By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Tricky Owlbear Publishing is 9 pages long, 1/2 page front cover, 1page SRD, leaving 7.5 pages of content, so what exactly is this?
Pug seems to be a distant relative of Kragnar in that he is an enterprising goblin vendor and thus, this pdf contains some of his wares. A cool unique feature is that all entries are prefaces by the goblin merchant actually praising his wares in character, helping you rp the act of purchasing the items and spells.
The first item we get is the vial of so-called Dragon’s blood, which essentially is a vial of silvery liquid that, once poured from the flask, turns into some constructs that serve your whim, making for a neat take on the traditional legend of the army from a dragon’s remains. The entry comes with stats for the constructs.
The Lucky Tortoise shield is up next – a specific shield that makes for a nice low-level reward and comes with a nice narrative. It should be noted that all items herein come with information on auras, construction etc. Each item/spell also includes an adventure hook.
The next offer included is the eavesdropping spell, which grants you limited clairaudience in 120 ft. I’m usually quite wary of divinations, but this particular one feels like investigative/espionage gold. Nicely done!
A nice iconic item is the iconic seeing stone: A stone with a hole inside – glimpse through it to see invisible creatures without making the benefit permanent – a nice solution that helps keeping magic feel magical.
In contrast, the vampiric chakram is rather bland – it’s a returning chakram can hits its foes with vampiric touch. Ok, I guess.
The Draconic Servant-8th level spell is probably what high-level shadow-illusionists have been clamoring for, finally delivering a way to create a quasi-real draconic servant to unleash upon your foes.
Faerie Mist is another item that is a boon to spies/infiltration adventures – once smashed, the vials unleash a confusion-inducing fog cloud. Neato!
Lycanthropic bite is a spell I’d consider a great plot-device – via a short ritual, you enable an animal to spread lycanthropy! I won’t have to explain to amount of plots you can craft from that, don’t I?
Next up are the 3 Canopic jars of KHasekenej, which essentially are undead in a bottle. Ähem…urns. They can be reused, btw.
Finally, prismatic blade offers an extremely cool new spell option for arcane casters and magi especially by bringing an enchantment similar to the iconic spells, but less powerful to one’s melee weapons.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly no-frills b/w-2-column standard and the b/w-artworks, as far as I could tell, are original and capture the items well – plus, we actually get 6 pieces of artwork. Nice! The pdf also comes with bookmarks. Pdfs like this live from their content and Pug’s Bazaar actually offers you more killer than filler. While I was not necessarily blown away by the vampiric chakram (item with standard quality + spell-like ability equals lame in my book), I enjoyed the IC-narratives, the adventure hooks and like how the items and spells potentially create their own adventures. My benchmark to compare this pdf against is the Loot 4 Less line by SGG and this offering by Tessa Maria Cavagnero holds up quite well.Taking the very fair and low price into account, my final verdict will be 4.5-stars, rounded down to 4. Nice first offering!
The Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less vol. 4: Fantastic Footwear is available from: