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This is my favorite set yet.Foghammer —
Tim's style is solidifying and I'm liking it.
This set brings 12 new designs (six "bandits" and six "guards") in three color palettes each, as well as the "color-your-own" blanks.
I really like the bandits in this one. There's an archer, a thug with a short sword, a mugger-looking dude, a brute, a wine-drinking duelist, and a girl with a sickle and dagger.
The guards are a little more plain; four of the minis have the same helmet and armor but different body types, poses, and weapons. The other two look like a grizzled old captain and a grim, determined lieutenant.
Awesome art for a buck and a quarter!
I'm a little prejudiced...Foghammer —
I must preface this review: I hate gnomes, with a fiery passion that would sear a dragon's gullet.
However, Tim has managed to make all but one of these gnomes seem a lot more like little heroes and less like Looney Toons. The 'roaming gnome' (or David...?) is the exception, but I like him for his comedic value. ("Am I going to die...?") My favorite is probably the knife thrower, followed closely by the wide-brimmed hat wearing archer.
There's a lot of variety here, and all in the same quality we expect from Battle! Studio. It's hard to beat the value with these minis. Four out of five, though admittedly, it's my dislike of gnomes bringing it down.
Top Notch 3PPFoghammer —
Open Design is killing it.
Endzeitgeist's review convinced me that I needed this book (not that I needed a whole lot of help). I made the purchase a couple of hours ago, and I am so glad I did.
The artwork in this book is amazing. Normally when I think of third-party material, I do not expect much from the artwork (even though it's one of my favorite things about new material), mostly that it doesn't distract from the material or junk the text up, but the art here is really something; the vast majority of it could easily find a place in a product you'd expect from a larger operation like Paizo, or even Wizards/Hasbro.
But if you're not like me and it takes more than art to impress you, you're still in for a treat. These monsters are creative and fresh. I particularly like that there is a good balance of CRs here, and having more low-CR baddies (like the Witchlight! I love this thing!) to surprise my players with is a huge plus. Some of these monsters have made appearances elsewhere I hear, but this was my first time seeing any of them, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Five stars, for a clean, super-professional, visually appealing book full of fun and interesting creatures.
Great Resource for Low-Magic Games!Foghammer —
I was surprised by this product. I didn't expect much for $3, but this system of fractional bonuses lays the groundwork for a bunch of cool things. I would like to see this expanded upon. Abilities such as "Leavened" or "Willing" are great (and no doubt will see use in my future campaigns), but it feels like there was some holding back in other areas like "Faux-flaming," which is great for flavoring a weapon, but nothing I would charge a player 500 gold for.
Overall, I'd give it a 4.5 out of 5, but I'm rounding up because of the awesomeness of the frame on which the properties are built. I would like to see more properties (like adding 1 fire/cold/etc damage to a weapon, or minor skill bonuses). Hopefully Super Genius Games can deliver a future product in this vein. :)
More excellent work from Tim!Foghammer —
Battle! Studio Paper Minis are some of my favorite minis ever, even more than most of my pre-painted plastics and metal minis. The art is consistent, and the designs are varied and unique.
Between the two human mini sets, there are a lot of bases covered - you should never have problems finding a design to match a character concept, especially with the option to color your own.
I always look forward to seeing more character designs from Battle! Studios.
Just a quick and dirty breakdown of the distribution of minis:
Not bad for a buck-fifty.Foghammer —
There are several exotic looking elves in this set, but mostly due to their weapon selections. The color palettes are a bit flat, but it fits the style which is highly reminiscent of early Mega Man games from the NES era. (This is a good thing to my mind.)
I count 20 different characters, each with two color palettes, all of which are appealing. My only gripe is what I assume to be an alchemist elf. The syringe-spear is a bit much, and he's rocking a Dr. Horrible getup.
Four stars. :)
Best RPG of the Century?Foghammer —
Okay, maybe that's a hefty claim, but Pathfinder has established its claim to RPG nobility by winning more awards than I care to count and by virtue of its tenacity in the market.
This game sells well for a reason. It's amazing. Paizo took 3.5, improved on the vast majority of it, and continues to do so.
There is so much good about this book I can't even begin to list it all. The improvements to the 3.5 core classes are probably the most readily apparent change in the rules, followed by the changes to skills, and then maybe changes to the feats, and then some spells. Oh and Combat Maneuvers! So much more elegant than 3.5 special attack rules.
And this book combines what would be the Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master's Guide into a single volume, so while that $50 price point looks high, you're actually getting a good deal. The 3.5 PHB didn't include magic item rules or prestige classes.
This is easily the best investment you can make by purchasing a product from this website. Five stars.
EDIT: I'd like to address the issue about the quality of the book binding; I can't speak for anyone but myself, but my CRB has survived my three roommates for over a year now, and is only just recently starting to really show signs of failure in the spine. One of my roommates happens to have little respect for other people's property. So, a year of heavy use by 4 people on a near daily basis as opposed to the below review's couple of weeks of "light" use sounds fishy to me.
Smite your foes in new and exciting ways...Foghammer —
This book expands on the power of casters, obviously. I'm in the camp that puts casters at the top of the food chain already, so I feel like some of the boosts were unnecessary. Also, I wanted a swarm-shifter druid and didn't get it, so I'm still a little sore about that.
But still, there is so much awesome in this book I can barely remember all of it. I am a huge fan of Paizo's archetypes, and they delivered in spades with this book. I'm particularly fond of the Crossblooded and Wildblooded Sorcerer, and the Summoner archetypes.
This book also introduces several awesome feats, like the chain that grants you sorcerer bloodline powers. This floored me, because it makes a lot of sense that there could be people out there with bloodlines that just don't have innate arcane talents.
Then there's the Magus. A lot of people wish it had a full base attack bonus, but I think it's perfect as is. The blend of casting and melee combat through Spell Combat and Spellstrike is a slick concept, one that pulled me off the fence when I wasn't sure that the game needed the Magus when it had the Eldritch Knight.
I was unimpressed with the Words of Power, but I think that had more to do with my lack of interest in arcane casters in general, so I feel as if I'm being unfair to judge it. The changes made from the playtest seem solid, and the concept is sound.
As with my Ultimate Combat review, the archetypes alone make this book worth it for me. Overall, I give it four stars, only losing a star for two reasons: 1) I don't think casters needed a whole book of new toys and 2) cantrips got cut for space. I think a few higher level spells could have been tossed out instead, but that's just me.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Combat (OGL)Paizo Inc.
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Ninjas, Guns, and Monk Love. Win.Foghammer —
I will not lie and say that I can completely ignore the errors in this book, but I can say with complete honesty that the new classes, archetypes, and feats alone outweigh any of the ill-feelings I have for the other content.
Gunslingers are a blast. They open up a whole new world of possibilities, as do ninjas. All of the flak ninjas catch is bunk. The ninja is a huge buff to the rogue, and the rogue has been in sore need of it for a while. The samurai is great as well, though more subtle than the other two classes.
Monks received some amazing archetypes (I am particularly fond of the Flowing Monk's concept, though I have not had opportunity to play one). The style feats are also a welcome boost to the monk's repertoire of abilities (though they are not necessarily monk specific, monks will find it easier to attain them).
Another pleasant surprise was the katana. It is not an uber-weapon, but still manages to be something different, though I wouldn't go so far as to call it "special."
The alternate rules provide new ways to spice up your game, or inspire new houserules at the least. Siege weapons finally allow you to lay waste to enemy fortifications before storming the castle, and called shots are something many people have been asking for for a long time.
I give Ultimate Combat five stars, because it delivers what it promised - more ways to stomp your enemies into the next life. Keep rockin' it Paizo.