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Horrors of the GOW (PFRPG) PDF

***½( ) (based on 2 ratings)

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The undead, demons, malignant ghosts stalk the Lands of GOW. In the late fall, just before the first flakes of winter, the veil between the worlds grows thin. Necromancers feel a surge in power, spirits manifest for longer periods, and those who revel in horror and blood find themselves even more driven to commit foul deeds.

This short tome is designed to collect a handful of the horrors witnessed in the Lands of the GOW. They range from celluloid-inspired monsters, a magical incantation, a re-animator prestige class, new witch hexes and patron, cursed and blasphemous objects and sites.

Horror often results with the violation of natural boundaries. Many items and creatures in this supplement violate the most natural boundary of all—the boundary of the self. Possession, obsession, reanimation and consumption all take the individual and bend them to another's will. While not everything here fits that category, it was our overarchingtheme with many items.

This release contains digital and photo art.

By: Stefen Styrsky and Mark Gedak

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Product Reviews (2)

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***½( ) (based on 2 ratings)

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A must for Phantasm-fans; Alchemists and Witches also get their due

***( )( )

This pdf is 28 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page credits, 5 pages SRD, leaving 21 pages of content, so let's take a look at what we get, shall we?

I'm a sucker for horror-themed adventures, critters etc., as most of you will knwo and thus I was more than happy about the first section of this pdf: The CR 12 Black-suited Man along his Flying Spheroid (Cr 4) and Lurker (CR 3) henchmen bring to life the devious creatures from the cult-classic Phantasm-movies, probably one of the few b-horror-movie-franchises I really considered to be creepy. All the signature moves are there: Spheres drilling into foes? Check! Limbs of the tall man turning into monsters? Check! Only the laser-spheroid from the second movie is missing. However, on the layout-side an unfortunate decision has been made: While the sections of the statblocks have been separated into offense, defense, etc., printing the headers bold would make them much easier to read.

Next up is a magical Ouji-board possessed by a shadow demon, who will eventually consume the users. Ok, but nothing too special after the great phantasm-stat-ups.

Then, we get a take on Halloween/Samhain containing PFRPG-updates of several 3.X monsters, to be precise: The pitchfork-wielding Blood Scarecrow (CR 4), the CR 7 undead, foe-slowing Webbed Sentinel, the bottles-inhabiting, tiny undead Necroling (CR 4) and the tendril-sporting CR 7 ragged wraith all have some neat abilities and suffer from the same unfortunate formatting decision that plagued earlier statblocks. Also, while all the creatures did have some kind of ability to set them apart, none really gripped my attention.

We also get a legacy-scythe in the format of the legendary-series, evidently inspired by Masque of the Red Death - if only the abilities of said weapon would be a bit more out of the ordinary - fatigue, death etc. might be fitting, but also are more or less what one would expect.

An adventure-location centering on a black piece of rock that geases people into murdering other and subsequently becoming morlocks has left me singularly unimpressed, both as location, plot-device and in its presentation.

Fans of incantations like yours truly also get their due in this pdf - "The Vengeance" enables you to summon a spirit to exact vengeance upon your foes. Generic, yet supremely useful and a cool plot-device.

Fans of the APG can rejoice, to be precise, the ones of the alchemist: If you ever wanted to blend alchemy and necromancy, the 10 level Master of Life-PrC for the alchemist is just what you've been looking for: d8, 2+Int skills per level, medium ref and will saves, 3/4 BAB-progression and the ability to create more deadly zombie variants via discoveries and a capstone undead transformation - neat! A ready-made NPC is also stated out.

Witches also get some love in the form of 8 new hexes and a new patron, namely vengeance. The hexes felt sufficiently unique and unsettling and the sample witch provided for the new patron is also a nice touch.

As a final, nice critter, we get Ick-Chomp, the vampiric Oytugh (CR 6), whose in-character-written prose is hilarious - a nice finish for the pdf!

As a kind of enhancement, we also get the 2-page City of Graves-pdf, 1 page of which is flavortext for the lands of GOW and 1 page being the SRD.

Editing and formatting could be better - I noticed several glitches, from the non-bold lines separating the statblock sections to minor punctuation errors. The bookmarks, while there, seem to be glitchy as well and not all sections of the pdf (e.g. the Witch patrons) get their own bookmark. The pdf also feels a bit unorganized with monsters e.g. not in their own chapter. Artwork is mostly realistic photo-art, which one has to like.

The respective sections were varying in quality - the support for the APG-classes was great, the incantation neat and the vampiric Otyugh is awesome and the Phantasm-monsters elicited a minor fanboy-gasm on my side, but the legacy scythe, the monsters and the black stone in particular felt rather bland and uninspired to me. I also realize that the Phantasm-beasties might primarily be for people with fond memories of said critters. In the end, this is hard to rate, as it did contain several pieces of content I really enjoyed while others left me dead cold or even bored. While the pdf is very cheap, it also does not provide some genuinely brilliant new piece of content. Add to that the editing and formatting problems and my final verdict would be 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2.

