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Just When I Thought I'd Gotten Out...


I was trying to hold off on purchasing a copy of this PDF because I have just been less than impressed with what Paizo has had to offer lately. Especially with sense/needless errata, but that's for a different rant thread.

Then, I started reading some reviews from other folks.
And I got curious.

I had dismissed Pathfinder as a relic system not long ago, having converted to 5e.
But this book makes me want to play in a Pathfinder game again.

The classes presented are much better than I had expected. Even the kineticist (the gimpy-Avatar-3.5-warlock-class) and the psychic (what I originally felt was the least inspired piece of the whole thing in the playtest) surprised me.
And then I read the Occultist, Medium, and Spiritualist classes.
And I felt like Pathfinder was new again.
And that's before delving into all the items, variant rules, and magical doo-dads!

I loved psionics in 3.X, but this book almost blows that system out of the water. In my mind, at least.

This book is a reminder to everyone that Paizo is capable of producing great things.
Now, if only the vigilante showed any promise... but, that is yet another rant...

Great book. No monsters, but who cares? BUY THIS THING.

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Shaky, but a VERY Faithful Port


Keep in mind that I've not played with these rules just yet (I intend to at my earliest convenience). This review is based solely on what I have read through and is subject to change with some actual table-experience.

To begin, I LOVE what DSP did with the psionics port a while back. So, when I heard that they were also working on Bo9S, I was overjoyed. That oft-ill-thought-of "splatbook" has always been one of my favorites. (I'm now waiting patiently for ToM and MoI :D)

With that said, this particular release left me feeling a little shorted.

Things I loved:
- The new disciplines: Not only are they flavorful and fit to less-wuxia tropes (typically), they are just plain cool. A vast improvement on the original source material. Bravo!
- Feats: This thing has a plethora of options to give fighters, monks, and even rogues NICE THINGS. That was one of the things that I loved about the original and was glad to see return here.
- Easier recharging: Not much else to say there. It's just nicer now.
- The classes: Overall, they seem to fit mechanically and thematically. I really dig what was done here overall. Some minor complaints, but nothing worth sharing. Archetypes, etc. are also pretty darn good overall.
- Greater use of combat maneuvers: I can't say enough how much I dig this. I believe that I may actually see people using them now, with awesome piggy-back effects and other buffs for employing them.
EDIT - Innovation: Digging through a little more, I noticed that some design space previously untouched has been brought into the realm of the martial (Veiled Moon especially). I appreciate the innovative use of mechanics hitherto unused by noncasters. A lot.

Things I didn't love as much:
- Warlord gambits: This mechanic seems just as clunky as the crusader's original recharge mechanic. Also, some of the gambits are just plain better than others. I know that system mastery is a thing, but this was a major ding in this class for me.
- Artifacts: And I don't mean magic items. Using skill rolls instead of attack rolls, per-encounter powers (though, recharging is easier now), and some other hiccups here and there. Not a major offender, but still bothersome.
- Easier recharging: This one was kind of a problem with the original. And, now, each character can replenish their ENTIRE stock of tricks as a full round action. Not only that, but they gain a bonus for doing so. This seems to undermine resource management much worse than the original did (not tested in play yet, of course).
- Creating new energy types: I appreciate what it does flavorfully, but it opens the door for some real oddities with older rules that don't use them (again, needs actual testing). Not the worst thing in the world, but this seems pretty risky to me.
EDIT - Lacking creativity: I think I saw at least five different first level maneuvers with literally the same mechanics and just a changed name. This is a mild disappointment, and it appears to happen a few other times in general.

I'm sure there's more that I can say, but I'm running low on words.
To summarize: I am impressed at the quality of this product, given that it had a smaller development staff than normal. Most of it is an awesome port faithful to the original Bo9S, and I love that. But there are some things that certainly needed improving before release. Overall, I think it's worth the money for the options, but I suspect that some homebrewing may need to be used to hammer out some of the faults.

Again, thanks DSP for a great Pathfinderization of a great subsystem!

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Pretty Much Everything I Wanted


This thing is stellar!
The new base classes are just plain better than the testplay document's last update, and that made me happy (some of them were just meh there).
Did not do an in-depth dissection of feats or items sections, but what I saw was decent enough.
Some of the new spells were lacking, but I also appreciate some of the more interesting/quirky utility spells (such as the Fairy Ring Refuge spell, which made me giddy). I'm just glad there wasn't a ridiculous spell-bloat, particularly at high levels.
My biggest let-down in this whole thing was the last section about building classes. I had had my hopes set for a point-based system much like the Advanced Race Guide, but Paizo at least explained why they felt it couldn't be done. So, some solace in that.
Definitely worth the purchase, though! Adds the kind of punch I was expecting.

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One of the best 3rd party books I've read!


This book is great! I wasn't familiar with the history of the world of Aden until I picked this up, but I'm quite glad that Kyoudai Games got their hands on the rights.

The book has some pretty amazing magi-tech related material: from people with cybernetic implants to airships and tanks, this book probably has what you are looking for.

The new races were okay: their lore was solid, but I wasn't overly impressed with the concepts of a few. But the classes definitely make up for this. If you've ever wanted to play a mad inventor, a mage with a golem bodyguard, or a vigilante with a jet bike, you won't be disappointed.

The lore of the world is also (from what I can tell with limited experience) ported faithfully from the original video games to the Pathfinder system. Great sections on history, important nations, and other events or persons of interest.

There are a few editing/formatting errors throughout, but not enough to really detract from the text. I did get left scratching my head a few times due to some wording trouble, but not in a dangerous way.

Another minor gripe is how widely the art quality seems to swing: sometimes, it's on-par with a Paizo book, but there are a few illustrations that are kind of cartoon-y.

Overall, very impressed by this book and would love to see more material for the setting over time.

Giving five stars because, despite a few stumbling blocks, this is an amazing introductory effort by the developers. Keep up the good work!