Letters from the Flaming Crab: The Household Magic Catalog (PFRPG) PDF

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Letters from the Flaming Crab is a monthly series of Pathfinder-compatible supplements. Each Letter focuses on exploring a different topic to give gamemasters and players new, exciting options that can be dropped into any campaign.

In the Household Magic Catalog, we include 40+ wondrous and alchemical items and spells that make your life as a wealthy homeowner a little bit easier!

Why pay servants to clean and press your clothing when the armoire of elegance does that and more?

Is your ladder taking up too much space in the carriage house? The extendo-ladder stretches from 1 foot to an unbelievable 50 feet in seconds!

Ever thrown out a recipe because you added too much of the wrong spice? The Flavor Neutralizer easily draws out any material from a solution!

With the holiday season around the corner, now's a good time as any to get yourself (or a loved one) something special from the Household Magic Catalog! You've slain the dragon. You deserve it.

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An Endzeitgeist.com review


This letter from the planes-hopping vessel UCS Flaming Crab, faithfully transcribed by J Gray, clocks in at 39 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with...35 pages of content? Woa, that is A LOT for the low asking price...so let's take a closer look at this pdf...

...and once we do, we'll realize that the title was not kidding: In the tradition of Aurora's (At this point, if you get this reference, you're part of the old guard...) or, more fittingly, the Sears catalog - for those of you not in the know (and my German readers), picture this like a Quelle or Neckermann catalog that peddles wares that can help in the household. However, here, this concept is framed by the alternate-earth "Ladies Paradise and Company of New York" company.

And from the get-go, you notice something that immediately sets this apart: J Gray's layout for this humble pdf sets it apart as one of the most concise and mighty layouts I have seen in ages; his passion for Castle Falkenstein and extensive historical knowledge immediately show upon opening this pdf: From art déco-style fonts to the artworks, which blend historic pictures with a knight-style variant of the classic "I want you" Uncle Sam poster, the aesthetic integrity of the pdf transcends the text itself. Speaking of the latter: Yes, this picture is on a page encouraging the purchase of war stamps!

In fact, the items presented actually go one step beyond: We have visual representations, a sales-pitch-like summary of the item's benefits and the proper rules-material required for the respective item, creating a thoroughly holistic illusion of a magical catalog. Furthermore, the choice of these items does help render this pdf a thoroughly unique experience, from the first to the last of them.

(As an aside, in case you're wondering - this review is based on V. 2.0 of the pdf.)

The armoire of elegance, for example, auto-prestidigitates and mends clothing put inside it! I'd *SO* get this one! Tired of bad food while adventuring? The breadboard of instant breakfast will conjure up new and exciting dishes each day and may even help cancel poisons! Alchemical tonics that increase Int and Wis when imbibed before sleeping, mirroring the often cocaine- or laudanum-laden potions of the age, can also be found! What about a magical alarm clock? Extending ladders? Or a wagon that faithfully follows the user to the destination in question? (And yes, its movement is affected by difficult terrain.) Perhaps your lawn is just not fancy - with the right and proper fluid, you can return vibrancy and life to your green (and plant creatures can benefit from a bit of healing). Similarly, quicker plant-growth! What about self-completing mowers, automatic brooms or the like?

Notice something? Yep, these items, just like in a catalog, are organized by area of application - and fret not, an extensive index has also been included, with prices intact for your convenience. Regarding kitchen-appliances, magic scent-negating candles, cloths that negate allergens (I'd so need those IRL...) poisons and diseases can also be found...and the allergen-angle actually provides some rather interesting narrative tricks an enterprising GM can use! The freshen spell can restore spoiled food to proper shape, while scales of recipes can destroy food...but also net you the ingredient list, which, once again, just begs to be used for an investigative game!

A lazing lounger can help with power naps and fortification versus fear and emotion aspects and the mantle of pride can be used to make sure that your guests appreciate your trophies...and you. Need music? The spirit ministrel may take care of that need while entertaining. Throwing pillows inflict no damage, but can render the target asleep on a failed save and the spell update decor makes sure you'll never again be left behind by a trend in the fancy salon-culture!