Which the content of the pdf definitely not deserves, as there are some good pieces to be found herein. For fans of Phantasm and if you're looking for the APG-support, you might want to add a star to the final verdict - at this price, you probably won't regret a purchase. As I belong to the latter category of Phantasm-fanboys and am always hungering for more APG support, my verdict will reflect this and be 3 stars -just be aware of my personal preferences here.

Endzeitgeist out.

A nice book

****( )

This product is 28 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits and Introduction. (3 pages)

The book is a collection of horror inspired things to enhance your game with.

Creatures (3 ½ pages)
It starts with 3 new creatures. Black Suited man – Animated Corpse, Flying Spheroid – a flying metal construct sphere, Lurker – weaker Animated Corpse. All of these I believe was inspired by the movie Phantasm.

Cursed Item (1 ½ pages)
Suriel's Witch Board – Basically it is a Weegie Board made into a DnD magic item. Except this one is cursed. I won't ruin the surprise on how and why it is cursed, but it is a pretty cool item.

Event (½ page)
Night of Horrors, basically Halloween only not for kids. Due to the world setting of Gow, on this one night of the year, monsters are unbound by past agreements and may hunt as they see fit. They can kill any and all they want on this night, but they must follow three rules.
1) May not attack those wearing monster costumes.
2) May not attack anyone that gives them candy.
3) May not enter a house that has a Jack-O-Lateran on display.

Exhumed Monsters (4 ½ pages)
These are all monsters from older 3.x sources gathered together that fit the theme and updated to Pathfinder.
Blood Scarecrow – About what you would expect but very cool.
Webbed Sentinel – Undead spider thing.
Necroling – Tiny Undead. Very cool how they are created.
Ragged Wraith – Special wraiths that raise after their bodies where desecrated.

Legendary Weapons (2 pages)
Reaper's Scythe – It posses powers related to the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. This weapon is reprinted in the Legendary Weapons book 2 by Purple Duck Games.

Location (1 page)
Black Stone – It is a magical black stone that can be placed anywhere in a game world with some dark magical powers about it.

Magical Incantation (1 1/2)
The Vengeance – It creates a Phantasm Killer type effect. While not the same as the spell it is similar and very well done.

PrC (3 pages)
Master of Life – This is a 10 level Alchemist PrC. D8, 2 skills, medium BaB, 2 good saves, +1 alchemist caster level per level. The special class abilities are bombs, undead resistance, some new discoveries about bringing the dead back as undead. It includes a sample character with the PrC. It is a very neat PrC, I like it a lot. Especially as a NPC villain, but it could make for a fun PC too.

Witch Hexes and Patrons (2 pages)
There is 8 new witch Hexes and 1 new patron.
Hex Sight – Can see another witches hexes if on people are things.
Lame – Cause one of the targets legs to wither, hindering their movement.
Curse of Ages – Makes a target age.
Corpse Body – Makes the witch look like a old withered corpse.
Spirit Whispers – Gains bonus to knowledge checks and spirits help the witch out.
Know Past Wrongs – Can learn vague details of misdeeds of a target in the past 24 hours.
Wasting – Makes a target slowly wither, waste away and die.
Weapon Hex – Can for awhile give a weapon Bane, Keening, Vicious or Wounding ability.
Vengeance Patron – A good spell list but I am not sure all the spells fit the list as good as they could have. I like the idea of the Patron and it is a solid spell list, I just think a more fitting one might have been had.
It ends with a sample witch using some of the hexes and the patron.

Finally there is a new vampiric monster. It is a vampire template applied to a monster you wouldn't normally expect, I found it more amusing than anything. Not sure if that was the intent or not. (½ page)

It ends with a OGL (5 pages)

Closing Thoughts. I liked the product, while this is for the Gow setting most of it can be used with any setting with little to no work. Really the only thing that takes much work at all is some of the fluff mostly on the Halloween Night Event and the weapon. The art is varied in the book, some of it is photo's even. It is well done though and matched fairly well with stuff. The writing is pretty good, there was a couple of spots I had to stop and reread something to be sure I understood what the writer meant. But all and all it was well written. The layout was ok. It wasn't great but it wasn't bad either.

I would have liked the layout to have been a bit more clear and more broken up. Like all the monsters in one section, the events, locations, magic items in another section and then class features in a third section. Minor issue but would have made the product better and easier to use. It is very print friendly other than the bit of art, it is black and white text with no border. The phantasm inspired stuff was well done but not really my thing, the rest of the book though I enjoyed. I would have liked the event section expanded, what their was, was neat. But it was such a nifty idea it really deserved more. The rest was well done and I have no complaints, my biggest issue was the layout. So whats my rating? I am going with a 4 star, it is good, but could have used some more polish.

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