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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #12: Parasite Mutations/Transformations
by Justin S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2012 12:51:29
Great little supplement that adds plenty of funky creepy-crawlies to your campaign. Recommended!

A more in-depth review here: http://afieldguidetodoomsday.blogspot.com/2012/12/radioactiv-
e-review-wisdom-from.html

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #12: Parasite Mutations/Transformations
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Castle Builder #1-3 Bundle [BUNDLE]
by Ken B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2012 16:51:01
This is good reference material on Castles, Strongholds, Manor houses with illustrations and sketches. Great information for designing and building your own structures for your terrain.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Builder #1-3 Bundle [BUNDLE]
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The Noble Wild
by Michael A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2012 10:25:54
When Savage Species came out for the main 3E D&D system it truly opened the door to play any character you want! When
Noble Wild debuted I was ecstatic. Noble wild presents many types of animals for you to play as a character class, but keep in mind with the rules presented here you will need to follow the spellcasting system and class progression. However, remember that you can always use what ever you want!
Keep in mind that there are two versions of these products, one updated for the Pathfinder System....and this base one that is OGL d20.
Also try to look out for the Web Enhancements, sadly these extras did not make it into the Pathfinder version.
I really enjoyed the book a lot, I just wish there were more animals to choose from!!!!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Noble Wild
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Castle Builder Volume 3: Moathouses & Pillboxes
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2012 07:36:25
The third in Skirmisher Publishing's series on fortifications and construction focuses on small fortified structures, such as might be used to guard one end of a bridge, and on "moathouses". The latter are defined as regular buildings surrounded by a wall and moat, which means that (houses having been covered in the previous volume) this is really about curtain walls.

There are 18 pages in total, three of which are splash art, and two cover contents and credits, leaving 13 pages of content (including a 1-page map). The first two pages cover the basics of the series, and are duplicated from previous volumes, but, even if you want to discount that, $2 for 11 pages isn't bad. After that, there is a general discussion of the role of the two building types described. There is some repetition here, but, in general, it's a useful checklist of things to think about - one of the main purposes of the series.

In general, the standard of proofreading is very high, and the format of the book is, like others in the series, well done, with minimal use of printer-hungry colour. The book at one point refers to "chapters" it doesn't have (it means the other volumes in the series), and, on one page, the header incorrectly states that this is volume 2. Otherwise, there's little to complain about here, and there are less such issues than there were in volume 2 itself.

Once again, this is not a book of floorplans. The final section of the book describes the curtain wall and attending fortifications around a (presumably otherwise unfortified) manor house, but the intent is to describe an example of the design of such a place, rather than to provide quality battle maps. Colour maps are included, but they're very basic, and not wholly to scale (2' thick walls are shown as about 6" thick on the maps), and are intended only to show the general layout. The plan of the pillbox shows the arrow-slits, which is useful for a defensive structure, but it might have helped if the plans of the towers did the same.

Considering that they're only protecting a manor house, not a full-blown castle, the walls are pretty impressive, but, aside from that, they're much more plausible than the inn in volume 2. For example, they're (just) within the upper range of real castle walls for thickness, and fair enough for a fantasy setting.

In summary, this is a useful booklet that achieves what it sets out to do, and that could be of use to somebody thinking about the basics of fortification. Although there are still some issues, it also shows a noticeable improvement over volume 2.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Builder Volume 3: Moathouses & Pillboxes
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Insults & Injuries: A Role-Playing Game Sourcebook for Medical Maladies
by Stefan D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2012 12:47:50
This book provides good information for introducing diseases into any RPG. However it is written from a modern perspective, so insights in how healers of the Middle Ages viewed diseases and would have treated them are not included. That has left me a bit disappointed, but it wasn't promised.
The author also has a very high powered world as default setting, where fifth level clerics are abundant even in small communities and fifteenth level clerics common enough for the Heal spell to be considered a standard treatment. As such all magical healing is focused on what really are powerful spells being abundant and no magical treatments short of these spells are included. Again, nothing else was promised, but it's an opportunity lost.

The shortcoming that made me consider giving the product a lower rating was the complete lack of diagnosis section; sure, symptoms are discussed, but some guideline of how likely a doctor is to diagnose the disease correctly or how he could miss-diagnose it would be useful. Likewise treatments for some diseases like Malaria are listed as poisonous, but the health effects of that poison are not discussed.

As such the book falls short of being the definitive work for diseases in fantasy settings, but it remains the best work I have found to date.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Insults & Injuries: A Role-Playing Game Sourcebook for Medical Maladies
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Insults & Injuries: A Role-Playing Game Sourcebook for Medical Maladies
by Brendan C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2012 17:29:01
Insults & Injuries is one of those rare 3.5 supplements that, instead of adding outlandish one-off mechanics to the game, actually makes a game world feel more like a living, breathing world. Disease is a major part of our daily lives, it's in the news, and I'm currently getting over a head cold. Yet its a vastly under-developed concept in most fantasy games.

I like to run a down-to-earth, nitty gritty game. My player characters aren't super heroes, and I really like for them to feel vulnerable to the world around them. Disease and injury are one of those things that I've always wished I could do more with. Any athlete, be they recreational amateur or full blown professional knows how hard it can be to perform at their best when feeling under the weather, and to me a well trained fighter should be no different. Players that run around with un-healed hit points just because they feel they are at an arbitrary "safe" threshold are essentially running around with open wounds. I've had splinters turn into nasty infections, I can't imagine what would happen to some of the gaping wounds my players have run around with for extended periods in a dungeon environment.

Insults & Injuries handles injuries and diseases of all sorts, and it's pretty clear that it is being written from the perspective of a practicing medical doctor - which is a pretty cool perspective in a book like this. The descriptions avoid being dry or over technical, and they do a good job of making the content relevant to a fantasy game - the real life medical anecdotes are a nice touch too. The book covers so many types of disease that it would be tough to give my opinion on all of them in this review, but suffice it to say the book is very thorough.

All in all it's very easy to recommend this book, it's well written, the content is intelligent, and the material is useful in almost all fantasy settings and situations.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Insults & Injuries: A Role-Playing Game Sourcebook for Medical Maladies
by william w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2012 19:45:37
First off I want to say I recieved this product for free. Skirmisher didn't officially ask me to review it, but after reading it, I wanted to do so. I work in healthcare in real life so the book's topic was of interest to me. It basically adapts real world maladies, diseases and illnesses to the OGL. The author is a real world MD and from my perspective it shows. The diseases are quite true to their real world equivalents, at least as much as adapting a disease to a game can allow. It also includes some real world drugs, so if you want/need rules for what Cocaine, Cannabis and Opium can do to your Campaign's PC's and NPC's this books has that info also.
Pros: Allows you to insert some real world diseases and maladies into your games.
Cons:
Some folks might not want such a high level of real world afflictions in their fantasy games.
Also the art wasn't for me, it seemed to be mostly of the old medieval medical text book variety, which while conveying the books content didn't really inspire me.
Rules for creating Fantasy Diseases aren't in this book, maybe he will do a future tome that has that, I'd definately buy such a product and feel the author would do a good job at it.
Overall: I'm glad I was sent this, I will definately use some of it in my games, but not sure I want to go all out on some of the diseases.
Thanks for reading!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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The Jester Dragon's Guide to Defects
by Richard B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2012 22:32:02
“The Jester Dragon’s Guide to Defects,” is a must-have resource for d20/OGL players. Feats are wonderful ways by which you can distinguish your character from someone else’s but all that really accomplishes is telling you how that character is a badass in his own right and what niche of badassery he fills. But characters without flaws don’t have, well, character. This book fixes this and is a well designed product that provides a great way to make truly unique characters. This book fills in what I would say is a major hole in the 3.5/OGL rules set. Other game systems have rules for assigning characters disadvantageous qualities that give you a bit more oomph when building stories. Somehow that got overlooked with OGL games. Not only will this book make you laugh, it will provide you with some great tools to take your game to the next level of storytelling. To help lighten the mood, the art is as humorous as the defects. One of my favorite entries being “Skyclad” with a Amazonian woman with her naughty bits covered by a flying cat. William Thrasher did a great job making the art as fun as possible. Given some of the levity that the use of defects could bring without the inclusion of some comedy, it’s a perfect complement to the material.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Jester Dragon's Guide to Defects
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d∞ (“d-Infinity”) Volume #4: Dark Future
by Matt L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2012 22:02:50
In this D-Infinity we have a lot of good material. I found the interview with John Simmons to be enlightening because I knew next to nothing about Comicpalooza. Now I want to go in 2013. But I would have to say the Alien Ship layout is my favorite part. I have already used the design in both Sci-fi and fantasy settings. The Four winds bar gives GM's some simple atmosphere for any campaign, including adventure hooks. My favorite part of this article has to be The Biology of a Fantasy Setting. Which basically gets world builders to look at the world as a living growing being. HUH? Does your world only have superficial creatures? Or do you know what your Jckelope eats?

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
d∞ (“d-Infinity”)  Volume #4: Dark Future
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Castle Builder Volume 1: Strongholds
by john f. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2012 23:58:53
There are many preceeding five-star reviews for this product, all well-earned by an excellent company that is providing important research and background material to GM's who want to create real atmosphere for their players. I bought this entire series (Castles and Communities both) and am quite happy with it. Definitely read my fellow gamers' reviews to get more dirt on the details. I'll just say briefly:

This particular supplement is one of the finest I've seen; kudos for the excellent treatment of different kinds of structures, their placement and purpose as well as historic and cultural connotations connected with these structures. Furthermore, everything is presented so that the GM can digest it and implement it in her or his game without reading for hours. These folks are quite good at distilling what they're bringing to you without watering it down.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Builder Volume 1: Strongholds
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City Builder Volume 11: Underworld Places
by john f. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2012 23:53:30
An excellent series, and a very interesting treatment. For the vast part, it's reasonably complete; however, I would like to have seen greater detail given to the hierarchies and organizational character of each type of criminal organization presented. For example, specific ranks, punishments, some traditions.

There could have been more discussion of comparison of such organizations with Rome's Collegia, although I do give credit to the writers for the fact that they did mention the Collegia as an example of an underworld 'guild'.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City Builder Volume 11: Underworld Places
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City Builder Volume 5: Tradesman Places
by john f. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2012 23:46:23
This is indeed an excellent product, from an excellent series. In fact these are the only folks in the industry who presently have anything like it on the market; I found this while looking for a copy of Chaosium's classic 'Cities' (of which I owned a copy over 20 years ago).

I highly recommend this product; however I have one and only one grief: one tradesman well-known 'back in the day' was the Tanner. A Tannery was important for treating leather once it was removed from an animal carcass. The issue with tanneries was that the chemical process, even back then, created an abhorrent stench, so these establishments were typically located at the edge of town, away from better-to-do residential areas and hopefully upwind. I was rather surprised at this omission.

Otherwise, do collect this series; it's highly useful at this price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City Builder Volume 5: Tradesman Places
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Publisher Reply:
John, I am very glad that you have enjoyed "City Builder Volume 5: Tradesman Places" and found it to be useful! My co-author Jim Clunie and I put a lot of work into this publication, with feedback and guidance from Gary Gygax, and it always makes me glad when someone discovers and appreciates it and the City Builder series overall. You are, in any event, correct that a Tannery is a key sort of tradesman place. We realized this as well and, when we compiled all 11 volumes of the City Builder series in a single book titled "City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities" we added a Tannery and a number of other places that did not appear in the original separate volumes ( http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/63703/City-Builder%3A-A-Guide-to-Designing-Communities?affiliate_id=79547 ). Contact us with your email address and, as someone who has enjoyed the series and is inclined to say positive things about it, we would be glad to send you a complimentary review copy. It also bears mentioning that d-Infinity magazine supports the City Builder series and has bonus content tying in with it in each edition ( http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?cPath=3908_8241&affiliate_id=79547 ), as follows: "Volume #0: The Shape of Things to Come" -- a free download -- includes a writeup on Quarries; "Volume #1: The Adventure Begins" includes an entry on Smugglers' Tunnels; "Volume #2: Lost Treasure" includes a writeup on the Byzantine Bank, a specific example of the Pawnshop described in "City Builder Volume 6: Mercantile places"; "Volume #3: Children of the Night" includes a writeup on the Guild of Beggars, Guides, Locksmiths, and Exterminators, a specific example of the Thieves’, Assassins’, and Beggars’ Guilds described in "City Builder Volume 11: Underworld Places"; "Volume #4: Dark Future" includes a writeup on the Four Winds Bar, a specific example of the Tavern described in "City Builder Volume 7: Service Places". Beyond that, specific examples of all the more than 70 general sorts of place described throughout the City Builder series overall will appear in Skirmisher Publishing LLC's "Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting," with which we are currently in development! -- Michael Varhola
d∞ (“d-Infinity”) Volume #3: Children of the Night
by Matt L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2012 09:35:31
Wondering what is in this magazine? D- Infinity is a throw back to the good ole days of Dragon, when there was something for every gamer. In this issue you can find detailed information on surviving a Zombie invasion. Matt Owen has shared a "Field Guide" that is a good reference to the things you will need; food, shelter, fighting skills, and life after the apocalypse. It is a quick guide so if you are a veteran it might be less than you need. It is perfect for the rookie zombie hunter.

In every issue there is a game that you can play. This issue features The Search for Bigfoot. These games are always short and quick, the type of game you would play during lunch. This game is a tile game where you basically race to meet the win conditions on the tiles. The first player to do so wins.

My favorite article is about electronic map making tools. Thea article compares commercial and free mapping tools. Most of which I didn't know existed. I am now enlightened.

There is a Cthuhlu article as well. I didn't read it. I have never played so I will most likely only be lost in the words.

If you have ever been to Con on the Cob you have to buy this issue just to read the interview with Andy Hopp. It is out of this world.

There is a lot more meat to this issue, like how to make teeth as props for your game. I am glad that this is my copy. The first no school day my kids are making necklaces.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
d∞ (“d-Infinity”) Volume #3: Children of the Night
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Creatures of the Wastelands: Random Encounters
by Spiro H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2012 17:52:33
Worthless, hence the price. It's just a list of tables based on habitat. It's the sort of thing you can cobble together in 5 minutes, and yours would be customised for your own campaign, not completely random.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Creatures of the Wastelands: Random Encounters
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #10: Monsters That Improve with Age 2
by Justin S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2012 19:04:21
Another valuable edition to the WFTW line, this one expands on the "Aging" concepts from WFTW #2.

Some neat monsters here that I'd gladly use for my campaign.

I'd rate it as solid 3.5-4.

Expanded review here: http://afieldguidetodoomsday.blogspot.com/2012/08/radioactiv-
e-review-wisdom-from.html

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #10: Monsters That Improve with Age 2
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