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Starfarer's Codex: Multiclass ThemeTypes
by Kevin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2018 03:59:29

OK, I purchased this product and to be bluntly honest, I am a little underwhelmed. First off, if you take this option for your character you lose the bonus attribute point that a theme gives you. Second, your primary character class is crippled for not much in return. This isn't the fault of the concepts in this book, but an overall function of the Starfinder Archtypes just being very subpar.

The Mechanic Themetype is nice, but really should not count as an archtype. Not enough bang for the buck.

The Mystic and the Technomancer Themetype seem a little more balanced, but honestly, If you really need to take some spells from the other spell caster list, take Mystic Dabbler (or Technomagic Dabbler) Feat at 5th level. When you get to 20th level you have 2 Cantrips and 6 times a day you have a 1st level spell. and you still have ALL of your main class spell and special abilities.

The Operative Themetype doesn't have the one ability that you would want to dip into Operative for... Evasion.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer's Codex: Multiclass ThemeTypes
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Starfarer's Codex: Toonimancy
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2018 06:05:54

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Starfarer’s Codex-series clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, the introduction specifies that technomancers can access magic tied t more than physical technology, mentioning search engines (digimancy), dubthurgy and spamorcery. Damn, now I really want a spamorcery-specialist! Anyways, younger technomancers (and those nerdy/young at heart) enjoy toonimancy, drawing upon concepts popularized by cartoons. This write up also mentions the Tooninomicon. It often comes in physical versions and contains this warning, in dozens of languages: “Warning! You are not B. Bunny!” Oh yeah? Yeah!

Anyways, we get a brief list that codifies spells by levels, just before we get the spells themselves. Anvil has a Medium range and comes in 6 versions – one for each spell level, and it targets a single creature or object, dropping an…anvil on them. Or, you know, pianos, safes, etc. Comparing the respective damage values with Starfinder’s spells, I have no complaints here. Ban hammer also comes in a version for level 1 – 6, and generates a massive, two-handed hammer with “BAN” written on it. It is massive, unwieldy, and critical hit effects as well as special weapon properties make sense. You btw. attack with caster level + key ability score. You may choose to end the ban hammer upon hitting a target – if you do, the target must save or be forced to move away from you. I’d love to have that IRL sometimes…

Boomspittle is a 5th level spell that may only be cast as a reaction while being an the area of a multiple-squares-targeting weapon attack that fails to hit you, or against which you successfully save. You inhale the weapon effect, and may then blow forth a harmless puff of smoke, or exhale the weapon’s blast! Heck yeah!! Control argument is a 1st level spell and makes the target disagree with everything you say. This made me smile so widely… The 3rd level spell coyote curse makes it impossible for the target to use technological or hybrid weapons, vehicles or equipment, including armor upgrades, but nor armor, without taking an extra move action to fix an annoying difficulty, a bizarre slip. I love this spell. I’m spo going to use its effects as a really brutal high-level terrain hazard!

Finger in the Muzzle is a 1st level spell that may only be cast as a reaction while adjacent to a target firing a ranged weapon. You put the finger in the muzzle. The target saves, and on a failure, for some backfire shenanigans. Neat! Flat foot is 2nd level and smashes a foe taking bludgeoning damage comically flat, making them…flat-footed. That is so funny on a meta-level, I actually laughed. Passpaint is a 4th level spell that lets you paint a gate in the time-honored tradition. Really neat. Shave-and-a-hair-cut forces targets to make a Will save or loudly proclaim “two bits” as a result of your knocks and take a move action or guarded step towards you – interesting 1st level spell. Theme music lets you hear your own theme music, inaudible to anyone else. This penalizes Perception…but it makes you automatically aware of danger – the music changes! It also can allow you to get a hunch of a given situation.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no hiccups on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games’ two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports fitting, cartoon-y artworks. The pdf does come with basic bookmarks, in spite of the brevity.

Owen K.C. Stephens’ toonimancy is amazing. The spells are genuinely funny, immaculately balanced and befitting of the quality we expect from Strafinder’s Lead. This is an all-killer, no filler collection of inspiring spells with even the fluff providing some damn cool ideas. I really found myself wishing for more, and indeed, in Starfinder, this works perfectly regarding aesthetics. 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer's Codex: Toonimancy
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Star Log Deluxe: Starfarer Grafts
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2018 06:02:43

An Endzeitgeist.com

This extra-long installment of the Star Log-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 8.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Okay, this one is something completely different. Everyman Gaming and Rogue Genius Games have been at the vanguard of Starfinder content from the get-go; the massive Starfarer’s Companion book would be one such example. Now, here’s the thing – quite a lot of the releases of the companies managed to predate the Alien Archive, which means that NPC/Monster-creation couldn’t be taken into account.

Well, this book remedies that for quite a wide variety of different sources. To be more precise: We get the creature subtype grafts for the Starfarer’s Companion races, as well as for the Skinwalkers, gnolls, ganzi and msvokas introduced in the Star Log.EM-series. The traits are concisely codified and leave nothing to be desired, with level-dependent feat effects etc. accounted for.

The pdf also does feature class grafts, and this section does include the legacy classes pioneered in the Starfarer’s Companion and the stand-alone Witch Legacy class. I am not particularly fond of these legacy classes, but plenty of folks are; plus, balance concerns are less important for the creation of potent adversaries, so yeah. The presentation of these class grafts is concise and precise; Skill, ability score modifiers, required array – all precisely presented. Per class, we do get more than 10 ability-by-Cr-entries in respective tables; how many do depend on the class. Some get 14 entries, some just 11. Perhaps that’s just me being greedy or, well, kinda OCD, but getting those for all CRs would have been nice, if only for completion’s sake. Nice: Regarding gear, e.g. paladins and rangers get separate entries for melee or ranged focus, though oddly, formatting isn’t consistent here. For the ranger, the headers are italicized for the gear sub-focuses, while, for the paladin, they’re bolded. That is just a cosmetic hiccup, though.

A neat plus, at least for me, was the inclusion of the Zoomer-class pioneered by Everyman Gaming in the array. The Aeoncarnate base class is similarly included, but I do not own this particular class, so unfortunately, I can’t comment on the virtue of its implementation.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good; apart from cosmetic, minor snafus, I encountered no issues. Layout adheres to the two-column full-color standard of the series and the pdf does have a nice artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, which usually isn’t a problem for files of this size, but considering the reference-character of this pdf, it is a bit of a pity. I’d advise you to print out the file and add it to your Alien Archive.

