Saturday, 2 February 2013

New Reviews, Releases, and Venues

Reviews
Endzeitgeist has just reviewed author Perry Fehr's Purple Mountain III: The Feasting. Here is what he said copied directly from Paizo.com's site.


***** 

One of the best, old-schoolish underdark-modules I know for PFRPG


The Betrayer's Blade from
Purple Mountain III: The Feasting
by Author Perry Fehr
This module is 44 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages SRD, leaving us with 40.5 pages of content for this module, so let’s check this out!

This being an adventure-module, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players might wish to jump to the conclusion.

All right, still here? The third level of Purple Duck Games’ megadungeon Purple Mountain could be transported to any subterranean location and is, like the other modules, modular enough to fit into your setting, though author Perry Fehr has managed to steep the locale in Porphyra-lore, the default world of PDG. Now, in Porphyra, the NewGod war has shaken the world to its core and seen the advent of a plethora of gods that supplanted the old elemental lords. One such lord, vanquished, slumbers in this level – or at least a fragment of him in the form of a sentient, dangerous crystal.
Now the level is much more sandboxy than previous levels of Purple Mountain and makes ample use of author Perry Fehr’s biggest strength (as far as I could glean from the Fehr’s Ethnology-series): The crafting of intriguing, believable societies. In fact, we get two different societies that inhabit the level: First of which would be the morlocks, degenerates now under the command of Nemyth Vaar, the nemesis, one of the rather cool gods of Porphyra (see also Gods of Prophyra/The Open Faiths Project for one of the coolest pantheons out there) and a consummate survival-of-the-fittest betrayer of double-edged gifts and dealings. However, to make matters more complicated, a faceless stalker has taken control of the morlock tribe and managed to, at least for now, take control of the degenerate creatures. Nemyth Vaar, not pleased, has since started sending mephits and similar beings to the sweltering caves (which also feature a lava river…). The truly despicable thing about these morlocks, though, is how they treat the mongrelmen, the second (and albeit weird and disgusting, actually rather pitiful and hospitable) group that inhabits these caverns:

Using the a dread bell, the morlocks have been instigating a tradition to feats upon the weak-willed mongrelmen, charming them via the Tolling of their bell to wander straight into their claws, thinking their charmed fellows wander off to a better existence. The contradictions between the na├»ve and charming, yet still potentially lethal mongrelmen society with threats from devil fish and other predators and the usurped morlock society that has stooped to lows even for their kind is striking and evocative, with ample chances for social interaction. Better yet, a mongrelman oracle plans on sacrificing magic items to aforementioned crystal – with potentially dreadful consequences, since it is definitely a most inappropriate item that will result in the summoning of a vast gibbering mouther that could empty the caverns if the PCs don’t intercede. And all of that BEFORE unique properties and hazards like strange mushrooms, weird rituals to Nemyth Vaar, the option to get a traitorous raven as a pseudo-familiar and oh so much more unique interesting bits and pieces come along. Have I mentioned e.g. the holes that feature the little locklings, a rather wicked (though not particularly lethal) hazard?

Better yet, the module also comes with a fully depicted, iconic obsidian legendary sword of Nemyth Vaar, new spells, all statblocks collated, lists of XP etc. for maximum ease of usability. Combines with the keyless high-res jpeg-player-maps of the complex, this leaves nothing to be desired on a comfort-level.

Conclusion: 
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG’s two-column standard and the read-aloud text now is clearly offset against the regular text. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and with aforementioned player-maps.

Wow. It is not often that I enjoy an underdark/dungeon module – they all too often feel like lazy versions of surface societies and power-structures. Not so here. Author Perry Fehr has managed to create a smart, concise, iconic, alien and weird 2-page-map complex of interlinked societies and traditions that should be considered not only a call-back to the great classics, but an overall fun time for all involved, oozing with interesting opportunities and options for further development. While working fine on its own in some depth (it shouldn’t be adjacent to the surface), the module truly shines in the context of the underdark/underworld and takes terrain, environmental factors etc. into account. If you don’t like the Nemyth Vaar-angle, you could easily replace him with e.g. a waspy goddess in Golarion (or a certain mother of monsters) and easily move this to just about any other campaign world.

Modular, smart, professionally presented and featuring a nice array of neat bonus content, this level of purple mountain deserves my hearty recommendation and 5 stars + seal of approval. If you’ve been on the edge about the series until now, give this a shot.

Endzeitgeist out.

Available at: Rpgnow (PDF, or POD - Colour), Paizo (PDF) , d20pfsrd (PDF, or PDF-Bundle of all three issues)

I can't tell you how insufferably giddy Perry has been from this review.

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New Releases
Our first 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming product is now out for sale. This one was written by Robert W. Thomson and then we did the layout and Perry and I wrote a teenie, tiny additional piece of text. Here is what its all about:

GM's Options: NPCs I - Barbarians,
Bards, and Clerics
by Robert W. Thomson
Welcome to the first product in our new GMs Options line. This entry, GMs Options: NPCs I Barbarians, Bards, and Clerics, presents the GM with two barbarians, two bards, and two clerics ready to use in their games. Each character is also presented at three different levels 1st, 5th, and 10th giving eighteen different choices for NPCs!

These NPCs can be used in a variety of ways as villains, foes, or foils, as allies, or even as pregenerated PCs for one shot games or new players. For GMs using them solely as NPCs, weve included suggested boons for each entry the 1st level version has one boon, the 5th level has two, and the 10th level version has three. A single PC can never benefit from more than one boon provided by a single NPC, though.

The NPCs each also have two traits, discussed in thePathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Players Guide. If you do not wish to utilize the traits, simply remove them and any bonuses they provide. In addition, under languages, each NPC is listed as knowing a local/regional or tribal language. This is a bonus language to reflect any regional or tribal languages in the game other than common, and can be ignored if preferred.

Let us know what you think of this release and let us know if there are any particular class your need represented as NPCs for your game.

Available at: d20pfsrd, Paizo, Rpgnow


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New Venues
On February 1st, 2013, 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming became part of the Purple Duck Games family. That has caused some catalogue changes around the lands of PDF and Print product. 

d20pfsrd.com
The d20pfsrd store now lists all the 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming products on their site. They also list the Purple Duck Games things that were no lost in the hard-drive cash. There may be more news about things happening at the d20pfsrd.com store as well but I'm not sure I'm cleared to talk about it yet.

Indie Press Revolution
All larger 4 Winds Fantasy Games books that were sold at Indie Press Revolution are still be sold at Indie Press Revolution but they are now located under the Purple Duck Games heading. In time I will need to figure out how to get Gods of Porhyra, Purple Mountain III, and our other Print on Demand products over to IPR. This will probably just take a little time as I learn new things.


Paizo.com
At Paizo.com all of the 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming products have been moved to the Purple Duck Games section of the site. And all of the Purple Duck Games products have been moved to the 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming section of the site. We are successfully cross-listed. Cross-listing is awesome.

Rpgnow.com
At Rpgnow we currently have the 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming material in one spot and the Purple Duck Gaming material in another. I plan to do some cross-product listing in the future to help merge the audiences but that well probably not occur until the week of February 18th through February 22nd. 

Studio 2 Publishing
Studio 2 Publishing is one of 4 Winds Fantasy Gamings partners in distribution. They are a key player in making sure that 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming products are available on game store shelves. We look forward to continue to work with them and hope to bring more of 4 Winds work and Purple Duck Games work to distribution. You can also buy directly from them. 

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