DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories











Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Starfarer's Codex: Witch Legacy Class
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/12/2018 10:19:29

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This adaption of the witch class to Starfinder clocks in at 20 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 16 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The witch class as presented herein comes with 5 HP, 5 + Con mod Stamina and uses Intelligence as key ability score. The chassis yields ¾ BAB-progression and good Fort- and Will-saves. The class gets spontaneous spellcasting of up to 6th level, and may decipher magic text as a full action. The class gets 4 + Int skills per level, as well as proficiency in light armor, basic melee weapons, small arms and sniper weapons. The witch class uses its own spell list, which also incorporates spells from the Starfarer’s Companion tome – the class is not crippled by a lack of access to it, though.

Unsurprisingly, we get an empathic link with the first level familiar granted. At 5th level, the familiar can deliver touch spells for you; at 10th level, it can communicate with approximately familiar animals and you may talk to it in “code” – communication between familiar and witch can RAW not be deciphered. 15th level allows you to look through the familiar’s eyes, which, considering the sniping angle, can be rather nasty. Death, loss, etc. does carry no penalties apart from a grieving period. In addition to the first level familiar, the class also begins play with a patron: While within 60 ft. of the familiar, you get access to the patron’s specialized hex and spells granted by the patron, adding a decision here – scout ahead with the familiar or not? I like this.

We get a total of 14 patrons, ranging from vengeance over hyperspace to ancestors. These hexes include active and passive abilities and feature, for example, expanded class skills and and quicker tech dismantling, scaling ability to see through the dark or a nonlethal retributive pulse. Offensive abilities tend to feature a hex-caveat, i.e. that a single target can only be affected once per 24-hour interval. While this is a slight deviation from SFRPG’s default rest mechanic, I am sure that this is an intended departure to emphasize the somewhat eldritch nature of the witch – as such, I like this. Speaking of which – the rules, even when they are known to veterans from Pathfinder, do make use of e.g. fusions. This is not simply a lazy cut-copy-paste conversion.

While we’re on the subject of the class-defining hex ability: Regular, non-patron hexes, are gained at second level and every 2 levels thereafter, with Intelligence and ½ class level + 10 governing the save DC and activation action, unless otherwise noted, being a standard action. Important here: Unlike the patron hex bestowed by the patron class feature, regular hexes are not contingent of familiar proximity to use them. The hexes incorporate flight (with scaling), sharp nails, speak with animals, slowly sap away vitality – you will recognize a couple of these from PFRPG. There also is an option that lets you drain charges from nearby technological items…but as this one can already hint at, the internal balance of these hexes fluctuates quite a bit. The very powerful fortune hex makes a return, and while its limitations regarding number of times it can affect a target still remain, rolling twice and taking the higher result, i.e. the equivalent of 5e’s advantage, is VERY potent in SFRPG, compared to analogue abilities: The fortune hex is available as soon as second level and can be used infinite times per day, its limit based solely on target affected; compare that to the 2/day, self-only reroll of the star shaman’s 6th level ability, and you’ll note where I start having issues with the class.The same holds true for the debuff equivalent, twist fate. Lethargy inflicts a 30-yard (!) 1-round stagger, which is wildly better than the 6th level staggering shot exploit. Compare that with +1 to AC and saves until the target is hit or fails a save. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to note that something, somewhere, went horribly wrong with balancing here.

And yes, we’re still among the regular hexes. 10th and 18th level unlock the more potent major and grand hexes, respectively, and these are similarly oscillating between power levels. This is before the hex amplifications granted at 5th, 9th, 11th, 17th and 19th level, which allow for the delivery of hexes via melee and metamagic-like extensions of reach. As a saving grace, these all do cost Resolve and Split hex thankfully has its own caveats to prevent splitting mightier hexes until a certain level is gained. 3rd level nets weapon specialization.

The class comes with notes for use with archetypes – for most levels, this means losing hexes, with the exception of 9th level, where a hex amplification is lost instead. Familiar skills are improved in two categories, have 1 good and two poor saves and 8 types are provided. While their base engine makes them more fragile and less hardy than e.g. drones, the ability to deliver touch spells can make them rather devastating.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting on a formal and rules-language level,a re top-notch. I noticed no serious hiccups in that regard. Layout adheres to Rogue genius Games’ two-column full-color standard. The full color artworks are okay. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

The craftsmanship of Matt Morris’ class is excellent – we can see the experience of both designer and developer here, and the presentation is crisp as well. That being said, once you start to go into the nit and grit of the class and compare it to mystic, technomancer, etc., you’ll notice that it may have overshot its target, which was rather odd to witness in such a refined book. While the technomancer’s Extend Spell is e.g. better than the comparable hex amplification, hexes have no daily limit. Considering that SFRPG, quite consciously in my book, nerfed full casters in comparison to PFRPG, I am pretty damn sure that hexes should have further costs – I’d strongly advocate in favor of Resolve Point costs as further limiting factors for at least a couple of these base hex effects. Furthermore, while quite a few of these hexes do sport a power-level that is in line with SFRPG, others vastly outclass their peers and comparable options from other classes in the amount they can be used and potency.

In a way, this supplement buckles under its PFRPG-heritage; it attempts, and rather successfully, I might add, to transport the witch to the nova age. At the same time, it stumbles in the details, with rules-similarities breeding a degree of power-oscillation that is not wholly suitable for Starfinder as the system is right now. The craftsmanship is superb, but I am very weary of the power-level the witch has; as easy way to make this class more unique and well-rounded would be to further emphasize the uncommon sniping angle and familiar, while nerfing the hexes. While the limited spell-list can, in the long run, prove to be a balancing factor, for now, I can’t rate the class on potential developments to come. I certainly hope the class will get a whack or two with the handy ole’ laser-nerf-bat to bring it more in line with the classes featured in SFRPG’s core book. My final verdict, in spite of loving a lot about this pdf, can thus not exceed 3.5 stars, rounded down.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer's Codex: Witch Legacy Class
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Star Log.EM-018: Msvokas
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2018 07:48:59

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised version

This pdf 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!

