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Μολὼν λαβέ

4/5

Cyclops, manticore, medusa, hydra... Greek myths and legends gave ‘the world’s oldest role-playing game’ (and its successor Pathfinder) some of its most iconic monsters and creatures.

Jason and the Argonauts. Troy. Clash of the Titans (either version). Greek myths and legends have also given the visual imaginations of modern culture, and modern gamers, some of their most iconic images and scenes.

Now, this reasonably-priced release by Little Red Goblin Games has given the PFRPG community the tools and gear they need to portray the iconic heroes who fought those monsters and ‘lived’ those scenes. ;)

Personally, I find great appeal in the images of a band of heroes in bronze breastplates, wielding hoplon shields and armed with spears and xiphos shortswords, especially if they’re duking it out with a hydra, or shooting arrows at a chimera while riding a pegasus or griffon, so having the tools to replicate those images is a great satisfaction to me. I’m even tempted to use this toolkit to overlay Greek trappings onto the famed Rise of the Runelords AP.

Fair warning: there are some minor typos scattered throughout the text, and one occasion where a piece of crunch is cut-off mid-sentence, apparent victim of a cut-and-paste error. Speaking for myself, I’m OCD enough about such things that I can’t give Odyssey the full five stars; at the moment, I’m awarding it four-and-a-half stars, rounded down to fit within Paizo’s set-up. (If LRGG release an updated/corrected version, I’ll re-assess then... /subtle hint ;).) That said, I’m one of those grammar-enforcers that everyone despises; if your primary concern is finding tools for adding awesome Greek flavour to a Pathfinder game, you really should pick up this supplement. ;D


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Go tell the Spartans, you who pass by....

4/5

I just picked this one up as part of the last-ever Super/Rogue Genius Games 52%-off sale, and they’re pretty darned great, IMO — certainly a perfect compliment to Greek-themed products like Little Red Goblin Games’ Odyssey. I did find some small, niggling issues that cost this product a star on the review: one set of standees have the heroes’ names transposed; the ‘grunt’ standees are a little too uniform, so they may not make the best choice for representing PCs and their notoriously varied gear; and one creature described in the text isn’t included in the printable standees.

Nonetheless, the artwork is clearly lined, vividly coloured, and evocative in its depictions, and you do get a good range of human troops (of four different factions!) and inhuman opponents with your purchase. I love the hell out of this set, and if you want an inexpensive set of paper-figures for a Greek-themed encounter or campaign, this is one of the best deals you’re likely to find. ;)


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115 pages of Darklands-themed AWESOME? For FREE!? This is MADNESS!

5/5

Folks, if this is an ‘amateur’ product, you couldn’t prove it by me.

— Three of the FIVE free adventures within are set near everyone’s favourite starter-town of Sandpoint and playable with naught more than the Beginner’s Box! One of the others is a dwarf-themed quest, complete with six pre-generated dwarven PCs, all of whom have full stat-blocks and biographies, built-in hooks, and their own baggage with the others.
— A bestiary including no fewer than fourteen different creatures, all of them incredibly flavourful and most of them unsettling or even downright creepy. For me, the Blood Maiden and the Druegöbas, a bat-like counterpart to the drider and a dwarf/lizard centauroid respectively, and both the product of the foul practice of fleshwarping, make the entire issue worth its download-time in themselves.
— SEVEN pieces of short-fiction that play up the horrific and bleak nature of the Darklands.
— FOUR Weal or Woe articles, each holding a pair of NPCs who could be the salvation (or damnation) of a PC party in the Night Below.
— Archetypes and prestige classes related to exploring (or simply surviving) the Darklands.
— And a range of supporting articles that covers all manner of Darklands locations, goods, and folk, including fleshwarped magical items, other magical gear peculiar to particular drow houses, and even a trading town in the Darklands that’s almost ‘safe’ to visit or use as a base-camp.

The artwork throughout ranges from ‘very good’ through to ‘downright sublime’. I’ve paid large sums of money for ‘professionally’ published documents that couldn’t match the quality and thoroughness of the editing of this free ‘fan’ pdf.

Paizo Fans United have taken Wayfinder from strength to strength over the years, and Issue #9 has pushed that bar even higher. Downloading this file is worth every instant of time and byte of bandwidth. If you want creepy underground monsters, fun short-adventures, or intriguing NPCs to add to your game, YOU WANT WAYFINDER #9.


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Can’t wait for Jake Bilbao to take over

3/5

I received this issue with my AP sub this morning, and I’ve got to agree with the review of the ‘exclusive’ version. Andrew Huerta’s artwork never really appealed to me, but it was serviceable enough for the previous five issues. For the climax of a six-comic arc, the boss-fight that takes up fifteen pages of this issue’s story-space is visually confusing and narratively acoherent - it’s often hard to tell what’s happening in any given panel, and I really can’t tell you much about the flow of the battle as a whole. If that was an attempt to represent the otherworldly nature of the arc’s boss-monster, it was overplayed and hurt the story badly.
I mainly buy these for the game-material in the back, and that saves a couple of stars on the rating, but I’ll be glad when the comic’s new primary artist takes over in the new arc.


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Straight-forward, useful, very affordable

5/5

Expanding on the precedent set by Agile Manoeuvres and Weapon Finesse in the PFRPG Core Rulebook, this collection of feats allows characters to substitute one ability-score modifier for another when handling specific skills or other mechanics. Caged Dragon Games wisely included pre-requisites for each feat, and caps on the relative improvement, to confound would-be min-maxers, but these feats allow a great deal of flexibility in crafting a character to fit your particular concept.

Now, if you're looking for a .pdf with a lot of ruffles and flourishes, this one will disappoint you: it's twelve pages of mostly-black text on white background, single-column (apart from the table of feats at the front), there's no art or navigational bookmarks, and half of the file is taken up by a title-page, a blank 'inside cover', and four pages of OGL legalese and copyright acknowledgements at the back. But even so, you're paying less than a single American dollar for six pages of 'crunch' that will give you a great many more 'build' options, and that's a damned good deal in my book.

(As a footnote: Caged Dragon are also spot-on about their customer-service. When I pointed out a couple of errors in this product, a corrected version was uploaded to Paizo.com less than thirty-six hours later. Considering that I made the report from the other side of the world, that's a turn-around speed many of the 'big' publishers would envy!)


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A festive package of AWESOME! And it’s FREE, so why not get it?!

5/5

Super Genius Games really got into the spirit of the season with this one, giving gaming groups a handful of options intended to add more flavour to characters, their gear, and their actions in play.

Background skill points. Ever complain that your fighter or cleric just doesn’t get enough skill-points to fulfill their primary role and do justice to the two-page backstory you wrote? With background skill points, that is no longer a problem. Even though these points can only be spent on certain skills, they give you far better options to reflect a PC’s education and interests, and they free you to spend your baseline skill-points on the ‘important stuff’.

Alternate special materials. Ever have a character who wears leather or hide armour, but wants something with the properties of adamantine or mithral? Behold your salvation.

Object critical hits. The cinematic option of hacking down a door with one or two axe-blows, or shattering a stone column with a hammer, is no longer beyond your reach.

Spotlight time. Whoa boy. If you’ve ever needed a way to bring a shy player to the forefront, or encourage a prima donna to let someone else take the lead for a while, this is your salvation. The bonuses involved are based on the length of time each PC holds the spotlight, which means they can get pretty sizeable if you pull marathon sessions, but they’ll also help your gaming group explore problem-solving options they normally wouldn’t consider, and in my opinion, more creativity at the gaming table is never a bad thing.

Best of all? You can’t beat the holiday pricing! It doesn’t get cheaper than ‘free’, folks, so if you want to see the sort of awesome an SGG product can bring to your gaming table, grab this one - and get ready to be blown away.


Evocative. Intuitive. FUN.

5/5

These three words seem to sum up SGG's approach to all their new classes, and the Enforcer turns that 'up to eleven'.

Providing gaming groups with a framework for creating an array of modern combatants who find themselves in 'primitive' surroundings, complete with rules and guidelines for modern firearms, sidebars that explain SGG's reasons for some of the creative choices, and a small selection of feats to support the 'no armour? No problem!' aesthetic of the old pulps, the Enforcer class is admirably flexible. With equal facility, a character can be based on gunslinging Old West lawmen like Wyatt Earp, or a werewolf-hunting Federal agent with the best of modern training; a hardened soldier like Audie Murphy or John Carter; a professional prize-fighter like Mike Tyson or Brock Lesnar; a club bouncer, a Mob 'collector', or a two-fisted archaeologist.

SGG's twin trademarks - use of a concept rich in RP potential, coupled with KISS-principle mechanics aimed at minimising complications and delays in gameplay - make for another class that promotes interesting play-concepts and is simply saturated in opportunities for rewarding gaming experiences.

Top-shelf quality at a highly reasonable price is always a good combination, and for my money, SGG's "Enforcer" is simply superb.