This, as you may have noticed, is incredibly concise and includes sweeteners to help end the nauseated condition, ever-warm bottles for the offspring (or those enjoying Glühwein/mulled wine with spices) - an automated puppet show, an enchanted nanny's latch, a toy chest that expels living creatures and allows for instant and precise access, toy soldiers (as a nitpick: The set is once called "Spielmann" and once "Spilemann" - the former is correct), pain-relieving ice that's hot provides relief from arthritis and pain-based effects. Jefferson-style desk chairs increase the Int of those sitting inside and helps keep one's privacy by making others leave the working mind alone. Quick-retrieving desks, spell-organization, cleansing feather tokens, conjuring forth birds to fetch objects, sun-sensitive curtains open automatically...and the whammy rug lets you generate static electricity you can fire in short-range jolts...and it's kid-proof to boot!

In a perfect consequence of the style of the pdf, we actually also get a fully detailed order blank as an amazing hand-out! As mentioned before, the index with items by category is really helpful: Spells list classes, alchemical items weight, Craft DC and price and magical items list their prices and auras, adding this perfect final flourish to the pdf.


Editing and formatting are very good on both formal and rules-language levels - I noticed no serious hiccups. Layout is, as mentioned, absolutely inspired, creating a perfect illusion of a fantastic catalog. The artworks chosen, both classic and original, seamlessly fit in with this aesthetic, making the vision represented in this pdf absolutely inspirational. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience with detailed, nested bookmarks to the individual items and spells.

Alex Shanks-Abel, J Gray, Phoebe Harris, Kelly Pawlik and Kendra Leigh Speedling have created an inspiring tome here, but beyond the deserved praise for the authors and the layout herein, the editors/playtesters Alex Shanks-Abel, J Gray (who also acted as the dev), Jeffrey Swank and Lucus Palosaari deserve special acknowledgement. Why? Because, in spite of the different authors with varying levels of experience, the book actually has a unified narrative voice - it does not read or feel like a book written by x different folks - it reads like a delightfully fantastic catalog and has this distinct and hard to achieve aesthetic unity of visuals, text, tone and theme. In short, this is a perfect example of how to create a holistic, thoroughly inspired book that can act as a colossal hand-out if you want it to! Beyond the confines of Pathfinder-rules, allotopias of alternate earths, whether they be Castle Falkenstein or similar settings, can also benefit vastly from getting this book. The logic behind the objects, behind what you'd be able to make in a magical world, is impeccable, the illusion practically perfect. Oh, and you get A LOT of material for the more than fair price-point.

If utility magic and everyday magic, a magical society or the like are even remotely close to what you want, then this is a no-brainer. Granted, you won't find mind-blowing items here, but oh boy, they are COOL. They feel like actual magic to me. However, I maintain that this book also serves as excellent material for low or rare magic games! It makes sense that e.g. some wizards studying all day in their towers, some decadent civilization, would have such objects; in fact, if you've completely abolished vanilla magic in favor of a more fairy-tale-esque aesthetic, then these objects, focusing on utility, would work perfectly as well. Finally, if you need furnishing for the realms of fey or magical schools/academies, then this delivers in spades, bringing a sense of heart-warming wonder to the game, one that transcends what you'd usually expect. This pdf made me happy while reviewing it - because its execution is on par with the fantastic concept, because it has a vast array of uses and because its content will show up in other games of mine as well, regardless of rules-systems. Abuse-proof, hilarious, nigh-perfect, this is a prime example of a pdf that deserves 5 stars + seal of approval as well as being considered as a candidate for my Top Ten of 2016.

This shows passion, dedication and soul - it's a pdf where the creators obviously poured their heart's blood in it. Get this pdf. I guarantee you will not regret it!

Endzeitgeist out.

An intriguing product


The Household Magic Catalog from Flaming Crab Games is a 39-page PDF with 29 pages of game content, 2 pages of index listing all the items and spells (I wish ALL products contained this feature), and the rest of the pages consisting of covers, OGL, and flavor to add verisimilitude to the catalog theme.

(Full Disclosure: I received a copy in exchange for presenting an honest review.)

The Household Magic Catalog is presented as an actual catalog from the Ladies’ Paradise and Company (think early 1900’s Sears and Roebuck) discovered by the author among other items left by the eponymous Flaming Crab, an interdimensional traveling ship.

Each item found within the pages is given a description that would feel right at home in a catalog from the turn of the 20th century, the author has really grasped the feel and it makes the catalog fun to read. Following each description are the actual Pathfinder game statistics for each item. There are a total of 11 alchemical items, 31 magic items, and 4 spells found within this catalog.

The items are divided into thematic sections, adding to the overall catalog feel. Up first is “For Your Bedroom,” featuring 4 items for use in one’s boudoir. The highlight of this section is the Breadboard of Instant Breakfast. Want breakfast in bed? You got it.

Next is “In Your Carriage House,” 6 items whose highlight is the Self-Sweeping Broom. Visions of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice come to mind with this item. The next section is “In Your Kitchen,” consisting of 5 items and features the very handy Deep Clean Cloths. I am personally a little irked at this item as I was considering designing something very similar for a forthcoming RPG Superstar – now I’ll have to head back to the drawing board.

“In Your Living Space” comes next with 5 items and features the very innovative and fun Throwing Pillow. Not only does it add some color to your décor, it can be used as an improvised weapon to incapacitate an intruder. After this comes “In Your Nursery” featuring 8 items aimed at caring for your offspring. The Nanny Latch immediately became my favorite from this section.

“In Your Play Space” is the next section (4 items) and its highlight is Ice That’s Hot. Your fighter sore after a long day fighting hordes of goblins? One application of this and the aches and pains will ease away. Following is “In Your Work Space” (5 items) and the best of all the items in the entire PDF, the Desk Chair of Diligence. This must-have item not only grants the user a competence bonus on Intelligence checks but also protects the user from interruptions. I wish I had one of these in my office at home!

The last section of the catalog is “In Your Whole House” with 5 items, but to my mind none of these items really stand out as outstanding, the one big miss of the entire product can be found here . . . the Room Baa. Yes, a life-like mechanical sheep on a floating disk that cleans the floor. I get the very bad pun, I just feel that among a neat variety of well-thought-out items, the author took the easy way out to create the Room Baa.

Among the items in the catalog are 4 spells (Freshen, Update Décor, Masterful Organization, and Paradise Fetch) that won’t necessarily have use in melee, but add flavor and can have some fun role-playing impact.

In the final analysis, I give the Household Magic Catalog 5 out of 5 stars. The layout of the PDF is gorgeous and the catalog motif is well-done. I didn’t see any formatting or grammar errors that would detract. I understand that this product is very tongue-in-cheek and yet succeeds in presenting some off-the-wall items in an entertaining and useful manner. I am planning on using several of these items in my own campaign. I would recommend the Household Magic Catalog to anyone who wants to incorporate some items and spells useful to a party involved in homesteading or establishing their own kingdom.

=================== Updated December 14, 2016 ==========================

I saw from the other reviews of this product I wasn't the only person who had heartburn from the Room Baa. Then I got a note through Paizo's web store that the PDF had been updated to remove the aforementioned item and replace it with the Whammy Rug. After looking it over, I can say that this update is a vast improvement on an already very good product. The Whammy Rug is brilliant and I can already envision putting it to use. (The moratorium on children abusing this item is gold!)

Not only is Flaming Crab Games very creative (I have a few of their products beyond this one) but listening to customer feedback and acting on it quickly is greatly appreciated. Do yourself a favor and take a look at this product and some of their offerings. You won't be disappointed.

In another world...another time...this product is still amazing...


Now I have a normal review style, but for this product, it doesn't work. Why you may ask? Because the value of this product is less what I did and didn't like, but about the entire thing as a whole. I can't parse that out without taking away from the real positive qualities of this book.

The layout work here is just inspired; and it fits the theme so well that I had to smile when I looked at it. The artwork is perfect, the theme is consistent, and it's just silly enough to really work for what is trying to be conveyed here. That isn't to say the product itself is lacking in other areas, as the rules language is overall tight and meshes itself very well into the overall theme. Really, this is a product you get to read it and enjoy it, and if you end up using something out of it, that's great too.

The items inside probably won't work unless you have a specific theme for your game that involves a lot of time at home (and honestly, a lot of spare GP you can toss around), but each one of them is just oozing with charm, just like the entire book. The tone is perfect and really, it's a solid offering all around, but if you only like books for crunch (which if you do, LftFC is an odd place for you with the series' focus on flavor and fun over hard rules), it might not be for you.

But for a fun little look into another world with an obvious bent towards the old fashion, this product is solid gold with a lot of personality that makes it a joy to read (with just a hint of Fallout flavored inspiration baked in).


I received this product for free thanks to the special release offer to the first 10 comments.

I found this product very charming with its "alternate universe catalogue" framing.

Most of the items have little if any use for adventurers but they would be wonderful for a GM looking to deck out a rich NPC's home in interesting magical appliances, or possibly even for a player looking to describe their rich PC's home. It kind of addresses the complaint about never finding any magic items in fantasy RPGs geared towards improving everyday life.

Admittedly the "Room Baa" was rather silly. I found it amusing but I'm not sure it's really appropriate for the tone of the product. A more subtle shout out would probably have been preferable.

Also I noticed some typographical errors in the text. It's a minor issue but it bugs me.

All and all I would say this product is probably worth the listed price for anyone looking for charming quality of life magic items for rich characters to have in their homes.

A mostly successful attempt to recapture the old-timey Catalog/Catalogue feel


This review is based upon a free copy via Flaming Crab Games's very generous "free copy to the first 10 posters" initiative.

Presented as an artifact from a crashed warship originating on an alternate universe magical Earth, this catalog from, oh, 1918 or so, aims to capture the feeling of old turn-of-the-century Sears catalogs, and for old school RPG gamers, the oh-so-fondly remembered 2e Forgotten Realms accessory known as Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue (which was also trying to capture the feeling of those old Sears catalogs.)

There's 28 pages worth of items, spells, and alchemical items to be had here, all of which are of minor use outside of the home at best. (It's a 39 page PDF in total, but 28 pages of actual items, plus cover, credits, an intro, lists of contents with prices, the OGL and a couple of other decorative pages.)

A few of the alchemical items have their uses for adventurers, but mostly this book's contents are for decoration and an attempt at verisimilitude for a magical civilization. Nothing is egregiously anachronistic, well, except for the "Room Baa," a mechanical sheep atop a floating magical disk that roams the home sucking up small pieces of debris and depositing them into an extradimensional space. That one just triggers my "too silly even for a game" sense.

The groan-inducing silliness of the Room Baa aside, there are also some things that feel a bit oddly balanced, power- or cost-wise, and it feels like some of the alchemical items might work better as magic (or vice-versa), but these are minor quibbles at best.

Overall it is a well done product, and does a good job of recapturing the old-school feeling of old-school gaming, and really old school catalogs. (The "Room Baa", though, that pun is just so terrible it's why my review settled down to just 4 stars. Bad pun. Bad.)

Now available!

And the first ten people to leave a comment below get a free copy of the Household Magic Catalog!

If you receive a free copy of this PDF, we would greatly appreciate feedback in return (review, comment below, email, or PM)!

Liberty's Edge

I am quite interested in this treasure trove ;-)

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My group will love this, when they finally get to finish building their stronghold and inn.

This may come in very handy down the road in the campaign I'm running as having a homestead will come into play.

Hmm... reminds me of Aurora's whole realms catalog from back in the day. I'm interested.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I would definitely be interested in this one. Thanks!

And yeah, totally getting an AWRC vibe from this one, at least based on the description.

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I am interested in doing a review.

Oh fun.

Very useful!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd like to give it a look and a star or two too.

Count me in, sounds interesting.

Silver Crusade

Looks great. I bet all copies are gone though. Like the idea.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I posted my review. It's really more copying the old Sears catalogs that were the inspiration for the Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue, rather than the AWRC itself.

But still, "Room Baa"? Bad writers. Bad. No fifth star for you. Bad.

Well, maybe in an April release. :D

The "Room Baa" was cute, but I don't think it really fit the tone of the rest of the book

But I enjoyed the product. It was very charming.

Thanks to Kvantum and andygal for posting reviews (and so quickly)! Always good to hear from readers and get feedback.

Kvantum and andygal, thanks so much for the review!

andygal, we're always happy to fix any problems found. If you want to msg me pointing out any typos you noticed I'll get those fixed and a new PDF sent out. I'll go through the original document one more time myself.

I'd have to reread it and it's 4 am, so later.

andygal wrote:
I'd have to reread it and it's 4 am, so later.

Sure! If you don't have time, that's fine, too. The fact that I know they are there is enough for me to give the document another read.

* Edit: I've gone through and noticed a few issues involving oxcoms (oxford commas) as well as a spelling error and hyphenation error or two. I'll hold of on running the PDF for a bit in case something I missed is found.

Silver Crusade

And reviewed, what a fun little product this was!

Thanks a bunch for the review, BV210!

We really appreciate getting 4 reviews within 1 month of the product being released!

Based on feedback, we made a minor update where we replaced the room baa with the whammy rug! We would appreciate updated reviews if possible. :)

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Flaming Crab Games wrote:
Thanks a bunch for the review, BV210!

My pleasure. Updated review has been posted. You guys rock.

BV210 wrote:
Flaming Crab Games wrote:
Thanks a bunch for the review, BV210!
My pleasure. Updated review has been posted. You guys rock.

We really appreciate the updated review. We're glad you liked the whammy rug!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS, etc.

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