After the by now traditional introduction to the subject matter, we begin with the flavorful component of the presentation of the race. The “Playing as XX“-section, as before in the series, is the only missing component in this section that contextualizes the race within Starfinder. As before, if you’re interested in Rogue Genius Games and Everyman Gaming’s shared Xa-Osoro system, you’ll be in for a bit of a treat, as the section unobtrusively notes how the races works within this implicit setting. The msvokas, somewhat goofy-looking though they may be, as you can see on the cover, are pretty unique:

They get +2 Con and Wis, -2 Strength, and have darkvision and 4 racial hit points. They also get immunity to nonmagical radiation. +4 racial bonus to saves versus magical radiation and fire resistance 5. Msvokas are naturally radioactive with a radius of 0 ft., extending only to their skin. Btw.: Grappling these creatures can cause low radiation poisoning. Balance-wise, the radiation they cause doesn't stack up, btw.

They can also unleash a radioactive ranged blast from their mouth, targeting EAC. Targets hit get a save or become poisoned by low radiation. If the msvoka expends Resolve Point, the blast ignores environmental protection versus radiation, though the usual +4 bonus such protections might convey is still applied. Here, things become really freaky, in a cool way: As radioactive beings that accrue toxic materials etc. within their bodies – after 6d4 months, these toxic substances begin breaking down their bodies, affecting them with the racial disease of isotopic degradation, which is based on Constitution, track-wise. It is incurable and cannot be distilled into doses. Now, here’s the thing:

When a msvoka rests for 8 hours, at the end, they can opt to undergo rebirthing, which turns their body to ash, cures the disease, and leaves a 1-foot egg with negligible bulk. The egg needs to be incubated for 4d6 days by a source of radiation; after hatching, the msvoka grows to adulthood in 1d3 days. Rules for infant/toddler-stages are noted, and upon reaching adulthood, the reborn msvoka regains the respective abilities. This rebirthing process may also be initiated upon dying, though at the cost of 2 negative levels added to the process. Death effects or accumulating negative levels, or falling to isotopic degradation, are the exceptions from this. Destruction of the egg also eliminates the msvoka.

Notice something? Yeah, the racial hit points, alas, are missing from the write up in an obvious and unnecessary oversight. The pdf also comes with a racial feat, Radiation Flare, which allows you to spend Resolve to extend the radiation aura – cool!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level; on a rules-language level, the lack of the racial hit points are the one serious glitch here. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard and Jacob Blackmon’s artwork for the race is great. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ msvokas were already one of the coolest races I have seen in a long time - now that the glitches have been purged, this is a true masterpiece! One of the most unique and evocative races I have ever read, this manages to get 5 stars + seal of approval. Oh, and I love it to the extent that the revised version gets the chance to make an appearance on my Top Ten of 2018.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-018: Msvokas
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Star Log.EM-017: Gnolls
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2018 07:42:31

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised version

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series 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!

After a brief introduction to the subject matter, we begin with a flavorful series of fluffy bits that serve to contextualize the gnoll race thematically within Starfinder as a rules system, as well as within the implied Xa-Osoro setting shared by Everyman Gaming and Rogue Genius Games. As before in the Star Log.EM-series, the “Playing a XX”-section that notes how you likely behave and how other races view you, is missing here.

Mechanically, gnolls get +2 Str and Con, -2 Cha, 6 hit points, and they are Medium with a 30 ft. speed. They get low-light vision, as well as a +2 racial bonus to saves versus disease, fear and poison. They get unarmed natural weapon, analogue to that of the vesk race. As a unique ability, gnolls can heckle targets. They get Intimidate as a class skill and gain +1 to Intimidate instead f they already have the skill. Gnolls may attempt to demoralize all foes within 30 ft. as a full action.

The pdf also contains 5 feats: Canine Gait allows you to adopt or stand from a 4-limbed movement rate as a move action, for quicker movement. Charging allows for the standing up sans action - the feat now works properly. Clamouring Heckle and Goading Heckle build on the AoE-demoralize, with the first allowing for quicker regular and AoE-demoralize, the latter allowing for the addition of the off-target condition, or the extension of such an effect created by an ally. Finally, Hyena Shape is cool, allowing you to assume hyena shape and potentially knock targets you hit that form prone. Like it!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, for the most part, are very good on a formal and rules-language level. The glitch in the perhaps coolest feat does hurt the pdf somewhat, though. Layout adheres to the full-color two-column standard of the series, and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ take on gnolls in SFRPG is per se solid; I like the Intimidate-focus via heckling – it makes sense to me and adds some unique identity to the gnolls. That being said, I would have loved to see the race have an additional trick or two. The improvements streamline the mechanics to the point where the race is worth 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-017: Gnolls
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Star Log.EM-009: Mechanic Tricks
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2018 07:36:11

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised version

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 this pdf with a brief introduction to the mechanic and the roles of the class, before diving straight into what we expected – new mechanic tricks! The pdf includes 3 different 2nd level mechanic tricks, the first of which would be Genius Mechanic. While spending at least 24 hours in a settlement, the mechanic may spend 8 hours as well as 50 times mechanic level squared in credits to create a genius mechanic fund. While carrying this fund, you are treated as having +2 bulk. You may, once per day, enact a brilliant plan. This allows you to withdraw from the fund in a 10 minute preparation, withdrawing any technological item or weapon that would have been available in the settlement used to shop for the brilliant plan, detracting its value from the pool. Item you could have crafted in the settlement’s resources may similarly be taken from the fund. The respective item’s bulk may not exceed 2 and the GM is the final arbiter of what works and what doesn’t. In essence, this is a crazy prepared ability, and one that has been improved regarding its verbiage.

Precision Demolitionist is amazing: When you attack with weapons with the explode weapon special ability, you may exclude up to 1 + Intelligence modifier (min 0) 5-ft.squares from the explosion – for 1 Resolve, you may double Intelligence modifier for the purpose of how many squares you can exclude. When missing, the ability does not work for the attack. NICE! Ranged Maneuvers lets you choose two combat maneuvers from dirty trick, disarm, reposition, sunder and trip. You may execute the chosen two maneuvers with melee or ranged attack rolls with a small arms weapon, provided the target is within your first range-increment. A further limitation to keep this in line is that the target’s environment needs mechanical devices or computers. The trick also has different synergy effects for drone and exocortex. Like it!

