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d66 Compendium
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/31/2011 12:42:00

With lists and tables running from Ship Names to Planetary Atmospheres to Spaceport Bar Names, Jon Brazer Enterprises continues their d66 line with their d66 Compendium. If, like me, you're a Referee/GM who enjoys random tables to help flesh out their game or occasionally draws a blank when put on the spot, the Compendium should be a nice add to your game.

Results are rolled using the d66 method, as Mongoose Traveller uses d6s in resolution. For example, rolling a 3 and a 4 gives me a result of 34, which on the Planetary Government table would be Enlightened Absolutism.

I grabbed this product when it was marked down to $7.99. The original list price of $12.99 was likely beyond what I'd pay for a 52-page pdf, but overall I'm satisfied with this purchase. I would have liked to see a few more charts for the price, but still feel this should be an asset to my gaming. It's a good buy for Referees needing that little assist or who enjoy random charts geared towards the fun of the Traveller RPG.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
d66 Compendium
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Book of Friends and Foes: Under the Mountain (PFRPG)
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/26/2011 09:22:51

Iron Nugget Book of Friends and Foes: Under the Mountain gives us 5 well-stated NPCs that all have some relation to Dwarves.

The five NPCs all range from level 5 to 7 and can easily be inserted in a campaign. There is only one magic user, a cleric in the bunch. These NPCs are ready to drop into a campaign if you are pinching for an NPC while players are exploring dwarven regions. I also like the idea of using an NPC from this product if your party has a dwarf or two.

Iron Word There really should have been more of a variety in the classes. Wizards are far more difficult to stat and far more valuable. Still, the colorful backgrounds shine through to make the NPCs of Under the Mountain useful and worthy of meeting a party.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Friends and Foes: Under the Mountain (PFRPG)
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Book of Magic: Signature Spells 1 (PFRPG)
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2011 18:18:58

Book of Magic: Signature Spells 1 by Jon Brazer Enterprises

This product is 12 pages long. It starts with a cover, OGL, and credits. (2 pages)

Spell Lists (3 page) This is a list of all the caster classes of which spells they get at which levels. Spells by class. The range in levels of cantrip to 7th. Alchemist – 5 Anti-Paladin – 4 Bard – 13 Cleric – 12 Druid – 10 Inquisitor – 5 Magus – 15 Paladin – 4 Ranger – 8 Sorc/Wizard – 26 Summoner – 9 Witch - 15

Signature Spells (5 pages) There is 31 new spells. While most of the spells where pretty good I didn't think all of them fit the idea of signature spells. Here is a few I thought was well done in that regard and some I thought was not well done with the concept. Fits Banshee Keen – a sonic/deafen cone attack. Halican's Emergency Hull Restorer – gives temp hp to ships or objects. (there is several spells fitting a theme with Halican's name) Leighanna's Bewitching Appearance – makes you look pretty and likeable. Gives bonus to social roles. (there is several spells fitting a theme with Leighanna's name) Riyal's Mental Guard – Gives a bonus to save vs mind effecting abilities. (there is several spells fitting a theme with Riyal's name) Rostov's Snake Strike – Gain one attack at highest attack immediately, only usable in certain ways. (there is several spells fitting a theme with Rostov's name) Shallan's Wall of Shadows – A wall of shadow that grants concealment to those on the other side of it. (there is several spells fitting a theme with Shallan's name)

Doesn't Fit Abyssal Body – gives a DR/5 vs good. There is versions of this spell each with it's own name for law, chaos, evil etc. Dragon Scales – adds natural armor and energy resistance depending on dragon color. Mage Armor 2 – better version of Mage Armor. There is 2 new versions 2 and 3.

It ends with a back cover and ads. (2 pages)

Closing thoughts. There is only two art pieces, both are black and white. One is fair and one is good. Editing and layout was good I didn't notice errors. Now I listed spells by those that fit and didn't fit the idea of the concept. Those that didn't fit doesn't make them bad spell, just they don't really fit the concept idea. The reverse is true not as well. Not all the spells that fit the concept where good spells. The snake strike example was actually I felt a bit to powerful for it's level. The named spells that fit a theme fit what I was expecting in the product. Most of the spells in the book where well done but some where rather bland and boring, like improved mage armor. I want to see more of Halican's or Leighanna's spells. I think the next book needs to have about 6-10 groups of 3-5 spells each like those. I also would have loved to have seen more history and flavor text about the spells, maybe a short paragraph or two side bar talking about the caster that made them. That would be very cool. I find this one a bit hard to rate. On one hand most of the spells are pretty well done and if you are just looking for some new spells I would give this a 4 star review. But if you are looking for cool signature spells then a chunk of them just falls way short of that and I would only give it a 3 star review. So I am going to settle on a 3.5 star review for this product.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Magic: Signature Spells 1 (PFRPG)
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Book of Magic: Signature Spells 1 (PFRPG)
by Alfred B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2011 09:33:44

This is a solid addition to anyone's spell repertoire. Dale does an awesome job of providing a solid mix of spells for a wide-range of classes. Not only that but these spells have a truly unique feel like they really did come from the private library of some caster or were perhaps one of their signature spells. Any way you look at it this is a solid deal of the number of spells you get.

For a more in-depth review feel free to check out my site: http://www.thealfredeffect.com/?p=736



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Book of Magic: Signature Spells 1 (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2011 11:04:44

This pdf is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial & SRD, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving 8 pages for the signature spells.

After 3 pages of spell-lists, providing lists for classes like Magus, Alchemist, etc. (NICE!) as well as the basic core classes, we are introduced to the selection of new spells herein. If I have not miscounted, we get 31 new spells, several of which are supposed to be signature spells or certain legendary mages. I really like that premise, as e.g. Bigby's hands will always have fond adherents among my players, as do the Tenser, Rary, Otiluke etc. spells - being a certain mage's work and carrying their distinct style makes them stand out amidst the flood of magic available.

That being said, signature spells need to go beyond just providing benefits - they have to fit a certain theme and feature an iconic quality - so, how do they stand up?

To be frank, the first three spells of this pdf did not excite me: They belong to a set of 4 spells that provide DR 5/alignment. Boring. Brick Wall's Fortitude provides a scaling bonus to fort saves. Not exciting either. There are also similar spells for reflex and will saves. Gaining Dragon Scales (DR, natural armor and associated resistance) is another spell I don't need. There are also two spells to cover one's scent, which I consider useful but not iconic per se.

Fortunately, Halican's 4 spells were up next - they deal with ships, repairing them or creating a hydraulic water burst - now we're talking! These water-related spells fit a characteristic niche, provide neat ideas and follow them. Leighanna's 3 spells, primarily dealing with subtle tactical advances and manipulations also offer some cool options like forcing foes to delay actions - again, neat!

After that, though, we once again get spells that are rather bland - greater variants of mage armor. Riyal's three spells are low-level defensive magic and Rostov's snake themed spells felt nice - though the Snake Strike is overpowered: A level 2 spell that grants an attack action to the creature touched at its highest attack bonus against a target, essentially enabling you to hit via your buddy. Ouch.

Shallan's 4 spells deal with shadows - shadow walls, an area-of-effect enfeeblement attack (10 ft. burst) and a cha-leeching ray sorcerors and other cha-based casters will hate.

The pdf closes with a spell to summon dwarven armor and a wall of leaves.

Users of Herolab should rejoice, for the pdf comes with a .hl-file - great additional support!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice a single glitch. Layout adheres to a very printer-friendly, easy-to-read 2-column standard and I really like the covers - I did not like the layout-decision to print the sub-header on the front cover in a rather bland, standard font, though. It somewhat impedes the coolness of the otherwise neat cover. The 2 pieces of b/w-artwork are nice. The pdf comes with extensive bookmarks and I've already mentioned the herolab support, another plus. Oh boy. It's been quite I while since I was so conflicted about a pdf.

