Book of Magic: Insurgency of Summer (PFRPG) PDF

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With the forces of the north dominating over all within their sights, only the fiercest of fiery spellcasters can hope to survive their frigid onslaught. Frozen fey, icy outsiders, and other cold creatures make pacts with these wielders of arctic power, so those that oppose them must draw power from the warmth if they are to have any hope of melting these stone cold hearts. This reign of winter can only be opposed by an insurgency of summer.

Book of Magic: Insurgency of Summer delivers the spells and class options you need to be fully effective against these frigid foes. Inside you will find:

  • 10 new spells,
  • 2 new animal companions,
  • A new bard masterpiece,
  • 3 new subdomains,
  • 2 new witch patrons,
  • 2 new improved familiars and
  • A new magic item.
This download contains 3 files: a 10-page PDF in printer-friendly, portrait orientation, a 15-page PDF in laptop/tablet-friendly landscape design, and a Hero Lab file for superior integration of these materials into your game. Both PDFs include links to d20PFSRD.com so terms you need to know are easily available.

Enhance Your World And Your Game—Join the Insurgency of Summer.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

JBE0220E


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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This pdf is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/introduction, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's check it out!

This pdf, like many a magic-book, kicks off with spellcaster lists of the new spells, covering all Paizo-base-classes (including the magus, but not e.g. the antipaladin) and introduces us to 10 new spells. And the first spell is already uncommon to say the least: As part of the spell's casting, the caster needs to stab him/herself with a +1 flaming dagger. This additional con-damage may not be mitigated and deals an additional point of constitution damage to the caster, but as a result, a deadly cone of searing blood (1d8 per caster level, up to 15d8) sprays forth, sealing not only its regular damage, but also con-damage to cold creatures hit - con damage they can't negate. A VERY interesting spell with an extremely iconic casting and honestly, I wished that more spells would do such things with their casting components. Campfire Forge is also interesting: It allows you to place weapons in your camp fire and when you draw them forth, they temporarily gain the flaming quality or if they already have that, the flaming burst quality. Interesting spell-mechanics indeed. When compared to these two, the conical fiery blast-spell feels very lame, as does the spell to summon a flight of giant eagles. Fire Mark and Fire Brand allow you to brand creatures, granting the branded +2 to Dex while the spell is in effect and the brand also provides resistance 20 to fire. Beyond that, these two spells can be discharged at any time for a fiery ray touch attack or a 6d6 fireball.

Incinerate Creature deals damage over consecutive rounds and has the potential to panic the incinerated being, while magma wave deals massive damage and can topple those hit by it. Finally, rain of fire may incinerate areas and fill the area of effect with fiery embers and smoke, while repeating fireball is just that - a spell that allows you to throw multiple fireballs on subsequent rounds, directing the follow-up spheres as a move action.

Beyond spells, we also get stats for two new animal companions, the fire ant and the poisonous giant bee (why no bumblebee as well?). Bards may now profit from the new "Melt the Heart with Love" bardic masterpiece, which makes enemies susceptible to emotion and fire-spells as well as making all weapons count as fire for purpose of ending regeneration. Adherents of the divine may now chose from 3 subdomains, the beltane domain (with a great defensive dance), the rainbow-subdomain (including dazzling rainbow light) and the summer subdomain (which grants resistance and later, immunity to cold). Witches may now choose the blood and summer patrons and any class capable of having improved familiars may opt to choose a mechanical owl (including information to build them as constructs) or young phoenixes (not yet able to rejuvenate).

The final new piece of content herein is the Holocaust cloak allows the wearer to sheathe him/herself in flames, getting either fire or cold resistance 10 and dealing 1d6+7 points of fire damage to the assailants if the wearer is hit with natural attacks/unarmed damage. Furthermore, the wearer may use 2 rounds of the daily allotment of activated rounds to emit a 7d6 nova.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are excellent, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly 2-column no-frills standard and the 4 small pieces of b/w-artwork are nice. The pdfs come with extensive, nested bookmarks. Pdfs? Yeah, for Jon Brazer Enterprises has included an EXTREMELY tablet-friendly version optimized for 10-inch-tablets in the deal, the second pdf clocking in at 15 pages, with as many non-content-pages as the regular pdf. Still, especially for tablet/laptop-users, this is a new level of service and awesomeness and is a definite plus, as are the provided herolab-files and the copious hyperlinks to d20pfsrd.

