while I'm not yet doen with some of my larger upcoming reviews, I at least managed to get two done that have been quite a task to put together. I hope you'll enjoy them!
This book is 111 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 106 pages of content.
The book kicks off with a introduction (1 page) to the monster templates with advice on how to apply templates quick as well as mentioning some interesting facts about the format in which the templates are presented: An explanation of the unique sample creatures provided, quick tactics, the monster's point of view of itself, Lore DCs, monstrous feats (each section has some of them) as well as (thank the 7 heavens!) ecology-sections. I hate it when monsters are presented as creatures in a vacuum and thus welcome the addition of these sections.
The templates range from -50% CR to CR +3. I listed their CR-modifications, the name of the sample creature, the CR of the sample creature and the respective bonus material.
-Accursed Creature Template (CR -50%, Broken Beast, CR 12, Monstrous feat: Stomp)
-Aware Arcana Creature Template (CR=double highest effective caster level, Aware Arcana Fireball, CR 6, Aware Arcana Merged Cup of Dust and Feast of Ashes, CR 10, 3 new feats to create the living spells, 1 new associated item)
-Betrayer Creature Template (CR+1, Iudas, CR 6, Monstrous Feats: Improved Feign Death and Improved Hidden Healing)
-Bloody Maw Creature Template (CR+1, Jaws of Winter, CR 6, Monstrous Feats: Greater Belly of the Beast, Vorpal Bite)
-Body Jumper Creature Template (CR+3, Bisiir "Discord's Essence", CR 21, Monstrous Feat: Hidden Possession)
-Boundfury Creature Template (CR+2, Guilded Guard of Gone, CR 7, Monstrous Feats: Greater Pain, Greater Penalize)
-Civilized Creature Template (CR+1, Genteel Spines, CR 14, Monstrous Feats: Telekinetic Flight, Telekinetic Shield)
-Darkseed Creature Templates (CR+2, Bloody Blades, CR 7, Monstrous Feats: Dark Endurance, Dark Strength, Faster Healing)
-Distortion Creature Template (CR+3, Mutilating Beast, CR 4, Monstrous Feats: Improved Scare, Greater Scare)
-Drachenchor Creature Template (CR+3, Gellid Dirge Lich, CR 12, Monstrous Feat: Spell Leech Storehouse)
-Dreaded Creature Template (CR+2, Kah the dark Captain, CR 14, Monstrous Feats: Painful Scars, Inflict Terror)
-Earthbound Creature Template (CR+2, Fettered Giant, CR 10, Monstrous Feats: Towering Assailant, Quick Fling)
-Eldritch Spawn Template (CR+3, Eldritch Glutton, CR 7, Monstrous Feats: Dream Sleeper, Insane Insight)
-Entropy Infused Creature Template (CR+1, Wasteling, CR 9, Monstrous Feats: Sinkhole, Cave-In; actually several templates in one, negative-energy quasi-elemental nod towards Planescape)
-Eternal Creature Template (CR+1, Eonian the Incessant, CR 3, Monstrous Feats: Improved Breaching, Greater Breaching)
-Exemplar Creature Template (CR+3, Atelier's Vengeance, CR 19, Monstrous Feats: Improved Perfect Health, Improved Magic Reduction)
-Hatemonger Creature Template (CR+2, Hatelarren, CR 4, Monstrous Feat: Compelling Oratory; additional disease, variant template Strifemonger parasite)
-Havenfury Creature Template (CR+1-3 depending on base creatures CR, Black Ghont, CR 18, Ritual: Asylum of Wrath, Mosntrous Feat: Improved Corrupt Language)
-Irresistible Creature Template (CR+1, Sir Horace of the White Bull, CR 12, Monstrous Feat: Quicken Devastating Blast)
-Jagannath Creature Template (CR+3, Restless One, CR 13, Monstrous Feats: Spit Victim, Improved Spit Victim)
-Jaunting Creature Template (CR+2, Abhorrent Wink, CR 5, Monstrous Spells: Dimension Hop[Brd 2,Sor/Wiz 2], Teleport Attack [Sor/Wiz 7])
-Mythic Creature Template (CR+2, The Undying Storm, CR 7, Monstrous Feats: Dying Curse, Improved Self Resurrection)
-Phalanx Creature Template (CR+1 or +2, Apellon & Aptemis, CR 12, Monstrous Feats: Power Throw, Crushing Volley)
-Phlogiston Construct Creature Template (CR+0, 4 different Phlogiston batteries, Dynamo, CR 7)
-Positive Energy Creature Template (CR+2, Lifetrap, CR 8, Monstrous Feats: Improved Animate Objects, Improved Energy Instill)
-Protector Creature Template (CR+1, Heaven's Guard, CR 14, Monstrous Feats: Improved Shield of Destiny, Improved Protective Aura)
-Ritefury Creature Template (CR+2, Wrath-wake, CR 7, Monstrous Feat: Improved Animate Object)
-Rune-Carved Creature Template (CR+2, Carcera of the Ruins Perilous, CR 9, Monstrous Feat: Masked Shapechanger)
-Tax Collector Creature Template (CR+2, Fishwife of Fees, CR 6, Monstrous Feats: Tax Hike, Expanded Domain)
-Trickster Creature Template (CR+1, Eshu the Deceiver, CR 5, Monstrous Feat: Greater Shapechange)
-Unsighted Creature Template (CR+2, Bloody Beggar, CR 15, Monstrous Feat: Greater Gaze of Unlight)
-Weapon Construct Creature Template (CR=+1 for every two enhancement bonuses of the weapon, Bloodhex, CR 8)
The book closes with tables for templates by challenge rating as well as sample creatures by challenge rating as well as a short glossary. ( 1 page)
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any major flaws. Layout is clear and concise, the b/w artworks range from "meh" to "awesome".