This is one of the pdfs that just screams “I have been a mindnumbing labor to make” to me, and I’m glad that Alexander Augunas sat down and did all the work that assembling these must have been. And don’t get me wrong: The like IS work. Take it from my own design experience. Heck, even reviewing this took MUCH longer than the brevity of this review would make you believe. Flip open all those pdfs, check…you get the idea. In short: This is an incredibly handy little pdf if you’re looking for the graft-information for all these aforementioned books supported within. It is definitely worth getting, particularly if you’re like me and this type of work sends you into a GM-ing-procrastination spiral. So yeah, this is USEFUL. That’s its focus, and it delivers. 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log Deluxe: Starfarer Grafts
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Starfarer's Codex: Legacy Gunslinger
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2018 04:47:10

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Starfarer’s Codex-series clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Now, the first thing you’ll notice regarding these class options, is that gunslinging herein is not limited to the options of a new class; instead, there is a variety of ways to get the respective gunslinging tricks you want. Operatives may choose the gunslinger specialization, which has Intimidate and Perception as associated skills and allows for the use of Perception to make trick attacks. As a specialization exploit, you can choose any gunslinger ability of 9th level or lower. At 11th level, you may choose one gunslinger ability of 18th level or lower. You may select a possessively named ability, even if you have already selected abilities from other possessives. This is obviously a nomenclature issue, since the term is not clarified later. Instead, this should refer to method abilities.

A soldier gunslinger can select the gunslinging fighting style as either primary or secondary fighting style (not both), granting you a gunslinging ability at 1st,5th, 9th, 13th and 17th level. Abilities of your character level or your soldier level +1, whichever is better. There also is a gunslinger archetype: This requires proficiency in small arms, longarms or sniper rifles. At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 12th and 18th level, you may choose to gain gunslinging abilities. There also is a Gunslinger combat feat, which lets you choose one gunslinging ability of your character level or less; it may be taken multiple times.

Now, we’ve been mentioning these gunslinging abilities a lot, so let’s take a look at them! These abilities are organized by level and belong to specific methods – basically ability trees/families. The limitations imposed on characters regarding their choices is a neat idea – but it would have been even neater with an actual list/table listing the methods available. As written, you have to extrapolate the methods available from the respective ability-write-ups, which is an unnecessary comfort detriment.

The abilities per se are pretty interesting and do some creative things, even when referring to Pathfinder abilities that tended to elicit tired yawns in the original: When a ranged attack would theoretically miss you, you can choose to take it to stagger a few steps (10 ft.) around dramatically, taking minimum damage. The ability may be used more often than once, but doing so requires Resolve Point expenditure to do so sans resting. I also really liked the ability to set up basically turrets and similar traps – the rules here are tight, though, in a potentially confusing decision, the ability does not specify whether it uses Engineering or Mysticism to disable the traps placed. I assume Engineering, since it makes more sense, but theoretically, magical weaponry and the like would make sense with Mysticism as well. Some guidelines there would have been very much appreciated.

Better harrying fire, heavy armor proficiency, scaling grenade tricks. I am not 100% happy with the ability that nets fortification from the get-go: It does cost Resolve and a reaction to use, but considering the price of force fields that provide an unreliable means of negating critical hits, this does seem like a bit overkill for a 1st level ability. That being said, gunslinger’s dodge is actually fun here: It lets you move and nets an AC-bonus against the triggering attack, so yeah, it can actually matter. Nice one! There also is an interesting one that lets you create experimental weaponry that could inject e.g. vials or even spell ampoules at range, though at the cost of increased reloading durations – all of these special tricks do have their drawbacks to avoid breaking the item’s power. Like it. Pistolero, on the other hand, pretty much is a bit creepy for me: It allows you to execute a full attack as a standard action when wielding only small arms, and while it does have limitations imposed and an anti-abuse caveat, I am not sold on it: While the solarian’s solar acceleration zenith revelation has additional tricks added, it’s significantly higher level than 1st, and Starfinder’s increased ranged combat focus does make the movement more valuable. More nasty: Full actions do prevent swift action use, and this ability allows the gunslinger to avoid this limitation. It’s not necessarily broken, but for future-proofing, I’d definitely further elaborate upon the limitations this should have; as written, it only prevents full action or standard action-based attack options, and it’s probably just a matter of time before swift action-based tricks enter the fray.

Making a last reaction shot before being knocked unconscious, however, is a nice one. Determining randomly which target to shoot can net you a bonus, and there is a nice support ability as well. At range dirty trick (with trick attack synergy, if available!) and unlocking the soldier’s grenade expert at 3rd level, would be two examples for well-placed abilities regarding their power. Making precisely-aimed penetrating shots is also an angle I very much enjoyed, and quicker reloading for signature weapons is neat as well. Knockdown when hitting targets twice, with one of the hits being critical, is similarly a fun one. Rendering foes flat-footed that are subject to harrying fire or covering fire makes for a nice 6th level ability. Targeting shots and similar classics have been translated to Starfinder in often creative ways. I also liked the staggering warning shot. It should be noted that, starting 9th level, we no longer get a metric ton of new abilities for all methods – only 3 per level-range are provided, with only Gun Tank and Ace Shooter having high-level exclusives unlocked at 12th level for the taking. All in all, while I do consider some of the abilities potentially problematic and pretty strong, I found myself liking this section very much.

The next section is pretty damn cool: Dare feats. Dare feats are unique in that they are inactive most of the time. As long as you have Resolve, the Dare feats are inactive: They only kick in once your Resolve runs out! As soon as you regain Resolve, the Dare once more becomes inactive. Anyone can take these, and they are interesting in that they could have easily been broken. Making smart use of Starfinder’s significant enemy concept, the regaining of Resolve via the specific conditions provided by the feats is not cheesable. Big kudos – I think this concept could carry even more!

The final section provides the gunslinger base class: Dexterity is the key-ability modifier, 7 + Con Stamina, 6 HP, 5 + Int skills per level, proficiency with basic melee weapons, grenades, small arms, longarms, sniper weapons. You gain Weapon Specialization for all weapons this class gets proficiency with. The class has full BAB-progression and goo Ref- and Will-saves. 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter nets a bonus feat, and the class starts with 2 gunslinger abilities and gains more at most levels – except those that net bonus feats of the grit ability increases. Grit is gained at 7th level and is 1 point that acts as a Resolve Point that may only be used to stay in the fight or to power gunslinging abilities. It does NOT qualify for having Resolve left – nice catch! The first time per day you kill or critically hit a significant enemy, you regain 1 Grit. 11th level and every 4 levels thereafter increase grit by +1. The class table is wrong here: 15th level should read “Grit+3”, 19th “Grit+4.” 7th level provides a decreased penalty with ranged full attacks; 13th level the three attack full attack and the capstone makes the gunslinger count as always having 1 Resolve left for gunslinging abilities. One gunslinging ability costing Resolve also does not cost Resolve anymore.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level, though not perfect: the class table glitch is nasty, and there are a couple of instances where the otherwise precise rules-language could be a tiny bit more specific. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games’ two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports quite a few really neat full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Owen K.C. Stephens flexes his design-muscles here, big time – while it may not have sounded like this in my review above, but this, from a design-perspective, an amazing pdf to read: Starfinder is a complex game, and writing rules-syntax for it is potentially harder than for Pathfinder. After all, accounting for general archetypes and critical effects, etc. adds to the things you have to bear in mind. Now, that being said, this is SUPER-impressive, as befitting of the Starfinder design-lead!

I tried really hard to poke some holes into this book, but frankly, I couldn’t come up with much: Apart from typo-level glitches, a few instances noted above, and the table glitch, my main concerns here lie in the future-proofing of a scant few abilities. That in mind, I am left with a few minor hiccups and said concerns, which leave me at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo. That being said, this is mechanically intriguing in multiple ways and manages to even make abilities that were bland in PFRPG matter in their new iterations. For this, the pdf does get my seal of approval. My favorite SFRPG-book by Rogue Genius Games so far, and a worthy addition to the game!!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer's Codex: Legacy Gunslinger
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Star Log.EM-022: Magic Hacks
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2018 04:45:08

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

As before, we have a nice little flavorful contextualization of the subject matter in the Xa-Osoro system, noting the influence of the “Cult of .//ALL”, which I considered to be rather inspiring.

The pdf sports 3 different 2nd level hacks; Arcing Charge lets you expend an unused spell slot as a move action to charge a weapon, transforming its damage to inflict electricity damage. Nice catch: The weapons, if targeting KAC, still do so. If it does not have the arc critical effect, it gains this one for the duration; otherwise, the arc-range is expanded by 5 ft. per spell level of the spell slot expended. The hack’s duration lasts for 1 minute per level of the spell slot expended. Burning and Chilling charge are the energy type swapped fire and cold damage equivalents of this one, with burn and stagger critical effects instead, respectively. Already pre-existing such properties instead have their DCs improved for these. While the DC-increase thus possible can be pretty massive, the limited nature and cost here can be considered to be suitable.

There also are 3 5th level magic hacks: Animate File lets you expend a spell slot as a full action to search for recently-deleted files. You make a Computers check to hack, and on a success, identify all recently deleted files, with the spell slot level determining how far in the past you can reach. After this, you may spend any number of Resolve Points. You restore 2 such files per level of the spell slot expended, and gain an untyped bonus to Fortitude saves for an hour equal to the number of Resolve Points spent. The Fort-boost feels weird to me and doesn’t really make sense for me, but your mileage may vary.

The philosopher’s flash drive can be created during a 10-minute rest o regain Stamina while spending Resolve. To do so, you must sacrifice an unused spell slot. Thereafter, you can choose a transmutation spell of a level equal to the sacrificed spell’s one or lesser. That spell is then uploaded to the drive and may be used by any creature with the datajack augmentation as a swift action. Upon doing so, the spell immediately targets the creature, as though you had cast the spell. The hack takes customizing the drive into account, and notes the DC to hack these locked drives. Spells stored persist, but prevent that you regain the spell stored, preventing you from cheesing the ability. Upon regaining daily spell slots, you can choose to have all such drives cease functioning. Using a flash drive consumes it. Problematic here: RAW, this allows for the sharing of Target: Personal spells, which is something I’d eye with care. A caveat that limits spells stored would make sense here to future proof this.

Thirdly, encyclopedic cache lets you, when regaining spells and Resolve, spend 1 Resolve to select a spell on the class spell list of any level you can cast, but don’t know. You may then cast the spell instead of one you know. Problematic here: The hack does not note a condition for the reversal of the spell, which means you can slowly swap out your total spell load out. This should have a limitation.

The pdf also features two 8th level hacks: When determining the spells active in the cache capacitor, you may choose to it to ping magic instead of putting a spell in it – if you have the new Ping Magic hack, that is. If you do, you automatically detect magic (italicization missing) at the start of your turn sans action. The interval depends on the level where you take the hack – once per minute, per 5 rounds, or per round. You gain information as though you concentrated on every object in the 20 ft. ping burst. This is a cool idea, but the constant detect can be supremely annoying for the GM. The Summoned State Drive hack, finally, interacts in an analogue manner with the cache capacitor. You get to choose one creature per spell level you can cast summon monster that you could have chosen as summonable, but didn’t. This allows for better summoning flexibility. Once more, I think that a bit limiting would be nice here.

The pdf also offers the Adaptable Spell Hack feat. This nets you 3 magic hacks you don’t have, but whose prerequisites you meet and whose minimum level is equal to half your technomancer level or less. Once per day as a move action, you can get one of these for a minute. When gaining a level, you may switch out a hack, and the feat may be taken multiple times, granting an additional daily use for every time you take it. Note that you still can’t generate hack-chains thus, courtesy of the precise verbiage. Potent and restricted, but viable. Like it.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level; on a rules-language level, some minor caveats added would probably make sense. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with a nice artwork, but sans bookmarks. The pdf doesn’t need them at this length.

Sasha Hall delivers an interesting, creative and precise pdf. Now, I am a bit weary regarding future-proofing of a few of the options herein, as the flexibility offered can be construed to be rather potent and will exponentially increase with the system maturing. Thus, a couple of limiting caveats would imho make sense. Still, as a whole, I consider this to be a well-crafted supplement. My final verdict will hence clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of the platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-022: Magic Hacks
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Everyman Minis: Unchained Kangaroos: Dire Edition
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/12/2018 05:15:33

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini actually clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 4 pages of SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Now, while nominally, this pdf does reference the Everyman Minis: Unchained Kangaroos and Yroometji, you don’t require either to make use of the majority of this pdf.

We begin this pdf with a new animal, the Procoptodon megafauna, whose critical kicks can cause Constitution damage and bleed. And yes, they are really effective for CR 3. Minor complaint: The senses-line notes “Perception +#”, which should be “Perception +7”; cosmetic, since the skills do note the proper value. The pdf also includes Mirro, a CR 11 yroometji five-strike slugger brawler, which means one of my favorite brawler archetypes does get an iconic – big plus there! Really cool: He also gets a fully statted intelligent item, Xyvinar, which is pretty cool. Better yet, though, would be the really cool, extensive background story we get for this character. Now, don’t get me wrong: I like rank-and-file statblocks, but folks like this fellow do deserve stories, and for me as a GM, such stories are often what decides whether I’ll implement a character in my game or not. So yeah, big kudos for making this fellow more than just a series of stats!