The content in this pdf is well-balanced indeed, with two spells in particular being brave and rather innovative in what they do, with the rest of the new content seamlessly fitting in the fire-theme. Fire-theme? Yeah. While I get the summer/agility/fire vs. winter/static/cold dichotomy and while some of the spells actually make this connections, not all of them do and a slightly tighter focus on this new style would have made this pdf imho feel more distinct. Also, the creepy aspects of summer (sweltering heat, insect-plagues, virulent growth) have been mostly ignored, which is a loss to the theme - think about the Dresden Files: Summer can be scary. Taking e.g. the eagle-spell out (Yeah, I get the Hobbit nod - I just don't think it fits thematically) would have made room for that. Also, the mechanical owl feels a bit like an odd duck, but that may be me.

More pressing is another thing I feel the need to mention: While the content in this book is great and I don't consider any component to be unbalanced, it is also rather short. As a reviewer, I have to take the superb user-friendliness regarding tablets, hyperlinks, herolab into account as a positive aspect that will offset this relative brevity, but privately, I don't benefit from any of them. Since I figure that more people will belong to both sides, I'll settle for two verdicts: If you want to use these features, then this is a 4-star-pdf for you. If you are in for the content only, then due to the brevity, I'd rate this down to 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3. Since the average of both verdicts is 3.75, I'll settle for an overall rating of 4 stars in the end.

Endzeitgeist out.


Spells That Signify Your Seasonal Mark

4/5

To start off, let me say that my fire elementalist wizard LOVES this book. Honestly, he thought the book was made specifically for his character. If that doesn't get you wanting to buy this pdf, hopefully my review will.

The first thing that came to my attention is the immediate difference in editing and style of this book compared to the Signature Spells 1 book. It's like night and day, but unfortunately not in the good way. At least not for me. While the Signature Spells book looked very neat, well spaced, and was easy on the eyes, both the print and the tablet editions of this pdf are heavily bolded to the point that they tend to almost bleed together, and it makes it harder on the eyes. It doesn't look nearly as clean. The print version's much worse than the tablet version. The tablet version at least is passable, but it still suffers from the having too much text too close to each other. I'd have preferred things to have been spaced out more. A different text layout probably would have helped it go a long way as well.

Now that the negative aspects have been touched on, let's look at all of the positive. This product comes in a .rar file with three items contained within: a tablet copy of the pdf, a printer friendly copy of the pdf, and a Hero Lab add-on. With more people using Hero Lab these days, this is slowly becoming a standard necessity for distributors to have with each release. While I don't use the program, I know lots of people who do, and they welcome these very much. Anything to make a GM's life easier is fine by me.

Despite the faults of the text, the pdf itself is filled with wonderful additions for the Pathfinder game. The Table of Contents list everything that you can find in the product, including spells, new animal companions, a bard masterpiece, more subdomains for clerics and inquisitors, additional witch patrons, familiars, and a new magic item.

Much like the Signature Spells books, there's a listing section for all the spells, what classes they belong to, and a brief description of what each one does. The nice thing about this is you can look over each spell quickly and see exactly which ones peak your interest first so you can search it out later for a more elaborate description. One thing the reader will pick up right away is that this pdf is heavy on the fire spells, hence why my fire specialist wizard enjoyed it so much. There's definitely no shortage here. That's not all that's here though. There's a neat summoning spell for your summoner, or heavy summoning classes, to bring about a group of flying battle trained eagles to act as mounts for the party. They don't stick around for a long time so don't expect them to fly you from Point A to Point B, unless you've got the feats that'll extend it for that long. They're more meant for tactical advantage in a fight. Hopefully you don't have that large of a party though as you can only summon 1d4+1 of them per casting.

The new companions aren't terrible. It's a fire ant, and a giant bee. I like the idea of having vermin as companions that grow and get stronger as you do. The nice thing about these is you're not forced to be the very specific druid archetype. Anyone can take these. The improved familiars aren't too shabby either. Like the companions, one is fire based. They are the phoenix and the mechanical owl. It's nice to see access to a clockwork familiar without requiring a second feat on top of the Improved Familiar feat.

The new bardic masterpiece is pretty fun to read for its abilities, but other than that it seems pretty limited and circumstantial. Great for when you're fighting trolls though. If you've got a fire wizard in the party too, he's going to love the bard. It's just too bad it's not available to you until 7th level. Almost seems too little too late at that point.