I loved the classic Advanced Bestiary by Green Ronin and that's why I preordered thsi book as soon as it was announced. Just let me say: I didn't regret it for even a second. This is perhaps the best monster book out there for Pathfinder right now - each and every template is either mechanically extremely cool, does something that hasn't yet been done, features captivating prose and some very interesting sample creatures, often all of them. The sheer amount of "bonus" feats provided also helps variability in encounters. I'm going so far as to say that even if you as a DM are too lazy to use templates yourself, the sample creatures themselves are worth the price. Most of them are written in a way that makes the average DM come with at least one adventure. Just take a look at the sample creatures in the above list as well as the list of monstrous feats - you get an awesome amount of content for your bucks and most feature the unique, imaginative style I've come to appreciate in the best of Rite Publishing books. Should you have passed on this book until now, go get it. My final rating is 5 out of 5 possible Rudii - possibly one of the best monster resources out there.
This pdf is 25 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisements, leaving 20 pages of content.
The pdf begins with an old-school table of the weapon qualities for use with your trusty d%.
After that, we get the qualities:
-Adaptable: Can be used with weapon-specific feats
-Afflicting: Crit = Bestow Affliction, DC scales
-Anchoring: Deny Teleport
-Awoved Death: Vow to slay an enemy
-Bane Burst: Even more damage against banes
-Bane, lesser: Minor bonus against bane
-Blastback: Bullrush hit enemies
-Blood bonded: Bound to a bloodline
-Boomeranging: Hit the enemy from behind with your returning weapon
-Burst,Chosen: Works like Burst for chosen enrgy type
-Bushwhacking: Attack from hiding
-Ceremonial: 4 abilities in one, choose at the beginning of an encounter
-Clinging: Magical net enchantment
-Contemplative: Add Wis-mod to attack a number of times per day
-Consecrated: Extra-strong on holy ground
-Counteracting: Better CMD
-Counterstrike: Riposte after a missed attack by an opponent
-Crippling: Crits do Str-damage
-Dark: negative energy damage
-Deflecting: CMD to deflect rays
-Dessicated: Kill Oozes, Water, etc., can destroy liquids
-Dislocating: Teleport attack
-Disorienting: Penalize hit enemies
-Disorienting Burst: Burst of above, more penalties
-Dispelling: Guess what?
-Dispelling Burst: Guess what? in Burst form. Jep, I'm Captain Obvious.
-Equalizing: Negative levels for stronger opponents
-Energy, Chosen: Change energy-type via standard action
-Energy Ray: 1/day blast a foe, scales with your level
-Energy, Seething: Upgraded Version of a normal energy weapon.
-Enhancing: enhances the DC of one of your abilities
-Fast Bracing: Set against charge as immediate action
-Fast Returning: Make full-round attacks with your returning weapon
-Featherlight: Weapon can be used as one category lighter
-Fiendfang: Chose energy and ability damage - this weapon does both, plus bonus to deals with evil outsiders
-Force: Adds [Force]-descriptor to attacks, additional damage, hard to break
-Fortunate: Reroll an attack 3/day (typo here)
-Friend: Weapon is better for a specific race, skill-set etc.
-Foesight: Identify most powerful foe in 60 ft.
-Girded: Hard to break
-Gripping: Better against disarm
-Good Fortune: Use stored luck bonuses. Unfortunately doesn't mention how to recharge them
-Guided: negate 20% miss chance
-Hardened: Harder weapon.
-Heartseeking: Iconic e.g. vampire-slaying weapon
-Hexing: Penalize hit enemies
-Hexing Burst: More penalties, Hexburst
-Hindering: Potentially cancel out an ability of an enemy
-Homing: Ignore cover less than total concealment
-Ill Fortune: Stores Ill-luck, can dispense it one enemies
-Infectious: Transmit diseases
-Interfering: Hamper spell-casting
-Ioun: Weapons floats around you like an Ioun stone
-Leviathan's Foe: Extra damage against bigger creatures
-Loyal: Attuned to a specific wielder
-Maiming: Instead of killing your enemy, blind, maim, etc. him/her
-Mage Tuned: Only good for 1/4BAB-chars, for them +4 luck to attacks
-Maneuverable: Second Combat maneuver with half BAB as part of a combat maneuver
-Maneuverable Burst: Bonus to CMB and higher Crit-mod
-Necrofeed: Channel necromancy via weapon
-Paired: Two weapons that help their wielders help their respective comrade
-Parrying: Negate a hit on you or an ally with chance to get hit yourself
-Perilous: Cascading Critical
-Poisonous: Poison spell, scaling DC
-Potent: More damage and higher crit-mods
-Precision: Grants Critical Focus feat
-Preferential: Rangers do more damage against favored enemies
-Preferential Burst: Big brother of the last ability
-Preserving: Do damage to undead or heal allies
-Providence: +1 on saving throws, + 1/day reroll
-Psychic Burst: Dazed on a Crit, scaling DC
-Rapid Reloading: Reload one step faster than normal, Bows and slings get an additional attack at highest BAB 5/day
-Rapid Striking: Additional strike at half BAB
-Retribution: If hit by enemies, the weapon gets better against that foe
-Revitalizing: Use enhancement bonus to heal wounds
-Selective: Choose from two rolls on a critical fumble chart/ card deck if such is used
-Serpent: Transform weapon into snake
-Shatterblast: Ranged sunder with thrown weapon
-Spell Echoing: Duplicate past spells 3/day
-Spellreaving: Unravel spells/spell-like abilities
-Slayer: Attuned to a creature, slays it.
-Smiting: Improves any kind of smite
-Spellbane: Extra damage against spellcasters
-Spellcarrier: Thrown weapon hold touchspell for a time
-Spellstealing: Dispelling weapon that can steal a spell on the enemy.
-Spell Well: Hold touchspell for a time
-Soul Stealing: Can steal the soul of slain enemies, preventing resurrection, clones and the like
-Starshine: Pathfinderized version of one of my favorite weapon qualities. :)
-Summoner's Foe: Dismiss hit summoned creatures
-Sworn: Swear to slay an opponent and gain bonuses
-Tentacle Rope: Use disarm or trip with a net like it was a whip
-Terror: Make enemies shaken, DCs scale
-Toxifying: Improves poisons on the weapon
-Transmutable: Change material of the weapon/damage type
-Twin: When within 10 ft. of another, these weapons improve.
-Voidwrought: Pathfinderized version of another one of my favorite weapon qualities.
-Weaken Resistance: Each successful hit makes SR of the creature deteriorate
-Wrathful: Works when raging, +1d8 damage
-Wrathful Burst: Big brother of the last quality
The pdf closes with 2 new spells, Bestow Affliction(Clr 4) and Teleport Attack (??? 7), the latter of which unfortunately does not say whether it is arcane or divine, though I suspect arcane.
I am dead tired of the commodity-magic-items and weapons that seem to have taken hold of so many games and this is a step in the right direction - these are qualities your PCs won't necessarily expect in a weapon and there, at least in my opinion, should be more books like this out there. The abilities never felt overpowered or useless to me. The artworks of the weapons (this is a full-color pdf, btw.!) are beautiful and while I usually don't like obviously computer-generated art, for this file, they work excellent. However, there are also some downsides to report, namely some editorial glitches, a typo in the "fortunate" weapon description as well as the missing class-descriptor in one of the spells. Additionally, while not required, I would have loved to see some IC-introduction or some more far-out abilities. While some qualities really rocked and I loved seeing an updated version of material from "When the Sky falls", I nevertheless felt that this book could have been even better. My final verdict, for what the book is and due to the fact that it comes with a 22 pages B/w printer-friendly version, will be a solid 4 Rudii, a good buy if you want to add some options to your magic weapons.
Ok, that's it from me for now, expect to see more soon! As always, thank you for reading my ramblings,