Eldritch Secrets Spell Compendium, Volume 1 (PFRPG) PDF

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Eldritch Secrets presents you with a treasure trove of new arcane and divine options and is your chance to boost your caster with new and exciting spells, feats and magic items!

Looking for a spell that animates a ship to fly through the clouds instead of the waves? Or what about a spell that reconstructs a ruined citadel... or one that summons one of the strange Manifest Children of the Ether?

Now is your chance to find some new and exciting options for wizard, cleric or witch! Oh, and Eldritch Secrets isn't just for the players... there is something for the GMs as well! How about the stories behind the spells and information about their creators?

106 pages written by the community with full-colour art from Florian Stitz, Justin Hernandez, Rene Walk, Darren Calvert, JinFeng and Noah Ark Studio, Daniel K. Lorentsen, Jeremy McHugh and Adam Denton.

    Eldritch Secrets includes:
  • More than 280 spells for all classes, including those from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Player's Guide!
  • 3 new monsters: Death Bird, Puppet Imp and the Manifest Child of the Ether!
  • New feats and magic items!
  • 2 new deities!
  • ...and lots of awesome stories about the spells and their creators!

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Fluff-intesive, atmospheric old-world spells

****( )

This pdf is 106 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside front cover, 1 page header, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, 2 blank pages inside back cover, 2 pages of advertisements, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving 95.5 pages of content, so let's check out this spell selection.

First of all let me say that I LOVE the beautiful full-color artwork - the full color artworks spread throughout the book rank among the most creepy, evocative and cool I've seen in any 3pp's book out there. Unfortunately, the file does not come with a printer-friendly version, though, so prepare your printer to be challenged.

The result is worth it, though! Secondly, you'll realize that this book offers full-blown support of the APG, including spells that have been specifically designed for the new classes and even features some new alchemist's discoveries in a side-bar. Which brings me to my hallmark for great spells, Rite Publishing's awesome 101 spells series, which as of the writing of this review, does not feature this support. (Though it is in the process of being added in the upcoming compilation!) Thus, Eldritch Compendium gets 2 plus points. What about the spells, then?

They are interesting, that's sure. Ever wanted your death to trigger the arrival of a terrible bird that carries your corpse away to have it resurrected? Create mirrors to show other places? Conjure up terrible silent, disturbing entities of pure magic (that come with awesome artworks - the Ether Child ROCKS!)? What about a spell for each school of magic that can be considered the epitome of the respective school, making you temporarily a tremendously powerful incarnation of the respective force of magic? A spell to make a ship fly for a limited amount of time? A spell that synesthetically exchanges two of your opponents’ senses, thus confusing him/her? A spell to summon tiny, disturbing stick effigies to obey your command? A spell to add magical blades to the sides of horses, making for an even more deadly charge. "Ladder of Tresses" lets the hair of the target grow long and makes it climbable. There's also a cantrip that makes regular surfaces temporarily a mirror.

There are also "Quintessential" spells for each of the schools of magic - these spells are 9th level and are the epitome of the arcane power of the respective school, making e.g. the necromancer an avatar of death. While powerful, I can see them being a great high-level-reward or even the aim of a caster's whole career. While some side-boxes acknowledge their power, personally I don't consider them OP. Among the rather story-centric spells, we also get a ritual to restore a ruin to its former state. A spell I considered interesting, but potentially unbalancing, is "Spellbreaker" - it works on another spell and makes it automatically bypass spell resistance.

We also get 6 new feats, 7 new magic items and appendices of spell-lists by schools, use, descriptor and author, helping to find the spells you're looking for.

Conclusion:
Editing is ok - I noticed less than 10 glitches on 106 pages and none truly impeded my enjoyment of the spells. Layout and full-color artworks absolutely rock - this is one of the most beautiful 3pp-books I've seen out there. On the downside, though, there's no printer-friendly version and this book extols a heavy price from your printer. The pdf is extensively bookmarked and in contrast to other spell-books, features a lot of spells with a story/non-combat usage, which is awesome, at least in my opinion - it means that the book serves rather as a complimentary book to e.g. the 101-series by Rite rather than being a direct competitor. The book is so different in focus and tone from RiP's stellar series that I'll be using both. Where the RiP-series is rather focused on mechanics and encounters, this book does not offer as many brilliant rules as RiP, but it has some story-heavy fluff that immediately makes you come up with cool ideas to use them. On the downside, though, some of these spells suffer from their rules being not as clear as they could be. While the book is stunningly beautiful, not having a printer-friendly version hurts the usability of the book. In the end, my final verdict will be 4 stars - if you're looking for an old-world-style spell-book, this is a great, albeit not perfect buy. If you're looking for some spells that feel different or some APG-support, this might even be 4.5 stars for you.