The new subdomains are decent, but again the Rainbow Subdomain is a little troublesome. The Beltane Subdomain power is a nice swap-out for Nimbus of Light if you're not in a heavy undead campaign, and less limited in comparison to the Day Subdomain. At the very least, your party will appreciate the bonus during combat. The spells you gain are pretty decent too, and make some sense. The Summer Subdomain is probably favourite of the three. Swap out fire resistance for cold resistance, and eventually immunity? Yes please. Fire resistance is probably the easiest thing to obtain for any PC. Cold is a close second, and this helps make it even closer. Now the Rainbow Subdomain does give you arcane spells for the swap-out at levels 7-9, but the power you get in exchange for Storm Burst, is questionable. Don't get me wrong, Storm Burst sucks. It does nonlethal damage without the standard -4 penalty, and it's at range. Rainbow Light, however, is less circumstantial. It's melee touch instead of ranged touch, and it dazzles you for 1d4 rounds. Few things are immune to that. The only problem is finding creatures to affect with it. If at any time the character is not facing off against mooks, meaning they have more HD than the cleric, the ability is useless. It can't affect anyone who has the PC's HD+1. As long as their HD is equal or less, the cleric's power still functions. About the only reason you'd take it is because you gain the prismatic spells at 7th and on.

The witch gains two new patons, which are Blood and Summer. Both are quite nice, and great additions. Your players are going to hard up to figure out which one they want for their character. Personally I like Blood. Considering what it consists of, I honestly have to wonder if the 10th level ability is actually a typo. The 2nd level is inflict light wounds, but the 10th is cure critical? I guess that fits though as the 14th level one is regenerate.

And now finally, the new magic item. The Holocaust Cloak. Given the name you'd think it was something epic and expensive. Something almost apocalyptic in power and nature. Well, you'd be right in that it's expensive. It's a cloak that gives you either cold or fire resistance 10, makes you glow as if you were the light spell, an aura of fire that activates if hit by a natural weapon or unarmed strike for 10 rounds/day. However, you can sacrifice two of those rounds to do the equivalent to a mid-level fireball centered on you, for DC 16 Reflex. At 50,000 gold that seems way too limited.

Overall, the pdf is good. It's not something for everyone, but if you've got players who love fire spells, or you're a GM who wants to add a few more fire evocation spells to your spell book, or want to add a few more options to the clerics or witches in your group, you'll find something in here to satisfy. You won't be disappointed for what you paid for it. My player liked it, and another player is looking at it for a future witch character she'd like to do up. Chances are she'll go Blood, depending on the campaign we're doing.

I give this a 3.5 out of 5. It's got a little something for everyone, but it might not be enough for some people.


Balanced Summer/Fire Options

5/5

What you get: You get two PDFs of the product, a printer friendly version and a tablet/laptop version and a Hero Lab file. The printer friendly version is 10 pages; 1 cover, 1 credits, 1 table of contents w/ introduction, 1 OGL, and 1 back cover, leaving 5 pages of gaming content. The tablet version is 15 pages; 1 cover, 1 title page, 1 table of contents w/ introduction, 1 OGL and 1 back cover, leaving 10 pages of gaming content.

Artwork: Artwork is all black and white, and is good to very good. Artwork was all tied to the theme of the book, and, except for one piece, tied back to the material that it was near.

Layout and Editing: Editing is superb, there were very few errors. Layout is two column standard in both formats. Tablet version is in landscape, but it fits nicely on a 10 inch screen that way. Special attention was paid to layout in the tablet version. Only one thing (the mechanical owl familiar) crosses onto another page. This makes reading much more comfortable and natural.

Overall Impression: This product provides summer/fire themed extras for your PC to use. Released to coincide with the beginning of another company’s very cold centric adventure path, your PC can have lots of fire spells and domains to deal 150% damage to cold creatures. This product is also useful to anyone who wants to have a fire-themed or summer themed character.

The spells are well balanced. Some of them are a little complex with more than one effect, or an effect that last while the charge is held, but lost when the charge is expended for a different effect. A little careful reading will solve any questions. One spell (Campfire Forge) lists two different durations (one hour per level and one round per level). The new Bard Masterpiece is fun, and will be useful against trolls! New subdomains are very summer themed, but not overpowered. The new item hearkens back to The Princess Bride, with a Holocaust Cloak. The familiars allow you to gain a Mechanical Owl or a Young Phoenix as a familiar.

That covers the content. I’d like to address the tablet format for a moment. Paizo and the Third Party Publisher (3PP) community should take a good hard look at JBE’s tablet format and imitate it. In my opinion, this format is the best development in digital gaming books since the watermarked pdf. This format provided the most comfortable reading experience that I have ever had on a 10” netbook screen. Every time I have looked through this product, I have done so on the tablet format. I glanced at the printer friendly version to confirm there were no content differences, but I READ the tablet version.

Final Rating: This product is what it advertises: fire and summer themed options for a PC. It is balanced. Editing is good. The tablet format is superb. Overall rating is 5 stars.

