Vathak Times, Issue #4 (PFRPG) PDF

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The Vathak Times is a short 4 page PDF done in the style of a newspaper for the Shadows over Vathak setting for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game System. Each issue is packed with "articles" that present a variety of easy content to add to your Shadows over Vathak game session. Along with a variety of setting content, you also receive new traits, feats, spells, creatures, NPC descriptions, adventure hooks, and what ever else we can fit into this pint-sized supplement!

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5 stars + seal - superb content, get this


The fourth issue of Vathak Times is 5 pages long, 1 page being devoted to SRD, leaving 4 pages of content, so what do we get?

As in the first three issues, we kick off this issue with news from the front - though different ones this time around - instead of a letter, we actually get a kind of editorial that sums up the stance of the church of the One True God on the war against the Old One's spawn. The writing ranks among the best I've seen in any Vathak-related product - two thumbs up!

Immersion is king in this type of publication and a call to serve in the army only helps this product's presentation, as are sentences from royal engineers and a rousing appeal to the honorable soldiers that set themselves apart in battle. Supplemented are these this time around stellar pieces of prose by a new feat, which allows for more cohorts or followers for distinguished leaders. Nice! A tally of the casualties and discharged from the hospital lends yet another edge to this product's flavor.

Sir Timothy's Emporium also scores this time, by providing us with Vellum that helps duplicating texts, maps etc. - glorious and one of the items I wonder why no one else had created this before. Instead of local news/hooks, we this time around get a truly disturbing article - the Sweet Meat Murderer, a twisted individual and mass murderer who has traveled the lands with his mobile butcher's cart, killing as many as 135 people - and coming with a signature feat to make you a truly twisted torture master. better yet, instead of a monster, the final pages are devoted to full stats for this disturbing villain, allowing you to pit him against your players.

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches this time around. Layout adheres to the b/w-2-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Wow. Of all the issues of Vathak Times, of all Vathak supplements I've read so far, really, this has the best and most concise writing - exciting, twisted, evil and chockfull with great ideas and oozing fluff, this issue is a blast to read and vastly superior to all other released in the series so far - a well-deserved 5 stars + seal of approval rating is thus in order!

Endzeitgeist out.


Fourth issue of the Vathak Times takes a slight step away from the format of the first three, presenting a great deal more story fluff then mechanics as opposed to the previous entries in this series. Having said that though, there is some really phenomenal story to work with here for anyone utilizing the Shadows Over Vathak setting.

We open with not a letter from the Front Lines in the sense of previous examples of this feature, but rather a story concerning the main churches recent proclamations in regards to the war, those supporting the efforts and those the church feels are not doing enough. The article is written as if presented as an editorial, with an excerpt from the actual proclamation from the church itself finishing the article off. No real game mechanic here, but an excellent story point that fleshes out and enhances a number of things within the campaign setting, not the least of which is the standpoint of the church upon the war, and the recent events taking place throughout Vathak.

From there we are given the details of how the King intends to replenish his troops, the current details of medical information regarding injured/dead/discharged from the preceding week, and a write up praising the efforts of the engineering branch of the military. The bit detailing the engineers subtly introduces our new item, tracing paper, introduced here as Vellum of Tracing. The item is mentioned in usage here, then listed as the item of the week in the Emporium's section. We're also given the feat and story-bit leading into it of Ambitious Leader here. Ambitious Leader stacks with leadership and itself, as well as feats granting followers and cohorts, and reflects those few who find themselves catapulted to positions of glory and leadership through brave acts upon the battlefield.

There are no listings of hook ideas for various cities and locales this time, as there is something new, something perhaps a little cooler. A mass murderer, a serial killer technically...with a taste for torture most sadistic, has been traveling the lands as a butcher for hire. Within his cart is discovered a mobile torture dungeon with implements of sadistic purpose. And, like all good villains, he has eluded capture and is out there, somewhere. This particular villain replaces the creature entry for this PDF, and it works, and works well. He is every bit as monstrous as any low level creature, a perfect NPC to drop into a campaign to make your player's skin crawl and ideal for a recurring threat or plot device. And, just to sweeten the deal, he comes with a custom made feat, Dark Torturer. The feat allows him to maximize and enhance the amount of damage he can do to a victim the linger he works on them.

A few editing errors here and there, mainly spacing issues and nothing that keeps one from understanding the text are really about all I can find in negative here. I would have loved to have seen an illustration to go with the NPC, but that is more personal wanting then a critique, lol.

Adding it all up I can't help but come to two different ratings for this one, and for one reason only. This installment in the series felt more focused on story than mechanics, and was more aimed at the setting exclusively. So for those playing within the setting of Vathak this becomes an easy 5, and well worth the price of admission....but for those not using the setting but digging the vibe and feel of the crunch offerings, there isn't as much here for them. The NPC and his story are excellent, and easily portable to any setting though, combining him with the two feats and the new item bring this to a 4 star product for those not using the setting in my opinion.

Review Up. Love the Butcher, he's just the right mix of creepy.

And reviewed here and sent to GMS magazine. As with the other Vathak Times-issues - I can't post reviews of them on DTRPG since I have the subscription and oddly can't post reviews of them for the individual files.


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