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Cast of Extras 1: Town Guards
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/18/2012 21:45:43
A Cast of Characters: Town Guards by Corvus Lunaris is exactly what is says on the tin, statblocks for five guard types ranging from village guards (CR 1/3) to Royal Guards (CR 8, though listed as CR 10), along with Captains for the two most competent sorts, Elite and Royal. Some combat tactics and roleplaying suggestion, maybe even suggested bribe levels, would have helped to flesh out the guards and moved them beyond generic opponents. On a design note, I would have liked to have seen more polearms among the guards and fewer (expensive) swords, some nonlethal weapon options would have been nice too. Still, handy to have when you need a bunch of guards to impede the player characters in some way.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cast of Extras 1: Town Guards
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Encounters Series 0: The Priest and the Hangman
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2010 21:00:00
An unusual encounter setup displays a skilful hand for drama and characters. The crowd rules are an interesting look at a fairly well-worn question.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Encounters Series 0: The Priest and the Hangman
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Encounters Series 5: Succubus Seduction
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2010 14:13:05
Ah, the succubus. A sex-symbol from time immemorial, she’s also a warning to those who would readily fornicate, since she takes your soul if you lie with her. Such imagery, painted in the broadest strokes, lends itself very well to any sort of genre, setting, or game, since it deals with one of people’s most fundamental desires and the dangers therein. Given that, it’s no surprise that a succubus is the primary antagonist for Corvus Lunaris Ltd.’s Encounter Series 5: Succubus Seduction.

A short adventure for 3.5, the product is really more of a side-trek than a fully-fledged adventure. It revolves around a succubus stirring up mayhem inciting class warfare between merchants and nobles, and attempting to seduce – or barring that, kill – a young man who’s trying to quell the trouble she’s raising. The PC’s just happen to be in town as she’s getting ready to make her last attempt on the hapless NPC’s virtue/life.

Succubus Seduction comes across as a very home-spun product, both in presentation and execution. For example, the PDF has no bookmarks or illustrations apart from the pencil-drawn cover. The text isn’t confusing, but feels fairly choppy; things such as the flow of the adventure, NPC stat blocks, and what NPCs say when you talk to them are all in their own separate sections, instead of being listed together. Some people may enjoy having everything separated like that, but I’d prefer that such materials be grouped together.

I do have to give the adventure some props for having a section that deals with divination magic. Again, the advice it provides here is fairly self-evident, such as telling us that if the PCs use detect evil, the succubus has a moderate aura of evil…unless she has a ring of mind shielding. Thanks guys, I didn’t realize that.

The map of the inn where the succubus works in disguise isn’t anything to write home about either. Found at the end of the book, it just looks like something made in a basic paint program, being laid out with wire frames and a small key to indicate what frames are what furniture. It doesn’t even have a grid or other scale laid out.

Succubus Seduction isn’t a bad adventure, per se, but it suffers from a thin plot and poor presentation. A lot could have been done to turn this around if the contents of this file were changed up and put forward in a more convenient and attractive-to-view manner. But it doesn’t do that, and it suffers for it. Ultimately, much like the eponymous succubus in this adventure, Succubus Seduction really needs to up its sexiness to make itself more appealing to buy and run.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Encounters Series 5: Succubus Seduction
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Encounters Series 6: Woman Trouble
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/29/2009 11:57:29
Corvis Lunaris LTD’s Encounter series promises quick encounters for those times that Dungeon Masters are pressed for material but have nothing prepared. However, if Encounter Series 6: Woman Trouble, is any indication, you better be severely pressed for material.

Woman Trouble is a short 20 pg. PDF of just two encounters. I have seen solid adventures of at least five encounters with less pages. The layout is one step below decent. White space and uneven columns makes a harder than should be read. Beyond this, and the lack of artwork, is the adventure.

The adventure is only average as far as detours go. The PCs go into a forest, they find a bad guy attacking an innocent person and they investigate. The result can be seen coming a mile away by any party that has played at least one session of Dungeons and Dragons. Few parties would even reach the second part of the encounter as they will figure out and deal with the rouse early.

