Ezren

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Excellent Finale

5/5

The final book in the Mummy's Mask path starts off not with a bang, but an earth shaking rumble as the great pyramid of Hakotep the Sky Pharoah descends to the sand of Osirion.

This book is 1 large dungeon crawl split into 5 mini-dungeons. Each of the primary 4 are associated with an element, with enemy themes appropriate for the area. The fifth is the personal level of Hakotep. Daunting enemies throughout the pyramid are there to kill your party, and *gasp* the final showdown with Hakotep isn't a 1 v 4 solo boss monster fight!

The post adventure material, though, is where this volume really shines. The River of Souls article is the most comprehensive study of fantasy death and afterlife that I've ever seen. Golarioverse's cycle of positive energy to soulstuff to outsiderstuff to planestuff to maelstrom energy is thoroughly explained and even has a few handy charts to help intrepid adventurers with ranks in Knowledge: Religion and Knowledge: Planes explain it to the Fighter!

Continuing the Campaign goes out of its way to give some excellent hooks, two of which are decidedly mythic (and a third probably). Colossal sphinx advisors to Hakotep? Check. Spawn of Rovagug? Check. More Shory? Check. Demonlord War? Check. It even gives stats for the big bad beetle that dug up the subterra under Ninshabur and proceeded to wreck shop all the way to Sothis in eons past, just in case those pesky Rough Beast cultists get their way.

This book put an excellent capstone on the somewhat loosely jointed Mummy's Mask saga. 5/5.


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Solid Title

4/5

The site ate my long detailed review, so here's a concise without too much preview.

PROs:
2 New Classes, with new mechanics to fit
Lots of new magic items, including mechs with rules for them
Nice, affordable vehicles, both ground and air
Fun rules including armorless AC
Concise theme fitting the 1800's steam punk flavor

CONs:
More of a rulebook than a campaign setting
Game world not very detailed
No formal table in Feats chapter


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Helps the Trickster

4/5

The Trickster, IMO, is the poorest of the Mythic Paths, whose abilities pale in comparison to the other three Martial based paths. This review will look at the path abilities with regards to the Bard and Rogue.

Book: 3 pages, one of which is content. The watermarked cover image behind the text on page 2 reduces readability. Font size is smallish, but still very readable. Abilities fall into 5-1st, 5-3rd and 1-6th tier abilities.

1st Tier
None of these really are weak abilities, although a few are quite more thematically situational than the others. Backstabber will be a go to ability for a Rog, with the extra flank bonus and SA dice. Bards don't really have a keystone ability like the Rogue does in this group. False Allegiance and Analytical Eye probably won't get taken very often, but for those folks who have Blasters who love to drop fireballs on top of you, Out of the Way helps a ton.

3rd Tier
Bards get a bit more love here, with Killing Joke playing to Perform (Comedy), and Stealspell fitting with a Bard's role. Rogues get an ability that can give you up to 5 Skill Focus feats (if you select it at Tier 10). The Steal CM also gets a boost with the Perfect Pickpocket ability.

6th Tier
This pretty cool ability allows you to effectively Spell Turning a Dominate Person or an Intimidate effect for 2 MPs.

Final Thoughts: A pretty good collection of abilities, with a few gems sprinkled throughout. Well worth the purchase price.

4/5, with points off for readability


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Greatly Needed

4/5

Mythic feats, as sparse as they were in the Mythic Adventures book, are an intriguing part of a Mythic campaign. The Missing Core Feats contains 64 feats that were left out of Mythic Adventures.

The book is a 15-page, 2-column, black, white, and red all over format, with pretty good color illustrations. 1 page color cover. 2.25 pages are table space listing the feats. 1 page is Credits and OGL.

Interesting Feats
Crafting Feats: The crafting feats allow you to burn 1 MP and get a free 8 hours worth of crafting time added to any item you're currently crafting. Each feat also gives you an additional boon for that specific item (removing spell level cap on potions, use constant wondrous items as if they were rods, craft something like an Eternal Wand, or even merge wondrous items together). These are pretty neat.

Metamagic: These all give a boosted version of the base feat (Empower gives +75% instead of +50%, Extend is x3 duration, Enlarge is +200% range, etc.), as well as giving you a spontaneous version of the lesser feat without burning a higher slot or increasing casting time. This secondary ability is similar to the Archmage's Arcane Metamastery ability, but not as long of a duration (1 spell vs 10 rounds), and doesn't have the same spell level fiat. These feel a bit strong, but really, what Mythic feats aren't strong?

Extra "X": These give additional uses of Rage, Channel, Performance, etc, and allow you to burn MP to get more if you're completely out. Kind of "Meh."

Greater CMB: Some interesting penalties to your enemies, like tossing the disarmed items 15 feet to allies, distracting feinted enemies so others can stealth, and taking DEX away from AC for greater trip AoO's. Seem OK.

Improved Saving Throw Feats: Gives you a 1/day 20+Save Bonus save. Thumbs Up.

Vital Strike Chain: Improved allows SA, flaming or other typically non multiplicative bonuses to multiply per Mythic Vital Strike. Greater allows for full bypass of DR/Resistance/Hardness for the attack. *OMG WOW* There's how I finally break 1000 damage on a smiting Paladin.

Issues
Balance doesn't seem to be too off, but we're talking Mythic, and balance is generally something out the window once tier 2 and 3 get here. The prerequisites, however, seem to be arbitrary. Greater Vital Strike, for instance, has a Tier 10 prereq for its BAB+16 base prereq, whereas Deafening Critical only has a Tier 3 prereq for BAB+13. Improved TWF has a Tier 5 entry for a BAB+6 base prereq. They just don't seem to follow the convention that Tier should be *near* half HD for PCs. In the back of my mind, I can see many of these having their Tier prereq chopped off at the top and being functional at their intended power level simply from BAB requirements of the base feats.

Also, there is a superfluous "Mythic Tier 1" prerequisite on Combat Casting, since a mythic feat can only be gained through gaining a Mythic Tier.

Verdict: 4/5. Good job, Rogues.


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Excellent Follow-up

4/5

Psionics Unleashed was an amazing book, and has gained at least 1 psionic follower at my table. Psionics Expanded continues in the excellent thread that Dreamscarred Unleashed, and makes for a very good rulebook.

Pro's: Its long. There is only 1 short chapter, and its about alternative rules and post Unleashed tweaks (like adding actual 0-level talents instead of nerfed 1st levels). My biggest take away is that these half a dozen new classes are actually something different. Think how utterly creative and frankly dissimilar to the core classes the Inquisitor was for the APG, and apply that to these. The Aegis is basically a guy wearing an astral construct. The Cryptic is a stealthy class full of awesome. The Vitalist is just about a psionic cleric. Oh and there's even a Psionic Fighter archetype.

The racial alternatives are just as fun in Expanded as they were in the APG. The tons of new powers add not only to the new manifester classes, but give the old guard a few nice additions to boot (psionic True Strike in the form of Inevitable Strike, yes please). Oh there's even a comprehensive list of magic weapon special abilities so that your Soulknife can make a quicker choice of what to juice his or her weapon with. Finally, on the credits page, below where they credited their play testers and before the OGL declarations, the 'based on 3rd edition' spiel is just golden.

Con's: Some of the classes are complicated. Like Eidolon complicated. Aegis, I'm looking at your half a dozen pages of armor abilities as an example. The Dread class just feels kinda 'meh' to me, not as inspired as some of the others. The Prestige classes all seem odd in the fact that some have weird entry levels and cap at odd clvls (one is a 11th clvl entry with 7 PrC levels).

Nitpicks / Other: The bookmarks don't split the powers up alphabetically. Some early errata that wasn't caught before it went gold. One of my players commented the art style was entry level Deviant Art (I disagree).

Overall: 4.5/5

Dreamscarred again delivered a AAA level title from a 2-person publisher. I highly recommend this book!


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Mediocre to Good

3/5

Overall the book has a good feel, with lots of Asian and Wild West influence throughout. Below is a summary of the sections with my thoughts.

==New Classes (2/5)==
The Gunslinger class is a full fledged ranged weaponry machine. The mechanics are similar to the monk's Ki points, and the 'slinger can pull off all sorts of neat tricks.

The Ninja is an unneeded re-flavoring of the rogue, with many powers that simply seem like fan service rather than good design (I'm looking at you walking up walls trick). Thankfully its not a 'better rogue than the rogue' because it loses trap-finding and it takes 2 advanced talents to get evasion & improved evasion.

The Samurai is an Asian themed cavalier with thematically modified powers. Would have been fine as an Archetype with additional Orders.

==Archetypes (3/5)==
Many of the Archetypes give the CRB classes bits and pieces of the APG and UM/UC classes. Pretty much every existing class gets a Gun-wielder and Teamwork themed Archetype. There IS a mount-less cavalier Archetype, however its the Musketeer, so if no guns in your game, no mount-less Cav's.

==Feats (3/5)==
WOW... Talk about a ton.

Highs: More teamwork feats, More combat feats
Lows: Monks are now the best class ever (NOTE: Solly based on number of feats with Monk as a prereq. Sarcasm included).
Meh: Performance Feats tie-in to the Performance rules later in the book.

==Mastering Combat (5/5)==
Now we're talking! Siege Engines? YES! Vehicle driving and combat? YES! More Asian themed weapons than you can shake an Asian themed club at? YES!

==Variant Rules (1/5)==
Armor as DR, Wounds, and a bunch of other stuff I never liked or used. A good portion of this area is retooled Unearthed Arcana. Stone and Bronze age rules.

==Spells (3/5)==
A lot of low level spell love, most all spells are combat themed. Paladins probably get the most love in this section. Top tier spells (last spell level or 2) range in the handful for each class.

Final Verdict: 3/5