Sometimes rules supplements read like the world-setting bible of frustrated novelists. While solid world-building is a useful skill, you don't always need four paragraphs of flavor text to tell you swords are cool, magic is power, shadows are scary, and orcs are savage. Sometimes a GM doesn’t have time to slog through a page of history for every magic weapon. Sometimes all that's needed are a few cool ideas, with just enough information to use them in a game. Sometimes, all you need are bullet points.
Bullet Pointsare a line of very short, cheap PDFs each of which gives the bare bones of a set of related options. It may be five spells, six feats, eight magic weapon special abilities, or any other short set of related rules we can cram into about a page. Short and simple, these PDFs are for GMs and players who know how to integrate new ideas into their campaigns without any hand-holding, and just need fresh ideas and the rules to support them. No in-character fiction setting the game world. No charts and tables. No sidebars of explanations and optional rules. Just one sentence of explanation for the High Concept of the PDF, then bullet points.
The High Concept: Seven feats designed to augment the options and utility of creatures of the undead type (such as those found in Mythic Menagerie: Kingdom of Graves, but useable by a wide range of other undead), that can also just be used as additional undead powers (increasing an undead's CR by 1 for every 2 bonus feats taken).
The feats included are:
Disturbing Movements: The disjointed, uneven, jerky way you move strains the minds of those who see you.
Fulminate: You explode.
Mist Walk: You can often get ahead of your prey, even though you always seem to be walking slowly.
Putrid Spray: When you are damaged, you spray a putrid fluid from your rotting flesh.
Shadow Minion: You can send your shadow out to do your bidding.
Staggering Consequences: Energy damage tends to stick to you, and harm those around you.
Weapon Bind: Your animate corpse often catches on weapons stuck in it.
These are pretty cool. At first I thought they would mostly see use by the GM only but then the Advanced Race Guide came out and the players have some more options. I was actually looking at converting some World of Warcraft when I came across this. It's a perfect addition. My players are really looking forward to using this. I can already see the alchemist enjoying the Staggering Consequences feat.
You know the drill by now - 3 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1 page content, so let's check this out!
This pdf provides us with 7 feats designed for our favorite undying menaces, to be precise:
-Disturbing Movements: Witnessing a creature move may make you shaken. Silent Hill/ The Ting and similar Japanese horror, anyone? Very cool!
-Fulminate: The undead creature detonates upon death, and, even cooler, reform after some time if your remains aren't dealt with.
-Mist Walk: Dimension door between areas of dim light and shadow - a staple of horror literature, cinema and my own home game. Nice! Plus the name is probably an homage to Ravenloft, which is also cool. I don't get why the feat has incorporeal or gaseous form and a steep 12 HD as a prerequisite, though.
-Putrid Spray: When you take damage, you may spray slimy doom-carrying putrid pus at your foes. Ew!
-Shadow Minion: Detach a creature's shadow as a minion to do its bidding. cool feat, though I would have loved to see a mechanic to make the shadow tougher.
-Staggering Consequences: When hit by any type of energy, the undead are thereafter shrouded for a limited time in the energy, dealing damage of the appropriate type to adjacent spaces.
-Weapon Bind: Undead creatures with this feat have a chance of weapons staying stuck in them, forcing foes to either abandon them or waste precious time trying to pull them free.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to SGG's 3-column horizontal standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The concepts of these feats are great and iconic, since they utilize some of the best-known stunts undead pull off and provide rules for them. However, I also feel that the HD-prerequisites for Mistwalk are too steep and that a way to improve one's shadow companion would have been nice. The pdf per se is great, the feats are cool and the price is fair, but when directly compared to e.g. the stellar BP on feats of flying, the undead fall slightly short. Hence, I'll settle on a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4.
Following the standard Bullet Point layout of three pages in landscape mode, with the material being presented in a three column format, with a few pieces of B&W artwork (that cover piece being an excellent choice of stock art by the way), this addition to the Bullet Point series focuses on those not quite dead critters we GM's love to throw in wave after wave at our players.
Disturbing Movements is the feat for all of you fans of the Oriental ghost story movies, and will give you translated game mechanics to add the bizarre stop motion jerkiness to your undead.
Fulminate takes us further into Hollywood hilarity....when reduced low enough in hit points, the undead simply goes Ka-Boom! Dealing fire damage to a radius around their location. Best part, if the pieces aren't all found and dealt with, the undead reforms, lol
Mist Walk answers that question of how does that slow moving shuffling body always manage to get ahead of the people its chasing? Well, we'll suffice to say it's taking a shortcut, lol.
Putrid Spray will have your players rethinking their tactics in attacking your undead, as any hp damage can be answered with a spraying of putrid disease ridden puss.
Shadow Minion allows for the ultimate dark Peter Pan moment, as it allows you to detach your shadow, using it as a loyal agent....ohhh, the wrongness that creeps through my brain in pondering the many many usages for this.
Staggering Consequences is an interesting concept in that it allows an undead to “hold on” to the energy of an energy attack used against them a few rounds, creating an “aura” of this energy around them that can damage those within surrounding areas. i.e. acid attacks would hang on their outer skin and drip off as caustic fluids, ice forms a frozen mist, burst into flames, etc.
Weapon Bind I can see a crafty GM using as a great way to remind a group that there is more to surviving then simply owning the biggest weapon. With this feat an undead has a higher percentage of catching an attacker's weapon within their body, forcing an opponent to free their weapon before being able to use it again.
Editing as usual falls within the top notch category, and the feats are all well thought out in that they all bring an interesting new twist to the table for a GM to make an encounter with undead something the players won't soon forget. Well worth the price, and an easy 5 stars.