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Asian Bloodlines
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/26/2017 10:47:00

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Asian Bloodlines is a book in Legendary Game’s Far East product line. It is a very focused book, containing only bloodlines for the Sorcerer and Bloodrager classes (and maybe some feats, archetypes and other 3PP classes). As always with LG products, it has amazing art and handy electronic features that really show the production values.

What’s inside? 18 pages of pure crunchy content (plus 3 amazing full-art pages) for x bucks, which include:

-9 Bloodrager Bloodlines, presented with a nice, fluffy introductory paragraph, followed by bonus feats, bonus spells, and bloodline powers.

Imperial Dragon is special, since it borrows heavily from the normal draconic bloodline. It includes specific changes, especially with the Forest Dragon Bloodline. Like “vanilla” draconic, these are very flavorful and will be popular among many tables (who doesn’t want to have a dragon ancestor?).

Imperious is one of those sorcerer bloodlines that didn’t have a bloodrager version… until now. It focuses on being a better face and leader for his allies (even when raging!), and fearsome for his foes. The capstone is really amazing since, among some immunities, the imperious bloodrager no longer ages, sleeps, eats or drinks! Talk about campaign building potential! Using the real world as reference, this bloodline works better thematically for a bloodrager, reminiscing me of great legends like Gilgamesh or Iskander.

Kami is a good bloodline for nature lovers, focused on mobility and interacting with the spirit world. Their first ability is my favorite, awakening the kami within a progressively bigger object and animating it to fight at your side!

Kappa are weird, since like most Japanese monsters they are depicted in many ways. The bloodline, however, focuses on watery powers and having better defenses. They can also transform into dragon turtles at high levels, and as a capstone can always water walk and in normal circumstances won’t be attacked by aquatic animals.

Kitsune are mostly depicted as trickster but the bloodrager’s version of this bloodline, rather than specializing on illusions and enchantments, focuses on being nimble, hitting fast and hard, and transforming into a fearsome wolf-like fox with a progressively nasty bite attack and getting some precision damage, culminating on literally ripping a heart with its fangs! It gains a few magical trickster-y abilities but really is more of a swift and dirty natural attacker.

Nagas are a varied group of monsters, and the bloodline focuses on the few things common to all of them. They are good swimers, get a poisonus bite, are resistant and later immune to poison, can transform into nagas, and as a capstone they become difficult to deceive with magic, their minds becoming really hard to manipulate mentally and they can see invisibility and read thoughts. Perfect bloodline for nagaji bodyguards of the bloodline’s namesake, or maritime adventures ;)

Oni are normally fiendish gigantic creatures, so this bloodline fits better thematically for bloodragers. As powers they get horns to make gore attacks, extra eyes to see better, and can become giants, large and later huge ones! Like many actual oni they can fly, become invisible, regenerate (fast heal really) and alter shape. An excellent bloodline, flavorful and true to its source.

Rakshasa are another race of tricksters, infamous for their secrecy, charm and deceit. This bloodline is what I expected from the kitsune one, since they can charm and fight dirty, bluff and mind-read. What makes this more Rakshasa-flavored is the enhanced defenses from divine magic (something asuras have, not rakshasa, but still fits thematically speaking) and their backward hands actually do something: improving feinting in this case. They become a beast-headed outsider as a capstone, able to change shape back to your old form. Overall an intriguing bloodline!

Tengu are a legendary race that is more earth-bound and mundane in its Pathfinder incarnation. This bloodline lets you portrait a more mythological tengu, focusing on being a better swordsman (swordsbird?), even getting a changeable style feat chain! A very thematic and flavorful bloodline that will be a fave among players who like styles but don’t like to commit themselves (and their feats) to only one.

-8 Sorcerer Bloodlines (and 4 mutated), following the same presentation as the bloodrager’s, adding skills. It is worth noting that 3 of these: naga, oni and rakshasa, are reprinted here from official Paizo material for ease of reference. The mutated bloodlines are for the Wildblooded sorcerer archetype, and include two for the Naga, one for the Oni, and one for the new Kitsune bloodline.

Imperial Dragon, like its bloodrager counterpart, is a variant of the core draconic bloodline. It features a couple of changes to include the 5 imperial dragons, but this time only the forest dragon gets abilities different from the norm.

Kami is, again, a nature-themed bloodline. Apart from borrowing some druid spells and getting some mobility options, Kami-blooded get many protective spells and powers, and can also create temporary origami-animal familiars for Shikigami to inhabit temporarily, and becoming a full Shikigami later.

Kappa increases the sorcerer’s defenses and mastery over water like the bloodrager’s, but also mastery over earth and shapechanging powers.

Kitsune for sorcerers is a more traditional take on the legendary foxes, with all the foxfire, illusions, enchantments, possessions and shapechanging one has come to expect from these trickster spirits. The Kyubi mutated bloodline nets you a ki pool to enhance your magic instead of some trickster illusory abilities, and works wonders with another product by LG, The Way of Ki.

Naga bloodline is not new, but it is presented here since we have two mutations for it. Guardian Naga derive their power from the Kyubi! (copy-paste error most probably) Kidding aside, it gets some increased protections and can spit poison, but more intriguing is their ability to add a couple of cleric spells to their repertory. On the other hand, Spirit Naga become more sinuous and charming, being able to slither and also getting a mesmerizing gaze, which also works better with humanoids and reptiles.

Oni bloodline is also not new, but we have the Nogitsune mutated bloodline for it. Strangely enough, they gain one charm-related ability instead of flying, but lose their charm-related bloodline arcana in exchange of being able to see through any sight-hampering spell they cast (darkness, fog and the like), and moving as part of the casting time of the spell. The weakest entry IMHO, and I would have liked the movement to happen AFTER the spell was cast, that way they could move without their opponents knowing where too.

Rakshasa is the last of the repeated bloodlines and the only one that doesn’t include a mutated variant, but there is a bloodrager version for it so IMO its inclusion is justified.

Tengu is the last of the bloodlines. It lets sorcerers represent the magical abilities tengu are famed for, and have some sword-related abilities for those who want to dabble into melee, or multiclass. Powers’ themes include birds, flight, swords and linguistics. As a capstone they can turn into tengu and crows. I wouldn’t recommend this bloodline for tengus since there are some overlapping abilities. Here I would have liked a better deal for tengu sorcerers, but to my knowledge there are noprecedents for this, so it’s fair.

-3 new spells, reprinted from the Asian Spells book from the same product line. I commend their inclusion since this way the publisher doesn’t force you to buy another product to fully use this one. The spells are Dancing Weapon, Snake Mother’s Kiss and Tengu Fan. They are almost self-explanatory, and really cool by the way.

Of Note: The Imperious and Kitsune bloodrager bloodlines really impressed me, Imperious for the imagery and Kitsune for it is not a mirror of the sorcerer version. Both Kami bloodlines also have cool and fitting powers, and the Kyubi mutated bloodline with its Ki pool is a welcome addition for those who, like me, own other products from the Far East line. Finally, the Guardian Naga mutated sorcerer bloodline, with its access to some clerical spells, is really intriguing.

Anything wrong?: The one mistake I found, and the fact that three (or five if you want to include Draconic) bloodlines are reprints, are the only things worth noting as “not good”, since they are not really bad.

What I want: I will play the spoiled brat and wish some cross-over 3pp action with a Yaksha bloodline, which is a new type of outsider from Monsters of Porphyra 2 by Purple Duck Games. Also, who do I have to end to get a Kamaitachi monster (and thus bloodlines)? And why, oh why, isn’t there a Shinigami bloodline!?!? A Ki bloodline!?!? Tanuki!?!? To be fair, there are already some bloodlines that with the mutated treatment would work for these. Maybe for the sequel? ;-) EDIT: THERE IS A KAMAITACHI IN BESTIARY 6, SO BLOODLINE PLEASE!!!

What cool things did this inspire?: An adventure where a legendary Imperious bloodrager adventuring king, retired and presumed dead, returns to reclaim his kingdom from his great grandchildren, since they have divided and spoiled it. A Nogitsune Oni (or even a plain old kitsune) bloodrager with the Kitsune bloodline would be a nasty surprise for characters expecting to fight the illusions and charms normally associated with these foxes. You could also convert kitsune, nagaji and/or tengu into full monster races, using the sorcerer and bloodrager classes to represent different types.

Do I recommend it?: There is a reason Eldritch Heritage was a very popular feat, since it opens the wonders of sorcery to many classes. There is also the Eldritch Scion magus archetype, although not as popular, and with the advent of the variant multiclass rules (from Pathfinder Unchained), ANY character can benefit from this product, and even the Game Master can join the fun by slapping the sorcerer creature simple class template (from Monster Codex) to any monster. While a niche product, Asian Bloodlines does as advertised and deliver cool options not only for the two classes it is intended for. I give 4.5 eldritch bloody stars to this book because of the few repetitions and the even fewer mistakes, but I will round up because of the amazing production values and electronic features.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Asian Bloodlines
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Horrific Curses
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/19/2017 04:21:45

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The first of the AP plug-ins for the Strange Aeons AP (which works perfectly for pretty much any darker campaign) clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let's take a look!

We begin this supplement with new archetypes, the first of which would be the accursed witch. These witches are locked into death, insanity, moon, plague, spirits or vengeance as patrons. Starting at 1st level, they gain an oracle's curse, based on level and, nice, the archetype comes with multiclassing options regarding the curse, Starting off at 4th level, the accursed witch may basically, hex-like, inflict her curse on targets - the recipient does not gain the benefits unlocked later and, since this slightly exceeds a regular hex in potency, we have an Int-governed daily limit as well as the hex-save-caveat. Instead of 8th level's hex, the witch may choose increased durations of curse spells, higher CLs, higher ranges (listing the progression of ranges and specific, non-scaling ranges - big kudos!). All in all flavorful.

Next up would be the hex hunter, who replaces Heal with Knowledge (arcana) as a class skill and loses proficiency with wither medium armors or shields. These guys cast Int-based arcane spells taken from witch and ranger spell lists and replaces animal companion with a witch's familiar. Animal Focus is delayed until 8th level, with the second unlocked at 16th level. Nature training is replaced with the ability to apply, as a swift action, the effects of evil eye in melee, usable 3 + Int-mod times per day. Instead of hunter tactics, we gain the beast of ill omen hex, with the teamwork feat being replaced by attacks of the cursed strike mentioned before being extended as per cackle on a critical hit. This becomes more relevant at 6th level and every 3 levels thereafter, as new hexes to be added to the strikes are unlocked, replacing the respective teamwork feats. At 7th level and every 6 levels thereafter, we add new curse-spells to the spell list, replacing bonus tricks and. 10th level provides the option to gain a hex from a list of 4, which may be determined anew each day, replacing animal companions.

