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15 Specific Weapons, Volume IV (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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Magical weapons are a necessity of most roleplaying games, yet the core rulebook presents so few of them. Magical weapons are loved by players and game masters alike, yet there is almost none to choose from. There is nothing like a memorable magical weapon to help define a character throughout a campaign, just think about your favorite fictional heroes of fantasy and the weapons that they carry!

It is certainly possible to purchase a magical warhammer such as the dwarven thrower or a magical longsword like the nine lives stealer, but most weapons are not represented at all. For example, where are the magical falchions, flails, kukris, morningstars, spears, hand crossbows and whips? Sure, a creative player can take a look at the special abilities and come up with a concept of his own, but it will be a very limited concept, limited to the twenty-nine special abilities of the core rulebook. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Player's Guide makes this selection slightly bigger, yet, most weapons are still not represented among the specific magical weapons selection.

This series of short PDFs hopes to bring new weapons and concepts to your game!

These are the 15 specific weapons from Volume IV; Assassin's Mercy (kama), Backwatching Boar Spear (boar spear), Blade of Glories Past (intelligent falcata), Boulder Thrower (sling), Earthsplitter (gnome hooked hammer), Earthwrack (warhammer), Eldritch Piercer (repeating light crossbow), Impact Storm (lucerne hammer), Nature's Vengeance (quarterstaff), Pit Bola (bola), Rainbow Boomerang (boomerang), Seeker (elven curve blade), Spinning Peace (nunchaku), Storm Hammer (meteor hammer), Spiderwhip (whip), Talon of Shadow Rending (flying talon)

... Yes, there are 16 weapons and not 15 as announced! In this PDF, you'll also find the crack special ability and the stats for all the weapons!

Written by Ken Burnside, K. Axel Carlsson, Mark Gedak, Christian Gunter, Will McCardell and Jonathan Palmer. Art by Megan Merz.

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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4.5 stars - one miss among the items

*****

The latest installment of Headless Hydra Games' "15 specific weapons"-line is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 9 pages of content, so let's check this one out!

In contrast to most introductions to the topic of weapons, this pdf actually starts with an interesting introduction - advice is provided to DMs who seek to insert weapons into their games and the cultural perspective that led to the development of these martial instruments of mayhem is taken into the focus. While not providing earth-shattering insights, the thoughts that are conveyed are something to keep in mind when inserting a new weapon into your game.

That being said, we get, apart from the new specific weapons, a new weapon quality (that adds sonic damage, a reprinted table of the basic weapon stats and a table to roll for them, if you're so inclined.

Headless Hydra Games are great at making magic feel...well, magical. uncommon. Strange. Distinct. And the same can be applied to the weapons herein. You won't find a single weapon in these pages that only has some weapon qualities stapled to a name and instead are provided several interesting items that may open up whole new tactics. Take the large adamantine warhammer "Earthwrack" - by pounding it on the ground, the wielder may create difficult terrain. Or the backwatching boar-spear, which is a twist on the dancing weapon - instead of attacking, the spear literally watches your back and can brace itself against attacks and defend you. There's also a modular repeating crossbow with a bayonet and on the iconic side: "Impact Storm". This lucerne hammer can be held to the sky and, after a battle-cry by the wielder, he is struck be lightning for damage, but also damage surrounding foes with a sonic blast that doubles as a bull-rush. If you don't consider that metal and awesome, I don't know what would be.

However, there is one particular weapon I have a true gripe with: Assassin's Mercy. A keen kama+2, this weapon may maximize his/her sneak attack damage, but only once per victim. That's the only restriction. Other than that, it can be used unlimited times per day. On a crit, sneak attack is added to the damage, even against targets usually immune to sneak attack. This is broken in two ways: Immunities are not called immunities, because they can be offset by a 24800 GP-weapon. An artifact? Ok, I can get behind that. But a weapon in this price range? Worse, imagine warfare: A camp of low-to mid-level soldiers. A high-level assassin. Guaranteed death, all around. Replace that with a squad of assassins with blades like these and we have a death-squad par excellence. Don't fear the next orc-invasion. Two flanking rogues can break the whole mob. Not gonna happen in my game.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a book-style 2-column standard and is nice to look at. the artworks for some of the weapons provided herein is of high-quality and the pdf comes fully bookmarked. All in all, I really enjoyed this installment of the "15 specific weapons"-line. Apart from the one item I consider broken, I had a lot of fun with the iconic weaponry herein and look forward to inflicting them on my players. The price-point practically can't be beat and, while I'd usually go 4 stars for this pdf due to aforementioned gripe, the low price makes me settle on 4.5, rounded up to 5 instead.
Endzeitgeist out.


*****

Headless Hydra's latest offering in the Specific Weapons series is V.4, and weighs in at 12 pages. Between cover, credits and OGL we'll lose three pages, with another three pages going to an Intro and an essay from Jonathan Palmer discussing a few thoughts to consider in regards to magical weaponry, their design, the lack of variety within pre-established rulesets, and what can be done about it without losing sight of why we play these games in the first place, to have fun. Amusingly, the intro article ends with a reminder to review your PDFs, for some reason I found myself reading that in Bob Barker's voice in my head.

Of the weapons offered up in this volume, we're introduced to a kama that, in the hands of those who know how to use them, aids in delivering the killing blow with mercy, giving a swift death. A spear that will literally, watch your back. A halfling sling that will have you nostalgic for David and Goliath tales. Hammers for gnomes, giants, one that thinks it's a lightning rod, and another waiting to call the storm.

You know that one old guy in the bar who's always talking about the good old days like they were yesterday? His sword's in here. The Blade of Glories Past reminded me so much of those folks who are living so far in their own past, they're in denial as to what they have become. Fun thing about the sword though is that it's going to try and latch on and relive some of those glory days, only to drag you down with it.

A quarterstaff with a grudge against manufactured goods, a set of bola that will leave you in the pits, a rainbow painted boomerang (yes, you read that right), a repeating crossbow with a trick up it's sleeve, and an elven blade that will help its wielder find their way. A set of nunchuka designed around defense, a whip fashioned from giant spider tendons, and a flying talon able to ground the untouchable undead round out this collection.

Now, if you were counting, that's sixteen, so not only were you getting 15 new magical weapons for a dollar, but the folks at HHG threw in a bonus, not to shabby, to say the least.

Format follows the dual column standard, with a muted colored frame to the pages, and B&W artwork depicting six of the weapons. I found one grammatical error, and it was the usage of form instead of from....minor enough, it's a non issue. PDF contains two tables, one a random dice chart, the other a standard gear style page for the new weaponry listing costs, weights, dmg, range, type...you know the standards. Last thing of note is the cherry on this sundae, a brand new Magic Weapon Special Ability, not only used in this PDF to show off what it can do, but presented on its own, so that you may apply as you wish to your own creations.

I have long felt that there is a need for product lines of this nature, small, to the point, and cheap. The impulse PDF as I call them. Several companies do them, and do them right. HHG is one of those companies that's doing the idea right. Spend a dollar, get an idea what they can do, then go look over the rest of their products, trust me on this one.

16 weapons, easily earned that 5 star ratio.





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