Umbragen

Xaaon of Xen'Drik's page

RPG Superstar 6 Season Marathon Voter, 7 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 2,036 posts (9,218 including aliases). 23 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 4 Organized Play characters. 77 aliases.



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Lasher will tear it up...

4/5

Disclaimer: This is a review of a complimentary review copy of the product.

Three archetypes are presented, The Lasher (perfect Golarion gnoll archetype), The Sentinel and The Soldier.

The Lasher - This is a master of chain and whip, giving up heavier armor and tower shield for mastery of a brutal combat style. A Gnoll packmaster might be one of these brutal combatants, or perhaps a nasty addition to a Kyton. This is a brilliant archetype, well written, not over-powered and full of flavorful abilities. I really like punishing lash, which allows the lasher to suppress beneficial morale bonuses after a successful intimidate check.

The Sentinel - A bodyguard style archetype. It's already been done, but always nice to have a different take on it, especially for a non-dwarf. With only 3 abilities, this is a good fit as a defensive archetype, though it loses weapon mastery 1-4, but gains the Bodyguard feat in lieu of Armor Training 1. It will be a good class archetype for defending that goblin voodoo priest.

The Soldier - Loyalty is a very weak class feature, replacing armor 1, but only granting minor bonus to Will saves versus charm/compulsion, don't get me wrong, it's good to have more will for a fighter, but its limited. Disciplined defense is nice, granting a +1 attack bonus (evolving), on AoOs. Heroic beyond death replacing the normal fighter capstone, is better for people who knew the fighter before his death (probably caused by no Weapon Mastery).

17 of 20


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Animate!

5/5

Disclaimer: This is a review of a complimentary review copy of the product.

The Animist studies an arcane art long since lost to most wizardly schools and practices – the strange and wondrous ability to bestow the inanimate with a semblance of life! I think perhaps should be called the Animator, however that's the only issue I have with this product. (Animist is more about all objects having souls than about animating said objects, which is what this archetype is about.) These are the transmuters which are masters of animating objects, even their own weaponry, gaining Hand of the Animist, at first level which is identical to Hand of the apprentice, replacing telekinetic fist. Object Familiar (su) replaces Arcane Bond, and provides an animated object as a familiar, which is built using 1 Construction Point utilizing the Animate object rules in ultimate magic. Replacing the Shape Change ability is the Empower Familiar class ability, which allows an increasing of the animated object (including additional Construction Pts.) The Final ability replaces the 10th and 20th level bonus feats, but grants animate object and the ability to swap construction points for special attacks with the objects. This ONE archetype is worth the price of admission. However...an amazing NPC diviner is also added.

The Guild Scholar - Promising arcane academics sometimes pursue a unique training program that emphasizes research and study, both mundane and divinatory, and delves deep into the arcane sciences of glyphs, symbols, and other runic spells.
It fills an oft overlooked archetypical gap, that of a guild trained wizard researcher. While it's not a great PC archetype, I love the flavor of it, from the Bonded spellbook, to erase (simple but very flavorful to the class), Guild Runic (granting special powers when modifying scrolls and symbols. Guild researcher is perfect for representing the NPC Sage that you go to to look for answers to the hardest questions at breakfast, and then come back at tea time for your answer. Finally, the Capstone, the Guild scholar becomes an intelligent magic item book...a VERY intelligent one. Amazing way to pass down your old character's legacy to a new one, or as a piece of crucial treasure. Great for an NPC, decent for a player.

It's a Solid 19 of 20, almost as good as it gets.

Epic RPG Blog


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Making the Thieves' Guild more deadly...

4/5

Disclaimer: This is a review of a complimentary review copy of the product.

Four Archetypes: Hoodwink, Lookout, Urban Stalker, and The Wormtongue.
(I think sometime I'll create a rogue's Guild that contains at least 1 of every archetype, it would make for a unique, albeit, complicated guild-crawl...heh)

Hoodwink - The hoodwink is a slippery sneak with an uncanny ability to stay one step ahead of stronger or more powerful opponents. This tricky scoundrel excels at frustrating and harrying opponents with assorted tricks and traps. It consists of 2 class abilities, Bag of Tricks (ex), and Addling attack (ex). Bag of Tricks is about bonuses to bluff, craft(traps) and disguise as well as caltrop attacks, giving up trapfinding. Addling attack switches out sneak attack damage for rounds of confusion, with a Will save. Great archetype.

Lookout - Lookouts are wary rogues with an emphasis on scouting, keeping watch, identifying danger, and taking point positions. Truly an asset to any team of adventurers or dungeon-delvers, the lookout’s job is simple: to keep his allies alive in the field. This archetype also swaps out 2 abilities, gaining Eye for Danger and Nose for Trouble for 4th and 8th level rogue talents. Good archetype for possibly thwarting enemy rogues.

Urban Stalker - Urban predators and serial murderers, these deranged and deadly rogues earn a deservedly-fearsome reputation. A gruesome breed of sadistic killers, the urban stalker takes perverse pleasure in the fear he inspires and the pain he inflicts. This is the archeytpe you want if you're wanting to create a brutal antagonist, Infamous Deeds, Urban Predator, Bloody Senak Attack, and Heartless capture the feeling of the homocidal serial killer.

Wormtongue - Truly a master of deception, the wormtongue is a consummate liar and a manipulator without peer. Blending subtle magic with expert skills and slippery social graces, the wormtongue is a dangerously skilled schemer. This archetype is the polar opposite of the Urban Stalker, the silvertongued manipulator. Five abilities make this a very different feel. Web of Lies (ex) makes them amazing liars. Betrayer (ex) grants a feat in place of evasion, minor enchantments (ex) is nice because it lets the rogue select minor and major magic multiple times with enchantment spells, while Talented Enchanter (ex) makes those same enchantments harder to resist. The final ability, Sow Dissent (su) lets the wormtongue influence enemies with great effectiveness. My favorite archetype in this supplement.

17 of 20...+1 for GMs looking for some great archetypes to throw their players off-balance. For more reviews come to Epic RPG Blog


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Getcho Goblin Voudon on!

4/5

Disclaimer: This is a review of a complimentary review copy of the product.

The Miracle Worker strays from traditional archetypes a bit, but that's what archetypes can be, unique. The miracle worker is complex, as it gives up channeling for the ability to add secondary spell effects when certain conditions are met. Such as adding a prepared shatter spell to a 5th level or higher spell cast with the air or sound descriptor as a swift action. Interesting, and very complex. It's complex enough that I can't really go into it without reprinting the entire description.

The Voodoo Priest is great. I think it captures the essence of the Voodoo priest very well. The class gives up medium armor, shield and has a very limited selection of weapons. The channeling works differently as they channel loa, rather than a god's power, making it very useful for NPCs and not as useful as a character class. They gain a Loa Patron instead of a deity, which grants them two sets of domain choices, however they don't gain domain powers, just the spell slots, which makes them similar to a divine witch.

I think I would only use the Voodoo priest personally, it would make an interesting PF Goblin Spiritual Leader. I think the Miracle Worker is more player oriented, but the loss of Channeling is very painful to a small party, as a secondary healer, awesome. (Though it might have been a better Oracle). Ruinous Belief is a powerful ability, allowing the priest to add meta-magic feats to their spells which can only be cast on those previously scared by either a priests' spell (shaken, panicked or frightened), or intimidated by the priest (aka give your NPC Voodoo priests high intimidation skills.) Finally the Voodoo Priest gain Voodoo Poppet, to create Voodoo dolls, oh yeah, awesome.

Overall it's a unique, well-written supplement with two archetypes of limited use. Cehck out more reviews at Epic RPG Blog


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12 of 20

3/5

This book while huge just isn't up to the standards I've grown to expect from Paizo. The beginner box look is anathema to my sensibilities and actually makes it hard for me to look at. There's some good to it, but it falls short...not enough new material, not enough pictures for items which are wholly alien to our modern sensibilities, yes I'm talking about the primitive weapons.

Ultimate Equipment, where's all the Equipment tricks that appeared in various supplements? Those definitely should have been added to this tome. Mock armor?

I've been with Paizo since Alpha, constantly singing their praises over the last 6 years, this is just a book I wish I would have waited to look at before it shipped on subscription.

Check out my blog for my full review EpicRPGBlog.blogspot.com


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19 of 20

5/5

This is another Class act I would allow most of in my games. 3 solid pages. It starts with 3 new combat styles: Beast Tamer, Firearms and Guerrilla warfare. Firearms is something which was definitely skipped in a couple classes while included in others. The rest of the class act is 15 Ranger Feats. Many of these work off of favored enemy or quarry bonuses, and while I was leery of the Dragonslayer feat, after reading it, I love it and would definitely allow it. The one I'm not really sure about is Staunch Enemy, it had a huge write-up but a short-lived benefit and use, it might be useful if you're good drow killing other drow, or in urban campaigns. Signature Ranger trap is really cool, letting a ranger modify one of his Ranger traps (APG) with a while slew of extra effects (though there seems to be a typo, sleep trap says sleet storm lasts longer...uh, what?). Terrorize Prey is awesome , I love intimidate feats. All in all it's a very useful bag of tricks presented in very few pages.

check out more reviews on EpicRPGBlog.blogspot.com


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Worth the price of admission...

5/5

It's not just some wizard feats, it's 2 solid pages of arcane discoveries which aren't as can be taken in place of feats, and from a quick glance, there are some really cool ideas in this one. Animator, love this one, as it gives animate object to the wizard's spell list, and grants a bonus animate construction point. Arcane Signet is pretty sweet, but I would lower the required level, it's a weak ability for a level 20; level 11 I think would be better. I love Ioun Bond as well, the ability to add Ioun Stones to your bonded object, best idea in here. None Dare Speak His Name, another great ability with a level 20 requirement, awesome idea, but doubtful it would ever be taken, except for NPCs, which IS a nice plot device. the last of my favorites is Living Spellbook, yes, give up a feat to turn your spellbook into a sentient item. 32 arcane discoveries, I would allow almost all of them in my game, perhaps with a little tweaking in some cases. I would be wary of Illimitable Power and Dedicated Familiar, as those two discoveries could be abused horribly. I would not allow Permanent Magic. This is an excellent and creative supplement, it's well worth the $.99 in my opinion. Visit EpicRPGBlog.blogspot.com for updates to this review and reviews for many RPG systems.


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2nd best Bestiary from Paizo

5/5

Finally backtracked to the Bestiary, so All the Core and Major books are now covered on my blog (still need to conclude the UC/UM reviews as I was mostly covering the feats.)

Bestiary Review

I love it, can't do without it, but I hope more like B3 keep coming out.


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Best of the Bestiary

5/5

Bestiary 3 review is up on my blog.

This is probably my favorite of the Bestiaries so far, the content covers many iconic monsters from editions past, and stuff from the Adventure Paths. With great Asian flair for the Tian Xia world guide that is coming up, as well as many incredible monsters that have never graced the pages of a monster guide but are very welcome.


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Classic, Treasures...awesome

5/5

Just wrote a review of this on my blog. Wonderful item. Lots of possibilities with this book.

Epic RPG Blog - Classic Treasures Revisited review


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Worth the wait...

5/5

The book is amazing, I wanted this ever since I first saw the once over the 3.5 campaign setting glazed over it. As a fan of John Carter, Akiton called to me. The other planets are well written and are either original or wonderful adaptations of existing sci-fi tropes.

Read the full review on my blog

EpicRPGBlog.blogspot.com


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Yarrr

5/5

A great supplement, even with the typos in the PrC (use the table not the text). I'd actually give it an 18.

I have a full review on my blog

EpicRPGBlog.blogspot.com


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Good, with errors

4/5

I didn't get the Gazetteer for the same reasons that the previous reviewer dinged this entry. I looked at it and saw some nice fluff but little meat...

This book is nice and meaty, yes there's errors, they do slip in sometimes, we all know that, so I'm not dinging it too hard for those errors. It's still better than Adventurer's Armory.

Check out the full review on my blog:


The game is brilliant

3/5

3.5 stars for the miniatures only.

Unfortunately the miniatures need some work. These are presented in 20mm scale, which is around the 1:72 model scale. The vehicles are resin, and have some pour issues, minor flaws, but they definitely detract from the look. And can make assembly more difficult. The Buggies come with a Spud gunner and missile gunner plus the driver. The Utility truck comes with nothing additional. Using Mac's Body shop in core rulebook lets you modify the profiles of the vehicles, I used some old Epic mini parts to trick out my vehicles. The game itself is a blast, Fast, Fun and Furi....no wait, that's Savage Worlds...Fast, Fun and Ferocious!!

You can read a full review of the Game at my blog
Epic RPG Blog's review of the Warlands Core Rulebook


Unboxed


The review is still coming along, however we have unboxed and assembled everything from our review copy. check it out at our blog:

Unboxing

Assembling

The Review

It's a fun game, that is very unique, check out the review on the blog.


Great Work

5/5

Reality Blurs did a great job with this book, it's beautiful and has some great rules for running Savage Cthulhu.

Check out the full review on my blog

Epic RPG Blog


Furt is EPIC fun

5/5

In a nutshell, the game is a fun party game, with improv, straight face contests, and silliness. Lots of cards so it can be replayed several times without repetition.

I have a Full review on Epic RPG Blog
FURT!


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Ultimate Magic

4/5

While there still needs to be some updates regarding FAQs, there are issues, but I feel it's a better book than some obviously. I have written a full review on my blog.

Ultimate Magic Part 1


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Good Wholesome Fun...did anyone see me save the Doctor?

4/5

I have just posted my review of Save Doctor Lucky on Epic RPG Blog. Great game, 4.5 stars. See our blog for the full review.


Excellent

5/5

One of the best. The FATE system is the only system I think that would work for the Dresden Files. As an avid reader of the series, I picked up the RPG. Besides using the FATE system, thus incorporating Aspects, compels and a built-in hero point system, the RPG allows the players to create the city they want to play in with its city design mechanic. Players are tied to each other using a back story system where you work in other players into your story and they are worked into yours.