After this nice archetype, we are introduced to the jinx sorceror bloodline, with Perception as a class skills and a fitting array of spells as bonus spells. Similarly, the bonus feat selection is nice. The bloodline arcana increases the DC of compulsions, curses and pain spells, with the DC to dispel or remove such effects increased by 2. Bloodline powers-wise, we begin with an orcale curse, with 3rd level yielding an aura of despair. 9th level yields the misfortune hex and 15th level allows you to place glyphs of warding with select triggering conditions to targets. 20th level yields immortality - you no longer age, are immune to death effects, etc.

From here, we move on to the new spells, which make use of the dying spell concept, allowing casters to take a final potshot - while they can be cast in less dire consequences, such cases are rare, considering the extremely high concentration required. As such, these spells will usually be cast upon being incapacitated or slain and a special, but costly ceremony, can render them viable even in scenarios, where action economy is an issue, guaranteeing that you'll get your deadly vengeance. Spell-wise, we can find, e.g. Avenge Me!, compelling creatures to seek vengeance for you. Call the Avenger similarly combines sending and demand to destroy your killer and sending off dying words to allies similarly makes sense, representing properly a fixture in fantasy literature. Providing a dying scrying for a final witness or entombing yourself in ice also make for intriguing, flavorful options....and yes, there is a funeral pyre...

Now, this book is called has "curses" in its title for a reason and we receive a diverse assortment of different curses - the base-rules here follow the first curse-based supplement released by Legendary Games and the representations of the respective curses contain cannibalism compulsions, shrouding a target in palpable, demoralizing gloom or shrinking the target continuously, until it has become basically nonexistent (see Atom or Ant-Man for more on that concept...and there is a variant, which ties shrinking to magic use...). Rendering the flesh of a target unstable or instilling an unquenchable gnawing hunger are interesting tricks...but there are some curses you may want to seek out: Fatal Strength, for example, can yield benefits to the PC, but also burns away the years they have. Instilling a horrid hatred in foes, suppressing any form of empathy or cursing a target with insomnia.

Have I mentioned the option to create a kinslayer curse, a curse whose effects are determined by the phase of the moon or the curse that makes your eyes turn black and makes you susceptible to bright eyes? More complex and potent yet would be the 6 different mythic curses included, including knitting the victim's mouth's flesh together, making targets feel the pain inflicted on others, transforming digits into thumbs, regressive aging or having prepared or known spells inscribed visibly o the skin make for fascinating curses...and the latter one also comes with a version that makes you bleed for casting the spells inscribed in your flesh. Come to think of it, these two curses alone could work as a basic spellcasting tradition capable of carrying a whole campaign...I think I'll have to design the like at one point...

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring glitches. Layout adheres to a gorgeous two-column full-color standard and the pdf uses nice full-color and b/w-artworks, though fans of LG will recognize most from previous publications. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Jason Nelson, Alex Riggs and Jen Page deliver a cool, fun collection of curse-themed options in this pdf. Particularly the spell-inscription curses are gold and I'd be seriously surprised if there was no campaign by a fan of dark fantasy or horror out there that employs these for a custom magic system/tweak - as mentioned, these may very well be worth the asking price for you on their own. The dying spells and archetypes are fun, with the hunter in particular being interesting. The curses are also rather nice, though, as a whole, they felt a bit less horrific than I expected from the pdf, with many focusing on concepts that strike me as more fantastic than horrific, but that may just be me.

As a whole, this is a good supplement with excellent craftsmanship, but at the same time, it feels like it doesn't completely realize its full potential. In short, this is a good supplement, bordering on the very good, but I can't really bring myself to round up from my final verdict of 4.5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Horrific Curses
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Legendary Vigilantes
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/11/2017 07:23:18

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Legendary Games' series of class-centric pdfs clocks in at 40 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of introduction, 4 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 27 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This review was moved up in my queue as an informal request via my patreon.

All right, we'll begin with new archetypes, the first of which would be the arsenal summoner, who gains proficiency with heavy armors and replaces vigilante specialization with anima union: The archetype begins play with a sentient weapon called "anima" (not the biggest fan of the nomenclature there), which must be a weapon properly sized for the character, acting as a magus' black blade, though it is not required to be a one-handed slashing weapon, rapier or swordcane. As such, the anima basics diverge from those of the black blade, with every odd level after 1st providing improvements. Anima weapons begin play at Int 10, Wis/Cha 6 and an ego-score of 3 and increase that up to Int 19, 15 Wis/Cha and 24 ego at 19th level. Anima weapons begin play knowing common and learn additional bonus languages later. Sense-wise, they act as though they had sight and hearing and may thus be affected by blindness and deafness. The anima uses the character's saving throws. In order to balance ranged weapons, two-handed weapons and the like, an anima's damage is overwritten: The weapon begins with 1d6 base damage and increases that up to 2d8 for Medium characters. Tables for Small and Large arsenal summoners have been included as well. Wielders gain the benefits of Alertness while wielding the anima weapon and wielders can telepathically communicate with the weapon. The weapon is immune t the broken condition and, starting at 1st level, the anima can 1/day as a full-round action teleport the anima weapon to them, usable +1/day at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, but only while in vigilante identity.

At 3rd level, an anima not currently in use can take on the look of a mundane object, though transformation into its normal form can still risk exposure for the vigilante. As a capstone, the anima may 1/week cast a maximized breath of life, potentially saving its wielder, but not when it's not within 5 ft. of the wielder. 2nd level yields the bonded armor ability - an armor that the character can instant summon to himself, though it is marked by an arcane mark, potentially allowing identification. The armor may be called Cha-mod times per day. Additionally, the armor receives a +1 enhancement bonus, which increases by +1 at 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter up to a maximum of +5 at 14th level. Such armor does not work for other creatures, btw., though destruction, mark-removal and similar stratagems exist to hamper the class feature. The arsenal summoner may also choose some exclusive vigilante talents, for an additional bonded armor, the weapon master handbook's advanced armor or weapon training, regular armor training and you can go iron man and fuse anima and bonded armor with one vigilante talent. Control over the exact form of a blade called forth via the anima's teleportation, bonded shields, calling a copy of the called weapon, exchange of enhancement bonus for special weapon qualities (with higher levels increasing the selection available) - nice. Using glamered versions in social identity and the like also are included here.

Instead of unshakeable and frightening appearance, the arsenal summoner gains an anima pool with Cha-mod, minimum 1, points These points can be expended as a swift action to provide a +1 bonus to weapon damage and atk, which increases by +1 for every 4 levels after 1st. The bonus lasts 1 minute and at 5th level, it can be used to grant the weapon temporarily a rather extensive selection of weapon special abilities. At 5th level, finally, the archetype replaces startling and stunning appearance with a pocket dimension to stash anima and bonded armor. The capstone allows the character to choose between armor or weapon mastery. Basically, this is a magus/fighter/vigilante-crossover-archetype with "god-weapon"-style gameplay. This hybrid-like theme is btw. something you'll notice in the other archetypes as well.

The next one would be the Beast Born, who loses vigilante specialization as well as dual identity. However, in place of that, the archetype gains a full strength animal companion - identity changing cannot be hastened by the archetype as a balancing measure, though, since yes, this companion may, at a touch, be changed into a harmless Tiny version of its self as a standard action- tiger to housecat, you get the idea. Reversal of this change can be done as a swift action, which means that the companion may be used to net the vigilante the required time to change to prevent exposure. Slightly confusing: The beast born, in the middle of the second paragraph of the ability, suddenly talks about "When transformed into an animal..." in the context of the vigilante identity. This ties in with the second ability - at 1st level, the beast born can change into a harmless form as a standard action at will, with 4th level yielding wild shape, with additional daily uses at 8th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Strong? Yes, however, the archetype also loses the 4th level vigilante talent...and those gained every 4 levels thereafter. As a capstone, the beast born gets free animal growth when going into animal form. I had two associations here: Manimal and He-Man. Make of that what you will. ;)

Next up would be the dynamic striker, who replaces martial weapon proficiency with Improved Unarmed Strike. Instead of the regular vigilante specialization, they choose to either be a brawler or a technician dynamic striker. Brawlers are treated as avenger vigilantes for BAB and talent purposes, while technicians gain studied combat, governed by Wis, but only in conjunction with gauntlets, unarmed strikes, etc. Dynamic strikers may choose from a selection of specialized martial arts talents and use their Wisdom modifier as key ability modifier for the purpose of determining saves, atks, etc. These include cross guard counter attacks, while others build upon the vicious impact ability - basically, the archetype contains two generally schools of fighting and the aforementioned two abilities, granted at 3rd level, respectively, represent the foundation of these fighting styles. Vicious impact nets a monk's unarmed damage progression, while cross guard nets a limited use, AoO-resource-based opposing roll counter mechanic, which, akin grit or panache, is recharged upon scoring critical hits. In short: One of the specializations focuses on a somewhat monk-y style, whereas the other represents a martial artist/investigator - the brainy fighter trope we know from anime et al. 5th level progresses this, featuring flurry and knockout blows, respectively. This sequence of abilities eliminates the whole appearance ability tree as well as unshakeable and also is represented in the archetype's capstone selection, which includes ignoring all DR and hardness or maximized damage for knockout blows, but of which are extremely potent.

The exposed vigilante does not receive dual identity, instead gaining +1 skill point per level and an additional social talent at 1st level, which also locks the vigilante out of a selection of social talents. Cool: The archetype does come with an engine-tweak that allows the vigilante to take it after being exposed, akin to what had befallen e.g. the Green Arrow in the comics. This may be a small engine tweaking archetype, but it's actually one of my favorites in the book. The Focused Hunter replaces 5th level's startling appearance with familiar terrain, basically a variant of favored terrain, of which an additional one is gained every 5 levels thereafter. 11th level yields HiPS (Hide in Plain Sight) in requiring no dim light in these terrains (which is very cheesable and borderline OP) and 17th level yields terrain master; these replace frightening, startling and stunning appearance.

