Book Review – Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Intrigue

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Intrigue
Publisher: Paizo Publishing
Release Date: April 19, 2016

paizo

I’ve been waiting for an RPG book like ULTIMATE INTRIGUE for a long time. In the world of fantasy, there are plenty of hack-and-slash opportunities, not to mention quests to undertake and treasures to discover. Heck, most of what is considered traditional fantasy nowadays is based on these archetypes. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, these familiar concepts can and do get old.

Paizo introduces a new scope of playability with the ULTIMATE INTRIGUE handbook. Within its pages, players and Game Masters alike will find a plethora of fascinating new and updated information that is sure to liven up your games and heighten the intensity of your gaming experience.

If you are not familiar with the PATHFINDER ROLEPLAYING GAME: ULTIMATE INTRIGUE book, here is the synopsis courtesy of Paizo Publishing:

A sharp sword and a powerful spell are not the answer to every problem an adventurer is bound to face. Ultimate Intrigue, the latest hardcover rules reference for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, arms players with every bit of charm, grace, innuendo, and insult necessary to defeat even the most difficult social encounters. This expansive 256-page hardcover book delves into the shadowy world of intrigue, giving both players and GMs alike plenty of rules to add to their game. Engage in social combat, dueling with words instead of steel. Participate in a heist, working as a team to steal a valuable object or vital piece of information. Curry favor with the local churches, guilds, and royals with a complete influence system. Give your character an edge in social situations with a wide variety of new archetypes, feats, spells, and gear!

Ultimate Intrigue also introduces a new Pathfinder RPG class: the vigilante. Influential socialite by day, avenging warrior by night, the vigilante is ready for anything, but he must take care to ensure that no one learns about his secret life!

Ultimate Intrigue includes:
• The vigilante, a new character class that lives two lives, one as a respected member of the community, another as a crusader willing to do anything to get the job done.
• Character options for every class that relies on skills to win the day, including the alchemist, bard, druid, hunter, inquisitor, investigator, mesmerist, ranger, rogue, slayer, spiritualist, and more!
• A complete system of influence, giving the GM a new way to reward players for helping out an organization or community.
• Rules for social combat and verbal dueling, using words as weapons to accomplish goals and defeat foes.
• Dozens of feats and spells that can be used in a social setting, some to spy with and some to hide the truth.
• …and much, much more!

I have to confess: I wasn’t sure if this rulebook was going to be worth the effort. After all, intrigue is supposed to be a part of RPG campaigns to being with…right? I’m happy to report Paizo exceeded my expectations with this book, and the result is a welcome addition to the already awesome Pathfinder series.

ULTIMATE INTRIGUE contains a wide variety of information, but it is thankfully easy to integrate into the gaming system. Granted, I had to read and re-read a couple of sections to make sure I got the rules right, but this is nothing new when dealing with additions and supplements. I’m just thankful the material is easy to understand.

Probably my favorite aspect of this rulebook is the new vigilante class. While rolling it up, I kept thinking about Batman in the back of my mind. And sure enough, when the campaign started, my Bruce Wayne tendencies kept showing themselves; I had to restrain myself with one persona, but then the gloves came off when I donned my secondary persona. It was a lot of fun.

ULTIMATE INTRIGUE is a great addition to the Pathfinder gaming system, and I definitely recommend it. If you’re looking to add a whole new level of depth to your campaigns, then this rulebook will make a worthy addition to your library. It is available now.

MSB

Movie Review – The Perfect Husband (2016)

The Perfect Husband
Directed by Lucas Pavetto
Courtesy of Artsploitation Films
Release Date: July 26, 2016

the-perfect-husband

Don’t let the title of this film fool you; this is not a Harlequin romance or Lifetime movie. Oh, no, no, no. This is something much more fun. This is one of those films that starts off all sweet and innocent, but then quickly spirals into a blood-soaked trip of mayhem and madness. And I loved it. While not perfect, this is a heck of a film, and I highly recommend giving it a look.

If you are not familiar with THE PERFECT HUSBAND, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Artsploitation Films:

Viola (Gabriella Wright) and Nicola (Bret Roberts) are going through a difficult period. The couple and their marriage are strained by a termination of pregnancy that has overwhelmed them unexpectedly. To overcome this crisis, they decide to spend a weekend in an old cottage in the woods. But what was supposed to be a romantic weekend suddenly turns into a deadly nightmare as seething suspicion, maddening paranoia and blind rage explodes around them.

I’m happy to state THE PERFECT HUSBAND is not what I thought it was going to be. I figured the couple would be terrorized by a maniac or something. I never imagined it would be the two of them going after each other!

THE PERFECT HUSBAND is shot well and looks great onscreen. The production value seems high, and the overall feel of the film is polished and well-made.

The acting is very good, with both Gabriella Wright and Bret Roberts giving outstanding performances. With that being said, I had a bit of a problem with the characterizations, particularly that of Viola (I am assuming this comes from the script). It was difficult for me to feel for her because, frankly, she was a bitch to her husband for most of the opening scenes of the film. I understand the trauma that can result from a lost pregnancy, however I feel like she was too hateful for me to care about.

This lack-of-feeling for her character, therefore, led me to not care as much about her later on in the film as well. And even though things get crazy halfway into the film, I found myself almost enjoying what was happening to her. I won’t give anything away, but I will say I actually enjoyed the ending and I found it satisfying in a sense.

THE PERFECT HUSBAND won’t be for everybody (some will find it difficult to watch), but I enjoyed it for the most part, and I do recommend it. Full of great special effects and some gut-wrenching imagery, this is a film that will haunt your mind long after the credits roll.

MSB