Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thank you all so very, very much. Honestly, I have no words right now. I'm absolutely stunned. Not only did we raise 986% of our target, but we shattered the existing Kickstarter record for Hobby Games.Tomorrow, I'll have a special message for you from the Core Development Team.Starting on Monday, I'll start contacting each of you to get the needed information and arrangements for your rewards.Tonight? Celebration, I think. For all of us.Your Kung-fu is MIGHTY, people. No lie.Gareth-Michael Skarka25 August 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Ultimate Combat also introduces three new Pathfinder RPG classes: the ninja, samurai, and gunslinger! The ninja blends the subterfuge of the rogue with high-flying martial arts and assassination techniques. The samurai is an unstoppable armored warrior who lives by a strong code of honor—with or without a master. The gunslinger combines the fighter’s martial prowess with a new grit mechanic that allows her to pull off fantastic acts with a pistol or rifle. All this plus tons of new armor and weapons, a complete treatment of firearms in the Pathfinder RPG, a vast array of martial arts, finishing moves, vehicle combat, duels, and new combat-oriented spells for every spellcasting class in the game!
- Ultimate Combat includes:
- New player character options for 14 Pathfinder RPG base classes, including alchemist discoveries, barbarian rage powers, cavalier orders, combat-cleric archetypes, animal shaman druids, new fighter archetypes like gladiator and armor master, inquisitor archetypes like witch-hunter or spellbreaker, combat-themed magus arcana, monk archetypes based on mastery of martial arts, new paladin archetypes like angelic warrior, ranger archetypes like big game hunter and trapper, new rogue tricks, and wizard archetypes like the gunmage
- The ninja, samurai, and gunslinger, brand-new 20-level alternate classes specially designed to get the most out of combat
- Hundreds of new combat-oriented feats including martial arts feat trees, finishing moves, and combination feats
- In-depth overviews on a variety of combat-related topics, such as armor, Asian weapons, duels, fighting schools, guns, siege weapons, and more
- A complete system covering vehicle combat, including wagons, boats, airships, and more
- Tons of optional combat rules like called shots, armor as damage reduction, and new ways to track character health
- …and much, much more!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Not a lot of time today, too many irons in the fire. So I'll just wax nostalgic for a moment.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The Beginner Box contains: A 64-page player book with information on the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard classes up to level 5; skills; feats; equipment; and rules for combat, adventuring, and how to handle leveling up. A 96-page GM book with a sample adventure; information on running the game; creating a campaign; 12 pages of magic items; 24 pages of monsters; a sample campaign starting area; and advice on building your own adventures. Other materials such as a Flip-Mat, three pages of cardboard pawns for PCs and monsters , pregenerated characters, and a blank character sheet.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Chapter 2: Mastering Magic
The Mastering Magic section covers a lot of ground, Everything from Spellblights, maladies unique to spellcasters. Spell Duels are covered, for the classic wizardly spell battle. Advanced rules for binding outsiders for those that treat with diabolical or angelic forces, or any of the other outsiders; it’s pretty interesting, as it presents ways to gain the upper hand based upon which type of outsider you’re dealing with.
With 102 feats, many new options are opened up. One of the most notable lines of feats is the Eldritch Heritage lines, which allows non-sorcerers access to the different bloodlines. There are two new feats aimed at necromancers specifically, Skeletal Summoner, lets the summoner summon skeletons instead of living creatures with summon monster. Undead Master lets the necromancer to animate and command more undead. Finally the Quarterstaff Master line of feats leads to one of my favorites, the Tripping Whirl, which lets you make a trip attempt against all adjacent creatures.
Words of Power, a new word based power system for Pathfinder. This is a decent system, though it gives up quite a bit of power for flexibility. I doubt I would use it except as an alternate magic system, where every magic user was based upon words. I wish they had provided a skill based system as well, something like the system in Green Ronin’s Black Company campaign setting.
Chapter 5: Spells
What book of magic would be complete without new spells? Some sorely needed upgrades to spells are produced, such as False Life, Greater, and Greater Darkvision.
A new line of spells is introduced, the Undead Anatomy line, and the Monstrous Physique lines. Both these spell lines are similar to beast shape or dragon form spells, but giving additional options, especially interesting with the undead anatomy line.
One of the best new spells is Masterwork transformation. A great way for characters to hold onto their heirloom items and eventually make them magical.
One of the best new spells is Masterwork transformation. A great way for characters to hold onto their heirloom items and eventually make them magical.
Though the material components cost the same as buying a masterwork item or ammunition.
