A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement The Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less Vol. 1: Armor and Weapons

The Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less Vol. 1: Armor and Weapons by Owen K.C. Stephens is a role playing game supplement published by Rogue Genius Games (originally as Super Genius Games) for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As such, it is covered by the Open Game License and some parts are considered to be Open Game Content as a result.

The PDF is available from RPGNow at the regular price of $3.99 but was purchased at the reduced price of $0.20 as part of a special bundle. This is an eight page PDF with two thirds of a page being the front cover and one page being the Credits and Open Game License.

The Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less Vol. 1: Armor and WeaponsThe supplement starts with a section covering the aim of the supplement, and of the series it is a part of, which is to create a variety of permanent magic items – not one shots or charged – that cost 2,500 gp or less. The reason for this is to make it easier for low level characters to accumulate wealth, to have items that are easier to make for lower level spellusers and to have a wider range of treasure, and potential items that can be used by foes, at lower levels. This section explains that there are sidebars that show how prices were reached and, because weapons and armour can quickly become expensive, it introduces the concept of fractional bonuses the +1/2 bonus (this bit may need reading a few times).

The next section has various abilities that can be added to armour (perhaps the most interesting of which is spellforged, which allows weapons to accept other bonuses – so a character can keep the heirloom item they started with by upgrading it) which is then followed by a number of example armours that use the abilities.

Next is weapons, which again has various abilities that can be added, followed by example weapons that use these abilities.

The Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less Vol. 1: Armor and Weapons in Review

The PDF lacks bookmarks which, even though it is quite short, would have been useful. With no table of contents either, navigation is quite poor.

The text maintains Super Genius’ old landscape, three column format, which is intended to be easier to read on tablets – which is less true for smaller tablets and is inconvenient for printing. No errors were noticed.

There are a number of presumably stock illustrations of weapons and armour, both black and white and colour, in a variety of mismatched styles. Presentation is perhaps okay at best.

The concept of the series is an interesting one – create a variety of low value, low powered items that are more accessible at low levels. According to the introductory text, Pathfinder makes the assumption that characters will have certain amounts of wealth at certain levels, but low level magical loot often doesn’t help build this. This is a good idea if you are running a high-magic campaign (as it typical of many D&D derived games) but less use for lower magic campaigns.

The new special abilities are all low level, but all do seem to have potential use for lower level characters. Some of the example items have descriptions that seem far more impressive than they actually are, such as the elusive remedy (bolt) spellforged heavy steel shield.

The Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less Vol. 1: Armor and Weapons has an interesting collection of low power items built around an interesting concept and it can be found by clicking here.


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