For the Dungeon Master
The adventure is very salvageable. The writing is very informative and the writer tries to utilize the situation to the best of its ability. It’s just the situation is not very good. By replacing the creatures with ones that are more than a challenge and increasing the level of the rouse, the encounter will be more doable. There needs to be more than a simple creature ability that hides the true identity of the antagonist.

The Iron Word
Encounter Series 6: Woman Trouble, is probably challenging as is for a party under 4th level, but by no means will it interest an 8th level party without some work. The stable writing helps this product stay above water, but a touch of work is needed before introducing it into your game.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Encounters Series 6: Woman Trouble
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Encounters Series 3: Stampede By Moonlight
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/30/2009 07:19:48
Encounter Series 3 - Stampede by Moonlight is a 30 page pdf that contains a lengthy and detailed encounter for the 3e OGL system. This product is one of several in the Encounter Series from Corvus Lunaris, and each is designed for several hours of play for when the GM needs something to fill the space, or simply just wants to run with some of the ideas contained within the pdf. This particular encounter features a rather sinister force stalking the night and the canyons, and it's up to the PCs to foil its plan and deal with a rather elusive prey. Stampede By Moonlight is designed for characters of levels 5 to 7.

This product comes as a single pdf file, complete with all the frills in a cover, extensive bookmarks, credits page, table of contents, and generally a well laid out pdf. The design and presentation isn't fantastic, but it gets the job done and a fair amount of effort has gone into getting it the way it is. There's no colour in the pdf, nor are there any borders or other page frills, so the pdf should be really easy to print. In essence, the presentation is more like a printer-friendly version than a screen version, but even that is still fair. Writing is good, and the product is well organised. The pdf also includes an extensive battlemap complete with 1"-scale tiles for use with miniatures. Overall, fairly presented, well organised, and good use of support features and frills to make the product worth that little bit more.

As mentioned, this encounter is fairly detailed. It starts by providing extensive lists on what various Knowledge checks will provide the players with - this is very useful, as it gives the PCs some needed information throughout the encounter. Having said that, most players will already know most of the information in this section even though their PCs might not. There are some useful bits of background there, though, and revealing this to the PCs piece-meal will make the encounter more interesting and build some suspense.

Next up is the encounter, which can be a fairly straightforward affair, though it has the potential for being drawn out and protracted if the DM chooses to make use of some of the suggested options. It's one of those encounters that not many DM or players will like, as it deals with lycanthropy and afflictions of that nature, and some people might not be predisposed to running with some of the ideas in the product. Nevertheless, it is fairly unique and open enough that DMs can modify and structure it to their pleasure. This is not a simple combat encounter - while parts of it are, I think the longer ranging encounter is going to be built on subterfuge rather than all out combat. Still, the good thing is that enough information is provided to make of this encounter what you will. You can use it as an interesting terrain while fighting during a stampede, or otherwise as a minor encounter with more subtle effects afterwards.

Several useful plots hooks are provided to expand on the material in the pdf, though there is a lot of material and background in the product already. Full statistics are provided for all creatures involved, and these look fairly good from a correctness point of view. The latter part of the product is devoted to providing a fairly rudimentary map of the encounter, both as an overview and as a battlemap with one-inch scale tiles. This gives you a little extra for the product, and while not the most beautiful tiles I've ever seen, they perform the function they were intended for.

Overall I think this product does a few things well - it provides a somewhat unique encounter and locations, gives detailed background information on the encounter, and offers plenty of options for expanding or modifying the encounter. At the same time, the presentation is fair, though not by any means great, and the added utility of the battlemaps is a plus. On the other hand, the subject material in the OGL system is a nightmare for most DMs, as dealing with afflicted lycanthropes is not necessarily for every players or DM. Players invest in their characters, and don't want to loose them to lycanthropy, while at the same time DMs don't want to railroad their campaigns looking for cures. I think this encounter has potential, and the format is good, but it lacks that special factor to make it entirely memorable. If you're looking for something a little different, don't mind doing a little work to make it fit, don't mind the subject and love detail, then this product is for you.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Encounters Series 3: Stampede By Moonlight
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