however, was what the 3e Oriental Adventures used, so there was precedence that way.

However, as we knew that we wanted to do Tengu, Hengeyokai and Kappa as an allied group, and as they each have animal features on a generally humanoid body, it made good sense to make them all the same subtype.


Wicht wrote:
R.A.Boettcher wrote:
What Type is the Kappa supposed to be? "Humanoid (Kappa)"?

Humanoid (kappa, yokai) would probably be the best designation.

We are defining yokai as humanoids with animal features and the designation will include kappa, hengeyokai (shapechanging yokai) and Tengu.

The Yokai subtype has lowlight vision; and survival and stealth as class skills.

OK...thanks for the info!

I might skip 'yokai' myself since it likely wont' see use beyond this supplement in my games.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
R.A.Boettcher wrote:
Wicht wrote:
R.A.Boettcher wrote:
What Type is the Kappa supposed to be? "Humanoid (Kappa)"?

Humanoid (kappa, yokai) would probably be the best designation.

We are defining yokai as humanoids with animal features and the designation will include kappa, hengeyokai (shapechanging yokai) and Tengu.

The Yokai subtype has lowlight vision; and survival and stealth as class skills.

OK...thanks for the info!

I might skip 'yokai' myself since it likely wont' see use beyond this supplement in my games.

Outside of building a creature mechanically, most of the time, the subtype only matters if there's a bane weapon involved, or something like, so ignore away. :)


Part 2 of my review:

Finally, we get two new Kappa weapons. The Kappa dagger, which can be used under water with no penalty and the Kappa net. What does the Kappa net you ask? I have no idea. None. Why? Because the pdf closes mid-sentence before explaining what the FRIGGIN NET DOES.

Conclusion:

The layout of this file is beautiful and Japanese-themed, plus, it is actually full-color. The cover artwork is stunning and made me see the Kappa with whole new eyes. The IC-writing filled me with anticipation. And then the errors started to pile up. High. From typos to clunky mechanics to cut off text, this pdf has just about every kind of editing mistake you can make, spoiling what have could been an excellent, cool addition to the series. Utterly. At least for me. I HATE the central mechanic of the new class, some feat-choices are just strange and the fact that the weapon at the end is cut off just makes me want to claw at my hair. As much as I loved the other ItC-installments, as much have I been disappointed by this one. I like the beginning and the writing, but considering the huge pile-up of glaring botches, I'll settle for a 1-star rating: Keep away, at least until this pdf had a serious revision.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks End for the review.

I want to speak up in defense of the editor on this one - none of the mistakes you see there are his fault because the manuscript used for the layout was the wrong one (ie. my rough unedited manuscript). There were some serious miscommunication errors behind the scenes on this one. That being said the whole thing has already been redone and relaid out and its just waiting to be uploaded.


I'll modify my review accordingly once the updated version is up.

It won't become a 5-star-file, though, I fear.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Any suggestions for improving the bone-breaking ability? What would make it more palatable for you? Ki powered? Saving Throw? Something else?


First of all:

Drop the bone-hardness-mechanic. It's terrible and, at least in my opinion, unsalvageable.

Even with a table of sample bone-hardnesses, sooner or later the Gm will have to handwave some stuff. If you want to stick to the maneuver, it NEEDS a save. I'd suggest an expanded ki-pool and making it a ki power AND require a save, though.

Quite frankly, I think that making the class focus more explicitly on humanoid enemies and rewriting it completely would be a good idea.

To further illustrate my point: What about vermin? Spiders have legs, but no bones... If it were focused on abilities that work against humanoids/monstrous humanoids/dragons/undead/outsiders/whatever, that would at least be a start.
In the end, I'm a bit pessimistic, to be honest.

Dark Archive

thorough review end.


Thanks, D_M. Though this one depressed the hell out of me. Both the ItC-series and Jonathan's writing is usually top-notch but this one just missed the mark. :(

Dark Archive

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Thanks, D_M. Though this one depressed the hell out of me. Both the ItC-series and Jonathan's writing is usually top-notch but this one just missed the mark. :(

yeah i read it today, my views are pretty similar to yours. I didn't start on a review for it yet though. Hopefully they will have a updated on in the near future.


i want to thank End for taking the time to do a review of our product. I know the heartache you go through when you want to like soemthing and can't, a reviewers life is a tough one.

We do not expect every review to be 5-star when we make an error like this we work to correct it, the Ironborn of Questhaven started out very poorly and it took 5 versions before we got to a version we were happy with.


Thanks for your kind words, Steve and even more so for the possibility of an overhaul of this one. I only know the final version of Ironborn and I liked it, so a gestation period might improve this one, too.

Cheers,
Endzeitgeist

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In reference to Endzeitgeist's review just a quick FYI. "Out of doors" is a perfectly acceptable phrase this side of the Atlantic (i.e. Britain). It might just be a British thing though...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It seems that the file at OBS has been updated, so I can only assume this one will be sometime today as well. The fixes are editorial in nature, not mechanical, but we will be looking at the mechanics of the paragon class and giving them an overhaul.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I did also want to address one of the feats End commented on: Practiced Swimmer.

