Monthly Archives: May 2012

Preview : The Monsters of Endara (PFRPG)

   Today I’m taking a look at the preview of an upcoming new setting for the Pathfinder roleplaying game, Monsters of Endara. This new setting is called Masters of Endara, and the designer, Chris A. Field, decided that a glimpse on the strange creatures of the land would give us some insight about his world.

   I have to admit that I never heard about Skortched Urf’ Studios before, which is suprising if we take into account their many earlier releases. But for now, Masters of Endara instantly made me interested in their work because it’s take inspiration from one of my child-time favorite series, Masters of the Universe or He-Man, after the lead hero.

   This means that we receive a very mixed setting, which is partly classic fantasy with some prehistoric element, but on the other hand it consist cybernetic implants and laser blasters. Definitely a strange world, which should be taken lightly instead of too seriously, but also a hard game setting to design because it’s duality. I hope that Chris A. Field will be successful with this project.

The monsters

You may download the Monsters of Endara preview material here.

   I think the designer made a good work to chose monsters which could represent the different faces of the world of Endara. There are strange mutants, meka-monsters, prehistoric animals and living-rock meteorite creatures. The ideas behind the designs are good and interesting, but I think some of them should be modified to make them more balanced or to make more sense.

   Most of the “basic” creatures as the robot soldiers (Enforcer Droid and Elite) or the prehistoric fyling dinosaurs (Cloud Wings) are fine as it’s presented, but I had some bad feelings for other desings. Thankfully, these are not the final versions.

   For example the meteorite creatures appear from the sky, well as a meteorite. That would be fine in this setting, but since the have a good flying speed and manoeuvrability, that means that this is their primary travelling method. I guess huge stone elephants flying through the sky with speed and grace is too much for me. I also find it surprising that they are immune the bludgeoning, while a DR x/bludgeon would be much more logical. I guess there is a reason why we smash rock with great hammers instead of spears or swords.

   The  main powerhouse of the set is the Steelvore Relic (CR 23), but I really hope that this will be edited out from the final version of the game. On one part, I see no reason that why would a giant combat robot would loot the countryside. On the other hand it’s offensive capabilities are extremely overpowered, vastly surpassing even the CR 25 Tarrasque. As a side note, I also think that even the Tarrasque should not exist in any gaming world.

Final words

   Currently I feel that Masters of Endara is a promising project, and I will keep an eye on any further news regarding it. I think it’s great that it’s try to be something different than another standard fantasy setting.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros

Review – Scions of Evil (PFRPG)

   On last week Raging Swan Press released a great collection of villains and minions to face heroes in any Pathfinder campaign. On it’s nearly 200 pages, Scions of Evil offer enemies for any adventuring party from lowly kobolds to the irresistible force of a balor lord.

   I think that we can’t have enough ready to play enemies around and while we already have a lots of them from another sources (including Paizo’s own releases) Scions of Evil is an excellent resource for a game master. From universal characters like bandits or goblin raiders to unique villains and evil groups there is everything to create opposition for our players.

   I have to note that Scions of Evil is a compilation from earlier products of Raging Swan Press, including Bandits of the Rampant Horror, Brethren of the Crimson Altar, Fellowship of the Blackened Oak, Kai’s Scoundrels, Thanegar’s Horde, Villains, Villains II and Villains III. It’s also include about 20 pages of new material.

The content

   Apart from the introductory pages (including a Stat Blocks by CR table), the book includes free major parts. The first and smallest part contains useful minions and “random enemies” like bandits, mercenaries, assassins, gnolls and many other. I guess these NPC-s are the easiest to include in an ongoing campaign.

   Of course, if you are looking for something more unique the second and third part of the book offers unique villains and ready to play villain groups, and while some of them maybe more suitable as lieutenants, others are strong and resourceful enough to base a whole campaign on them.

