Ring Side Report- RPG review of Numeria, Land of the Fallen Stars

Product-Pathfinder Campaign Setting- Numeria, Land of the Fallen Stars

Producer– Paizo

Price– ~$20 here http://paizo.com/products/btpy978l?Pathfinder-Campaign-Setting-Numeria-Land-of-Fallen-Stars

System– Pathfinder

TL;DR-Swords and Circuits! 95%


Basics– Time for some Sword and Circuits!  Numeria, Land of the Fallen Stars tells the story of Numeria in Pathfinder’s default setting.  Numeria is a land defined by barbarians and a star ship that crashed into Golarion millennia ago.  The book is roughly divided into a section describing the basic geography and story of each place.  Then the next section discusses the different groups in the region.  The final section of the book is the monsters that live in the region.


Mechanics or Crunch-This book isn’t crunch heavy, but it doesn’t have to be, as the book is part of a twin set discussing Numeria.  Therefore, I can forgive the book being somewhat crunch-lite.  This book focuses on the story of the region more than the execution of the region.  Even with that said, this book goes into good mechanical depth by discussing diseases, different damage types like radiation, and an item from the wastes called Numerian Fluids.  These fluids are the cast-offs of starships and robots, and have side effects ranging from instant death to gaining a level.  The book also adds a small bestiary as well as random encounter tables for each area in the region.  However, I didn’t see how often I should roll a random encounter.  I like what I see here, but I also know that most of the mechanics will come in the companion book that will come out later. 4.5/5


Story or Fluff-This book is FULL of stories to start a Numeria campaign.  This regions presents some novel stories (pun intended) for the Golarion setting.  I love the Sword and Circuits idea, and this book will provide you with all the standard fantasy fare of rampaging barbarians to the standard sci-fi tropes of a HoloDeck on the fritz.  Beyond this are crazy sadist cultists, paladins hiding crazy technology, and an underground railroad for robots. This book and the setting have all the stories I wanted from fantasy/sci-fi as well as enough new to make me ready to start playing! 5/5


Execution-This book is pretty well done.  The story and mechanics make this one a page-turner even though it’s over 60 pages of fantasy encyclopedia.  The layout, text, and pictures are great and draw the reader through the story.  I do think Paizo is running into a bit of a problem with the number of rules books they are putting out.  If you are reading this and want to run this as a physical product, you’re going to need LOTS of other books to run a game in this part of the world.  Paizo has an impressive pace for books, but this is leading to more books which will need OTHER rulebooks to use them at all.  It is a small problem, but an increasingly prevalent one. 4.75/5


Summary-I loved reading this product.  I was looking forward to running the Iron Gods adventure path before, but this book psyched me up even more.  I love the fusion of sci-fi and fantasy.  Some have complained that the two won’t work well together, but based on what I’ve read, these two will fit together just fine.  There are some problems though–the major one is the number of books that Paizo products are beginning to require you to have in order to play the new book.  This goes so far as this book will require a SECOND campaign book to incorporate all the technology needed for this part of the world.  But, based on this book, I’m buying that book as soon as it comes out!-95%




Daily Punch 7-24-14 Elemental Focus feat for DnD Next

I want to be a wizard that focuses on fire wizard…let’s make it happen!



Damage Focus

You’ve studied the elements and found yourself drawn into one in particular

Benefit:  gain the following

  • Gain a +1 to wisdom, intelligence, or charisma to a maximum of 20
  • Pick an element damage type (acid, force, sonic, cold, fire, necrotic, radiant).  When you cast a spell that does that damage type, add double the spell’s level to damage or double the duration of the spell.  Cantrips add +1 to damage.




Daily Punch 7-23-14 Improved Parry feat for DnD Next

Martial characters don’t get a ton of love, how about we give them some


Improved Parry

You know how to move a blade out of the way and how to strike lightning fast after the dodge

Benefits: Gain the following

  • You gain a +1 to dexterity or strength to a maximum of 20.
  • When you perform a parry on a melee attack, the disadvantage dice both receive a -1 to their rolls.
  • If your parry results in the attack missing, you may make a basic melee attack as a free action.




Daily Punch 7-22-14 Superior Mage Hand feat for DnD Next

I’ve been reading the Sundering and I saw a character do something amazing with her hair.  She used it to grab weapons and beat the crap out of anyone who came at her.  How about a feat to make that happen?


Superior Mage Hand

You’re a pinnacle of spell casting and you make even the simplest cantrips do devastating effects

Prerequisite:  Wizard with the mage hand cantrip

Benefit:  Gain the following:

  1. Gain a +1 to intelligence to a maximum of 20.
  2. You may cast mage hand as a spell of any level.  For each level you cast the spell above a cantrip, you gain an extra mage hand.  The hands may grab unattended objects as a free action.  The hands can not cast spells for you.  If you dedicate a full round to making attacks with weapons, you may have each hand attack with an weapon it is welding.  The hands attack using your intelligence bonus plus proficiency if you are proficient with the weapon they are welding.  A mage hand cast in this way can use an interrupt action to provide disadvantage on a foe using a melee attack if the hand is welding a weapon.  Any action a hand tries to do beyond attack uses intelligence in place of the usual ability for the action in addition to proficiency if you are trained.  The hands last for a number of hours equal to the spell slot used to cast the spell.



Daily Punch 7-21-14 Art of the Deal Feat for Pathfinder

How about a feat to twist fate even more in your favor?


Art of the Deal

When drawing from the deck of life, you stack the cards

Prerequisite: Twin Fates feat here

Benefit: When you draw from a Harrow Deck to use a class feature, you may expend two uses of your Twin Fates feat.  If you do, draw a number of cards equal to the total number of times per day you can use Twin Fates feat instead of the normal one.  You may only use one of those cards, but you may pick which one.



Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Tricked-Out Hero

Board Game– Tricked-Out Hero

Producer– Prolific Games

Price-$45 here http://www.amazon.com/Board-Card-Games-Prolific-IMPPLF300/dp/0615975836/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1405909346&sr=8-9&keywords=tricked-out+hero

Set-Up/Play/Clean-Up-45-30 Minutes (2-6 players)

TL; DR-Classic Hearts meets DnD-84%


Basics– Get ready for “Juke-Box Hero” to be stuck in your head.  You take the role of a fantasy hero fighting to defeat monsters across the countryside.  At the start of the game, each player selects a character ranging from dwarf to pirate and takes the character’s player board.  Each player board gives all the base stats for that character and their powers.  With your character, you then attempt to kill more points of monsters than your opponents.  Tricked-Out Hero is a game played across two different phases each round.  At the start of each round, you receive a monster to fight and a stack of playing cards.  You don’t reveal this monster, but can look at it.  The playing cards are the standard 52 card deck with some changes to the suits.  There is a suit for health, melee attack, magic attack, and bonus to monster difficulty.  From a four card deck, a card is revealed to show what suit is “trump” this round.  At this point the game is played pretty much like any other trick-taking card game with trump (e.g. Euchre, Hearts).  For players who are unfamiliar with this kind of game, the instructions for the process are included.  After all the hands have been played, players get their rewards based on the cards they won each had with.  For each suit that players have for each winning hand, they gain tokens of that suit gaining melee attack, magic attack, health, or tokens to help the monster they’re fighting.  Next, players reveal their monsters.  Each monster has a melee attack value, a magic attack value, damage, and reward points.  Players get to spend magic or melee tokens and roll an eight sided die.  If their die roll and the spent tokens equal or beat the monster’s value, that player wins and gets the monster (and its points) as a bounty.  If not, the player takes damage (loses health tokens), and the monster is discarded.  After combat is resolved, then the next player gets to deal the cards and new monsters are handed out.  Each player gets a chance to deal the cards.  After each player deals, then players move on to fighting the next level of monsters.  After each player deals again, then players move to the most difficult monsters.  After each player get to deal a total of three times, the player with the highest number of points from defeated monsters wins.


Mechanics-This game is a combination of two different games: classic Hearts and Dungeons and Dragons.  The two different phases of the game work well together.  I get a phase where I try to read my opponents, and then I get a phase where I have to bet how lucky I am.  The powers also add a new dimension to a these two different game parts.  Deciding when to play a power really does make this much more than a simple roll to win game.  This game is more than just the sum of two different gaming parts!  The two games might not be directly intertwined, but they do work well together and are a lot of quick, easy fun. 5/5


Theme-Here is where I have some major problems.  The player boards are amazing.  The characters all look great and have nice quotes to help you learn a bit more about your character, and the powers fit who that person is.  But, I mentioned in the mechanics section that the game is two different parts.  I really want some sort of story glue to weld those two parts together.  I have a trick-taking game merged with some hack and slash.  That’s great, but why am I playing the card game?  I completely understand the monster killing, but why do I need to compete with the players to get the different tokens?  Are resources limited in town in defending?  Are people selling information to the monsters?  Is this a Tarot card reading to foresee how my fight will go? A little more set/world building would give me the immersion I need to really get into this game. 3/5


Instructions– The instructions to this game are good, but there are some problems.  I’d like the rules to be two pages longer and have more pictures.  There are pictures, but not enough to really break up the text and make this easier to read and understand.  The rules do a good job explaining the game, but more detail would really help to make this clearer, like directly explaining what each suit is with pictures.  Moreover, some of the wording in the rules and powers is a bit off.  The wording is not so far off you can’t play the game, but you will find a few sections you must read a few times to really understand.  A few more editorial passes and a page or two more of space would have moved these rules from good to great. 4/5


Execution– I like this.  First, the problems.  My copy of the 52 card deck is good, but a few of the cards have spots where the printing wasn’t great (some color spots/white spots among the nice backgrounds).  It’s nothing major (it’s only on two cards), but I have a semi-marked deck.  Also, I would have liked the tokens for melee, health, etc to have been double sided.  Again, that’s not a big thing, but a little touch that would have made this a little better.  Otherwise, I was happy with what I got.  The cards are on good quality cardstock.  The box is hardy.  The tokens are good quality and plentiful.  The art is great.  I like what I see and feel with this game.  4.75/5


Summary-I like this game and my wife LOVES this game.  She and her family play trick-taking games whenever they get together.  She also loves DnD.  Her parents don’t play anything beyond computer solitaire and Euchre (which is mandatory since we live in Michigan).  This could be a nice bridge to get them into the hobby.  This is a great stepping stone game to get people into deeper gaming waters if they are familiar with trick-taking games.  I do have a few problems with this game, but those are because I play way too many board games and role-playing games like DnD so I NEED some story as to why I’m doing anything in a game.  If you don’t need that, then pick this one up.  If you NEED five hours of Eurogame level complexity and thinking to have a good evening, then this one isn’t for you.  If you want a low to mid complex game with card playing and some monster slaying, then this is a great game for you. If you want to get one more game in for the night, but don’t want to spend forever setting it up or cleaning up afterwards, then this is the game you should buy.  I know I’ll be brining this to my family gatherings to convert some people from the simple trick-taking games to something a bit more complex.  84%

Daily Punch 7-18-14 Discerning Drinker feat for Pathfinder

Next week I’m posting my review of the Numeria setting book for Pathfinder.  Here’s a feat I know my players want NOW!



Discerning Drinker

You’ve studied the strange fluids of Numeria, and you know which ones are good and which ones will kill you!

Benefit: Make a knowledge(arcana) roll before you drink a Numeria fluid.  If you make a DC 20 check, you may know the effects of a fluid before you drink it.  If you make a DC 25 check, you may roll twice on the Numeria Fluid check and chose the result.




Daily Punch 7-17-14 Twin Fates feat for Pathfinder

I’ve been reading about the Harrowing Decks, and I though of a feat that would help a few classes.


Twin Fates

You are a child born under two signs, and that twin nature has influenced you all your life.

Prerequisite:  A class feature that requires you to randomly draw from a Harrow Deck

BenefitWhen you draw from a Harrow Deck, once per day you may draw two cards and choose which one to use.  When you reach fifth level and every five levels after, you may use this power an additional time per day to a max of five times per day.




Ring Side Report- Skull and Shackles #6- From Hell’s Heart

Product– Pathfinder Adventure Path- Skull and Shackles #6 From Hell’s Heart

Producer– Paizo


Price-~$20 here http://www.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Adventure-Path-Skull-Shackles/dp/1601254229/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1405536965&sr=8-2&keywords=from+hell%27s+heart

TL;DR– A somewhat disappointing end to an awesome adventure path


Basics- Time to sail off the map!  The players have beaten all their enemies and stand as the strongest force in the shackles!  However, over the course of the previous adventures, the players have learned of a large strike force approaching across the sea.  Can the players defeat this new enemy while dealing with a lazy leader?  What happens after that?  This book also has more monsters, plots to keep the story going after the adventure path is finished, and the finale of Robin D. Laws’ story.


Story or Fluff- This one was kind of disappointing.  The story that will lead your characters to leadership is kind of lack luster.  It’s more of a coup than any major revelation.  The group across the sea (if you know Golarion, you know who I’m alluding too!) makes one kind of sad push, but the PCs will obliterate them with ease at this point.  Nothing is unplayable, but it’s kind of a let down from the previous awesome events.  The story is ok, and the suggestions for future adventures are fun.  But, they don’t really balance the let down of the adventure. 3/5


Mechanics or Crunch- This part of the AP isn’t really crunch heavy.  There isn’t any rule added.  Honestly, my players found this adventure a cake walk.  Even when I started throwing serious curve balls at the players by modifying the enemies as presented, my players were not in danger.  It’s not bad, but the adventure kind of summarizes the high level problems you can see in Pathfinder, especially when you have multiple low level enemies challenging experienced players. 3.5/5


Execution- This is the standard Paizo greatness.  The character write ups are great, the pictures are well done, and the layout doesn’t turn me away or make me hate reading this.  I like what I see here. 5/5


Summary- This one is kind of a letdown.  I LOVED this adventure path, but it does have its up’s and down’s.  The players get some awesome prestige, but the way the story brings that to them is somewhat underwhelming.  I would have liked something a bit more climactic (so when I ran this in my home game, I MADE it climactic!).  It does finishes off the story, but you might have to add in your own special touches to make this stand out! 77%