The pdf includes 4 8th-level mechanic tricks: Augment Explosive slightly increases the damage output of explosive weapons or armed explosives. Expanded Ranger Maneuvers builds on the previous trick and requires it, unlocking all maneuvers from the list. Explosive Trick is slightly problematic: “Whenever you use the dirty trick or sunder combat maneuver against an opponent…”, you cause an explosion as if you attacked the target with a grenade with an item level equal to your mechanic level and grenade type being chosen by the GM, depending on circumstances. When using dirty trick, you also knock the target prone on a failed save, while sunder adds damage to the targeted object. While the ability needs a 10 minute rest and1 Resolve point to regain a use, I do think that the trick should specify that the dirty trick/sunder attempt actually must hit – RAW, the trick does not require that you actually hit the target. The last 8th level trick is Improved Genius Mechanic, which lets you spend 1 Resolve to enact another genius plan within 24 hours after you have executed the first. I assume that this still requires that you have sufficient funds to do so.

The pdf also has a single 14th level mechanic trick, Penetrating Demolitionist. When you arm an explosive, you can attempt an Engineering check to assess the structural integrity of every vehicle and object in the explosion radius. The Engineering roll’s result is then compared to the Engineering DC of those. Items and structures are assumed to have a DC of 20, vehicles 15 + 1.5 times the vehicle level. On a success, you detract your mechanic level from the item’s hardness. Thankfully, it does not stack with other DR/hardness/etc.-reducing options and the DC-fixing helps to maintain rules-integrity.

The pdf also provides quite a few nice angles regarding the roles of mechanics in the Xa-Osoro system shared by Rogue Genius Games and Everyman Gaming.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level. On a rules-language level, a few components could be slightly tighter, but as a whole, my complaints boil down to nitpicks. Layout adheres to the ncie two-column full-color standard of the series and the pdf sports a nice artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas provides some really cool mechanic tricks, with the explosive-tricks in particularly being rather neat. While the genius plan-sequence of tricks could be a bit tighter, I consider this one to be worth owning. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4 stars. EDIT: The improvements add +0,5 stars, but I still feel like this is closer to rounding down.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-009: Mechanic Tricks
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Star Log.EM-008: Mystic Theurge
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2018 07:30:40

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

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!

The flavor-centric introduction of the class acknowledges the transition magic undergone, eliminating the erstwhile arcane/divine divide in favor of the new magic traditions of Starfinder; as such, the mystic theurge tradition is seen as a form of pioneer in the context of Xa-Osoro.

The mystic theurge archetype behaves, to an extent, behaves as a kind of magical archaeologist and, as written, the archetype is written to be compatible with the Starfarer’s Companion’s classes. The archetype gains alternate class features at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 12th and 18th level. It should be noted that the archetype focuses on spells and as such requires pretty much spellcasting: All alternate class features, except the one gained at 9th level, would be esoteric spell lore.

At each of these levels, you choose a spell list other than your own and a chosen spell from that list that is not on your class list. You add the chosen spell to the spell’s known, and if you employ another external way to prepare your spells, you add the spell to that receptacle instead. Once you have chosen this spell, you may not change it later, though e.g. if you’ve chosen a spell with a variable spell level, you may replace the lower level version with a higher level version. It should be noted that this does not allow you to choose race-exclusive spells, nor spells taken from a bonus spell-list à la mystic connections. When you choose this spell, it must be one level lower than the highest spell-level you can cast. EDIT: I believe in owning up to my mistakes. I have erroneously stated that this would be useless; however, Starfinder's 0-level spells are no longer divorced, nomenclature-wise, from the "proper" spells, making this aspect work as presented. Mea Culpa! On the plus-side, the 9th level casters (of which I’m not biggest fan) in Starfarer’s Companion do get alternate rules pertaining that - ½ the highest spell level you can cast +1.

The other alternate class feature, gained at 9th level, would be spell synthesis, which allows you to cast two spells at once as a full action: One from your class spell list and one chosen via esoteric lore. The spells must have a standard action casting time or less and the ability requires 1 Resolve to activate. If you spend 2 Resolve instead, you gain +2 to overcome SR with both spells. The interaction with concentration has been streamlined and now works properly.

The pdf foes come with a new feat, the Combine Spells feat that requires levels in more than one spellcasting class, which allows you to cast 1st level or lower spells using spell slots from either spellcasting class, but at +1 spell level slot required. The feat may be chosen multiple times and each time, it applies its benefits to one spell slot higher.

The pdf closes with a flavorful half page text on how mystic theurges behave in the Xa-Osoro system.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, on a formal level, are very good. On a rules-language level, some hiccups and ambiguities have crept into the file. Layout adheres to the two-column full-color standard of the series and the piece of full-color artwork is solid. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

EDIT: Alexander Augunas’ mystic theurges are a per se nifty take on the concept. The revision of the file renders the mystic theurge a worthwhile take on the concept, granting the pdf a new verdict of 4 stars. Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-008: Mystic Theurge
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Star Log.EM-004: Assassin
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2018 07:24:24

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised version

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

See, this archetype is a great example why I like Starfinder’s pretty open archetype-system – Assassins should be varied! There’s a reason I adore the more modular solutions presented for Assassin concepts in Pathfinder (most notably, the great Modular Assassin by Interjection Games and the exciting Assassins of Porphyra by Purple Duck Games). But I digress.

The assassin-archetype presented herein grants alternate class features at 6th, 9th, 12 and 18th level.

6th level nets Death Attack. In order to use the ability, you must succeed a Bluff, Disguise or Stealth check against 20 + 1.5 times the target’s CFR; the respective checks are properly codified. On a failure, the target notices you as a threat, preventing you from performing death attacks against it for 1 day unless you spend 1 Resolve Point. Okay, is that an action? I assume not, analogue to many envoy improvisations, but I still think it would have been nice to see it explicitly stated. You must study the target for 3 consecutive round, and after that, you may move up to your base speed and then perform the death attack as a full-round action.

The death attack must be executed with a melee or ranged weapon that you’re proficient with or a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action that deals Hit Point Damage and requires an attack roll against the target’s respective appropriate AC. Minor complaint – personally, I probably would have specified that the means of delivery determine the AC used, but that is pure aesthetics and won’t influence the verdict. If you hit with these paradigms, you deal normal damage to the target, the victim must succeed a Fort-save (governed by your key ability score modifier) and either be temporarily paralyzed or take bonus damage governed by item levels of the weapon in question. Nice for fans of the Starfarer’s Companion: 9th level-spellcasting classes get their spell-levels translated alongside Starfinder’s regular 6-level spellcasting progression. If the damage exceeds the remaining hit points, the target must succeed a second Fortitude save…or he’s dead – no bartering, no resolve – dead. You can’t make death attacks with unwieldy or explosion weapons or those that require a full action to attack. Spring Attack and Shot on the Run synergy are provided. It should btw. be noted that death attacks are NOT death effects!

