Duergar Hammer

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RPG Superstar 8 Season Star Voter. 2,735 posts (3,560 including aliases). 93 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 8 aliases.



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Spheres of Might just as unbalanced as the Spheres of Power system.

3/5

Game Masters, Beware! Fun system for Players that is ripe for abuse!

I read the glowing reviews from Endzeitgeist and thought, wow, this will be a neat system for the players. Little did I know that the players would take literally every opportunity to abuse this system that they could. They will take abilities that chop up their action economy and have them acting through and literally on top of every other player’s turn in the game.

The system itself is quite creative. It uses a power points system that moves away from what smarky players like to call “Vancian Casting”. If you want to try a power points modular system, this is a good one to go with. The problem is that this system doesn’t take game balance, IE the literal math upon which the entire game is built, into consideration. It throws balance and game economy out the window.

My recommendation to GM/DMs is to only allow this if you trust your players 100%. It is too easy to abuse, and I’ve had to learn over the course of three campaigns spread through five years that Spheres of Power/Might players will do everything they can to destroy the game balance and make the entire game about them and their single PC.

As for design, I can only give this system three stars. The way the creators take action economy and literally IGNORE it is a pain in the derriere. Taking the notion of acting on top of other players' turns is just a horrible idea. Once may be acceptable, but over and over is not. It's a game designed for a group of people to play and enjoy, not for one player to take control of every other player's turns. It's honestly disgusting.

In summation, an interesting system. Horrible for game balance. Too easy to abuse by power gaming players.

Recommended to avoid at all costs, unless you want your game destroyed. Only let your friends that you absolutely trust play with it. Otherwise, avoid it.


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Game Masters, Beware! Fun system for Players that is ripe for abuse!

3/5

I read the glowing reviews from Endzeitgeist and thought, wow, this will be a neat system for the players. Little did I know that the players would take literally every opportunity to abuse this system that they could. They will take abilities that chop up their action economy and have them acting through and literally on top of every other player’s turn in the game.

The system itself is quite creative. It uses a power points system that moves away from what smarky players like to call “Vancian Casting”. If you want to try a power points modular system, this is a good one to go with. The problem is that this system doesn’t take game balance, IE the literal math upon which the entire game is built, into consideration. It throws balance and game economy out the window.

My recommendation to GM/DMs is to only allow this if you trust your players 100%. It is too easy to abuse, and I’ve had to learn over the course of three campaigns spread through five years that Spheres of Power/Might players will do everything they can to destroy the game balance and make the entire game about them and their single PC.

As for design, I can only give this system FOUR stars, because it just takes everything that the game was built upon and ignores it. I deducted another star because when I backed this on Kickstarter, it was sold as the ULTIMATE SPHERES OF POWER.

Ultimate is an adjective meaning “being or happening at the end of a process; final.”

This book is anything but the final collection and honestly, I felt betrayed by the creators. They continued to release supplements during the kickstarter that were not included and then continued to release supplements after the Kickstarter was concluded. I wanted to purchase the system in its final form, not the PENULTIMATE version. Be upfront with your customers next time.

In summation, an interesting system. Horrible for game balance. Too easy to abuse by power gaming players. Deceptive marketing from the designers.

Recommended to avoid at all costs, unless you want your game destroyed. Only let your friends that you absolutely trust play with it. Otherwise, avoid it.


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Game Masters, Beware! Fun system for Players that is ripe for abuse!

2/5

I read the glowing reviews from Endzeitgeist and thought, wow, this will be a neat system for the players. Little did I know that the players would take literally every opportunity to abuse this system that they could. They will take abilities that chop up their action economy and have them acting through and literally on top of every other player’s turn in the game.

The system itself is quite creative. It uses a power points system that moves away from what smarky players like to call “Vancian Casting”. If you want to try a power points modular system, this is a good one to go with. The problem is that this system doesn’t take game balance, IE the literal math upon which the entire game is built, into consideration. It throws balance and game economy out the window.

My recommendation to GM/DMs is to only allow this if you trust your players 100%. It is too easy to abuse, and I’ve had to learn over the course of three campaigns spread through five years that Spheres of Power/Might players will do everything they can to destroy the game balance and make the entire game about them and their single PC.

As for design, I can only give this system FOUR stars, because it just takes everything that the game was built upon and ignores it. I deducted another star because when I backed this on Kickstarter, it was sold as the ULTIMATE SPHERES OF POWER.

Ultimate is an adjective meaning “being or happening at the end of a process; final.”

This book is anything but the final collection and honestly, I felt betrayed by the creators. They continued to release supplements during the kickstarter that were not included and then continued to release supplements after the Kickstarter was concluded. I wanted to purchase the system in its final form, not the PENULTIMATE version. Be upfront with your customers next time.

In summation, an interesting system. Horrible for game balance. Too easy to abuse by power gaming players. Deceptive marketing from the designers.

Recommended to avoid at all costs, unless you want your game destroyed. Only let your friends that you absolutely trust play with it. Otherwise, avoid it.

Edit: The Mythic version utilizes LEGENDARY abilities which make the game completely unbalanced. I didn't think there was a way to make Spheres of Power more unbalanced than it was, but the designers figured it out. Kudos to you. Avoid unless you're a masochist.


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Game Masters, Beware! Fun system for Players that is ripe for abuse!

3/5

I read the glowing reviews from Endzeitgeist and thought, wow, this will be a neat system for the players. Little did I know that the players would take literally every opportunity to abuse this system that they could. They will take abilities that chop up their action economy and have them acting through and literally on top of every other player’s turn in the game.

The system itself is quite creative. It uses a power points system that moves away from what smarky players like to call “Vancian Casting”. If you want to try a power points modular system, this is a good one to go with. The problem is that this system doesn’t take game balance, IE the literal math upon which the entire game is built, into consideration. It throws balance and game economy out the window.

My recommendation to GM/DMs is to only allow this if you trust your players 100%. It is too easy to abuse, and I’ve had to learn over the course of three campaigns spread through five years that Spheres of Power/Might players will do everything they can to destroy the game balance and make the entire game about them and their single PC.

As for design, I can only give this system FOUR stars, because it just takes everything that the game was built upon and ignores it. I deducted another star because when I backed this on Kickstarter, it was sold as the ULTIMATE SPHERES OF POWER.

Ultimate is an adjective meaning “being or happening at the end of a process; final.”

This book is anything but the final collection and honestly, I felt betrayed by the creators. They continued to release supplements during the kickstarter that were not included and then continued to release supplements after the Kickstarter was concluded. I wanted to purchase the system in its final form, not the PENULTIMATE version. Be upfront with your customers next time.

In summation, an interesting system. Horrible for game balance. Too easy to abuse by power gaming players. Deceptive marketing from the designers.

Recommended to avoid at all costs, unless you want your game destroyed. Only let your friends that you absolutely trust play with it. Otherwise, avoid it.


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Great Idea That Never Quite Got Embraced by Players.

5/5

The Campaign Cards series differs from past card collections, in that it features a mix of face cards, item cards, and campaign cards with hidden plot hooks that you will literally be unable to find anywhere else!

I like that there are little hints aimed toward the plot spread throughout these cards. There is individual art that is never reprinted anywhere else. The main drawback to this unique concept is that the cards are sold separately from the main book which means there is no guarantee that you will ever see the images or plot hooks available therein.

I managed to pick up the last physical copy of The Emerald Spire Campaign Cards last year, so I expect any further reviews to be rather salty and comment on how this deck is impossible to find. My advice, as always, is to snatch up anything you want to use and don't wait for the prices to come down, because they may only go up.


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Five Evil Stars for a Five Star Evil Book!

5/5

Paizo's Book of the Damned does the nigh unthinkable in the increasingly politically correct gaming industry, in that it is filled with truly evil beings that commit hideous and offensive acts upon the universe. This book collects the best selling Book of the Damned series from Paizo and adds new parts here and there. If you have the previous books, it is still worth getting this for the new material, but your mileage may vary.

I absolutely love how much this book triggers people! I'd expect nothing less from a product called "Book of the Damned." The art is absolutely gorgeous, the lore is evocative and the evil contained within will help you unleash the hordes of heck on your unsuspecting players - and they'll thank you for it.

It's sold out now, so if you see a copy somewhere, snatch it up! This will be a much sought after collector's item for years to come.

Thank you for treating your customers like adults, Paizo. Every toolbox needs evil toys and this book helps fit that bill!


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Great planar capstone setting for any campaign & system!

5/5


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Another Great Hardback Update Collection!

5/5

Ultimate Wilderness is a much better book than some reviewers might lead you to believe. You get the new shifter class - which has had some basic errata since release - along with great archetypes for most of the other classes to help them fit into a wilderness-based campaign.

It's a great book to help players prepping to play something like Kingmaker or Ironfang Invasion. You get new spells, feats and a new exploration mode.

The book itself maintains the high quality of work that most Paizo products exhibit. The art in this book is some of my favorite in any of the hardback collections. There are a few updated spells that needed errata, such as snowball.

As a fan, I really like that several of the archetypes convert the flavor of many Game of Thrones characters into Pathfinder mechanics. What more could you ask for?


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Complete set of Pawns for Your Emerald Spire Game!

5/5

This is a fantastic set of do-it-yourself pawns for the Emerald Spire superdungeon. Print them out, cut and fold and you're all set. Some assembly required, but worth it to have all of the minis and props you need to make the encounters in the Spire spring to action!


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Perfect Set of Maps to Make Your Superdungeon Come to Life!

5/5

You get a set of 8 flip mats with one level of the Emerald Spire on each side for a total of sixteen levels of Emerald awesomeness. Whether you're planning to run the Emerald Spire live or online, you will need a set of these maps. It makes prep so much easier as all you have to do is drop it down and cover the hidden areas with construction paper for fog of war and you're all set!


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Fun Adventure Path for Your Varisian Legacy Characters!

5/5


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Great set of pawns to dress up your dungeons and more.

5/5

If you need to fill your rooms with props and accessories, this is the set to pick up. I like to stay ahead of the curve, so if you're reading this after asking for a reprint in the forum, shame on you. Buy it now, while you can!


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Another Quality Pawn Set for Your Frozen Wasteland!

5/5

The Reign of Winter pawn set continues the tradition of well made pawns for your Pathfinder game. The artwork is gorgeous and the color on the pawns is vibrant.

As with most adventure path pawn sets, you will need to supplement this with pawns from the Bestiary pawn sets, but that's always the case. If you're anything like me, you already have all of the generic sets and using them for your adventure is quite simple.


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All time great adventure in need of a nice update!

4/5

Let's get this straight, this is easily a five star adventure that everyone should play at some point in their gaming career. This adventure was originally written for 4th edition and then ported over to Pathfinder, creating a few problems. The organization is a bit sloppy throughout and information is scattered throughout the book. That said, it is worth the effort to run, as it is just that darn fun.

My advice on running this is to dive head first into all things Midgard. In order of importance, a GM should have access to the Midgard Campaign Setting, Zobeck Gazetteer, Dark Fey, Midgard Bestiary and Midgard Legends - at a minimum. The world of Midgard is so deep and rich that it begs to be explored.

When I ran this, I ran it for a group of mythic characters, so I had to do an extra level of conversion to make it work. My simple solution was to give all of the shadow fey the advanced, mythic agile and unseelie (Advanced Bestiary) templates. This was a simple solution that worked to increase the power levels to mythic and managed to give the shadow fey a certain "feel" as the mythic agile template made them quite annoying.

This is not a typical adventure. There are a few fights to the death early on, but once the PCs make it to the courts proper, they are bound by the rules and laws in place therein. Fights are replaced by duels and diplomacy is helped by rise in status.

There are elements of the plot that are a bit confusing and not at all spelled out in an obvious fashion, but if one reads the reviews here, you can figure out what to do or what to avoid. I really would love to see another Pathfinder edition of this adventure, but with the shift to second edition coming soon, this version of the adventure is all we're going to get.

There’s a nice mix of encounters, environments and scenarios throughout this adventure that provide excellent encounters for your party. The adventure itself is broken into three parts. The first involves the PCs becoming aware of the problem with the shadow fey and traveling to the courts. The second part involves the PCs building their status within the courts, so they may speak to the queen and petition her to release the claim on Zobeck. The final section is where the heroes set out to find the Moonlit King and get his word to relinquish the claim.

It sounds simple, but this is such a rich sandbox full of intrigue, political maneuvering and various trials that can stretch this adventure out to make it twice as long as a normal adventure.

When I ran this, I converted it to Golarion by replacing all of the early Zobeck scenes with Sevenarches. In order to do this, one needs access to Pathfinder Chronicles: Guide to the River Kingdoms and First World: Realm of the Fey in order to tie into the fey lore between the worlds. This wound up making the adventure a fascinating excursion to Midgard and the Shadow Plane.

I further supplemented this adventure with scenarios from Tales of the Old Margreve and Midgard Tales, respectively. There are status modifiers in Midgard Tales, so when the players heard tell of the Lost Library of Stross in “Between the Stacks”, they decided to pursue it to help improve their status. As I said earlier, Midgard is a very rich universe, so we took every chance we could to explore every nook and cranny before the players completed the adventure and returned to Golarion.

I give this adventure my highest recommendation with the caveats mentioned above. The work you put into it will be richly rewarded. Run this today, if you want a planar adventure that will give you and your players great gaming memories for years to come.


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Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, A Pirate's Game For Me!

5/5

I was a backer for the kickstarter for this book and boy am I glad I joined it! Put simply, this book contains everything you need to run pirate or naval based campaigns. You get rules, a pirate codex, bestiaries, both normal and mythic, rules for ship to ship combat, rules for mass naval combat, adventures, spells, magic items and so much more.