The masked grappler would be the grappling specialist vigilante, losing proficiency with medium armor and martial weapons and beginning play with Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved Grapple, using class level as BAB -substitute when grappling, but losing the vigilante specialization. The archetype provides a pretty extensive selection of exclusive talents and using such a technique inflicts damage as per a grapple. What are submissions? Well, they are special such talents that impose a cumulative penalty on the foe in question, making them...well. Submit. They are locked into one such talent at first level and use Con as a governing key attribute instead of Charisma. It is a bit evident that editing here is a bit less precise than in the rest of the pdf: We have the archetype referred to as "masked wrestler" in a missed substitution, a lower caps "reflex" save etc. That being said, the options provided cover what you probably wanted from such an archetype: Anklelock? Check. Chokehold? Check. Death from Above via the VERY potent Frog Splash (double damage, grapple as swift action that pins AND bonus damage per 10 ft. fallen). That being said, I was a huge Undertaker fanboy as a child (and here in Germany, wrestling is VERY niche - none of my friends had even heard of those folks!) and I'm happy to see a sufficiently deadly piledriver, thankfully locked behind a high minimum level prerequisite. Also: Running dropkick is viable. 5th level yields a signature move specialization for a submission or technique, 11th level an iterative grapple for increased damage mechanic and 17th level the option to generate a finishing move, making one such technique/submission more potent. The capstone upgrades all moves to signature moves and also yields a second submission.

I like this archetype...but I think it doesn't have much to do with the vigilante. This is complaining at a high level, for sure, but the archetype feels like pretty much its own entity, which has been smashed on the vigilante chassis. With a bit of tweaking, it could have worked for pretty much every class out there...and the "masked" aspect falls a bit flat. Don't get me wrong, I really like the implementation of most aspects here (though I'll nerf some slightly), but the dual identity, which is particularly important in the luchador tradition, is pretty lost here. And Drop Dead Studios has a pretty impressive luchador base class that does offer a slightly more dynamic playstyle. So yeah, not bad, but I feel it could have used more significant ties to the base class.

Continuing the theme of hybrid-themed archetypes, the noble soul must be good and have both identities within one alignment step of one another. Much like the dynamic striker, this is an archetype that encapsulates two different iterations/traditions, though this time around, both are drawn from the paladin's bag of tricks: Those choosing the crusader specialization gain smite evil (1/day, +1/day at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter), while those that walk the path of the healer instead receive the lay on hands class feature (usable 1/2 class level + Cha-mod times per day). Here, we do have better tie ins to the vigilante, btw. - aura of good is only active while in vigilante identity. The archetype does get an extensive selection of exclusive talents, though the interaction of the talents here can be a bit wonky: Unbound Smite makes all neutral foes count as evil for the purposes of smite. So far, so good. Focused smite, however, treats all evil foes as evil outsiders for the purpose of smite - does that mean that, with both talents, all neutral creatures can be targets of smite as though they were evil outsiders? I assume that's the basic combo here, but something in the back of my head, when comparing this combo to the other talents afforded to the archetype, tells me that it's slightly OP in comparison, even when locked behind level 10. Not to the point of being broken, but yeah. The talents also provide a divine bond mount and mercies and, starting at 4th level, paladin's spellcasting at the expense of that level (and all multiples of 4's) vigilante talents. The capstone provides an upgrade for lay on hands to act as a combo breath of life + heal or auto-confirming criticals when smiting. Ouch.

The outrageous lyricist loses medium armor proficiency and gains a bard's spellcasting in exchange for the vigilante talents gained at 4th level and every 4 levels after that. Instead of vigilante specialization, they gain bardic performance (countersong, fascinate, distraction and inspire courage), while 3rd level yields quick change with a 1-minute fascination effect for those watching that fail their Will-save. So that's how Sailor Moon etc. did it. ;) The talents include masterpieces and e.g. dirge of doom is codified as such a talent "black metal medley." (I'd have expected that to be doom metal medley, but yeah... ;P) An emo scream that ignores fear immunity (but immune creatures get a bonus to saves) is nice, but my engine-favorite would be the battle rap "lyrical duel"-style ability for demoralized foes to try to rebuttal the lyricist. Increased damage when flanking with allies is called mosh pit and the archetype can convert weapon damage into sonic damage. The capstone nets immunity for fear, fatigue, exhaustion and negative levels for all allies benefiting from the performance. Once again, a cool archetype, but one that could have used a tighter connection with the base class, as far as I'm concerned.

The sentai soldier archetype replaces vigilante specialization with burn, elemental focus and kinetic blast, but they can only accept up to Con-mod burn and don't take non-lethal damage from accepting burn. The archetype gets a transformation device that mirrors a magical child transformation in 5 rounds, potentially reduced to a standard action with quick change, immediate action via immediate change. Beyond this modification, we get the option to take an utility or infusion wild talent instead of a vigilante talent and the archetype also contains a variety of different talents: Battle Charge allows the character to spend a swift action to reduce the burn cost of the kinetic blade or fist infusion by 1, but not below 0. This can be further improved and the archetype can use these talents to gain composite blasts, elemental defense or metakinesis. 3rd level nets a fascination-inducing quick transformation and 4th level sentai soldiers that have accepted 1 burn or more gains an equal bonus to atk and damage with kinetic blasts, with the very necessary cap based on the class level. The archetype does lose 3 vigilante talents for that and at 5th level, the vigilante gains gather power - and yes, the archetype loses the appearance tree. 20th level yields access to metakinesis (twice).

All right so far, so good, but we get more than archetypes herein. A total of 8 social talents can be found, which includes the overdue Master Craftsman granting and modifying option to make the vigilante capable of creating gadgets, fixing a crucial hole in the rules. Improving attributes towards groups of creatures, discrediting those that seek to unmask the vigilantes via Bluff (not properly capitalized -like many skills in this section) and even some synergy with the superb Legendary Rogue's skill specializations can be found here. Unless I have miscounted, we get a total of 27 vigilante talents here as well - though not all of them are without issues. Adamantine Fist, for example, nets you the ability to ignore up to class level hardness with unarmed strikes, but at 11th level, they count as adamantine for the purposes of bypassing DR, which is frankly too soon when compared to other classes. Defy Pain lacks an important anti-abuse caveat: It converts damage to nonlethal damage for Cha-rounds (+1 daily use at 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter). In the hands of a build that's immune to nonlethal damage, that RAW translates to invulnerability. Broken and needs to die/be nerfed big time. On the plus-side, talent-based TWFing is a cool idea...but it's ONE talent for 3 feats - three potent feats, mind you. Regular, Improved and Greater TWF, unlocked at viable levels, with the higher ups automatically gained at higher levels. That is comparatively too much in my book.

Other talents net one Equipment Trick, +1 at 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter, which, while also granting more than one benefit, make sense; as does gaining Toughness and Great Fortitude in one package. Gaining a grit-pool, oddly governed by Charisma in a design-aesthetic deviation from the standard and deeds can also be done. Martially inclined vigilantes are the biggest winners here, though, as a whole tree of abilities focuses on both Whirlwind Attack and Vital Strike and making them both relevant for the purpose of the class. I like those, even though, depending on the type of game you're playing/your GM style, they may end up being rather strong. Iterative attacks with Spring Attack would be something I'd personally ban, mainly because the talent fails to specify whether the attack has to hit the same target or can be freely spread around - in combo with some other options, that can be nasty, particularly due to the explicitly stated synergy with the TWF-tree. All in all, a surprisingly mixed bag I am not as fond of as I expected.

The pdf also provides an array of feats that partially net upgrades to archetype specific abilities like bonded armor, the option to cross-specialize at lower potency (-4 levels) and thus gain internal talents you're usually locked out of - which is pretty cool. Identity specialization and, really amazing, Shared Identity as a teamwork effort, make sense and are big winners in my book. Similarly, gaining dual identity via a feat can be rather helpful for certain characters and the feat manages to prevent abuse. All in all, a nice feat-section.

The magic item section contains gloves that pair weapon enhancement bonuses, wraps to add special properties to unarmed attacks, Superman glasses that make you look mundane and a powerful combat scabbard.

The pdf also contains a 10-level PrC, the scion of the city (cue countless Arrow/Spirit-references) that needs 4 ranks in 2 skills, the renown social talent and a BAB of 3+. The PrC gets d8 HD, 6 + Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression and 1/2 Ref- and Will-save progression. The PrC chooses a Scion City at first level, wherein all Knowledge checks are enhanced and they gain great renown in the city. Levels stack with those of the vigilante, though spellcasters must choose to retain either spellcasting progression or gaining vigilante talents at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter. 2nd level yields favored terrain as well as increased damage output with improvised weapons. 4th level yields incredible renown and 5th level HiPS in the city, which can be a bit early. 6th level yields loyal aid and followers as though via Leadership. 7th level yields gossip collector, while at 8th level the scion may gain renown in a community up to 50K folks instead of gaining a social talent. Additionally, celebrity discount is increased. 9th level nets Shared Identity for the scion's crew and, at 10th level, which is REALLY cool, they may modify a settlements properties - you know, corruption, crime, etc. and he may even generate advantages and disadvantages. I kinda wished the archetype got that one sooner, perhaps a scaling variant - fights between two scions for the properties of the city could have been pretty amazing. Still, overall a flavorful, really cool PrC.

The pdf concludes with Rashid Zill/Dark Star, a sentai soldier vigilante 10 of the tiefling race - once a selfish man, he had his love taken from him by a notorious serial killer he is now hunting down. All in all, a pretty cool character, complete with a detailed background story and even a boon for allied PCs.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, though not as tight as usual for Legendary Games - I noticed a couple of formatting hiccups and the like. Layout adheres to the series' two-column full-color standard and the artworks are a mix of previously used ones and a couple of new pieces, all in full color. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

N. Jolly delivers basically the "unlock" vigilante book here that provides all the hybrid-y unlocks you wanted. Druid-vigilante? Check. Pala-vigilante? Check. Monk-vigilante? Check. The execution of these archetypes is generally as precise as we've come to expect from the author and quite a few of them have some seriously evocative tricks. Now, at the same time, compared to Legendary Kineticists, they feel a bit less awe-inspiring. The arsenal summoner being the one archetype that really clicked with me. That being said, the exposed vigilante is gold. Still, in some of these hybrids, I felt like they could have used more unique features. Then again, both feat and social talents are pretty damn cool. The vigilante talent section, though, has been one I am not comfortable with and in my game, I'll probably disallow a lot here. Why? Well, from what I've heard, a lot of games tend to feature relatively static front-lines, where monsters and PCs trade full attacks. My home game is nothing like that and we have a lot of shifting front lines, movement, dynamic terrain and the like, which makes Spring Attack and Vital Strike significantly more powerful than in a game where trade full attacks is the default. I am cognizant that that is a peculiarity not shared among all tables, though I felt the need to mention that in such a context, the options here should get some careful GM oversight. Beyond these situationally slightly problematic ones, we also have a couple of options I consider too strong/power creep when compared to the options other classes receive.