A huge collection of spells.

****( )

Eldrith Secrets by Headless Hydra Games

This product is 106 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, and Forward. (5 pages)

Chapter 1 – Spells and more spells (14 ½ pages)
This is the section of all the spell lists added to each class. The numbers may or may not be exact it was easy to miscount.
Alchemist - 24
Alchemist Discoveries – 4
Bard – 82
Cleric – 101
Druid – 75
Inquisitor – 45
Paladin – 27
Ranger – 52
Sorc/Wiz – 209
Summoner – 30
Witch – 43

Next is the spells themselves (69 ½ pages)
Here was some of my favorite spells. There is way way to many to list all so I will only list a few examples.
Abrupt Summoning – like normal summoning spells but with a shorter casting time, except you don't always know what you will summon, summoned creature is random.
Actaeon's Breath – creates a short term large area of fog. All that come into contact with the fog save or suffer from Baleful Polymorph effect for 1 week.
Alluring Voice – A sirens call to cause the target to come to the voice.
Bolt of Animation – causes negative energy dmg, those slain by it rise as a zombie under the control of the caster.
Eerie Forest – Makes a forest seem eerie cause those traveling in the area effected to make a save or become shaken. I do have one problem with this spell, area effected. I think this would have been a lot cooler of a spell with a much larger area covered, even if that meant raising the level.
Hornet Breath – vomit forth several swarms of hornets/wasp, while not under control they ignored the caster and their allies.
Lightning Web – works like web but made of electricity. Those caught it in take damage each round, those trying to break free take more. Save for half damage.
Manipulate appearance – Can change hair, skin and eye color at will for duration of spell.
Obscuring Flock – summons a flock of crows in a cone. Obscuring vision and causing damage to those inside. I think it should have been a area instead of a cone.
Plague of Fear – Cause sever fear in those that fail the save, in addition they can spread the fear like a plague to others for a long period of time. The only part that is not clear is once the plague starts can the targets be reinfected, my guess is no. But it doesn't say one way or the other.
Relocate and Relocate Other – Requires use of arcane mark on a target. The first spell allows the caster to teleport to the target at the casting of this spell. The other summons the target to the caster.
Transfer Soul – Move your soul into the body of a nearby animal and control it for the duration of the spell. Your body stays where it was in suspended Animation.

There was a couple of spells I had problems with.
Death Bird – When you are killed or dropped to negative points a Death bird shows up, claims your soul and carries your body off to a predetermined spot, moving at it's best speed. My problem with this spell what does it mean when it claims your soul? It doesn't explain what the means. My guess is that it is just fluff. The other problem is, what happens if before it reaches the location the spell duration runs out. Does it drop the body there? Or is the duration only for how long till the death bird can be activated and has no effect on the travel time for the bird. This spell while neat needed to be more clear.

Chapter 2 – More Eldrith Options (4 pages)
This section has 6 new feats and 7 new magic items.

Appendix 1 – Spells by school (1 1/2page)
Spells listed by school.

Appendix 2 – Spells by use (1 page)
Spells listed in either offensive, defensive or utility.

Appendix 3 – Spells by Descriptor (3 pages)
Acid, Air, Chaotic, Cold, Darkness, Death, Earth, etc.

Appendix 4 – Spells by Author (1 ½ pages)
You can see who designed each spell.

It finishes with a OGL, 2 ads and back cover. (6 pages)

Closing thoughts, this is a big book just choked full of spells. Some are variations of existing spells, others are improved or lesser versions of existing spells but many likely most are wholly new spells. The art work is fair to good, with a side bar listing each piece of art and what spell it is of. There is several side bars talking about making spell permanent, 2 new gods, to stats for a new monsters the Death Bird, Manifest Children of Ether and puppet Imp.

There is a lot to love about this book. Including a nice print friendly copy. There was very few bad spells if any. There was some spells I didn't like but that was more of not that they was bad, so much as they just didn't appeal to me. There is a few problems with the book. One of the problems which is hard to critic since few do it anyways. Is the appendix's, I love them but with them broken up in paragraph form instead of list form and in level makes them a lot less useful. I wish they have been broken up in spell list form or maybe a web enhancement can be added. This is especially true for spell schools.