There's too much content to cover concisely here. Just read the description above. All of that stuff is indeed trapped between these pages. This book is a compilation of previously published and playtested material combined with all new content. If you're one of those whackadoos that only reads reviews filled with negatives, then dig up the reviews for all of the individual parts and you'll find there are very few complaints.

The hardback is gorgeous and will look great on your shelf or in your hands for years to come. If you are running the classic pirate adventure path from Paizo or just running a pirate campaign at home, then this book is a must-buy!


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5/5


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Gorgeous piece with good weight.

5/5

If you're tired of always having to refer back to the book to figure out which way is north, then the Deven Rue compass Rose is the answer to your prayers. Just drop this baby on the table and everyone will have constant Know Direction in effect for the remainder of the game.

It's that simple. The metal has a nice weight that feels good in the palm of one's hand and it lays heavy on the table. This is quite useful in holding down maps that may try to fold or roll.


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Map Folios for Gamers in the Round!

4/5

Make no mistake, the Map Folios add a lot of interactive value to your gaming table. Unfortunately, we live in an era where one product is expected to meet the insurmountable demands of the online community as well as the practical demands of the live in the round gamer.

I fit in both camps, but as I run and play games live in a game shop, my feet are firmly planted in the reality of gaming. For our purposes, these map folios are invaluable tools in helping run our games. Whether it's the fold out map of Varisia in the Shattered Star folio, the map of Numeria in the Iron Gods folio or the gorgeous fold out map of the Ironfang territory between Nirmathas and Molthune, these maps make the game so much more fun.

No, we don't need exact distances or to-scale artwork. These maps are meant for players to gather around, much like a war table, to plot, strategize and otherwise work out their plans in the ever changing campaign. There are plenty of maps available in the various books with exact measurements and pinpointed locations for working out travel times and distances, but this map is not for that purpose.

If you run Ironfang Invasion with the optional militia rules, you will see the true power of the large map - dare I say - unfold. Players and game masters can mark areas of concern or conflict and work out their militias maneuvers for the coming week with the help of this strong visual aid!

Yes, it would have been nice to have a map of Longshadow, but in running that adventure, it would only be used for the actual assault on the city, which comprises a very small part of the adventure. Instead, we get beautiful maps of the dwarven city of Kraggodan and the otherworldly Vault of the Onyx Citadel.

The strategy for choosing these maps is mostly lost on internet gamers that can't see past the edge of their screen, but practical gamers that live in the round, know the power of these gorgeous territory maps with themes, locations and inhabitants sketched out. This is also the only place you'll find a map of the darklands vault or a dwarven sky citadel.

If you're running the Ironfang Invasion, you owe it to your players to pick up this folio today!


Best of the Dragon Series! Easy to Assemble!

5/5

This is easily one of the most impressive dragon miniatures that a GM can place on the table. It comes in the box in a couple pieces that easily slide together, so I'm not sure why anyone would have difficulty with it. The detail and paint are fantastic and it will truly take away the breath of your players.

It should be considered a "must-buy" for anyone running the Shattered Star adventure path or anyone that loves great dragon minis. Get it today, before it's gone and you find yourself in the forums begging for a reprint.


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Paizo finally gets rid of annoying labels! Perfect starter set for your game!

5/5

After years of having to hide the labels on the bottom of my pawns from the prying eyes of the meta-gaming scum that occupies my game table, Paizo finally does me a favor by getting rid of all labels for this pawn set. This is a pure godsend as I no longer have to worry about my players trying to get game knowledge by reading the labels.

This set continues to maintain the high quality of pawns that we've come to expect from Paizo. The art is crisper and clearer than on any pawn set prior. The cardstock is sturdy and the coloring is vivid.

For Game Masters on a budget, this is the perfect starter set from which your players can choose the perfect pawn to represent their PC. When I opened this set, I immediately pulled out close to twenty pawns that will serve as NPCs for my current campaign. When passed around to new players, they all found the perfect pawn for their character right from this set.

It's great. Pick it up today and continue to build your pawn collection until world domination is achieved!


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Starfinder, Pathfinder, Star Wars, Shadowrun. Pawns bring high quality fun!

5/5


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Paizo brings their high quality pawns to Space!!!

5/5

Excellent cardstock. Beautiful artwork. Works well for adventures in Iron Gods, Star Wars, Shadowrun and of course Starfinder. Don't listen to nonsense reviews when you could take your game to the next level and make your players beg for more!


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Indispensable!!!

5/5

The combat tiers are extremely versatile when it comes to adding dimensions to your battlemat. It works equally well for flying creatures, swimming depths and wall crawlers.

Buy a set today before they sell out again and you find yourself begging for a restock in the forums.


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5/5


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Classic undead high level dungeon, err tower crawl!

5/5


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