   Maybe thankfully to it’s multiple authors, Scions of Evil features a great variety of villains from great manipulators to stubborn warriors, a wizard looking for lichdom and even more exotic opponents like a demilich druid trying to terraform the continent to something dark and dangerous, or a halfing antipaladin disguised as a human child. You may find an appropriate enemy for every purpose. And what’s even more important, all of them have their personality and motivations detailed, so they won’t be just a bunch of statistics on a paper.

   As I mentioned the book also contains five complete villain organization, most of them suited for medium or high level adventuring parties as an opposition. These groups include the following : Bandits of the Rampant Horror, Brethren of the Crimson Altar, Fellowship of the Blackened Oak, Kai’s Scoundrels, and Thanegar’s Horde. Again, motivations an personality for every major character is detailed, as well as combat tactics employed by the group. Often the objectives of a group is not the same as for some of its members, which could offer many opportunities for the Game Master or the players.

Final words

   All in all I think that Scions of Evil is an excellent collection of evil NPC-s, which is very useful for any Game Master. Of course, if you have every earlier release from Raging Swan Press then the additional content maybe won’t be tempting enough to secure a purchase, but if you don’t have them I really recommend to get this.

For those who want to get Scions of Evil it’s available on RPGNow on this link.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros

Review – Way of the Samurai (PFRPG)

   This week Rite Publishing released a new Pathfinder supplement for their Kaidan setting: Way of the Samurai.  This new sourcebook by Jonathan McAnulty is both a faction guide to the samurai clans of Kaidan, and both a supplement to support oriental – mainly samurai – characters.

   Visually Way of the Samurai provides the same excellent quality as the other Kaidan books, with great artwork, a nice and clear design. Compared with other Rite Publishing products, the artwork is less varied in style, which is more fitting for these kind of supplements.

The content

   First I must be clear in one thing: for the purposes of this book we are speaking about the samurai social class, which is not entirely equal with the character class of the same name. The members of the social class could be rangers, paladins, or members of any other character class, while the majority is still from the samurai character class.

   So, what is in the Way of the Samurai book? In one part it’s filled with detailed information on the social class, its place in Kaidan (or any other oriental setting), and how and why an honorable samurai acts in the game world. On the other hand, the supplement features a great quantity of resources to generate or enhance characters, including archetypes, traits, prestige classes and many more.

   The first several pages introduces the samurai class, it’s history and it’s role in the game world. I think it’s detailed enough to include such characters into the campaign, but not overly long. The quotes from several famous samurai scattered through the book also greatly add to the feeling, what a samurai is.

   The longest part of the book is about samurai characters, and we really receive a lot of options. These include a new (simple but useful) Honor mechanic, traits, archetypes, samurai orders, two prestige classes and several feats. The archetypes include many different kind of samurai from those who use musket (gunslinger), who hunt oni or ghosts (paladin) to samurai spellcasters (wizards) to different archetypes to the actual samurai character class. The two prestige classes are the Bugyo (a samurai with greater authority) and the stubborn Mosa.

   The rest of the Way of the Samurai book contains game information to create and manage samurai clans by the Game Master, and include a complete description about the Kawashi samurai town. The latter include all information (including important NPC-s, their motivations and adventure seeds) to use Kawashi as a campaign setting.

Final words

   I think that Way of the Samurai is a great supplement both to the world of Kaidan, and also (maybe more importantly) to the Pathfinder role-playing game. It’s receiving a solid 5/5 from me.

   The Way of the Samurai is available on DriveThruRPG here, and it’s highly recommended if you run an oriental Pathfinder campaign.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros

Magic the Gathering: Planechase 2012 – new information revelead

In November Wizards of the Coast announced that on this June they will continue their Magic the Gathering : Planechase product line with a new release. On this week they released some additional info and insight regarding the release.

   Thankfully the new addition is not just another couple of planar cards with the same design approach as the original – which was an excellent MtG supplement anyway – but provides a few twists and additions.

  The original announcement in November already hinted on some of these things, like phenomenom cards and new eternal legal cards for the Planechase release, but now they provided much more detail than before.

What is Planechase anyway ?

  In short it’s a casual multiplayer format for Magic the Gathering, where the players battle each others while travelling between different planes, represented by planar cards. These planar cards always have a passive or triggered ability which is active while you are on the plane, and another ability which could be activated with the six sided planar dice.

   The planar dice itself is the way to travel between the planes (1/6 chance) or to activate the planar card‘s ability (another 1/6 chance). On your turn you may get one roll for free, while additional rolls could be made for an increasing amount of mana cost. ppart from the planar cards and dice, there is no more differences between Planechase and regular MtG gameplay.

As a game release, a pack of Planechase contains 10 planar cards and a 60 card ready to play deck.

New design approach and additions

   As I said before, Planechase 2012 is more than just the same as before, and the article on tells us why. They added a new game element, and made some interesting new twist and decisions with both the planar cards, and with the 60 card decks.

  The new game element is phenomenon cards, taking the place of two regular planar cards compared to the older release. These cards are representing one-time instant effects happening while travelling between the planes like Time Disortion or an Interplanar Tunnel, spicing up the game-play.

   For the planar cards themselves they experienced upon new keywords (like devour), and they included new and interesting mechanics. For example in the original Planescape you could only travel between planes with the planar dice (as described before), while now some planes enable other methods.

   The 60 card decks themselves have changed too, and I think this is good news. While in the earlier edition all cards were reprints, for now we receive six brand new eternal legal cards in every deck!

   This means a single mythic rare multicolored legendary creature –  with a great emphasis on the deck’s focus, and which also great for the Commander format – and two rare cards (each appear once), two uncommon cards (each appear twice) and a single common card which appears in every Planechase deck (Fractured Powerstone, see above). I have to mention that Fractured Powerstone is the only card currently in the game which features a Planechase-only ability.

   And what’s even better, all four decks revisits and focus on an interesting game mechanic, which also means that the new cards bring support for these great themes. The themes include ninjas (ninjutsu keyword), tokens and devour, aura enchantments, and a chaotic five-color cascade deck (cascade keyword, of course).

All in all, this seems an interesting new release, and personally I hope I could try out the new cards soon.

The Planechase 2012 Edition release is on June 1, 2012, so get ready if you are interested in this great casual format.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros

Review – So What’s The Demi-Human Called, Anyway? (PFRPG)

   On this week Raging Swan Press released another Game Master resource, So What’s The Demi-Human Called, Anyway? for the Pathfinder roleplaying-game. Written by Creighton Broadhurst this little supplement help us, Game Masters against a common foe : names.

   In an average campaign the players meet dozens of NPC-s from major villains to the common blacksmith. While it is not really a problem for major characters, it’s not easy to make up new and unique names for every single NPC the characters meet, especially if the character in question is not human.

   So What’s The Demi-Human Called, Anyway? is a great help for these cases, as it’s contains tables for the top five demi-human races – dwarf, elf, gnome, halfing, half-orc – with practically enough combinations for an entire campaign, without using the exactly same name for an NPC ever!

   And it’s not an exaggeration, as these tables hold 100 male names, 100 female names and 100 family names/clans per table, meaning 10.000 possible result for a random “male dwarf” or “female gnome”. I guess that’s more than enough for any purpose! And while this book is about demi-humans, I could imagine to use it for orcs, human barbarians (both using half-orc names) or Vikings (using dwarf names) without much hindrance.

   Apart from the five tables, So What’s The Demi-Human Called, Anyway? also contains a single-page GM’s Crib Sheet with various pre-generated names to quickly and easily name  NPCs when you need it instantly.

Final Words

    Again, with this supplement we received a very useful GM Resource from Raging Swan Press, which is both address a  common problem, very easy to use, and thankfully cheap to acquire. So, if you like evocative names like Nargor the Mutilator or Elgal Farnoen, then this supplement is definitely for you. As for me, I give it 5/5 points.

  For those who are interested in So What’s The Demi Human Called, Anyway? I recommend to take a look at RPGNow, on it’s product page.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros

Review – Wayfarers Game Master’s Reference Book

   As I promised last week, now I continue my Wayfarers review the Wayfarers Game Master’s Reference Book. You may check out the first part of the review here. This book supposedly contains all information to run an extensive fantasy campaign with the system, and maintaining the game world.

   To reach this goal the guide contains two parts. The first is an actual reference section, divided into seven chapters, containing game rules and GM resources. The other part is an almost 80 page long Catalog of Creatures, including everything from common animals to archdemons.

   As the player’s book, this release also maintains the old-school feel and the freshness in the same time. Also, now it’s clearer than ever that they really don’t want to overburden players with rules.

The reference section

   As I mentioned the actual game rules and GM resources are divided into seven chapters. The first chapter is dealing with skills, which include character advancement and the mechanics for proficiencies. I think the later, which includes sample target numbers, costs and time requirement for craft skills and so on is a really helpful part of the book.

   The second chapter deals with general game mechanics and rules, like strength checks, spell books, environmental effects and so on. It’s also contains a big section about combat, including a four-page example.

   No fantasy campaign is complete without magical items, so the third part contains a list of magical treasures and the rules to create such items. The rules are easy to understand, but due to it’s high time and cost requirements I guess most player characters won’t create anything above scrolls and potions.

   The remaining chapters are dealing with various things from optional rules (like critical hits, firearms and optional character options) to useful GM resources like names and some help to create NPC-s. While these are useful things to have, they are not essential to play.

   The last thing I should mention that at the end of the book there are four useful appendix for a Game Master, which could be very valuable during a gaming session. These include quick reference charts and tables, as well as random creature encounters among others.

The ‘Catalog of Creatures’

  The second half of the book contains the Catalog of Creatures, a big collection for anything the players could meet during a campaign. From mythological monsters to oozes and common animals, and even some unique creatures you may find anything you may ask for. Having named creatures here and there (like archdemons) is also a nice touch.

   My only problem with the catalog, that the entries don’t include attributes for the creatures. So could a druid perform a feat of strength in a bear form ? Does the centaur gain an attribute bonus for his proficiency check ? You won’t get any clue, and as a GM it’s a problem for me.

Final words

   After reading both core Wayfarers book I feel that this game has some potential. I could really recommend it as an entry RPG for newbies, thanks to it’s easy to grasp rules, or for those veterans who don’t want to deal with complicated rules anymore, and favor storytelling instead. On the other hand, I’m not sure it has enough going for it if you already have a fantasy RPG system of choice, bud definitely worth a try !

  If you are interested in the Wayfarers Game Master’s Reference Book it’s available on the Mongoose Publishing website as a physical copy here, or from DriveThruRPG as a pdf here.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros

Review – FotTS: Po’Kesteros, the Lostling (PFRPG)

   Rite Publishing released another NPC supplement for their Faces of Tarnished Souk product line : FotTS : Po’Kesteros, the Lostling. For now this high-level NPC series for Pathfinder features an interesting half-elf with extreme luck who could have a strange effect on the character’s life.

The character

   Po’Kesteros is an interesting character, who could serve many roles in a campaign. He is a renowned assassin, and the former leader of a thieves guild, but his most remarkable feature is his strange luck. While it brings many good things and helps him both in battle and outside of it, it has a nasty side effect : he has bad luck with other people, and for different reasons he lost everybody who ever gets close to him.

    If you looking at his stats in his base version he is a CR 20 creature, a Male fey trickster half-elf alchemist (vivisectionist)/luckbringer/ninja, with his 14 levels in the luckbringer class giving most of his power. This class was presented in The Secrets of the Luckbringer by Rite Publishing in 2011, but all information to use Po’Kesteros as an NPC is presented in this book too. In short, the class enables the character to bend luck – reroll dice, gain luck based bonuses and force unlucky occurrences on opponents.

    The character also possess two creature templates in his base form, fey and trickster. Both of these are bringing interesting supernatural abilities to the game from “simple” energy resistance to the ability to use the spells of your opponents. All in all I feel these are very nice additions to the character, but maybe trickster should give +2 CR instead of +1 CR for that many bonuses.

    Of course, as it’s regular for the series you don’t have to use Po’Kesteros as a CR 20 NPC, as we have nine different options to use him from CR 23 to CR 7, which involves two more templates Adaptable and Preternatural to further customize the character. Of course, all of these templates are completely detailed in the supplement.

Final words

   As I see Rite Publishing demonstrated again their ability to bring unique high-level NPC-s to the table with their Faces of Tarnished Souk series. With hi luck based powers I’m sure that Po’Kesteros will cause many memorable moments at many gaming tables. In the end, I give 5/5 points for this supplement.

For those who are interested in FotTS: Po’Kesteros, the Lostling it’s avaialble from DriveThruRPG both as a single product, or as a part of the Faces of Tarnished Souk bundle. The bundle includes a nice discount if you would like to get the whole series.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros

Review – Wayfarers Players’s Reference Book

   In April Ye Olde Gaming Company and Mongoose Publishing released a new fantasy roleplaying-game : Wayfarers. For this event I will provide two reviews for hopeful players, so you hopefully could decide easier if this is a game for you or not. In this first part I will review the basic rules and everything else in the Wayfarers Players’s Reference Book.

   In advance I could say that Wayfarers is an interesting take on a class-less d20 based fantasy RPG, with some resemblances to Dungeons & Dragons, but with many unique aspects which sets it’s apart from those other games.


   As I mentioned, Wayfarers is a d20-based system without character classes, and with a more-or-less flexible point-distribution system for character generation and advancement. I have to note, that while there are no classes but there are levels, and you gain a fixed amount of Skill Points on every Skill Level.

   From skill points we have two different kinds : Discipline Points (which could be both spent on Disciplines and Proficiencies), and Proficiency Points (which you can spend only on the latter).

   Disciplines cover your characters unique abilities from spellcasting to combat training and improved and increased stats, and those skills (languages, literacy) which don’t involve a roll for success. On the other hand Profeciences are those skills which needs a test to use from lexical knowledge (history, heraldry, arcane-knowledge) to those active skills with a risk of failure (jumping, lock-picking, tracking, perception, healing etc.)

Not surprisingly the character also have five basic Attributes (Agility, Endurance, Intellect, Presence and Strength), which gives a base to calculate basic stats (HP, Physical resistance), could provide certain bonuses, and also modify connected Profeciency checks.

Character generation

   The character generation is relatively quick and simple if yo know what do you want with the character. You choose a race (anything except humans have a modifier to some stats), and the you spend points on your Attributes. Next you spend your Discipline and Proficiency points, which is maybe the most important decision. Ideally your attributes and skills help each other.

   Then you calculate your character HP, Physical and Mental Resistances, and it’s basic scores from initiative to movement rates and weapon to-hit modifiers. Then you purchase equipment, and you are ready to go.

So I really like how character generation is going, but it’s easy to get lost between the various Disciplines and Proficiencies if you don’t have a clear image in your mind about the character you want to create. Oh, and don’t think about warrior-mages on low levels, as magic potency Disciplines will take the majority of your Discipline Points.

The game system

   Now I’m trying to speak about those parts of the game I haven’t mentioned before, like how magic and skills work, and maybe a word and two about combat.

    I think it’s the Proficiencies in the Wayfarers system which is the closest what we call skills compared to D&D. They have four levels, and for a check you roll a number of dice and take the higher result and appropriate modifiers against a target number. For untrained checks (if possible at all) you roll two dice, and you take the lower result. All in all it’s a simple and elegant solution.

   For magic we have four different schools – Hermetic, Hedge, Faith and Ritual – which could be further divided into lesser and higher ways of magic. For Hermetic and Faith magic we have 8 circle (spell levels), while Hedge and Ritual has only 5. Hermetic and Hedge use the classic Vancian magic (memorizing spells), while Faith is using spontaneous casting. Ritual magic is using four different kind of spell points (Blood, Dream, Gaea, Stitch) to form their spells, and they must allocate their daily allotment of points between these four areas. All of their spells cost two or more spell points in various combinations, for example casting a Wind cost 2 Gaea, while casting Blindness is 1 Blood and 1 Stitch.

Casting spells take time, so if you cast a spell at Inititative 6 maybe you finish it at Initiative 3. During this period you could be disrupted by combat and spells. Speaking about combat, I also have to mention combat manoeuvres, where often you have to roll a higher initiative to effect your opponent with your trick. Normally everybody acts once during the round, so if he can make multiple attacks he makes them in the same time. Of course, counter-attacks are an exception.

The combat itself is clear, simple, and familiar : you roll d20, add your modifiers from Agility and Disciplines and compare it to your opponent’s Dodge. If you hit you roll for damage (again adding modifiers) and the target is rolling for armor, and you decrease his HP with the difference. That’s all.

Final words

   Wayfarers is a nice take on fantasy roleplaying-games, and while it has some old-school feel it’s also feels fresh and somewhat “light” – not overburdened with overcomplicated rules. Is it enough to make it successful ? I don’t know, but I really hope.

For those who are interested in the Wayfarers Players’s Reference Book it’s available on the Mongoose Publishing website as a physical copy here, or from DriveThruRPG as a pdf here.

Next time I continue the review with the Wayfarers Game Master’s Reference Book, so be ready for it!

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros

AetherCon Updates (May)

  We received the recent updates about the incoming AetherCon Online RPG Convention (announcement), and there are many things happened since our last update in February.

   Multiple events were added to the schedule, including Leverage, Atomic Highway and Shadowrun scenarios. Many new Game Masters and artists joined the convention, and Pinnacle Entertainment Group offered to contribute prize support for the event.

For more details check out the official information release below, or take a look at the AetherCon homepage.

Here are the latest updates for our event from the past three weeks:

We’d like to welcome Tom Olson and Miguel Berrios to the AetherCon team.

Events added to our schedule this time around include Kyle Hood’s Leverage Scenario ‘The One Night
Stand Job’, Borna Pekarić‘s Atomic Highway Scenario ‘A Drive down Toomstone Allee’, and Mark
David Montgomery’s Shadowrun Scenario ‘Tokyo Lift’.

The following games and GMs have recently been confirmed:
Dark HeresyMichael Richards
WEG D6 Star WarsKalman Farago
SerenityC.J. Holman

  Pinnacle Entertainment Group joined the growing list of names on the ‘To The Victors’ page by agreeing to contribute prize support to AetherCon

The following artists have been added to the Artists Enclave:
Eric Lofgren (Paizo, White Wolf, Mongoose Publishing among others)
Chris Malidore (Fantasy Flight Games, Pinnacle Entertainment Group)
Patrick McEvoy (WotC, Alderac Entertainment Group, Fantasy Flight Games among others)

Our latest wallpaper, a rendition of Drindera ‘The Abacus’ Saldemaar by Brazil’s Andre Freitas Cardozo, has been released.

You can find all of our free downloadable wallpapers here.

Current members of the RPG Community Alliance:
3.5 Private Sanctuary
Barrok’s Tower
The Comeback Inn – Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor
Galactic Campaigns
Mayhem Gaming
Pen and Paper Games
Swords and Wizardry

The RPG Site
The Tangled Web
You Meet In a Tavern

To date the RPG Community Alliance encompasses 54,608 members.

Top five cities in North America for unique visitors to our main site to date: Austin, Tex; Seattle, Wash;
New York, NY; Pittsburgh, Pa; 4 way tie for fifth.

Top five cities in Europe, Asia, and Oceania for unique visitors to our main site to date: Nuremberg, Ger;
Brisbane, Aus; Budapest, Hun; Sydney, Aus; Melbourne, Aus.

Finally, a question: What tournament do you look forward to playing in the most at AetherCon? Check
out our poll on Facebook and have your say.

Coming Soon:

Brent Chumley’s Malthazas Rhyllanor
Chris Malidore’s ‘One Eyed’ Jarmby Mudgelmurk
Ian Llanas’s Mirri ‘The Mouse’

Help us get the word out about AetherCon by liking and sharing on our Facebook event page as well as following and re-tweeting via our Twitter page.

We are currently looking for GMs to run the following games:
Savage Worlds
Call of Cthuhlu

As well as these cult favorites:

Dresden Files
Mutants and Masterminds
All Flesh Must Be Eaten
Eclipse Phase
Macho Women with Guns
Fantasy Craft

Pre-D20 Gamma World
Mongoose Traveler
Atomic Highway
Legends of the Five Rings
Dark Heresy
WEG Star Wars

If you have a cult favorite you’d like to see or run, let us know!

If you have a game yourself that you would like to run use our handy-dandy GM Pre-Registration tool on the site.

If you would like to inquire about other volunteering possibilities let us know by sending an e-mail here:

Stephen J. Holodinsky
Event Manager – AetherCon

Find us here:



Review – Random Urban Encounters (PFRPG)

   Sometimes when a Game Master is creating an adventure we don’t have time the simplest looking parts, or we must do something on the fly to keep the campaign flowing. I think random encounters are one of these things : sometimes they necessary if the players spend a lot of time somewhere, and it makes the world more alive and plausible.

   So I think anything what makes generating and using random encounters easier, while making them feeling unique is good, and Random Urban Encounters is definitely falls into this category.

   It seems that the guys at Raging Swan Press has an endless supply of ideas to assist Pathfinder Game Masters. Week by week we receive new useful GM supplements from them, and today is no different is this regard.

So, what we can find in this supplement ?

   The content is not less than eight different scale-able urban encounter, with an EL between 1 and 6. The encounters are ranging from simple thieves and from meeting the city watch to hunting wererats or decide if they act on somebody’s behalf in multiple scenes. Of course, they decisions has their own problems and rewards.

  Thankfully the scenes in Random Urban Encounters are both detailed and unique. We receive nicely fleshed out NPC-s with background and motivations (and complete Stat Blocks, of course), as well as interesting challenges like a chase and or scenes which are easier to solve with diplomacy than by brute force.

   Overall I think these are really good ready-to-use encounters, and both of them are easy to insert into most urban settings and low or medium level campaigns. My only concern is the scaling of the EL in some cases : adding two CR 1/2 or CR 1 warriors won’t make a fight to be a suitable challenge for higher level player characters.

  So, in the end I could really recommend this product, especially for inexperienced Game Masters, or for those who has a hard time to improvise during a game session. In the end I give it 5/5 points.

As always, Random Urban Encounters is available on DriveThruRPG, here.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros

Review – 101 Combat Feats (PFRPG)

   I don’t know what’s your opinion about this, but I think as Pathfinder (and D&D) players we could never have enough feats to define every single character we could dream up. Of course, it’s often include our character’s unique combat style and abilities, and his combat tricks. With the release of 101 Combat Feats from Rite Publishing I think we could cover much more specific tactics and combat abilities than before, regardless if your fighter is specialized in rushing melee attacks, clever tricks, or sniping with a crossbow.

   As it’s regular with Rite Publishing the production value of the book – the look, artwork, layout etc. – is good and professional. The only thing disturbing me that why the artwork is titled as connected to specific feats, while most of them features nice but static stills of characters who could maybe perform the action. But this is just nitpicking I guess, and the picture about Crushing Charge is really dynamic with the bloodthirsty goblin rider.

On the other hand I guess my readers are more interested in the content than anything else. Come on, it’s 101 Combat Feats, it’s must be awesome ! (at least if you don’t mind to have hundreds of options to be around)

The content

    As you may guess from the straightforward title the book includes exactly 101 new combat feats. Some advancing upon already pre-defined paths (two-weapon fighting, blind-fighting, Vital Strike), while others are opening their own path from bouncing hammers to trident manoeuvres and Tumbling Trip.

   The book is filled with excellent ideas, and the execution is right on the spot for the most time. I’m really glad that in many cases you may now advance in your chosen path even further than before, without throwing game balance out for the most time.

   Many of the new options are really feels that they had to be made, as the already mentioned Tumbling Trip (if you avoid an opportunity attack while moving and trip your opponent) or Wild Swing (which really reminds me to the goblin fanatics of the Warhammer universe). Or may I mention Pikeman’s Push (which enables you to freely bull rush opponents after wounding them) or the feats that enable to create a much better sniper than ever before?

   There are few lines crossed in this book which were, I guess, intentionally uncrossed in the core rules – permanent blindness caused by Dirty Trick, penalty-less two-handed fighting – but I think it depends on your group if you want to use these few border-crossing feats or not. Other from that maybe the lvl 20 fighter feats could be overpowered, but maybe not, considering what is available at that level to spellcaster classes.

Final words

   I think that 101 Combat Feats is a real boon to those who like combat-oriented characters, and many of the new feats are instantly conjure of images in my mind about their usage in practice which is quite telling. So this supplement gets 5/5 point from me, hands down.

For those who are interested in this supplement, it’s already available on DriveThruRPG, on this link.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros

Review – So What’s The Weapon Like Anyway? (PFRPG)

   On last week Raging Swan Press published So What’s The Weapon Like Anyway ?, a new Pathfinder RPG supplement. As a part of their GM resources, this short expansion deals with an often forgotten part of the Game Master’s work.

   Looting the corpses of the defeated opponents is a well established tradition in most of the role-playing games, and it’s no different for Pathfinder – which even has a “suggested loot value” depending in the level of opposition. But while the game often features detailed description about magic items, weapons often nothing more than another generic masterwork longsword. That’s bland, and – as the publisher points out – very anticlimatic, if we are speaking about the weapons of a major opponent. But not any more !

   So What’s The Weapon Like Anyway? includes about 200 different weapons, with an unique look and feel. For now it’s entirely possible that your new sword features some strange insignia, artistic production value, rare materials, some strange magical phenomena or anything else you may imagine.

So, how does it work in practice ?

   The supplement has two major parts : one including several random tables to get on of the different looking weapons from a specific category (for example One-Handed Martial Melee Weapons), or to add an  unique feature, hook or complication. The book contains base prices for masterwork quality weapons, with extra cost for expensive materials (like gold or gems) already added. Of course, you may easily use this base to make magical weapons.

   By using this tables you may end with a darkwood quarterstaff carved with images of ravenous wolves, which killed the Last Lord of Star Elves, or something less unique, like a longsword with serrated blade and a skull shaped pommel. This in itself makes this supplement useful, and I didn’t mentioned that he weapon itself could have multiple adventure hooks. Maybe it’s old owner is looking for it, or it’s rumored to be cursed (which is maybe true) or anything else.

   In the second part of the book we also receive some more defined completely unique weapons, like the legendary holy bow Sivumastra, or Blood Marya’s own cutlass. Off course, a resourceful Game Master may build a whole campaign around such items.

All in all, I think it’s a fine little supplement for lazy Game Masters (as I am), but has the gut feeling that we could have even more. But I guess, based on the book it’s not hard to expand even further yourself. In the end I give it 4,5/5 points.

   If you would like to check out So What’s The Weapon Like Anyway ? yourself, you may take a look at this DriveThruRPG link.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros