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The Frontier
by Adam P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2017 08:12:44

This system is fast to play and uncluttered by over-complicated rules. That doesn't mean the game lacks detail it doesn't.

What it does is handle various situations in a logical but quick to resolve manner.

I also like the way damage his handled a very simple but effective way of utilizing the differences in power between weapons.

This is a short review I'm not a great review writter but this game brought something to the table a lot of other games fail to do a quick concise system that is tactical without being complex with quick resolution for almost every situation allowing the players to concentrate on the action and role playing without looking up countless rules and countless rules.

An Excellent system I'm happy I paid the few pennies that it cost.

Well Done One Dwarf Army!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Frontier
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The Frontier Starter Edition
by Eric B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 16:40:19

Great game! I like the selection of weapons. It's easy to make up new characters, which gives you a lot of options to add more replayability to the game. I like options! I also like the combat system. It's strategic, without being too thinky. Definitely looking forward to getting deep into this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Frontier Starter Edition
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The Frontier Starter Edition
by Michael s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/09/2017 09:46:41

Great game!!! Unique, but familiar, approach to a d20- variant system. Impressed with the wide variety of gear; particularly armor/weapons and the ability to specialize their functionality. Character generation takes less that two minutes and before you know it you are in the thick of battle. The combat system uses a straightforward attribute comparision approach with a fun die rolling mechanizm (multiple dice roll taking highest die instead of total and in certain situations exploding dice) Eagerly looking forward to the final product. Definitely on my BUY list.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Zane's Guide to Explosives
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/18/2016 07:08:57

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf depicting rifles for 5e clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page foreword/editorial, 1 page SRD, a total of 1 page blank (at the end of the chapter, there's some serious space left), leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This time around, we do not begin with the usual array of gun-explanations - no surprise, considering the different subject matter! Instead, we are introduced to a total of 4 grenades: Smoke grenades cost only 30 gp; stun grenades cost 50 and require a Con save (DC 13) to avoid being stunned (!!!) for 1d6 rounds, making them pretty powerful spam-items. Damage-wise, both concussion and frag grenades deal 4d6 damage, with type being bludgeoning and piercing, respectively and a DC 13 Dex-save to halve. Weird: Concussion grenades only have a 10-ft-radius, while frag grenades have a 20 ft. radius...though both cost an equal amount, namely 70 gp. All grenades weigh 1 lbs. They can "be thrown up to 60 feet away by using an action." Okay, I'll play. Do they have the Thrown property? Short/long range? Do they inflict more damage on crits? No idea. The weapon formatting/presentation for these is all off, which is baffling considering that guns etc. were pretty precise in that regard. The pdf offers two grenade launchers, one regular and one underbarrel version. Underbarrel launchers must be attached to other two-handed weapons, but can lop a grenade 200 ft.; regular grenade launchers can fire up to 300 ft. Why would you ever use a non-underbarrel? Seriously, the 100 ft. don't make much difference and since underbarrels don't increase types or anything...well. Both rocket- and grenade launchers completely deviate from how weapons are presented - no properties, no classification, no proper range; DCs of grenades do not change with wielder proficiency etc. All in all: Sucky options, presented in a barely functional manner. You will deal more damage with every weapon class in this series.

A total of 3 rockets are included as well; they weigh 2 lbs each and high-explosive rockets detonate in 30 ft.-radius for 4d8 bludgeoning, with Dex 13 to halve and Incendiary rockets cause 2d8 fire damage in the same radius, but burn on for 1d6 fire damage unless put out by a successful save. Both of these cost 150 gp a pop. The third rocket costs 200 gps and is "Armor piercing" - in name only. It only deals its damage in a 5-foot radius, but inflicts 4d12. Same DC to halve. Rockets must be fired from a rocket launcher at a target up to 600 ft. away. Loading one is an action and a team of two can load and fire a rocket launcher in one round...got ya. So basically, you need a hireling monkey and it's better than a grenade launcher; without one...it's just as fast. Okay... Rocket launchers lack any classification as weapons. The save DC, much like grenades, does not increase or take wielder capabilities into account. I have no idea what properties the weapon has. A total, unmitigated mess.

Unlike any of the Zane's Guide, the rules provided for explosives feel lackluster, quickly cobbled together...and in the context of the series, they are actually worse in damage output than pretty much all guns. WTF. There is nothing of the care and passion here in the base system that you could see in the gun-tweaks.

The exotic stuff is mostly devoted to rockets and grenades; a total of 3 weapons are included - the Dwarven Grenadier underbarrel grenadelauncher can be used 1/turn as a bonus action. The Lancaster grenade launcher can contain up to 6 grenades and 3 grenades may be reloaded in one action. Doubling Dolly, the magical rocket launcher, may fire a copy of the last rocket fired while it is not loaded, but only once per day (dawn as reset, not short/long rest) and only if the rocket was of rare or lesser scarcity.

The magical rockets and grenades that make up the remainder of this section run a gamut of power: The uncommon grenade Oubliette generates disadvantage to ranged attack rolls and imposes a DC Strength check (why not a save?) to move outside the area. "On a failed check, the creature cannot move outside the area during its turn. Okay, does this end movement? May the character abort movement before reaching the perimeter? No idea. Matryoshka detonates at 60 ft and has a Dex save of 14. Basically +30 ft. radius, +1 DC...which is honestly pretty cookie-cutter. Purcupine is more intriguing as a rocket- 8d8, 30 ft.-radius and covers the area in caltrops is more interesting. Pacifier is save-or-suck grenade: On a failed save, you drop unconscious for 1d6 MINUTES. Wabbit is an interesting grenade (rocket would make more sense to me, but oh well) that leaves a 10-ft-line between you and the detonation point.