9th level yields Hide in Plain Sight, already hinted at in Starfinder’s Hide skill use of Stealth, makes an appearance here – it pretty much does what you expect: Hide while observed, provided you have some sort of cover etc. The ability concisely defines interaction with darkvision etc. and other senses. At 9th level, there would be quiet death, which lets you make successful death attacks that kill or paralyze silent via Stealth. Pretty much the lack of the paralysis-option’s an oversight here. The 19th level ability enhances death attack: You can spend Resolve Points to reduce the number of rounds required for death attacks to a minimum of 1 round (2 Resolve) –spending Resolve this way doesn’t take an action, fyi. Additionally, foes slain via death attacks crumble to dust, preventing the more common ways of returning the dead to life.

The last 0.5 page is devoted to the contextualization of the assassin archetype within the Xa-Osoro system shared by Everyman Gaming and Rogue Genius Games – we hear about the Dragonheir Concordance corporation, a ruthless kobold mining corporation; we learn about the roles of freelancers, the deoxyian gene-trading goliath helix and Sanguinary stewards, sworn to protect the coffins of the vampire lords – some cool angles here.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no grievous glitches. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard of the series. The pdf comes with a solid full-color artwork and has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ assassin had me start rather skeptically – the Skill-check based mechanic may yet be unhinged, as Starfinder, so far, is a very young system. That being said, the strict limitations in place and the relatively conservative formula mean that, basic math-wise, this will, at least for not, not come apart – and after that, the archetype still has some knobs to turn, so kudos there – smart design. I generally liked this archetype. I Sooo, how to rate this. I did enjoy this supplement, though, frankly, I would have liked to see some benefits for less optimal assassin-weapon-choices; RAW, range is pretty much king here, since the studying doesn’t have a range. That makes sense in Starfinder’s universe, obviously, but yeah, consider that to be a bit of a lost chance in my book. Ultimately, my final verdict for the revised editionwill clock in at 4 stars, +0.5 stars for getting the paralyze-oversight right in the revision.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-004: Assassin
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Star Log.EM-003: Collateral Characters
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2018 07:19:14

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series 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!

We begin this pdf, as always, with a brief, flavorful recap, as these logs are presented as queries to a database; this time around, the tie-in to the shared Xa-Osoro system that is assumed to be the backdrop for Rogue Genius Games and Everyman Gaming’s Starfinder-supplements, is particularly profound: One of the system’s binary stars has imploded in a black hole in a catastrophe known as Regicide, which destroyed the Radiant Imperium’s central seat of government in Azan, creating the region now known as Blood Space. As a consequence of this collapse, piracy has run rampant, including a practice of slaying all adults, taking kids as de facto slaves – collateral for the damages incurred by boarding and vanquishing their caretakers. Thus, this pdf deals with such former slaves…which btw. are considered to be property even by the Imperium’s laws. Ouch.

A character with this background can be represented by one new theme and one archetype, the first of which would be Collateral; +1 Con. The theme nets, at 1st level, the option to choose a Profession skill. Recall knowledge DC is reduced by 5 to recall hierarchies, practices, personal and illicit dealings regarding the profession chosen. Additionally, you gain Athletics or Piloting as a class skill or +1 to the chosen skill if you already have it as a class skill. 6th level yields +1 morale bonus to Piloting and damage rolls when at 0 stamina or when a vessel you’re piloting has less than half total hull points left. 12th level yields +1 hit point and Stamina Point per level. I assume this also applying to new levels gained, as per Starfinder’s Toughness feat, though unlike the feat, it does not have the “whenever you gain a new level”-sequence, which means that it may be read as a one-time boost. Clarification would be nice here. The 18th level ability nets you a pool of Collateral Resolve Points equal to Constitution bonus, minimum 1. These may not be used in any other way than to stabilize and if you have no regular Resolve left, you lose one Collateral Resolve Point per round instead. You don’t die as long as you have either Resolve or Collateral Resolve Points left. Basically, this makes you tougher to kill. Nice.

The archetype presented herein would be the diehard collateral, whose replacement abilities come at 2nd, 6th and 9th level – this one represents characters taken as collaterals while kids or in their adolescence. The 2nd level ability lets you spend Resolve to stay in the fight after stabilizing, also healing 1d8 + Constitution modifier HP as a reaction. The amount of hit points improves to 3d8 at 4th level, 5d8 at 7th, 12d8 at 10th, 16d8 at 14th and 20d8 at 17th level…The ability has been revised and improved, now granting temporary hit points instead of full healing, contextualizing it properly with e.g. Solarian abilities.

Bloodied Frenzy at 6th level nets +2 untyped bonus versus fear effects. Whenever you have 0 Stamina, you gain ¼ level as a morale bonus to weapon damage rolls. If you also have less than half of your maximum hit points, you increase that to ½ your level. I am not a big fan of such thresholds à la 4th ed’s bloodied condition. If you have the collateral theme as well, the bonuses stack.

The pdf also provides some really cool, flavorful write-ups of worlds and factions in the Xa-Osoro system, allowing you to contextualize which faction/corporation or world has taken your character as collateral. Really flavorful section!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level. On a rules-language level, it is also tight and improved. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column full-color standard for the series. The artwork featured is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ collateral characters are a neat idea, executed in a solid manner. The theme featured makes sense to me and the archetype will find its friends. However, there are a few minor aspects that could be construed as problematic. The collateral archetype lets you build a fearsome, fearsome tank, and the revisions made render the options strong, yes, but eliminate the potential for abuse and contextualize them better in SFRPG. My final verdict will hence be upgraded to the 5 stars the revision deserves.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-003: Collateral Characters
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Everyman Minis: Way of the Eight
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2018 07:00:39

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

This installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

On the first page, next to the introduction, we are greeted by supplemental material – this time around, that would be 3 new feats: Eight Steps Acolyte, Eight Steps Initiate and Eight Steps Master.