But neither of these will be the reason you’ll truly want to get this pdf, at least if you’re like me. 150 ft.; 75 ft. tail. CR 27. The earth shakes, courtesy of tremor-causing steps and seismic command; it’s impossibly agile for something this big. It can easily spot you. It has the fighting skills, prerequisite-wise, of a frickin’ level 20 fighter. It’s basically Godzilla crossed with a kaiju kangaroo, with an inexplicable fondness for yroometji! It’s amazing! Minor complaint here: The natural attacks, inexplicably, don’t seem to apply any ability score modifiers to their damage values. Unless I’m missing something, these modifiers should be applied. It’s easy enough to do so, but that still is a bit of a comfort detriment. (And yes, we do get a cool full-color artwork for the kaiju!)

The final component of this pdf would be the level 9 occult ritual Writhing Flesh in Father’s Form. This is a transmutation (polymorph) ritual that requires a massive 9 hours to complete, and it is amazing – you basically take something from a creature and then attempt to transform the target: The process is described in detail and made me shiver with anticipation: From the bath of mercury to the polymorphic hammer, this really tickled my fancy. Here’s a thing: The duration is contingent on failed saves of the subject, and failures in the ritual add a variety of destabilizations, ensuring that PCs won’t want to do this all the time – still, this basically allows you to temporarily go Kaiju…and perhaps have a PC locked in shape, which can provide the impetus for new adventures to revert the change… Truly versatile and inspiring!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good of a formal level. On a rules-language level, the minor guffaws in the statblocks, while cosmetic, do detract slightly from the pdf’s appeal. Layout adheres to the artwork-bordered two-column full-color standard of the series and the artworks featured are cool. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ unchained dire kangaroos are frickin’ cool! The sample NPC with his story, the kaiju and ritual – they all combine into basically one big, amazing adventure hook I really enjoyed. It is only due to the minor formal glitches that I can’t rate this higher than 4.5 stars, rounded down. If the like doesn’t faze you, get this asap!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Unchained Kangaroos: Dire Edition
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Everyman Minis: Front Liner's Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/11/2018 06:48:23

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

On the introductory page, we are introduced to a couple of new quinggong powers, noting class features for which they may be exchanged, as well as tight presentation by level. 5 such ki powers are included here with restrictions, if any, and ki cost noted duly.

The pdf contains a total of 5 different new feats: Hunker Down requires heavy armor proficiency and allows you to spend a move action to gain an insight bonus equal to ½ armor check penalty to CMD to resist bull rush, drag, etc., which is retained until you move. Nice. Line Breaker builds on reposition, and allows you to switch places with a repositioned foe. This surprisingly manages to get the complex AoO-scenario here right. Neato! The final three feats are a new Style-feat chain, with the base feat Spiny Urchin Style building on Two-Weapon Defense, enhancing that option. Cool: Does come with double weapon and light weapon training synergy. Spiny Urchin Sting builds on this: When an adjacent enemy attacks you and misses, you may AoO the target as an immediate action- Spiny Urchin Bristle builds on this retributive attack lets you strike back with BOTH hands! And yes, this gets the rules-operation right. Nice one!

There are two archetypes within: The divine protector paladin replaces smite evil with righteous shield, which makes shields actually matter: As a swift action, you may add + Charisma modifier to your shield bonus and add the holy weapon property. The damage does scale in a unique way, and the ability lasts for 1 minute and may be used 3 + Charisma modifier times per day. 1st level, as you could glean from this, nets Improved Shield Bash as a bonus feat, replacing detect evil. Additionally, Charisma may be used as a substitute for TWFing prerequisites. 3rd level unlocks guardian’s auras: As a swift action, they may cause 1d6 damage to all within 10 ft. that attacked allies. 14th level lets the paladin spend lay on hands uses to channel in the brief radius…or in full radius, if more uses are spent. This modifies aura of courage and resolve, eliminating the immunities, and replaces aura of faith. At 5th level, we get avenging shield, providing Far Shot as a bonus feat. Why? The archetype can throw the shield as a non-improvised thrown weapon, and if imbued, it also returns! This btw. manages to clarify that it does indeed allow for full attacks – kudos! This replaces divine bond. Finally, 11th level’s aura of vengeance is replaced with the option to create basically a magical fortification that enhances AC and Ref-saves. And yes, it moves with you. I LOVE this archetype. It’s hands down one of the coolest paladin archetypes I’ve seen in a while!!

The second archetype would be the advance guard ranger, who modifies favored enemy, gaining +1 to AC and saves (bonuses properly codified!) versus the favored enemies; similarly, the animal companion gained applies the bonuses instead of the atk and damage bonuses, making for a defensively-minded character. 3rd level nets armor training, reducing armor check penalty by 1 (minimum 0) and increasing maximum Dexterity bonus values, with every 5 levels thereafter improving this further. Additionally, medium armor no longer hampers movement speed and 7th level allows for full movement in heavy armor. This replaces favored terrain. 12th level replaces camouflage with Heavy Armor Proficiency, or a substitute combat feat. Evasion and improved evasion may now be used in heavy armor! Hide in plain sight, finally, is replaced by DR 5/- versus favored enemies while wearing medium or heavy armor. Nice one! The archetype is complemented by a new ranger combat style – these are often tougher to design than they look, and the Protector style and the feat choices here make for a cool defensive ranger.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting re top-notch. I noticed no glitches on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s artwork-bordered two-column full-color standard and the artwork featured is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Matt Morris had a tough task here: Pathfinder is notoriously offense-heavy, and making viable and, more importantly, FUN defensive options, is a tough task indeed. Well, this humble pdf succeeds with flying colors. While I like the defensive ranger well enough, the paladin archetype is AMAZING. It oozes style, is powerful without being broken, and it will make your enemies really fear your shield, while your allies will celebrate your protective aegis! This archetype is pure gold and rocks really hard. The feats and other components also all have something going for them, making this pretty much an all killer, no filler pdf. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval. If you’re looking for some fun paladin and ranger tricks, look now further!!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Front Liner's Options
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Everyman Minis: Mystery of Riddles
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/30/2018 09:59:07

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

On the introduction page, we find a new oracle archetype, namely the erudite seer, whose skills are restricted to Appraise, Bluff, Craft, Knowledge (all), Linguistics, Perception, Sense Motive and Spellcraft, and the archetype only gets 2 + Int skills per level. This would be super annoying, but the archetype, but both spellcastings and revelations are governed by Intelligence as key ability modifier for the archetype – and before you ask, the class remains a spontaneous caster. Really sucky: The spell save DC of the archetype is just 10 + Intelligence modifier. No, I’m not kidding you. The spell level’s out of the picture. Is that an oversight? I assume so, for the archetype does nothing else, apart from replacing 11th level’s revelation with + Intelligence modifier as an insight bonus to Will-saves. Boring, sucky, wouldn’t take it.