The Tidal Wave grenade begins with a 20 ft.-detonation...and doubles the radius and damage output on the two subsequent rounds. Why is there no means to end the effects in progress via e.g. dispel magic? Bad Medicine is a grenade that causes necrotic damage and may heal nearby allies...though the number of allies affected is equal to the number of foes hit...which becomes a bit weird when throwing bags of kittens in the area of effect, but considering the price of the grenade, it is not a strategy I'd recommend. The BOOMerang is a grenade with 5 charges that returns to the thrower - but can it be caught? No idea. Weird: "any creature can be damaged by the BOOMerang only once." - Once per round or once; RAW it's once, which becomes odd considering the explosion following the expenditure of the final charge...would that count as an increase of damage or as a second explosion? That's also relevant for damage thresholds etc. The Duke causes a 200 ft.-radius 15d8 radiant explosion. Why does this and the aforementioned BOOMerang cause radiant damage? No idea.

Frosty Welcome may slow targets. The Predator-rocket rises 50 ft. after being launched and goes into hunter mode, becoming a construct that has a rudimentary Intelligence and may fire at foes; it explodes upon being destroyed. The creature has its own initiative score and may keep flying for 20 rounds. Odd: The series has a more streamlined version of the concept: You see, the predator requires no action to direct, when another similar concept required just that. A bit of internal inconsistency, I suppose. Stormbringer is a rocket that deals a combo of bludgeoning and lightning damage and may fire up to 4 lightning bolts at targets within 40 ft. of the flight path. Okay, what is a flight path? A line? Can you fire it in an arc? Are the lightning bolt targets randomly determined? The item states "Each bolt must hit a different creature", but says nothing about any form of control of who is targeted.

Sentinel is also problematic: It basically fire the grenade at a point, where it hovers. It then proceeds to fire a bolt of acid at any enemy creature within 30 ft. of its location AND at any creature moving between your turns, but may not fire at a creature more than once from the start of your turn to the end of your next turn. The grenade may float for 30 rounds...and basically behaves like a creature...which would make an appropriate write-up MUCH simpler than the complex wording here. Weird. Thoughtful Gifts generate 4 sets of cluster bombs with a 20 ft.-radius each within 80 ft. of the detonation, which is interesting, if powerful for a bit more than 2K gold. Thunder Storm is oddly named, considering that it generates a 3-round ball of lightning that discharges thrice at the end of your turns. No thunder damage, mind you. Volatile Infection basically is a grenade that causes fire damage that may spread from those ignited by it - pretty cool! Finally, Weatherman has 7 charges and regenerates these charges - after being thrown, it hovers at a height of 30 feet over the target point and thereafter, you may spend a charge and a bonus action to make it fire fireballs ...it is basically another turret-y grenade and much like the Sentinel, I think it's secondary form would have been better suited as a construct, also for internal consistency's sake.

The pdf's supplemental material contains 2 new feats: Grenadier increases your grenade range (based on the wonky base system) to 90 ft., add 1/2 proficiency bonus to a grenade's save DC or add +1d6 to the grenade's damage dice - cool: Takes choice in the case of multiple damage types into account...but does the benefit extend to secondary effects like magical discharges after detonation etc.? RAW, some of the options don't inflict primary damage (Thunder Storm disappears and just creates the ball lightning, for example...), so that is a bit opaque. The second feat increases maximum rocket distance by +50%, lets you add 1/2 proficiency bonus to rocket saves and add +1 damage-die to rockets...with the same boons and minor issues as those the grenade-feat suffered from.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good on a formal level, but on a rules-level, there are a lot of small issues that accumulate. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column full-color standard and the pdf has no artworks apart from the cover, but comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. As a minor nitpick, one page is almost empty - that does not feature in the final verdict, but in case you're particular about that kind of stuff, you may want to know.

Georgios Chatzipetros' guide to explosives is baffling to me. The other installments in the series establish the relatively concise framework of guns; exhibit sufficient knowledge on how the weapon-rules work and while they are not perfect, they show passion for the subject matter and a general care for 5e's design requirements. Additionally, while their damage output is relatively high, they remain, for the most part internally concise (shotguns having their own issues, but I digress). Explosives are none of these things. The presentation of the base rules is a mess. Internal consistency of the tricks of grenades and rockets is not really there and the whole pdf feels like a half-hearted addendum to the gun-rules of the first 4 installments. Sure, it's less than a buck and has some nice ideas to scavenge, but as written, I wouldn't/couldn't use these explosive-rules in a D&D 5th edition modern game...they require a rewrite and re-evaluation of their mechanics and internal presentation and balancing. This is not a complete waste of money, but it is a highly problematic installment. My final verdict will clock in at 1.5 stars, rounded up to 2 due to the VERY low price point.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Zane's Guide to Explosives
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Zane's Guide to Machine Guns
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/14/2016 08:10:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf depicting rifles for 5e clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page foreword/editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After a brief introduction, we are introduced to the general gun rules herein: Basically, on a natural 1 on an attack roll, a weapon jams and can't be used until you spend an action to clear it. Guns as portrayed here have a rate of fire - a single shot is just that. A burst of fire consumes 3 rounds of ammo, but adds +1 damage die to the damage output of the weapon - 2d6 become 3d6, for example. This increased power, however, also means that the weapon can jam on a 1-2. Finally, there would be full auto fire, which allows you to target a single 10-ft. cube within long range: Every creature in the area must succeed a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8+ your Dexterity modifier, + proficiency bonus, if any) or suffer the weapon's damage on a failed save, none on a successful save. Creatures beyond the normal range have advantage on the save, which mathematically and logic-wise makes sense. Saves in 5e are pretty swingy and advantage somewhat alleviates this. Auto fire consumes 10 rounds of ammo and most weapons cannot perform more than one such shot, even if you otherwise would be capable of attacking multiple times. Auto also can jam the weapon on a 1-3.