But before we can take a look at them…what is this “Way of the Eight”? Well, it basically is a philosophical concept that revolves around transcending the physical limitations – it is thus geared towards martially-inclined characters. Only characters with ki, martial flexibility or stamina may attempt climbing the 8 steps – note that Combat Stamina does not suffice. Additionally, the character must have the Endurance feat. Beginning to ascend the Way of the Eight costs a swift action and 1 point ki, 1 use of martial flexibility, or 2 stamina. Stamina thus spent may not be recovered until the character has finished 8 hours of rest. On subsequent rounds, the character may expend additional uses/points and actions to ascend further. Alternatively, a character may ascend multiple steps at once as a full-round action, with costs being cumulative. A limitation regarding steps would be the base attack bonus (cool!) – in order to ascend to a step, the character’s BAB must be twice the step’s number. Step 3 would hence require a BAB of +6 or higher. Each round while the practitioner has ascended at least one step, she takes nonlethal damage equal to twice the number of steps ascended – 8 while on 4th step, for example. When using a full-round action to hasten along the journey, the character takes nonlethal damage equal to 10 times the step ascended to. Nonlethal damage thus incurred can’t be reduced or redirected, nor can they be healed unless the character has been reduced “below 1st” (here, “step” is missing) and rested for 10 minutes. Creatures immune to nonlethal damage can’t ascend on the way.

Ascending on the way grants a number of special abilities, dependant on the step, and a practitioner can remain ascended for a number of rounds equal to the character’s Constitution score – after that, it requires further ki/martial flexibility/stamina expenditure to remain ascended. If lethal and nonlethal hit point damage exceed maximum hit points, the character similarly crashes down. After losing the steps, the character remains exhausted for a number of minutes equal to the highest step reached.

Okay, that out of the Way: The Initiate feat lets you ascend as a free action, but not more than once per round. You can use it in conjunction with the usual activation actions (allowing you to take 2 steps sans the full-round action extra nonlethal damage). The Acolyte feat decreases the rank of the step by one for purpose of nonlethal damage incurred. EDIT: The pdf now clarifies that nonlethal damage does not go away until it has been decreased below step 1.

Okay, so what do these steps net you? First, a HD-governed atk and damage boost; at 2nd level damage die increase for weapon attacks, as though affected by lead blades/gravity bow. Step 3 nets more movement, short-burst Fly (must end on surface) and slowed falls. Step 4 nets an AC and Reflex-save boost governed by steps, as well as a DR (which is halved versus adamantine – interesting!). Step 5 nets supernatural versions of scorching ray (free) and cone of cold, fireball, lightning bolt (cost ki/martial flexibility/stamina) that deal force damage. These are SUs, with CL based on BAB and Constitution as DC-governing attribute. Step 6 nets haste. Step 7 makes movement instantaneous – the practitioner disappears and reappears at the place in question. No AoOs from foes sans Combat reflexes. For double the usual activation cost (2/2/4), the character can grant himself the benefits of displacement. (Italicization is missing.) Step 8 provides basically advantage (rolling twice, take better result) for all ability and skill checks, attacks and saves. The practitioner doesn’t lose steps upon being reduced to 0 hp, gains ferocity and adds BAB to Constitution score to determine negative hit point thresholds before dying.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring hiccups. Layout adheres to Everyman gaming’s nice two-column standard and the full-color art is ncie. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Luis Loza’s “Way of the Eight” is an interesting twist on the design-paradigm of chakras presented in Occult Adventures – the flexibility and relatively painless options to ascend make sense. In fact, I could see this concept carry a whole series of pdfs or a bigger file, all with different ways. This is an interesting, fun offering. Now, personally, I would have enjoyed slightly more unique benefits from the steps, but of well – can’t have everything, right? As a whole, I enjoyed this. The rules have been clarified, making this now a full 5 star-file.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Way of the Eight
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Everyman Minis: Brawler Archetypes
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2018 06:41:41

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

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!

This pdf begins with a brief introduction and then, the pdf sports two new feats: Feral Pugilism lets you use a natural attack in conjunction with abilities of Improved Unarmed Strike, which now makes the chosen natural attack behave as a light weapon instead of as a natural weapon. The rules-language is cleaner, but the combination of unarmed strike benefits in conjunction with natural attacks can still be rather potent. Versatile Pugilism lets you choose one melee weapon, which may be a natural attack – this attack may be used in conjunction with brawler’s flurry and makes it count as a close weapon for the purpose of close weapon mastery. In the revision, the feat now locks you in the benefits of unarmed strike, keeping the focus of teh class on brawling. The benefits can still be pretty hefty, but rules-wise, this is much improved.

The pdf then proceeds with a selection of new archetypes: The brute is proficient with simple weapons and great club as well as light armor and shields (except tower shields). The archetype gains Weapon Focus (club) as a bonus feat at 1st level and applies all weapon-specific benefits for the club to the great club as well, and vice versa. At 5th level, the brute’s melee attacks with clubs ignore 1 point of DR, + 1 point at 8th level and every 3 levels thereafter. DR/- is not ignored and the benefits stack with Penetrating Strike and its Greater brother. This replaces unarmed strike and brawler’s strike. Brawler’s flurry may only be used with clubs and great clubs and 8th level modifies close weapon mastery to instead apply to clubs, using the brawler’s unarmed damage at -4 levels as a possible substitution, if it exceeds the damage of the club. The revisions of the feats make the archetype viable.

The hurling dynamo replaces proficiency with the close weapon group with thrown weapons. The dynamo’s flurry only works with unarmed strikes and thrown weapons, but both may be used within a flurry, with ranged weapon attacks counting as benefiting from Quick Draw while flurrying. The flurry can now explicitly be combined with rapid Shot. 2nd level locks the character into Precise Shot as a bonus feat. Instead of maneuver training, 3rd level yields either Ranged Feint or the option to use a chosen combat maneuver within one range increment, maximum 30 ft., using Dex-modifier to calculate CMB. This is penalized, though. The first attack of a flurry may be replaced with a maneuver or action chosen with this ability (nice catch re feinting!) and 7th level and every 4 levels thereafter yield another maneuver choice. 5th level modifies the close weapon group mastery to instead work, at -4 levels, based on brawler unarmed damage, provided that damage would exceed that of the weapon.

The kiai master replaces maneuver training with menacing shout at 3rd level, whenever the character hits at least once in a brawler’s flurry, she can make a demoralize attempt against a target thus hit as a swift action. 7th level allows for the intimidation of all targets within 30 ft. that saw the hit. The range of this area of effect improves at 11th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Starting at 4th level, the demoralize attempt, if successful, causes 1d6 sonic damage, but a given foe can only take this damage once per round. 10th level adds +1d6 sonic damage and deafened to the target for 1 round, and 16th level increases the damage to 3d6 and increases the deafened condition to 1d4 rounds. This replaces knockout.

