Stephen Rowe Archive

  • The Genius Guide to the Talented Witch This HUGE book clocks in at 57 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial 1 page SRD, leaving us with…54 pages of content. Yep, that’s right… brutal!   The witch class, as rebuild in the talented line, mostly is identical in chassis to the base witch – though one noticeable discrepancy is an upgrade in skills per level from 2 + Int to 4 + Int, which may not be required for the witch in general and/or constitute a glitch.   At this point, I am assuming you’re familiar with teh concept of the talented class redesigns – basically, you have class features as a grab-bag, taken from archetypes and codified as […]

    The Genius Guide to the Talented Witch

    The Genius Guide to the Talented Witch This HUGE book clocks in at 57 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial 1 page SRD, leaving us with…54 pages of content. Yep, that’s right… brutal!   The witch class, as rebuild in the talented line, mostly is identical in chassis to the base witch – though one noticeable discrepancy is an upgrade in skills per level from 2 + Int to 4 + Int, which may not be required for the witch in general and/or constitute a glitch.   At this point, I am assuming you’re familiar with teh concept of the talented class redesigns – basically, you have class features as a grab-bag, taken from archetypes and codified as […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Southlands Bestiary This massive bestiary for use with the Southlands campaign setting (but not limited to it) clocks in at 122 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of backer-lists, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 3/4 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 112 1/4 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   I was a backer of the Southlands kickstarter, but am otherwise not involved with this book. My review is primarily based on the softcover print version of this book, though I consulted the electronic version to verify e.g. presence of bookmarks and similar components.   This book is pretty much a sans frills experience – the brief version […]

    Southlands Bestiary

    Southlands Bestiary This massive bestiary for use with the Southlands campaign setting (but not limited to it) clocks in at 122 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of backer-lists, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 3/4 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 112 1/4 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   I was a backer of the Southlands kickstarter, but am otherwise not involved with this book. My review is primarily based on the softcover print version of this book, though I consulted the electronic version to verify e.g. presence of bookmarks and similar components.   This book is pretty much a sans frills experience – the brief version […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Southlands Campaign Setting This massive campaign setting-style book clocks in at 302 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 4 pages of ToC, 2 pages of KS-backer thanks, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 290 pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   I was a (hesitant) backer for this book’s KS, but otherwise unaffiliated with the production of this massive tome. My book is mainly based on the print version, though the electronic version was consulted for the purpose of determining electronic functionality of e.g. bookmarks and the like.   What do I mean by “hesitant”? Okay, before we dive into this book’s subject matter, a […]

    Southlands Campaign Setting

    Southlands Campaign Setting This massive campaign setting-style book clocks in at 302 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 4 pages of ToC, 2 pages of KS-backer thanks, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 290 pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   I was a (hesitant) backer for this book’s KS, but otherwise unaffiliated with the production of this massive tome. My book is mainly based on the print version, though the electronic version was consulted for the purpose of determining electronic functionality of e.g. bookmarks and the like.   What do I mean by “hesitant”? Okay, before we dive into this book’s subject matter, a […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Directive Infinity X This module clocks in at 58 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, 2 pages of editorial, leaving us with 53 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   I received this module prior to public release and playtested it. It was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   The premise is pretty much fantasy modern day: In a world that is pretty much like our own, monsters and the like are common and pose a significant risk to the populace. The government has two choices for the truly dangerous creatures out there: Submit to a painless death or be confined and […]

    Directive Infinity X

    Directive Infinity X This module clocks in at 58 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, 2 pages of editorial, leaving us with 53 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   I received this module prior to public release and playtested it. It was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   The premise is pretty much fantasy modern day: In a world that is pretty much like our own, monsters and the like are common and pose a significant risk to the populace. The government has two choices for the truly dangerous creatures out there: Submit to a painless death or be confined and […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Four Horsemen Present: Technomagic Hybrid Magic Items This pdf clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1/2 page editorial, leaving us with 14.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   All right – so you may know already that I *love* scifi/fantasy mash-up – but does this one work? Well, we’ll see! We begin with a limited armor special ability that is rather interesting: Self-charging armor functions for a number of hours equal to the enhancement bonus as if it possessed charges without consuming charges – this is limited and yet useful. Nice! The pdf also sports no less than 4 specific pieces of armor, beginning with the EMP armor, dealing reflexive damage […]

    Four Horsemen Present: Technomagic Hybrid Magic Items

    Four Horsemen Present: Technomagic Hybrid Magic Items This pdf clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1/2 page editorial, leaving us with 14.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   All right – so you may know already that I *love* scifi/fantasy mash-up – but does this one work? Well, we’ll see! We begin with a limited armor special ability that is rather interesting: Self-charging armor functions for a number of hours equal to the enhancement bonus as if it possessed charges without consuming charges – this is limited and yet useful. Nice! The pdf also sports no less than 4 specific pieces of armor, beginning with the EMP armor, dealing reflexive damage […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Glavost: A Fairy Tale Village This supplement clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 16 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Before we do, though: Since this is Playground Adventures: This village featured first in the absolutely, I can’t emphasize this enough, STELLAR “Pixies on Parade“-module – I VERY MUCH suggest getting this module! As for age-range, I consider this appropriate for ages 4 and up if the kid in question is pretty mature; more sensitive kids can consider some components a bit more creepy, but ages 6 and up should do just fine and in fact, enjoy this – much like several of my most […]

    Glavost: A Fairy Tale Village

    Glavost: A Fairy Tale Village This supplement clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 16 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Before we do, though: Since this is Playground Adventures: This village featured first in the absolutely, I can’t emphasize this enough, STELLAR “Pixies on Parade“-module – I VERY MUCH suggest getting this module! As for age-range, I consider this appropriate for ages 4 and up if the kid in question is pretty mature; more sensitive kids can consider some components a bit more creepy, but ages 6 and up should do just fine and in fact, enjoy this – much like several of my most […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Four Horsemen Present: Mythic Magic Expanded This installment of the Four Horsemen present-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, mythic magic expanded? But didn’t Legendary Games already cover mythic versions of all spells? Well, thankfully, this pdf does offer something different, namely magical traditions based on mythic feats.   Unfortunately, the very first of these traditions already opens pretty much a can of whoop-ass issues: Blood Magic’s the feat’s name, and it allows you to deal damage to yourself to cast mythic bloodline spells sans expenditure of mythic power. Okay, does the damage affect/require concentration? Three: This […]

    Four Horsemen Present: Mythic Magic Expanded

    Four Horsemen Present: Mythic Magic Expanded This installment of the Four Horsemen present-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, mythic magic expanded? But didn’t Legendary Games already cover mythic versions of all spells? Well, thankfully, this pdf does offer something different, namely magical traditions based on mythic feats.   Unfortunately, the very first of these traditions already opens pretty much a can of whoop-ass issues: Blood Magic’s the feat’s name, and it allows you to deal damage to yourself to cast mythic bloodline spells sans expenditure of mythic power. Okay, does the damage affect/require concentration? Three: This […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Four Horsemen Present: Mythic Archetypes This installment of the Four Horsemen Present-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, what are mythic archetypes? Well, the short and simple response is that they represent different foci for mythic characters – archetypes before paths, if you will. Instead of modifying mythic paths (and jumping straight into a huge hornet’s nest, considering how intricate the diverse expansions for them out there are), the archetypes herein replace e.g. hard to kill, amazing initiative, recuperation and unstoppable – basically, you switch out the basic abilities gained by every mythic hero. For your convenience’s […]

    Four Horsemen Present: Mythic Archetypes

    Four Horsemen Present: Mythic Archetypes This installment of the Four Horsemen Present-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, what are mythic archetypes? Well, the short and simple response is that they represent different foci for mythic characters – archetypes before paths, if you will. Instead of modifying mythic paths (and jumping straight into a huge hornet’s nest, considering how intricate the diverse expansions for them out there are), the archetypes herein replace e.g. hard to kill, amazing initiative, recuperation and unstoppable – basically, you switch out the basic abilities gained by every mythic hero. For your convenience’s […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Four Horsemen Present: Base Class Engineer This base class clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The base class engineer as presented herein has d8 HD, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons as well as with light, medium and heavy armors, but not shields and receives a 3/4-BAB-progression and good Ref- and Will-saves. The engineer begins play with Craft Construct as a bonus feat and treats her engineer level as a caster level for the purpose of qualifying for magic item creation and feat-prerequisites. The engineer can create spell-trigger and spell-activation items. From the very first level […]

    Four Horsemen Present: Base Class Engineer

    Four Horsemen Present: Base Class Engineer This base class clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The base class engineer as presented herein has d8 HD, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons as well as with light, medium and heavy armors, but not shields and receives a 3/4-BAB-progression and good Ref- and Will-saves. The engineer begins play with Craft Construct as a bonus feat and treats her engineer level as a caster level for the purpose of qualifying for magic item creation and feat-prerequisites. The engineer can create spell-trigger and spell-activation items. From the very first level […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Four Horsemen Present: Animated Traps Expanded This installment of the Four Horsemen present-series clocks in at 8 pages, 1 pages front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   In case you haven’t checked out the massive and rather awesome Monster Menagerie: The Construct Companion, you’ll be asking yourself what this very concept is: Basically, the idea is to make traps that double as both traps and creatures – and yes, this is mechanically as exceedingly interesting as you’d think it would be. The base rules from aforementioned book are presented herein for your convenience.   The template and guidance provided is simply brilliant, so for the low […]

    Four Horsemen Present: Animated Traps Expanded

    Four Horsemen Present: Animated Traps Expanded This installment of the Four Horsemen present-series clocks in at 8 pages, 1 pages front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   In case you haven’t checked out the massive and rather awesome Monster Menagerie: The Construct Companion, you’ll be asking yourself what this very concept is: Basically, the idea is to make traps that double as both traps and creatures – and yes, this is mechanically as exceedingly interesting as you’d think it would be. The base rules from aforementioned book are presented herein for your convenience.   The template and guidance provided is simply brilliant, so for the low […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Four Horsemen Present: Abstraction Golems Expanded This pdf clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   What is the abstraction golem? Well, the obvious response would be that it is a mythic template that allows you to create golems from the very fabric of concepts like love, war etc. – abstract concepts. First introduced in the massive and exceedingly impressive Construct Companion, the base template is provided herein, but, as the title suggests, the options introduced there are further expanded herein, providing new abstraction templates to craft these conceptually awesome golems from.   The first of these would be Fate, […]

    Four Horsemen Present: Abstraction Golems Expanded

    Four Horsemen Present: Abstraction Golems Expanded This pdf clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   What is the abstraction golem? Well, the obvious response would be that it is a mythic template that allows you to create golems from the very fabric of concepts like love, war etc. – abstract concepts. First introduced in the massive and exceedingly impressive Construct Companion, the base template is provided herein, but, as the title suggests, the options introduced there are further expanded herein, providing new abstraction templates to craft these conceptually awesome golems from.   The first of these would be Fate, […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Constructs The fourth Gruesome monsters-supplement (for a handy list, use the Gruesome-tag on my homepage) clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So what are gruesome monsters? The simple explanation is that they’re monsters that had a template added, which represents a type of design I personally absolutely adore: Basically, the templates have a goal and that is to reward smart players. Taking a cue from the best of dark fantasy and horror gaming, the templates provided here make the creatures not only more lethal, they also add a psychological component via the Shock Value to them, representing […]

    Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Constructs

    Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Constructs The fourth Gruesome monsters-supplement (for a handy list, use the Gruesome-tag on my homepage) clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So what are gruesome monsters? The simple explanation is that they’re monsters that had a template added, which represents a type of design I personally absolutely adore: Basically, the templates have a goal and that is to reward smart players. Taking a cue from the best of dark fantasy and horror gaming, the templates provided here make the creatures not only more lethal, they also add a psychological component via the Shock Value to them, representing […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Oozes The third Gruesome monsters-supplement (for a handy list, use the Gruesome-tag on my homepage) clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So what are gruesome monsters? The simple explanation is that they’re monsters that had a template added, which represents a type of design I personally absolutely adore: Basically, the templates have a goal and that is to reward smart players. Taking a cue from the best of dark fantasy and horror gaming, the templates provided here make the creatures not only more lethal, they also add a psychological component via the Shock Value to them, representing […]

    Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Oozes

    Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Oozes The third Gruesome monsters-supplement (for a handy list, use the Gruesome-tag on my homepage) clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So what are gruesome monsters? The simple explanation is that they’re monsters that had a template added, which represents a type of design I personally absolutely adore: Basically, the templates have a goal and that is to reward smart players. Taking a cue from the best of dark fantasy and horror gaming, the templates provided here make the creatures not only more lethal, they also add a psychological component via the Shock Value to them, representing […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Fey The second Gruesome monsters-supplement (for a handy list, use the Gruesome-tag on my homepage) clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So what are gruesome monsters? The simple explanation is: They’re monsters that had a template added that represent a type of design I personally absolutely adore: Basically, the templates have a goal and that is to reward smart players. Taking a cue from the best of dark fantasy and horror gaming, the templates provided here make the creatures not only more lethal, they also add a psychological component via the Shock Value to them, representing the […]

    Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Fey

    Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Fey The second Gruesome monsters-supplement (for a handy list, use the Gruesome-tag on my homepage) clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So what are gruesome monsters? The simple explanation is: They’re monsters that had a template added that represent a type of design I personally absolutely adore: Basically, the templates have a goal and that is to reward smart players. Taking a cue from the best of dark fantasy and horror gaming, the templates provided here make the creatures not only more lethal, they also add a psychological component via the Shock Value to them, representing the […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Aberrations The first on the new Four Horsemen Present-pdfs clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   In case you’ve new to the concept of “gruesome” templates -in case you’ve missed the previous installments that featured the concept (for handy links to reviews and products, click on the “Gruesome-series” tab in this review on my homepage): Basically, we get a template as well as a sample creature, both of which deviate from what you usually get to see. First of all, the respective monsters do feature a shock value – particularly suitable for horror/dark fantasy scenarios, these values allow […]

    Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Aberrations

    Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Aberrations The first on the new Four Horsemen Present-pdfs clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   In case you’ve new to the concept of “gruesome” templates -in case you’ve missed the previous installments that featured the concept (for handy links to reviews and products, click on the “Gruesome-series” tab in this review on my homepage): Basically, we get a template as well as a sample creature, both of which deviate from what you usually get to see. First of all, the respective monsters do feature a shock value – particularly suitable for horror/dark fantasy scenarios, these values allow […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Pixies on Parade This module clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 22 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This was moved up on my review-queue as a prioritized review at the behest of my patreons.   I playtested this module with my group of kids, which spans the ages 4 – 11 since this is a kid-friendly module and as such needs to be tested regarding its best age-range – the tabs on my homepage contain the suggested range I’d most recommend this for.   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion – […]

    Pixies on Parade

    Pixies on Parade This module clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 22 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This was moved up on my review-queue as a prioritized review at the behest of my patreons.   I playtested this module with my group of kids, which spans the ages 4 – 11 since this is a kid-friendly module and as such needs to be tested regarding its best age-range – the tabs on my homepage contain the suggested range I’d most recommend this for.   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion – […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Monster Menagerie: The Construct Companion This massive tome clocks in at 123 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1.5 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page blank back cover, leaving us with 114.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We begin this massive, huge book with an aptly-written piece of prose before diving straight into this massive book, which can be pictured as w2hat would happen if a book of the series formerly known as Mythic Menagerie (renamed due to the release of the mythic rules) took more steroids than an 80s locker-room full of pro-wrestlers. What do i mean by this? Well, this huge book is […]

    Monster Menagerie: The Construct Companion

    Monster Menagerie: The Construct Companion This massive tome clocks in at 123 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1.5 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page blank back cover, leaving us with 114.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We begin this massive, huge book with an aptly-written piece of prose before diving straight into this massive book, which can be pictured as w2hat would happen if a book of the series formerly known as Mythic Menagerie (renamed due to the release of the mythic rules) took more steroids than an 80s locker-room full of pro-wrestlers. What do i mean by this? Well, this huge book is […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Advanced Races: Lizardfolk This installment of the Advanced Races-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   So, with the lizardfolk getting shafted in the ARG (apart from being used as an RP-example), we receive a full-blown depiction here – following the ARG, the lizardfolk receive +2 Str and Con, -2 Int (though I would have preferred the second bonus to fall on the mental attributes for a more versatile focus) , receive a swim speed of 15 ft (including +8 to Swim checks) and a 1d3 bite and two 1d4 claw primary natural attacks. They also receive […]

    Advanced Races: Lizardfolk

    Advanced Races: Lizardfolk This installment of the Advanced Races-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   So, with the lizardfolk getting shafted in the ARG (apart from being used as an RP-example), we receive a full-blown depiction here – following the ARG, the lizardfolk receive +2 Str and Con, -2 Int (though I would have preferred the second bonus to fall on the mental attributes for a more versatile focus) , receive a swim speed of 15 ft (including +8 to Swim checks) and a 1d3 bite and two 1d4 claw primary natural attacks. They also receive […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Flesh Golem Variants The first pdf of Christina Stiles’ solo-venture into publishing presents concepts by the author-group “4 Horsemen” – consisting of Dan Dillon (Death), Gillian Fraser (War), Steven Helt (Famine) and Stephen Rowe (Pestilence). The pdf clocks in at 8 pages, with 1 page being taken up by editorial/SRD, so let’s take a look at those creatures:   The first adversary herein is the CR 8 Crawling Horror – think “Human Centipede as a golem. Also rather disturbing – up to a point, sufficient damage via piercing or slashing damage may actually split the adversary, resulting in a battle versus two of their ilk. Paradoxically, this makes the smaller versions hit better (size reduction resulting in -1 less penalty […]

    Flesh Golem Variants

    Flesh Golem Variants The first pdf of Christina Stiles’ solo-venture into publishing presents concepts by the author-group “4 Horsemen” – consisting of Dan Dillon (Death), Gillian Fraser (War), Steven Helt (Famine) and Stephen Rowe (Pestilence). The pdf clocks in at 8 pages, with 1 page being taken up by editorial/SRD, so let’s take a look at those creatures:   The first adversary herein is the CR 8 Crawling Horror – think “Human Centipede as a golem. Also rather disturbing – up to a point, sufficient damage via piercing or slashing damage may actually split the adversary, resulting in a battle versus two of their ilk. Paradoxically, this makes the smaller versions hit better (size reduction resulting in -1 less penalty […]

    Continue Reading...