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Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Forbidden Woods (5e)
by Ismael A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/20/2016 15:09:31

Disclaimer: I received a review copy.


Now, I have to say that I am massively impressed with this product. It is not a bestiary so much as it is an ecology primer on a bunch of new creatures that are original, inspiring, and effective. Ranging from animal to elemental to monstrocity, there are plenty of interesting and original creatures to use in your campaigns. For each creature or type we are given a wide number of alternative builds, whether they be stronger versions of the base creature, or full distinct variations on a similar theme. For instance, we get young, adult, and elder spider bears, while the druidic guardians are varied by elemental type.


Each cluster of creatures comes with plot hooks, potential treasure (when it makes sense), and pointers for how a creature might behave in battle. This, coupled with the brief but comprehensive descriptions give creatures a depth that is not conveyed in a 1 page stat block. And although the hit point values are a bit low for a given CR, the creatures themselves are excellently represented for 5th edition statistics.


I very much look forward to seeing more books like this, and it has even changed my view on what shorter bestiaties should be. Without the history of older and established monsters, every new beast needs to be as fleshed out as the ones in this book.


5 out of 5 stars, and my royal seal.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Forbidden Woods (5e)
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d66 Compendium
by Daniel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2016 01:27:13

I purchased the Compendium 2 first. I really liked it, so I figured I should return and pick up the original. I have not been disappointed. It too is filled with lots of great d66 charts. But to be honest it also is a gold mine of great ideas. Just looking over some of the lists causes ideas to spring up in my mind. Not just a great place to randomly select a name, but to look at a name and begin to build out who or what it is. I have had fun just reading various entries and charts. I strongly encourage any GM to pick both this compendium and the 2nd one as well. They are both great additions to my collection and will be very helpful resources in my creative efforts.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
d66 Compendium
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Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1 (5e)
by Gaetan V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2016 03:06:39

Nice depth of content.


If you add up all of the PHB pages dedicated to race, you get 25 pages across 9 races. And those PHB pages are heavy in pictures. This one is about a dozen pages for 4 races (Hagborn, Samsaran, Tengu and Catfolk). With limited art, there is a serious amount of content here.


I really love the core structure of how the races are detailed. Each race has sections like "Love & Mating", "Alignment & Religion", "Clans & Families" and "Aging & Death". These are all thought through quite carefully, the races go well beyond just a simple stats list.


From a design side, all of the races are reasonable and seem pretty balanced. The Catfolk grant +2/+2 instead of the usual +2/+1, which is a little odd, but the overall design is still solid.


There are some extra sub-races at the end, but these are really just a bonus. The list price is worth the while.


The key spots for future are the one that are hard to do on a small budget. More artwork would definitely be nice, especially for the Catfolk where the two distinct sub-races look very different but we only have a picture of one. The book could also really use a designer's touch. Page numbers are hard to read. The core racial stats are "cut into" the descriptive text about each race, so you have two columns bleeding into one column without so much as a horizontal rule to cut them up. The text is all straight black, no color variation, almost no font variation, it's all a little hard on the eyes.


Overall though, I'm impressed. There are lots of "freebie" races out in the wilds of the internet, but very few of them have as much detail as these ones.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1 (5e)
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Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider (5e)
by Ismael A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2016 02:55:40

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this product.


Along Came a Spider is an excellent and unorthodoxed adventure. It lets spiders take the center stage as the villains for a low level adventure, rather than as the rabble and fodder that are encountered incidentally on the way to the true threat.


This product is chock full of spiders, of all sorts. You have a young ettercap, swarms of spiders, and even a few new spiders designed just for this book. The adventure starts out pretty straight forward, but begins to take a strange and interesting twist. I won't say much for fear of spoiling, but I was impressed with the adventure, and I can't wait to run it.


This adventure is thorough, and has some varied locations. This is definitely an excellent introductory adventure. It is balanced to help survivability, as it is a bit of an issue for 1st level players in 5e. It also has great sensibilities for adventure design, such as appropriate traps and encounters as well as appropriately low ability check and save DCs to ensure you don't hurt or hinder the players too bad out of the gate.


All in all, this book benefits from the author's considerable talent and understanding of the system and of adventure design. This is an excellent 5th edtition module, and I look forward to seeing more! 5 out of 5!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider (5e)
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Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven (5e)
by Ismael A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2016 01:54:02

Firstly, the background for the adventure is very well written, and seeps out character and flavor. It was plainly well thought out and very developed. It is excellently layered with a hook that does not belie the true nature of the adventure, and a twist that should keep player interest throughout the endeavor. Good setup and thorough execution of initial hook. Also, there is good characterization of various expository NPC's that promises a memorable session if a GM is willing to act them out.


From the first encounter, it seems like encounter design and balance are well done for the sensibility of 5th edition. The initial combat is meant more as a test of the character's sensibility than their combat prowess, and could lead to some interesting decisions later. Statistic blocks are handled rather nicely, and are concise and readable. The next few encounters are a bit standard, and probably a sync for a 2nd level party to deal with, but it really builds up the atmosphere, especially with the special glyphs that seem to permeate the enemy lair. Room and encounter design do a nice job of setting the tone of the adventure by slowly introducing a creepy undertone.