I don't want to come off as overly negative and misrepresent this pdf, mind you. The matter of the fact remains that this has a great PrC and fills A LOT of rules-holes and allows for some seriously cool options. Vigilante players will certainly have a cool field day with this book and if you're looking for a way to play an all-vigilante group, this may very much deliver just that. (!!!) That alone will make this probably a must-own for many groups. Still, it feels a bit less mind-blowing and refined in some sections than what I've come to expect from N. Jolly's amazing offerings, which, ultimately, makes me settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Vigilantes
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Magitech Archetypes
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2017 18:45:58

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Magitech Archetypes is a sci-fi/fantasy fusion-themed book by Legendary Games. As all books by the publisher, this one includes amazing layout and art, but they are not only beautiful; they are handy for players because of the many electronic links it includes, so you get a lot of information interconnected.

What’s inside? 21 pages of content, which include:

-7 archetypes: Astrologers are mesmerist who study the stars, and exchange many of their tricks for star-flavored abilities, even creating miniature satellites to attack their foes or travel to and survive in another planet! Delvers are wizards who are very at home in the underground and, in exchange for their arcane bond, get many abilities useful in dungeons and ruins, and can also summon some underground creatures (ending with neothelids!). Engram channelers are spiritualists that summon not a restless phantom, but the encoded memory of a dead being that presents as a hologram; a flavorful and very strong class hack that gets away from the undead and becomes closer to technology; Nanotech infusers are sorcerers who replace several bloodline powers for some abilities that derive from your nanites, without overspecializing on robots or technology; while this archetype doesn’t replace your bloodline, it does replace many bloodline powers and I wonder if it couldn’t have worked better as an aberrant bloodline, but to be fair, some of the abilities are so strong that they replace bloodline powers AND feats! Necrotech masters are vile, unliving (construct or undead only) kineticist that focus on the vilest portion of the new machine element mixed with void; these guys aren’t that player oriented, but work wonders for enemy NPCs; Penumbral arcanists focus on darkness and shadow, gaining access to many appropriate spells and to some exclusive exploits and at the end of their careers they can create darkness so powerful that not even true seeing can penetrate, and only those that can see inside magical darkness will be able to see you; finally, Robot fighters are rangers who specialize at hunting constructs, especially robots, losing many nature-themed ability for more appropriate abilities.

-1 kineticist element: Machine, with a heavy focus on interacting with the technology rules, also work with metals and other constructs, with many abilities to enhance the user’s own body, and even others’! While many abilities work and interact with machines, I can see a technokineticist character built for campaigns without technology, robots and the like, but they shine and have wider options in games that include such. Later in the book we find an elemental saturation, a place of power, with a greater benefits on technokineticists.

-7 Feats: 4 of them are available only to necrotech masters, 2 of them interact with technology and grant a weird telepathy/hacking ability to interact with computers. The final feat gives you the ability to spontaneously summon junk golems of increasing potency. It is worth noting that this last feat is open to technokineticist (they can even ignore prerequisites), but they can’t use it as is since they can’t cast spells. I suppose the summons could have a burn cost but I can only wonder (unless they multiclass).

Of Note: Engram channelers are a roleplaying goldmine and a nice tool to have as a game master to give hints to the PCs. Robot fighters sound lame but are anything but, they are urban warrior that could work in steampunk campaigns. I was expecting lame bonuses to attack and damage, but believe me, these guys rock!

Anything wrong?: The astrologer mesmerist archetype is cool, but the abilities don’t mesh well with the base class flavor; I would have preferred the archetype for wizards or psychics. Delver wizards and penumbral arcanists are cool and flavorful, but also don’t really scream “magitech” to me. These three feel sci-fi but not magitech, which is a shame in a book called “Magitech Archetypes”. Also, no magus? No occultists? No summoner? These three classes would have rocked in a magitech campaign with an appropriate archetype. Maybe for the sequel? (wink wink)

What cool things did this inspire?: Necrotech master androids or, better yet, ghouls with class levels, could fuel an entire campaign of technofantasy horror. What about undead giants with class levels? Something like Attack on Titan meets Tetsuo? I would play/run that! I would also LOVE to play a samsaran engram channeler whose engram is his past life or past life’s love! (you seem strangely familiar). An android kinetic shinobi who uses the new element sounds too obvious but awesome at the same time. Also obvious but cool: a ghoran, elf or any sylvan race robot fighter in the same party as an android technokineticist would bring several roleplaying opportunities for intra-party interaction, or would be perfect as a good-aligned enemy for a techno-heavy party.

Do I recommend it? Yes! I have yet to be disappointed by a LG’s book, but I must say the title of the book is a little misleading. I rate this book with 4 ½ stars, rounded down for plain blend-y, magitech campaigns but rounded up for sci-fi meets fantasy campaigns.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Magitech Archetypes
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Legendary Kineticists II
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2017 17:57:11

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Legendary Kineticists II is a sequel for the critically acclaimed volume 1, by the same author and master of all things kinetics N.Jolly.

What’s inside? 30 pages of content, which include:

-8 archetypes: Bestial Kineticist for animal companions, which mean you artic druid can have a cold-breathing wolf, or a sky druid an air-blasting eagle etc. Metakinetic savants are kineticists who get different, more varied metakinesis ability, and a metakinetic buffer that has more points but are only usable for metakinetics. Nihilicists are weird, using the power of nothingness itself; their blasts dealing a new type of “nihil” damage; they lose any access to other elements and getting only universal talents, but are their own breed of awesome. Onslaught Blasters are multiple targeting kineticists, able to throw myriad of weaker blasts. Order of the scion is not really an archetype, but an order for the cavalier and samurai classes; they devote themselves to an element, gaining a minor blast ability, and enhance the power of certain powers and spells related to their element. Planar Custodians are druids whose devotion to an elemental plane becomes a blessing, in the form of kineticist abilities. Planestouched Oracles lose both their mystery and revelations in exchange for kineticist’s toys. Telekinetic bladeshifter are the true warriors among the kineticists, getting a full BAB and getting a normal Ref save; they control their blades with their mind!

-6 general infusions: Two manipulate water-related blasts to dehydrate their targets, two other counter spells, one affects them with the masochistic shadow spell and one makes blasts ricochet.

-13 wild talents: These include basic abilities for cold and electricity, while the others mostly focus beyond the basic 5 elements presented in OA.

-11 Feats: some of them focus on multiclass kineticists, while others enhance archetype’s abilities.

-4 Spells that interact with the burn mechanic, forcing it on targets, delaying its effects etc.

-1 Prestige Class: Kinetic Mystic, a 10 level “theurge” class that mingles kinetics with either arcane or psychic spellcasting.

-1 variant class: Legendary Kineticist sport many changes, but the biggest one is how burn affects the LK. They also get a special, temporary “battle burn” that instead of weakening the kineticist, weakens the ability it enhances. This class hack may sound too strong, but it is still ok when compared with what wizards or clerics can do.

-1 variant multiclassing for the kineticist, perfect for Avatar-like campaigns where everybody who is somebody does the kinetics.

-1 NPC: Trueno, Herald of the White Sky, an 8th level middle-aged female half-elf onslaught blaster legendary kineticist who focuses on wind and aether. Trueno has ties with Mindfang, another NPC from the previous Legendary Kineticists book. She is different in the sense that she LOOKS like she has been in some serious adventuring, sporting a missing arm and eye. As always with the author, the NPC can bestow a boon, but in this case it is a tad too strong for my tastes.

Of Note: The nihilicist archtype is awesome in concept, while the non-kineticist archetypes and options are perfect introductions for the kineticist system. The NPC looks like a true adventurer, with scars and even missing body parts to show it.

Anything wrong?: This book is not really about kineticists but about “kinetics”, their unique magic system. Many of the kineticists toys are used by many a class, which is good in my opinion. The only thing I’m missing is the class template for monsters. I would love an efreet fire kineticist, or a dryad wood kineticist… You get my drift. Also since there is an archetype for animal companions, why not familiars? Eidolons? Elemental eidolons with a kind of minor magic evolution but with kinetics.

What cool things did this inspire?: A dhampir or tiefling nihilist is too obvious to not try one. A sylph telekinetic bladeshifter makes my wuxia boil. And man, I really want a dwarven planar custodian druid with an earth badger.

Do I recommend it? If you really like the kineticist magic system, yes. If you just wanted more options for the kineticist, you might be disappointed. So, 4 stars if you wanted more Kineticist-only stuff, full five if you wanted more kinetics in your games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Kineticists II
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Legendary Hybrids: Yakuza
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2017 18:00:42

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Legendary Hybrids: Yakuza is Legendary Game’s hybrid for the Cavalier and Ninja classes. It includes a new base class with supporting material.

What’s inside? 19 pages of content, which include:

-Yakuza hybrid class: Yakuza get medium BAB and a d8 HD, with good Ref and Will saves and sporting a nice 6 skillpoints per level, with a vast enough class skill list to cover different roles. Their gang choice supposedly increases this, but no gang offers additional ones (not needed anyway). They get proficiency in all simple weapons and light armor, with a short list of martial and exotic weapons. Here I would have preferred the option for the game master or player to choose, or maybe that the weapons were dictated by their gang.

They start getting access to new game tech, in the form of contacts from Ultimate Campaign, which may or may not be from the same gang. The choice of gang is similar to how cavaliers become members of an order, with the option of changing gangs which is, in the case of a criminal organization, much more dangerous. Also like cavaliers, Yakuza get free teamwork feats that they can share with their allies. From their ninja class parentage, they get a charisma-based ki pool but with different, more appropriate benefits; they also gain sneak attack a slower rate than ninjas. Later they get access to ninja tricks, which is a good decision instead of making their own list of poached class talents and also increasing the options for yakuzas for every other ninja class book available!