Additionally, every weapon has an ammo score, which denotes the number of pieces of ammo it can hold before requiring reloading, which consumes an action. Guns can prematurely be reloaded. The pricing for the ammo is pretty pricey, btw. - the least expensive bullets, for 9mm-guns, costs 20 gp per 50 bullets, which renders this ammunition significantly more expensive than e.g. crossbow bolts or arrows (1 gp net you 20 of those, in case you need a direct comparison). Bullets cannot be recovered after being fired, unlike other pieces of ammunition. Machine guns are classified as martial ranged weapons, just fyi.

We begin with a total of 5 different mundane guns, which serve as the mechanical framework: On the lowest end, submachine guns are the only gun herein that may fire single shots. They have ammo 30 and a range of 100/400 as well as a base damage of 2d4. Light machine guns deal 2d6, have 100 ammo, range 150/600 and are two-handed. Heavy machine guns inflict 2d8 damage, have 100 ammo, two-handed and heavy and a range of 200/800. Both have stopping power, which means you may reroll one damage die, keeping the result. Both have a mean recoil (minimum 14 Strength for light ones, 18 for heavy ones) and may fire twice in auto per turn. Both prevent you from moving when reloading. The mini-gatling deals 2d4, have a range of 70/280, ammo 60 and may fire auto twice per turn. As a veritable bullet hose, in burst mode, they consume 10 rounds, but get +2 damage dice; in auto, it consumes 30 rounds, but adds +4 to the save DC. It prevents you from moving when reloading, much like the final gun, the minigun. This one also has the bullet hose, gains two auto fire attacks per round. It deals 2d6, has a range of 100/400 and ammo 100 and is both two-handed and heavy.

All right, the basics out of the way, let's take a look at the magical machine guns. As always, you will notice elemental-themed guns that inflict bonus damage and an additional effect. Alas, much like in the installment on rifles, the option to reroll damage via stopping power leaves it open whether the bonus damage may be rerolled or not. Fans of the series may also recognize some of the abilities here, as some have simply been added to machine guns. This does not extend to all, though: Two-round single-shot machine guns that inflict 3d4 base damage instead is okay...but pales before Fearless Guardian: You may drop this gun as an action and have it become a semi-intelligent construct: You can use your bonus action to command it to attack and yes...sentry-mode gets its own creature stats and includes notes on repairing. Ferocious Claymore lets you add a spray of 60-ft.-shrapnel via charges and Grand Inquisitor requires a Wisdom save or fail at casting spells for 1 round....which can be nasty for non-Wis-based casters. Hallelujah lets you auto-fire at larger squares via charges and the gun can negate cover-based bonuses. Infiltrator lets you expend charges to activate a variety of spell-based effects - I assume them to still require concentration, but am not 100% sure. Junior Painless lets you modify the size of your full auto attacks - the smaller the area, the higher the DC. Nice one.

Madboy lets you fire bursts as a bonus action; Mauler & Mowler inflict additional damage when used together and hitting foes on 18+. Here, we have an issue: TWF usually requires light weapons...which the submachine guns are NOT....so sans Dual Wielder, these can't RAW be used as intended. Now the Guns Akimbo feat does not a way to mae this work, but that's two feats for the rather small benefits...and the rules, frankly, could be presented more concisely here. Granted, a new feat should take care of this...but it's still restricted to light weapons. Smart Cookie lets you exclude foes in full auto to increase the damage versus a target...which can be odd: Use allies/kittens and you suddenly deal more damage? Weird. Splitfire lets you split up the full auto-area in 5-ft-squares, which is kinda cool. Summoner is weirdly named, but has a cool trick: Establish a circle of 60 ft. as a bonus action; thereafter, sans reaction required, you may fire at foes that enter the circle, though you expend charges.

The pdf also features new class options, the first of which would be 2 feats: Guns Akimbo lets you TWF with light firearms and proper synergy with TWF.Machien Gun Expert reuced Strength-requirements for recoil, lets you reroll 1s on damage dice, allows you to move up to 1/2 your speed while reloading and increases the auto-save DC by 2. Imho a tad bit too much - I'd eliminate the damage reroll. The pdf provides a new fighting style, which lets you add proficiency bonus to full auto damage. The pdf also has a new martial archetype for the fighter class, the heavy gunner. At 3rd level, these guys impose disadvantage on foes that fail to save versus your full auto and halve their speed for 1 round. At 7th level, things get interesting: When you take damage, you may make a Con-save with a DC equal to the damage taken; on a success you take no damage, half on a successful one. You need to finish a short or long rest to use this again and may use it an additional time at 15th level. At 10th level, you may double round-consumption in auto to affect two 10-foot squares (how does THAT interact with all the square-modifications the magic guns grant? No idea...) and at 15th level, the character gains advantage on saves versus being charmed or frightened as well as a higher chance to not fall prey to death saving throws. At 18th level, you inflict +1 damage die in burst and full auto and targets that save versus your full auto still take 1/2 damage.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good on a formal level, but on a rules-level, there are a lot of small issues that accumulate -less than for the rifles, but still. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column full-color standard and the pdf has no artworks apart from the cover, but comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. As a minor nitpick, one page is almost empty - that does not feature in the final verdict, but in case you're particular about that kind of stuff, you may want to know.

Georgios Chatzipetros' supplement for machine guns is more refined than the rifle installment: I really like many of the auto-fire modifications and while I disagree with some of the balancing aspects, as a whole, there are some seriously nice things to be found. Now, alas, there is some ability-overlap with the previous file, rendering this, to me, slightly less compelling from a diversity point of view...and unfortunately, this means that it does inherit several of the glitches I complained about in the aforementioned book. At the same time, the engine for machine guns is more stable, ironically, than that of rifles, generating less issues. There still are some wonky tidbits and crunch that should be more precise, but at the low price, this is still a fair offering. Not perfect, but it does offer some gems. As always for the Mortars & Miniguns books, you should be aware that the damage output of guns vastly eclipses that of traditional weapons and thus renders the game significantly more deadly. I believe that to be intentional considering that the books generally adhere to a base-line regarding damage caused, hence I will not penalize the book for this. All in all, we have a mixed bag with some cool ideas and rough edges here - pretty much the epitome of a 3.5 stars file, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Zane's Guide to Machine Guns
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Zane's Guide to Shotguns
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/09/2016 10:10:32

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf depicting rifles for 5e clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page foreword/editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page almost blank (only a small part of a sentence is on it, so I'm counting it as blank), leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After a brief introduction, we begin with the general gun rules herein: Basically, on a natural 1 on an attack roll, a weapon jams and can't be used until you spend an action to clear it. Guns as portrayed here have a rate of fire - a single shot is just that. A burst of fire consumes 3 rounds of ammo, but adds +1 damage die to the damage output of the weapon - 2d6 become 3d6, for example. This increased power, however, also means that the weapon can jam on a 1-2. Finally, there would be full auto fire, which allows you to target a single 10-ft. cube within long range: Every creature in the area must succeed a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8+ your Dexterity modifier, + proficiency bonus, if any) or suffer the weapon's damage on a failed save, none on a successful save. Creatures beyond the normal range have advantage on the save, which mathematically and logic-wise makes sense. Saves in 5e are pretty swingy and advantage somewhat alleviates this. Auto fire consumes 10 rounds of ammo and most weapons cannot perform more than one such shot, even if you otherwise would be capable of attacking multiple times. Auto also can jam the weapon on a 1-3.

Additionally, every weapon has an ammo score, which denotes the number of pieces of ammo it can hold before requiring reloading, which consumes an action. Guns can prematurely be reloaded. The pricing for the ammo is pretty pricey, btw. - the least expensive bullets, for 12-guage shells, costs 50 gp per pack...and fails to specify how many shells are included per package, which puts a crucial flaw within the base ammo-rules of the pdf. Bullets cannot be recovered after being fired, unlike other pieces of ammunition. Most shotguns are simple ranged weapons, though monster and unbarrelled shotguns are classified as martial ranged weapons, just fyi. All shotguns may only fire single shots.

So that would be the basics - so let's take a look at the 6 types of shotgun provided! The first thing you'll note would be that shotguns, no matter the specific type, deal 4d4 base damage, rendering them,d amage-output-wise the most reliable of the guns featured in the series and on par with automatic guns/rifles. A second aspect you'll note, though, is that the guns obviously have a much shorter range: Double-barreled shotguns, monster shotguns and pump shotguns clock in at 40/160, whereas the other shotguns get a range of 30/120. All shotguns receive a bonus of +1 to attack rolls versus enemies within 10 feet and fire scattershots. This property means that they only inflict 1/2 damage at long range and additionally, when your attack roll is 15-20, you gain a second attack versus a creature within 5 feet of the target as long as you have line of sight. On the downside, on an attack roll of 1-2, you must make such an attack versus an ally within 5 feet of the target. Since these additional attacks represent shrapnel etc., they do not consume ammunition. A crucial diversifying tool for shotguns would be the ammo capacity: While a combat shotgun has 12, double-barrels (and sawed-offs) only have 2 (obviously), monster shotguns 4, pump shotguns 6 and underbarrels 6.

Reliability is a big deal for this weapon class: Combat shotguns malfunction on a 1-2, paying for the ammo rating, while all other shotguns are reliable and thus are not prone to malfunctions. All models but the sawed-off shotgun are two-handed weapons, with the monster shotgun also being classified as heavy. The underbarrel shotgun fails to specify anything in that regard, but instead features the "Reliable"-rules entry twice, making me suspect an unnecessary cut-copy-paste error. Underbarrel shotguns may be attached as an action to other two-handed firearms - which per se is no issue, but I do believe that making the composite weapon heavy would have made sense here. All shotguns but the combat shotgun suffer from slow reload, i.e. you may only move 1/2 your speed while reloading. Monster shotgun, pump shotgun and underbarrel also feature a slow rate of fire (with the other shotguns having that limit imposed by ammo), allowing you to fire no more than 2 shots a round. both sawed-off shotguns and monster shotguns have a nasty recoil and thus require Strength 14 to properly use. Two-barrel and sawed-off shotguns allow you to empty both barrels in one attack, increasing base damage to 6d4. Monster shotguns are even more reliable regarding damage output: You may reroll any number of damage dice and keep the new result making them slightly too strong when compared to the other shotguns, in spite of the increased price.

All right, so that would be the basic rules-framework for shotguns, so what do the magical iterations provide? Well, Breaching Enforcers attack doors and gates at +2 and inflict 4d8 base damage versus such obstacles instead, allowing for a significantly higher chance to exceed the damage threshold. The Butcher is a monster shotgun that allows you to expect any number of rounds loaded when firing: For each round beyond the first, you add +1 to attack rolls and +1d4 to damage...which is imho pretty OP for an uncommon shotgun priced at 4K...Even within the increased damage output paradigm of the series, +3 to atk is a pretty big deal. In case you were wondering: Yes, the pdf does contain the elemental bonus damage type of guns...you know, +1d6 lightning damage, on a roll of 6 with this bonus damage. Anyways, the engine does not specify whether this bonus damage may be rerolled via e.g. the monster shotgun's stopping power ability or not. I like Dragon's Breath, which may be used as a kind of flamethrower once, regenerating this power at dawn (NOT on a short r long rest) - though I am not sure whether it's intended to consume a round or not; I assume the latter.

