Ian Sisson Archive

  • Stray Spells This pdf clocks in at 27 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 23 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This review was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   Okay, so the idea of spells becoming sentient humanoids isn’t new, but surprisingly, I have never seen the concept to be actually applied to a playable race, so the pdf does tread some new ground here. We begin the pdf thus with the “biology” if you will, of these sentient spells. Stray spells are, per se, immortal, though in practice, they always run the risk of being transcribed […]

    Stray Spells

    Stray Spells This pdf clocks in at 27 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 23 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This review was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   Okay, so the idea of spells becoming sentient humanoids isn’t new, but surprisingly, I have never seen the concept to be actually applied to a playable race, so the pdf does tread some new ground here. We begin the pdf thus with the “biology” if you will, of these sentient spells. Stray spells are, per se, immortal, though in practice, they always run the risk of being transcribed […]

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  • Alternate Paths: Social Characters This massive installment of the Alternate Paths-series clocks in at 87 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with an impressive 83 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This book was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   So, what is this book? One could picture this supplement, as a whole, as a spiritual heir to both Ultimate Intrigue and Campaign, but I’ll get more into the nit and grit of that later. In case you have not discerned that – this may not be the book to get if you’re looking to run a murder-hobo dungeon-crawling […]

    Alternate Paths: Social Characters

    Alternate Paths: Social Characters This massive installment of the Alternate Paths-series clocks in at 87 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with an impressive 83 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This book was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   So, what is this book? One could picture this supplement, as a whole, as a spiritual heir to both Ultimate Intrigue and Campaign, but I’ll get more into the nit and grit of that later. In case you have not discerned that – this may not be the book to get if you’re looking to run a murder-hobo dungeon-crawling […]

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  • Alternate Paths: Ascetic Characters This massive pdf clocks in at 86 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 82 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf was moved up as a prioritized review in my review queue at the request of my patreons.   And now for something completely different! In the grey area between the divine and psychic spheres, there lies a character’s personal philosophy; at last those of us prone to contemplation and self-discovery will know these notions and, indeed, in various media, we often have philosophies clash, as their chosen champions and Weltanschauungen clash on the fields of battle. This conflict of ideologies goes beyond […]

    Alternate Paths: Ascetic Characters

    Alternate Paths: Ascetic Characters This massive pdf clocks in at 86 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 82 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf was moved up as a prioritized review in my review queue at the request of my patreons.   And now for something completely different! In the grey area between the divine and psychic spheres, there lies a character’s personal philosophy; at last those of us prone to contemplation and self-discovery will know these notions and, indeed, in various media, we often have philosophies clash, as their chosen champions and Weltanschauungen clash on the fields of battle. This conflict of ideologies goes beyond […]

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  • Heroes of the Waves (A Polynesian Sourcebook)ir-leasing.ru This pdf clocks in at 45 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 41.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The review was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   So, what is this? In one sentence, it is basically a toolkit to play a fantasy campaign based on Polynesian culture. This in itself already adds some value to the book for me. Beyond Tolkienesque fantasy and mostly Japanese-inspired Anime or Chinese WuXia, it is pretty jarring that we don’t make half as much use of those fantastic cultures and mythologies our diverse […]

    Heroes of the Waves (A Polynesian Sourcebook)

    Heroes of the Waves (A Polynesian Sourcebook)ir-leasing.ru This pdf clocks in at 45 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 41.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The review was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   So, what is this? In one sentence, it is basically a toolkit to play a fantasy campaign based on Polynesian culture. This in itself already adds some value to the book for me. Beyond Tolkienesque fantasy and mostly Japanese-inspired Anime or Chinese WuXia, it is pretty jarring that we don’t make half as much use of those fantastic cultures and mythologies our diverse […]

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  • Gonzo 2 This book clocks in at 419 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with…414 pages of content. … .. WTF, 419-pages?? Seriously, I had various iterations of the playtest-doc since last year. It’s the only reason you’re seeing this review NOW. This has been moved forward on my review-queue as a prioritized review…and doing so was smart, for this book has been in circulation among playtest classes for more than a few months This is seriously the biggest book of CRUNCH I have ever reviewed, even taking the one-column layout into account…and it would completely break my format. So how to review this?   All right, let’s establish some standards, shall […]

    Gonzo 2

    Gonzo 2 This book clocks in at 419 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with…414 pages of content. … .. WTF, 419-pages?? Seriously, I had various iterations of the playtest-doc since last year. It’s the only reason you’re seeing this review NOW. This has been moved forward on my review-queue as a prioritized review…and doing so was smart, for this book has been in circulation among playtest classes for more than a few months This is seriously the biggest book of CRUNCH I have ever reviewed, even taking the one-column layout into account…and it would completely break my format. So how to review this?   All right, let’s establish some standards, shall […]

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  • Tome of Wicked Things 2 This pdf clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2.25 pages of SRD, leaving us with ~12 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   We begin this supplement with the slasher base class, intended to allow for GMs to duplicate the gruesome sprees of Jason, Michael Myers etc. The base class receives d12, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as light and medium armor, full BAB-progression and, interestingly, good Will-saves. Slashers obviously need to be evil and are intended primarily as antagonists. A […]

    Tome of Wicked Things 2

    Tome of Wicked Things 2 This pdf clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2.25 pages of SRD, leaving us with ~12 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   We begin this supplement with the slasher base class, intended to allow for GMs to duplicate the gruesome sprees of Jason, Michael Myers etc. The base class receives d12, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as light and medium armor, full BAB-progression and, interestingly, good Will-saves. Slashers obviously need to be evil and are intended primarily as antagonists. A […]

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  • The Alternate Path: Martial Characters This pdf clocks in at…wait…what? 119 pages? Okay, this’ll be a long one. Of these pages, 1 page is devoted to the front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 116 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, there are classes herein – a lot of them, and they are defined pretty much by their cultural niche and concept – being labeled as exotic classes, since they may be more specialized than a given class, but still taking the same niche. So no, these do not count as alternate classes. Rules-wise, we are introduced to so-called “trappings,” items, which, much like e.g. an arcane bonded object, is a defining […]

    The Alternate Path: Martial Characters

    The Alternate Path: Martial Characters This pdf clocks in at…wait…what? 119 pages? Okay, this’ll be a long one. Of these pages, 1 page is devoted to the front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 116 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, there are classes herein – a lot of them, and they are defined pretty much by their cultural niche and concept – being labeled as exotic classes, since they may be more specialized than a given class, but still taking the same niche. So no, these do not count as alternate classes. Rules-wise, we are introduced to so-called “trappings,” items, which, much like e.g. an arcane bonded object, is a defining […]

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  • Dragon Tiger Ox This massive book by Little Red Goblin Games clocks in at 172 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 7 pages of SRD (with some pages duplicating text from the adventure at the end of the book), leaving us with 163 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Now if you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know that I usually take apart crunch for races and classes in a pretty detailed manner. The problem with a book of this size and my approach is evident -were I to do that here, the review would bloat beyond compare. Hence, I’ll be somewhat less detailed than usual in this review, picking out the cherries and the […]

    Dragon Tiger Ox

    Dragon Tiger Ox This massive book by Little Red Goblin Games clocks in at 172 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 7 pages of SRD (with some pages duplicating text from the adventure at the end of the book), leaving us with 163 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Now if you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know that I usually take apart crunch for races and classes in a pretty detailed manner. The problem with a book of this size and my approach is evident -were I to do that here, the review would bloat beyond compare. Hence, I’ll be somewhat less detailed than usual in this review, picking out the cherries and the […]

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  • Tome of Twisted Things This pdf is 34 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 31 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   We kick this pdf off with the Darkborn-PrC – essentially a character who opts to take the wickedness into him/herself, slowly becoming the monster they ought to destroy – in the words of “The Dark knight” -either die a hero or become a monster. The PrC spans 10 levels and ofefrs d10, 4+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, 7 levels of spell progression and medium ref-saves. Unlike many other PrC, this class comes with a fighter/melee-centric alternative that offers full BAB-progression, but no spell-progression. Rules-wise, […]

    Tome of Twisted Things

    Tome of Twisted Things This pdf is 34 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 31 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   We kick this pdf off with the Darkborn-PrC – essentially a character who opts to take the wickedness into him/herself, slowly becoming the monster they ought to destroy – in the words of “The Dark knight” -either die a hero or become a monster. The PrC spans 10 levels and ofefrs d10, 4+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, 7 levels of spell progression and medium ref-saves. Unlike many other PrC, this class comes with a fighter/melee-centric alternative that offers full BAB-progression, but no spell-progression. Rules-wise, […]

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