There are interesting little details peppered within the room descriptions of the enemy lair, including some interesting moral choices regarding enemies that do not resist or fight.


The inclusion of a new creature (the negative energy elemental) is refreshing, and a bright contrast against the relatively mundane hobgoblin foes, as well as foreshadowing the nature of the lair itself.


The methodology for controlling the number of creatures in a later encounter was interesting as well; depending on player actions, they could fight more enemies at once, or fight a few with more enemies entering per round. This seems to reward players for circumstantial actions rather than punishing them for making an unknowable mistake.


Ultimately, the adventure is very short, and could serve as an excellent set piece to be fit into a larger campaign. There are a lot of loose ends presented within here that could either be tied to your campaign, or simply expand the adventure to interesting directions. This adventure will most likely take your 2nd level group to 3rd level (depending on how many there are in your party), so that makes it ideal for moving your characters into an ideal starting point for a full on campaign (given that the accepted wisdom states that adventurers are more sturdy and defines at level 3).


All in all, this excellent and short adventure is a showcase of an excellent understanding of 5th edition design and low level balance! 5 stars and my royal seal!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven (5e)
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d66 Compendium
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/08/2016 09:37:52

Warning: don't buy any of the individual d66 lists if you buy this. This is purely a compilation of all the d66 lists. I made the mistake of buying it all thinking it was different, and ended up paying for the same content twice (more, really, since the individual lists cost more than this collected version).



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
d66 Compendium
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Publisher Reply:
I can understand your frustration with buying the same material twice, but that is a compendium. Having said that, about a third of the book is comprised of lists that do not appear elsewhere. I hope you found it useful to have all the lists released up to that point in one place.
Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1 (5e)
by Ismael A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2015 17:37:03

Disclosure: I received a free review copy.


Let me begin by saying that this product impressed the hell out of me.


It clocks in at 16 pages with 12.5 pages of content (1 page for cover, 1/2 a page for credits, 1 page for OGL, and 1 page for an ad). Formatting and presentation are excellent, with every usable part of the page being well utilized for space.


Additionally, the content is excellent. The races provided are not only fitted with sound rules, but also with excellent exposition that makes the races stand out.


Provided within are Catfolk, Hagborn, Samsaran, and Tengu, and sub races for each. Also, the book provides number of new sub-races for dwarves, halflings, elves, and gnomes. Though the latter is a lot more brief, it is an excellent example of what a sub-race can be.


The highlight of this product is the showcasing of the racial write ups, giving the utmost attention to the society and background considerations for the new races. While the mere fact that this product provides new races at all is amazing (considering the hitherto infancy of 5th edition), this product blazes a trail and leaves an example of what new race books for 5th edition should be, and look like.


Bravo. 5 out of 5!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1 (5e)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to review!
Book of Friends and Foes: Ratfolk of the Ruins (PFRPG)
by Richard B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2015 11:07:32

This product is a NPC supplement of Ratfolk. There is a basic write up of the Ratfolk race, but most of it is NPC write ups. If you want more material for Ratfolk, this is not the item for you. If want NPCs with interesting backstories, this IS the product for you. The Hero Labs files do not appear to work with Hero Labs, being .por files and not .hl files.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Friends and Foes: Ratfolk of the Ruins (PFRPG)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to review. The included hero lab file is the ratfolk NPCs. This is not new material that is loaded into the program but profiles that are opened with File>Open Profile.
Deadly Delves: Doom of the Sky Sword (PFRPG)
by Martin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/05/2015 14:25:55

***ong>This review contains spoilers****>


This short adventure is intended challenge characters of 1st. A logging company is looking for a group of adventurers to investigate a series of mysterious happenstance at one of their logging camps and determine if the site can be reclaimed. The city in which the adventure begins does not have stats and the trip to the woods where the survivors of the incident are encamped is not covered, but a random encounter table is provided. I do not see this as a flaw because the adventure does not take place in the city and the trip can be as long as you want it to be. Deadly Delves are intended to be short and to the point, so there is no sense in adding that much details. You can create them as you see fit. It also allows a GM to place the adventure anywhere in his campaign as long as there some logging going on.


After meeting with the foreman of the camp to gather more information about what happened, a half-day journey takes the characters to the abandoned site of the former camp and with a little investigation, they can find tracks leading deeper in the woods. Since it is a logging camp, many tracks will lead to the forest and back to the camp. The odd thing here would be that these tracks originate from the camp's smithy. That could be seen as a minor flaw in the plot since this clue may be overlooked by players, but I do not think it would impact the adventure that much as any capable GM can get the players to follow these tracks with a few additional clues.


Following the tracks will lead the party straight into an ambush. If the characters do not kill outright the men assailing them, they will learn a lot of invaluable information about the who is behind these strange occurrences and where to find their lair. Even if the trappers get killed, the party can follow their tracks back to the caves where they lair and where lives the main antagonist. The cave system is the former lair of coven of troll witches, and as such, they left some traces of their occupation as well as a few unpleasant surprises. While exploring the caves, the characters can confront the huldra behind all the occurrences and figure out the fate of the missing loggers. Several scenarios are provided based on how the group meets the huldra and how they resolve the situation; some of these include peaceful solutions which I find very refreshing from most nodules I read.


Overall, I really liked this module as it is challenging, but all challenges require brute force and spells. The fact that it can be resolved peacefully and that the dangerous areas do not need to be explored makes it a great module for 1st level parties. I did njot get a chance to playtest it, but it seems well balanced. No suggestion were provided to expand the module or create other adventures based on this story, but I do not feel like it diminishes the quality of the module. I really, really liked that it can be resolved without much bloodshed if your players are so inclined.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadly Delves: Doom of the Sky Sword (PFRPG)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to review. I really appreciate it.
Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider (5e)
by Merric B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2015 20:07:56

I think this is a good adventure, with excellent ideas and encounters, albeit with a number of editing and presentation issues. Full review here: http://merricb.com/2015/10/21/5e-adventure-
-review-along-came-a-spider/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider (5e)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for taking the time review. I am glad you enjoyed it.
Thank you for taking the time to review. I really appreciate it.
Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes (PFRPG)
by Anders B. K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/10/2015 05:35:08

I really like this bestiary of high-level foes! The monsters are very inspiring and have lots of cool signature abilities and innovative mechanics. The layout is good and clean, and every monster comes with a beautiful full-color illustration. Top notch!
I especially like this volume because I needed to have more monsters for level 15-20 campaign play. These Legendary Foes are up to the challenge! :) Recommended!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes (PFRPG)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you very much for taking the time to review. Everyone here is glad you enjoyed it and took the time to share your thoughts.
d66 Spaceport City Names
by Justin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2015 10:09:52

A cute little supplement that gives you a few dozen random names to plop onto spaceports. An amusing micro-supplement, and I approve of it more in concept than execution.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
d66 Spaceport City Names
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Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven (PFRPG)
by Martin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2015 09:26:30

This is a short adventure that can easily be played in one session.


**Spoilers**
After a caravan goes missing, the characters are hired to find the missing goods and missing villagers that were in the caravan. After interrogating the only surviving member of the caravan, the characters go looking for the culprits. A few random encounters are provided to bring a bit of excitement during the trip. The characters find the caves where the hobgoblin bandits hide and during their exploration, they find that the walls bear strange runes in many places. As soon as a necromancy spell is cast (which is bound to happen when fighting the hobgoblin cleric), Tyrkaven cultists, cursed by their dark god to become zombies, become aware of the presence of others in their cave, and they swarm forward to investigate, killing anyone they encounter. The characters will have to stop them before they reach outside and assault the village.


Although I did not play it yet with my group, this adventure looks tough for 2nd level characters. The introduction and conclusion are very short and to the point, but that is expected in such a short adventure. Depending on your style of play, if you like to have details and stats on everything, get ready to develop the village that serves as the backdrop to the adventure and some NPCs. However, the goal of this product is to provide you with a pre-made adventure, and that is where it delivers very well. I like that while fighting the hobgoblins, the adventure takes another turn and zombies start pouring out of the deepest part of the caves. The mysterious glyphs on the cave walls are also a nice touch even if their main purpose is to serve as a warning that not everything is right. The only thing I would have liked to see is a bit more detailed on the Tyrkaven-cursed zombies. We have a lot of information on how they became cursed and how they will react when they become aware of the presence of others in their cave complex, but when looking at the builds, you will notice that they kept a fairly high degree of intelligence and that they are very fast (their speed is 50 ft.). They have a scream special attack and their leader as the same abilities as a fighter of about level 5. However, we do not get a template for Tyrkaven-cursed zombies or a short sidebar to explain how they differ from regular zombies. While this does not prevent anyone from running the adventure and one can assume that the curse of Tyrkaven made them so, if you want to expand the adventure, it would have been nice to have at least a simple template.


That being said, I still think this is a good low-level adventure with enough details to be expanded in an even bigger adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven (PFRPG)
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Deadly Delves: Quests of the Sands (PFRPG)
by Martin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/20/2015 15:45:44

This book is a collection of 6 short adventures (around 4 pages each including map) that are intended to be inserted in an adventure path set in a land similar to Ancient Egypt or they can be played on their own.


Each adventure contain enough details to be played straigth from the book with the only exception of a few adversaries taken from different bestiaries. Overall, the adventures are interesting and well written. The maps supporting the adventures are nicely done and the I really liked the haunts as they were original in design.


Of the 6 adventures, 3 have a mummy (or mummies) as their main challenge. So, if mummies are not your thing, then I would not recommend this supplement. However, the adventures cover a fairly wide range of levels, so even if you play them as stand alone adventures, you should not bore your players with a variants of the same monsters.


This is a nice supplement, I recommend it for every GM running a desert/egyptian campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deadly Delves: Quests of the Sands (PFRPG)
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Character Datafile
by Dale W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2015 13:56:31

It was ok but not something I could really use, since I play/run Classic Traveller. All told it's a good sheet, full of necessary information, but too many pages in my opinion.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Character Datafile
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