Daring Bombardier, a double-barrel, lets you fire a grapeshot, which sends a ball of shrapnel anywhere within long range, detonating there for 4d8 damage in a 20-foot sphere, half damage on a DC 16 Dex save. My big issue here: No attack roll required. I get the intent, sure...but to me, this still feels like it ought to have one. The legendary frost hammer is a monster shotgun that gets +2 to atk and damage and inflicts +2d6 cold damage. The gun has 6 charges, one of which you can expend to paralyze a foe that fails a Strength saving throw (with proper immunity/resistance)-caveat. Attacks versus such iced in foes with the hammer that hit are automatically critical hits. The ability's called "Kill it with Ice", just fyi -the pdf is suffused with amusing ability names like this and generally is a pretty nice read. I am not the biggest fan of hard gamble - the gun allows you to take up to -3 to atk and increase the amount of numbers that are treated as critical hits by a similar amount. The wording is slightly awkward and -1 to atk is not really an adequate payoff here...particularly for a rare shotgun that inflicts +2d4 on crits. Oh, and it's a sawed-off, which means is may fire both barrels at once.

Horde Control has 5 charges and a special, better, magical form of scatter shot that lets you determine 2 - 6 within 30 feet. You spend 1 round of ammo and make separate attack rolls for each, but ignore scattershot's benefits for the attack. I like the idea here...but even at legendary scarcity, this is very strong. Also: Why not say "up to 6 creatures" and instead feature the somewhat confusing 2 - 6 (which implies rolling 2d3). But I'm admittedly nitpicking here. Incredible Gemini would be a set of two sawed off shotguns (price for both or each?) that grant additional benefits to the respective other gun when its twin hits. Which is nice. However, it opens up again the clusterf*** about TWFing sans attunement...since yep, that unlock is actually one of the attunement-based abilities granted...though, again, rules-language could be clearer: They "can be used for two-weapon fighting" - why not work within the rules paradigms and instead opt for this type of wording? Nemesis has various configurations that allow it to inflict more damage versus a creature type -it deals +3d6 (!!!) versus said targets, but only half versus other types...making it damage-wise unbalanced...and, alas, nonfunctional. Why? Well, the gun notes that it can be set to other configurations with an action, which is very easy re action economy. Additionally, the text mentions 4 other configurations, but the gun lists 6. So does one nemesis only have 5? No idea. Rageorade gains charges for killing foes...which means you can use its benefits indefinitely with sufficient bags of fluffy kittens to blow apart. Fail, next.

Savage Jacob deals +1d4 damage when one or more damage dice show a 4. Seventh Hell accumulates charges on each foe hit and upon reaching 7, its next shot also detonates in a 6d6 10-ft.-fireball. Can someone get me kittens, I need to recharge my gun's fireball ability... On the cool side, charge-based firing of caltrops is a cool idea. Zombie-B-Gone is pretty OP for 9K: It ignores an resistance or immunities undead have.

The pdf also sports feats: The previously-covered Guns Akimbo for dual wielding (since sawed-offs are not light, the benefits remain complicated...) and Shotgun Expert. The latter feat decreases Strength-requirements for recoil by 3, increases range by 10 ft. and eliminates disadvantage on ranged attack when within 5 ft. of a foe. Oh, and bonus action can be used to reload a single round. Unlike previous expert-feats, I consider this one to be pretty solid. The shotgun fighting style lets scattershot activate on a 14+ and only lets you hit allies on a 1. The pdf also sports the Path of the Rage Gunner for the barbarian class: At 3rd level, you add rage damage bonus to any of your gun attacks (because they really needed to inflict more damage); at 6th level, you may hold one-handed or two-handed weapons in one hand while raging, allowing you to TWF two-handed weapons...which is a huge clusterf*** when combined with the Dual Wielder/Guns Akimbo and TWFing rules...but at least a cool visual. At 10th level, things get weird: When you roll 18+ on an attack roll with a gun, you immediately get an extra attack with that gun. Not a fan, considering that may players are insanely lucky and testing this rule, we once had a completely emptied combat shotgun in one round. One further issue: Does the attack still require ammo? I do believe so, but considering that the system does feature exceptions...not sure. At 14th level, crits you inflict cause any foe within 20 ft to need to succeed a Wisdom save or become frightened.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good on a formal level, but on a rules-level, there are a lot of small issues that accumulate. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column full-color standard and the pdf has no artworks apart from the cover, but comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. As a minor nitpick, one page is almost empty - that does not feature in the final verdict, but in case you're particular about that kind of stuff, you may want to know.

Georgios Chatzipetros' guide to shotguns is interesting from a design perspective. Considering that full auto fire already allows for AoE attacks with guns, I applaud the notion of going for a different route with scattershot. At the same time, the result is wonky. My experience with the gun-rules championed by One Dwarf Army shows a significant amount of damage increase over the medieval ranged weapons, which I take as an intended design goal. At the same time, though, shotguns provide an almost insane escalation of damage. Scattershot takes up a lot of time due to the additional rolls involved and that is before the magical properties hit. The reliable damage output combined with the significant potential for a crap-ton of additional targets hit means that damage can escalate to really painful levels. Additionally, the glitches in the engine, from ammunition to the reroll-question and the TWFing means that there are a lot of open questions here. Add to that failed kitten tests and similar design-issues and we have a pdf that may not be all bad, but requires some polish to properly shine. While the more than fair, low price point makes this still a viable purchase, it is not one I can recommend - you need to do some design fixing and streamlining when using these guns. Hence, I cannot go higher than 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Zane's Guide to Shotguns
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Zane's Guide to Rifles
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/08/2016 10:30:29

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf depicting rifles for 5e clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page foreword/editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page almost blank (only a small part of a sentence is on it, so I'm counting it as blank), leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After a brief introduction, we begin with the general gun rules herein: Basically, on a natural 1 on an attack roll, a weapon jams and can't be used until you spend an action to clear it. Guns as portrayed here have a rate of fire - a single shot is just that. A burst of fire consumes 3 rounds of ammo, but adds +1 damage die to the damage output of the weapon - 2d6 become 3d6, for example. This increased power, however, also means that the weapon can jam on a 1-2. Finally, there would be full auto fire, which allows you to target a single 10-ft. cube within long range: Every creature in the area must succeed a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8+ your Dexterity modifier, + proficiency bonus, if any) or suffer the weapon's damage on a failed save, none on a successful save. Creatures beyond the normal range have advantage on the save, which mathematically and logic-wise makes sense. Saves in 5e are pretty swingy and advantage somewhat alleviates this. Auto fire consumes 10 rounds of ammo and most weapons cannot perform more than one such shot, even if you otherwise would be capable of attacking multiple times. Auto also can jam the weapon on a 1-3.

Additionally, every weapon has an ammo score, which denotes the number of pieces of ammo it can hold before requiring reloading, which consumes an action. Guns can prematurely be reloaded. The pricing for the ammo is pretty pricey, btw. - the least expensive bullets, for 5.56mm-guns, costs 60 gp per 50 bullets, which renders this ammunition significantly more expensive than e.g. crossbow bolts or arrows (1 gp net you 20 of those, in case you need a direct comparison). Bullets cannot be recovered after being fired, unlike other pieces of ammunition. Rifles are classified as martial ranged weapons, just fyi.

Okay, we begin with classic guns, with a total of 5 being depicted here - assault rifles would clock in at 2d6 damage, with a range of 150/600, 30 ammo and a hefty cost of 1K gp. Battle rifles are slightly more costly, have only a 20 ammo capacity and can only fire single shot or burst, no full auto...but do receive an extended range of 200/800. Both are Large, two-handed weapons...however, the battle rifle justifies its increased price with the ability to reroll one damage die for a better average damage output. Fifty Cals are single shot-only, inflict 2d8, only can fire single shots, sport an ammo capacity of 6 and have huge ranges (600/2400), require bracing (which means you suffer disadvantage on shots if you move prior to firing), also suffer disadvantage on shots within 10 ft and Strength scores less than 16 also inflict disadvantage on attack rolls. So, this would be up to three disadvantages...which leaves me with an obvious question: In this case...do they stack? Usually, they don't, but it would kinda make sense here...and considering damage output, the option to reroll one damage die and the fact that it never suffers malfunctions make it rather powerful, in spite of not being able to execute more than 2 attacks per round and being a two-handed heavy weapon.

Marksman rifles deal 2d6, are single shot only, have a range of 300/1200 and ammo 10. They have stopping power (i.e. the damage die reroll) and suffer from disadvantage on attacks versus nearby targets akin to the 50 cal. Finally, the sniper rifle is single shot only with a range of 500/2000, 8 ammo and a base damage of 2d8. The weapon is two-handed, may not attack more than twice per round and imposes disadvantage on attacks versus nearby foes. The recoil requires Strength 14 to properly use and it needs to be braced... (again, leaving me with the same question as for the 50 Cal), but is reliable.

As in the first installment, it is this framework upon which the magical rifles are based - beyond the general scarcity qualification, the magical rifles sport a suggested, precise gold value, which is nice to see. So, what do we get? Well, Angry Zeus, for example, would inflict +1d6 lightning damage and on a 6 on this bonus damage, the target must make a Constitution saving throw or be stunned for 1d6 rounds, with creatures that have lightning resistance get advantage on the save...which seems kinda odd, considering the low bonus damage compared to spells. Anyways, the item leaves me with one crucial question: Can this bonus damage be rerolled via the battle rifle's Stopping Power property? RAW it can be, which further exacerbates the power level of the rifle. Clarification here is required and, alas, this issue extends to all rifles with stopping power and bonus damage of a more esoteric sort.

Alas, this does not remain the only glitch in the engine: Take the legendary rifle Catalyst: Beyond being basically +2, being attuned to it inflicts +2d6 force damage, escalating the bonus damage in a pretty nasty way...that is not my issue, though: When an attack hits with a 17 - 20, you (or a creature within 50 ft.) either gain temporary hit points equal to the bonus damage inflicted or you inflict the force damage to another creature within 50 ft. of the target. Okay...do you need to see the target chosen? Why does the target receive no means to negate the damage? AC/advantage/etc. - all irrelevant. Same goes for the bonus damage caused by virulent pox, which oddly does not take immunity to diseases into account. Chain reaction, on the other hand, blows targets killed up in fireballs. Which generally is a cool visual. Alas, it is extremely prone to abuse: Just take a bunch of kittens, sedate them and put them in strategic positions. Start shooting them. Instant, reliable fireballs! Deadly Spree is similarly a bit wonky, increasing damage by +1d6 per kill for one round, though here the cost of ammo and shortlived nature of the bonus at least makes that strategy a sucky one. Some sort of restriction would be called for here. Charging Rhino may push those hit back, while Devastating Sapper has 4 charges that allow for the insertion of micro-explosives in targets hit. Emerald Seer lets you fire a clairvoyance duplicating sensor...which is cool. However...does this sensor stick to targets shot? Do they take damage? Does the use of this ability consume a bullet? Does it require concentration as per usual? No idea.

Eviscerator lets you add a shot to 19-20 bayonet attacks...but oddly, I would have expected a bonus action required or something like that. Feyser is interesting - it sports a means to lock on to targets, ignoring cover...but does an attack on a locked on target still require a successful attack roll? The pdf is not clear, stating that only force effects can stop it, which makes no sense: Slam an iron door shut. There ya go. Similarly, can the bullet cross planar boundaries? No idea. Nailer gets +1 to atk and damage versus armored foes (i.e.: almost everyone) and has a take on shooting through targets, hitting foes behind the target. Weird: The shot does not need to cause damage, so if a target completes negates the attack, it still goes through the creature...Pack Hunter nets advantage for companions when hit by the gun; when you kill someone with the gun, you heal your companion, summoned creature. Hand me that bag of kittens to shoot, my pet tiger's injured...

Armor-compromising acid guns (with notes to repair/regain AC) would be nice. Better bursts rerolls on failed attacks and a sight-enhancing sniper rifle make sense. A Flexible, poisonous sniper rifle is powerful, but damn cool, sporting 5 unique poisons to convey. Zeta Fantastic Mark One is brutal - you hit the target better after hitting once and the gun may fire flamethrower-cones, freezing rays, nets, poison bolts or even small rockets...cool!

The pdf also provides a new feat, Rifle Expert, which helps dealing with heavy recoil, lets you reroll 1s on damage (stacks with other damage rerolls? No idea...), lets you max one damage die on crits and increases range by +50%...which, as a whole, may be too much for one feat. The pdf has a new fighting style, rifleman, for +1 damage per max-sized damage die. (2 8s on d8s would translate to +2 damage, for example). The ranger class may also select the new sniper archetype, which has choices at every step: At 3rd level, allows you to lay down covering fire or employ a bonus action to focus on one target for a bonus versus said target, but disadvantage versus another foe. At 7th level, you add Wisdom to Dexterity (Stealth) checks and inflict +2d6 damage of the rifle's base damage when you're hidden. Attack rolls of 18-20 require a Con-save or stun foes. At 11th level, you gain Wisdom modifier focus points each turn, up to 3 of which you can apply to atk and damage for some flexibility - cool one, though I'd put that lower on the ability-list and build further on the points. Also at this level, you may choose to fire opportunity attacks versus foes that move 20 or more on their turn via a reaction. At 15th level, your rifle damage die that score maximum damage are treated as exploding dice. Overall, a decent archetype.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good on a formal level, but on a rules-level, there are a lot of small issues that accumulate. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column full-color standard and the pdf has no artworks apart from the cover, but comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. As a minor nitpick, one page is almost empty - that does not feature in the final verdict, but in case you're particular about that kind of stuff, you may want to know.

Georgios Chatzipetros' guide to rifles is pretty deadly: The level of damage you can deliver via these rifles is significant, but beyond weaknesses in the base rules of mundane guns that are exacerbated in the magic ones, there are a lot of small inconsistencies, failed kitten tests and somewhat inelegant designs. At the same time, this does have some gems that are really creative and is surprisingly nice to read and it is inexpensive to boot. While pretty flawed as written, the pdf still does have something to offer. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 due to the fair price and in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Zane's Guide to Rifles
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Zane's Guide to Pistols
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/02/2016 04:35:09

An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

This pdf depicting pistols for 5e clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page foreword/editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page almost blank (only a small part of a sentence is on it, so I'm counting it as blank), leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After a brief introduction, we are introduced to the general gun rules herein: Basically, on a 1 on an attack roll, a weapon jams and can't be used until you spend an action to clear it. Guns as portrayed here have a rate of fire - a single shot is just that. A burst of fire consumes 3 rounds of ammo, but adds +1 damage die to the damage output of the weapon - 2d6 become 3d6, for example. This increased power, however, also means that the weapon can jam on a 1-2. Finally, there would be full auto fire, which allows you to target a single 10-ft. cube within long range: Every creature in the area must succeed a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8+ your Dexterity modifier, + proficiency bonus, if any) or suffer the weapon's damage on a failed save, none on a successful save. Creatures beyond the normal range have advantage on the save, which mathematically and logic-wise makes sense. Saves in 5e are pretty swingy and advantage somewhat alleviates this. Auto fire consumes 10 rounds of ammo and most weapons cannot perform more than one such shot, even if you otherwise would be capable of attacking multiple times. Auto also can jam the weapon on a 1-3.

Additionally, every weapon has an ammo score, which denotes the number of pieces of ammo it can hold before requiring reloading, which consumes an action. Guns can prematurely be reloaded. The pricing for the ammo is pretty pricey, btw. - the least expensive bullets, for .38-guns, costs 30 gp per 50 bullets, which renders this ammunition significantly more expensive than e.g. crossbow bolts or arrows (1 gp net you 20 of those, in case you need a direct comparison). The revised edition now clearly states that gun ammo cannot be retrieved - good!

The pdf then goes on to depict the classic guns - a total of 7 such guns are depicted, all with a nice bit of in-character prose by Zane Ironheart, dwarven mercenary. Since the gun-rules obviously are a tad bit more complicated than the base weapon rules, each of the weapons gets a short mini table listing its respective quality, making presentation of autoloader, combat magnum, etc. pretty concise. And better yet - there also is a classic at a glance table in the PHB's style. No complaints! Most guns depicted here are simple ranged weapons that range in damage from 2d4 to 2d6, but vary in the details: Autoloaders are light weapons, whereas hand cannons do not suffer from malfunctions and allow you to move only up to half your speed while reloading...but these get the option to reroll the lowest damage die and keep the new result. Mini-shottys get +1 to attack rolls versus foes up to 10 feet away, but deal only half damage at close range. To make up for that, their scattershot also allows you to make bonus attacks against a creature within 5 ft. of the original target when scoring a 15-20; on the downside, this goes both ways and, when botching, you can similarly be forced to make attacks versus allies - friendly fire. One important balancing factor here would also be Heavy Recoil - the more efficient of these weapons have a minimum Strength score - not meeting this score means you'll suffer disadvantage on attack rolls. OUCH. Cool, btw.: It makes a difference for the purposes of this drawback whether you one-hand or two-hand-wield the gun.

So what do the martial guns provide? Well, for one, the machine gun gets burst fire and full auto, even if the other traits aren't that impressive and the one-shot express...shoots basically one round and then is toast...so make it count. So that would be the basic framework.

After this, the pdf goes on to depict "the exotic stuff" - i.e. a collection of diverse magic guns - interestingly, not just sporting a general scarcity, but also providing a more fine-grained value, which is a nice touch for control-freak bastard GMs like me. Now the respective items run quite a broad gamut: There would be an autoloader that allows you to mark a foe as a bonus action, gaining +2 to attack and damage rolls versus said foe, whereas a mini-shotty deals +1d4 damage on a damage die roll of 4 - and now, the previously ambiguous wording has been cleaned up. Better sniping can be achieved via the aptly-named Bullseye. The one-shot express cannibal-gun can be enhanced by sacrificing life to it, while another gun fires corrosive bullets that have a chance of ruining a target's armor...which is pretty interesting, particularly considering that the pdf manages to take natural armor healing into account and now also includes a note on interaction with magic - once again, great work cleaning that one up and yes, this does include notes on interaction with resistance/immunity!

Increased ammo-expenditure for increased damage can be found as well. A very powerful weapon, Deadly Scanner, is pretty nasty - it's threat range for critical hits increases by +1 for each subsequent shot fired at a target, whether it hits or misses...and the gun deals bonus damage on crits. Lightning-laced six-shooters that can stun the target - resistance and immunity do feature herein and the effect now is properly balanced!

One of the most visually stunning guns now also works perfectly - a magnum that deals bonus lightning damage and has a chance to spawn single-target arcs of electricity - the Electrifying Cueball. And no, I can't misread that one any more- it's proper and precise. Kudos!

The fire gun now allows for a save to avoid being ignited by the shot and the cold gun can paralyze you, all while taking defenses into account. Pretty cool: There is a MIB-style thunder-damage causing legendary autoloader that has enormous recoil, while the Lucky Punk is an obvious nod to Dirty Harry - any roll of 5+ does not consume any ammo...which is pretty powerful, considering the high costs of ammo. A nod to Judge Dredd can also gbe found within these pages alongside charge-based, life-leeching gun...there are quite some solid ideas here. The bolter than can inject microexplosives into targets now also features a properly cleaned up entry and can now stand as an epitome of the most awesome guns in this book.

The pdf also sports two new feats, Guns Akimbo and Pistol Expert. While nice, the former does not account for potential heavy firearms a GM may devise, which is a bit of a pity. Pistol Expert allows, among other things to reduce recoil and reroll 1s of damage dice AND increases the reload action economy penalty, which may be a bit much for one feat. The pdf also allows for a double tap fighting style and provides the gunslinger martial archetype for the fighter, which generally can be considered a cool take on the tropes - at 15th level, you can e.g. do the Lucky Luke and take reactions to ranged attacks before the triggering ranged attack is resolved. The interesting thing of this one, mainly, is that it allows for extra control regarding attacks via luck and a bit of ability control, providing some serious bonus attack combo potential - whether you like or dislike that ultimately is up to taste.

Conclusion:

The editing and formatting of the revised edition are cleaned up and significantly smoother on a rules-language level. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column full-color standard and the pdf has no artworks apart from the cover, but comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. As a minor nitpick, one page is almost empty - that does not feature in the final verdict, but in case you're particular about that kind of stuff

Georgios Chatzipetros of One Dwarf Army's freshman offering is much tighter than I honestly expected it to be: The basic firearm rules follow the time-honored tradition of power at a price, with ample subsets of rules to make them feel different from crossbows etc. I like the frame and the pricing is also pretty tight, with none of the clutter/issues that other systems have. The focus lies very much on MOAR damage - to the point where you can outclass all other weapon types easily. This may be an issue in mixed settings, so beware of that - a focus on more utility, less damage escalation via exploding dice-like mechanics may be prudent. And mind you, I like exploding dice. I'll never forget a PC of mine blowing a BBEG's head clean off with 5 consecutive maximum d10s on a musket in a previous edition, thus saving the whole group from a TPK...but in view of the small die-sizes employed, you'll statistically get quite a bunch of rerolls/bonus damage. How and whether that still works in the context of later installments, where auto- and burst fire are more common...we'll see.

More important than that, though, would be the simple fact that the author took the time to clean up and vastly improve the weaknesses in the previous iteration of this pdf, replacing minor glitches with pure awesomeness and, in many cases, juggling relatively complex concepts. The revised version has thus earned a rating-upgrade - this is now a 5 star-purchase, well worth the more than fair asking price!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Zane's Guide to Pistols
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A 5E Primer to Shotguns
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2016 12:53:56

8 pages long with 5 being the content.

6 types of shotgun in this primer, stating 2 guages (12 & 8). Also 4 exotic types. Ther are 20 listed shotguns in the full PDF.

So; if you like 'crowd pleasers', 'boom sticks', etc, in your game; then ir's definitely worth a look.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A 5E Primer to Shotguns
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A 5E Primer to Pistols
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2016 12:46:25

A 5 page PDF (3 are the content).

7 types are listed in this primer (25 are in the full PDF).

Calibres listed: .357. 38, .454, .50, 9mm, and 20-guage.

As with the other primers, worth looking at to see if it's your kind of thing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A 5E Primer to Pistols
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A 5E Primer to Rifles
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2016 12:41:35

An 8 page PDF (5 are the content). Lists 5 types: Assault rifle, Battle rifle, Fifty Cal, Marksman, and Sniper. 4 exotic types are also listed. 20 are listed in the full pdf.

Prices are in gold pieces. 4 calibres are listed as in the machine gun pdf: .338, .50 cal, 5.56mm, and 7.62mm.

Worth a look at in case you want ballistic weapons.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A 5E Primer to Rifles
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A 5E Primer to Machine Guns
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2016 12:28:05

8 Pages, 5 are the content. This primer seems pretty good as an introduction. The weapon prices are in Gold Pieces (GP); weapon weight in pounds (lb). It states 5 types: heavy & light MG, Mini gatling, Minigun, and SMG. Also 4 calibres are also stated: .50 cal, 9mm, 5.56, and 7.62, all purchased in batches of 50.

The full PDF has 20 weapons. Worth perusing to see if it's your thing.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
A 5E Primer to Machine Guns
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