Unique to the Yakuza, they treat “urban” as a ranger favored terrain; get tattoos which make them fearsome and fearless; are adept at dealing with black markets and get one of the new feats from this book for free; are better at flanking (which makes a lot of sense since they are going to deal with a lot of other classes with Uncanny Dodge); later, they become very good at using their ki to enhance poisons, drugs and alcohol. As master gamblers, they are better not only at that but at luck in general. As a cool capstone, age doesn’t affect them anymore and can even become “younger” using ki!

-5 Yakuza Gangs,which are formatted in a similar manner to cavalier orders, having edicts, situational bonuses to sneak attacks (similar to challenge bonuses), situational bonuses to skills, and three specific abilities gained at 2nd, 8th and 15th levels. These include the Black Rain, information specialists adept at metaphorical backstabbing; the Blood Tong, “honorable” loansharks who are devilishly able at making deals, getting mystical abilities to ensure getting their end of the deal; the Dragon Lords, loyal as Hell (or Nirvana?) and better at fighting with their gang brothers/sisters; the Jade Triad, terrorists supreme and masters of intimidation; and the White Tigers, which are the only gang that have abilities with one theme (pack hunting, immobilizing) while having a completely different outlook (gang above all), which is not a bad thing in itself.

-8 archetypes: the Absent Bansho is the solo Yakuza, who get the dual identity and other toys of vigilantes in exchange of all gang abilities, especially nice for adventurers. Flying Tigers are wuxia criminals who fight both unarmored and unarmed (well, mostly), getting many monkish abilities; this one is especially suited to characters who want to play a non-standard, un-sneaky, flashy criminal. Gun Runners fuel their poached gun-slinging abilities with ki, and lose their gang’s special techniques in favor of being better shots; sadly, they don’t get shot on the run for free (they are called Gun Runners after all). Junk Pirates are especially good at smuggling and fighting on board, and even gain a pet! This archetype changes a lot of the base class and sports one of the funniest names out there (junk being, you know, a type of old Asian vessel); Pack Rats are those funny rogues who have a pet trained for larceny; Serpent Chemists are the poisoners of the yakuza world, getting even mystical abilities to help them with making and administering drugs, poison and alcohol; Tatooed Ones get help from the magical tattoos they wear, getting the ability to summon illusionary allies, this one is cool but maybe too fantastic for some games. Triad Enforcers are strong at demoralizing, even denying morale bonuses and uses of resolve (a samurai ability), getting a resolve ability of their own.

-Favored Class Bonuses for the Core and Featured races

-3 Feats, including Black Market Dealings (you are able to buy more goods from a settlement when you get access to their underworld market), Mind Trick (which give charismatic characters an edge at finesse activities) and Overflowing Ki (perfect for any character with a Ki Pool).

-1 NPC: Shinsuke Tatsu, an 8th level human tattooed yakuza. This fellow has ties to another NPC from the book Legendary Villains: Vigilantes, who is the murderer of his lover. One thing I really liked is that the sex of the lover is left vague and Japanese names can sometimes be given to both sexes, so if you are OK with gay relationships in your games, you can go that route. If not, simply rule that the lover was female and end of the story. Unlike some other NPCs in the series, you can use Shinsuke just as he is as an emergency PC, story an all, since he has a reason to adventure!

Of Note: Wow, what is there not to like? All the gangs and archetypes are really flavorful and present many opportunities to play criminals. My favorite archetype being the Flying Tiger, Tatooed One and Triad Enforcer. They are just plain cool!

Anything wrong?: While I appreciate the Pack Rat, it is the weakest archetype, specially next to the Junk Pirate since both get a pet. It is, however, not a bad archetype. Also, as I mentioned under the class entry, the weapon proficiency is a missed opportunity. Finally, I would have appreciated an archetype that changed your ki pool for panache, grit or luck, especially for non-Asian campaigns. Maybe more archetype for other classes belonging to gangs, but that is beyond the scope of a brand-new class’ book.

What cool things did this inspire?: I was just planning on running a fantasy campaign in modern Mexico, and this class is perfect for some of the villains I had in mind, being Maras Salvatruchas (Google them if you dare, they are scary). Apart from that, I’m planning on adding to the gangs, with a Geisha-ish, female only sisterhood coming out of the top of my head.

Do I recommend it? Yes, especially for grittier, down-to-earth campaigns even in a fantasy context. The underworld can be a difficult topic to run for some gamers, while being pure gold for intrigue-heavy campaigns. Don’t get fooled by the Japanese name, Yakuza can just as easily represent triads, mafia, narcos, hashashin, and hooligans! The unique roleplaying opportunities separate this hybrid class from both of its parents, and in some cases being better representations of ninjas than, well, the ninja class. So, my veredict is 5 poisoned shuriken of death!

Trivia: The Yakuza have been part of D&D since the Old Oriental Adventures, where it was a bit different that your base thief. It had a ki power where you could halve any damage a few times per day (which suspiciously sounds like certain rogue talent). You could also be a ninja at the same time, since any human character of any class in the old OA could be a ninja (it was sort of a multiclass).

As someone native of a country with another type of glorified criminals (narcos), I really appreciate adventurers that are part of a “criminal” organization. These type of characters are humans, and they can represent some of the most complex characters out there. Recently, criminals started giving away free gasoline, which of course was stolen, to the common citizen, as a result of the government suddenly increasing the price. But then you cannot trust them, since they stole it in the first place so…



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Hybrids: Yakuza
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Legendary Planet: Dead Vault Descent (Pathfinder)
by James E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2017 13:56:28

Disclaimer: I backed the Kickstarter for the Legendary Planet Adventure Path and received a copy of this as part of that.

Dead Vault Descent is Part 3 of the Legendary Planet Adventure Path (not counting the prologue), and by this point, you probably have a pretty good idea of whether or not you want to keep playing it. That is, I'm honestly not sure my review here is going to sway you one way or the other... but I would like to briefly talk about the contents.

The previous adventure was something of a scavenger quest on a barren world, and like the other adventures in this campaign, Dead Vault Descent goes somewhere new - a tidally locked world where the sun hangs stationary in the sky and deep vaults burrow underground. Of course, in order to get there, the players are going to have to find a way through the next gate, and that's never as easy as they'd like... alas, I can't say much more because of spoilers.

Suffice it to say that Dead Vault Descent continues to maintain the level of quality we've come to expect from this Adventure Path, and there's plenty of content in addition to the material. From a nasty new construct swarm to what is definitely not a lightsaber (you can make ranged attacks with it, too!), there's a lot of good stuff to be found in this book and I'm looking forward to the point when my players reach it.

If you liked the previous adventures, know that this is a solid follow-up that will continue to challenge your players... and prepare them for the greater challenge to come.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Planet: Dead Vault Descent (Pathfinder)
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Legendary Villains: Vigilantes
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2017 08:36:53

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Legendary Villains: Vigilantes is Legendary Game’s antagonist entry for the Vigilante class, which first appeared in Ultimate Intrigue. Like all LGs products, this one has excellent electronic features (for the pdf), and awesome art! While this book has “Villains” in its name, very little content is restricted to evil characters, so you can play a standard or anti-hero.

What’s inside? 29 pages of content, which include: -8 archetypes: Alchemical scoundrels borrow a lot from alchemists, being able to do most things that an alchemist can (infusions, mutagens, bombs), but of course not as well and, unlike most hybrid-y archetypes, this one does NOT replace your specialization!; Consumed Vigilantes lose their dual identities and shy away from social talents, instead focusing on their other abilities; Dread Champions are the antipaladins of the vigilante world, which meshes extremely well with their dual identity ability; Fortune Thieves are cool, getting a luck pool that fills when opponents save against their hexes, and yes, that means they get some hex-like abilities from witches!; Plague Scions are truly vile, infecting opponents with a variety of diseases; Protean Prowlers also borrow cool toys, but not from a class, but from a “pet”, being able to evolve and morph like eidolons!; Shadow Savants can clone themselves using shadow stuff, making for a truly intriguing a sneaky opponent (or character); Symbiotic Slayers get a symbiote a-la-Venom, which make them not only the most innovative of the archetypes but also the one with the most potential! -10 New Villainous Social Talents, giving access to cool, evocative abilities that you may have seen somewhere. Some give you a bonus feat or two and some borrow abilities from other classes. Only 2 feel really villainous though. It is worth mentioning that one borrows abilities from the Legendary Assassins book by the same publisher, so unless you have that one… it is only one, though. My favorite here is Unbound Ethics, which is a goldmine of NPC building for a Game Master within a single talent! -36 Villainous Vigilante Talents, which again don’t feel like too villainous IMHO. Some give you one or two (sometimes 3!) feats, or abilities from other classes. Unlike the companion volume (Legendary Vigilantes), this offer more varied options. I found a glitch though, The Magic Killer talent refers to the Imperial Archetypes book, which I think it should refer to Asian Archetypes: Martial (another excellent book which I also reviewed). -20 Villainous Vigilante Feats, which like the talent sections, include more varied content than in the companion volume. Also, many feats here can be chosen by non-vigilantes! -1 Prestige Class: The Crimson Dreadnought is a short (5 levels) but cool PrC. BAMF, perfect as the right hand of another powerful villain. They are very hard to control or kill! They also give a slight Darth Vadder vibe! -Vigilante Variant Multiclass: This one is crazy good when taking into account the power of talents. It is also an excellent way of playing a Vigilante-light character using a non-standard character class. -3 Villainous Magical Items, with one being exclusive to characters with the Mystic Bolt class feature. The other two feel more villain-y to me, and they have a cool option to be better in the hands of characters with dual identities. There is a small edit glitch in the False Friend Gloves entry, saying “reach” instead of “each” in the pricing section. -1 NPC Villain: Kareena Ratika/Red Love, a Symbiotic Slayer vigilante who has ties with the NPC found in the companion volume. The build is nice, going as far as having a sound escape plan. You can see the character depicted on the cover, giving her a nice Carnage (from Marvel comics) vibe. As is the author’s tradition, this NPC includes a nice backstory and a boon!

