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Gamescapes: Story Maps: Cursed Place 1 (PDF)
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/12/2012 17:54:21
This 24" x 32" map set presents a ruined temple or arcane campus of some sort, complete with a summoning circle and central courtyard (both shown in the cover art). It’s done in Alida Saxon’s signature impressionistic water-color style. There are almost two dozen distinct “rooms” on the map, giving you a small dungeon worthy of a night’s exploration.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gamescapes: Story Maps: Cursed Place 1 (PDF)
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Gamescapes: Story Maps: Above the Clouds
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/12/2012 17:53:54
Some map products commend themselves as merely “useful.” Others—like this one—scream “Use me!” at the top of their lungs. Although I tend to prefer a more “realistic” style over Alida Saxon’s soft-edged watercolor-type style, I found my mind racing with story ideas and adventure hooks to get the players in my D&D campaign to visit this place. Small stone spires jut high above the clouds, and atop these are small lawns, dwellings, a statue, and mysterious standing stones. Just getting from one spire to another could pose a reasonable challenge for even mid-range PCs. “Above the Clouds” surely qualifies as my favorite Alida Saxon map to date (June 9, 2012). Like most Story Maps, the whole assembled map measures 24 x 32 inches, and features a square grid. My only concern is that the 8x8 tiles might get clipped on some printers, especially older printers requiring more than a quarter-inch margin.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gamescapes: Story Maps: Above the Clouds
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Caladon Falls (Savage Worlds)
by Mark M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2012 11:36:40
The good:

This is a fantastic setting with a lot of good artwork. It has a 12 episodic plot point campaign that's designed to take players up to heroic level. Since play time can vary from table to table it throws in optional savage tales which you an interlace with the episodes to stretch out the campaign. Also I think that the game world is open enough to allow for the adventures to spin off from the main plot from time to time and search local ruins or investigate rumors.

I really think that Caladon Falls is best ran with this sort of "add your own color" in mind.

The bad:

The enemies can be brutal. Most will have +2 toughness and +2 to shaken checks out of the gate for being "wild tainted". Also if they die in melee range of the PCs they'll need to make vigor checks or gain levels of fatigue, which can really accelerate the death spiral as PCs rack of a -1 fatigue here, -2 wound there and so on. I had 1 PC at -5 between 3 wounds and 2 fatigue in the first encounter.

There are no real iconic enemies or personalities in this setting. The enemy is basically a faceless hoard with unnameable evils driving the plot forward with spells and power beyond the PCs' ability to stop. I think this, more than anything else, hurts Caladon Falls. There's no one really to hate, no great betrayers, no significant loss to revenge and so on. Which leads me to...

The plot point is one defeat after another after another. This is the design and point of the campaign, a sort of a "we're losing the war, there's no hope" but this could really feel depressing to many player groups. Particularly in that there's very little the PCs can do about it. The plot marches forward much like the overpowering enemy hoard.

Overall:

Despite the above I really think this book is worth if you want to run a game in Relic. It has edges and great background material for the setting. I really think the plot point campaign is something GMs should modify to fit their groups. Interlace some minor victories, sell the PCs first on "you love this world and want to save it" before starting to tear it all down, and maybe create your own iconic allies and foes for the PCs to rally behind or against.

I also wouldn't hesitate to add in some dungeon adventuring before or in between some of the episodes and hand out some nice magical weapons and armor. The PCs will need it.

Optionally you can ignore the plot point campaign entirely. Many of the savage tales could be used on their own and out of 150 pages only about 40 or so are dedicated to the campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Caladon Falls (Savage Worlds)
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Gamescapes: Story Maps: Virtual Tabletop Edition: Desert
by Keith (. T. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/17/2012 06:07:09
This package comes with two great maps optimized for MapTool and other VTTs along with some brief instructions on their use. I brought up MapTool and quickly dropped the maps, added a few tokens, and was ready to go.

The maps themselves have rich textures and are nicely detailed. One scene is of a desert oasis complete with trees and other terrain to make battles interesting. The other features rocky outcroppings and a huge skeleton that would make for a great ambush spot.

I have two suggestions for improvement:
1) include a few tile-able textures that blend in well with the maps so the GM can easily set a blendable background
2) distribute a .rpmap file (exported from MapTool) to make importing the maps even easier. This becomes more important when you add things like line of sight restriction.

Overall great job by Savage Mojo.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gamescapes: Story Maps: Virtual Tabletop Edition: Desert
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Gamescapes: Story Maps: Fantasy Army Camp (PDF)
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/05/2012 18:10:07
I really like the composition and layout of this camp; the arrangement of tents, banners, fires, and so forth suggests lots of story possibilities. I really don’t care for the artistic style, which I would label “impressionistic.” The publisher would do well to include an overview map, so that DMs can visualize the final, complete product before printing it out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Gamescapes: Story Maps: Fantasy Army Camp (PDF)
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Gamescapes: Story Maps: Wild Canyon Pass
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/04/2012 22:50:39
The artwork on this map is very skillfully executed by masterful map artist Aaron Acevedo, but the scene itself is ultimately kind of boring. It’s a dark brown dirt road cutting through slightly lighter brown rocks. The map doesn’t have a lot of replay value, unless the PCs in your game often find themselves traveling in such an environment; on the other hand, the map isn’t distinctive and interesting enough to be a really memorable one-time location. (Note: This review pertains to the updated version of the product.)

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Gamescapes: Story Maps: Wild Canyon Pass
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Quantum Sliders: Arabian Nights
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/04/2012 07:09:39
Both Savage Worlds and Suzerain are written for this: the epic time-spinning adventure that sweeps characters into a maestrom of delights that mix fantasy, fiction and history into a swirling series of events that have the potential to turn into real magic in the hands of a determined and focussed bunch of players. And coming from Savage Mojo, it looks good into the bargain!

Set in a heady mix of fact and fantasy just over a thousand years ago, just how your characters end up on Karkadann is left up to you - or at least, you need a plausible region for why a djinn comes to wherever it is they are at the moment to ask for their help - but once they get there they will find interesting people to talk to and a lot of intrigue just pleading for them to get mixed up in it. There's the potential to annoy some powerful people, powerful beings even, and it will be a lucky as well as skilful party that manages to leave everyone satisfied.

This adventure is the first in a series intended to take characters to exotic fantastical locations at pivotal points. You may chose to use these as interludes in a campaign, or build a whole campaign around them. Whichever you decide upon, your characters will be in for some challenging, intriguing and memorable adventures.

Just watch out for swirling smoky wood-scented breezes!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quantum Sliders: Arabian Nights
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Gamescapes: Story Maps: Balloon Airship
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/13/2012 10:07:07
A beautiful set of tiles for adventuring in, on, and around an airship. The colors and textures are excellent, and the shading gives the whole set a perfect sense of depth.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gamescapes: Story Maps: Balloon Airship
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Gamescapes: Story Maps: Wild Canyon Pass
by Joseph R. Date Added: 03/10/2012 18:43:57
Don't buy this product. The final map in the booklet is wrong. It is a repeat of the first page, and doesn't complete the map correctly. If this is the sort of editorial control that I can expect from Story Maps, I will not purchase any more of their products.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Gamescapes: Story Maps: Wild Canyon Pass
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Publisher Reply:
We've updated this product due to an error in the layout. Thanks to reviewer Joseph Rigney for pointing it out.
Savage Suzerain Adventure Deck
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/08/2012 11:25:52
A beautiful set of full-color cards that award the player with benefits such as bonus damage, divine blessing, bonus treasure, automatic successes on Trait tests, and more. The art is excellent and the cards are fun, but I found the text on the bottom of each card a little difficult to read - a black background or different color scheme could probably correct it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Suzerain Adventure Deck
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Gamescapes: Story Maps, Western Set 2
by Jon S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/17/2012 16:23:08
I will definitely be buying more of these! The production quality is top-notch, and at like $3 to $10 each depending on the size of the set, they're cheap. I printed out my maps on heavy stock, and I'm giddy. GIDDY, I tell ya. I'm now looking over the selection of Western maps and figuring out how to tweak my Deadlands story in order to use these bad boys.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gamescapes: Story Maps, Western Set 2
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Caladon Falls: The Travelogue of Tavish Thorne
by Will W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2012 13:36:14
I don't ordinarily have much use for rpg-based fiction, but this was cool. Jason Engle's art is terrific.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Caladon Falls: The Travelogue of Tavish Thorne
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Gamescapes: Story Maps: Distant Planet 1
by Keith (. T. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/07/2012 22:06:46
Distant Planet 1 is a good tabletop map set for any SF, Fantasy, Military, etc that needs a rocky out cropping and field below. In the Sci-Fi vein, the rocky outcropping reminds me a bit of the old Star Trek episode where Kirk fought hand to hand against a Gorn (giant-lizard-man). I like Savage Mojo's painted maps. They aren't photo realistic settings but paintings that capture an imaginative landscape yet still portray specific elements (trees, rocky outcroppings, streams, and alien fields) clearly. In the 15 page pdf you get the landscape broken out in 4 rows of 3 8"x8" squares. This gives a 24"x32" game mat. You can print off the right most 3rd and 4th row squares as they can be generic and extend the field. To get more ideas, you can see their samples weekly in the Drive ThruRPG/RPG Now weekly newsletter. That's where I saw them first.

Keep Savage
http://rptroll.blogspot.com/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gamescapes: Story Maps: Distant Planet 1
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Gamescapes: Stock Art, Fantasy Set 1
by Jason P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2011 10:59:07
This is an excellent product full of high-quality and versatile art. This contains 10 stock art images in high-resolution and colour suitable for a variety of different games. It is worth the price in my opinion and I can see immediate application for most of them.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gamescapes: Stock Art, Fantasy Set 1
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Caladon Falls (Savage Worlds)
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/14/2011 09:25:51
The Good:

- Amazing production values as always.
- More neat new Edges and Hindrances.
- A unique fantasy campaign with a military theme but a lot of variety that shows what Suzerain can do pre-Heroic rank.

The Bad:

- An underwhelming "Big Bad".
- A few noticeable typos made it into the final product.
- None of the cool, over the top, Heroic and up Suzerain stuff (at least not in the Plot Point Campaign).

For my full review, please visit: http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2011/04/tommys-take-o-
n-caladon-falls.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Caladon Falls (Savage Worlds)
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