Artwork: Epic! The artwork as always is littered with the iconics, making the entire book feel connected to the system. The artwork at the beginning of each chapter is dynamic, typical of Wayne Reynolds artwork. Each of the new classes receives its own WAR artwork.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
In keeping with the GenCon month. I'm going to review Ultimate Magic this week rather than a boardgame. The Weekend review will be Ultimate Combat.
This comprehensive 256-page hardcover reference unveils the magical secrets of the Pathfinder rules like never before. Tons of new tricks and techniques for every spellcasting class in the game fill the book, ranging from arcane secrets uncovered by studious wizards to dazzling ki-tricks performed by canny monks to new mutagens for alchemists, new oracle mysteries, specialized channel energy options for clerics, and more.
Ultimate Magic also introduces the latest Pathfinder RPG base class: the magus. Combining arcane spells with practiced martial skill, the magus incorporates elements of the warrior and wizard to walk a path balanced between two deadly efficient extremes. All this plus more than 100 new spells for all spellcasting classes, an innovative new “words of power” spellcasting system, a complete system for 1-on-1 spell duels, and more.
- Ultimate Magic includes:
- New player character options for all 14 spellcasting Pathfinder RPG base classes, including alchemist discoveries and bombs, specific bard performances, specialized uses for channel energy, expanded druid domains and rules for vermin companions, new inquisitor archetypes, ki tricks, alternative oracle curses and revelations, new sorcerer bloodlines, additional summoner eidolon abilities and eidolon templates, new witch hexes and patrons, wizardly arcane discoveries, and more!
- The Magus, a brand-new 20-level base class that mixes wizardry with martial skill
- Extensive overviews of new and existing magic subsystems such as condition-based magic, cooperative casting, magical organizations, unpredictable primal magic, counterspelling, binding outsiders, crafting golems, etc.
- Lots of new familiars
- Premade spellbooks suitable for use at all levels of play
- Tons of new feats specifically designed for magic-using characters
- Brand new “words of power” alternative magic system
- More than 100 brand new spells!
- …and much, much more!
Pathfinder Ultimate Magic Review
This is a review of the Ultimate Magic for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, as published by Paizo, under the OGL.
Chapter 1: Spellcasters
Let’s start with the Magus, I was leery of this class during beta testing of it, it’s a hard thing to make a combat mage balanced without stripping it of its appeal. I feel the magus does that. For the record, I hate the name Magus for this class and I feel that feedback in regards to the name was ignored. The magus is limited to level 6 spells, which is on par with the other caster heavy hybrids. (Combat heavy hybrids being limited to 4th level spells.) Unfortunately the magus is still a prepared spell class; perhaps an alternate spontaneous class will be added later. Magus are able to fight with a one handed weapon and cast a spell with the other. Their real power comes with the Magus Arcana they can learn, like rogue talents, yet giving them a broad range of abilities. Eventually they gain heavy armor proficiency, thus the ability to cast spells and wear heavy armor, when out of spells, the ability to use martial weapons, keeps them in the fight.
25 new discoveries, many are bomb discoveries, from blinding bombs to sunlight and tanglefoot bombs.Healing touch can transform the alchemist into an assistant healer. Several others give aberrant additions such as tentacles, vestigial wings, or the ultra creepy tumor familiar. 8 new archetypes, the Chirurgeon, lets the alchemist become a true healer. Others include Clone Master, Internal Alchemist, Mindchemist, Preservationist, Psychonaut, Reanimator, and the Vivisectionist.
Bards gain a entirely new feat-like mechanic called Masterpieces; though they can be acquired by sacrificing a spell slot in lieu of a feat. Everquest™ fans will enjoy Triple Time the most, as it is a group speed increase, 10ft land speed increased for 1 hour, for a cost or 1 bardic performance rd. Now all you need is a drum that doubles the speed. Ever wanted to be a celebrity in the game? Well you can choose the celebrity archetype and be just that. Other Bard Archetypes include, the Animal Speaker, Demagogue, Dirge bard, the Asian inspired Geisha, Songhealer, and the Sound Striker.
Variant Channeling, this introduces a new mechanic, domain based alternate effects, for the cost of half the healing channel. Only four new archetypes, the Cloistered Cleric, the Separatist, Theologian, and the Undead Lord. The Undead Lord lets you play the divine based Necromancer….complete with a Corpse Companion.
Druids get a slew of Animal and terrain based domains, which helps differentiate them from clerics more, whether it’s a Mountain Domain druid or an Eagle druid. Vermin companions, are introduced in this book. A bunch of new archetypes are introduced, including the Menhir Savant, Pack Lord, Mooncaller, Reincarnated druid, and the Storm Druid. The new shaman types are the Dragon Shaman, and the Saurian Shaman, one of my favorites, Tyrannosaur at level 1, advances to large at level 7….nice.
A new type of domain is introduced for inquisitors, inquisitions, which replace some of the worthless domains. New archetypes include the Exorcist, Heretic, Infiltrator, Preacher and Sin Eater. Of these archetypes, I feel the Sin Eater is the most creative, the character must eat the sins of their enemy, kind of like counting coup of certain Native American tribes. By ‘eating’ their sins, you deny their soul to their god.
So even though the class is new, there are four archetypes, The Black Blade’s bonded weapon is an intelligent weapon that grows with the magus and has an arcane pool of its own. The Hexcrafter borrows a little from the witch. Spellblades use force magic and have three of their own arcane. Finally the Staff Magus is a master of the quarterstaff, actually gaining the Quarterstaff Master at first level as a bonus feat. Which is pretty big, it allows taking weapon specialization, even with no fighter levels, and ignores the pre-req of weapon focus. There is a broken build currently, the Dervish Dance feat build (Inner Sea World Guide), I only say it’s broken because its almost a no brainer, because the dex becomes the to hit, damage, and ac modifier. In addition, the 18-20 crit threat of the scimitar works especially well to deliver extra spell critical damage during a spell strike. Watch out for Kobold wielding scimitars…
What’s the monk doing in Complete Magic? Well they’re working on their Ki powers. Namely through the use of Monk Vows, but also with the Qinggong monk, which allows the monk to swap out powers similar to an archetype but much more freeform, even allowing you to select a swapped power from a lower level and get it later. This is something I pushed for during Beta, and I’m very glad to see it in print now.
Several new mysteries are Ancestor, Dark Tapestry, Metal, Time and Wood. Brining Wood and Metal in completes the five eastern elements for oracles as well. I would like to see a unified Five elements mystery as well. The Dual Cursed archetype allows the oracle to have two mysteries, at a price. Other archetypes include the Enlightened Philosopher, Planar Oracle, Possessed Oracle, Seer, and the Stargazer.
Paladins have a new archetype which opens up lots of new options, the Oathbound Paladin. Once the oathbound archtype is chosen, multiple non conflicting oaths may also be taken, this gives the oathbound more restrictions role-playing wise as they must abide by their oaths and their deities code of conduct. The big thing that comes with the oaths is access to oath spells, like domain spells.Oath against Corruption adds true strike to the paladin’s list of spells, in addition to acute sense, touch of idiocy and spell immunity, for example. Other oaths against x, include Fiends, Savagery, Undeath and Wyrms. To round out the list of Oaths, are Charity, Chastity, Loyalty and Vengeance.
Rangers only have one Archetype in Ultimate Magic, The Trapper. The Trapper grants access to new Ranger traps in lieu of spellcasting, which is good to have another option for those who don’t want spellcasting rangers. The interesting thing about ranger traps, they aren’t just normal mechanical traps, they can be magical or mechanical, and can even be set “cast” by an arrow. This is especially insidious with the Swarm Trap…
In addition to new Bloodlines, 2 new archetypes make their appearance, the Crossblooded, which is very similar to the Dual Cursed Oracle. And the mutated Wildblooded archetype which uses the subdomain mechanics reskinned for sorcerers, of which the Bedrock wild bloodline works off of the Deep Earth bloodline, and is defense oriented, which is a nice one for summoner type sorcerers as the arcana grants your summoned creatures DR (1/2 sorc level)/adamantine. The Bloodline power is Iron Hide at 9th level, which grants sorclevel rounds per day of DR10/adamantine. The new bloodlines are Accursed, Djinni, Efretti, Maestro, Marid, Rakshasa and Shaitan. While the Rakshasa line isn’t ultra powerful, it is one of my favorite, I might run a Tiefling (rakshasa heritage) Sorceror with the Rakshasa bloodline after the Advanced Races Guide hits the shelves.
The main focus of the summoner additions is templates for easy eidolon creations. Very nice resource if your trying to get a specific look for your eidolon. Also nice for new players and for the GM on the go. New evolutions of note are the magic evolutions. Four new archetypes are introduced, The Broodmaster, Evolutionist, Synthesist and the Master Summoner, which gives up significant power for their eidolon for greater summon monster ability, and the ability to have their eidolon and summoned monsters up at the same time.
