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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This 2.0 installment of RSP's Village Backdrop is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look at the settlement

So, 2.0. Why? Well, for one, even a cursory glance shows you that the layout has been modernized.

Like all village backdrop-files, the village of Aubade features a significant amount of local color- from rumors to market place info, and even information on general villager looks and sample names, the aptly-depicted village provides the level of detail we've come to expect from this series. Minor downer: The PFRPG-version does lack the settlement statblock information.

So, Aubade is a prime example of what happens, when a catastrophe triumphs over sound reasoning - when a particularly nasty disease started ravaging the community, a scapegoat was soon found - a local witch ended her life in the flames of the pyre and her dying curse ultimately are what made Aubade distinct - what do I mean by this? PCs will probably visit this place not to visit the place, but rather to purge it -after all, strange stories of vampires, cults and worse abound. And indeed, the town does look a bit like a ghost-town - no one's outside, no response to knocking inquiries- it just looks like the town has been swept clean of inhabitants. Well, the town of Aubade is peculiar in that, at night, people come out - pale people, yes, but people nonetheless. The 2.0-version of Aubade also comes with distinct notes on customs and traditions, as well as a 20-entry-strong dressing/event-table and information regarding the surrounding area.

No, the village dwellers aren't just goths like yours truly that prefer the night, nor are they night-owls - the witch's curse on the town makes everyone that identifies as a villager and touches the sun burst into flames. Yup, nasty and uncommon and further complemented by the witch's ghost and her familiar as well as the proper stats and terms of the disease and the curse - and every DM worth their salt can craft these into a superb cocktail of weirdness and odd investigations! 4 fully sample NPCs are included, with notes on mannerism, personality, etc. noted, and there is also one brief write-up for the local deity. We also receive a properly statted version of the choking disease that has struck the place, choking its reputation for song – said disease was btw. responsible for the curse. The curse has been properly represented in rules as well, just fyi. Nice: We do get adventure hooks provided for certain locations, and the PCs may well prove to be the saviors of Aubade – provided they can move the ghost of the wise woman’s ghosts, that is!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's smooth, printer-friendly two-column standard, with pretty impressive b/w-cartography and artworks provided. The pdf comes with full bookmarks as well as in two versions – one optimized for screen-use, and one intended to be printed out.

Jacob W. Michaels delivers one of the most impressive Village Backdrops in the whole series, and 2.0 actually enhances Aubade’s appeal even further - and in a series with SO MANY excellent installments, that indeed is a feat! Aubade's multiple trials and tribulations and the unique, resulting culture and potential for adventures is simply inspired - the curse, its repercussions and the strange happenstances definitely evoke the sense of living in a world where magic still abounds, a world in which humans still are humans and thus subject to the weaknesses and harmful decisions that desperation may entail. If you already have the original, this may not necessarily be a must-buy, but if you’ve so far missed Aubade, get this pdf ASAP! My final verdict will be 5 stars + seal of approval…provided you don’t have the original iteration. If you do, you may want to detract a star – it’s still an excellent locale, but I’m not sure the 2.0-version warrants getting it again.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This installment of the Ship-supplements for the intriguing Galaxy Pirates-line clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s check this out!

The mining freighter clocks in as a tier 4 ship that uses the transport frame. It is powered by a pulse green core, has a basic drift engine, and a basic computer, as well as basic medium-range sensors; I like that, once more, the katar have spared no expense and actually provide good quarters for their crew. As a freighter, the expansion bays are used for cargo holds.

The shields clock in at 50 (Erroneously called “basic”, when 50 is the start of “light” shields), and defense-wise, we have both mk 4 armor and defenses. As far as offense is concerned, we have gyrolasers on port, starboard and aft, and on the front, a heavy laser canon and a laser net; the turrets feature fire-linked light torpedo launchers, which brings the ship very close to its build point maximum. Minor nitpick: The crew stats don’t list the ranks, but AC, TL, etc.-wise, the build checks outs.

As always, we get a fully filled-in ship-sheet for our convenience, and the pdf also features paper-mini-versions alongside a one-page full-color artwork of the ship that doubles as a great handout. The pdf comes with a full-color map of the ship, noting where what can be found – much like the light freighter, it does not have the katar garden, but much to my joy, the map does properly reference the main weaponry of the ship and makes sense in that regard.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork presented is awesome. I love the look of the freighter. The full-color map that notes access ladders, cargo, quarters, etc. is detailed and amazing as well. The addition of paper minis and ship-sheet add further convenience here. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan deliver yet another really nice ship with cool maps and great supplemental material; very focused and nice, I enjoyed the very distinct visual design of the mining freighter, and how it’s set apart from the other freighter ships of the katar. This feels very much like the authors took that extra time and contemplation to make it stand out. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars – well worth getting!

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This Star Log.EM clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

On the first page, we have a new size-category –Supercolossal. All creatures of this size are even larger than Colossal critters, and receive the Massive extraordinary ability. Creatures with this ability ignore difficult terrain and environment-based movement-impairing effects of up to 1/4th of a height or depth of the creature’s space. These creatures may not be flanked by critters that are Large or smaller, and receive +2 to AC against attacks from such targets. They also only take half damage from effects from such targets. These critters also get an untyped +2 bonus to all saving throws against effects with sources Large or smaller, and obviously, supercolossal creatures can’t be grappled by Large or smaller targets, and supercolossal creatures don’t gain the grappled condition when grappling or pinning Large or smaller targets.

This pdf contains two different statblocks – the first (and lower-powered one!) would be the Colossal Joey of Terragaru, a mighty CR 20 magical beast that has an extraordinary fly speed of 100 ft. via mighty leaps, a bulk that can hold literally more than a ton – 10, or 2K bulk, to be precise! Objects may be transferred to and fro as a swift action, and as a full action, the joey can attack all creatures in a 15-foot cone with the tail, using an ammo-less version of the automatic property to provide a properly contextualized AoE attacks with their tails…which btw. also can be used to grapple multiple targets, depending on target size-category. The joey doesn’t have space and reach noted, which *may* be a glitch or a conscious design decision, considering how it interacts with the adult terragaru. Odd: The joey has two subtypes noted that the adult Terragaru doesn’t have. This is probably a glitch. On the plus-side: I love that senses like blindsight (scent) have their ranges extended to a range that actually makes them sensible for creatures of this size.

The big terragaru is Supercolossal CR 25 monster that further improves upon the massive defensive qualities of the joey; the mighty leap has a whopping 500 ft.-range, and the big buddy’s kicks actually cause massive bleeding and even Constitution drain! Nice: While it also has mighty leap, it does not have the joey’s stipulation of needing to end on a solid surface, and thus has maneuverability noted. Easy to overlook – kudos for catching that!
Oh, and while speaking of small details I enjoyed: Being inside a joey’s pouch is a hassle, being inside the Terragaru’s pouch is deadly – if the joey is inside the pouch, that is! Kudos: Damage here is based on the joey’s presence, and as such uses the joey’s stats – it’s a small touch, easy to overlook, but I loved seeing it!

Their sweeping strikes can attack targets in a massive 250-foot cone, and these guys can even grapple multiple Gargantuan targets! The massive being can attempt rerolls on failed saves vs. paralysis, petrification, polymorph, mind-affecting effects, etc. sans action, and 1/year, when they’d be reduced to 0 Hit Points, the terragaru can enter a lethargic state as a reaction, becoming nauseated, but also regaining a massive array of Hit Points, retreating into a kind of hibernation…but any attacks will end this state’s effects and retreat, and make the terragaru hit back for round #2! As a creature of massive size, every step of the vast creature is accompanied by a massive earthquake, and as a full action, they can not only leave a localized quake in their wake, but cause a massive 1-mile radius quake!

How does that work in SFRPG? Well, fret not, for pdf does come with a new 6th-level mystic spell, earthquake, which btw. may not affect e.g. environments like starships that sport no seismic activity. The spell does miss one thing in the conversion to SFRPG – the damage it causes should probably be typed as bludgeoning.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level, almost as good on a rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork is neat. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ depiction of a massive kaiju kangaroo for SFRPG rocks – the massive monster is deadly, and I certainly can see it decimating whole invading fleets, as noted in the flavor text; similarly, I can see the besieged local populace of yroometji venerating the massive being as a destructive protector. The flavor puts a nice spin on this force of nature. While not perfect, this is a delightful and interesting critter-pdf, with some cool angles hard-coded into these creatures. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Why do I have such a strange feeling of unease? As though something odd that I’ve forgotten has…
*THWUMP*
*tap* *tap*
Is this reviewer-dude on? Great! Hoomanz of Planet Earth, this is Doctor Malifaord Hudson Insano speaking once more to you from beyond the boundaries of your backwater galaxy, directly transmitting my brainwaves into this mortal vessel to tell you about my delightful disintegrators and how they can solve your problems!

What problems? I’m glad you asked! You see, if you consult the introduction-page of this pdf, you’ll notice my explanation! In your local parlance for tl;dr, here’s the gist of it: What couldn’t you solve with them? Trash? Disintegrated. Boss nagging? One zap and you’re rid of all those annoying deadlines! Redecorating? Steel won’t withstand our handy tools! Really dislike that one city block? Well, whip out your trusty atomizer bazooka!

But I’m getting ahead of myself! Let’s go through all those wonderful weapons, shall we? All of these items come in 4 different versions for different levels of expertise, with different prices. Are you handy? As in: Do you like your advanced melee weaponry? Well, then I have two options – the dissolvatron katar, if you prefer one-handed weapons, and the fission katana for two-handed slice and dice! Both are obviously powered weapons, with all but the most basic models of each kind offering corrode on critical hits. The katana slashes foes and deals acid damage as well, while the dissolvatron katar uses sonic and acid to pulverize foes. These two come for levels 2, 7, 12 and 17, but…oh. Damn. The dissolvatron katar…is kinda missing its damage values in the table. Damn. I need to contact my hooman guy to fix this.

Anyhow, the katana! You wanted to look at that one, right? Right! Well, it obviously has the deflect and operative special property, but it also comes with my patented single grip. This allows you to wield a two-handed weapon in one hand – though at the drawback of it becoming unwieldy.

Didn’t get any formal combat training with the big slice-and-dicers? Fret not, dear hooman! Your friend has you covered! Available in levels 1, 6, 11 and 16 versions, we have the atomizer chakram that may be thrown and is an operative weapon. Its high level versions have the wound and severe wound critical effects, respectively. It’s obviously acid-based, but you knew that already. For two-handed foe pulverizing, I do heartily recommend the ion smasher – with acidic effects, corroding crits and a blend of acid and bludgeoning damage, there are few things as satisfying as squishing targets with it.

For levels 4, 9, 14 and 19, I do recommend the discombobulation pistols – with neat acid, 20 charges, a light bulk and the blast special property, they are easily concealed and rather fun to use, though their range is only 15 ft. For those who value their privacy, I always recommend my bondbreaker sniper rifles, which are currently available for levels 3, 8, 13 and 18. Like the pistol, it has a usage of 5 and a capacity of 20 charges, but it also has a range of 40 ft., the sniper (250 ft.) and unwieldy property, but it does come with handy corrode critical effects for all models!

What’s that? I saw you eyeing that big one. Yep, that’s the atomizer bazooka I mentioned before! It’s available in 4 versions, for level 5, 10, 15 and 20, has a range of 30 ft. capacity of 20 charges, usage 4…and bulk 3. Okay, I know – it’s still two bulk less than the sniper rifle, okay? It does make up for that with corrode in all models, d20-based damage, and the explosive special property. While the lower two models have 10 ft. there, the higher-level iterations increase explode’s radius by +5 ft. each!

Oi…the signal’s got some issues…guess I’ll hand the rest over to the reviewer guy…

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level. On a rules-language level, the absence of damage values for one of the weapons is slightly jarring and hampers and otherwise very precise book. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork presented is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ transcriptions of these weapons rock – I enjoy them all, and there are some seriously cool concepts here. Apart from aforementioned glitch, there is nothing to complain about here, making this a nice book of weaponry. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This installment of the Starfarer Adversaries-series clock in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

As always with these pdfs, we do get a neat one-page full-color rendition of the cover artwork, which makes for a nice handout. Beyond that, we also receive not one, not two, but 6 different statblocks in this pdf – CR 1, CR 2 and CR 4 are based on regular orcs, while CR 3, CR 6 and CR 9 are heavy thug statblocks, based on ogres.

Let’s start with the orc-builds, shall we? They use the soldier class graft and have the adjustments applied properly, and use the blitz fighting style – yes, rapid response has been properly implemented, and, as a courtesy to the GM, even been listed. Much to my pleasant surprise, the CR 1 version has a small and neat, but not overbearing ability that nets a bonus to attacks when attacking in conjunction with allies within 5 ft. Similarly, the CR 2 thug has a reduced base speed due to armor, but lists base speed as well – it’s a small thing and technically not required by SFRPG, but I enjoyed seeing that. Melee striker has been properly implemented for the CR 2 version. CR 4 is similarly built in a solid manner.

The ogre-based heavy thug builds don’t use a class graft, and instead elect to provide an ability that makes their slams count as non-archaic and armed, in line with tradition. The CR 6 and 9 builds add wyrmling glands to their arsenal. It should be noted that the DCs for these don’t use the standard ability DC here, and instead use the gland’s default calculation, which makes them come up, DC-wise, at +2 higher than when based on the default values. Checking the overall damage output versus Starfinder conventions, this still has them in line with everything. No complaints on my part, save that there are a few VERY minor formatting deviations, like a slash as a break before critical effects of weapons. These are cosmetic, though.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The handout-style rendition of the cover artwork is appreciated.

Jacob Blackmon’s cadre of unpretentious thugs made me expect a rather boring cast of NPCs, but I’ve been pleasantly-surprised by this one. Within the limited frame available, this has delivered a rather nice array of adversaries for a more than fair price-point. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform. Recommended if you need some rank-and-file goons and don’t want to waste your time statting those!

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This adventure/supplement clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front/back cover, 1 page editorial, ½ a page SRD, leaving us with 10.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested by a supporter of my patreon, to be undertaken at my convenience.

All right, so, as always, this supplement was designed with the OSRIC rules in mind, though formatting conventions do somewhat deviate from the system’s established standard. The module is intended for characters level 1 – 3, though at first level, the experience of running this can be rather deadly. A well-rounded group is certainly suggested, and it should be noted that there is actually plenty of roleplaying in this supplement.

Supplement? Didn’t I claim this was a module? Yeah, well, both are correct. You see, in a way, this one treats a specific settlement like a dungeon, with a more conventional dungeon-level below. The module does not sport read-aloud text.

All right, and this is pretty much as far as I can go without diving into SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.


..
.

All right, so Stonepick Crossing is testament to two dwarven virtues: Ingenuity, and the tendency to go overkill. When a clan of dwarves fought a particularly nasty, and well-entrenched goblin tribe, they refused to deplete their ranks by attacking the goblins’ excellent defensive positions, instead crafting a colossal dam – the eponymous Stone pick Crossing. The dwarves have moved on, the goblins have been drowned, and in the centuries since, the dam has persisted (for the most part!) the test of time. The dwarven craftsmanship has made the dam an excellent place for a waystation/trade-type of settlement, and as such, this settlement was born, with the locals living in the buildings left by the dwarves of old.

Stonepick Crossing as a settlement sports 3 levels – two levels on the dam, and one below the water surface; the latter, obviously, represents aforementioned more conventional dungeon level, though it’s not a place that PCs will immediately fin. Instead, they will interact with the surprisingly vivid cast of characters that may be found here. The short encounter-tables and detailed notes make it rather simple to generate a sense of an organic, lived-in location, and there is quite a lot of loot to be found. Due to the concept of a dwarven building repurposed as a village, there even are secret rooms that smart PCs can find – for this trade-hub has a dangerous black market that can be a very dangerous encounter if the PCs don’t behave. Beyond the knowledgeable beggar, we also have rather dangerous haunted locales here, and Stonepick Crossing has been suffering from mysterious disappearances, which are investigated by a none-too-subtle/smart investigator who might make for a good contact for good PCs.

At this point, I should also note that these disappearances actually are due to a rather dangerous individual capturing targets and selling them off into slavery. The dam-structure also means that not all rooms on e.g. the deep level are connected – one of the halves of the lowest level has seen the magics that keep out the water partially fail, flooding the place and providing egress to rather dangerous humanoids that can lead to further complications, including crabmen. And yes, ancient dwarven treasures may be found by curious and capable adventurers that don’t fall prey to the dangers of this place.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf has no interior artwork beyond cover and editorial page. The cartography is b/w and functional, but not spectacular. No player-friendly maps are included. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

This is the first offering by Matt Morrison I’ve reviewed, and it’s a surprisingly cool one – the combination of settlement and dungeon has been pulled off with surprising panache. In spite of the supplement’s brevity, Stonepick Crossing feels like an organic place, and I managed to picture the inhabitants rather well. With multiple sandboxy plotlines that may or may not converge, it’s a classic “insert PCs for adventure” type of module, one that manages to pull off its angle rather well indeed. The one issue of this one would be that the word-count gets slightly in the way of the module: Stonepick Crossing is a VERY cramped space, and unless you expand the settlement to encompass buildings beyond the dam, the settlement feels very cramped and claustrophobic, and lacks the infrastructure to support its populace and services. The trade-angle only can account for so much, and personally, I’d suggest GMs using this to add a few farmers beyond the dam, some additional places – you get the idea.

With a few more pages allowed, the author could have presented a rather great offering here – it certainly knocks the White River Run-adventures out of the water. Haha. Sorry, couldn’t resist. All in all, a fun supplement/module, and easily one of the more impressive installments in the series. My final verdict will be 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This installment of the Ship-supplements for the intriguing Galaxy Pirates-line clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s check this out!

The light freighter of the katar would be a tier 1 ship, powered by a pulse brown power core, equipped with a basic drift engine, basic computer, and budget short-range sensors. This one has 3 cargo holds as expansion bays, but one thing that is not basic, that is actually better than what e.g. the heavy freighter offers: The little vessel has good crew quarters!
Defense-wise, it sports mk 3 armor and mk 2 defenses, as well as basic 10 shields (focused slightly on forward and aft). Regarding offense, we have light torpedo launchers on port and starboard, and two fire-linked light laser cannons as the main weaponry facing forward. The AC and TL ratings of the ship check out, as does the rest of the math here.

The light freighter, as always in the series, does come with its own, already filled-out ship-sheet, a paper-mini version of it, a full-page hand-out-style rendition of the great artwork, and the Computers (“S” missing) table that allows PCs to know about the ship in-game. As always, we also get a gorgeous full-color map that shows where what can be found within – to my slight chagrin, this one doesn’t seem to feature the katar garden that served as a subtle cultural unifier for these ships, and the weaponry isn’t reflected in the map either – though here, I’m admittedly nitpicking.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork presented is awesome. I love the look of the freighter. The full-color map that notes access ladders, cargo, quarters, etc. is detailed and amazing as well. The addition of paper minis and ship-sheet add further convenience here. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan provide a nice little freighter here – it’s useful, feels a bit more familial than its big brother, and the production values are solid. That being said, it does feel a little less captivating than the heavy freighter to me; still, as a whole, a worthwhile addition to the series. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

3/5

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The first thing you’ll notice when checking this pdf out – we actually get roleplaying advice for the zephyrian race! Nice! The race may, at first glance, be mistaken for human, though their skin pigmentation does differ, and their increased hair growth means they have mighty manes – but this resemblance with humans that are into hair metal is only skin deep: The zephyrian physiology allows them to absorb radiation from sunlight to defy gravity, and a nine-chambered stomach allows them to digest A LOT. Adolescence sees hair hardens to facilitate a chrysallization process, as they dissolve and reform in this strange cocoon, with adult organs and all. Zephyrian tongues can also read the muscle memory of mouths they come in contact with, which can result in some interesting behavior patterns, to say the least – yep, they can learn languages by kissing. Their homeworld etc. is discussed, as is their strange society, which, while nominally sporting a king or queen, is an ochlocracy – ruled by the masses. Their “rulers” can quickly and unceremoniously be disposed of, and elections thus happen whenever enough people think it’s time for them, in what most folks would consider a chaotic mess. Proud and emotional, we get information on their changing nomenclature, and a proper subtype graft is included.

Racial stat-wise, zephyrians get +2 Strength and Charisma, -2 Wisdom, 6 Hit Points and are Medium humanoids with a base speed of 30 feet. Zephyrians have supernatural flight of 30 ft., with average maneuverability, but until 5th level, must end their movement on the ground or fall. Directly tied to their ability to feel unbridled joy, this also has cool roleplaying repercussions baked into the rules. Zephyrians can go 1 hour without breathing and exist in vacuum without suffering environmental effects, which can, depending on how you handle SFRPG-races, be a bit of a bummer – I wouldn’t allow them in Grimmerspace, for example, as this ability eliminates pretty much the threat of open space.

As a standard action, they can assimilate a language of a willing creature with a kiss, though only one language may be retained thus at a given time. New ones supersede old ones. They also are capable of absorbing ultraviolet light and transform it into photon bolts. As long as a zephyrian has at least 1 Resolve Point, they can unleash an energy blast that is treated as a small arms weapon attack with the bright and reload special properties. These bolts begin at 1d3 fire damage, and increase the damage output to 1d6 at 4th level. At 8th and 12th level, the base damage increases by +1d6 each, and at 15th and 20th level by +2d6 each. This ability, once more, is tied to an emotion – the ability to experience righteous anger. Emotion effects, just fyi, prevent zephyrians from using their two potent signature abilities. Problematic: Guess what’s missing. Yep, a range.

The race comes with two racial feats: Improved Star Flying requires 10th level and improves their fly speed to 60 feet and maneuverability to perfect. When not in immediate danger, zephyrians with this feat can accelerate to starship speed, at standard engine speed for quick interplanetary/stellar travel. It’d have been pretty cool to get rules for how they then interact with suddenly erupting star ship combat, but that’d probably have been its own supplement…still, this one may require some GM-calls. Stellar Zephyrian, a combat feat, requires the solar weapon class feature and makes the photon bolts use the higher between solar weapon or photon bolt damage.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf comes with a nice artwork. The file has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ zephyrian race was a pleasant surprise to me: First of all, their strong emphasis on abilities that blend mechanics with roleplaying is awesome – though they do require mature gamers to handle properly. If unlimited, the race most assuredly will be much stronger than many comparable SFRPG-races, and imho overshoots the power-level somewhat. Perhaps that’s only me, but the second surprise here was that they feel like a love-letter to classic scifi and silver-age comic books. They reminded me of the New Gods or the Shi’ar – replace the shi’ar’s feathers with a mane…anyhow, for interplanetary romance, for games embracing these aesthetics, the zephyrians represent a great addition to the game. More low-key settings, particularly when space is supposed to be dangerous, will probably with to skip this one, though – such groups should round down instead. If, on the other hand, kissing folks to learn their language, if emotion-powered super-powers strike a chord with you and fit your game, then these come highly and warmly recommended. I really like the race, even if its appeal is less universal than usual for the new Star Log.EM-races. My final verdict will thus clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

3/5

This installment of the Starfarer Adversaries-series clock in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, ½ a page empty space, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, so there are three glabrezu statblocks in this supplement – the lesser glabrezu clocks in at CR 9, the regular one at CR 13, and the glabrezu demon lord at CR 17. The lesser one may be called forth with a 4th-level summon monster, the regular one with the 5th-level version, just fyi. The neat artwork we can see on the cover is reproduced as a one-page spread within this pdf.

The builds employ the combatant array and present pretty deadly foes, with the glabrezu’s multiattack being capable of dishing out really nasty amounts of damage – which, considering the tradition of the creature being an upper-echelon damage-dealer, suits me just fine. Being a relatively early release for Starfinder, there are a few cosmetic hiccups to call out regarding the notation of spells that exist in various spell levels – Roman numerals have been employed instead of Starfinder’s usual notation. Similarly, damage types inflicted are written fully instead of using the one/two-letter abbreviation, but that is cosmetic at best. A +2 boost to Fort-saves from the outsider graft has been properly implemented, and the builds list spaces and reach correctly. Somewhat to my chagrin, the lesser and regular glabrezu lack ranged attack options – which, however, may well be an intentional design decision, considering their melee-shredder build.

Slightly more relevant and annoying would be that not all spells that should have it, do note their DCs – e.g. force blast is missing it. It should be noted that the builds makes use of spells from the Starfarer’s Companion, which is relevant information if you’re like me and have banned parts of that book. The lord-version of the glabrezu comes with a called dispelling unholy artillery laser that has its formatting somewhat odd – it lists “unholy” as part of the damage – and there still is no unholy damage in SFRPG. *sigh* On the plus-side, we have the cybernetic template graft added to the fellow, which here means that the fellow also has a zero-cannon! Cool! (I’ll punch myself for that one later…)

Conclusion:
Editing is generally precise on a rules-language and formal level, but there are a few minor snafus among the formatting conventions to be noted. Not to the extent where they impede functionality, but they’re here. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork provided for the CR 17 critter is cool. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Jacob Blackmon delivers some solid glabrezus to tear into your PCs here – the damage-output of the demons is pretty solid, and as a whole, I enjoy how he went the extra mile with the highest-CR-iteration. At the same time, the melee focus and minor hiccups in statblock formatting conventions might upset some, which is why I’ll settle on a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded down.

Endzeitgeist out.


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3/5

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 4.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Now, if the cover wasn’t ample clue, this does use the rules from Childhood Adventures, and it does recap the respective age alterations on half a page for your convenience. Furthermore, on the introductory page, we get 3 age-influencing hexes for witches: Lifespan Alteration makes a target within 30 ft. make a Fort-save or become the witch’s choice older or younger by a variable component equal to the target’s maximum age variation, to a maximum of one age category. The major variation can change multiple age categories, and there is a grand version as well, which doubles the rolled age modification and makes the effect instantaneous.

Okay, so the first archetype herein would be the agemorph shifter: These folks have proficiency with simple weapons and light armor and shields (excluding tower shields) and may use metal armor and shields. Wild empathy is lost, a thousand faces changed – the archetype gets change age at first level: The character gains the shapechanger subtype and may adjust her age category at will as a standard action, gaining all physical traits, including the physical aging modifiers (Childhood Adventures differentiates between physical and mental aging modifiers). 18th level allows this to work in conjunction with the a thousand faces ability, allowing for the assumption of any Small or Medium humanoid of any age category. Also at first level, we have agemorph aspect. The agemorph may assume her minor idealization for class level + Wisdom modifier hours per day, minimum 1, and the duration must be spent in 10-minute increments. 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter net an additional aspect, and at 6th level, when she gains the minor idealization of the aspect, she also gains the major idealization. Shifting into a new one ends all current major idealizations as well.

The 8 agemorph aspects from infancy to venerability have three components: As noted, the minor and major idealization, and the embodiment – the latter would be the feat or option you get when using martial flexibility in conjunction with this. Minor nitpick: The “Minor Idealization”-header isn’t correctly bolded in the rules-explanation. Infancy allows you to crawl at full speed as embodiment, and the major idealization prevents you from being directly targeted or harmed, and you are considered inoffensive…until caught. Toddlers get pretty massive, scaling initiative boosts and better aid another, etc. – others are a bit more straightforward and provide numerical boosts.

But back to the agemorph: Instead of shifter’s claws, we get Improved Unarmed Strike as a monk, with scaling DR-ignoring, and 7th level nets Two Weapon Fighting, 11th and 13th level provide the Improved and Greater version, and 17th level upgrades critical multiplier of unarmed strikes to x3. 3rd level unlocks the embodiment bonus of the idealization, and 4th level nets martial flexibility as a replacement for wild shape, with class levels as a brawler -4 levels…so…0? That probably should be -3. The chimeric aspect ability array and timeless body are replaced at 9th level with agemorph other: Standard action melee touch attacks, save or have the age category changed. 14th level makes the duration longer and 19th, permanent. Pretty sure the latter should be an option – there will be instances when an agemorph doesn’t want to permanently age targets, so an having the choice here would have been nice.

The second archetype herein is another massive one – the geronkineticist. The archetype is locked into water, wood or void as primary element and must choose either life blast (? Pretty sure that this should be “Positive Blast”) or negative energy blast (void) as first simple blast. They are also locked into water, void or wood as expanded element. All blasts of the archetype only affect living creatures and do not affect creatures immune to aging. That’s a serious drawback, so let’s see what the archetype has: 1st level and 9th level infusions are replaced with geronkinetic infusions: The geronkineticist gains either aging or regressing infusion at first level, the other at 9th level. Before we move on, let’s take a look at those two, shall we?

Both are level one substance infusions, with negative energy, positive energy and water as the associated blasts. As a nitpick: The rules-reference formatting of these is not correct – they should be referred to as positive blast, water blast, etc. Fortitude negates, and they have a Burn cost of 1 or more. These blasts duplicate the lifespan alteration hex (younger or older only, respectively), and 10th and 15th level upgrade that to the major and grand hex-equivalents, respectively – for 1 additional (major) or 2 additional (grand) points of burn.

But back to the archetype: Instead of elemental defense, 2nd level nets a +1 untyped bonus to saves vs. poison, disease and all effects that allow for subsequent saves to shake them off on following rounds. By accepting 1 point of burn, you can increase this bonus by +1 until burn is removed “to a maximum bonus equal to your kineticist.” Pretty sure that a “level” has gone missing. When accepting burn while using a void or wood [sic!], you get class level fast healing for Constitution modifier rounds. Okay. What? Void or wood what? And why doesn’t water gain anything? Also at 2nd level, we get change age, somewhat akin to the agemorpher, with minimum and maximum age scaling – this replaces the second level utility wild talent. The capstone nets aging immunity and immunity to aging effects she is an unwilling target of. The aforementioned, somewhat opaque fast healing upgrades to regeneration, which is lacking any suspension criteria – whether intentional or not, I’m not sure. Aging or regressing blast can, via 1 point of burn, be made instantaneous instead of permanent. When she dies, she reincarnates as the spell (which is not properly italicized) and rapidly ages to Youth in 3d6 days; during this time, a creature is geas’d to take care of her.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are okay on a formal and rules-language level, but not as tight as usual for the authors or Everyman Gaming; some of the hiccups did influence rules-integrity. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has a nice artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

This is a bit heartbreaking for me – Sasha Hall & Alexander Augunas have crafted two complex and intriguing, creative archetypes I really wanted to love, but that also stumble a bit in the details. Not to a game-breaking extent, but still significantly enough to affect direct functionality. That being said, if you’re okay with aforementioned snafus, then this offers two inspiring options, and, let this be stated clearly, they both are seal of approval candidates that only got downrated for the hiccups mentioned. As such, my final verdict can’t exceed 3.5 stars, rounded down.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This supplement clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

We begin this supplement with 3 pages of what amounts to a xenobiologis’s handbook, written in character, as the narrator explores the xenobiome of UX-5396 – canopies of laced leaves, microtrees, pink carpets of mucilage – I was positively surprised to be transported into a strange world here, and as soon as we learn about the rainbow lake, a vast plane of lichen atop a sulfur lake’s crust, I was fully engrossed. As a minor drawback, the boots noted for safe traversal don’t get proper stats.

Dormant and subsisting primarily on lionfrogs and arcobeasts, the pdf contains new hazards – anaphylactic spores (CR 6) and paralytic vines (CR 12), and the means to create botanical stalkers, via a CR +3 subtype graft that is added to the plant type graft, all of which are solid, if not too outré. While subtype grafts usually don’t increase CR, here, the template style nature certainly justifies doing so – though adhering to the template graft standards in presentation might have been prudent, for as written, this does generate some work.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are pretty good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf presents a couple of nice full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, in spite of its brevity. There are a few glitch bookmarks here, but they don’t impede functionality.

Jeff Collins’ humble little exploration of a strange planet caught me by surprise – I did not expect to like it this much. The flavor really sells what would otherwise just be a few mechanical hazard tidbits. Considering the low price, I’ll rate up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars, though it should be noted that, if you’re not interested in flavor, you may want to round down instead, as there isn’t that much going on rules-wise.

Endzeitgeist out.


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5/5

This mythic plug-in clocks in at 22 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 13 pages of content – though, as always, it should be noted that there is quite a lot of content cramped inside of this pdf.

This review was requested to be moved up in my reviewing queue at the request of my patreons.

So, what is this? It is, in short, a book that provides the means for GMs to make mythic rules more than just a template to be added on top of characters and monsters; it is about mythic forces authoring the destiny of narratives; not being a tool of it. The idea is that the world is mutable and shaped by the deeds of mythic entities – resulting in the creation of marvels. If you remember, for example the difference of Witcher 3’s depiction of Toussaint in “Blood and Wine” and its radically different palette, or when thinking about Camelot, Eldorado, Xanadu (the inspiration of Xin-Shalast), etc., one can see how potent beings may alter the fabric of the world. The book supplements this concept with rules for incidental marvels, accompanying e.g. maximum damage rolls, crucial crits etc. – the hero falls, and blood rains; the crows all caw, etc. – the cosmetic concept of incidental marvels need not have rules repercussions.

Mythic trials, on the other hand, may create marvels beyond the capabilities of characters of the respective mythic tier.

Now, the pdf provides a smattering of concisely codified effects – like the alteration of terrain /difficult terrain that may knock you prone as earth quakes, withers or plan-like blooms, etc.) or areas of spellblight. At mid-to high-tiers, artifacts may be created, undead or haunts may be generated, curses unleashed (massive 2-page table with item categories by tier and suggested cursed items provided!), and if you’re playing with Ultimate Campaign’s fame-mechanics, there’s a tie-in-here as well. The awesome concept of fey impulses (see Forest Kingdom Compendium) may also be tied in this way, and occult adventures ley lines or locus spirits may be included. Structures may be ruined. Rumormongering may have the rumor take on a life of its own (extra kudos if you use this for an Adahn-situation…and kudos if you got this by now super-dated reference… ;P) and settlement qualities may be gained or lost.

The pdf also provides a bit of guidance about reversing marvels, and nets you a great tier-by-tier list of trial marvels and suggested effects, allowing you to judge their impact and presenting thus a great means to think about them in a streamlined manner, as opposed to just going by gut-feeling: A 10th tier character’s marvel may be a subcontinental-scale earthquake, while a 2nd tier’s marvel may awaken a dead creature as an undead, for example. Incidental marvels also get such a tier-by-tier breakdown that helps you think of them in a meaningful way. In case you need some inspiration for mythic trials, there are plenty of concepts provided there as well.

Beyond those, there also are quite a bunch of path abilities provided: We get 5 universal path abilities: Perhaps your presence unsettles the spirits, allowing you to cast mage hand, ghost sound, unseen servant (latter not italicized properly) at will; your healing can make plant-life bloom when you also spend mythic power; you can quickly sculpt as per expeditious excavation (at higher tiers stone shape, wall of stone), and what about sweeping strikes that clear difficult terrain or using your breath for mythic gust of wind or wind wall? I love these! They are not just numbers and boosts, they are the stuff of legends. 3 3rd tier universal path abilities allow for speed-increase, burrowing or ex nihilo creation, and the 3 6th tier abilities let you use earthquake or mythic move earth, with higher tiers allowing for nasty curses from Horror Adventures (one of those isn’t properly italicized). Move mountain allows you to move 30-foot cubes of earth in a single round, and wind rider lets you control the winds and ride whirlwinds!! Frickin’ awesome! This is what mythic gameplay should be about!

Conclusion:
Editing is exceedingly precise on a formal and rules-language level. Formatting missed a few italicizations, but otherwise remains precise. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf sports nice full-color artworks, though fans of Legendary Games will be familiar with them. The pdf comes with a single bookmark for the ToC; while this is a short book, more would have been nice.

David N. Ross’ mythic marvels are AWESOME. I love how they help the GM think of mythic might as more than just an escalation of numbers. They help you make the mythic powers feel more like the powers of legend, wielded by truly legendary heroes and villains. Its main draw is how it helps you think of mythic power as something more – and in my book, as something more, something that really helps mythic characters feel like more than just super-powered versions of regular heroes. As such, this is a radiant success, and I’d warmly recommend this to just about any GM and group using mythic adventures – I’d consider this to be an EZG-essential book for mythic adventures, in fact. However, the few hiccups in formatting prevent me from rating this the full 5 stars, making my final verdict 4.5 stars + seal of approval, rounded up.
(As an aside: This material is included in the massive Mythic Character Codex as well – so f you’re looking for the big collection of mythic material, get that tome instead!)

Endzeitgeist out.


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4/5

This installment of the Ship-supplements for the intriguing Galaxy Pirates-line clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s check this out!

The heavy freighter of the katar is a Large freighter that clocks in as a tier 5 ship; the freighter uses its expansion bays for 8 cargo holds, and crew can’t expect luxury – the quarters are just common. Defense-wise, we get medium-range sensors, and the ship comes with both mk 4 armor and defenses. It also has 50 shields, focused on forward and aft, though it should be noted that they are erroneously called “basic” here, when 50 is the cusp of “light” shields.

The freighter is powered by an Arcus Ultra, and is decently-armed for a freighter – heavy laser cannons on forward, port and starboard sides. On the aft, we have a light torpedo launcher. With a solid pilot, the ship has a decent AC and TL 18, and, as has become the tradition with these supplements, comes with a brief table of Computers (missing the “S”) skill checks that you can make to know information about the freighter in-game.

As has become the tradition with the series, we get an already fully filled out ship-sheet for the freighter, paper-minis and a gorgeous full-page version of the artwork. Nice: We get a full and proper map of the ship, with the torpedo bay situated where it should be; as a nice touch of unifying cultural identity, the freighter, in spite of its focus on functionality, does have one piece of luxury: The little katar garden that all their vessels share. It’s a small touch, but I like it.

Build integrity-wise, there is nothing to complain about here. I reverse-engineered the ship, and it checks out.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork presented is awesome. I love the look of the freighter. The full-color map that notes access ladders, cargo, quarters, etc. is detailed and amazing as well. The addition of paper minis and ship-sheet add further convenience here. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Paul Fields and Jim Milligan deliver a solid, nice freighter here – utilitarian, yet with its own identity. All in all, a nice one, definitely worth getting; my final verdict will be 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


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5/5

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The location known as “Dead Man’s Run” is something refreshingly different, as far as I’m concerned – this stretch of land is situated on the border between two kingdoms; per default, that would be an elven kingdom and a human one, but it’d be rather easy to change the kingdoms to different races, should your game require that. From initial hostilities and border skirmishes, a truce sprang – one that ultimately saw two villages spring up. As you could glean from the name, this is not where the story ends. A single night of chaos, ten years ago, saw the villages wiped out in a freak flashflood and strange, ostensibly magic weather-phenomena. The disaster saw most survivors flee, though some did remain – today, Dead Man’s Run has a population of 11 folks, 6 of whom get the classic Raging Swan Press NPC treatment: This means we get brief descriptions, notes on background, mannerisms, personality, etc., but no statblocks.

As a quasi village-remnant/almost ghost town, this place does come with a marketplace section – after all, the warfare of the past has left plenty of intriguing items running around for the scavenging. Going even beyond that, the respective keyed locations do feature individual sections of items for sale, going one step beyond in that regard – nice! Indeed, the respective keyed locations do come with a surprising and commendable amount of adventure hooks, often featuring more than one. The ferry even features a localized 6-entry events table.

As always, the pdf does come with notes that will help you provide information for PCs that do their proper legwork. The pdf does feature notes on the appearances and dressing habits of the locals, as well as 6 sample whispers and rumors.

The once gentle Brimbrook, turned into a massive river, nowadays features a proper ferry operated by a former farmer turned ferryman; an abandoned fort, its dungeons awaiting expeditions by stalwart adventurers. Little trade or industry takes place here, and there may not be much law enforcement, but in the absence of many folks, there usually also isn’t that much need for it. Really cool: The place has weird customs that reflect the story of this place and sports an interesting mythological resonance. A 20-entry strong table of dressing-entries and events allows you to further emphasize the unique nature of this storied region, and the pdf does provide further information regarding the landscape in the vicinity of this place.

It should also be noted that this location, beyond the obvious war/fallen-theme, also has a fey-angle, one that works rather perfectly in conjunctions with Kobold Press’ classic “Wrath of the River King.” Just saying!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level and rules-language. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ two-column b/w-standard, and the artwork and cartography provided are really nice. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, which is a comfort-plus, and yes, the supplement comes in two versions, with one of them optimized for screen use, and one intended to be printed out.

Jacob W. Michaels is at this point a veteran of these supplements, and it shows – this is a great, unpretentious supplement that allows you to develop the angles and local population in a variety of different, intriguing ways, ranging from the fantastic to the down-to-earth. All in all, this is a well-wrought, fun supplement, worth a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


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5/5

This super-sized installment of the Pop Culture Catalog-series clocks in at 27 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 23 pages of content, so let’s check this out!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreon supporters.

Okay, as always, we begin the supplement with a recap of how the smooth and easily integrated fandom perk-rules work, which have been the rather cool mechanical skeleton underlying these supplements. This supplement contains 10 different vice dens, all of which provide their own fandom perks; while nominally located within Everyman Gaming’s and Rogue Genius Games’ shared Xa-Osoro setting as a backdrop, implementation into other settings is rather painless. (As an aside: “Hyperspace Station” is shorthand for the IP-.less reference to Absalom Station – once you know that, integration of the star system becomes even easier.)

Vice dens, obviously, sometimes deal with topics that folks consider to be taboo at the table; while I, personally, do NOT have such lines, I know plenty of folks that are traumatized by their experiences to the point that certain topics seriously impede their fun; as such, this book proposes a discussion and an easy classification: “Lines” are lines that should not be crossed; “veils” are when you fade to black. It is really nice to see these topics acknowledged and how maturely they’re handled here – they neither champion undue censoring, nor present an insensitive trampling of individual sensibilities, providing a compassionate and feasible model to deal with topics that some may consider to be taboo. This pertains primarily how things are handled at the table, mind you – the content herein is VERY tame as far as I’m concerned; at the most conservative, I’d consider this to be PG-13; probably even below that.

Anyhow, we start with the Busty Dragon Inn – and yes, this *is* a genius reference to the classic inn in Sandpoint – the formian construction crew that moved it to space misread an “r” for a b” – which gives the den its unique and hilarious icon – yep, as has become the tradition with Pop Culture Catalog-installments, each vice-den gets its own logo! Doubling as a mordello and tavern, it nonetheless manages to keep it classy and both aspects separate, yet entwined – it sounds like a rather wholesome example of the establishment type, as far as I’m concerned. The fandom perk represents that as well, netting Diplomacy as a class skill, or a +1 bonus to it if you already have it. And no, that “m” is NOT a typo – it is part of the vice-den terminology established herein, which btw. also explains the difference of e.g. an adult theater from a strip club. And before you ask: Yes, these topics are handled in a PG 13-friendly and tasteful manner.

Digiyu would be an underground adult entertainment club that offers a cyberverse server set apart from the larger servers; inaccessible to government networks, it allows for the fulfillment of fantasies in a virtual space, be they forbidden or simply outré. The illegal nature of this alternate cybervserse and the decadence of experiences offered provides a +2 insight bonus to Will saves vs. Charm effects, +2 to opposed Sense Motive and +2 to the DC of social skill checks made against you as a fandom perk. ISAAC (Imperium Substance And Abuse Center) is something I have never seen before in a RPG-supplement – it seriously warmed my heart. It’s a safe space for drug users, following a government-approved plan after realizing that criminalizing substance-abuse actually enhanced the problem. These institutions dramatically reduced the rate of overdose deaths and crimes, and the perk nets a +2 enhancement bonus to resist drug and addiction effects, which increases to +4 in the center. I love this. It genuinely touched me and made me happy to see it here.

The Howling Esir is an ultranought star citadel run by the genderfluid gnoll High Prajah Jexijar Homerender, and is basically the opposite of wholesome – it is a massive, nasty slaver’s operation, and “fandom” here denotes more having survived interacting with these folk; as such, it decreases the DC to recall information on related topics by 5 and nets +2 to the DC of Charisma or skill checks that gnolls or slavers attempt against you. Now, the above touched on slavery – later in the pdf, when all vices are discussed in detail, some very clear guidelines are provided – slaves are not for PCs, slavery is always evil, etc. – I like that the pdf takes a moral stand here.

The company Love Solutions brew stimulants; but they have another place, one with pretty nasty NDAs: This not-really-legal place would be Love Rock, and here, more potent aphrodisiacs (and chemical conditioning) may be found; as a fandom perk, we get +1 to Charisma-based checks and skill checks, which increases to +2 when used in checks to increase Relationship Scores (as per Advanced Skill Guide). Phantom’s Fair is a cool idea that oozes SFRPG’s science-fantasy flair: It is basically a demiplane housing a black market, with the planar anchor easily moved – and those entering it must be unconscious. This blends slightly macabre aesthetics (patrons e.g. may be found in the tavern known as “Open Grave”) with a touch of Pratchett’s moving shops. Fans reduce the Culture DC regarding the underworld by 5, and there is a chance that you can score a discount – but an equal chance that the King of Phantoms and associated request a favor of you that you should not refuse. It never involves harming yourself or friends and allies, but refusal will result in serious ostracizing – when using the great Advanced Skill Guide rules, a whopping 50 Infamy!

Second Skin, developed by the genderfluid elf Parquon Delveair, is truly interesting – it is basically a means to experience sensory deprivation in a whole-body latex bubble that also can be adjusted to stimulate the user as desired, coupling relaxing, massage, pleasure and a deceleration from the rigors of the Nova Age. The breathing exercises enforced by the experience nets fans a +1 enhancement bonus to Will-saves vs. emotion effects. If all of that doesn’t sound to compelling, and you derive pleasure from cold steel and carbon in your appendages, whatever they may be, then you may want to check out Rex’s Reliable Arms – an institutionalized weapons dealer, Rex is the kingpin of weapon dealers, and, in a twist I did not expect, is REALLY law-abiding! The line of the kobold suffering from anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and ADHD also made me interested here – each of them on its own could easily spark adventures. Rex may be on medication for them, but yeah. Rex’s frantic ramblings decrease the Culture check to recall information on weapons by 5, and the fandom also nets you a +1 to skill checks made to repair weapons. Rex is a cool character – I’d actually love to see the fellow developed further!

The Wobbly Orbit is led by two kasatha, and represents an institutionalized cantina. The two managers Tycha and Zimo seem to be rather snarky, and the fandom perk allows you to recall knowledge untrained, and 1/day spend 1 Resolve when attempting to recall knowledge untrained to get a +5 bonus on the check. Finally, there would be The Ziggurat, operated by kitsune billionaire Tashinado Tymira. The clan once ostensibly set fire to the equivalent of the library of Alexandria – but, well, they didn’t. Instead, the underground library now may hold the largest stash of pre Nova Age lore anywhere. The fandom nets you 1/day, subject to GM approval, a +1d10 bonus to skill checks deemed rare or obscure, provided you pay 1 Resolve Point.

This is not, however, where this massive installment of the series ends – instead, we get a massive chapter on drugs, including rules on slipping them in a creature’s food and noticing. The format presented here is interesting, as it presents a more varied approach to drugs than the SFRPG core rules do – all drugs are assumed to be available at all item levels, with higher level versions being assumed to be more concentrated or magically/technologically-enhanced. A drug has a base price, and a price modifier, which is applied to the drug when purchasing it illegally. Each drug has a Type that notes, well, the type of the drug, as well as means of ingestion. A massive table lists the Drug save DCs by item level, and this DC is also used to calculate the addiction disease save DC to which you’re exposed when consuming the drug; this means that high-level characters don’t become flat-out immune to drug addiction from certain drugs, which is an excellent rules operation I wholeheartedly support. Tracks and effects are noted, and the pdf contains 18 different sample drugs that include twists on the core rules-drugs like dreamshiver, but extends beyond that.

Brawn, for example, enhances Strength for the purposes of bulk limit and nets a scaling bonus to the limit increase and the boost to Athletics and Acrobatics, depending on item level. On the fantastic side, e.g. corpseflower pollen auto-stabilizes for some hours sans Resolve expenditure, and grants a bonus to saves vs. death effects. Hemihigh, which I previously mentioned in my review of the awesome Blood Madness Corruption, is refined from the condensed material of blood space – it can expose you to the corruption, but it also nets a boost to Intimidate and to damage rolls with melee and thrown weapons, which is pretty brutal and tempting…on the more mundane side, rules for marijuana, opiates and nicotine are provided as well. What about a Fallout-style brew that makes you bioluminescent. The hallucinogenic ninetailed fox brew, a draught made from akata resin that enhances your ability to hold your breath, rapture dust and pesh would be further examples. This chapter is inspired, and the scaling drug-rules should genuinely be core in my humble opinion – fyi: The table lists three different price-categories per item level, allowing you to simulate local prohibitions and scarcity.

But, well beyond that, we haven’t covered the basics, right? Well, guess what: The pdf does no shy from talking, in a tasteful and non-explicit manner, about sex toys, sex work, and the differences of institutional and underground businesses, with licenses in 6 steps correlated to minimum level and item level limits. As an aside: It was thoroughly awesome to read a vision of the future where sex work is treated with an enlightened perspective, where securities are provided and regulations don’t necessarily ostracize them. Two big thumbs up! (And if you want, you can still have the seedy, nasty underbelly cyber-noir stories via underground businesses; funny aside: This’d make e.g. Judge Dredd-like characters actually allies of the institutional, legal workers…this made me smile.) After this, we discuss the different types of drugs, from depressants to the psychedelic effects-producing enactogens to hallucinogenics, stimulants, etc. Being also indebted to the whole fantasy-angle, literature is included here in its own section, and as someone who can attest to the rapture of a good book, well, I liked that.

Speaking of which: Exposing minors to vices is a crime. Oh, and there is another thing I really loved here: In the section that discusses weaponry, guess what? There are rules here to make space more believable: Weapon registration (including rules for looking up registered weapons) and licenses; the pdf also suggests that some place may require the merciful fusion to be affixed to weapons, which makes sense. In space, blowing a hole in the station could wreck it, and if everyone’s armed to the teeth, it’s just a matter of time before things escalate, so having some checks and balances here (and yes, you can ignore them…but why? They may for some nice investigation avenues…) enhances my sense of plausibility. And if you’re really pro-guns, setting them to stun in the make-believe RPG, so to speak, shouldn’t irk you, right?

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting re top-notch on a rules-language level, and just as precise on a formal one – apart from one instance of “craft” instead of “crave” and very few such minor blunders, I noticed nothing to complain about. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the full-color artworks within drawn by Jacob Blackmon generate a unified aesthetic. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Alexander Augunas has surpassed himself here; the Pop Culture Catalog-series is a great breath of fresh air, because it is rather light-hearted, yet inspiring. Here, I feared this’d go into dark places, and while it tangentially does, it creates a vision we see all too rarely in science-fiction: That of a future that’d be awesome to live in. There are those that say that the measure of a society lies within how it handles its misfits, its criminals, its vices – and in the Xa-Osoro system, this would indeed mean that the place is enlightened in the best of ways; this feels a bit like Star Trek, a bit like Firefly – not like a grim noir trip down Altered Carbon territory (though it does allow for that as well). The writing here oozes a warm-hearted, compassionate kindness that was really amazing to see.

You don’t care about the fluffy feels? All right, this is still awesome for you: The differentiated drug-engine makes them viable and tempting, dangerous options throughout the adventurer’s careers and vastly enhances the appeal of this often underdeveloped aspect of the mythologies of our games. They are, in fact, so good that I want more, and that this gets my EZG-Essentials tag for SFRPG. This is a must-own addition for the game, and I seriously hope Paizo’s taking a cue here. Beyond that, the inspiring ideas and compelling vistas presented, all the adventuring potential in these pages, leave me with practically no choice – not only is this the so far best installment in the series, it gets 5 stars + seal of approval and also is a candidate for my Top ten of 2019. Get it. Seriously. As an aside: Even if you play another scifi RPG, the wealth of ideas herein may warrant getting this all on its own…just sayin’…

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, Dreamden is a rustic resort situated at the border of a vast desert; usually sporting a population that slightly exceeds the 100, but subject to obvious fluctuations, it is an opportunity for the rich and decadent to get away from the hustle and bustle of city-life. PCs doing their legwork, as always, can very much unearth some intriguing tidbits about the place – for example, that a gigantic demon was slain in the vicinity, and that the patrons that stay there tend t lose their wits.

This isn’t particularly surprising, considering that this place offers quite an assortment of properly statted magical drugs: Three sample drugs are provided, including descriptions, prices, etc., with the alchemical material narcotic sand as a helpful means of offsetting the cost when manufacturing drugs. Pretty big plus: These drugs have been properly stated and are genuinely potentially useful and interesting regarding their effects. Only in certain situations, sure, but I *can* potentially see PCs using these, particularly in low/rare magic games.

As a kind of resort, this place of power does differentiate between the different types of folk that can be found here, roughly grouped in patrons, servants and staff, with notes on appearance, dressing habits and nomenclature provided. The supplement also provides an array of 6 whispers and rumors. The ramshackle-looking, exotic tent/den-place is lavishly mapped by William McAusland and Maciej Zagorski of the Forge Studios, with a piece of neat b/w-artwork representing the place in addition to the map provided – rather cool, as this allows the GM to provide a view of the place as a handout of sorts to the players.

The Dreamer, mastermind of Dreamden, basically sells enlightenment and drugs as a kind of cult using classic tactics – and indeed, if you’ve seen a documentary on some of those creepy cults for the rich and famous, disguised as coaching/life advice, then you’ll clearly get this place, particularly if you add some serious debauchery beneath the veneer of enlightenment. As such, there isn’t much trade and industry going on, and the place has very few rules beyond the utopian vision of the Dreamer and the associated groupthink-indoctrination. Life is regulated, but on a mandatory basis, and in case you require some additional help bringing the place to life, you can rely on the 20-entry strong dressing/event table.

The supplement also contains notes n the surrounding vicinity, with a d6 event table allowing you to depict the harsh environment. There are 5 sample NPCs included in the supplement, who, as has become tradition with the series, come with brief notes on alignment, race and class, as well as mannerisms, personality and background notes. Nice: One of the NPCs is basically a quest-hook on her own, but her write-up once erroneously refers to her by the wrong pseudonym, which can be slightly confusing. The place of power contains multiple drug dens of different types, and the campus includes an impressive statue, the Hand of God, from which pleasant odors and narcotic substances seep up. And yes, there is more to this place than meets the eye, but I am not going to spoil that in this review.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are excellent on a rules-language level, very good on a formal level. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ two-column b/w-standard, and the artwork and cartography provided are really nice. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, which is a comfort-plus, and yes, the supplement comes in two versions, with one of them optimized for screen use, and one intended to be printed out.

Jeff Gomez’ Dreamden is a nice and intriguing Place of Power; while it is a bit more obvious than I think it should be regarding its secrets (it’d be more interesting in my book to make things less clear-cut), the pdf is still very much worth checking out. All in all, a neat place, and hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This installment of the Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 3 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 22 pages of content, though it should be noted that we get quite a lot of text per page.

This review was, funnily enough, requested by a patreon supporter to be moved up in my reviewing queue – and it was the only mythic book that had, prior to that, not (yet) been requested, so this, in a way, makes the completionist in me grin.

Now, as always in these books, we begin with supplemental content – and this time around, the subject matter would be “Naked Courage”, referring to the tendency of some Celtic cultures fighting without armor. In Pathfinder, savage barbarian, swashbuckler or the like can be used to represent this concept, sure. This pdf adds the blue-painted warrior fighter archetype to the fray of such options. These valiant braves lose proficiency with armor, but apply blue-painted symbols to their bodies in a process that takes 1 hour of preparation as well as 1 sp per class level in a process that takes an hour. These symbols grant an AC bonus equal to ½ class level (minimum +1). Bravery is modified to net +4 to Will saves against fear, increasing by +2 for every 4 levels beyond 2nd, and 14th level makes that immunity to fear. Without freshly painted symbols, this reverts to base bravery benefits. Instead or armor training, third level nets the option to choose 1 spell-like ability from a list, and 7th, 11th and 15th level unlock their own lists of SPs and increase the number of SPs from previous lists, basically emulating a spell-list of sorts. The engine does allow for the slotting of lower level SPs in higher level slots, uses Constitution as governing ability score to determine bonus SPs, and the SPs only apply to the character. Instead of gaining an SP, the blue-painted warrior can grant herself an enhancement bonus to AC or a combination of such a bonus and armor special qualities, with a cap of only one SP until 11th level. At 19th level, armor mastery is replaced with shrug it off, a 75% chance to negate critical hits and precision damage based on the symbols – a failure to refresh them sees them slowly degrade down the fortification special ability tree.

The archetype comes with explicit mythic class feature tricks, which allow them to expend mythic power to retain symbol freshness, adding tier to armor bonus and immunity vs. non-mythic fear-sources, as well as the option of granting nearby allies half the bravery bonus. The SP-based engine-component may be tweaked to provide access to the mythic iteration, and allows for spontaneous swapping of choices made. The mythic version can also apply the benefits of these SPs to allies, and the mythic version of the mighty shrug it off allows for automatic crit and precision damage negation from non-mythic sources. It also nets allies an atk and damage boost when you negate a crit. On the nitpicky side, I noticed missing italicizations here. This guy is decent, but not exactly brilliant as far as I’m concerned.

All righty, but this fellow was not what we’re here for, right? Let’s check out the creatures! At the lowest rung of the CR-spectrum, we have nixies, which clock in at CR 1/MR 1. The mythic upgrade has two really nice new abilities. Coat of Mist blurs the nixie while near a body of water, and mythic power expenditure may upgrade this to displacement. Additionally, they get fisher’s touch, which allows for the use of a touch to baleful polymorph (italics missing) touched targets briefly, with non-mythic and charmed targets being more susceptible. Nice upgrade! Also at this CR/MR, we get a mythic upgrade of the alpluachra, who is a bit faster in water and injects its numbing slime with bite attacks as well. Additionally, they may expend a use of mythic power as an immediate action to avoid ingesting harmful alchemical substances, toxins, etc. and withstand the consumption of salt or salt water. Nice evolution of the concept.

At one CR more, CR 2/MR 1, the fuath gremlin, whose attacks now actually can hurt (thank the deities…) and whose mere presence makes waters nearby choppy, increasing the Swim DCs nearby, and they may 1/day warp wood at CL 8th, making them rather dangerous for those braving their waters. Increasing CR once more by +1, we have two CR 3/ MR 1 critters within, with the first being the water leaper receives a stunning shriek and the option to use mythic power to add a whopping +20 to Acrobatics made to leap for 1d6 rounds. The second creature at this CR/MR-array would be the pooka, who is improved to hearken closer to its mythological roots: They get selective invisibility and may execute at-range dirty tricks governed by Charisma, with the option to expend mythic power to retain their invisibility. The final low CR/MR-creature clocks in at CR 4/MR 1, the mythic spring-heeled jack, who may use their ragged capes to glide, Batman-style, with the benefits of Wingover and Flyby Attack that explicitly allows for use of e.g. the breath weapon in conjunction with it. Wounds struck by these fey bleed, and the amount increases if the target is struck by a sneak attack, and further if the target is subjected to one of the detrimental fear-based conditions.

The CR 5/MR 2 gancanagh azata gets a fey flute, which allows them to affect targets in a 60 ft.-radius with SPs sans counting towards daily uses. With their swashbuckler’s blade, they can use AoOs to penalize attack rolls; for mythic power, we get a parry, represented by the imho not very elegant comparing of attack rolls – on the plus-side, they may choose to take half damage and instead riposte, getting an AoO versus the attacker. The gancanagh’s kiss or caress banishes mental dominion, and may even, with mythic use expenditure, remove e.g. a succubus’ profane gift, though this is not guaranteed. Also at this CR/MR, we have the firbolg, whose weapons ignore 5 hardness or DR, and when targeting Medium or smaller creatures, the target must succeed on a save or have its defensive means reduced, though enhancement bonuses cannot be reduced. Additionally, mythic firbolgs get Death’s Decree – when they’d be killed, permanently incapacitated, etc., they may expend 1 mythic power as an immediate action to self breath of life or break enchantment. For an additional mythic power, the offender may also be targeted with a curse that prevents a use of a specific action for 1 year. Nice!

At CR 11/MR 4, the fellow on the cover, the famous nuckelavee can use its mythic power to double the range of its aura, and yes, it may spoil potions or food within its aura. Its signature mortasheen disease requires mythic magic to cure, and may be rendered highly contagious by the creature. Additionally, for mythic power use, the nuckelavee’s mythic iteration may speed up the progress of the vile disease. In their wake, they spread filth and disease, rendering water difficult terrain, and the creature’s rancid odor touches those hit by bite or breath with a truly foul smell. AWESOME!

The CR 17/MR 7 death coach comes with a reprint of the mythic Lightning Stance and receives an upgrade to its soul-collecting abilities that make them truly devastating; epic here: The mythic iteration can take a standard action at any point during its movement, and may take an additional one for mythic power expenditure. The coach also gets the ability to trample through targets of any size, with the chance to frighten those failing or foregoing their saves. Those struck cower (OUC) on a failed save, and protection from fear may end up being dispelled by such attacks. More than all of this, non-good creatures that have their soul collected may strike a bargain with death, fulfilling a quest in exchange for their souls…AWESOME. I adore this build. It makes the ghost carriage really work, is deadly, and oozes narrative potential, even at lower levels. Where was this critter when my main campaign was in Ravenloft?

The highest CR/MR creature herein would be the CR 19/MR 7 Nemhain, who gets some DR/epic for better staying power and the means to upgrade the SPs to their mythic iterations. Speaking of which: Will-saves vs. effects that deal positive energy damage? Those behave as though the critter had a specialized form of evasion. As a standard action, the nemhain may return to the location of their ritual objects, and the ritual object, if destroyed, repels the living, for one more chance. Oh, and the object may be fortified by the nemhain’s mythic powers. As a full-round action and for one mythic power, they may attack all creatures (up to Dexterity-modifier) that damaged her. Then, there would be the bound spirits ability: The Nemhain is surrounded by swirling cloud of spirits that may be directed as a swift action to attack within a 30-ft.-radius, and they can deliver harm and similar effects. These may also be sent forth as scouts, as a kind of impervious cloud – reminded me of my slaver of the damned design in a good way! While they share the nemhain’s space, they btw. net concealment and SR. I love how this high-level threat is all about resistance and striking incredibly hard – this fellow won’t be easy to slay!

Now, as always, the book does contain a totally new creature that doesn’t exist yet – this time around, that would be the lavishly-illustrated Cyhyraeth, a tragic and mighty incorporeal undead that clocks in at CR 15/MR 6. These spirits get rejuvenation, DR, and natural invisibility. The staves they wield threaten critical hits on 19-20, and on a critical hit, they may demoralize the targets. A target demoralized for more than one round cowers for 1 round, and the cyhyraeth may expend mythic power to prolong that. When striking a creature with their staff, they can expend mythic power to affect the target with fog cloud, save that only the target sees the fog! Nasty! As a move action, these spirits may release a tri-fold moan of demise; on a failed save, targets then hear the subsequent moans, even if deaf. The first moan also provides a debuff and increases damage taken from melee and ranged weapon attacks; the second moan further increases the penalty and also provides an increased threat range versus those affected by the moan, while the third moan causes death. The horrifying thing: Hearing a moan is permanent. Unless the creature is destroyed, the moans will keep their potency indefinitely – or unless removed with very high-powered mythic magic. When they cause fear or death, these spirits can call will-o’-wisps to their side, and 1/day, they can curse locations or vessels with deadly accidents – 50% chance on natural 1s to take damage. Oh, and yeah, they have a heart grip that may knock targets out – and yep, this may be used in conjunction with the staff… A glorious masterpiece of a critter here!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on a rules-language level, and almost very good on a formal level; I noticed no serious hiccups, but a few cosmetic ones are here. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the original artworks presented are pure awesome. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Mike Welham and Jason Nelson are both true masters of creature-design, and its shows in this book, it really does. While the archetype left me less than blown away (I’d rate that, on its own, probably somewhere in the 3-4-star vicinity), the creatures, and that should be made abundantly clear, are all killer, no filler. There is not one mythic build herein that I wouldn’t vastly prefer over the original creature. This hold particularly true for the high-level creatures that actually have a chance of standing against mythic heroes, that all can carry their own adventures. They made me flash back, in the best of ways, to all those years upon years of Ravenloft-campaigns I ran, made me really stoked to run some gothic horror. So yeah, the series ends with a huge BANG, and not with a whimper – 5 stars + seal of approval.

On a personal side: I can’t believe I’ve reviewed 50 of these books. Tempus fugit, indeed. Anyways, I wanted to write something about it: The Mythic Monsters-series has redefined what I dare to expect from creatures, and what I frankly want to see from creature design. It represents a paradigm-shift away from solely new combinations of math, feats and spells/SPs, towards the mythological roots of the creatures, or, where not applicable, towards creatures that are set apart by unique abilities that make them stand out. They provide narrative potential beyond being stuff to be hacked apart, and present us with a great fusion of powerful crunch-skills and the narrative demands of, you know, ROLEplaying. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do so. Even if you don’t run mythic campaigns, your veteran players will enjoy the challenge these magnificent monsters provide. I will genuinely miss reviewing this series and am grateful for all the joy it has brought to my table. I raise my stein to all the talented designers that crafted this outstanding series! Here’s to you!

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This Star Log.EM-installment clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This supplement begins with the new Great Old One subtype graft: Great Old Ones are immune to ability damage and drain, aging, death effects, dead and dying conditions (YEP!), disease, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, petrification and polymorph effects. The Great old Ones get a stellar alignment variant unique to the respective Great Old One, and they have a 300 ft.-aura of unique effects. Oh, and they are genuinely immortal. Reducing them to a 0 Hit Points and Resolve just makes them dormant.

This graft alone is great already. It does not chicken out. It retains their essence – that they can’t be slain, only…postponed. Many a fantasy/science-fantasy/pulp game gets that wrong, so kudos from the get-go.

Cthulhi, as presented herein, are situated at CR 20, and use the spellcaster array, with SPs , etc. – they are immortal and have an overwhelming mind – basically a representation of the star-spawn, or for games that enjoy bashing Cthulhu-looking critter’s faces in.

Great Cthulhu, as befitting, is situated at CR 25, 700 HP, 8 Resolve, and uses the combatant array. Great Cthulhu gets resistance 25 against all core energy types, immunity to cold, a massive SR, and the claws attacks can behave as though they had the automatic special property, attacking targets in a 15-ft.-cone. Cthulhu can communicate with sleepers and invade their dreams; as a non-euclidean entity, all attacks against him have a 50% miss chance, and he is immune to being grappled or entangled – this may be offset with true seeing, but at the risk of insanity when gazing upon Cthulhu’s splendor. Cthulhu can use Mysticism to demoralize targets, and if the target is within range of his planetary telepathy, Cthulhu may spend Resolve send visions that can potentially scare the victim to death. Cthulhu can sense the creative, and may affect these targets at even longer ranges. Creatures affected by Cthulhu’s aura are affected by snuff life, and those damaged are staggered.

Cthulhu’s stellar portents feature has 3 modes: Unattuned, dreaming and waking. In dreaming mode, he can render sleepers insane, cause targets to fall asleep and gets some serious defensive boosts. Waking mode instead nets Cthulhu the option to make full attacks as a standard action, and, when fully attuned, a whole second turn per round! As far as his immortality is concerned – Cthulhu rejuvenates fully after 1 minute, and then is staggered for 1 minute. If slain AGAIN during this minute, he is truly sent back to R’lyeh. Good luck with that if your players think that trying this is a good idea…

There is one single thing I am not too fond of: Cthulhu’s flight (and that of the cthulhi) is extraordinary, when flying through the void is pretty much canon – that should probably be supernatural.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good on a formal level (noticed e.g. a doubled “After a minute” and a “,.”, but nothing serious) and very good on a rules-language level. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard, and Jacob blackmon’s drawing of Cthulhu is easily one of my favorite pieces of his – I did not expect that it’d be possible for him to make a genuinely scary critter in his signature drawing style, but there you go – happy to be proven wrong. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ take on Great Old Ones is cool – it doesn’t chicken out, and the unique stellar attunement now makes me want Cthulhu-serving Solarians, seeking to wake their dread master. The build is cool, deadly and the cthulhi are a nice bonus. All in all, a great little pdf – well worth 5 stars!

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

3/5

This Star Log-installment clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, after a brief introduction, we dive straight into the 16 new feats contained within. These would be:

-Adaptive Guard: Nets you an untyped +2 bonus to Reflex saves, and provides the option to choose a nearby target, increasing bonuses for fighting defensively and Reflex saves originating from that foe at the expense of being slightly more susceptible against assaults from others. Nice!

-Barreling Momentum: Requires Step Up and Improved Combat Maneuver (bull rush), and lets you Step Up to bull rush targets. NICE! (As an aside – pretty sure that should be “barreling” – the pdf writes the feat with two “l”s.)

-Burst Fire: Reduces damage dice employed by automatic weapon by half, but targets only one target. Takes single damage die weaponry into account. NICE, though this one warrants closer examination if SFRPG introduces burst fire mode weaponry.

-Cleaving Lunge: Combo-feat for Cleave and Lunge, with the option to spend Resolve Points to reduced the total AC penalty for using the feats in conjunction by half.

-Defending Counter: Readied melee attacks are resolved before the opponents attacks, and the attack roll may be used as EAC/KAC if you hit. Nice – makes readying actions actually viable and doesn’t require the annoying compare atk-values swingy mechanics. Kudos!

-Explosive Leap: When using automatic, blast, explode or line weapons, use Resolve to move backwards, utilizing the recoil. Also lets you rocket-jump when aiming to the floor. To nitpick: This should specify that the short term “fly speed” ought to be considered supernatural or extraordinary.

-Flurry of Swings: Makes your melee behave as though automatic, with a range of 5 ft. + natural reach. This would be utterly OP, but requires Resolve Points to power, so I’m kinda okay with it. Still, this is one I’d watch carefully.

-Grazing Critical: When you hit an opponent with a natural 19 or 20, you can spend ¼ of your total Resolve to treat the damage dice as though you rolled the maximum on the original damage dice. This one has a nasty glitch: It should refer to the maximum Resolve, not total you have, as the verbiage atm can be read to pertain Resolve you currently have, allowing for abuse when you only have a bit of Resolve remaining. Alternatively, this should at the very least have a minimum Resolve cost noted.

-Hammer the Gap: When using full attack, designate a target and spend 1 Resolve: All successful hits total damage for the purpose of DR etc. This is OP and the like already broke the system in PFRPG, tilting the game’s math even more in favor of attack. This should die.

-Improved Suppressive Fire: Toggle automatic weapons into a suppressive onslaught mode: Attack in a cone twice, at -4 per attack. Attack #1 is an attack, attack #2 provides covering or harrying fire. High prerequisites etc. make this viable.

-Merciful Strike: Does what it did in PF – gets rid of atk-penalty for using lethal weapons to deal nonlethal damage.

-Prone Shooter: When prone, you can steady your aim, gaining basically advantage on the next attack roll – rolling twice, taking the better result. Unwieldy weapons require a standard action to steady. Nice one.

-Selective Autofire: Shape automatic, blast, explode or line weapons to exclude a square. At BAB +5 and higher, spend Resolve to exclude any number of squares. I’d have made the latter scale based on BAB, but that may be me.

-Slamming Strike: When you hit an opponent in melee and surpass KAC by +4 or higher, you can spend 1 Resolve to treat the attack as a bull rush. There is no immediate action in SFRPG – this should refer to reactions.

-Snap Shot: You count as threatening squares when armed with ranged weapons you’re proficient with, provided they’re loaded. They may be used for AoOs, and doing so doesn’t cause AoOs.

-Tumbling Targeteer: Use Acrobatics (DC 15 + 1.5 times opponent’s CR) to negate AoOs for making ranged attacks. DC increases if threatened by multiple targets. Serious failure may see you flat-footed.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are pretty good on a formal level. On a rules-language level, an immediate action remnant and some balance-concerns regarding a few of these feats remain. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has a nice artwork and no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Blaine Bass’ feats here provide a couple of nice options, but the pdf feels odd to me: A couple of the feats herein feel like they should be weapon rules (*cough* burst-fire), and I have some balance concerns regarding others. However, on the other hand, there also are some options that I consider to be rather cool, making this, in the end, pretty much a mixed bag that might require some vetting by the GM. My final verdict will be 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This massive collection of the Deadly Gardens-series clocks in at 76 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 70 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The Deadly Gardens-series has, so far, provided quite a smattering of plant-creatures and related material, and this book collects the material in a handy compilation. From the get-go, we can see that this is not simply all the pdfs tacked together – the content has been reorganized in a sensible manner.

We begin the book with 4 new feats, which center around a couple of crucial components: There are feats that allow for the harvesting of poison from living creatures, for better resilience versus poisons, and, most interestingly perhaps, one that allows you to use poisons to treat diseases and addictions. The other key-feat included herein would be the Deadly Gardener-feat, which lets you Handle Animal plants without the DC-penalty, and even handle unintelligent plants and use wild empathy, if available, in conjunction with them. As far as organization is concerned, I’d have appreciated the plant companion stats that are provided for some creatures to feature here in the beginning as well – instead, they are located in the individual plant creature entries, which is slightly inconvenient, as most GMs probably wouldn’t want to hand out the creature-information.

From here, we get a couple of natural hazards like quagmires, and then move on to one of my favorite aspects of the series – the expansion of mechanically-meaningful terrain types – from kudzu to salt flats to razor shale and scree types, there are quite a few really amazing means to make combat more exciting and dynamic here. As a minor complaint: Damage types generally are concise, and so are the rules, but the scree types don’t mention the proper damage type they inflict –it is readily apparent that bludgeoning is correct here, though. Analogue, thickets should probably inflict piercing damage. These are cosmetic gripes, but I figured they’d warrant mentioning.

The next chapter is one of the hearts of the book, and seriously one of the best reasons to get the book: We receive a massive item-chapter. And I mean *massive* - if you’ve been following the series, you’ll know that it has championed natural items long before the release of Ultimate Wilderness, and did so rather well. Particularly for low level games and campaigns that enjoy a down-to-earth tone or a more dark fantasy and/or low/rare magic-approach, this’ll deliver in spades! If you’re like me and adore Playground Adventures’ fantastic Creature Component-books, then it should be noted that use of the books in conjunction is a pretty painless procedure!

Category-wise, the book first lists 5 alchemical items that include oil that hardens plant skin, liquid fertilizers, salt bombs, and the like – these are neat, but on a formal level, I noticed that sometimes there is a blank space between the gp amount and “gp”, and sometimes there isn’t. The salt bomb also mentions salt damage, which technically doesn’t exist, but seeing how circumstantial its effects are, I don’t necessarily object to that here to the extent where I’d usually do. The book then goes on to present 8 herbal remedies that range from aloe and lavender, to super-hot peppers that may sicken you with heat, but also help stave off the cold. Their benefits are subdued, nice and would theoretically be appropriate in even a no-magic game. Here, I have no nitpicks. The lion’s share of the items herein, though, are natural items – they note a source creature, the related skill check and the yield you can get from the target – as well as the price these components fetch on the market. The rules for preserving them are as simple and painless as the base engine. While quite a few of the natural items listed here are sourced from the new plant monsters that may be found within these pages, the majority hail from classic critters like intellect devourers, leucrottas, etc.

The eyes of accuser devils, for example, may be used as a kind of grotesque video camera that records things it sees; achaierai oil can be added to flame to create noxious, nauseating and nasty black smoke. Adherer tendrils may be used to facilitate the creation of sovereign glue. The voice-boxes of androsphinxes may be used to double the range of sound-based spells when used as a material component. Blood root vitae can be used to heal and also lesser restoration targets. Boggard tongues can be used as impromptu bungee ropes, while bulette musk is a kind of aphrodisiac that helps you influence those attracted to you via Diplomacy (Skill-reference not properly capitalized). The items also include e.g. items that can act as insect-repellant, as a power component to enhance fire magic, provide metamagic synergy, etc. I am still not a big fan of the cyclops eye soup, which makes the next critical threat within 8 hours automatically confirm. There are also small hiccups in the otherwise generally well-made rules language here – for example, an item that deals sonic damage, but its splash damage fails to properly type the splash damage’s damage type as sonic. This doesn’t impede the functionality of the items, but if you’re as anal-retentive as I am regarding these components, it may bug you here and there – a careful additional pass regarding rules-integrity could have further increased the value of this section. (As an aside – some of the glitches of the individual pdfs that I called out in my individual reviews have actually been rectified, so kudos for those!)

Beyond the ton of items, a massive table of almost 2 pages of natural poisons and 4 power components can also be found here. The book includes a new special material, an armor quality to grant/enhance woodland stride, and a whole array of magic items that include particularly smelly onions that you can eat to become really unappealing to eat (or get near…); there are classic quickly-growing beans, a silver apple that acts as a lycanthrope detector. The rules here generally are solid as well, often doing interesting things (such as with an assassin vine-based whip that can constrict on its own), but there also are some instances where damage is untyped that shouldn’t be.

Now, obviously, this being a compilation, the book also contains the stars of the Deadly Gardens-series – the monsters! From the lowly ophidian vine to the CR 23 Kaiju Verdaxag (who comes with a summary of kaiju traits and a spell to call for its wrath), the book contains a lot of interesting critters – and while it’s not included in the bookmarks, the wandering sundew is actually included in the book. The artworks btw. are sometimes glorious b/w (like the hypno-lotus) and sometimes in full color – in most instances, I ended up liking the b/w-pieces a bit more, though exceptions exist. Now, I really don’t enjoy repeating myself too much, so if you want a critter-by-critter discussion of everything within this tome, please do consult my reviews of the individual Deadly Gardens-installments.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are pretty good on a rules language level, but on a formal level, there are still a couple of minor hiccups present herein that should have been caught. Layout adheres to a nice and generally printer-friendly two-column standard, with matte backgrounds. The artworks are, for the most part, really nice, particularly considering the super-indie niche of the series. Really impressive! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, making navigation comfortable.

Russ Brown, Matthew Carroll, Kim Frandsen, Jeff Gomez, Chris Hunt, Sam Kaplan, Joe Kondrak, Jacob W. Michaels, Stephen Stack, Andrew Umphrey, Isaac Volynskiy, Mike Welham – considering this cadre of authors, it is pretty impressive to note how unified this book ultimately is. Compilations are difficult for me – on the one hand, I don’t want to unduly repeat myself; on the other, I still need to present valid advice and check the book. So yeah, this was a bunch of work, but work I’m glad I invested my time in.

There is value in this compilation, and it lies in convenience and organization – in contrast to the individual pdfs, you can have all those small tidbits and items all at the flick of the wrist, conveniently-presented in one book, and this ultimately renders the book a useful resource. If you do NOT have any Deadly Gardens installments so far, then this is most definitely the iteration I’d recommend getting. However, if you already have them, the usefulness of the compilation lies primarily in its unified presentation and organization. So yeah, as a whole, I consider this to be a good compilation product. While I would have loved to report that is has gotten rid of the small tidbits and inconsistencies, there are a few still here that made me wish this had received another editing pass to remove the remaining aesthetic blemishes. This notwithstanding, we have a rather nice book here, though my final verdict can’t exceed 4 stars for it – a good book, and an excellent resource if you’re new to the horrific plant-threats and natural items presented by the series.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

3/5

This installment of the Starfarer Adversaries-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, it should be noted that we do get a nice, handout-style one-page version of the full-color artwork for the sentry robots in this book. Said robots come in three iterations, at CR 6, 9 and 12. They come with integrated lasers as the high attack, slams as the low attack. The slam attack’s damage output of the CR 6 robot is off by 1, and it should be noted that the damage-type indicators in the statblocks are using erroneously lower-case letters instead of uppercase letters – “b” instead of “B”, for example. It’s a cosmetic thing, but something that stuck out to me. On the defensive side of things, the robots have integrated force fields appropriate for their respective CR. I’m also pretty sure that the damage for the CR 9 sentry bot’s slam is odd – in contrast to the other two, it adds 1.5 Strength modifier to its slam attack damage for +18, instead of the default +15. This may, however, be an intentional decision, though not one I see reflected in the other statblocks.

The sentry bots, unsurprisingly, are constructs with the technological subtype, and the modifications have been properly applied. The bots are vulnerable to electricity and critical hits.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on a rules language level; on a formal level, this is solid, if not perfect. The pdf’s layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard, and the artwork presented in full color is nice indeed. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Jacob E. Blackmon’s sentry robots are solid obstacles to face; they probably won’t blow you away, but they are executed in a solid manner. If you’re looking for a couple of sentry robots for a fair price-point, and don’t want to bother with making some yourself, they are worth checking out. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This module clocks in at 36 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 28 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

It should be noted that this module contains 3 pages of handouts – one depicting one of the more complex environments in b/w, and the other two provide full-color renditions of special cards that feature in the plot of the module. It should be noted that the module does also contain a full-page b/w-artwork of another key-scene, which is a handout in anything but name. As you could glean from the page-count, this review is based on the 2nd printing of the module.

Nominally, this adventure is intended for 6 – 10 4th level characters, though it should be noted that it is a BRUTAL adventure that may well result in a TPK. While difficult, the stakes do warrant this difficulty, and the adventure is fair in its brutal challenges posed. A well-rounded group is very much suggested, and the players should exercise sense and care when faced with the dangers within. The scales are high – as you could glean from the title, this module is about saving someone from the grasp of Death. If you’re groaning now, be aware that the module does acknowledge that there are bound to be multiple deities of death – the entity featured herein is just one of them, so no, this will not wreck your cosmology. I enjoy this premise per se, as I’ve been a huge enemy of the notion of the no-penalty death that many more current systems have employed. Death, in my game, tends to be final and requires a quest of serious severity, like the one presented herein, to beat. In that way, my aesthetics are very much aligned with DCC’s “Quest for it”-mentality, regardless of the actual game I’m playing. In case you do not have a dead PC or beloved NPC on your hands, the module does offer for an alternative hook, but ultimately, said alternate hook is pretty weak.

This module, as a default, is set within the city of Punjar, and does have some overlap with “Jewels of the Carnifex” - the Carnifex is actually related to Death, so if you’ve played that masterpiece, you’ll have a secondary angle. As an aside: Can we please have a Punjar boxed set?? Like, now? There have been few cities in fantasy gaming that I wanted to see detailed so badly.

But I digress. The module does provide rumors and information for PCs doing their legwork, and those groups failing to do so will be hard-pressed, so yeah – if by now you haven’t learned that your legwork matters in DCC, this will teach you – the painful way. The rumors and information is, in an interesting angle, grouped by class of those asked, and, as always, an encounter table is provided.

The module provides a ton of amazing read-aloud text oozing flavor, and begins as the PCs navigate a maze of tents and stalls towards the abode of the Witch of Saulin – but beyond that, anything I can relay would be firmly routed in the realm of SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.


..
.

All right, only judges around? The witch provides a reading using the card-handouts included, and depending on the card drawn, the PCs get different prophecies – and, later, benefits! And yes, they’ll need them. Badly. You see, Death has two divine daughters – the Carnifex and Máni, the latter of which would be a moon-deity. The Carnifex’ shrine in the Charnel pits contains the entry to the realm of Punjar’s Death, but to have any hope of living through this region, the PCs will need to acquire the legendary Argent Falx a mythical blade bestowed upon Máni’s cult at full moon, only to vanish once more with the moon’s phases. Tomorrow, there’ll be a full moon. The clock is ticking.

The first massive part of the module, then, would be a heist, and it is one of the best heist adventures I have read – PERIOD. From multiple means of egress and strategies (including infiltration, sneaking in, disguises, brute force, etc.) to the fact that it depicts the ziggurat of Máni, the religious service and the priesthood in a truly amazing manner: Blending genuine magic and divine grace with sleight of hand and components of the ritual provided by the priest-hood, this is amazing: A mirrored shaft, for example, may be a means of getting inside, but it *is* constructed to generate blinding light when the full moon ascends…oh, and if you’re like me and LOVE heists, it should also be noted that there is a “radiant victory”-clause: If the PCs manage to pull off the heist without casualties, they are rewarded for it! Huge kudos there!

In order to pass into the veils of death, the PCs will need to use the argent falx (or reasoning!) to placate the raging spirit of Moira and gain access to the realm of death – provided they can survive exploring the brutal realm of death and cruel mockery of an undead court held by the lich-like Rastvik and his undead cronies! His realm, a more conventional dungeon, btw., would be illustrated rather well. If the PCs managed to bypass Moira in some way, they will be faced with Eris and Death – a game of chance with the cards separating them from triumph or death…and yes, while cheating is possible, you’d better be lucky and know what you’re doing! Either way, this will remain in the memory of your players for years to come!

The bonus adventure in the second edition, “The Abbot of the Woods”, is also penned by Harley Stroh, and is intended for characters level 1 – 3. It is a brief dungeon exploration that focuses on a high-priest turned sect-guru, who sought immortality by staving off the 5 dooms of mankind. As such, the remnants of his complex contains pieces of the abbot and the dooms – and clever players will have a huge advantage here: You see, the dungeon teaches by showing how the abbot, in a way, achieved immortality by staving off the dooms, but also drove himself insane – the relicts that may be found can thus potentially end his tortured and maddened immortality, yes, but it also can free him. This, alas, will make him possess the whole damn dungeon as a twisted god-thing– and each of the relics can be used to weaken, and, finally, slay the abbot. This is actually really clever, and provided the PCs pissed off Death in “Blades Against Death”, may be a cool sidetrek to get back on the reaper’s good side…if that can be said to exist…

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are excellent on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to Goodman Games’ two-column b/w-standard, and the b/w-artworks included are awesome. As always, the cartography in b/w is pure excellence, but particularly the heist really should have offered a player-friendly map for clever PCs to attain. The lack of player-friendly maps sucks. Speaking of which: The adventure has no bookmarks, which is a big no-go for the electronic version. I strongly suggest printing this or getting the print copy.

Harley Stroh’s “Blades against Death” is a masterpiece, pure and simple. It is one of the best heist-modules and Sword & Sorcery yarns I have ever read; while dipping its toes in the high-fantasy side of the sword & sorcery pond, it manages to deliver its content with such panache, that everything remains plausible without straining your sense of disbelief. From the awesome heist to the brutal dungeon, this module delivers with all of its components, managing to evoke an atmosphere that blew me away, that made me cackle with glee. The bonus module just adds icing on top of the awesome cake as far as I’m concerned, and content-wise, this should be deemed to be a must-own book for DCC-judges, and a recommendation for purchase even beyond the system. The module is just brilliant, and the flavor it oozes is fantastic. If you’re really picky and just want t play this using an electronic device, detract a star for the lack of bookmarks and player-friendly maps, but if you print out your modules or go for print, consider this to be a must-own 5 stars + seal of approval gem, a module well worth the rarely awarded “best of”-tag as a testament to its awesomeness.

Harley Stroh delivers once more, in spades – now, dear Goodman games-crew, can we please get that Punjar boxed set? Please?? I so need that in my life…

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This collection of mythic items clocks in at 56 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 47 pages, which, as always for Legendary Games, contain quite a lot of information, so let’s take a look!

This review as moved up in my reviewing queue at the request of my patreons.

All right, this book begins with a bit of advice regarding the use of mythic items in conjunction with nonmythic games and suggested rules for identifying them, before diving into legendary item abilities, 5 to be more precise: Inestimable beauty renders an item impervious and makes it behave as though it had an enhancement bonus of ½ tier. This one lets you use bardic performance (distraction/fascinate only) as a bard of your mythic tier level, with tier stacking with bard levels), and twice ranks for the purpose of using them. Legendary power may also be used to use enthrall or hypnotic pattern with a CL equal to HD + tier. Mighty servant lets the item assume the form of a Small or Medium construct, a Large form for legendary power, using a modified version of animated object stats, with the option to fortify it via mythic power expenditure.. Resonant regalia does what you’d expect – it provides a mechanical framework for the classic notion of multiple items in a set increasing power. Soul drinker can only be applied to weaponry, and does what it says on the tin, snuffing out lives and making it hard to return the slain to life. Soul safe, finally, reforms you body, lich-style, in the vicinity of the item when slain, and the item’s legendary power may be used to negate death effects etc.

After this, we get 4 new mythic armors: The cloudcloth armor is a padded armor that nets mistsight, allows for the assumption of mythic gaseous form, and it can also be used to force gaseous creatures into corporeal form or negate toxic gasses. Nice. The cuirass of miracles is a bolstering deathless determination armor made of elysian bronze, which is interested in that it enhances the determination ability and upgrades the breath of life effect to its mythic iteration. The armor may also store mythic surges, though storing these takes A LOT of downtime – thankfully. If the armor contains 7 surges, it gets an additional ability, which, while potent, will not be overused thus – it’s a last ace in the hole. Dragonmail is dragon-defiant energy resistance banded mail, applying the dragon defiant bonus universally to all dragons, but the armor does not provide flexible resistance; this is instead governed by the source-dragon’s hide. For mythic wearers, we also have the effects of evasion and a mythic power-based temporary improved evasion. Earthenport plate is a stoneplate engraved with mystic runes – these may be chanted to apply invulnerability, titan or wild temporarily to the armor; additionally, a different chant allows the wearer and surrounding area to soften stone etc., sink under, and teleport with all sunken-in characters to another place. This gets teleportation-blocking effects etc. right, and the armor is better for dwarves.

This section also provides the jawbone shield that is specifically designed to help against creatures with grab or Snatch – an AoO-shieldbash; 1/day, such a smash vs. a bite attack can temporarily wreck the fangs of a target. The mythic power/surge mechanics also interact neatly here. Minor complaint: The cost to create here has one number too much – the “0” noted should have been eliminated.

The pdf also contains 11 magic items: The blade-eating battleaxe is made from adamantine and can sunder multiple weapons at once, and parades/parries may trigger sunder assaults. There are three magic boomerangs included (one, comically, called boomerage in one of the funniest autocorrect typos I’ve seen in a while); these include a sharp boomerang that has an increased threat range and Constitution damage. It may be thrown in a buzzsaw-like 30-ft.-line for AoE-attacks; the second boomerang allows for ranged trips/feints and the use of other combat maneuvers. The third boomerang is all about ricocheting. Dauntless machete lets you move swiftly through natural difficult terrain, and even clear quickly magical plant-effects, and it can be used to become plant bane’d. Kinslayer’s knife helps you go Dalek-level “EXTERMINATE” regarding a bloodline -the keen kinslayer kukri allows the wielder to blood biography the wounded, and the name of the creature appears on the blade – really potent for games of intrigue, particularly since mythic power allows for the tracking down of relatives…ouch. Outback woomera is a spear-thrower club that may be used to enhance shortspears cast via it, and it also allows you to create magical foodstuffs.

Redflame trollblade is a mighty weapon created with an eye towards the destruction of trolls – and since it emits a long-range call, including a subliminal suggestion that compels trolls to seek out and attempt to destroy the wielder, it should come as no surprise that the blade gets enough use. Rokurokubi whips can transform their end into the screeching heads of the namesake monster, and alternatively act as a scarf and allow you to emulate the monster. Silverspark longbows were once created as means to hunt down evil witches and wizards, focusing on anti-caster tricks. Finally, there would be the tombo fan, a weapon that allows for flight in conjunction with bardic performances, including fluid turns.

4 rings are included, the first of them being the gauss ring, which can be sued to charge melee attacks or in grapples; rings of returning allow you to return to a destination after teleportation, a kind of failsafe; the ring of truth can really help inquisitors, but prevents lying…and the ring of warmth can be considered to be a kind of survival-angle in the cold regions out there. The book also features 4 different rods – the gnarlthorn rod doubles as a wounding Morningstar (or club) that also causes ability score damage alongside the options of using burst of nettles and similar plant-based effects. The pyroclastic rod allows for the creation of ash or volcanic storms, acting as a flaming light mace that can dispel cold effects; plus, it allows for entangling magma that may be hardened by cold damage. The rod of spell-focusing may be attuned to schools or the 4 core energy types and enhance the attuned spell effects…while the rod of defoliation allows you to go Dark Sun defiler.

The book also contains a massive selection of 31 (unless I’ve miscounted) mythic magic items that contain a who’s who of some of the greatest mythic items released by Legendary Games so far – the awesome yoke of the brazen bull and the classic witch’s broom may be found. Classic mythology gets its nods, the teeth of the hydra, and the oni mask, to note two. The hei tiki amulet and hei matau amulet are here, and magi will benefit particularly from the arcanamach’s vambraces, while prepared spellcasters will enjoy the book of the banned that allows for limited access to e.g. prohibited schools, acting as a great tool for complex investigations – my spellbook doesn’t have that spell! (The book can also be glamered and uses secret page…) From the crane kimono to the crown of iron sorcery and the diamond of everwinter, fans of Legendary Games will have a couple of smiles here. Errant’s gage are gloves that help with smite, challenge, etc.

Beyond those, we do also get a massive 16 different artifacts taken from legendary Games’ illustrious history – from the pirate queen’s pearl to the elder talisman, from the sacred scroll of language to the undead-horde assembling midnight beacon and the lucky mallet, from the golden fleece to the funerary pyramid, from fractured phylacteries to the good ole’ dimensional bomb and to the deva’s wings or the crescent blade of the green dragon, this book is a grand collection of awesome artifacts with proper mythic rule-interactions.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level, with the items often juggling very high-complexity concepts with panache. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has a couple of full-color artworks that fans of LG will be familiar with – the cover of my copy looks a bit blurry, but the content and interior artwork etc. is as crisp as you’d expect. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Jason Nelson, Loren Sieg, Pedro Coelho, Matt Goodall, Linda Zayas-Palmer, Thurston Hillman and Alexander Augunas are an all-star team, and it shows here.
While it should be noted that this is a kind of compilation (if you have as many LG-books as I do, there won’t be that much here for you); there is value in this book’s convenience of having a pretty massive selection of mythic items, all collected for your convenience instead of being spread out over a gazillion of different books. EDIT: I kinda assumed that to be a given, but to make the verbiage of my review clearer: This content is included in the Mythic Character Codex and Mythic Heroes Handbook, if you for example want only the items, this is definitely your go-to-place, and I applaud Legendary Games for providing a stand-alone version that allows the customers to have the option to get only the items, if desired. Full of cool ideas and resonant with myths, this is well worth 5 stars + my seal of approval; if you already own most LG-books, I’d instead advise in favor of getting the big books, though.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This installment of the Occult Skill Guide-series clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review.

So, one of the most unique components of the Xa-Osoro setting shared by Everyman Gaming and Rogue Genius Games would be blood space – and as such, the first page, beyond the introduction, offers us an encyclopedia-style summary of blood madness. The strange phenomenon was bred by the death of a star, the viscera of the dead sun Osoro. Its properties are thought to be linked to the abyss, and as such, the gigantic, interstellar pollution, is pretty nasty. The pdf provides a couple of different effects blood space had on different planets, which pretty much jumpstarted my imagination from the get-go.

Now, the next two pages provide all the rules that govern how corruptions work in Starfinder, but since I already explained the mechanics in my review of the excellent Occult Skill Guide: Classic Corruptions, I won’t repeat myself here and bore you – plus, I REALLY want to dive into the corruption!

Blood madness has Will as the associated save, and Charisma as the associated ability score; you may acquire this corruption through direct exposure or e.g. hemihigh (see Pop Culture Catalog: Vice Dens); at the latent stage, exposure nets you 1d6 corruption points, and the corruption actually progresses at the rate of 1 point per day, making it a ticking timebomb! The victims’ eyes start glowing red in the dark (cool), and their alignment drifts slowly towards Chaotic Evil. How to get rid of it? Well, ouch. You have to go to a righteous deity’s font, scoured until they reach 0 Hit Points and starts dying. Each round while thus close to death, the victim can spend 1 Resolve Point INSTEAD of stabilizing to roll a Will save. This reduces corruption points by 1d4. The victim remains dying, but does not die for failing to spend Resolve Points due to this. This is…BRUTAL. You really don’t want to get into a serious blood madness addiction! At stages 1 and 2 of the corruption, the character gains a mutation, and 3rd stage lets you choose either ferocity (or ferocious charge, if they already have ferocity) or another mutation. The final stage nets full-blown CE outsider apotheosis.

What mutations can you find? Well, there is a 28-entry d%-table, not counting the GM’s choice entry, and from becoming a tiefling to getting wings, climb speed (called, probably in a nod to Outlast, “Wall Rider”), a fluid form, a 1st-level polymorph form, you can become a shapechanger, become more resilient – these benefits are serious – and they should be, considering how brutal the corruption is!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ neat two-column full-color standard, and Jacob Blackmon’s artwork is really awesome this time around, easily one of my favorite pieces from his pen! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Alexander Augunas provides a huge piece of the cool Xa-Osoro puzzle here, and it doesn’t disappoint! The corruption is brutal, visceral and tempting, a magical affliction and corruption that made me grin indeed, and its presence alone should provide a TON of adventure hooks for PCs and enemies alike; why did they turn violent? Blood madness. Fighting the corruption and its spread, taking care of spreading influence, etc. – I love this. Considering how stoked I am for the upcoming Grimmerspace setting and the possible crossovers with Xa-Osoro, this definitely will see a lot of use. Verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval, no doubt.

Endzeitgeist out.


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This installment of the Starfarer’s Codex-series clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

After a brief introduction and a full page of combat feats listed alphabetically, we dive into the feats themselves, so let’s take a look!

Back-to-Back is neat: When an ally is in an area you threaten, foes get no benefit from flanking you or your ally, and the DC to make a trick attack against you or your ally increases by +3. Bolster increases Stamina replenishment of allies of you if either is within 30 ft., increasing the amount by ½ character level. Note that RAW this does not extend to yourself, which is an interesting component. Cooler imposes a penalty on saves to all targets you threaten, which applies versus effects created by allies that are not threatened by the foe. Coordinated Casting is cool, in that spells with no effects can provide an opening for allies to attack the adversary. Coordinated Defense can provide a bonus to AC from targets farther away than you are; Coordinated Fire nets a bonus to attack to an ally after you missed a target.

Coordinated Maneuvers helps prevent AoOs when allies leave spaces you threaten. Coordinated Mental/Physical Aid are two feats that makes allies nearby benefit from aid another when using either mental or physical skill checks. Coordinated Onslaught nets bonus damage for allies versus foes you threaten in melee, with the bonus damage scaling based on your base attack bonus increases. Coordinated Strike helps allies attack your foes (minor nitpick: typo here – “tat” should read “that”); Coordinated Volley is pretty strong when compared to many other feats herein: When an ally in a space you threaten makes a ranged attack or casts a spell, they provoke no AoOs.

Enfilade nets a bonus to cover and harrying fire, and slightly increases the benefits. Harassing Assault penalizes the attack roll of targets you threaten. Harmonic Mysticism increases CL of spells and SPs when an ally casts in your threatened spaces. Invigorating Healing adds a short-term buff to abilities that restore SP or HP – and yes, the surprisingly complex rules requirements here are solid. Load Out is AWESOME: It lets you carry one team member of your size or less with only a 5 ft. reduction to speed, regardless of bulk. This is AWESOME. Lucky Charm is missing an “is” in the text, and enhances saves of allies from foes. Overwatch increases Perception and AC vs. AoOs in the vicinity; Spotter is another gem: Allies within 10 ft. may exclude one team member from area attacks or instantaneous area effects. Heck yeah! Thermal Shock, finally, is interesting as well, enhancing damage when you oscillate between cold and fire damage.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good on a rules language level, and slightly less awesome on a formal level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf even has bookmarks, in spite of its brevity – kudos. The pdf sports two decent full-color artworks, one of which you can see on the cover.

Owen K.C. Stephens obviously knows Starfinder like the back of his hand. In an interesting and conscious deviation from default SFRPG design paradigm, the bonuses bestowed by these feats may often be small, but they are untyped, not the default insight, which allows them to synergize with other SFRPG feats seamlessly. As a general note, the feats are on the same power-level and should not break the balance of the game, though Coordinated Volley is pretty potent. Spotter, though, is a true gem that you wouldn’t expect from the humble name, and Load Out is certainly a cool feat as well; not one most power gamers will want to take, but definitely a fun one. All in all, I consider this to be well worth getting. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


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