Finally, there would be the style savant, who only gains the benefits of style feats and combat feats based on style feats when using martial flexibility – the style savant can ignore the feat’s respective prerequisite. Yep, this allows you to directly skip ahead to the final feat in a style chain. That is problematic, as the ignoring of prerequisites contradicts the central limitation of martial flexibility and prevents the viable reference to the default ability to clear the rules-language. Also from an action economy perspective – can the respective later feats building on a Style feat only be used when entering that style, which RAW, the archetype can’t when not having chosen the respective Style feat? You could use this, theoretically, to take Crane Riposte sans Crane Style. You couldn't, RAW, use it when not in the style, but yeah. This is still weird. At 1st level, the style savant treats his brawler level as fighter or monk levels for prerequisite purposes and also as the number of skill ranks in all skills for the purpose of qualifying for style feats or feats that list one or style feats among the prerequisites, replacing martial training. Maneuver training is replaced by two abilities – savant’s style, which lets the character mix two styles known into a more flexible style, allowing the character to be in two styles at once – cool: The action economy here is concise and at 19th level, the character can be in 3 different styles at once. At 7th level, the style savant may use martial flexibility as a move action to enter all allowed stances, which improves to 15th level as a swift action. he verbiage here has improved to the point where I consider the component precise

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, on a formal level, are very good. On a rules-language level, the pdf has improved significantly as well. Layout adheres to Everyman gaming’s two-column standard with a b/w-background and a nice full-color artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Sasha Hall’s brawler options have in common that they seek to generate new choices and engine tweaks for the brawler class, which is generally something I applaud. The improvements made to the pdf enhance it significantly. It's is not perfect, but a vast improvement and proof that Everyman Gaming cares. This upgrades the verdict to 3.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Brawler Archetypes
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Everyman Minis: Microsized Templates
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2018 06:19:20

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 5 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, I absolutely ADORE Microsized Adventures. It made my Top Ten for a reason. It opens a whole new cosmos of cool rules, of adventuring possibilities and fun.

Well, this pdf, beyond explaining how the special size modifier works in context of PCs and foes that are radically shrunk/enlarged, sports an extremely high crunch-density: We basically get 8 microsized templates: These list not only the modifications applied to the microsized being (and the special size modifier), but also the modifications for the respective ordinary-sized foe. The differences in size range from one size category to eight size categories! In the latter case, PCs will suffer: They will inflict paltry damage and the CR of even harmless critters skyrockets. Fluffy the Cat suddenly is looking like a really sadistic Kaiju…

And that’s about it – this pdf is all about application and convenience. You can hand it out to your players and have them gulp. Or you can use it as an easy cheat sheet. Either way, it makes changes in size run smoothly and fluidly and thus qualifies as one of the rare, small pdfs that really enhance the game, far beyond what the page-count would make you believe.

Update: The minor glitches in the math have been fixed! The pdf is now much better!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level and the rules-language glitches have been fixed. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s printer-friendly two-column standard and the full-color artwork is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ templates here are convenient, easy to apply, well-presented and explained – in short, this pdf is a pure joy to work with, a really fun tool in the arsenal of the GM. Now that the previous glitches have been fixed, this becomes a phenomenal resource - well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Microsized Templates
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Everyman Minis: Yroometji
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2018 06:13:26

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised version

This revised installment of the Everyman Minis-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This review was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review. Furthermore, I received an advance copy in order to have the review done on release day.

So, what are the Yroometji? Kangaroo-folk. They gain +2 Con and Cha, -2 Int, are Medium, get low-light vision, +2 to Acrobatics made to jump (and are always treated as having a running start, +1 natural AC and a natural slam attack (cosmetic complaint - you need to resort to default - it does not specify being primary or secondary) at 1d4 bludgeoning and piercing damage and a crit-range of 19-20 when using their feet, or 1d6 bludgeoning damage with the tail. Readied attacks with the tail deal double damage versus charges, as though it had the brace quality. Additionally, they have a pouch that can hold up to 1 cubic foot volume or 10 pounds and if no armor or clothing restricts access to the pouch, transference of an item to or from it requires a swift or move action. Armor that grants pouch access costs slightly more and what constitutes restrictions to pouch access is concisely defined. All in all a solid race that should not provide any problems, regardless of campaign tone or power-level.

Now, as has become the tradition with Everyman Gaming's take on races, this is not where we leave off - the yroometji depicted here are more than what you'd usually expect, with notes on physical descriptions, life cycles, cultures, religion, etc. all being depicted in surprising and neat depth for a pdf of this size. Favored class options for brawler, skald, shaman and druid have been included.

Speaking of brawler: The first of the racial archetypes within this pdf would be the Five-Strike Slugger for yroometji brawlers. These guys reduce their proficiency regarding weapons to simple weapons and may not use monk or close weapons as part of their flurries, but may use their slam attack in conjunction with it and also deliver abilities that require unarmed strike use with it. Nice: Instead of maneuver training, these guys can choose combat or psychological maneuvers from a list and add them to the effects of slam attacks, with 3rd level unlocking the first of these and every 4th level thereafter providing a new one. This ties in with the ability that replaces weapon mastery, namely to gain an unarmed strike or slam attack at full BAB minus 5 after affecting a target with a psychological or combat maneuver. And no, it can't be abused in combination with flurries or the free maneuver added to slam attacks, thanks to an explicit piece of rules-language.

The second archetype would be the ancestral hunter for, bingo, the hunter class. Instead of animal focus, these hunters get to choose from a wide array of spirit foci, ranging from knowing the way to communication, blur, etc. - 8th and 15th level provide upgrades for the spirit choices. 3rd level yields the shaman shapeshift hey, with minutes of spirit aspect being usable to shapeshift, but nice vice versa. Additionally, the companion may be thus transformed into a Medium or Small humanoid while under the effects of spirit aspect. This replaces the bonus feat gained at 3rd level. Flavorful and interesting, rather cool tweak of the hunter class!

The race also comes with a 2-feat mini-feat tree based on Vital Strike: hop on the tail and execute a particularly potent feat slam, with Acrobatics acting as a means to increase damage - but thankfully capping via the weapon damage dice rolled. pretty interesting -while I'm usually not a big fan of this type of feats, it does work rather well here. The follow-up feat, Disembowling Kick, adds Con bleed to such assaults - ouch!

