Monday, August 27, 2012

Reviews - Ultimate Equipment (PFRPG)

Ultimate Equipment - Paizo Publishing

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Equipment (OGL)

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (in reverse order)

OK, I decided to sit on reviewing this book in the hopes that it would grow on me. It hasn't, it's a standard compilation book of gear, with some new items added in. It could have been better, I expected better, I expected more. 

I had hoped to see the Wand Rifle from one of the 3.5 adventures brought into Pathfinder. This was the perfect opportunity to gather all of the Equipment tricks into one book and greatly expand them. 

The Ugly
I, unlike some others, dislike the new format, I think it worked for the Beginner Box, I don't think it works for Ultimate Combat. It feels, wrong, color header after color header for EVERY item, it hurts my brain to look at it. I hate it. It makes the book feel like a 4th edition book.

The Bad
I HATED the pilum picture in Ultimate Combat, I still hate the SAME picture. It's NOT a pilum. The description for a pilum is wrong as well, that's not how they work. Why is it we get all these card pictures, which I've never been a fan of, for items we can find anywhere, but when it comes to all these exotic pre-historic weapons, nothing. How many new players know what an atlatl looks like? For some reason the wushu dart is wooden. Why is the wushu dart wooden?

There's no equipment tricks, Paizo created equipment tricks, this is the Ultimate Equipment book, why are there ultimately no equipment tricks?? Having a dozen or more new tricks would have really made the book more worth it.

$45 for an Equipment guide, it's 400 pages , but most of it is reprinted stuff, so while it is a big book, it's not a wholly original book. I appreciate the work that went into organization, but this one book is making me temper my Core subscription.

This should have been the perfect opportunity to add other prices for items so players in PFS don't outgrow certain "unique" items, just because you can't something like "Celestial Armor" in PFS into say...+4 chainmail, by paying the difference between a +3 and +4 armor bonus. Or at least adding "Celestial" into the Special Ability section. According to the magic item creation rules, it should be allowed, but it's a constant point of contention between GMs and players.

Mock armor...mockable...or...I do see an application in Golarion in having a Rasmiran 'priest' wear it to emulate a cleric's ability to wear armor.

The Good
It compiles equipment spread out in multiple locations into a single book.  I especially like the special material section.

The best part is the RPG Superstar items that made it into the book, wish mine was in there, but oh well.

Poison Rules, awesome. (was it published elsewhere first? I can't remember, I know however I sued similar rules houseruled earlier.) There should be similar rules for making alchemical items better, otherwise they're a low level only item.

Treasure generator...very reminiscent of the AD&D treasure generator, updated but not entirely innovative as the back-cover says.

The Color coding and page edge organization is brilliant, good job.

Yup, it has artwork, I just wish they'd stop using the card artwork, It usually is sporadic as to whether is actually fits the piece. I know they want to push the equipment cards, but they're just not all that. For example, in the picture above, that blue shield, under Celestial Shield, the description says, this gold-edged, yup the picture is gold edged, but the shield is scaled with a dragon skull on it, BAD art choice for a CELESTIAL shield, a silver and gold shield with an angel on it, that I would believe, but a blue scaled look with a dragon skull?

On the other hand the chapter artwork is as always gorgeous.

Value: This book should be indispensable, and to some people I'm sure it is,  but I don't absolutely need it...d20PFSRD has been doing just fine for locating stuff. It's a must-have PDF, it's a decent addition to a Pathfinder library for Gamemasters, I personally would get annoyed with players using it as a gear bible though.

Overall Rating:

12 of 20

I actually wish I had waited, I would buy the PDF separately, but the book to me isn't up to par. Had I seen it before the subscription kicked in, I would not have bought it.

I will be adding to the review as I look at it more. It's a big book, I'm sure I'll find more of the good, the bad and the ugly.

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