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Legendary VI: Legendary Armor $4.00
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Legendary VI: Legendary Armor
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Legendary VI: Legendary Armor
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2012 03:00:59

The sixth installment of Purple Duck Games' excellent series for PFRPG focuses on magic armor and clocks in at 33 pages - 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 1/2 pages of SRD, leaving 28 1/2 pages of content for the new magic armors, so let's check them out!

In case you're new to the series, the pdf explains how these items work - essentially, in order to use these items, you have to fulfill certain criteria. If you do, however, you'll see them improving in strength and powers over the levels just as you do. That being said, after the last "Legendary..."-installment has provided my personal favorite equipment-book of 2011, this treatise on armors has a doubly hard standing - after all, unfortunately armors tend to be less "sexy" for players than weapons, even though they are just as essential. A crucial difference of this installment and previous "Legendary..."-titles is that the items no longer cap at a +5 bonus, becoming epic artifact-like treasures befitting of high-level heroes. While your first reaction might be a scoff, let me assure you that balance is still kept and that I welcome this decision, as it both eliminates unnecessary design-restrictions and also underlines the legendary nature of the items herein.

Contained herein are 15 sets of original, legendary pieces of armor, each of which comes with its own b/w-artwork by Tamas Baranya and I have to comment on this - the artworks rock! Take e.g. an aquatic plate with a toothy fish-mouth-style helm. Neat! What's also neat is that each of the armors comes with an extensive background story that runs the gamut from classical themes of unrequited loves to snobbish princes turned just rulers and dragon hunters becoming prey of their draconic nemesis.

Even better, each and every one of the armor's stories has a built-in hook that just might hint at the supposed location of it and how it got separated from its erstwhile user and remain generic and easily inserted without becoming boring reads. Formatting-wise, the individual sets feature lists that depict their growth in power up to the 20th level, fully detailed information on their individual abilities and write-ups of their special qualities, as several new ones are introduced herein.

To give you an example, let's take the first piece of armor, the Assassin's Chain: Once the armor of a ruthless killer, said man got a taste of his own medicine when a brotherhood of assassins targeted and killed his family. Vowing vengeance, not even death could stop the killer and, once all his foes had been taken care of, he finally died, leaving behind an armor that may hide you from even blindsense, tremorsense and similar abilities at the highest levels, making you an apex predator among men - but is fate willing to grant you the armor? The thirst for vengeance that guided its first possessor, is it inherent in the armor or just a coincidence? Beyond the rules , the fluff serves as excellent supplemental material to further invoke a sense of mystery, purpose and determination underlying the individual armors that serves as a guiding principle of making what is contained in these pages a remarkable assortment of items, not only from a crunch-perspective.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting in the revised version are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column b/w/purple-standard and is printer-friendly. I already commented on the neat artwork, especially for this low price. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and, as all PDG-releases, takes up surprisingly little space, making it viable for mobile devices - something I felt I should finally comment on. I have truly nothing significant to complain about - classic armors of dragonhide go along-side exotic ones of bulette hide and even silks and the individual stories and crunch complement each other to a degree seldom seen, providing hooks and iconic tales that can easily be woven into just about any campaign. Seeing my lack of complaints, the excellent quality and the low price, I'm going to settle for a final verdict of 5 stars and with the revised version, I'm happy to add the seal of approval as well. Congratulations to author Marc Radle!

Endzeitgeist out.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary VI: Legendary Armor
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/28/2012 05:45:33

Weighing in at 33 pages (with front cover, ToC, and just over 2 pages for OGL) this PDF delivers roughly 28 pages of new material for the Legendary series from Purple Duck Games. The sixth book in the series, the focus is on those suits of armor that never fail to inspire the grandest of tales, and the most epic of songs, I speak of course, of Legendary Armor. The suit, found bathed in a beam of sunlight, sequestered away from the world, awaiting that perfect someone, in short that suit we as players all secretly hoped our GM's would someday place within our path.

First thing I noticed looking through this PDF was the inclusion of art for every suit of armor. Not only is every suit fully described and detailed with its own fluff and crunch, but you will be left with no doubt as to what the author of this work (Marc Raddle) had in mind when he designed these items. And what of that illustrations? Tamas Baranya was the artist, and did an excellent job in translating and interpreting these suits into visuals that are excellent. All art is done in a B&W color scheme, with a comparable stance for each suit reminiscent of a department store mannequin, with at least one suit sporting a “blank face” as if to show the armor on a tailor's dummy.

Starting with an introduction, the author explains that while legendary treasures have traditionally always come with a hefty price in the form of quests, loss of abilities, etc. around his game table they have devised an alternative. Offered within the introduction is an alternate means of allowing the armor to advance as a character builds in levels, utilizing what I can only think to describe as “prerequisites”. Personally, I really like the idea, and think it helps to keep a balance on items of this nature, while allowing them to grow organically within the structure of a characters lifespan and career.

We are presented with fifteen new armors here, all of them unique in their own way. Assassin's Chain granting several abilities to enhance the effectiveness of a silent and stealthy killer. Next up is Battlecaster Armor which is presented as a custom suit of chain leggings and sleeves crafted by the first magus. Of it's abilities, perhaps the one that grabbed me the most and made me want to drop this into my campaign world is an ability that would allow a caster , while wearing the armor, to expend a spell to harness the raw magical energy into a melee weapon. Upon a successful hit with said weapon, that energy translates into additional damage dice based upon the level of the spell originally expended.

Beggar's Feast won out as my favorite suit out of this collection, and I think it had more to do with the story behind it and the way it is depicted via illustration than its actual abilities. The suit was crafted by a prince after he finds himself denied access back into his father's palace. Alone and forced to live amongst the filth he had looked down upon he adapted, and became a folk hero, determined to feed his new “kingdom”. The suit itself is a ragtag mismatched suit of padded armor, but with it the prince fed his subjects thanks to the abilities the suit gave him the capacity to use.

Blood Drinker gives us our first suit of armor from the other side of the alignment pool. A spiked suit of dread plate with a penchant for bleed abilities, this one just screams for an anti-paladin NPC on so many levels. Champion's Plate gives a serious nod of love to the horseback knights out there, and even ups the ante by giving access to a draconic mount (for amounts of time limited to the wearer's level). Healer's Hand reminds us that armor can be worn by those seeking to heal, as well as harm. Kama-Xia is the first truly unique suit of armor in that the design is unique enough it earns the first full chart for armor bonus/dex bonus/armor check etc. Basically a mail on leather coat, the design concept is strikingly beautiful.

Kelgror's Ghost I can honestly say was the first suit I read in here that I immediately knew which player I wanted to grant this to within my current playgroup, and literally had to stop reading to jot down some ideas on how to introduce it into my game. It is also the first suit that, as far as layout decisions went, brings up my first complaint. The chart depicting the growth of the suit as it and the wearer increase in levels is split across two pages. Now, technically there is nothing wrong with that, and I know it is a matter of personal taste, but I have never been a fan of splitting charts and tables, as there is always a layout decision that will allow it to stay together for the flow of reading.

Landshark's Hide takes the concept of hide armor down the path of the bulette, after all, who says all hide armor is made the same? Mage Hunter's Armor is the perfect suit for those looking to do some serious damage to spell chucker of the arcane variety. Granting it's wearer several useful spell like abilities all aimed at identifying and stopping arcane casters, as well as granting Spell Resistance, this suit would work very well within a campaign world for those tasked with keeping wizards in line. Minstrel's Boon, a leather suit, expands the performance capacity and knowledge skill check success rate of it's wearer, as well aiding in protecting a bard from those pesky silence spells, as well as blindness and or deafness.

Oak Heart's Armor marks the second suit unique enough to need gear stats as it is a suit of wooden plates over leather armor. The wood being taken from the burnt body of a treant, the armor grants several abilities to its wearer that would please any druid. The pinnacle ability of this armor is its ability to summon forth the spirit of the treant from whom the armor is made. I fell in love with this suit, I can not lie. This suit, it's history, is exactly how a GM rewards a player for doing a druid justice. Seducer's Silk is the third unique build for a suit of armor, this being a ceremonial suit of silk armor, complete with full armor statistics and a host of abilities to make those around the wearer more than happy to be complaint with pleasing the wearer. Triton Scale allows a land dweller to function as a force to be reckoned in an aquatic setting, granting movement and the capacity for breath, as well as a few impressive tactical abilities.

Vrithmytrix's Bane gives us the obligatory dragonhide suit, this one being of a black dragon. Granting claws, wings and a breath weapon attack, the suit carries some serious firepower with it. It did however end up on my wrong side, as it, like Kelgror's Ghost has it's advancement chart split across two pages. I know, I know, I'm picky, lol.

The book closes out with contact information and an open offer for interested writers to submit material to Purple Duck Games

So, final thoughts.....Other than the two charts spread across two pages, I found four other editing missteps. All of them minor, a missing “the” here, and extra “a” there, and two instances of a letter being left off of a word. Like I said, minor, but editing mishaps none the less. The material was well written, and designed with the concept of making truly memorable items to add to a campaign world. The art was way above par, and a welcome addition. Balancing the editing and layout issues with the material presented, I am going to go with a 4 star rating, and highly recommend this product to any GM looking to add the presence of legendary armor to their world.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary VI: Legendary Armor
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/26/2012 10:08:12

Like earlier installments in the 'Legendary' series, the basic premise is that some of the best magic items - the sort that feature in bardic songs up and down the land - grow with the hero that uses them. This time, it is a selection of armours: each complete with backstory and a wealth of detail that means the item might well be the focus of a whole adventure itself, never mind the legends that will grow up around you once you have got your paws on it and begin to use it in your own adventures.

Perhaps the Battlecaster Armour takes your fancy. Light, and embued with mystical forces, it doesn't impede spellcasting and is inconspicuous enough to go under your clothes. Or perhaps that tatty suit of mismatched padded armour that once belonged to a prince who had a social conscience has caught your eye... it enables you to provide food and drink as well as protecting you from harm.

Less pleasant is a spiky suit of armour that seems to drink the very blood of your opponents; while more pleasant folk might prefer Champion's Armour or a breastplate bearing a glowing open hand that confers the ability to heal... there is a wide range of different items to suit all sorts, to inspire all manner of adventures.

Because that is where the real strength of this work lies. Not just in well-crafted magic items, but in the stories woven around them, presented in general enough terms that you can weave them into your own plots, embedding these items into your ongoing story, not just having them sit in a hoard until a bunch of adventurers come by, killing monsters and taking their stuff.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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