The other problem and by far the biggest is some spells where not as clear as they could have or should have been. Most was very clear or clear enough but some was not, which is a pity. For the most part you can make a educated guess but in some cases the GM will just have to make a decision such as with the Death Bird Spell is listed.

The final thing is there was some spells I really felt should have been added to some classes spell lists. This is especially true for the new APG classes, who I felt got a bit short changed.

So whats my rating? I am torn I keep flip flopping between a 3.5 and a 4 star. What is good is very good but it needs work some places that really hurt. For the sheer number of spells and price it is a good by. I am coming down at a 4 star but just barely, truthfully it is likely more of a 3.75 star.



Awesome! I hope that you guys enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed developing it!

- Axel
Headless Hydra Games


This is one óf the best looking and playready pulishings I've seen for a long time. It will go straight into my selection of obvious gameenhancers..

A must for all who loves arcana to have flavor and not just efficiency..


Ok, so I got this book earlier today, after debating it since I saw the initial announcement. $12 for an ebook seemed a bit expensive to me, until I considered it was 108 pages. That turns out to be something like 12 cents a page. That's not too bad then :)

So, how good is this book, you ask?
First off, let's say that I was VERY disappointed that there is no bookmarks.
Then to top it off, there spell lists don't have links to the spell itself. These are small things, yes, but they are important.
You also can't do a word search for the spells....very annoying when you want to FIND a spell....And, since it is a secured PDF, you can't even make your OWN bookmarks....

So, while that's about the PDF itself, what we are looking at here is the content....It starts out with some introductory text, that like most of you, I skipped. But then it gets right into the spell lists.

I'm glad there are spell lists, by class and level. Good, standard stuff there. Each class that has spells seems represented. Again, good.

Some of the formatting is odd....like a spell that has 3 lines of it's information on one page, then the rest of the spell information on the next page (with a "sidebar" in between). That feels a bit sloppy to me.

Also, some of the spells should have just a bit more information. Like a clarification of the wording. Two examples right off the bat are:
Animal Trick: Allows you to make an animal do a trick, via the Handle Animal skill (with a bonus to your check). Except, if you don't have the Handle Animal skill, you cannot use it untrained regardless. You would think the spell either gives you the opportunity to use it as if trained, or would remind the caster that you still need at least 1 point in the skill for this spell to be effective.
Animate Skin: It allows the caster to animate a dead animal to be a faithful animal pet for a bit of time. Good, except that it says that the animal has no way to communicate and will make no other sounds. If it will make no sounds, that means it can never be heard on a stealth check?! Now, I figure that's probably not what the writer intended, but if you read it as what was written....

There is a huge listing of spells, and I won't bother to go over them all at this point. Most can be slid right into an existing campaign with no problems at all. Some though, you would need to tell your DM about so that he can prepare (such as dreams or visions).

There are very few feats, infact, under a page of them. They are mostly underwhelming.

There are very few magic items as well. Although I personally think they are either vastly underpowered so that no one would pay for them or way over powered for their price.

Finally, the book ends with a few Appendixes, giving you spell listings according to school, use (offensive, defensive, utility), descriptor, and author (author, really???).

Over all, I'd give this book a 3 out of 4. There are enough spells to make this book worth purchasing and you can use most of them immediately in any campaign.
Considering this is a PDF though, the fact that there aren't bookmarks, links, or any way to search through it, makes using this source cumbersome. If they had these, I'd probably give it another half a point to full point (3.5 to 4 out of 5).


I must say, I am quite proud of being one of the authors of this book.


Thanks for the review, Shalandar!

Critique heard and stored.

I've been wanting to add bookmarks from the start, but didn't have the proper program for that, but I will have at some point (in the very near future), so look for an updated revised version! When I do this, I'll also add a few relics and perhaps even an extra feat or two. I am also looking into the possibility of allowing copy/paste, which would be quite useful.

Spells by Author... why not? This was a community project from the start, so why not give the authors proper credit? I think they deserve it, so I think it'll stay.

I'm not sure that I understand your formatting critique though, this is just the way it has to be. Look at APG or the Core Rulebook, it is the same, I can't magically create more space on a page and I certainly don't want to cut something away from the spell description. I have tried to keep the illustrations of the spells close to the spell descriptions, but anyone who has tried to create a spellbook, know how difficult this is.

Thanks again!

- Axel
Headless Hydra Games


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Brekkil wrote:

Thanks for the review, Shalandar!

Critique heard and stored.

I've been wanting to add bookmarks from the start, but didn't have the proper program for that, but I will have at some point (in the very near future), so look for an updated revised version!

The free PDF Readers I've used allow the manual addition of bookmarks if the file isn't locked.


Brekkil wrote:

Thanks for the review, Shalandar!

Critique heard and stored.

I've been wanting to add bookmarks from the start, but didn't have the proper program for that, but I will have at some point (in the very near future), so look for an updated revised version! When I do this, I'll also add a few relics and perhaps even an extra feat or two. I am also looking into the possibility of allowing copy/paste, which would be quite useful.

That would be great. Bookmarks are so handy and almost needed in a book like this.

Brekkil wrote:


Spells by Author... why not? This was a community project from the start, so why not give the authors proper credit? I think they deserve it, so I think it'll stay.

Oh, this wasn't to suggest that the credit isn't warranted. It certainly is. People who add something, should have their name credited. I was just surprised at it. It's not something I would ever go and say "Oh, I will only allow spells by XXX author." It wasn't meant as a slight, more of a "wow, umm ok, I don't see the purpose of this one."

Brekkil wrote:


I'm not sure that I understand your formatting critique though...

I'll give you an exact example. The spell Alastar's Flower. It has the header, the schools, level, casting time, and components on the second column of page 20. It has the Range, Effect, Duration, Saving Throw (including Spell Resistance), and the first part of the spell on page 21 in the first column. Then the spell finishes up on the second column of 21. I was simply stating that it would look better and be easier to use (remember, we are using a PDF here, not a book that it's easy to look "right" to the next page) if you simply made the spell start on page 21 instead of having 4 lines on page 20. It wasn't a BIG deal, but was simply a "odd, why not just press enter like 4 times after that other spell and put the spell all on one page since he doesn't have to worry about actual print pages?"

I would like to restate though, that I think over all, the spells are worth purchasing.

Shalandar


Thanks again, and I'll look into the formatting, perhaps this small problem will solve itself when I do a revised edition. Its a difficult situation, if I didn't do it this way, someone would comment on the "white" spaces and why I didn't fill out the pages.

- Axel

Dark Archive

Well it is in my cart hopefully next week I will be able to pick up. Right now 21 bucks worth of stuff sitting in it. Which I should be able to swing next week assuming RL doesn't throw a monkey with a monkey wrench into things. In which case I should have a review a week or so after that.


shalandar wrote:
...It starts out with some introductory text, that like most of you, I skipped...

But you've missed my scintillating banter with my alter ego! ;)


Great review, Shalandar!

I think you could have spent a little more time on what you liked, but at least you weren't afraid of bruising anyone.

As a contributor, my opinion is probably a little biased (no matter how hard I try to stay impartial), but I can't help but to throw my two cents in also.

I defend the layout as being just fine. You mentioned that it's important to remember that we can't look to the right to the continued text on the next page, as this is only a pdf. But I contend that it was designed for print on purpose, as we hope to get it into print in the next few months... hopefully weeks!

As for lack of info in spell descriptions, I got to agree with you on that one. In Axel's defense, he had to playtest and then edit several hundred spells presented by several different contributors. But yeah, some spells that could have used more text slipped through. Heck, one of my spells, dimensional unification, originally had an example detailing the spell in play so as to help alleviate any confusion, but it was decided it was just too long and/or redundant. We'll see...

Thanks for the vote of confidance in the majority of spells, though!

I was weirded out by appendix d (authors), as well at first. But the concept grew on me. Now I know who to give praise to! (Love your stuff, Sam Hing! Axel, sundial is really thinking outside the box!)

And talk about some awesome art! The included art really fills out the book, IMHO.

Again, probably biased here, but I give it 4 to 4.5 out of 5.

Thanks again, shalandar! I sincerly hope Eldritch Secrets helps bring more fun to your game!

Dark Archive

Any teaser as to what the two new dieties are dieties of? I don't need to know domains and favored weapon ('cause that pretty much is everything I'd need to know from buying the book!), just a hint like 'Anyanka, goddess of trickery, lust and vengeance' or 'Cernunos, god of hunting, community and family.'


Well, they aren't heavily fleshed out, merely a short sidebar on each, to go with the spells.

Alastra, The Serene Heart, Lady of the Heavens:
Goddess of beauty, healing, life and plants.

Olfadan, The Grey Scribe, The Keeper of Secrets:
God of knowledge, wisdom, secrets and magic.

Yeah, these are not flashy deities :)

- Axel


Eldritch Secrets on Paizo.com... now contains bookmarks!

- Axel

Dark Archive

And bought. Likely be sometime next week or weekend before I can get time to review it.

Dark Archive

Any chance at a dead tree version?


Yeah, I am working hard at that at the moment... and it seems 98% likely! :) Just gotta figure out the details.


Excellent.....I didn't notice that it was already publish! Good work Brekkil. I already put it on my wishlist, I hope to get it next week to test it on the friday's game.

Dark Archive

Reviewed here and at ENworld.


Thanks for the review, DM.

I would love to hear more about the problems you had with the book, so, if you have the time, please shoot me a mail at storyguide.axel@gmail.com, I'll even throw in a few free HHG products for taking the time to do this... I want this book to be as good as it possibly can!

Thanks again!

- Axel

Dark Archive

email sent.

PS you don't have to send me anything. I mean I won't turn down free products... I am not dumb. But I don't do reviews to get free stuff. I just do them to help my fellow gamers and support companies in a effort to help them grow.


I know, but I asked you to do something more than just give me a copy of your review, and I want to show my appreciation, so I've sent a few short Mor Aldenn pdfs.


Here's a link.

Great review, Dark_Mistress! Thanks for so much detail!

I'll try to get it altered in future versions, but I can answer one of your questions about the Plague of Fear spell.

Yes, someone who has experienced the contagion can be "infected" again once their first infection wears off. This is true even if their first save was successful! A subject's Will save only negates that one instance of contact. Any subsequent contact requires its own save.

(Edit: Left a word out.)

Dark Archive

Ok cool, I could see it going either way. I used Plague as one of my examples cause I thought it was such a cool spell but missing that extra couple of words. As i said in my review most of the spells where fine but there was a few spells like that. Which left me unsure. :)


Want to write a review of Eldritch Secrets?

Please drop me a line at storyguide.axel@gmail.com and I'll shoot you a review copy from RPGNow.

All I ask for is honesty and more than just a few lines.

The first two to answer this call gets a copy.

Thanks!

- Axel
Headless Hydra Games


Hi guys,

Eldritch Secrets has finally become available in hardcover from RPGNow POD. If you wait a couple of weeks, it will also be available in softcover and hopefully in a colour version later this year!

You can find it here!

The hardcover is $25.99, and if you want, you can even get a bundle with print + pdf for $29.99.

Thanks!

- Axel


That totally rocks!! I was going to toss this out there: Anyone have any good in game stories about any of the spells? Did you save the day? Did a Big Bad hose your character? Lets here it!

Dark Archive

Not yet, haven't been playing Pathfinder the past few months. Been playing some short games of other stuff as a change of pace since our last "DnD" game. Though I will be starting a new Pathfinder game up, supposedly a week from today baring RL being a issue.


Well, I've been using some of the spells myself in a Pathfinder game we are running every other saturday... I have a shady character that is quite fond of using Stomach of Holding...

Its a great spell, but unfortunately it isn't foolproof... I've digested a couple of organic things that I shouldn't have :) I've also come really close to breaking the duration of the spell, thereby throwing up all the items and taking a good deal of acid damage!

I am also using a couple of other spells from that book, but no great stories so far.

- Axel

The Exchange

Brekkil wrote:

Hi guys,

Eldritch Secrets has finally become available in hardcover from RPGNow POD. If you wait a couple of weeks, it will also be available in softcover and hopefully in a colour version later this year!

You can find it here!

The hardcover is $25.99, and if you want, you can even get a bundle with print + pdf for $29.99.

Thanks!

- Axel

I've had an eye on this for a while now, and was wondering if and when there would be a dead tree version available. I think I'll go ahead and make the plunge when payday comes around, I'm very interested in this book.


Thanks for your interest! I really hope that you will be happy with your purchase... a lot of hard work went into crafting that book and I think we are all very proud of it.

- Axel


Finally reviewed it! Also sent my review to GMS magazine and might post it on RPGaggression on a thematically fitting post.

Nice work!

Dark Archive

Nice review End.

And was this updated from when I first reviewed it? I forget now if I ever remember getting a email for a updated copy or not.


Wow. Great review, Endzeitgeist.

I couldn't have asked for better than that.

Thank-You!

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