As promised last time, today I'll be reviewing the Pilot for 0one's new series "The Sinking": Spoilers ahead, so beware! Potential players might want to skip ahead to the next review.
This pdf is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages advertisements and 1 page back cover, leaving 9 pages for the adventure.
The Sinking is the new project by 0onegames and consists of a series of short adventures that can be played in one session. The series will change the face of the Great City and this adventure is the Pilot for the events to come. Thus, being an adventure, this review will contain spoilers, potential players beware.
Epicenter Rising send the PCs on a quest to destroy a minor smuggling organization - 4 hooks are provided and the lead the PCs to a cheese shop. The shop features a nice map (although I would have loved a version of the map sans map-key numbers - I love handing maps to my players and the numbers detract from their suspension of disbelief) and has the PCs enter the smuggler tunnels/sewers in which they experience minor tremors and some sewerish encounters. The coolest encounter ensues after the PCs have left the smuggler tunnels for the sewers and has experienced the first minor cave-in: We get a nice, key-less map of complex sewers, complete with planks etc. to serve as a backdrop for a great chase scene that can end in a nice scene, or if you as a DM feel particularly sadistic (like I usually do), a three-way battle between a smuggler, a young Otyugh and the PCs. The final encounter has the PCs fight the head of the smugglers who tries to make a getaway by torching his shack. An additional small map of the shack would have been nice. In the aftermath of this encounter, the panic in the streets is evident and a huge sinkhole has opened right in the city, providing a nice omen of the things to come and an appropriately cool end to the module.
Editing is top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout is beautiful, easy to print-out and adheres to the two-column standard. the b/w-artwork is nice, the maps are great. There is one minor formatting glitch in the "Into the Sewers"-box: There is a blank line too much and the final sentence feels awkward, spelling out "That was the designer's intent." Oh well, more importantly, I would have loved to see a small map for the final encounter and/or some alternative means of problem-solving (roleplaying, stealth, whatever, expanded chase-rules) in this very straight-forward, action-oriented romp. Thus, I'll settle for 4 Rudii - a very good and promising start of the new series.
While we're in with cataclysmic things happening, why not check out RiP's
This installment of the 101-series is 40 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisements and 1 page SRD, leaving 35 pages of content for the spells.
The pdf kicks off with 3 pages of spell-lists for clerics, druids and Sorcerors/wizards.
9th-level spells. The apex of magical might. The stuff arcane dreams are made of, the signature of the archmages. I've been looking forward to this one for a long time, so let's take a look at the spells and check out whether they have the iconic potential I expect of 9th-level spells.
The spells are:
-Accursed Rot (Clr 9, Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): A plague spell that dispels foils to it and is very hard to cure. Nice.
-Aid Item, Greater (Clr 9, Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Grant an item your caster level and special charges that enable you to use it faster.
-Behind the Curtain (Sor/Wiz 9): Get a clear, non-cryptic response from the DM, but be unable to relay it in any way to others without being blasted from reality. AWESOME spell. I usually HATE metagaming spells, but this one has great potential and e.g. explains why powerful figures don't simply tell everyone about a certain fact/problem.
-Bestow Malediction(Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): A curse of the grandest kind.
-Black Blizzard (Clr 9, Drd 9): You conjure a violent prone-knocking, people-burying sandstorm.
-Blightfire Ray (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Devastating, 5-round lasting Con-draining ray that grants you temporary HP.
-Block and Pit Trap (Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Open an extradimensional pit trap and let a block of stone fall on it. Nice idea.
-Blood Protectors (Clr 9): Create up to 5 constructs from your shed blood.
-Boiling Sea (Drd 9): Either boil a large amount of water or conjure forth a devastating geyser.
-Brain Drain (Sor/Wiz 9): Drain Intelligene and drive target insane, use skills of target for a limited amount of time.
-Burbling Blast of the Jabberwock (Drd 9): Sonic damage and permanent confusion.
-Call of the legendary Jewel (Sor/Wiz 9): Force a creature to steal a certain item you crave.
-Call of the Obsidian (Sor/Wiz 9): Force a creature to kill a certain enemy of yours.
-Cast Out (Clr 9, Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Permanently banish a creature to another plane, deals damage instead on a successful save.
-Chain Gang (Sor/Wiz 9): Bind a group of people together so that when they leave each others sight, they are teleported back.
-Change the Path (Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Bend Reality to change the course of one path.
-Cleansing Light (Clr 9): Deal massive damage and inflict negative conditions on evil creatures.
-Convert Foe (Clr 9): Makes a former enemy your cohort, up to the point of e.g. making a paladin an anti-paladin.
-Curse Community (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Curse a whole community - great idea!
-Curse of the Albatross (Clr 9): Prevent a creature from travelling ever again.
-Curse of the Pyrrhic Victory (Sor/Wiz 9): Go out with a devastating blast.
-Darkest Night of Winter (Drd 9): Spehere of darkness and heavy snowfall negates almost all senses and can counter light spells like prismatic sphere.
-Deadly Tempest (Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Conjure a devastating vortex to destroy your foes.
-Defensive Sphere(Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Very powerful sphere makes you practically impervious to harm and attacks for the duration.
-Defile (Clr 9, Drd 9): Destroy a piece of land, deal damage to people, let them rise as undead and poison water. Includes a quick and dirty mini-
-Downdraft (Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Force flying creatures, vessels, etc. to the ground.
-Dreamstealer (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Stealing dreams of a target imposes massive, cumulative penalties. VERY cool spell.
-Duplicate(Sor/Wiz 9): Create an exact duplicate of yours under your control.
-Endless Enemies (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Turns EVERYONE against the targets. Nice!
-Engulfing Doom (Sor/Wiz 9): Shrieking maelstrom of negative energy deals damage and expands when it kills foes.
-Entwined Fate (Clr 9, Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): While your archenemy is alive, you cannot die. Iconic & cool.
-Eruption (Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Volcanic eruption, complete with flow of lava, fire and subsequent PC- death.
-Fist of Raging Energy (Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Bigby-like hand-spell that comes in variants for energy-types.
-Fly on the Wall (Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Makes an insect a powerful scrying sensor.
-Flying Flaming Corpse, Greater (Sor/Wiz 9): Immolate a target and use it to telekinetically batter foes.
-Form of the Swarm (Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Take the form of an insect swarm. Great escape spell.
-Glacial Slide (Clr 9, Drd 9): Slow-moving glacier destroys immovable objects.
-Globe against the Arcane (Clr 9): Antimagic Field for arcane casters.
-Glyph of warding, Superior: Warding glyph that deals a lot of damage.
-Guardian's Tomb (Clr 9, Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): A kind of imprisonment-like spell for people to act as eternal guardians.
-Heart of the Volcano (Drd 9): Teleport target into the heart of a volcano. Ouch.
-Illusory World (Sor/Wiz 9): Superior form of mirage arcana.
-Immortality (Sor/Wiz 9): Makes a target immortal, but comes with a risk.
-Inescapable Shackles (Sor/Wiz 9): Super-force shackles.
-Judgment Day (Clr 9): Very powerful curse that entraps a victim in its former sins.
-Khan's Sending (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Powerful madness-inducing spell.
-Lash of Sin (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Create a lash attuned to the 7 deadly sins.
-Lifefire Ray (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Minor, but almost unhealable, continuous
-Lord of the City (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Know almost all about a city.
-Maelstrom (Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Create a devastating maelstrom.
-Magic Castle(Sor/Wiz 9): Instantly create a magical castle. How cool is that?
-Mark of the Avatar (Clr 9, Drd 9): Enables you to give one creature of your
choosing an avatar-like form. Cool one.
-Mark of the Prismatic (Sor/Wiz 9): Either pass prismatic effects once or shoot all 7 effects at once as a ray.
-Meteorite, Superior (Clr 9, Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Three months after the casting, an annihilating, terrible meteorite comes down. Great plot-device
-Nigh Indestructible (Sor/Wiz 9): Makes an item almost indestructible.
-Occlude (Clr 9): Disrupt other divine spell-casting.
-One Step beyond (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Stay ahead of divinations.
-Pandemonium (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Force of damaging chaos with several 50%-chances.
-Petrify (Sor/Wiz 9): Wave of petrification.
-Phantasmal Opposition (Sor/Wiz 9): Duplicates try to kill the enemies.
-Phantasmal World (Sor/Wiz 9): Trap foes in a phantasmal world.
-Phoenix from the Ashes (Clr 9): Resurrect a target and transform it into a
-Psychic Clone (Sor/Wiz 9): Transform enemies thought pattern into your own.
-Purge Recollection (Sor/Wiz 9): Erase an event from memory.
-Purify (Clr 9, Drd 9): Damage undead and mass-ressurect destroyed undead.
-Rain of Blood (Clr 9): Rain of poisonous blood.
-Ray of Ramming (Sor/Wiz 9): Ram enemies, deal damage, knock them prone
-Reforestation (Drd 9): Mass transform enemies into trees. Creepy.
-Relive (Sor/Wiz 9): lets subject relive past injuries, dealing a lot of damage.
-Resonance (Sor/Wiz 9): Emit a destructive resonance, choose between
-Revelation (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Super-detect/analyze spell.
-Ruin Structure (Sor/Wz 9): Destroy a structure.
-Script of the Lost (Sor/Wiz 9): Amnesia-causing script. Cool one.
-Scry Ward (Sor/Wiz 9): Prevents scrying and summons monsters to would-
-Shadowy Cohort (Sor/Wiz 9): Create a lethal, shadowy force to help you.
-Shunting Ward (Sor/Wiz 9): Ward a place and send potential interlopers away with greater teleport.
-Signify (Sor/Wiz 9): Duplicate 8th-level or lower divination spells sans material components.
-Silent Ruination (Sor/Wiz 9): Silent destructive pulse.
-Siphon Life (Clr 9): Deal damage and heal you.
-Sphere of Decay (Sor/Wiz 9): Sphere of damage that becomes more
destructive each round.
-Spirit of Victory (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): +10 luck bonus to attack rolls, damage, saving throws, checks and AC.
-Splinter Storm (Drd 9): Sphere of deadly splinters.
-Sunfire Tomb (Clr 9, Drd 9): Entomb an enemy in the sun.
-Symbol of Destruction (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Superior form of Symbol of Death.
-Teleport Lair (Sor/Wiz 9): Teleport a whole location.
-Thunderstorm's Fury (Drd 9): Summon a lightning-storm of terrible power.
-Time Undone (Sor/Wiz 9): Destructive ray that may make past misdeeds of a slain character undone.
-Touch of Divine Insight (Sor/Wiz 9): Learn the name of a deity and thus change spells for divine spells.
-Toxic Breath (Sor/Wiz 9): Gain a terrible acid-based breath weapon.
-Triggered Agent (Sor/Wiz 9): Subtle, triggered chain of suggestions.
-Ultimate Insight (Sor/Wiz 9): Either become a great fighter or create a certain task.
-Undo (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Reverse something that happened last round.
-Unending Torment (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Applies massive penalties to an enemy.
-Unmind (Sor/Wiz 9): Remove the intelligence from a creature, reverting it to instinctive behavior.
-Vials of Wrath (Clr 9): Create up to 7 destructive vials.
-Vorpal Scythe (Sor/Wiz 9): Create a deadly scythe made of force that can behead enemies.
-Wake the Forest Primeval (Drd 9): Super-entangle, enemy-damaging effect.
-Waves of Weakness (Sor/Wiz 9): Deal massive Str-damage.
-Weapon of Death (Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9): Deadly weapon.
-Web of Fate (Sor/Wiz 9): Divide damage among all linked characters.
-Zoanthropy (Sor/Wiz 9): Either makes target rabid or creates the delusion of being a monster.
Layout adheres to the two-column RiP-standard, editing is good, I only noticed two minor glitches. Formatting is top-notch. I've made clear that I expect iconic spells at this level and the pdf delivers - a lot of the spells make you come up with adventure or even campaign ideas and mechanically they are interesting, too - even if you manage your saves, you often will experience minor damage/negative conditions, rendering this file absolutely awesome. If you as a DM need some good ideas, check these spells out - they are not only appropriately cataclysmic, but often downright brilliant. Due to the top-quality content, I'm going to let the two glitches I encountered slip and rate this the full 5 Rudii - a great purchase.
All right, that's it for now. As always, thank you for reading my ramblings. Depending on what I get done first, next time you'll get either some strategic fighting and a character fitting the theme or more Great City stuff. As always, thank you for reading my ramblings,