New Hexes, lots of them, and creepy NPC oriented ones to boot, such as Child Scent (ala Hansel and Gretl) ,Poison Steep (perfect for those poisoned apples), the cannibalistic Cook People, and Witch Hut, perfect for those Baba Yaga witch. Alternative patron themes are given. In addition four archetypes, Beast Bonded, Gravewalker, Hedge Witch and the Sea Witch; the Hedge witch is a good adventuring healer based witch.
Arcane Discoveries are the first new rules for wizards, which may be taken in place of the bonus feats. The two missing Oriental schools, wood and metal are introduced, making way for the Asian themed characters. The only archetype is a very cool concept, the Scrollmaster which can use scrolls as either shield or weapons, and of course, they received improved scroll casting at level 10, letting them cast scrolls as normal spells.
Due to the amount of text in this post, I'm going to split the review into two parts.
Here at Pair A Dice Games we run weekly as well as bi-weekly events, all are free to play and all are open to anyone.
Mondays - 4:30pm Warhammer Mondays, Come and play with a friend or for a pick up game for either Warhammer Game.
Tuesdays- 4:30 Open RPG day, Come and bring a group of friends and play your RPGs, or join any of our existing groups if they still have space
Wednesdays - Privateer Press Night - Come by and play any of your Privateer Press games, be it Warmachine, Hordes or Monsterpocalypse Tournament with prize support this Week Registration & demo starts at 5:30, tournament begins at 6:00.
D&D Encounters - Come by Wednesdays to join in on our D&D encounter group space goes quickly
1st and 3rd Thursdays - Historical Wargames, drop by and enjoy any of our wargaming groups or bring your own and have a good time.
Friday - 5:00 pm Friday Night Magic, come and play magic in our offical tournaments with varrying styles.
Saturdays - Pair a Dice Game Day!
Through out the day come by and learn how to play any of a handful of euro games. The store will be running various games for you to learn how to play, and your always welcome to come by and bring your own game you may want others to play. These are the games that we'll be running teaching games for, this does not mean that only these games can be played during these times, and if players want to learn other games we are more than happy to do our best to accommodate.
Carcassonne 10am, Ticket to Ride noon, Settlers of Catan 2pm
Lord of the Rings Miniatures 10am
Sundays - 2:00 pm Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament come by and participate in our yu-gi-oh tournaments.
Monday Axis and Allies Naval Battles, Warmachine
Tuesday Historical Society 5pm, SD Board Game Society 7pm
Wednesday Warhammer 40k League 6:30pm
Thursday L5R CCG 6:30pm
Friday FNM type 2 tournament 6:30pm
Saturday RPGA/Pathfinder Society 11am, Flames of War 6pm
Sunday Warhammer Fantasy League 10am, Pokemon CCG 11am, Warmachine 5pm
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide Review
First Glance: When you page through the book you’ll first run across race options, from the pyromaniac gnome to the chain fighting half-orc. Next you come across the new classes, The Alchemist, Summoner, Oracle, Inquisitor, Witch and Cavalier; filing in some missing spaces in the class line-up. Next you come across the Core class options, the introduction of archetypes, and pretty much that’s where my personal first glance stopped, as I became fully engrossed in the options.
This chapter deals with races, each racial entry is broken into adventurers, alternate racial traits and favored class options. The adventurer’s section describes how each race fits into the different classes. Alternate Racial traits, give more options, by allowing a player to swap out different abilities.
This is pure perfection, to me anyway; of course it’s based on some of the work in the complete guides from 3.5, as they were the original options that swapped out class abilities for new focused class abilities. But, somehow Paizo does it so much better, fully capturing the essence of the different classes. Effectively an archetype works in such a way as to replace certain class abilities, for example, a fighter archetype, The Crossbowman, gives up the standard armor and weapon training lines to gain abilities which make him deadly with a crossbow, eventually getting the ability to make trip or bulrush attacks with the crossbow, or shooting through a target on a critical. One of the things archetypes have allowed is for classes such as the paladin and ranger to drop spell-use; the skirmisher ranger archetype replaces spell use with ranger tricks, which are similar to rogue talents.
With dozens and dozens of new feats, I’m only going to say, that some of the new feats close gaps in what you could normally do in combat. In addition, race feats are introduced; feats such as Razor Tusk or Racial Heritage.
New weapons, armor, alchemical creations are always nice.
Almost 50 pages of news spells.
Adds the following prestige classes: Battle Herald, Holy Vindicator, Horizon Walker, Master Chymist, Master Spy, Nature Warden, Rage Prophet, and the Stalwart Defender.
Always fun in a book.
Combat maneuvers; 4 new combat maneuvers are introduced which are definitely gap fills. The age old Dirty Trick maneuver, such as sand in the face, is introduced, it was missing and needed. Drag, which was most assuredly over looked. Reposition, grab your opponent and move him against the wall. And the steal maneuver, snatch something off your opponent, oops, were you looking for that heal potion. Pathfinder introduces its own Hero Point system. Including hero point related feats and spells, and magic items. Traits are given their Pathfinder update in this volume, including updating the campaign traits from Rise of the Runelords AP.
Replay Value: The archetype options alone in the Advanced Player’s Guide provide so many combinations, that you could play hundreds of games and never play the exact same character. Even if you’re someone who enjoys a particular concept, reusing the name and vision of your character, you could play a dozen or more times, with slight modifications, using the same character.
Friday, August 12, 2011
The purpose of the awards is to:
- Encourage new developments and innovations in the board game industry.
- Promote board and card games to a larger audience
- Award the best games in different categories released each year.
- Present a slate of games with wide appeal from a variety of genres.
- Point out games that are simply fun!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This is a review of the Save Doctor Lucky Board game produced by Paizo Publishing, LLC. http://www.paizo.com
First Glance: High quality heavy duty box game. You get 8 stand-up counters representing The 7 players and Doctor Lucky. You get 4 nice thick boards, with nice quality artwork. You also get a nice Deck of cards.
Main Review: Save Doctor Lucky is the prequel to Kill Doctor Lucky.
In Save Doctor Lucky, you must conspicuously save the Doctor from the sinking cruise liner. The first difference between this game and the original is the boards, you lay each of the decks of the ship out with ¼ of the cards (after dealing cards out). The Doctor wanders on his standard pathway around the ship, but as the cards run out, boards sections disappear. Another difference is that when you attempt to save him, others must be able to draw line of sight to you, as you’re not saving him for no reason, you’re trying to get ahead in the world. No spite tokens are awarded in this version, the game length manager is the sinking ship. As the sections disappear, the game play speeds up quite a lot.
Artwork: Excellent, The artwork is stylized and the boards are gorgeous.
Replay Value: Excellent, this game is never the same, and while you might have some winning strategies, you’re not going to win every time. This is a family favorite, everyone can win.
Comprehension Level: Excellent, The rules for Save Doctor Lucky are very simple. Publisher’s suggested Age Range is 10+
Humor: Decent, While Save Doctor Lucky tries to maintain the same level of humor as it predecessor, it does not quite succeed, the jokes on the failure cards just aren’t as funny as the jokes on the failure cards for Kill Doctor Lucky.
Family Rating: 8+, rules are easy enough to learn, and there’s no moral ambiguity of murder in this version of Doctor Lucky.
Price Tag: $29.99 retail. Well below the price point of similar games, for something of this quality, you can usually expect to pay $40.
Value: For us, it’s still worth the money. Not as good as the original, but it’s a nice alternative.
Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars
You can purchase Save Doctor Lucky from from Paizo.com or your FLGS!
Monday, August 8, 2011
Epic RPG Blog Links, this is where the Review links, Top 5 Lists, and Internet resources has moved to a tabbed menu below the header.
Comments, suggestions and feedback appreciated.
This is a retro review. I take a step back and review a game from the past. This is a review of AD&D, including the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual. Expect more nostalgia than critical review. Dedicated to Iain Shigeoka, my first DM. It’s rambling, and more just stream of consciousness as I relive the old days, it’s not a super in depth look at the game.
First Encounter: It was 1983, I was in 6th grade, headed out to the playground for recess (that was the year they made 6th grade an elementary school grade again.). I saw some of my GATE classmates, who I never really talked to at the time, with these books…I asked what they were doing, they said playing Dungeons and Dragons, I sat down to look at the Monster Manual and the rest is history.
Main Review: This was it, the big daddy at the time, there weren’t a lot of us playing it, but I dug in, and bought, my books. I remember spending hours upon hours making magic items, rolling up characters, making dungeons on graph paper. The rules weren’t perfect by far, but they were new and magical to my young mind. I remember playing Keep on the Borderlands at 6th grade Safety Patrol Camp (I played a Ranger). I remember in 7th grade playing a solo adventure as an assassin.
The stats were rolled with 3d6 in order, Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma. You got what you got. I even remember playing a 5 ST Magic-user, and a 6 IN Fighter. Magic-Users were ultra fragile at 1st level with their d4 hit dice, as were monks; though they both became extremely powerful at their upper levels.
Price Tag: You can find these books used in various states, though Second edition is quite common, there are plenty of copies at Pair-a-dice last I looked, including lots of the Complete books.
Tune in for Next Month's Retro review of Shadowrun 1st edition.