Of Note: This book has a lot going on for it. It gives not only Game Masters but also players a vast amount of content, increasing the type of vigilantes they can make. The archetypes, while some being hybrid-y, are very flavorful. The vigilante class feels very “Gestalt” as it is, so adding other classes to the mix is genius! This is particularly true for the variant multi-classing rules!

Anything wrong?: Some of the borrowing talents make you better than the original class, which can be an issue if a vigilante uses one talent to gain 3 feats worth of abilities with just one talent while another party member has to spend all three feat slots. Also, while not exactly a “wrong” aspect of the book, few of the options in the book are vile and villainous, which one may hope to find inside this product line.

What cool things did this inspire?: A hobgoblin samurai crimson dreadnought as the sub-boss (or accompanying the main boss) of a military invasion by hobs. A dread (from Ultimate Psionics by Dream Scarred Press) with the variant vigilante multiclass, having a Scarecrow (from Batman comics) as the inspiration. A jackal-headed (or vulture, or both) rakshasa with the plague scion archetype as a high-level adversary in one of the campaigns I am planning.

Do I recommend it? Yeah! In fact, this book is so stacked with content that I would recommend it over the companion volume if you can only afford one. 5 full ninja stars!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Villains: Vigilantes
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Aethera Campaign Setting
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2017 20:06:58

Really love this book. Puts a whole new spin on the Pathfinder setting throwing it headlong into space. Not just a supplement, this massive effort redesigns the system from orcs and elves to flying through the stars, blasting at spaceships. Only been through the first few chapters, 500+ pages in it, but so far the story and balacing have been amazingly well handled. If you have any love for Pathfinder and Sci-Fi then this is for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Aethera Campaign Setting
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Legendary Vigilantes
by Vladimir C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2017 16:06:25

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

Legendary Vigilantes is Legendary Game’s entry for the Vigilante class, which first appeared in Ultimate Intrigue. Like all LGs products, this one has excellent electronic features (for the pdf), and awesome art!

What’s inside? 27 pages of content, which include:

-9 archetypes: Arsenal Summoners call a sentient magical weapon called an Anima; Beast Born get an animal companion and can transform into animals; Dynamic Strikers are powerful martial artists and come in two flavors, the offense-oriented brawlers and the precision-specialized technicians, with access to many monk toys; Exposed Vigilantes lost their dual identities, instead honing their skills while being barred from talents that depend on having dual identities; Focused Hunters replace the power of a Vigilante’s appearance for the ability to focus on chosen terrains; Masked Grapplers are luchadors who focus on grappling techniques, be them submissions or techniques; Noble Souls also come in two flavors, Crusaders and Healers, and both of them borrow toys from paladins, even spellcasting; Outrageous Lyricists also steal toys from another class, this time the bard, with awesome visuals and flavorful abilities; Sentai Soldiers again steal toys from another class, kineticist this time. -8 New Social Talents, half of them giving specific interaction abilities, and the other half letting the Vigilante get a bonus feat or borrow a pre-existing class ability. -27 Vigilante Talents, many of them giving a bonus feat (sometimes more), and others depending on the vital strike feat to work. -11 Feats, with most of them being specific to Vigilantes. There is a specific feat line that gives you vigilante toys. -5 Magical Items, good for Vigilantes but not exclusive. 2 are good for unarmed combatants. -1 Prestige Class: Scion of the City. Think Batman and Gotham, these Vigilantes get especially good in their city. -1 NPC: Rashid Zill/Dark Star, a 10 level tiefling sentai soldier vigilante focused on void. This NPC has ties with the companion volume to this, Legendary Villains: Vigilantes. As is the author’s tradition, this NPC includes a nice backstory and a boon!

Of Note: Each of the archetypes include unique, exclusive talents, and every one of them, with the notable exception of the Exposed Vigilante, is based on being a hybrid. This is not to say they are bland because they borrow toys from other classes; quite the contrary, they offer players and game masters the option of playing with the newest class’ flair using their favorite class’ toys. In my case, my favorite are the Dynamic Striker and the Masked Grappler, which both reaching my interests in martial arts.

Anything wrong?: Some archetypes don’t feel like they need the dual identity. However, if you like the ability chassis of the archetype but don’t want to deal with dual identities, just take the Exposed Vigilante and forget about it. Also, there is a clear narrow focus on the talents (both social and vigilante) and feats.

What cool things did this inspire?: Well, I know I’m going to make a vanara-trained human vigilante with the Dynamic Striker archetype, focusing on technique and calling himself “The Mad Monkey”, plus an Outrageous Lyricist aasimar who calls himself “Val Hallen” ;)

Do I recommend it? Yes if you like the Vigilante but you can’t build the concept you want, or you want to expand the options for your Vigilante players or NPCs, or better yet, you want to run a full medieval Avengers-like Vigilante only campaign! Even with the (IMHO) small flaws, you get a lot from this book, so 4 and a half, rounded up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Vigilantes
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Legendary Kineticists II
by Andrew D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2017 11:09:49

The elements move in mysterious ways.

I'll begin by saying I was provided a review Copy for this.

Here we are, Legendary Kineticists 2. Is the ride coming to an end? well... If it truly is, this is leaving with a decent bang, ill tell you that. Although, I think the sentiment from me on this is "not what I was expecting." Lets see what we have here.

Bestial Kineticist- Right off the bat, something I didn't expect.This is new animal companion archetype! Your animal companion is infused with a level of kineticist energy and can trade tricks for limited access to wild talents and infusions. It can also enact blasts on it's own, and even pass you it's blast for use- plus if you and it own the same element of blast, it can tag-team blasts with you. I find this archetype pretty interesting. That cats a Dynamo!

Metakinetic Savant- Hrm... you can modify and manipulate metakinesis by way of using metamagics at an improved degree, including improving your internal buffer specifically to use it - it has a helpful list of what the blasts you can manipulate count as and what you can't take using this archetype. it can be taken so long as not EVERY metakinesis is replaced by another archetype, and metakinetic master or internal buffer aren't modified. not my style at all, but credit where due.

Nihilicist- Now this is an intriguing one. This one denies the use of ANY established element (if you willingly do, you lose access to this), and must be within two steps of neutral to stay in "class". In exchange you get a notable blast pair- empty and Zero, which do Nihil damage. You can fire both blasts as physical or mental, and they come with their own selection of infusions to choose, but you only get universal wild talents to pick from. Nihil Damage is nonlethal damage that can't be ignored- if you take to much of it you become outright disintegrated. Intriguingly you can convert nihil damage from nonlethal to lethal in a few ways, which allows you to turn it into a condition you can inflict based on damage dealt (wow, reminded of healing hands...), and some of these are killer effects. Defensively they can convert lethal damage taken to nonlethal, eventually become untraceable, even disappearing from peoples minds. The finale is two fold. You can do far more pain with Nihil conversion for statuses, but if you want, you can go out with a... shall we say Annihilation- tier bang. Just make sure your affairs are in order- nobody else will remember them.

Onslaught Blaster- OOH HOO HOO, I was waiting for this one. This is one of my favorite Kineticist variants, and one of the two reasons I wanted this product. It changes up the gameplay by adjusting how the blast works- instead of one big shot based on your level, you can splinter it into many smaller ones with some caveats- or essentially pool them all back up into one. damage takes some adjustments, and ill admit my brain wishes some of the additional damage written into some of these abilities stack across the board, but I know better. if you play kineticist for its ranged damage component over its melee variants, and no other archetype intrigues you, this one has some great applications for spreading debuff centric infusions around at the least. plus its the missile spam Kineticist- what's not to love about this, assuming you can take the cost?

Order of the Scion- This is a Cavalier order that turns them somewhat into Kineticists- or more apt, Knights of the elemental balance. You get a kinetic whip simple blast as a level 1 kineticist that can function as a lance on charge, you get elemental defense and an odd variant of elemental overflow. But you have to strive for elemental balance, do an 1 hour ritual each day to maintain your powers, and your challenge is limited in effectiveness by what element you chose... ill just say this isn't for me. but I DID see an opening in my Knights of Flame.

Planar Custodian- First off, love the art around this class. second of all, PARTIALLY KINETIC DRUIDS. Storm Earth and Fire, heed my call? No, not sorry- couldnt resist. This pulls power from the druid shell to add Kineticist elements into it- Bestial kineticist animal companion, a kinetic blast, some infusions, Element defenses... but to get the full effects your druid elements tinge to a specific set of element focuses and there are some as I see it major tradeoffs. I like the feel, but I don't know how many would use it, and there's things I just wouldn't give up to have this.

Planetouched Oracle- Hrm. A simple modification to the Oracle in my eyes, but a partially kinetic Oracle is the result. however, much like the Planar Custodian I do not know if this would be worth the trade off, which I see as even bigger. You trade mysteries and revelations for an element focus, a simple blast and a progression of infusions and wild talents- plus a method of reducing infusion cost and some blast modifications as you progress. I'm lost on this one- with so many kinetic elements combined with the number of mysteries and revelations, this adds a LOT of potential options overall but the stipulations involved just have me going no from what I know about oracles. But it is a functional Kineticist/Oracle hybrid, and if your looking for more "all-day" capability, it can provide a thing or two.

Telekinetic Bladeshifter- So we have an Aether Full BAB Kineticist archetype that can turn items they effect with telekinetic blast into a chosen one light melee, one handed melee, or thrown weapons, dealing damage with it as a Warpriest Sacred Weapon. In exchange, other Kinetic blasts are WAY weaker than normal, and you get no form infusions. From there they progress down a fighters route, using burn and elemental overflow to modify weaponry and shields, trading talents for bonus feats if you wish to, and progressing into two handed, dual wielding, blade and board, or throwing style. it's.. pretty cool, but it's specialized element comes into it's own a bit to late for my taste, and it's not the only class sharing this kind of space nowadays- but it is the Kineticist Fighter, and it appears to do that job pretty well.

Kineticist Talents- Some new stuff to play with here. In infusions my favorites are Water dehydration blasts, and the ability to ricochet blasts- though counterspellers will love some of these. My picks from wild talents include modifications to chain and ricochet infusions, the ability to specialize in electricity or ice blasts, Wood gets a variant of Shillelagh with some new tricks, and mind gets some new tricks (YES!, more for mind!) including wiping memories and access (along with Aether) to the oddity of Life after Undeath, which lets you become a positive energy undead if you were undead and human shaped! Oh, and also Void Kineticists can become Liches. figured id bring that up. However, i spy a reprint- improved Celerity is here from LK 1. an awesome one to reprint, but it wasn't helpfully marked at such or anything.

Kineticist feats- YUM. Some of these could be great for multiclassing, like using burn in place of Ki pools, for example. Theres some stuff in here for Dark Elementalists, but also Bestial Companion users- those with metakinesis can teach their bestial kineticists metakinesis as well, for example. But my love is the classic efficiency stuff. Enhanced Composite Boost is sweet for those who use the Boost series- it allows you to add the substance infusions of that type to the usable list with a blast you apply the boost to. Though the example is apparently illegal, oopsie! Still works with a different type of simple blast though! I'm a bit to into single elements mentally to spot them all, but there's potential here. Kinetic Disruption means you can kinetic counter ANY evocation (if mental) or Conjuration (creation) if physical- spell on top what you already could counterspell. This lets you mess with some parades. plus there's a bit more for certain other elements. but anyone who likes the Onslaught Blaster will NEED this one- Kinetic Railgun. It seems to function as the Onslaught Blasters rendition of Kinetic Acceleration from KOP 3, with a bit of difference involved. Color me a haste junky if you like but- GIMMMMMEE!

Kinetic Spells- ...Eww. Here we have spells that inflict burn on enemies, can turn burn into lethal damage, and one spell that lets you suppress the negative effects of burn in a buff form for a time. my favorite one is Burning Prohibition. once applied it forces will saves based on what you try to do and if it was prohibited by the caster. Succeed? Eat a burn. Fail? Eat a burn and waste the action. it's also a permanent duration. it's nice, but personally? I'm just not a fan of this section otherwise. this feels to me like an anti-kineticist section- and as someone who doesn't care for casting usually, and likes Kineticists not exactly what I signed up for!

Kinetic Mystic- Speaking of unexpected things. But to be fair, the books got more than a few, a arcane/psychic and kineticist prestige class. I remember this kind of thing and it's nice to see something like it again. while you miss out on some levels of spellcasting progression here, you do count as the class you got the kinetic blast you need this prestige from for all features EXCEPT spells. in play.. okay, I JUST professed I don't care for casting very much, but this is COOL. you start breaking down the lines between magic and kineticism, turning the blasts into functional touch spells (OH MAGUS!) and being able to stick blasts as the vector for hitting with casted touch spells, which progresses as you do. the capstone is intriguing as well- you can accept a certain amount of burn to cast spells, but you can reduce burn costs a few ways, AND you can sack spell slots in order to make a kinetic blast precanned in that slot that uses that much burn (with some limitations, not including specialization reductions, sadly). This is one neat capstone to me. Id like to give this one a shot someday, and perhaps I will... one thing though, there's an issue in my copy. The fraction is missing at the end in Kinetic Conduit. Based on the list, it takes some time before you can use your kinetic blast fully in this set up- it begins in fractions of 1/5th, but the text seems to have an error here.

Legendary Kineticist- The OTHER thing I wanted this book for. This is a redone kineticist that in my opinion was sorely needed. So, what's new? Well so far as I can tell, Wild Talents now autoscale in DC (YES!). Burn is changed from nonlethal damage to a penalty on all STR and DEX ability and skill checks except for Initative (well, im not half-killin' myself normally, but...). Gather power needs only one hand now. Metakinesis Maximize is gone and Metakinesis Persistent is in it's place (yay, personally!). Internal Buffer is a level earlier and naturally fills up (no more "well, ill light myself up before i go to bed for internal buffer anymore!, GOOD!). Expanded element kicks in a level earlier each, you still normally get a utility talent choice then as normal and you still get an infusion choice at its old level, PLUS YOU NO LONGER SUFFER THE PENALTY FOR THE EXPANDE- okay look. about the only negatives to this are loss of maximize, the skill burn (if that bothers you more then nonlethal damage), and expanded element chosen for the same element does NOT let you take an extra wild talent. It only allows infusions (SHAKES FIST). There's other class changes I didn't mention, one of which is a SWEEET buff, and the old Extra wild talent feat is also listed here, and changed to fit in with this kineticist. If your worried about archetypes not matching, there's even a piece here about helping them fit. anything replacing Metakinesis Maximize eats the Persist. adjust down the levels of expanded element and internal buffer. and War Kineticist from LK 1? STACKS. this solves a lot of those concerns, and this is my Kineticist +1 as a consequence. If you are allowed to use it, JUST DO IT. you will be glad you did.

Lastly there's a Kineticist VMC (I do not use this system, so i cannot begin to comment- but i don't care for it at a glance) and there's a sample Onslaught Blaster, who ill say I enjoy the theme of- they use a combination of air and Aether that puts both to good use.

I spied a few issues with the writing in this book- the missed fraction in the Kinetic Mystic for example, another being the lack of bolding on the Metakinesis ability in the Legendary Kineticist. not enough to take away much for me, but... still worth pointing out.

My thoughts overall on this book? well, some of it either really intrigues me (Nihilicist, Kinetic Mystic), or blows me away (Onslaught Blaster, Legendary Kineticist). Everything in here appears to work just fine as written, but a good bit of it does nothing for me at all. The last LK book had me dancing in glee by comparison. but then again, I got Bob Ross and Adagio Dazzle-esc Kineticists out of it- the arts in combat are things I ALWAYS want more of. a lot of this book feels more like an expression of the kinetic elements on the world at large, rather than the kineticists themselves- after all, 4 of the archetypes in this book aren't for the base kineticist, Kinetic Mystic is a hybrid prestige, and there's the spells. in that context it is a good book, but as a dedicated Kineticist player book, is it still worth it?

Yes. because this book still provides more kineticists abilities and feats, 4 good Kineticist archetypes that is bound to at least intrigue someone, and an amazing quality of life increase to a class that I feel could use it in the Legendary Kineticist. if this is the end, it came around pretty good, back to where it all started. It didn't light the fire under me like the last book, but it's STILL one worth picking up.

See you on the other side, folks. I have some kineticist sizing up t'do. got a Lucha Libre wrestler Gestalt to make, and some of the stuff in this book reminds me of ideas...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Kineticists II
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Mythic Magic: Intrigue Spells
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/23/2017 05:21:20

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Mythic Magic-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let's take a look at this book!

So, at this point, you probably are familiar with what these books by now - if not, the pitch is simple: We get mythic versions of all spells contained in Ultimate Intrigue and thus, we begin with an alphabetic list of the spells featured within this book. However, there is an important paradigm shift in this book, courtesy of the changed design paradigm Paizo introduced back in Occult Adventures and continued in Ultimate Intrigue. You see, the adaptations of spells in earlier hardcovers have been somewhat different in tone and focus; numerical bonuses and damage types, as a whole, obviously lend themselves to an adaptation to mythic adventure contexts based on numerical escalation; you get the idea - expend mythic power for x, use mythic surge in conjunction with it for y.

That type of design simply does not gel too well with Ultimate Intrigue's spell selection. What do I mean by this? well, the first spell already makes this clear: Mythic absolution allows you to retain specific charms and compulsions, while still allowing for code of conduct violation rerolls, with the 4th tier augment allowing for the expenditure of 2 uses of mythic power, with better saves for the target. Similarly, aerial tracks augment options allows you to automatically succeed Survival checks of DC 40 or below if you power it via mythic power. Aphasia can bypass tongues and may be upgraded to behave basically like a curse, audiovisual hallucinations actually react appropriately towards damage inflicted and may receive more complex instructions.

Mass Charm Person is harder to detect when used in its mythic iteration, while codespeak significantly increases its duration - amazing: The mythic version actually PERMANENTLY teaches to read and understand the code...which is amazing for complex spy-games. Similarly, making a conditional curse hereditary represents an amazing augment and conjuration foil's mythic iteration may represent a numerical upgrade, but also includes a variety of tactical options. The crime spells allow for multiple rolls and the caster's choice of the result taken. Dark whispers affects up to two creatures per tier beyond line of sight/effect and may even imitate voices. Deadman's contingency's upgrade allows you to actually layer several of them upon each other. False Belief allows for the implantation of fake memories, while e.g. handy grapnel is indeed a full-blown Batman-level super-grapnel. Cool: Hollow Heroism is incorrectly identified by probing magic as mythic heroism, while illusion of treachery allows for a significantly increased control.

Casters of majestic image may employ other spells in conjunction with the spell and phantasmal affliction may impose curse, poison or wasting-like benefits. Rumormonger also gets an amazing upgrade, providing basically a rumor-web, which can really make high-powered investigations provide a whole new assortment of options -same goes for trace teleport....and treacherous teleport.

Now there are also a couple of different spells that do not go this way - true prognostication, for example, has a higher maximum chance of success and does not have a cost. Undetectable Trap continues until the next time the trap is triggered, while also increasing the DC to notice the trap...and no automatic detection chances for anyone. Vicarious view has a longer duration and may be used in conjunction with senses of a spell level lower than your tier. So yes, there are a couple of diverse spells that are a little bit less extensive in their options.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to legendary Games' two-column full-color standard and the pdf features several nice full-color artworks, though fans of Legendary Games will probably be familiar with several of them. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with extensive bookmarks for your convenience.

Alex Riggs and David N. Ross went above and beyond in this mythic magic-installment: The spells and their effects have been seriously expanded, allowing for a wide variety of brilliant gambits to stack upon another. In fact, this is probably the best Mythic Magic-installment so far. Why am I saying this? Simple: This book has managed what no other Mythic Magic book made me want to do: Play a very specific game. As some of you may know, I'm a huge fan of Batman, Death Note and similar battle of wits type of scenarios and this pdf's spells allow for the truly epic battling of magical wits: The spells in the base book already had this Batman/Sherlock detective-battle-of-wits type of vibe, but once you add this book's vastly expanded options to the fray, things become amazing, allowing the PCs and villains to pit complex gambits against one another...and boy, do I love that! I really want to make a truly intrigue-heavy game with these!

Expertly crafted, this installment is absolutely inspired and allows the GM and players to engage in a whole new level of deception, subterfuge and style. This is an amazing, diverse and extremely well-made pdf, well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Magic: Intrigue Spells
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Mythic Monsters #40: North America
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/21/2017 05:49:02

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Legendary Games' critically-acclaimed Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 23 pages of jam-packed content, so let's take a look!

We, surprisingly, begin this pdf with supplemental material that is not only useful for mythic contexts per se - the pdf introduces Scrimshaw items as an item-class, with a respective feat to fashion these (though it oddly does not have the Item Creation descriptor, but that just as a nitpicky aside) - scrimshaw magic items, though, are rather fragile - and this fragility is a central focus of the respective items introduced: E.g. a knife that returns those slain with it as undead servitors, which is balanced via the chance of splintering. The pendant of life sense can help communicating, but excess damage to the target depicted in the pendant can result in a collapse. Whalebone Helms can emit thundering cones and emit high-pitched cries that allow for long-range communications...I like this general item-class and the guidance provided for the GM is nice. The class certainly has some serious potential for e.g. an ice age-themed game.

Beyond these items, the pdf obviously also contains a selection of creatures - the CR 16/MR 6 version of the Akhlut can instantly generate devastating storms and add devastating takedowns of the assaults...and it also learns to perform truly devastating smashing assaults and fly during storms...oh, and they become gargantuan. A true classic would also be the CR 10/MR 4 Jersey Devil - this being receives an AoO as a result to mythic power expenditures and may even expend mythic power to assault foes...and it actually gains temporary mythic power when targeted by an appropriate hit. Adding a curse-debuff to the breath...and the version may combine the breath via trampling for ghost rider-style running over...oh, and it finally is as hard to kill as befitting of the legend.

The CR 7/MR 3 mythic hodag not only gains better ambush predator tricks and may execute devastating attacks from below...and these guys are incredibly hard to hunt down, making for deadly hunters. The mythic ijiraq at CR 11/MR 4 may banish foes affected by the disorienting gaze into the plane of shadows and the constantly blurred form adds a significant defense upgrade to the critter. Nice one!

At the highest echelons, the mythic manitou receives a CR 18/MR 7 incarnation that has a powerful domain of guarded lands and also sports a powerful aura of karmic retribution aura, which can negate the defenses of foes foolish enough to attack him...oh, and he may possess foes! Beyond this, powerful clouds of steam and an improved spirit stampede and a mythic power expanded token of fortune is pretty intriguing. (Oh, and the Mythic Awesome Blow feat is reprinted here for your convenience!) So yeah, a great one!

The pdf's next critter would be the CR 9/MR 4 qallupilluk, who gains grasping claws, seriously powerful additional options when the creature hits multiple times with its claws, and may tunelessly hum to lead its victims astray as well as employ with deadly hexes. There is yet another critter - the sasquatch, at CR 3/MR 1 receives the blurred form trick and also receives a particularly nasty stench. At CR 4/MR 1, the snallygaster receives a horrific shriek...and once again, the mythic Flyby Attack feat, used in the build, is included here.

The most American of critters in iconography would perhaps be the thunderbird at CR 13/MR 5 - these beings may not only absorb lightning, they can actually assume lightning form, a reflexive electrified body and is particularly effective in combat versus serpentfolk and similar reptilian threats. And yes, the mythic version can use mythic power to greatly enhance the signature storm aura...and I should also note the ability to fire whole salvos of thunderbolts! Amazing! The tupilaq's mythic version, at CR 8/MR 3, can have spells inscribed upon it and with blood of a victim, can become a deadly, unrelenting bloodhound - and yes, these base creature abilities become even more potent in the mythic version, supplemented by better physical power and feats. Nice representation of a construct being created to fulfill certain functions.

The wakandagi, at CR 17/MR 7, is surrounded by an aura of toxin-cancelling purity and may counter the first attack each round, form the weather and utterly obliterate ships...so a massive upgrade for the base creature, which always felt a bit limited to me - big, big kudos! (Mythic Multiattack is reprinted here as well, as it is used in the build!) One of the most epic builds in the whole series is next - and it better should be: The wendigo has been done often in various iterations, but the CR 21/MR 8-version herein is a true beauty of utter, deadly destruction - exceedingly fact, with the option to instill wendigo psychosis via nightmares, and absolutely phenomenal evasion tricks, these guys can actually stand before high-level mythic PCs - wreck them; hit and run; drain mythic power - the signature abilities span two pages on their own, making this build a glorious story-foe and villain.

The CR 5/MR 2 wikkawak gains mythic power from making creatures frightened and, on crits, these guys can take mementos from crited foes, which thereafter make the creature more deadly against the being in question. Oh, and thuggery is enhanced as well!

The new creature herein, lavishly rendered in full color, would be the CR 6/MR 2 Giiwedin, an incorporeal undead with the air and cold subtypes - these beings can possess others, wracking them with spellblights and hampering the healing options of the character in question...and those slain return as frost wights. Spirits of those slain in the frozen tundra, these hunters are delightfully deadly, if not absolutely mind-boggling in their options, but their strong and evocative theme makes sure I'll certainly use them in my adaptation of LotFP's excellent "Weird New World".

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports pretty amazing original pieces of artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

The mythic monsters featured herein, penned by the veteran hands of Jason Nelson and Alex Riggs, count among their number some of the coolest critters in the series...and indeed, not one of the conversions has disappointed me with its tricks; they build expertly upon the mythological foundation of the respective creatures. The mechanics are similarly excellent and manitou and wendigo alone may well be worth getting this file on their own. In short - this is an excellent addition to the Mythic Monsters-series and thus receives my highest accolades at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitegist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters #40: North America
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Mythic Monsters #39: Slavic
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/20/2017 05:32:29

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Legendary Games' critically-acclaimed Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 30 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 19 pages of jam-packed content, so let's take a look!

We begin this pdf in the most flavorful of ways - with a nice short story, a fairy tale if you will - the "Bear with Steel Fur", a great little story that established the mood for the pdf...and could frankly yield quite a lot of inspiration in particularly for fans of Kobold Press' Midgard or similarly more Slavic/Germanic environments. Thus, in the proper mindset, we are introduced to the diverse mythic creatures found within, beginning our journey with the mythic Bagiennik (CR 7/MR 3), whose nasal spray is upgraded to also allow for the dousing of those slain to return them back to life via the expenditure of mythic power...oh, and they can emit a cloud of total concealment-granting murk. Nice one!

At the lowest CR/MR-spectrum (CR 1/MR 1), the Etiainen is greatly expanded - while the nice artwork used previously for a unique creature in the series is a rehash, the critter more than makes up for this: You see, they may not only expend mythic power to assume Tiny or Large sizes, they also do not perish when fading, thwart detection and can stack its memory drain - making completely new angles possible. Great example of low-level mythic critter-design! On the other end of the CR-range, at a mighty CR 18/MR 7, the gorynych may emit a fascinating haze, its breath weapons are also modified in their cooldown mechanics and may be enhanced with mythic power, adding some serious tactics to breath weapon use. Oh, and know what's worse? If you manage to slay this monstrosity, it discorporates in flame and death...and reassembles, hurt, but very much in fighting shape, with different defensive properties. Round 2 of the boss fight. NICE!

The famous domovoi at CR 4/MR 1 actually represents the spirit so much better with clean sweep - a telekinetic-style option to AoE clean/repair...and move foes. Add to that the option to assume the shape of a revered ancestor and we have a definite winner on our hands that feels truly magical. At one CR and MR more, the Dvorovoi similarly have been brought closer to the real world's tales - they enhance the growth of nearby plants, but once their ire is roused, they can utterly ruin a farmer's life with their magics and curse. At CR 3 and MR 1, the ovinnik would be another house spirit whose mythic upgrade receives unique tricks - namely a menacing bark to scare away intruders and fires started by them may warp the perception of creatures and allow for clairvoyance/audience tricks. I love all of these house spirits.

The CR 6/MR 2 kikimora receives a greatly empowered hidey hole that allows for some additional tactics; beyond that, they can enter the dreams of the sleeping, causing nightmares and also gaining bonuses versus those afflicted...and they can employ flaxen traps and spin it so quick, it can help them get away, making them a far deadlier adversary. Another classic that is often used would be the Rusalka, whose mythic version clocks in at CR 15/MR 6 and may maintain the beckoning call; beyond that, they can emit a shriek that can force others to attack a designated foe...and if you do not heed the ruslka's call, you suffer. Their powers to enslave nonmythic creatures are horrid, they can attack with their tresses of hair and in water, they receive a serious defense upgrade, making them an appropriately formidable, dare I say "mythic" foe. Kudos indeed!

Compared to these guys, the CR 3/MR 1 upgrade of the tatzlwyrm is a bit less impressive - mythic power expenditure for conical poison or free action breath...okay, I guess, but not too exciting. At CR 8/MR 3, the air veela's mythic version can draw the air forth from nearby creatures and gets a mythic power-based immediate action defensive power that ensures she does not go down quickly. The vodyanoi, at CR 6/MR 2, may summon water into the lungs of its victims and imprison the souls of its victims, drawing strength from them - this critter is basically an adventure plot in one statblock and a glorious representation of the creature's mythological tropes. Two thumbs up! At CR 4/MR 1m the vukodlak has a steal breath ability...which is unfortunately missing a part of its text and thus does not really work in a pretty glaring glitch.

The pdf also includes a new creature with a glorious full-color artwork would be the stalimedved - the eponymous, CR 21/MR 8 steely bears - gargantuan engines of destruction, whose flaming breath lingers; the creature can not only perform devastating physical attacks, its massive stomps can really wreck formations and structures. The quills are lethal as well and the sweeping claw attacks can hit multiple foes. All in all, a glorious, massive monstrosity.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, with the glaring exception of the cut-off steal breath ability. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports a blend of classic full-color artwork and the amazing new artwork for the stalimedved. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Victoria Jaczko knocks this one right out of the stadium, if you want to engage in a Baseball-metaphor: The creatures herein and their respective upgrades represent amazing variations of the classic critters and bespeak a love for the mythology that inspired them - apart from the unfortunately cut off ability and the slightly less interesting tatzlwyrm, the pdf's critters are absolutely amazing, rendering this a very worthwhile addition to the series. While not perfect, it represents an inspired collection of critters and thus, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars, just short of my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters #39: Slavic
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Asian Archetypes: Magical
by Thomas P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2017 21:44:35

Solid Set up. Full of lore and some good stuff to be had.

They could have added a few strong mechanic archetypes for classes that could use an eastern mechanic boost.

Pros: Flavor, themetical correct, covers a lot of classes.

Cons: light on mechanic boosts. Sometimes the rule of cool isn't enough for a GM.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Asian Archetypes: Magical
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