More Starfinder because I can! Today is a feat for those who protect people
Improved Counter Measures(Combat)
Can’t save people if you’re dead.
Prerequisites: Counter Measures
Benefit: When an attack would hit you due to the Counters Measures feat, gain the bonuses of the Bodyguard feat to your own AC and you no longer have a penalty to AC after using the Bodyguard feat.
Product– Starfinder Adventure Path #1: Incident at Absalom Station (Dead Suns 1 of 6)
TL; DR-Not the brightest star, but a decent start. 83%
Basics– ARE YOU READY FOR ADVENTURE!? Incident at Absalom Station kicks off the first Starfinder adventure path. Players step off the ship and into gangland warfare as their contact is gun downed within seconds of seeing him. Why? What dark secrets are at play? Who is involved? Also, this book contains a gazatier on Absolom station, several new monsters, and a whole new world for your players to play in.
Mechanics or Crunch-Ah the intro adventure! What can a level 1 nothing do on their first day? Not much, but LOTS OF SKILL CHECKS! Paizo has a history in their adventure paths of having players do lots of checks to get past those first few levels. This adventure is no different. It’s not bad, but once you get past the first fight, its checks. And, if your party doesn’t have the right checks, then its a slog. Past that its balanced and fun. After the checks, there are some simple space fights to get those mechanics out there, an exploration with some progressive fights to get those mechanics out there, and then we’re off to the next adventure book. Overall it’s balanced, but the standard paint by numbers of a new RPG needs to really get players into the system and teach them the rules can be a bit boring. 4.25/5
Theme or Fluff-Repeat after me-PLAYERS HATE FIGHTS WHERE THE ENEMIES SHOULD RUN AWAY. I’m not talking big bads, I’m talking regular grunts above the player’s level. Players want to KILL! This adventure starts with gang war above the players pay grade, and the players want everyone dead. It’s not supposed to happen, but my players are always EVIL, SPITE-FILLED MONSTERS who must kill EVERYONE! If that describes your players, then as written, they will be mad. For check section I mentioned above, the players need to talk to people, and if your party decides Charisma is for suckers, then that is a SUPER slog as my Cha 10 fighter attempts to talk to people as the -1 to -2 modifier other players hope for 20s to even get the middle of the ground information. Past that first fitful start, it’s a fun adventure as players can find the roles they need and better understand what they should do next. This adventure runs like a train-slow, clunky start but then smooth sailing the rest of the way. 4/5
Execution-PDF? Check! Hyperlinked? NOPE! Why not hyperlink this book? It’s 60+ pages! Next, Starfinder isn’t going to get the 64 page world building books that went with the Pathfinder line. That’s ok, but now my players don’t get as much world building as before as unless I print of sections and hand those out, they players either can read the book or spoil the adventure. The items are nice, the monsters are interesting and have great pictures, and the layout is well done. But, no new races! Part of the fun of Starfinder is if you want to be an intelligent mist, then we got stats for that baby! But, I’m not seeing that here. Throw me a new playable race each mod! There are a few other issues as some things just don’t fit well. The water world of Heicoron IV is ok, but there are no mentions of how I can play either of the races that live there. It feels thrown in. It’s not bad, but reference your other books or give me stats, so I can have a whole adventures with the fish people. This is a good but, but it has some flaws that do knock it down a bit 4.25/5
Summary-I’m ready for more, but I have some notes. Overall, I like what’s here. It’s done well, readable, and a good introduction to the mechanics of the system. The story itself has a few issues, but those issues are part of every adventure path’s start. I have more notes on the new execution of the Starfinder line. I want separate books and changes to how they are produced. New races, new tech in the books, and some focus will help improve this line. Will I get that? Most likely not. But, as a GM running a game, I think this is a good way to get your players rolling dice and understanding how to play Starfinder 83%
Only a fool doesn’t protect the package and himself.
Prerequisites: In Harms Way
Benefit: When an attack would hit you due to the In Harms Way feat, the attack has to hit your AC as well. If it would fail at hitting your AC, the attack does not hit.
How about a low level druid boost spell?
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S, M (claws and teeth of a badger)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
This spell throws a target into a fury. When you touch a creature, that creature may attempt a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, that creature loses all spell casting abilities and any abilities that require mental concentration and instead gains the rage of a creature of your level or CR. The rage lasts for as long as you concentrate on the spell.
At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the number of affected creates increases by 1 for each slot level above 1st.
How about a feat for all the players who want to splash in another race?
You have a mixture of heritage in your family. Choose a race you are not a member or and do not count as. You gain the following benefits:
- Gain a +1 bonus to one of the attributes that race normally gains a bonus to, to a maximum of 20.
- You not count as a member of that race for any feats, abilities, and class abilities. You gain any benefits and penalties that those feat and abilities would cause.
Product– Arcanis 5E Campaign Setting
System– DnD 5e
Producer-Paradigm Concepts, Inc.
TL; DR-Shades of grey are finally comprehensible! 95%
Basics-For the EMPIRE! FOR ILLIIR! Arcanis was a campaign setting for 3.5 DnD which grew to its own game when 4th edition happened, and finally is coming back into the DnD mechanics with a conversion of DND 5e. How does the world of the Shattered Empires stack up with a 5e rebuild? Let’s get into it!
Mechanics or Crunch-I usually start with theme, but let’s go mechanics first. If you like 5e DnD, then you will like this. This isn’t a scrap to the base boards rebuild of DnD 5e, it’s a new implementation using the same base mechanics of proficiency, hit dice, et al. you most likely love from DnD 5e. And honestly, that a good thing. I could give any person playing “Hoard of the Dragon Queen” an Arcanis character and they would be playing in seconds. So that begs the question, what’s different? Well some things are just simple reskins. The Fury is the Barbarian. It’s got some different parts to it, but let’s be honest-it’s just a new name. Not bad, some theme for Arcanis added, but it is what it is. Some get a much more exhaustive change. Paladins are holy champions, and they might be a tad overpowered if you build them right, but that’s a criticism of DnD 5e itself. Holy Champions get god specific paths to take that really hit theme hard with powers appropriate to the gods of the setting. The same thing for clerics. There are new races with instructions on how to change DnD straight races toward Aracnis races like there are no Tieflings, but there are Dark kin. New feat trees are brought in so you can master a fighting style with both introduction and advanced versions of those feats. The book also introduces psionics in a heavy way, but honestly, it’s just the same mechanics you’ve seen time and time again in DnD 5e vanilla. You have powers, the DC of the power is 8 + ability mod + proficiency or you attack with a power and you use ability modifier + proficiency. DONE. Vanilla is my favorite base for ice cream, so this isn’t a bad. Rocky road starts Vanilla, and that’s what this book did. It took the base stuff you know and like and made it something you will love. 4.8/5
Theme or Fluff-So what is Arcanis? Well, that’s probably the best thing this book does. You get to feel the Shattered Empires honestly better than before. It’s a pretty weighty tome coming in over 400 pages, so you get a lot of backstory. And that’s really what this world needs. I came in when DnD 4e brought about a major change in the RPG world around it. The Aracnis alone system wasn’t bad, but it relied heavily on me having books that we not in print and knowledge for a world that I could not find. So, I was honestly in the dark for large portions of this world. Heck, there wasn’t even a great map available. I had fun with what I understood and playing in, so off I went playing and running Arcanis all over. But, I would always run in to diehards who knew stuff from the wayback. The 5e book fixes this smashingly. I get better breakdowns in things. It’s big, but doesn’t have to dedicate all the pages the base DnD system does to the base rules just saying “GO SEE THE OTHER BOOK YOU BOUGHT!” and can dedicate those words to how the world works. That’s amazing! The mechanics have been adapted and modified to meet the needs of the theme. Again, that’s a phenomenal way to build your world. As a GM when I run games with this book, I’m not lost. I feel like I finally know as much or MORE than my players. Sure, they are also republishing all the old books with updated rules, but this is a good way to hop in to a world of multiple different empires and groups fighting and in-fighting for control in a quzi roman world. 5/5
Execution-And the low point because I’m a bit petty. I like the way this book is laid out. I like the text style, but it might be a bit too small. I like the background, but I would like a background free version to read on my tablet. It comes in a PDF from Drive Thru RPG, so I’m thrilled that we’re moving Arcanis to the Paper free world. But the things that makes me the least happy is no-hyperlinks in the text. This book is 400 plus pages. Thats a lot of hopping around trying to find pages. Just link the book! The book is bookmarked, so if you read on some readers, you will be fine. Honestly, it’s small things that minorly annoyed me about this book, but as the RPG industry moves forward, I want hyperlinked PDFs to become the standard! 4.4/5
Summary-The real two remaining question to if you want this book is 1-Do you like the 5e DnD rules? And 2-do you want morally ambiguous semi-roman age fantasy? If you don’t like 5e DnD, then this book still has lots of background that you might want to put into your game. If you don’t like shades of gray in your fantasy but love DnD 5e, then this is a great source book for crunch including psionics which WotC needs to get out there before they end up just copying these guys. I like this book. I like the shades of gray fantasy that Arcanis bring to the table and using 5e is a great way to get people into the world extremely quickly since 5e is a snap to learn. My only qualms with this book are technical. Give me a backround free version if I want to print and bind myself or read on a tablet and HYPERLINK THE BOOK! Will that stop me from reading this? No. This books is a well done resource from a fun world where a fallen Roman empire battles snake people for dominance of long lost relics that belonged to the elven gods that the Roman gods ate for power using slick mechanics. Ya, that’s an Arcanis sentence if I ever saw one. If you want to play in that world, then you need to get this book NOW! 95%