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If You Enjoy Playing Arcane Tricksters...Ambrosia Slaad —
Breakdown: 1 page each for cover, credits & intro, and OGL statement + 5½ pages detailing the arcane trickster base class + ¼ page favored class bonuses + 2¼ pages for sample character at 1st, 5th, 10th, and 15th levels = 11 pages total.
Purple Duck's prestige archetypes are simply the familiar prestige classes converted into full 20-level base classes. The arcane trickster prestige archetype that originated in D&D 3.x and was updated in the Pathfinder core book has always appealed to many players wanting a sneakier, rogue-ish mage... but as implemented, has always lagged behind the other class options in magic power, physical combat prowess, and survivability. PDG's arcane trickster base class inherits a ¾ BAB, good Reflex and Will saves, a large number of class skills + 4 ranks/level, access to a number of rogue talents, sneak attack progression up to +9d6, and the prepared wizard spell list/spell from both its parents (rogue and wizard). It also has all the nifty trickster abilities from its prestige class sibling. Sounds good so far, right?
Well, sneak attack sounds good, but any rogue knows that you need a flat-footed or flanked opponent to get it. It's easier for an AT who can pop off invisibility and vanish spells, especially from a wand or scroll without needing a UMD check. But ATs, like rogues, normally need to be adjacent to an opponent to sneak attack, and that means the tough critter or melee-er will likely be counterattacking a still quite squishy arcane trickster. Worse, if you're attacking with weapons, you aren't casting spells, which should be your main attack option. The AT's best sneak attack option, surprise spells, doesn't kick in until 14th level, and it still requires the target to be flat-footed. Still, there are ways to make it work, but the AT player will need a cooperative party to help set up the SA opportunities (no Leeroy Jenkins need apply).
The main limitation the AT base class will feel are the spells. Spell level progression is the same as a bard or magus: you don't get 2nd level spells until your 4th character level, 3rd level spells unlock at 7th character level, etc. And unlike a magus or summoner, spells remain at same level as a wizard, so you and your party have to wait for haste and similar frequently-used/party favorite spells. But the biggie is your spell access caps at 6th level spells; that means no casting the 7th-9th heavy hitter spells. And since those spells aren't on your AT spell list, the AT PC will need to be UMDing to cast them from a scroll or staff, with all the hazards that involves.
While the arcane trickster prestige archetype has some limitations, a strategic player that avoids front-line combat can make this class shine. Purple Duck's Carl Cramér has done an admirable job stitching the best of two core classes and prestige class together into a well-balanced and fun whole. And heck, it's only $2, what more do you want?
4.5 out of 5 stars
(Full Disclosure: I previously developed a arcane tricker-inspired magus archetype, the spiderhawk, for Paizo Fans United's Wayfinder #10, a free download available from Paizo's webstore.)
How Have We Gone So Long Without Magic Pants?Ambrosia Slaad —
Breakdown: 1 page each for cover, credits, and intro + 2 page OGL statement + 10 pages of items = 15 pages total. The PDF is fully bookmarked for quick reference to each individual item.
After the introduction aka "How Magic Pants Came to Be" (A: Blame Owen) and short explanation of the new "Legs" slot for magic items, it jumps right into the items. There are 23 total magic items, mostly pants and trousers, but a few skirts, kilts, and stockings too. You'll probably notice several of the items as homages to famous legwear from popular movies, comics, and cultural idioms. They come in at a variety of price points, so there's likely something here for most characters in the party. Next up, is a section on cursed legwear, with 7 items. Pun-age is used sparingly and sagaciously, although punny items are more prevalent among the cursed items. :)
This is another excellent and very affordable product from Purple Duck. Perhaps the best feature is that it will likely inspire numerous new ideas for magic legwear, among GMs, players, and (hopefully) other 3PPs. My only complaint is that PDG has used the "Storeroom" line for great one-shot ideas, and I'd really like to see many more magic pants and legwear items.
5 out of 5 stars.
"Please, can I have some more?" :)Ambrosia Slaad —
Purchased April 9th, 2014.
Todd Stewart, author of Paizo's The Great Beyond: A Guide to the Multiverse (among many other Paizo and 3PP projects), is largely responsible for evocatively shaping the presentation and background of the enigmatic paragons of Chaos, the proteans. So it seems only fitting that with this product, Stewart also introduces the setting-neutral "tieflings" of Chaos, the Xaolings.
Like protean castes, Xaolings come in three different racial subtypes, largely similar, but with distinctive traits inherited from their naunet, imentesh, and keketar kin; mechanically, they are well-within or below the power levels of tieflings and aasimars (and really don't challenge the power supremacy of core dwarves and humans). They have access to several alternate racial traits for further customization; sample names and height/weight & aging tables and favored class options are also provided. Next up are the chaos rager (barbarian) and singer of the manifold wyrm (cleric) archetypes, including a clerical table of four protean lord patrons (deific powers). Then, nine racial feats, four magic items, and five new spells.
1 page cover, 2 pages credits and expansive OGL statement; 15 pages total, presented in portrait orientation. The cover art is custom just for this product, but the six interior stock art illustrations (also all color) are very suitable xaoling representations, and range from very good to fantastic (the aquatic female warrior astride her saurial sea mount beastie).
All in all, this is one of the best Rogue Genius products yet released (and that's already a pretty high standard). This is an excellent race supplement for both players and GMs fond of proteans, tieflings, and wonderful Outer Planar weirdness, whether you are playing in the Great Beyond or the Prime Material. It'll also leave you wanting and anticipating other great Planar Races supplements, not just of xaolings, but other planar races.
A well-earned 5 out of 5 stars. -- Sarah "Ambrosia Slaad" Counts
(Purchased this August 17th, 2013 from another site.)
This supplement clocks in at 17 pages total: 1 for the cover & intro; 1 for the credits & (very tiny) OGL; ~7-1/2 pages of racial description and flavor, including ARG-style 11 alternate racial traits & 4 racial subtypes, as well as favored class options for all the Pathfinder core and base classes; 2 racial archetypes, the focused hunter (ranger) and the skulk (rogue); 6 items of racial equipment; 11 racial feats; 2 magic armor properties and 3 magic items; the aardwolf and wasteland druid domains; 5 new spells; and the aardwolf (including animal companion stats) and plioviverrops (dire aardwolf) bestiary entries.
As gnolls are to hyenas, aardvolk are to aardwolves. As presented here, the aardvolk have largely been hidden, overlooked, and mistaken for their less-honorable cousins, the gnolls. This offers players and GMs opportunities to use these "gnolls" in non-evil, even good, encounters. There is a lot of meat here that should give any GM plenty of hooks to incorporate into an existing campaign, especially where the PCs/NPCs wander near warm grasslands, hills, and deserts (or the nearby trade-focused cities).
Players should find the skulk archetype quite useful and very stealthy, especially in campaigns where traps aren't a predominant threat. Likewise, the focused hunter gives up some defensive and stealth capabilities to really put the hurt on enemies when it counts.
Overall, I like this product even better than it's predecessor (Cackle of the Gnolls). I only picked up a few minor typos and an unusual word choice ("the characteristic-for-canid high ankles" instead of "digitigrade"), but certainly nothing to break immersion. Take note also that like Cackle of the Gnolls, the developer Christina Stiles is predominately featured on the cover, but the designer/writer is actually Mike Welham (himself with several writing credits with Paizo and numerous 3PPs); this seems odd but is likely just a limitation of the cover template/format used by Super Genius. Some of the accompanying stock art might not quite fit the mental visual of a humanoid aardwolf, but that is simply an unavoidable business necessity of any product at this price point.
A fresh take and a great product to add some likely much-needed "gnoll" goodness in your games. I eagerly await more products in Super Genius' Races Revisited line, especially by Stiles/Welham. 5/5 stars.
Psionic Bestiary: Cerebremorte and Cognition Devil (PFRPG) PDFDreamscarred Press
Our Price: $1.25Add to Cart
Ambrosia Slaad —
Highly recommended, especially at this affordable price.Ambrosia Slaad —
8 pages total, 1 for the cover and most of the introduction, and 1 for the credits & OGL. Nice evocative cover, and very good to great artwork inside.
There are two new base forms, the hut and the ooze (both pretty self-explanatory).
The evolutions seem both reasonably priced and well-balanced, and offer a lot of new ideas for eidelon flavor/RPing. Combined with the existing Advanced Players' Guide and Ultimate Magic, it should give a summoner player plenty to work from. As long as GMs and summoner/eidelon players alike remain vigilant in making sure eidelons are constructed according to the rules, there shouldn't be anything in this supplement that will overpower the game. Perhaps the biggest risk is it may induce the other players to want to play an all eidelon adventuring party.
I'd definitely like to see a future Volume 2, with more evolutions, new eidelon models, and maybe a variant summoner archetype or two.
4.5/4.75 out of 5 stars.
Race Creation Cookbook (PFRPG) PDFLouis Porter Jr. Design
Add PDF $7.99
Haven't been able to use it with a gaming group yet, but it seems very solid and jives pretty well with what I'd already deduced from the race creation and breakdown sections in the (WotC) 3.x DM Guide and Savage Species books. Not sure if this Pathfinder version still uses the 3.5 SRD monsters for the calculations or the newer PFRPG Bestiary... it might slightly change some of the values. It could also probably benefit from a couple examples in sample new races building or a sample breakdown of a few of the standard PC races.
Still, good bang for the buck at $7.99.