-Aaron


Nice just missing some archetypes

4/5

Very nice, very balanced, and so close to be awesome.

There sadly is no Summer Witch archetype even though there is a Summer Patron.

There is also a nice Summer subdomain.

With the Summer Witch archetype and even a Summer Oracle variant that would have been a 5 stars.


Good price

3/5

Insurgency of summer is much shorter of a book than I had originally anticipated. It provides some very nice new fiery spells, creatures and Magical Items. I would've expected at least a short five level prestige class that would be beneficial to fire casters, but as it stands the book is well priced for what it does give you.
That being said, the new damage spells herein pack a nice punch, but I had expected Insurgency of Summer to at least list a few spells from other books {even if they don't explain those spells, but tell you where to look them up} that could be useful to fire casters. Though I admit the boiling blood fire spells are rather ingenious.

All things considerd the material in this book is a useful add on for a character who is looking for a flavor options they had not originally thought up.


President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Now available at Paizo.com


Can you tell me what the animal companions/improved familiars are? I have some fire based characters in a campaign right now who might be really interested in this product.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Improved Familiars:
Mechanical Owl (Yes, the clash-of-the-titans-type mechanical owl)
Young Phoenix

Animal Companion:
Fire Ant
Giant Bee

I hope this helps.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I should also mention that the Hero Lab file is still being finalized. We will do an update when it is finished. I apologize for the delay.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

The Hero Lab file has been finalized and we just uploaded an update so it should be available now for your downloading pleasure. Thank you for your patience.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hehe funny, seems I'm not the only one who realized that using fire based things is way better than being a winter witch or winter oracle for the reign of winter AP.

Like every freaking monster in the AP is immune or heavily resistant to cold, but also most of the time vulnerable to fire...

The only thing that book is missing is a summer witch archetype ;)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Just a note to Paizo and the 3PP out there. Take a look at Book of Magic: Insurgency of Summer. Look at the tablet/laptop pdf. Then imitate it. Jon Brazer Enterprises Tablet optimized pdf is the greatest improvement to allow less-paper-gaming that I have seen yet.

I use a 10" netbook as my GM screen, and this allows me to read/use a pdf without scrolling. I need to get that review finished and posted tonight.

-Aaron


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a very general question.

I will be running a Reign of Winter game once my group finishes Carrion Crown, my group tends to optimize and be pretty formidable to deal with challenges.

I currently allow 3rd party stuff on a case by case basis, would allowing/encouraging this book and material be balanced with options that currently exist (using just paizo stuff), or would it likely be a little "too powerful" for the campaign?

I guess the simple question is, how balanced is the material?

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Ayrphish wrote:
I guess the simple question is, how balanced is the material?

As the creator, I am biased so I am not the best judge. However, I will say 2 things: 1) I designed it to be balanced with the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, and 2) of all the reviews I have received over the nearly 4 years my company has been around, balance has not once been a complaint by any reviewer. Not one complaint.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is on my to-do list, so I can't comment on it from experience yet, but I second Dale: While I didn't like everything he's put out so far (though I also loved several books), balance has never been off in any pdf I've read by JBE.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just finished reading it. Everything is pretty balanced and pretty nice.

The Summer Patron for Witch is nice too.

The only issue is that it makes it even more obvious that there should have been a Summer Witch archetype added, maybe a Summer Oracle too ;)

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I just want to say, "Thank you Lauraliane for taking the time to write a review."

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Yeah! We made it into the top 10 downloads.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I just want to say thank you Itchy for taking the time to write such a glowing review. Thank you.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I posted a few spells from this on my website as a free preview. Check it out.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

This augmented PDF was designed from the ground up for tablet or widescreen laptop for easy reference at the gaming table.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

This book is Powered by Hero Lab and includes a Hero Lab file in the download, making it easier to integrate into your game.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I just want to say thank you to Kevin_Video for a really nice 4-Star review.


Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek, GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

We posted a preview of Book of Magic: Insurgency of Summer online at JonBrazer.com. Check it out and download this today for campaign on the frozen winter.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Want awesome spells? The I'm Not Going To PaizoCon Sale starts Wednesday. So you can download the Book of Magic: Insurgency of Summer for just $1. Add it to your cart today.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Be sure to pick up Book of Magic: Insurgency of Summer while it is still $1. The I'm Not Going to PaizoCon Sale ends soon.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

You know what the hobgoblins armada hates? Being burned alive by fire. While this supplement was designed for the Winter adventure path, it works great for the Iron Invasion adventure path.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hmm...

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Looking for some fire-themed magic and class options? Check these out today.

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