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Swim speed is not a prerequisite of this feat, nor does "kappa" stand there. Can character without a swim speed take this? What does "by 1" mean? I gather 1 ft? 1 square? And what does the second sentence mean? Do we get a second set of swim-movement-stats for combat if we don't have enough ranks?

The wording of the feat is correct and is mirrored after the wording in the APG Elf barbarian favored class option, among others. It is available to any race and class, so long as the person has the Skill Focus (Swim) feat. It is included in this book because Kappa's are swimmers and I thought it a good feat for them to have.

It intentionally does not require a swim speed because it seems self evident to me that some land creatures can still practice their swimming and grow faster as a result. It is the sort of feat you would expect to be possessed by olympic swimmers.

The incremental increase is an increase of 1 ft. per skill rank and it would perhaps be clearer to say so, but again, I was mirroring Paizo's wording. When we look at the mechanics, I'll ask Dave, the editor whether he thinks it would be better to alter the wording.


Once I had the time to go through the updated file, I'll modify my review accordingly.

Thanks for elaborating, but even if this is Paizo's wording, (and I mentioned that I thought it was 1 ft.) I still don't get the second sentence.

"You must
possess 5 ranks (or a multiple thereof) to increase
your speed in combat."

Increase to what? 1ft.? The whole bonus speed we got from the feat? What about the "multiple of 5"-reference? I'm not trying to be nagging, I honestly don't get the sentence or how this feat is supposed to work. And I've got a CPE, so I shouldn't have trouble understanding what they are going for. o.o

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Endzeitgeist wrote:

Once I had the time to go through the updated file, I'll modify my review accordingly.

Thanks for elaborating, but even if this is Paizo's wording, (and I mentioned that I thought it was 1 ft.) I still don't get the second sentence.

"You must
possess 5 ranks (or a multiple thereof) to increase
your speed in combat."

Increase to what? 1ft.? The whole bonus speed we got from the feat? What about the "multiple of 5"-reference? I'm not trying to be nagging, I honestly don't get the sentence or how this feat is supposed to work. And I've got a CPE, so I shouldn't have trouble understanding what they are going for. o.o

In combat, all speed must be in multiple of 5s (15 ft, 20 ft, 30 ft, etc.) and all fractional speeds (36 ft.) are rounded down (35 ft.)

In a race, a guy with a 33 speed will probably beat a 31 speed but both will have a speed of 30 in combat.

The APG reads, "A speed of 34 feet is effectively the same as a speed of 30 feet, for example."

Thus, only when you have five ranks does your combat speed go up 30 -> 35 -> 40.

It evidently wouldn't hurt to make it clearer. I'll endeavor to put in an example when we redo the manuscript.


Ah... now I see! Thank you very much for the clarification! I was aware of the 5-foot rule for combat but the wording of the feat just had me utterly stupefied. Oo

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FallofCamelot wrote:
In reference to Endzeitgeist's review just a quick FYI. "Out of doors" is a perfectly acceptable phrase this side of the Atlantic (i.e. Britain). It might just be a British thing though...

Its an acceptable phrase over here as well.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I want to thank Endzeitgeist again for his review. I have just finished making changes to the bone-breaker paragon class and sent the file back to Michael for layout again. End's insightful comments helped greatly to know what to fix and what not to - and he did actually catch a couple of things the editor had missed. (Quick Notice - I did not replace "out of doors," as I actually like the phrase; though it is perhaps slightly archaic.)

I also want to thank Steve Russell, publisher extraordinaire, for his suggestions in fixing the bone-breaking maneuvers. He's much better with that sort of rule-crafting than I am.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The In the Company of Kappa PDF has been overhauled and updated here at Paizo.


I'm glad I could be of assistance and that you didn't take my criticism too harsh - I enjoy your writing. :) I rewrote my review here and on Enworld to reflect the new V.3.0 of the file and upgraded my verdict to 3 stars.

All the best,
Endzeitgeist

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Endzeitgeist wrote:

I'm glad I could be of assistance and that you didn't take my criticism too harsh - I enjoy your writing. :) I rewrote my review here and on Enworld to reflect the new V.3.0 of the file and upgraded my verdict to 3 stars.

All the best,
Endzeitgeist

Thanks. :)


End could you submit a new review to drivehthru? I know you can't edit your original review but you can add a new one.


Can do, Steve! I submitted my new review and hope it worked - I think it's a pity I can't modify my first review, though.

Let me know if my DTRPG-update didn't work, as for me it looks as if it did.

All the best,
Endzeitgeist

Dark Archive

Endzeitgeist wrote:

Can do, Steve! I submitted my new review and hope it worked - I think it's a pity I can't modify my first review, though.

Let me know if my DTRPG-update didn't work, as for me it looks as if it did.

All the best,
Endzeitgeist

Can't you just delete your old review? I was able to delete one not to long ago. Granted I did it with in mins of my putting it up. Put it up for the wrong product was doing two at once and got them switched. Anyways i was able to delete it then and post the right one up.


They seem to have auto-replaced my old review. Oo Nice, I guess. :)

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