Really cool would be the 2 spells included: Handy pouch makes your pouch act as a variant handy haversack and pouch ally lets you shrink down allies and carry them in your pouch! Amazing!

HUGE Plus: The revised edition now comes with full vital statistics AND Ultimate Campaign-style background information!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch on both a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming's two-column b/w-standard and the pdf features a neat full-color artwork. The pre-release copy I have has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas' yroometji are actually a mechanically interesting race that also comes with an interesting flavor and theme; I haven't seen the kangaroo folk done well before and the visuals of the race are compelling, juggling complex concepts. The spells in particular are gold and I really like the race - in fact, I like it so much I hope it'll get full Compendium treatment with details galore on these unique fellow and their culture.

The revised version of this pdf now also includes the vital statistics, catapulting this to 5 star + seal of approval territory!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: Yroometji
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Star Log Deluxe: Aging Rules
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/19/2018 08:35:20

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This extra-long installment of the Star Log-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, after a brief introduction to the subject matter, we begin with defining age categories, a component I found puzzling in its absence from the Starfinder core rulebook.

This pdf seeks to remedy this gap and provide mechanically-relevant consequences of age. The pdf recognizes 8 age categories: Infant, toddler, child, adolescent, young adult, mature adult, old adult, and venerable adult. Mental and physical age category usually are identical, but don’t have to be.

Each age category has an aging modifier that applies to many of the character’s abilities, acting as ability penalties, which may only be lessened, removed or suppressed by other aging effects. The mental age category’s aging penalty is applied to the mental ability score, the physical one to the physical ability scores. Infants and toddlers are restricted regarding both physical and mental acumen, while they and children have restrictions regarding physical traits. The maximum age penalty an age category can impose on its own is -5. The age categories are concisely presented – toddlers and infants are, obviously, highly restricted on the actions they can take, for example.

But more important, the aging process in itself is concisely defined, and a massive table notes age categories for the core races, legacy Pathfinder races and the massive amount of Starfinder races, including the skinwalkers introduced in the Star Log.EM-series. Since the scifi-genre is rife with complex races and uncommon life-cycles, the system can account for reverse aging etc. and similar oddities. Since the pdf provides, step by step breakdowns of aging categories, the pdf is superbly easy to tweak regarding these components. Heck, provided the GM allows, there is the option to treat characters as 25% younger or older to account for differences in maturity.

Now, Julian Barnes once said, that “identity is memory, memory identity”. – it is a sad truth that the deterioration of the physical form represents a fate that all living things have to come to terms with. Optional rules to avoid mental and physical deterioration are provided, which allow you to depict the ever-growing strain that trauma can impose on the well-being of the individual. Particularly if you’re aiming for a more gritty Starfinder-experience, these rules should prove o be inspiring. Special cases like androids or samsarans are also mentioned.

This out of the way, we are introduced to two new themes: Old-times nets +1 to one mental ability score and nets you and Int-based theme skill. 6th level enhances your bonuses for covering fire, harrying fire and aid another, provided your skill bonus in the skill in question, BAB or age exceeds that of the assisted ally – the respective conditions are presented in a concise and precise manner. 12th level lets you add +1d4 to a nearby younger ally’s skill check, provided the ally has been under your tutelage. This can be used only once per day per target, with Resolve paying for additional uses. At 18th level, you can regain limited Resolve when a younger being rolls a natural 20. The ability has a hard cap to prevent abuse. Cool theme!

The second theme is prodigy, which nets a class skill, -5 to all of the skill’s DCs, and nets you +1 in the associated ability score. 6th level allows you to roll a skill check in the skill at advantage (roll twice, take better result) 1/day. 12th level allows you to complete longer tasks quicker by entering a trance that leaves you wide open. As a capstone, at 20th level, you can regain limited Resolve when rolling a natural 20 in the skill you specialize in. The pdf also includes new technology associated with age:

NCNUs (neural cartography nanite units) are implanted in the brain and rewire the mind, enhancing the character to Young Adult category in 6 months; Youth Enhancer Systems (endocrine slot) reduce physical ability score penalties imposed by the aging modifier – these come up to Mk V. Also for the endocrine system, there’d be the quick-gro biotech, basically the biotech means to physically age you to young adulthood quickly. There are two magic serums introduced – one for age regression and one for age progression.

The pdf also contains two different hybrid items, the first of which would be the external neural interface, which allows you to directly interface with powered armor, starships or vehicles. Powered armor pilots gain initiative and Ref-saves bonuses and increased maximum Dexterity values; starships can be piloted better and gunning, obviously, also improves when taking that role. Vehicles can be enhanced regarding attacks and AI autopilots overridden. Implanting this item in adults is more dangerous than usual – though kids have an easier time surviving the process unharmed. Particularly nasty: The higher Mk versions require the previous one to be present, meaning that a new surgery for upgrading is required. Similarly, reducing such a system takes multiple surgeries, so you better know what you’re getting into… Secondly, rejuvies are pills that combine necromancy and nanobots to combat aging in a delightful satire of our culture’s obsession with youth: These can alleviate age penalties and pain, and “Gray Away” pills can get rid of physical age modifiers, with greater versions allowing for the temporary regression of mental age – this can make for particularly interesting narratives in conjunction with the deterioration-rules in grittier games, or to offset penalties of an aged character, with a pressure to adventure for credits to keep the rejuvies flowing…

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level – I noticed no significant formal or rules-relevant guffaws. Layout adheres to the nice two-column full-color standard of the series, and the pdf sports a nice full-color artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Alexander Augunas’ aging rules are precise, easy to grasp, and cleanly-presented. They fill an important hole in Starfinder’s core rules and do so elegantly. The material presented is complex enough to be mechanically-relevant, without becoming too potent, too character-defining; your character will be race and class first, then defined by the age, not vice versa. Min-maxing isn’t a good option here either. Sure, there are tangible benefits to age categories, but not enough to unhinge the math. In short, this represents a well-crafted, interesting supplement, well worth checking out: My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log Deluxe: Aging Rules
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Starfarer's Companion
by Joseph D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2018 12:10:36

Despite a few editorial and design issues initially (which at the time of this review have been fixed) this book is fantastic! I utilize it as an 'additional core' for our Starfinder campaign.

