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RPG Superstar 2015

The Genius Guide to What's In My Pocket? Part Deux (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 1 rating)

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Sometimes a GM wants to spark some interest and mystery via some object the player characters find. Even without handing out a major magic item, a GM can make a world seem more in-depth by providing some colorful items that suggest they have a back-story behind them.

To assist in such efforts, this second volume of The Genius Guide to What’s in My Pocket? provides some more odd little items, none of which will be of great use to players, but all of which might pique their interest.

These items were designed to encourage players to ask questions and to act as starting points for GMs who wanted to introduce some new story hooks. The accompanying story seeds are creative motes and ideas rather than specific story elements, and they are best used by GMs who like creating stories and rumors on the fly. Even if one of these items doesn't encourage further investigation when found, it may provide another great opportunity for a GM to create a colorful background when characters attempt to sell it.

When magical, the items list their aura, caster level, and construction requirements.

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Product Reviews (1)

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***** (based on 1 rating)

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4.5 stars - the series find its identity

*****

This pdf is 14 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, leaving us with 12 1/3 pages of content, so what exactly do we get?

Well, first, let's talk about what we DON'T get: In contrast to the very first installment of the series, the second one has found an identity wholly distinct from Raging Swan Press' "So what's..."-series: Instead of providing a list of short items that can be found, we get a section of 31 different items that all come with a price and many of them can be considered minor wondrous items that range from a carry around retractable podium to hold books and a mechanic toy that rolls around for some feet before starting to shriek. It should be noted that in the case of wondrous items, construction rules and information is included as well.
Another distinction is that each of the items herein comes with a story-seed for enterprising DMs. The pdf also includes items that e.g. make locating objects via the spell of the same name easier and orbs that allow you to record a message of up to 20 words, needles that thread themselves and similar curiosities, interspersed with a bland copper chain that is an utter filler - I honestly don't get why this break from the usual format has been included - it's neither required, nor does it feel appropriate. Even the shaving kit and gaming tiles (also rather mundane) are somewhat original in that they haven't been done. Better yet, many items take nice twists on everyday items and even toys and could be seen as representations of items that feature in our everyday lives.

The pdf also features some tricks for DMs that are mostly useful for novices à la tracking which items you've already used, different magic item sources and a short discussion of Clarke's Third law, which states that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic and thus makes modern items possible sources of inspiration for magic items and on how to handle players treating magic like technology, which is doubly important when taking into account that many items herein might be also created via steampunk/science. Nice for novice DMs, but nothing new for me there.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to SGG's 3-column, landscape-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, which is a pity and a minor gripe I have with this pdf - at this point, all but Bullet point-pdfs should be bookmarked.

Now this book is markedly different from the previous one and is better for it, making this pdf even a viable purchase if you already own the "Genius Guide to what's in my Pocket" and Raging Swan's "So what's that Shiny Object like, anyways?". In fact, I'd go 5 stars for this pdf, were it not for the relative brevity of the pdf (about +20 items would have been nice) and the fact that this pdf has no bookmarks. I gave the predecessor of this file 4.5 stars, but since I wrote that review, the standard has been set even higher - while this pdf one ups its predecessor, it doesn't do so in the extent that would see me rate this the full 5 stars, so what's a reviewer to do? In the end, I'll rate this 4.5 stars and round up in contrast to its predecessor to drive home that this is imho the superior file.

Endzeitgeist out.


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