On the one hand, the new spells by mages and their thematic link is neat, as is the support for all the classes. On the other hand, several of the spells are the complete opposite to signature spells, being the epitome of blandness. The "alignment-body" spells and the + x to save spells are terribly uncreative and feel like filler at best. Call me cynical, but they just didn't do it for me. Which is a damn pity: Hallican's, Leighanna's and Riyal's spells felt VERY interesting, iconic and cool to me, making only more apparent that author Dale C. McCoy Jr. CAN write excellent spells. Moreover, none of the spells really felt completely out of line, striking a nice balance between innovation and power.

Let me be frank: This pdf contains some of my new favorite spells. However, it also contains some of my new least favorite spells. The aim of providing signature spells has been partially fulfilled and were I to voice a request, I'd ask for flavor text (spinning little stories around the spells or their creators)as well as getting rid of filler spells in future installments. Improved versions of Mage Armor belong to a book on spell variants, not in one on signature spells.

Unfortunately, not all spells in this pdf belong to the category of kicking ass and taking names unique spells. You should just be aware that not all spells herein are killer or signature spells. The pdf is very affordable, though, and comes with Herolab-support, which somewhat offsets the relatively low amount of content when compared to other spell-centric pdfs. In the end, my final verdict will be 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform - if you're in it for some cool spells, you won't regret the purchase.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2011 08:46:19

This pdf is 36 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 blank page inside of the front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/Monsters by CR, 1 page back cover, 1 blank page inside the back cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisements. That leaves 28 pages of monsters.

-Addanc (CR7): A cross between a crocodile and a beaver, this could be goofy, but actually works. Death Roll (Ex) is a cool ability.

-Autumn Death (CR 8): A deadly undead creature with autumnal abilities. Has two cool signature abilities.

-Avowed Reaver (CR 5):Touched by elemental powers, this is a set of 4 CR+2 templates in one.

-Bog Scum (CR13): Aquatic, climbing deadly ooze.

-Fly Trap, Giant + Dire (CR 2 and CR 6): Cool plants, but lack a way to enthrall their victims.

-Forest Giant (CR 12): A Giant with some spell-like abilities to escape and polymorph others.

-Frost Mite Swarm (CR 10): Terrible insects of icy cold, these critters are quite creepy.

-Garmunchi (CR 6): Ugly, strong, slug-eating Ogre-like Humanoids.

-Hatethrall Demon (CR 6): Flame-clad skull-demons that shoot fiery rays.

-Hydrus (CR ½): A poisonous aquatic lizard that invades others to eat them from the inside. Great critter!

-Lemkin (CR 9): Creepy blow-gun using fey.

-Nightcaller (CR 1): Deadly Raven-like birds that can mimic voices.

-Piranha, mature and Piranha Swarm (CR 1 + CR 2): Iconic fish. Lacking in lethality, though.

-River Dragon (2 pages, two sample dragons provided, CR 7 + CR16): Aquatic dragon with boiling-abilities – want your adventurers medium?

-Riverswell Spirit (CR 7): Drowned spirit with drowning touch.

-Shrine Stone, Animated (CR 7): Guardian golem of Druids and Fey.

-Silver Bell (CR 3): Supremely creepy and cool plant creature.

-Skate Spider, Giant (CR 5) and Skate Spider Swarm (CR 6): Spiders that can walk on water.

-Snapping Turtle (CR 2) + Snapping Turtle,Dire (CR 8): Cool, but I would have expected an expanded threat range.

-Stumble Fish (CR 1): Jumping fish.

The first Appendix features Humanoid Encounters:

-Cursed Brethren (CR 3)and their Bandit King (CR 6) (2 pages): Cursed bandits that share their pain and thus are deadly when acting in concert. Cool ideas!

-Grammy Beshic (CR 9) (2 pages): A Gnome Sorceress including her new “Rings of Rebellion” magic item.

Appendix 2 features 2 new gambling games and a new drug. (1 page)

Appendix 3 presents 6 new haunts (1 page):

Blinding Bushes (CR 6), Chamber of Screams (CR 3), Ensnaring Weeds (CR3), Ice Forge (CR 2), Pool of Betrayal (CR 9) and River Fog (CR 4). They are all cool and feature at least one interesting component to make them stand apart.

The final page contains the last two appendices, containing 5 new mini-templates and 8 new diseases.

Conclusion:

The b/w-artwork is mostly ok and has a nice old-school kind of flair, the editing and formatting are top-notch and wording as well as prose are concise and well-written. The monsters themselves presented herein are great additions to any campaign – most have a signature ability or two, an interesting hook or are just iconic animals and plants. While I personally didn’t care too much for e.g. the Garmunchi, that’s a personal preference. E.g. the Silver Bell is an idea dripping awesomeness and win and there are several of this caliber herein. The new gambling games, drug, haunts, NPCs etc. are great additions (the haunts e.g. singlehandedly surpass any haunts from a haunt-pdf I recently reviewed)to this great book and I can honestly say that this is a no-filler-book and worth every cent. If all monster-books were like that, I’d buy more. My final verdict is 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations (PFRPG)
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d66 Space Station Names
by Peter H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2011 02:30:36

Like all d66 tables this one is easy to use and offers a nice pick of names topush that adventure that got stuck because you just can't get a decnt name beyond Station 41. And as in the other d66-tables it feels a bit short. But anyway a great thing for the price!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
d66 Space Station Names
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Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
by Rachel B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/03/2011 07:25:23

Our group has been using this along with the Kingmaker Adventure Path. We have found it to be very helpful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
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Book of the River Nations: Mass Combat (PFRPG)
by Andre F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2011 10:04:11

This is Andre Faucher on behalf of Gamer's Haven, reviewing the product Book of the River Nations: Mass Combat, an addition to their already steadfast collection of how to run a kingdom and all aspects of it. This pdf is focused on running your army, from maintaining it to crushing the enemies of the nation.

What are some of the drawbacks of this text or rules within?

1.) Requires other texts. If you truly want to get the full flavor of this, buy the Kingdom Building and Exploration pack too. When I first bought this text I did not have that, and the conversion that they have does not mesh as well as one would hope. 2.) Maintaining the Army. While running an army is expensive, Mass Combat makes it seem near impossible to keep a standing army from fleeing into the hills with a steep maintenance cost. This can cripple the ideas of having an army ready over a long period, or even for short periods. The cost is 2 BP (with Kingdom Builder rules) or 5,000 Gold (without) for most standard troops. Doing the math, effectively to maintain an army of 100 standard militia, which costs 2 bp, that means that every week each soldier has 50 gold spent on them. Apparently every week the soldier breaks at least one major part of equipment or they eat like kinds.

What are some of the benefits of this book?

1.) Versatility. This book allows numerous combination of armies that can deal with just about any idea that the group is interested in building. 2.) Mostly Good Rules. The combat system mimics much of the standard d20 fighting system but it speeds it up and allows the game to remain interesting while throwing massive armies against each other. Perhaps the best, or at least my personal favorite rule, is the CR scaling. With the increase or decrease in number and effectiveness of troops it allows for a very balanced fight. It also has the rules for a single target... say for example a giant or a high level character. This allows the characters to finally run around the battle field and do something, rather than have the player grind through 100 soldiers. 3.) Easy. These rules are not complicated and can easily be used or adapted to make a fight go much faster allowing players the feeling of huge battles without the long drawn out pain of all the rolling.

Conclusion?

If you like the River Nations collection, this is a must buy. This is a mostly good book that caters to army based campaigns, and further expands the wonderful Book of the River Nations collection. It is a good cheap price that will save a lot of head aches, or carpal tunnel if one is actually rolling out a battle of 1,000 troops, and can be easily read and understood. The only real downside is that maintenance of armies is really expensive. However in the book they note this, as to make sure that people feel the pain of a long drawn out war. In addition historically many nations did not maintain a standing army year around, because it was too expensive, and only used them in short controlled periods.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the River Nations: Mass Combat (PFRPG)
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Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
by Christopher D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2011 19:57:37

A great tool for running a kingdom in any fantasy game. Fantastic with any D&D style system and a must if you happen to be running Paizo's Kingmaker campaign.

Buy this book! ( Liked it so much, I purchased a gift copy, via Paizo.com, for a friend)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
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Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2011 13:35:28

Book of the River Nations by Jon Brazer Enterprises

This product is 52 pages long. It starts with a cover, ToC, Introduction and credits. (4 pages)

Chapter 1: Exploration (2 pages) This chapter has rules for exploring hexes and how to claim them for building a kingdom. There is also some side bars to give you a idea how big a hex is to real world locations and such.

Chapter 2: Kingdom Building (14 pages) This is a chapter on how to build your own kingdom and this is where the book truly shines. A kingdom has a stat block somewhat like a PC would have. It changes as the kingdom grows. Once a month a kingdom follows a Kingdom Turn chart to determine what happened that month. There is four steps to follow, Upkeep, Improvement, Income and Event phases. You pay BP points in upkeep.(BP points come from income or from possible PC actions), then with the points left over you can spend them to improve you kingdom, followed by figuring the income for next months BP pool. Followed by the event there is a total of 40 random events that can happen.

Next is the Leadership section, if PC's or NPC's take on leadership roles in the kingdom they effects a related kingdom aspect, there is negatives for some roles if they are not filled. There is a total of a 11 roles. Certain hexes are not just open ground and they add resources depending what they are. This is followed by rules for building a city in a hex. There is 55 building types, along with 8 special things for the main castle, and 11 open space locations. The section ends with gaining xp, losing hexes, and GM advice.

Chapter 3: Mass Combat (10 pages) It starts with how to make a army stat block and what it means. There is 14 tactics a army can learn that lets it do special things. Resources are things that can be bought with the BP of the Kingdom building rules to improve your army, there is 10 things. Some armies have special abilities that they can use, there is 14 listed. Next it gets into training armies and vassal armies.

The next part gets into running a mass combat. There is a combat round summery. Along with 5 different basic strategies or stances a army can take and what the mods are. It talks a bit about routing armies, victory, recovery, defeat, multiple armies, and the effects PC's have in armies. The section ends with 17 sample armies and a page of GM advice.

Chapter 4: Feats (3 pages) This section introduces two new types of feats, kingdom and mass combat feats. They help specificity with those aspects in this book. There is 4 Kingdom feats, 3 Mass Combat, and 10 normal feats.

Chapter 5: Spells ( 5 pages) It starts with a small section on how existing spells can effect mass combat. Next it moves onto new spells. There is 29 new spells, many of them for mass combat, Such as the summon army and summon natures army. Each with nine version of each spell. There is 6 spells that have nothing to do with armies or kingdom building. They range from meh to pretty cool.

Chapter 6: Secret Societies (4 pages) There is 4 listed societies listed in this section. Each only has a paragraph or two about them. Mostly they are new character options, two of them. The Hidden Sniper and Monks of the Green Leaf are new archetypes for the Ranger and Monk respectively. While Devout Healers and Kings Eye are new PrC's. Hidden Snipers – The gain SA ability, Aim(as a move action can get a bonus to hit), must take bow or crossbow weapon style, and gets poison use. Gives up wild empathy, favored enemy and hunters bond. Monks of the Green Leaf – Gets some different weapons and skills, Elemental Fist, adds more Bonus Feats options, Locate Creature. Gives up Stunning Fist and Abundant Step. Devout Healer – Five level PrC. d8, medium BaB, 4 skills, +5 spell levels. Gains a lot of bonuses with healing. Kings Eye – Five level PrC. D8, medium BaB, 6 skills. Gains bonuses with sneaking, social skills, lock picking and gather information. A ability to made coded messages, slight boost to SA, and will save bonus.

Chapter 7: Magic Items (2 pages) There is 11 new magic items. Only a couple of them effect kingdom building and none effect mass combat. It would have been nice if more had effected them and even better a side bar listing some existing magic items and what effect they may or may not have. I am sure a few existing ones would make sense for that.

It ends with a OGL, Ads and kingdom, army etc sheets. (8 pages)

Closing thoughts. First let me say this is a review copy and a real copy might come with a print version. If not then I think it needs one. The artwork is ok and black and white, but it has a big wide color border on each page that would be brutal on a printer and one of the big selling points for this is all the kingdom rules and such collect for ease of reference. For the printed book it's fine of course, for a PDF though it hurts the value of the PDF. Editing and layout are good, I noticed a few minor errors here and there but not bad at all for a book this size.

As for quality it varied. Chapter 2 was very good, chapter 1 and 7 was solid. Which combined is a 3rd of the book, the rest of the chapters where mostly ok. The weakest chapter is the mass combat rules, they get the job done but that’s about it. They scream for some expansion like what was added to the Kingdom section. Of course most people know the kingdom and combat rules come from extra sections in the recent Paizo AP Kingmaker. This book collects, reworks and expands some on those rules. The spells and feats where so so, some where meh, some where pretty good, but most was ok. Not bad, not great. Three of the Archetype/PrC's where pretty good and one was meh.

So what's my rating? Well for a combined book covering all the aspects it does it's job. If you are looking for kingdom building rules, this expands things enough to make it worth buying especially if you don't own the Kingmaker AP. Mass Combat is a bit of a let down next to them, it gets the job done but that’s about it. The rest helps expand things a bit. All and all I am going to give this a 3.5 star, I would give it a 4 star if it came with a print friendly PDF. If you are looking for kingdom building rules I recommend checking this book out.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
by Alfred B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2011 09:27:45

From my blog review at http://www.thealfredeffect.com/?p=562

Here we are again with another amazing release by Dale C McCoy Jr and Robert Brambley of Jon Brazer Enterprises. "Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building" may be a long title but it encompasses everything that this book is about. The latest volume in the "Book of the River Nations" series, this latest release is available in print or pdf form from Paizo or RPGNow as well as your friendly local gaming store.

If you have read my last review of a Jon Brazer Enterprises product you know that JBE puts out some high quality content. They deliver again with this beautiful and well-written tome. Today I will be talking about the pdf version of the book.

The Complete Player Reference for Kingdom Building weighs in at 52 pages in length with the first 3 and last 3 pages given over to covers, title pages, and ads. The very first thing that jumped out to me about this piece was the beautiful cover art which extends from the front cover to the back cover. JBE work has always features very well done covers and trade dress, but I think this title has raised the bar. The interior art is gray scale and very well placed throughout the text, never more than a quarter page in size. The trade dress is aesthetically pleasing without distracting the eye or taking up too much space.

Moving on to the content which is the most important piece of any RPG supplement. Here JBE shines again with excellent layout and organization. The book is divided into 7 chapters and the contents includes page numbers for each as well as each table and sidebar throughout the book. I found looking up information to be very easy especially when combined with the easy to navigate bookmarks in the pdf.

Chapter 1 covers exploration and touches base on topics such as movement and wandering monsters. This is one of the shorter chapters in the book, but does include 2 tables and 2 sidebars.

Chapter 2 is what I consider the real meat and potatoes of the book and covers the topic of kingdom building. This is what it is really about in my opinion and I think JBE agrees because it covers 14 pages of the text. Here we have rules for leadership roles, the phases of a kingdom's turn, how to build improvements, castle building/improving, kingdom events, and experience gained from all of these activities. This truly is a comprehensive A-Z for the administration of a kingdom. Heck there are over 50 different types of buildings you can construct, 8 additions to spice up your castle, and 11 ways to develop an open space. All of the bases really have been covered here.

Chapter 3 covers another major aspect of running a kingdom, mass combat. What do you do when you go to war and how to resolve those battles. Here we have information on the army stat block, tactics that your army can use, resources/special abilities for the army, how to train armies, how to incorporate vassal armies, some sample armies, victory/defeat conditions, and how to run mass combat. This section definitely has the most crunch with stat blocks, modifiers, and a new way of resolving combat between such large groups. Everything is presented in a clear manner so it is very easy to pick up on. The author's don't get bogged down in the details of each individual soldier and instead concentrate on the essence of the force as a whole.

Chapter 4 introduces 17 new feats and two new feat types, the kingdom feats and mass combat feats. The feats here are all very logical and the benefits are well balances.

Chapter 5 brings us spells. Here we have a section on using spells in mass combat as well as 29 new spells to use. The new spells are primarily aimed at mass combat and as a GM I would not really allow them to be used outside of that.

Chapter 6 discusses organizations and secret societies. This includes 2 prestige classes, the Devout Healer and the King's Eye, as well as 2 archetypes, the Hidden Sniper and the Monks of the Green Leaf. These are not bad, but in my opinion don't really contribute a great deal to the subject matter at hand.

The final section, chapter 7, covers magic items and boy do we have some nice ones here. There are 11 items total and each one has a unique use in your kingdom. These items will give any spellcaster something good to work on crafting.

Last but certainly not least we have the appendix which is given over to 5 different blank maps and stat sheets. We have a great hex exploration map, a kingdom sheet, city district sheet, notable npc's, and mass combat army sheets. All very handy to have at the table.

Overall this is an awesome addition to any player or GM's Pathfinder RPG library. Personally I plan on picking up a print copy for my GM as a hint to allow my character to start planning his conquests. :)

Disclaimer: This pdf was provided free of charge by the publisher for review purposes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2011 10:05:35

This pdf is 52 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 blank pages on the insides of the cover, 1 page back cover, 1 page advertisement and 1 page containing both SRD and editorial, so let's check it out!

The first thing you'll notice when checking this pdf out, is the ToC with the accompanying introduction on the first page, the extensive bookmarks and the clear and easy to read two-column layout. This book is a compilation and expansion of the kingdom building rules for PFRPG's Kingmaker AP that makes the system more accessible for players. Due to probably not everyone owning the AP, I'll try to sum up the rules as we go. Thus, let's get to building our very own kingdoms!

The first 2 pages depict what is necessary to build a kingdom in the first place - exploration. After the concisely-written notes, we are introduced to the mechanics you need to run your kingdom - there are 4 phases in a kingdom's turn, upkeep, improvement, income and event. Almost all checks are related to a single mechanic and the player's decision, allowing for luck, skill and planning to determine and influence the success of a given kingdom. "But wait", you might say - "what about all the players in my campaign?" Fret not, each can fill a role in the kingdom and both the kingdom building and regular roleplaying are important. Especially when taking a look at city building, the next section of the book, in which you'll also find stronghold building guidelines and rules for the development of open spaces, the connections between PC- and Kingdom-level become fairly evident. Want an academy with scholars in your city? Well, buy one! Edicts and events add a spicey touch to the building of nations and finally, there's the mass combat chapter in which the clash of armies, their equipment and special abilities, vassal armies etc. are detailed. Players in battle and the change from units to PCs and back is also mentioned along a selection of several sample armies.

On the rather-PC-centric-side, we get 17 feats mostly dealing with leadership and terrain-movement like swimming. For small armies of casters, we get so-called mass-combat spells, i.e. spells that can only be cast as long, huge rituals and subsequently be disrupted. Which, at least in my opinion, as a concept make for great instances when the PCs try to prevent the casting of a mass combat spell. There are some non-mass-combat spells here, too, just so you know. :) Next up are two prestige classes, the devout healer, a healing-centered caster, the hidden sniper alternate ranger-archetype and the King's Eye, the kingdom's master-spies. There also are 2 pages of magic items, an exploration map, a kingdom sheet, a city district sheet, a sheet to keep track of notable NPCs and a mass combat army sheet. All the sheets are top-quality, easy to read and concisely presented.

Conclusion: Layout is clear, adheres to the two-column standard and serves its purpose. The b/w-artworks are ok, though nothing to write home about. Editing is ok - I only noticed 2 mistakes on all the pages and both were minor typos. I only noticed one formatting error, a case of two capital letters in the beginning of a sentence. If you're reading this review, though, that's not what sparks your interest, but rather whether you should buy this book. To cut a long rant short: If you've ever entertained the notion of your PCs owning a keep, expanding it, ruling and participating in the complex notions of politics rather than just be henchmen of rulers, this book is for you - the rules from kingmaker are concise, cool and easy to grasp, but hard to master. And this book actually delivers all you need, compiled into an easy-to-hand-out reference that will make it even easier for your players to understand the rules and immerse themselves in the great prospects of rulership That being said, the book unfortunately is not perfect - while it's a great resource for kingdom & city building, the rules fall short when it comes to mass combat, at least in my opinion. Yes, they are good. Yes, they are necessarily abstract, but I'm spoiled by 3.5's "Cry Havoc" and would have LOVED to see an expanded take on the rules and more content in that section - more spells, monster rules, more special abilities for the units etc. I realize that this complaint might be unfair, but it's all that keeps me from all out declaring this the ultimate resource on kingdom & city building and mass combat. As it stands, I still love kingdom & city building and will continue to use my own rules for mass-combat. But that's just my preference. What's my final verdict, then? It's a great book, but it could have been the reference in more than being just a reference guide, but rather THE reference. Combined with the few typos, I'll settle for 4 stars and a hearty recommendation. Anyone who plans to run Kingmaker should get this for his/her players and the same holds true for anyone planning on having the PCs acquire a kingdom/city - for you this book is a must-have.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Beasts: Wandering Monsters 1 (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2011 05:50:53

This pdf is 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 5 pages for the new monsters.

The Blightdaemon (CR 4) is a small, imp-like harbinger of disease and comes with a new disease. The Death Adept (CR 8) is an undead priest with divine casting abilities. Kind of like Huecava, but more focused on being an undead cleric. Mantians (CR 5) are giant, preying-mantis-like creatures that come with their own poison I don't get why they don't get keen claws or more damage on their primary attacks. Their defensive qualities list "Compound Eyes", but not what they do. I gather that, similar to Dreamscarred Press's Dromites, they grant the Mantians +2 to Perception checks, but I'm not sure whether that's already fractured in the +8 racial modifier to perception they get or whether having compound eyes grants them additional benefits. It should be noted that this does not impair the usability of the creature, though, so I won't detract a star. Remembrents (CR 3) are shrieking, corporeal undead with some spell-like abilities. Rock-Ophidians (CR 3) are minor dragon-like beings that can spit acid and for a limited amount of time harden their scales. This is a rather strange ability, as no in-game explanation or true reason is given for the creature to have this ability.

Conclusion: Layout adheres to the 2-column standard and is printer-friendly b/w. The b/w-artwork the monsters get is old-school and for the price very nice. Editing could have been better - I noticed a relic "a" in one of the statblocks, an adjective/adverb-mix-up in the Remembrents text and a mix-up between horde/hoard in the Ophidian-text. Due to the shortness of the pdf, I think they could have been avoided. Apart from the typo-pet-peeves of mine, I have another point of criticism: In e.g. stark contrast to the "Monsters of the River Nations"-book, the critters in this pdf lack any iconic quality whatsoever. Mantians are Mantis-like creatures and do exactly what you'd expect. The same goes for the other beasts - they just feel generic. And unfortunately uninspired. There is nothing wrong with the creatures or their mechanics per se and their artworks are ok. However, none of them felt unique or inspired in a way that made me want to use them in my campaign. While the pdf is cheap, I still can't recommend it - due to the low price, my final verdict will be 2 stars.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Beasts: Wandering Monsters 1 (PFRPG)
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Book of Friends and Foes: Under the Mountain (PFRPG)
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2011 12:13:26

Book of Friends and Foes: Under the Mountain by Jon Brazer Enterprise

This product is 8 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits and ToC. (2 pages)

Friends and Foes (5 pages) There is five NPC's in this book. Each NPC takes up a full page with a black and white image. Each one has 3-4 paragraphs of background information on them and full stat blocks. Sak'Aeda – CR 6 Dark Creeper Ranger. Samm Kull – CR 6 Human Fighter/Rogue. Night Wraith – CR 7 Elf Vampire Rogue. Dead-Eye Grimpick – CR 5 Dwarf Cleric. Marrin Rubneck – CR 6 Human Commoner/Warrior.

It ends with a OGL. (1 pages)

Closing thoughts. The editing and layout was pretty good, could have used a little more polish, I did notice a few grammar and spelling errors. The artwork is black and white and ok. The background on the NPC's are ok, there is a few hooks to use them as foes or friends all for the most part. But none of them stood out as something that really grabs you either. If you are looking for some fully stated NPC's to keep around handy for use. Then this is worth picking up. So what's my rating? I am going to give this one a 3 star. Worth the cheap price but could have used more work.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Friends and Foes: Under the Mountain (PFRPG)
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