The additional races are better balanced than their Pathfinder equivalent, and the classes are up to snuff with the Core Starfinder classes, adding a bevy of new options and abilities to the table.

Highly recommend picking it up for the price, and I know I intend to try and get my hands on a physical copy or two to have for quick reference!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer's Companion
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Star Log.EM-016: Stellar Revelations
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/18/2018 06:29:49

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion for the Solarian-class 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!

After the introduction, which also discusses the dualistic nature of the class, we move straight into the new stellar revelations of the class, with graviton and pulsar revelations both sporting a “G” or “P” to denote their respective type. We begin with 2nd level, where 3 revelations are provided, 2 of which are proton revelations: Proton blast lets you fire plasma as a laser small arm, with an item level no greater than one below your solarian level. This cannot have autofire, does not require charges, and inflicts E& F damage. Solar weapon and manifestation apply their benefits to this blast. Proton lash acts similarly, using a taclash as a basis, using Charisma bonus instead of Strength bonus, with the tweaks otherwise being similar. The Graviton defender revelation, alas, is slightly wonky: Whenever an ally within 60 ft. of you makes an attack, you can use your reaction to divert the attack, making it behave as covering fire sans requiring an attack roll, with the penalty being -2 or Charisma modifier, whichever is higher. Covering fire, as per SFRPG, requires that you designate a selected ally, something that this ability does not mention; I assume that the affected ally is the one whose attack you diverted.

At 6th level, 3 new revelations are provided as well: The plasma flare proton revelation makes it possible for enemies hit with plasma weapons while in proton mode to get the burning condition on a failed save,a s you tap into solar armor’s power, which acts as a prerequisite. One of the two graviton revelations also requires solar armor: Graviton impact allows you, while attuned to graviton mode and taking a full attack, attack or charge t spend 1 Resolve Point. If you do, the next time you hit a target before the start of your next turn, you may use a free sunder attempt versus that enemy’s weaponry or armor, using attack roll as the combat maneuver, applying all usual bonuses. When fully attuned, you add the penetrating special weapon quality. The second graviton revelation lets you, as a standard action, target a foe within 30 ft., who must succeed a Fort-save or suffer temporarily as though carrying additional bulk. When fully attuned, you also impose a penalty based on Charisma to determine the amount of bulk the target can carry thus.

The pdf also sports two 10th level revelations. Graviton fluctuations lets you, when in graviton mode and using defy gravity to gain a fly speed, leave fluctuations in your wake that may render targets off-kilter on a failed save, with 12th level allowing for the extension of durations. Damn cool! Nitpick: The ability does not specify that it requires defy gravity, which it probably should. The proton burst revelation builds on the proton blast/lash or solarian weapon: When making a single attack with these as a standard action, you can adopt proton mode until the start of your next turn. You may choose explosion or line mode, adding explode (5 ft.) for melee (should probably note “melee” explicitly, even though that aspect is evident from context), acting as a grenade at range. In line mode, proton burst counts as having the unwieldy and line properties, but no benefits for the other options are provided here.

The pdf closes with a nice section that talks about solarians in the Xa-Osoro system.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level. On a rules-language level, there were a few minor nitpicks for me to note. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard of the series, and the pdf has a nice artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

The solarian is one of the most interesting classes in SFRPG, and easily one aspects of the game that sets it apart from other Scifi games. I really enjoy the flavor and ideas inherent in the Solarian options, and the mode-based playstyle is intriguing. The added options presented here allow for some intriguing tweaks to the chassis and generally are components that I enjoy. However, at the same time, the rules are a tad bit less refined than what I’m accustomed to see from Alexander Augunas, and at this length, minor flaws weigh heavier than in larger files. If you can look past aforementioned nitpicks, then consider this to be worth rounding up; as a reviewer, I can’t round up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-016: Stellar Revelations
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Star Log.EM-015: Skinwalker
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/12/2018 06:37:40

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series 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!

We begin with a brief introduction to the subject matter at hand before getting a detailed depiction of the Skinwalker races, including a physical description, notes on their home world and the like – and indeed, the race’s history in the Xa-Osoro system is rather amazing: When Blood Space seeped into Eogawa’s atmosphere, the non-native population of the moon was turned into frothing lycanthropes…and yet, by some miracle, those infected while pregnant gave birth to skinwalkers, rising from savagery courtesy of vanara aid! A young race defined by the culture into which they’re birthed, we get notes on different skinwalker relations and yes, as such a young species, they have adventuring pretty much hardcoded into their DNA. Minor nitpick: No “Playing as…”-section is provided. Vital statistics regarding weight, etc. are not included, alas, though one can assume the human baseline.

Rules-wise, skinwalkers get 4 hp, +2 Wis, -2 Cha and add +2 to a physical ability score of their choice. Skinwalkers are humanoids with the human, skinwalker and shapechanger subtypes, are Medium and have a base speed of 30 ft. One animal or vermin is chosen as lineage. Every skinwalker can assume a hybrid shape based on their lineage as a standard action (reversal is the same), granting them a +10 racial bonus to Disguise. Being knocked unconscious and the like is properly covered. In this hybrid form, they get a +1 bonus to AC. They also have low-light vision, gain +2 to Survival and in their hybrid form, they get natural attacks analogue to the Vesk.

At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 12th or 18th level, a skinwalker may choose the Bestial Shapechange feat as if granted by an archetype. When taking the feat, you get to choose one of several manifestations, provided you meet the prerequisites, if any. These include no penalties to damage and atk underwater with kinetic melee weapons, and being able to hold your breath longer. Being able to speak with vermin, magical beasts and animals, gaining a blindsight (type taken into account; it must make sense regarding lineage – this is an important balancing factor, as it prevents taking the more potent blindsight variants), darkvision (can be improved regarding range), quicker shapechanging and gaining two class skills from a brief list complement this section.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious hiccups on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard of the series, and the pdf sports a nice piece of artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas provides an interesting race here: Born from a cataclysmic event, skinwalkers allow you to play, in a balanced manner, the classic lycanthrope concept without the infection issues that usually accompany it. The benefits of the feat are weighed and presented in an interesting manner as well. All in all, I consider this to be a well-crafted little racial supplement. While the supplement could have used a tiny bit more material regarding secondary flavor, I consider it to be a worthwhile offering. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-015: Skinwalker
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 763 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates