Courtesy of Thilo/Endzeitgeist, we have a glowing recommendation and seal of approval for Matt Goodall’s delightful adventure The Baleful Coven from our Far East AP Plug-Ins line, with special praise for the fabulous maps created by the legendary Robert Lazzaretti. Check it out!
Posted here for your reading courtesy of Enzeitgeist on the Paizo messageboards. A highlight of his conclusion:
The module herein is, let me spell it out, AWESOME. Dripping iconicity, you can make the sci-fi elements as pronounced or as downplayed as you wish – whether it be eldritch machinery, a link to the Dark Tapestry: The customization options are extremely varied and the locale ranks among the most iconic I’ve seen in any PFRPG-module, making me sincerely regret that exploration of the ruins is not a full-blown 100+pages mega-module. The links with Jade Regent are there, though not so pronounced as to make this only a viable purchase for Jade Regent-DMs. In fact, I whole-heartedly recommend this pdf for any DM seeking for a truly distinct side-trek that can be truly considered INSPIRATIONAL. Ambitious. Beautiful. All of that and so much more. This is one of the hands down best short modules released for PFRPG and even amps up the quality when compared to Legendary Games’ offerings so far.
Come and get it here!
You can download it today at DrivethruRPG, and it will soon be available for download at Paizo.com (their uploader was down for maintenance but should be up and running soon)!
If you like this sinister songbook, we hope you look forward to a bit of alchemical aberrancy in next week’s Gothic Grimoire: On the Inverse Calculus of Unseen Refraction!
We are looking forward to releasing the first of our Gothic Grimoires series, The Necrotic Verses, tomorrow, and just thought we’d provide a short preview of the product, starting with Frank Hessefort’s lovely illustration of the tome (I love the texture and sheen of the leather – very classy):
Within, you will find the lore of the book’s origin, penned by musical prodigy Zane Einrich, celebrated for his avant-garde musical experimentation but driven to distraction and finally obsession by a single critic that refused to acknowledge his genius. The book collects the most infamous of his masterpieces, including the Dance of the Empty Moons, Dead Man’s Frolic, the Masque Macabre, Mordant Coda, Music of the Spheres, Opus of the Golden King, Pnakotic Fugue, and the Scare Chord. True, studying his musical notation might infect the reader’s mind with the kind of unstable cycles of obsession and revulsion that plagued its creator, but further secrets lie within for bards willing to delve into his deranged oeuvre. After all, what’s the risk of a little sanity in exchange for the power to lure your victims into a phantom dance that spirits them off to the Dimension of Dreams? Or to convince the hostile townsfolk that one of their number has been revealed as being secretly an alien! That’s a chance you should be willing to take!
At Halloween, we announced an upcoming product, The Necrotic Verses and Other Tales, representing an opportunity to reach back and reconnect with our Gothic Adventure Path Plug-In line and featuring the return of Clark Peterson! We had hoped to release that product by the end of November, but as we went through the production process we discussed the way we do things at Legendary Games–both the good and the bad–and decided to try something different.
Up until now, every product Legendary Games has produced has been of the same general scope (and price), as we assemble writing, art, layout, and review for final publication. Sometimes, though, things don’t go quite according to plan and projects move or get delayed, and the larger a product is the more chance that will happen. This is especially true in compilation-type products like Tomes of Arcane Knowledge or Meditations of the Imperial Mystics, each of which gathers together several loosely related magical codices. But what if we’ve got a great idea that doesn’t exactly fit with some of the other great ideas? Do we wait until we have a critical mass of similar products? We could, but then we’re back to more delays!
Instead, our big idea is to go the opposite route. Rather than being a compilation product, The Necrotic Verses will instead be the first in an ongoing product series we are calling Gothic Grimoires, which will hopefully be ready for purchase by Tuesday.
Each Gothic Grimoire will focus on a single book (or set of ancient clay tablets, or rune-graven prayer wheel, or whatever the case may be), with a rich and detailed history, innovative spells, feats, skill applications, or other specialized rules, all with beautiful full color art and layout just like our regular products. The Gothic Grimoires will, of course, have a smaller price point reflecting their smaller size compared to our regular products, though each grimoire will be longer and more detailed than those in our previous similar products.
We hope to be able to release a new Gothic Grimoire every week or two, and we think you will enjoy each and every one, but releasing them singly allows you to pick and choose if you wish. On the off chance one comes along that doesn’t pique your interest, we hope you’ll check out the next one coming down the line. More to the point, the main goal of creating the Gothic Grimoires line is to make sure that our “line” functions better when it comes to delivering great content that you’ll love reading and using!
P.S. Those “and Other Tales” will be following soon. Next week, look for On the Inverse Calculus of Unseen Refraction, a must for every mad alchemist who ever contemplated what he might do if he didn’t have to look himself in the mirror afterwards…
If we were going to delve into the subject of ki and the idea of energy flows that link and infuse mind, body, and spirit with the same vital force, the idea of acupuncture seemed like a natural subject to address. It didn’t hurt that Frank Hessefort came up with an amazing illustration for us to use. Don’t worry, this won’t hurt a bit… 🙂
Seriously, though, the idea of mystical energy flows with healing implications were intriguing territory to explore in the tome entitled Seven-Ghost-Needles. This mystical practice was first referenced in the character description for Xiuj Hak Leyng, the irascible alchemist of Gothic Heroes, and it had long been our intention to someday develop that idea.
Acupuncture involves healing in purely mundane terms, and this tome leads off with describing how the secrets of the Seven-Ghost-Needles can enhance ordinary medical care, from field surgery to long-term tending. Stepping beyond this to the supernatural, the manipulation of energy flows was something that could have certain combat applications, true, by turning a character’s inner energies against him. The secrets of this tome also became a home for what you could term meta-ki powers: ki effects that affect other ki effects, or that change what ki can do, like Block Flow preventing ki use while Restore Flow allows you to unravel and cancel harmful ki powers and similar effects like a monk’s Stunning Fist ability.
Dealing with acupuncture also required thinking about a system of energy centers. While the term chakras is perhaps more familiar, it derives from more of an Indian-flavored system of prana energy; in the context of ki, those energy centers, organized somewhat differently, are called dantians (among other similar cognates and transliterations), and Recenter Flow allows a creature to move the core of their ki flow from the upper jing of thought and emotion, to the middle shen of the spirit and the lower wuji of the void. Each recentering grants a different saving throw bonus and the ability to spend ki to delay the onset of effects related to the nature of the dantian chosen.
It goes without saying that Meditations of the Imperial Mystics is a gaming product, not an academic treatise, so any resemblance of this product or any of our ki products to real-life qigong and the like is purely thematic. We think this product provides great atmospherics and interesting mechanics that evoke what it would be like to practice a form of supernatural ki manipulation. Hopefully you agree and enjoy using it!
The latest from Legendary Games is already garnering accolades at Paizo.com. The reviewer’s conclusion?
The items, descriptions, artwork, associated mechanics, new feats, and new spells evoke clear themes that I found exciting and interesting as a player. I cannot speak to how all GMs might use these items, but had I read this before starting the game I’m running on the boards I would have included it for sure. I’m even now trying to think of how to work some of the items in. Though the price point is on the high end as far as I’m concerned, I can’t say that I was disappointed. You pay for a 5 star product and that is exactly what you get.
Thanks for the review, Lareg, and we aim to always deliver the 5-star quality that you expect!
As promised in the previous post, we thought we would share with you some of the intriguing concepts explored in depth in Meditations of the Imperial Mystics (available for sale now at Paizo and DrivethruRPG). The product introduces a quartet of “tomes” – two actual books, a scroll that can be read forwards and backwards in very different ways, and prayer wheel, each with their own unique and rich background and flavor. In terms of mechanics introduced within this product, however, some of these are additional ki feats like those found in The Way of Ki, though with more of a slant towards magic and mysticism, like the following feat from the tome Body Outside Body:
Your knit your aura with another’s, allowing you to share thoughts and spirit.
Prerequisite: Wis 13, ki pool class feature or Ki Meditation feat, Spellcraft 3 ranks
Benefit: You are expert at reaching into the minds and hearts of others, and any mind-affecting effect you create takes effect at +1 caster level. In addition, as a full-round action you can spend 1 point from your ki pool to create a mental and spiritual linkage with another creature by touch equivalent to a status spell (Will negates for unwilling creatures). By spending 2 points from your ki pool, you can make the Mindlink function both ways, allowing your partner to know your status as well. This effect lasts a number of hours equal to your Wisdom modifier. You can continue the Mindlink for the same duration by paying the ki point cost again.
As a full-round action, you can spend 2 points from your ki pool to send a message to a creature with whom you share a Mindlink and receive a reply, as sending.
Our products seek to evoke the tropes and feel of Asian mysticism, at least in the popular sense, and to explore how those overlap with standard magical mechanics, like connecting two minds. The Mindlink feat above serves as one root of a branching tree that heads in one direction to a more thorough communicative Rapport, in another to transferring mental and physical changes through a Fate Link, and through yet another to implanting a Mindworm into a linked mind. Other parts of Body Outside Body incorporate other roots of the same tree, paths that intersect with the linking of thoughts and the weaving of fates as they deal with the relation of mind-body-spirit with objects or places in the world around them on an intangible level as well as a physical one.
All of these are part of answering the same question: What kinds of things does magic do in the game that could be understood as possible supernaturally while remaining outside the realm of spellcasting per se. Not that the fantastic Orient would be devoid of spellcasters, of course, but the ancient spiritual and meditative traditions associated with the fantasy version of the Far East offer a natural home for an alternate magical path the focuses deeply inward while extending far beyond the self.
Next time: Mystical acupuncture?