Now, the second page is wholly devoted to the new riddles mystery, which adds Linguistics and all Knowledge skills to the oracle’s list of class skills. The bonus spell selection is eclectic, beginning with speak with animals and see invisibility and also including ones like shout, symbol of sleep and scaling up to statue, greater spell immunity and communal mind blank. Nice spell selection. The revelations of this mystery are varied: You can get a constant feather fall via the growth of wings as a standard action that may be maintained in 1-hour increments for class level hours. Improved Grapple, Trip and Stand Still are also there for the choosing. Higher levels unlock glide and fly speed with improving maneuverability. At 10th level, this also allows you to end a charge with a grapple – and yes, pounce and the interaction with it are included. Another revelation nets Conceal Spell, with 5th level adding Stylized Spell, which may be used sans casting increase and at +1 DC.

The mystery also allows you to poach divination psychic spells or glyph-themed spells, and this interacts with another revelation: Diviner’s Insight nets you Charisma modifier + ½ oracle level clairvoyant reservoir points. These points may be used to cast divination spells known as a SP, expending points in the reservoir equal to the spell’s level. Interesting! A bonus to Sense Motive and constant nondetection, with higher level constant foil enchantment making for a nice defense. The minimum level requirement is well-chosen. Knowledge bonuses and the bard’s loremaster ability may also be found. High level oracles can get 2/day maze – with a unique caveat: A trapped creature can contemplate while trapped – emerging nets vision. Cool twist on the concept, adding a non-offensive option here. A hex-like variant of hideous laughter that is language-dependent and doesn’t render targets prone, but spans species, makes for a fun idea. Really unique: There is a revelation that lets you 3 + Charisma modifier times per day puzzle your way out of an ongoing spell effect, with higher levels eliminating some restrictions. The mechanics here are interesting and compelling.

The final revelation nets constant mind blank that may be reactivated as a swift action. The minimum age for you to qualify for each physical age category increases by a factor 10, and the aging modifiers are similarly adjusted. Particularly cool if you’re using Childhood Adventures.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a rules-language level, but on a formal level, I noticed a few typos. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard with the artwork-borders, and the pdf comes with a nice piece of full-color artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but does not need them at this length.

David N. Ross’ mystery is evocative, intriguing and mechanically interesting. The same, alas, cannot be said about the archetype included. The erudite seer is really weak and feels like an afterthought at best. That being said, this is still a nice little pdf, hence my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Mystery of Riddles
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Everyman Minis: Rage Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2018 13:30:23

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman mini clocks in at 6 pages,1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, on the introductory page, we already get 2 different feats that deal with the new instinct rage powers. What’s that? Something amazing. An instinct rage power may only be used while NOT raging. Why are they called “rage powers” then? Simple: Using them costs a number of rounds of rage. If applicable, the save DC of such a rage power is equal to 10 + ½ class level + Constitution modifier. The first of the feats interacting with this concept would be Perfected Instinct. This lets you choose one instinct rage power. When using that one, you count as having spent +1 round of rage beyond the rounds actually spent. It may be taken multiple times, applying its benefits to other instinct powers. The second feat, Waking Instinct, can also be taken multiple times and allows you to use a chosen instinct rage power while raging.

A total of 9 such instinct rage powers are presented herein: Bout of blows can only be taken at 10th level and higher and lets you spend 6 rounds of rage for an additional attack as part of a full attack – to prevent a complex cheese, it does come with a brief cooldown penalty to atk. Draw ferocity allows for the spending of rage as a swift action to incite rage in the target: In a unique twist, this does allow the target to benefit from bloodrage, rage, etc., allowing for a unique synergy here. And yes, sensible minimum level. Draw frenzy also interacts with this notion: Targets under rage, bloodrage or raging song may be confused by this one! Frenzied blows lets you spend rage to enhance damage (using ½ class level as a cap), and innate speed may be employed as part of using a move action, adding to the movement rate. Unique here: Sans fast movement, you can’t take this one!

Instinctual save makes you choose Fortitude or Reflex saves, and whenever the barbarian fails a save of the chosen type, they ay spend rage to reroll it, with number of rounds spent denoting a bonus to the reroll. This is an immediate action and thus has a tactical, balancing component – and it may be taken again to apply its benefits to both saves. Reactive defense allows for immediate action rage burning for dodge bonuses to AC; reactive instincts allows for the improvement of initiative, and reactive rage lets you initiate rage as a consequence of a failed save.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to the artwork-bordered two-column full-color standard of the series. The new artwork provided is cool. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn’t need them at this length.

Luis Loza delivers big time here. With this, you can play a barbarian that focuses on NOT going into rage, and if you’re bored on the one sequence (“I rage” -> “I do xyz”), then this book makes your barbarian actually more versatile, play more like a 2-mode-character. I love what this does with the engine. My only complaint here would be that this could have been a great angle for a full-blown barbarian redesign! Anyhow, this is a great mini, well worth 5 stars + seal of approval. Well done!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Rage Options
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Everyman Minis: Alchemical Power Components
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2018 13:28:34

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, in case you’re new regarding the concept of power components: These are basically optional material components that may be applied to the casting of spells to change them in intriguing and novel ways. I really love the concept, and if you enjoy it as well and think that it makes magic feel more magical and rewards clever players, well, then you’re in luck: Rite Publishing’s has a book full of them, and Playground Adventures’ excellent Creature Components book similarly should be considered to be an excellent purchase.

Anyhow, this one focuses on alchemical power components and presents the base rules in a concise and meaningful manner: In short, they are expended, and effects, if any require one, employ the save DC of the spell enhanced via the optional material component. Here’s a cool thing: This humble pdf takes alchemical items that already exist and adds further depth to them by codifying them as power components.

Okay, so far, so good – but what do these alchemical items do when used to complement spells? Well, for example, when taking blood-clotter salve and applying it to a cure spell, a target that suffers from a bleeding wound heals an additional +1d6 damage and the bleeding stops, with 3rd level spells and higher increasing that value. Cure spells targeting more than one being can apply the benefit to multiple targets, which is pretty damn cool and can potentially turn the tide of battle!

Bottled lightning can be applied to three different electricity-based spells: When used in conjunction with lightning bolts, it can magnetize affected targets temporarily; shocking grasp provides minor electricity arcs that affect adjacent opponents (really helpful at lower levels) and wandering star motes can gain the electricity descriptor (kudos for catching that!) and now also cause electricity damage, which makes all kinds of sense to me – I can see that modification. Adding defoliant to an entangle spell allows you to choose squares in the spell that are not affected, allowing for tighter tactical control. Love it!

Diamond dust vials added to gust of wind can blind targets on a failed Reflex save, and a similar upgrade may be made for snapdragon fireworks, though thankfully in a limited manner. Adding a gravelly tonic to a magic mouth allows the spell to demoralize a target in the trigger area – and yes, this accounts for the caster to have line of sight…or not. Flame arrow and spiritual weapon may be enhanced with holy weapon balm to inflict additional damage versus the undead and evil outsiders. Big kudos for not falling into the “holy damage trap” (does not exist in PF) – the damage type is concisely and professionally presented here!

With some impact foam, your mage armor not only provides minor DR/Slashing, but can also cushion your falls really well. Fire breath is twice as much fun with keros oil added – and suddenly, your enemies catch fire! Even cooler: Add the oil to obscuring mist and fire-based spells will cause the mist to go KABOOM! With summon monster creatures that have been enhanced with skyrocket fireworks, you’ll bring some fun to evil-doer slaying, as the creatures can have mini-fireworks explode upon hitting targets. And yes, I’m only scratching the surface here!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch on a rules-language level, very good on a formal level – apart from minor typo-level hiccups (“blanach” instead of blanch), I noticed no hiccups. Layout adheres to the colorful two-column full-color standard of the series, with the artwork-borders. The new piece of art is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Jen McTeague is a designer to watch – she has already created/contributed to quite a few files I loved. Unless I am sorely mistaken, she also tackled Everyman Minis: Esoteric Implements, and did so rather admirably! If this mini is an indicator, I expect great things: This humble little book makes alchemical items matter more and adds seriously cool, diverse and creative components to spellcasting. Not a single component herein is OP or mechanically problematic, and they all go beyond simple tweaks of base properties. In short, this is an inspired file, well worth 5 stars + seal of approval. Can we get more?

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Log.EM-021: Eldritch Trickster
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2018 13:19:47

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 6 pages,1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

We begin with a nice little introduction and the contextualization of the archetype herein within the Xa-Osoro system, before taking a look at the archetype. The Eldritch Trickster may only be added to characters with classes that gain spells or spell-like abilities from the 1st level feat or the race. The eldritch trickster as presented herein replaces the 2nd, 6th and 12th level class features.

At 2nd level, we get psychokinetic trickster, which nets at-will psychokinetic hand as a SP, and if you already know it, you may lose it in favor of another spell of the same level. The rules language also takes the SP-angle into account. Additionally, the ability allows for the lifting of up to 20 lbs. or 2 bulk, +10 lbs. OR +1 bulk per every 2 levels beyond 2nd. Starting at 6th level, you may use Engineering or Mysticism’s disable device use and all skill tasks of Sleight of Hand at the range of psychokinetic hand.

At 4th and 9th level, you may optionally choose to get expanded arcana, i.e. a Minor Psychic Power feat or one based on it. If you have a spellcasting class, you may instead choose a feat using spellcasting as prerequisite. Additionally, if you ever choose Major Psychic Power, you may substitute augury or status with a new spell, burglar’s insight. This spell is a 2nd level divination for mystic and technomancer, and, should you be using the Starfarer’s Companion, also for the legacy bard and wizard. The spell nets a scaling insight bonus to Bluff, Sleight of Hand and Stealth. If you have a class feature that grants an equal or greater bonus, you may instead spend 1 Resolve to roll twice, using the higher result. Unique: The spell runs out after using it key ability score modifier times. Nice catch: caster level increases do not increase the potency of this spell.

The 8th level ability would be invisible thief, which lets you spend 1 Resolve as a standard action to use either disguise self or invisibility as a SP, with a duration equal to character levels. 12th level improves action economy to alternatively allowing for swift action activation. Also at 12th level, you can spend 1 Resolve Point as a reaction when provoking an attack of opportunity, preventing the provoking of the AoO.

The pdf also features a new operative specialization, the spell scoundrel, which features Bluff and Mysticism as associated skills. You can make a Mysticism check with a +4 bonus to make a trick attack by using essentially a variant of token spell for your advantage. The exploit would be the flight hack, and whenever the spell scoundrel moves 10 ft. or more, you may designate up to Dexterity modifier squares. When moving from these squares, the movement doesn’t provoke AoOs. This is properly codified as a teleportation effect.

The pdf also sports new operative exploits: At 2nd level, there is a Dexterity-governed Minor Psychic Power – follow-up exploits also use Dexterity instead of Charisma. 6th level has an analogue ability for Psychic Power, though the spells added to the list, charm person and command are not italicized properly. At 10th level, we have the Major Psychic Power follow-up allows for hold person or inflict pain to be chosen. I already mentioned Flight Hack: this one may be taken at 10th level, and it provides a 30 ft. fly speed with average maneuverability that is governed by 40 flight points, Per round you’re flying, you consume 2 fly points, or 1 flight point per minute for cruising flight, during which you’re off-target and flat-footed. Changing flight modes is a standard action. This requires being able to cast at least 2 spells or SPs and can’t be used while encumbered or in powered armor. Cool twist on the classic concept, though it would have been nice to know when these points replenish…

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language level. The missed italicization and lack of replenishment clause slightly hurt an otherwise fun offering. Layout adheres toa 2-column full-color standard and the pdf has a nice artwork and no bookmarks, but needs no bookmarks at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ Eldritch Trickster is a surprisingly fun take on the eminent concept – I enjoy how it brings the concept to the game, and how it spreads its abilities. All in all, I consider this to be a fun, worthwhile offering. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars – well worth checking out!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Log.EM-020: Ganzi
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2018 13:17:44

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 6 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This Star Log begins with the traditional introduction, as well as a nice, brief contextualization of the Ganzi race in the Xa-Osoro system that is shared by Rogue Genius Games and Everyman Gaming.

But what are the ganzi? Well they are mortals whose bloodlines have been mutated by generations of exposure to the energies of chaos, whether by living on planets saturated by such energies or the direct lineage tracing back to beings like proteans. They can, in theory, be born from any race, but humanity, being numerous as it is, is the most likely base stock of the race. Their physical descriptions may thus vary wildly: Shimmering hair, fluid eyes, barkskin – quite a few such ideas are noted. They do not claim a single homeworld, and have increased in number since the regicide-event. As chaotic beings, they are prone to wander and come into conflict with law and order – something that also influences their racial relations. Adventurers and nomenclature is also noted, though we don’t get the side-bar that notes what other races usually think about you, you know, the “Playing a insert race name”-box.

Ganzi are medium outsiders with the native subtype, get +2 Constitution and Charisma, -2 Intelligence, darkvision 60 ft., +2 to Sense motive and Survival and acid, electricity and sonic resistance 5, as well as +2 to saves versus transmutation effects. Once per day, they can twist probability with their supernatural Quibble ability, using their reaction to force a creature they are aware of to reroll a d20 they just rolled, with a Will-save to negate. The DC here is governed by Charisma, and this is a curse-effect. Notice something? Yeah, the HP-value, alas, is missing. sigh

Ganzi get three racial feats: Boon Quibble lets you use quibble as a standard action. If you do, the target gets 4 luck points, which may be spent when rolling a d20. For each point spent, the target adds an untyped +1 bonus. Multiple uses on a target don’t stack, thankfully. Resolute Quibble lets you spend Resolve to use quibble once more. Twisting Form, finally, nets you 1/day disguise self (italicization missing) that lasts for 24 hours or until dismissed. Disguise is also gained as a class skill and if the target already has it, the character instead gains a +2 racial bonus.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules language level – apart from the missed italicization and the missing racial HP, that is. Layout adheres to a nice 2-column full-color standard and the artwork is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ ganzi have a nice mechanic angle with the fate/luck point idea, but, at the cost of sounding like a hipster, the chaos-tiefling/aasimar/plane-touched angle is not exactly super-interesting. The chaos-angle could have been implemented in much more interesting ways – as a template race that accounts for the different parental races, this could have been more interesting. Similarly, a slew of sample mutations would have been nice. As a whole, this is a solid, if not mega-exciting race, particularly when compared to the genius and both mechanically and conceptually inspired Msvokas. (Seriously, get these!) My final verdict for the ganzi will hence clock in at 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Everyman Minis: Paladin Mercies
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/16/2018 04:55:22

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

On the introductory page, we get a new spell (most spellcasting classes, including occult ones qualify): Remove pain is either a 2nd or 3rd level spell. The spell nets a +4 morale bonus versus fear effects for 10 minutes, while also suppressing pain effects currently affecting the target, and acting as a counter for inflict pain. Nice one.

The second page contains an assortment of new paladin mercies, grouped by levels at which they become available: At 3rd level, we can find 7 new ones: These include 1 round of good hope, mitigating the entangled condition, AoO-less standing up from prone position or providing uncanny dodge for a 1 round. Cool: If you already have it, improved uncanny dodge is gained. If the target has improved uncanny dodge already, they add the paladin’s Charisma modifier to the level to determine minimum rogue levels required to affect them. A couple of these, btw., are deity, or rather, domain-granted specific. If the deity grants Artifice or War as a domain, the paladin may pick up or draw an item as part of using lay on hands. Nice! Save benefits, making a d20 roll of 10 or less count as 11 a limited amount of times per day – there are some surprisingly creative tricks here!

There are 8 different 6th level mercies, with one providing the aforementioned remove pain spell, another providing fire or cold resistance (or acid/electricity for another one) and another repairing items or constructs. Helping a target get out a grapple, augury and a harmless true form variant or being nourished…some creative tricks here. The pdf also has two 9th level mercies, with one duplicating break enchantment for mind-affecting effects only; paladins whose deity nets the healing domain allows for further healing at the cost of the paladin’s health.

Finally, there are 5 different 12th level mercies. Jester’s jaunting targets, daylight, breath of life, repairing destroyed items (and magic item repair is tightly codified) and a telepathic bond complement the pdf.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch on both a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the new, 2-column artwork-bordered standard of the series and the pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn’t need them at this length.

I did not expect to find anything interesting in David N. Ross’ paladin mercy-mini. They are not particularly interesting, after all, right? Well, wrong. The mercies are really interesting and offer some rather surprising modifications that offer more tactical decisions than I expected to find. This is certainly worth getting and is well worth a final verdict of 5 stars – if you have a pala, get this!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Paladin Mercies
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Star Log Deluxe: Zoomer
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/16/2018 04:50:43

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log-series clocks in at 10 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 6.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This supplement clocks in with the usual introduction, which also contextualizes the class in the context of the Xa-Osoro system. The zoomer’s key ability modifier is Dexterity, and the class gets 7 HP and 7 + Constitution modifier stamina. The class gets 6 + Int skills per level, with Acrobatics, Athletics, Engineering, Perception, Physical Science, Piloting and Profession as class skills gained. The zoomer class gets a free skill rank in Acrobatics and Piloting at each zoomer level, as well as Skill Focus in them both. Furthermore, the bonus granted increases by +1 at 11th level “land” 8should be “and”) every 4 levels thereafter. This puts the zoomer, skill-wise, on par with the operative.

Proficiency-wise, the zoomer gets light armor, basic melee weapons, grenades, small arms and full BAB-progression as well as good Ref- and Will-saves. The zoomer begins play with the Deadly Precision feature, which nets a bonus to damage rolls with small arms, thrown weapons (except grenades) and operative melee weapons equal to Dex-mod (min +0), capping at zoomer class level. At 3rd level, if you have Weapon Specialization with small arms or operative weapons, you add class level to damage with them, +1/2 class level in other classes. This is relevant since 3rd level nets you Weapon Specilization for all weapon types this class nets you proficiency with. This bonus damage does not stack with bonus damage from attacks made as part of a class feature. Also at first level, we get the jitters ability, which is a +1 bonus to initiative that further increases by +1 at 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter.

The most important starting ability, though, would be the zoom dash – either granted by a freak accident or tech. If you choose gear, it does not influence slots available and merges with footwear. This gear may be replaced via Engineering, but it is…well, tech. Supernatural sources of this ability are subject to appropriate limitations. The ability increases your land speed by 10 ft., further increasing this by +10 ft. at 3rd, 9th and 15th level. 2nd level nets evasion.

Starting at 5th level, the zoomer may, as a standard action make a charge sans charge penalties, and may substitute a combat maneuver for the attack at the end of the charge. At 11th level, the ability lets you make two attacks at -4 at the end of the charge; at 20th level, you may execute 3 attacks at the end of the charge, at -6 penalty. These tricks, level-wise, are solid in their placement compared to established core classes.

5th level provides the zoomer’s advance ability: You can spend 1 Resolve Point as a swift action to move up to your speed; at 9th level, you may spend 2 Resolve Points to move up to double your speed as a swift action; 13th level upgrades this to triple speed for two Resolve points, but triple movement requires a move action. At 17th level, you can move quadruple speed as a move action for 2 Resolve points. This may not be used while encumbered, in power armor, etc. 7th level provides the operative’s uncanny agility, i.e. immunity to the flat-footed condition and foes don’t get bonuses for flanking you or attacking you while prone. Covering and harrying fire also don’t provide benefits against you. 1th level nets zoomer’s onslaught – as a full attack, you may make up to three attacks, at -6 penalty. The capstone doubles your speed when you charge, run, withdraw, and you may run a s a swift action sans provoking AoOs, though this swift run requires a 10-minute rest to use again.

At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the class chooses a zoomer stunt, basically the talent-array of the class. 8th and 14th level serve as caps where new zoomer stunts are unlocked. These allow for e.g. ending a charge with a small arms weapon or a thrown weapon, which still provokes AoOs – however, you may end a charge 10 ft. prematurely, provided you moved at least 10 feet. Better snap shot attacks and vehicle-born firing, expanding the edge…and really interesting, not counting as prone while crawling and retaining the zoom dash bonus to crawling speed make for interesting tricks. A more flexible charge contingent on Acrobatics and enemy CR is okay, and I liked preparing two actions to ready, with concise restrictions. Using reactions prior to acting for the first time in combat, and quick assertion of control over a vehicle is interesting.

Among the stunts unlocked at 8th level, you can catch targets off guard via charges, provided you succeed an Acrobatics check, non-stacking concealment when moving, guarded step, limited auto-haste, upgrading class features further – some cool tricks here. (As an aside: there is a slightly confusing type here, one that notes “reading” instead of “readying.”) Another issue here is that there is one stunt that allows the zoomer to forego readying three triggers to ready a full action. This is problematic, since readying an action is a standard action. Note that RAW, readying actions can only be done via a standard action, preventing cheesing here. The highest level stunts unlocked at 14th level include, among other things, improved evasion and a further upgrade for the movement contingent miss chance. Most mechanically interesting would be the zoomer whirlwind, which has a radius and area of effect contingent on speed, with maximum number of targets affected also defined by this. A handy mini-table helps here, and the effects differ for e.g. whirlwinds made on liquid. The ability is, design-wise, precise, as the base ability codifies skill checks and saves, if any – these are governed by Dexterity, fyi.

The class loses zoomer stunts for multiclassing at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 12th, and 18th level. At 9th level, the pdf notes “Your zoomer’s advance class feature improve at 9th level.“ – There is a “doesn’t” missing here.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are pretty good on a rules-language level. On a formal level, there are a few hiccups here that could have been caught, some of which may cause a bit of confusion. Layout adheres to the two-column full-color standard of the series, and the pdf sports solid full-color artworks of Jacob Blackmon’s characteristic style. The pdf has no bookmarks.

Alexander Augunas’ zoomer is a fun class that won’t break your game. It focuses on agility and skirmishing, and does so in a rather interesting manner. The zoomer’s mobility makes the class pretty potent, but not to an extent where it eclipses e.g. operative or solarian etc. Their charges can be deadly, but the focus on these does limit them somewhat. All in all, I liked this class, though I felt it could have used a few more tricks like the whirlwind. All in all, I consider this to be a solid, if not perfect class, worthy of a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Starfarer's Codex: Planetary Explorers' Essential Equipment
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/10/2018 04:02:05

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Starfarer’s Codex-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, we begin this pdf with 16 different technological items, which include pretty much what you’d expect to see, considering the title of this pdf: There is, for example, a toxicity sensor, a a water purifier…and e.g. a sonic topographer, which is a great excuse for the GM to share maps and allow PCs to plan expeditions properly. The aerial survey is a fist-sized sphere that follows a similar paradigm: In a cool way, it needs to return to provide the holographic image, which once more can provide an interesting way to use it, while still allowing the GM to limit it.

The distress beacon also represents a definite classic that will get some serious use. Don’t want to spend the night on the floor? An elevated blind does the trick, and (xeno-) archaeologists will appreciate the hand excavator for careful excavations. I also really enjoyed the convenience of the properly codified hyperspace delivery drone and seismic charges that can help level terrain. Off to an inhospitable planet? Well, you will want to pack perimeter fences…and depending on the amount of life there, a nutrition station and a mobile lab can mean the difference between death and survival. A personal bivouacs and portable spans can help you maneuver the rugged terrains you may find.

Rebreather masks and specimen containment units, ranging from S to L, complement a section that must be considered to be a rather impressive array. Beyond these, we are introduced to a total of 6 different magic items: Automated deforesters are basically one-use, low-cost magical herbicides that can be pretty lethal to plants. Beastblind amulets hide you from unintelligent fauna, but only from animals. The boots of winding ways record steps taken, which has pretty damn cool narrative potential! Greensight goggles grant sense through, but only through vegetable matter, of 60 ft. The immersive panorama visual, auditory, olfactory and thermal impressions and can then reproduce them as a 4th level holographic image. Like it. The sympathy stone can be held nearby an object, then flying to the closest concentration of that material in a 400 ft. radius. Vermin repellant does pretty much what it says on the tin.

We also get an array of 6 different hybrid items: Campsite veils are basically cloaking versions of the perimeter fence, and there is one more potent version included, with the invisibility veil. Perimeter walls go full scifi with basically the force-protection upgrade for such fences. The Nav beacon greatly helps navigation, allowing for reliable, if not perfect, approaching of the beacon while cryostorage…well, I think you know what that one does, right? The section also includes orbital gateways.

The pdf concludes with two new vehicles: At level 3, the hardy planetary rover (anyone said Mass Effect?) and the level 10 mobile command station.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches on either a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to the two-column full-color standard of the series, and interior artwork is full-color and of a consistent style, showing new pieces by Jacob Blackmon. The pdf comes with detailed bookmarks, making navigation comfortable and fun.

Matt Morris delivers big time here – this humble item-collection provides a ton of items that include the staple ideas we have about planetary exploration, and it does so in an inspired manner, providing narrative angles for both players and GMs to explore. This is a fantastic little offering, and manages to cram more style into its humble objects than I dared to expect. Highly recommended for all Starfinder groups seeking to explore unique planets in a professional and systematic manner – the book made me think about xenobiological/archaeological explorations and how to run them – inspired! This is a fantastic little book, well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer's Codex: Planetary Explorers' Essential Equipment
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