The layout is top notch. Jim Butcher was involved in the production of the game, and it shows. The book is rife with Dresdenisms, and examples. The sidebar includes commentary from 3 sources, Harry, Bob, and Billy the Werewolf, who "designed" the game. The artwork is great, using casefile examples, portraying many scenes from the books.

The system is so solid, that I will be using it for a Supers conversion, and a Star Wars conversion. Aspects are a great tool for role-playing, and I hope to see similar systems in the future.


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Book of Beasts – Monsters of the River Nations

4/5

Disclaimer: This is a review of material provided to me free of charge for the purpose of review.

First Glance:
From a quick perusal, it looks very promising. Nice artwork, bold trade dress, and 20 unique monsters and 7 additional pages of material.

In Depth:
Many low CR monsters, from the stumble fish to the Night Caller and Mature Piranha. Though my favorite of the new monsters is the Giant Fly Trap, I’ve always had a soft spot for nature fighting back. The Dire Fly Trap is even more vicious. Those are my favorites, there are a few of the monsters I’m not as convinced with. The Addanc has a strange name, which is an odd crocodile/beaver aberration. I’m not a fan of the Hatethrall Demon since it’s a disembodied head is strange for a demon, and the Hydrus has a new Combat maneuver, which doesn’t have an explanation, in addition it’s a bit of an undercon at ½ CR. The other monsters are all well-crafted creatures.

Extras:
In addition to being a monster book, it is a resource book for the River Nations campaign setting (not to be confused with the River Kingdoms of Golarion.)

To this end, the first appendix is Konrad the Bandit King and his Cursed Brethren, the second is Grammy Beshic, an ancient gnome with a dark secret. The Grammy Beshic entry includes three adventure hooks.

New gambling games and a new drug, Kobold Krack, though it’s primarily something particularly vicious GM might use with some kobold barbarians.

The best part of any Monster book is the templates. The Book of Beasts introduces 5 new templates; drunk, enraged, fey-touched, hungry and river-born. Though I would probably not use the drunk template, since it only emulates the sickness of being drunk, not the rage side.

8 new diseases grace the final appendix of the book, not only bringing such common maladies such as Influenza, Bird Flu, and the Common cold into Pathfinder; but also Faire Fever (fantasy version of Con Crud); Dryad Pox (my fave), Mountain Air Plague, Owlbear Filth, and River Sickness. The only problem is they’re only stat blocks, with no fluff.

In Conclusion:
A strong book, with something useful for almost any campaign, it’s not perfect, but I do recommend it.


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Single Greatest Supplement In Existence

5/5

I've been perusing my PDF from my subscription for the last 24 hours, while I don't have a clue on how balanced everything is just yet, that will take months to figure out. I do know that the options presented in it are incredible. From subdomains to new classes, PrCs and options to the Racial options. This book brings in many fantasy tropes and expands every class in the same way that the rogue talent expanded the Rogue. I haven't sat down and just made characters for the sheer joy of it since I was a kid, but I know as soon as I receive my hard copy that's EXACTLY what I'm going to be doing.

I have recently done a complete review of the APG on my blog




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Review of Book of the Faithful 1 – Power of Prayer

4/5

Disclaimer: This is an honest review of a material that was provided to me free of charge for the purpose of said honest review. I am in no way affiliated with the company in question.

First Impressions: After a quick perusal of the material, I was definitely interested as any new mechanics get me excited.

What you get: You get 5 pages of material, excluding trade dress.

Art: Good quality black & white hand artwork.

Fluff: Nice Fluff, I enjoy the background prayer info.

Crunch: What you get. There is 1 magic item; three prayer books in the equipment section. The best part is the mechanics for the (prayers), a quick, once daily effect based upon which deity you call upon, minor effects, but really well thought out. I’ll have to see them in action with play testing to see if any are over-powered, but minor tweaks would be all that is needed.

Grammar & Editing: Minor, nothing to really be concerned about.

Value: Excellent value for the 99 cent price tag. As there are new mechanics, players would need their GM Approval to use the mechanics. I would want it in my library and would consider it a good purchase for me.


More useful than other expansions

4/5

Just got this yesterday, played our first game today. It comes with 12 new tiles, only 8 of which have bazaars on them. The bridges are wooden and designed to span a tile, bypassing a road connection. The additional 4 tiles include a 3 town piece with a road section, a cloister inside a 2 connection city section.

Bazaars: Auctions are better for multi-player games, but a great idea.

Bridges: Another one of the expansions that lets you fill hard to fill spaces by bypassing road aspects.

Castles: Most fun aspect of this expansion, the castles let you score equal points to the next completed objective adjacent to the castle.

There are a couple numeric typoes on the rulesheet, but all in all an excellent addition to Carcassone. (one of them refers to a 2 tile city being worth 4 points, when it's worth 2, the other refers to farms being worth 3 instead of 4 at end game.)