By Thilo Graf
This installment of the L4L-line from Super Genius Gamesis 7 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 5 1/3 pages of content for the new bargain belts for the price-conscious adventurer.
This installment of L4L offers us 18 new belts for adventurers with little coin to spare. The first belt already gives you a neat idea of what to expect: A variant of the robe of many uses, the belt of many uses can be changed into a wide variety of rather interesting exotic weapons like bolas, spiked chains, blowguns etc. For the subtle mage on an infiltration mission (or on the run from the law), a belt with hidden component pouches makes getting into this pesky mansion that much easier. Nice! If you want to go for an item that has a more fairy-tale like flavour: The coin belt produces one single silver piece per day for its attuned owner. While this may seem mundane, add kingdom-specific coins and/or inflation via mass-produced coin belts and you’re in for a rather uncommon, yet superbly cool adventure. I used this angle and my players were blown away when they found out about the true source of the thieves guild’s new mintage…
If you’re more inclined towards assassinations, a crawling cummerbund (which can turn into a viper or centipede) makes for an interesting murder weapon in a whodunnit-scenario. The Fighter’s Grid imposes a -1 armour check penalty, but prevents the first 4 points of combined Strength damage and drain each day – never face shadows without one! The Girdle of Greenland Whispers is mechanically bland (+ 5 to Perception and Stealth in forests, jungles and swamps), but explains its ability via whispers from the green, which makes for interesting plot-devices. The Ribbon of Lies, an undetectable alignment belt is also useful when presented with constantly divining foes, although I consider the fact that not even a caster-level check lets you overcome it a bit strong for its level.
In a nod to classic fantasy, we also get a belt that screams when someone tries to steal from it and a belt that can conceal objects and especially stolen goods.
Editing and formatting are top notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the 3-column standard by SGG and the artworks are ok. The pdf comes with no bookmarks. I did like this installment of the L4L-line – there are iconic ideas herein and none of the belts felt truly overpowered or unbalancing for their price. On the other hand, while several spawned neat ideas, none had this truly iconic quality of e.g. the guard stole from the cloak-installment. Don’t get me wrong, there is essentially nothing wrong with this pdf, but I just don’t feel like it’s the absolute top of the line. Perhaps with one or two additional pages, this would have been the full 5 stars. As it’s right now, I’ll settle for a very good rating of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.
The Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less vol. 8: Belt One On is available from: