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Five Henchmen
Five Henchmen
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Other comments left for this publisher:
How to Create Great Fantasy Maps (Even if You Can't Draw)
by Mark W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2014 17:28:44
Excellent booklet, well worth the price if you want to draw your own maps from scatch, don't have an advanced drawing program and are not an accomplished artist. I am not an artist but need some custom maps for my new campaign. I had drawn a few crude ideas, this booklet will help me start all over again and get a much better product. The detail on materials and methods is simple and clear.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
How to Create Great Fantasy Maps (Even if You Can't Draw)
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Distant Vistas
by Sean M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2014 17:37:47
I started a Savage Worlds space campaign pretty much off the cuff one weekend without having done any work ahead of time to build a cohesive game world. As I wasn't expecting to go beyond a single session, the fact that my group really liked the adventure caught me pretty much completely off guard. I grabbed Distant Vistas between sessions and based a lot of my game world on the material therein. The information presented in it is detailed enough to offer a GM a good foundation. However, there's a lot left open as well which gives me a certain sense of freedom to flex and bend things as I see fit. Overall, I think most people who purchase this will find it isn't a professional-grade product, but enjoy and be able to make good use of it nonetheless. Don't expect to have a 100% complete campaign world, but anticipate a solid foundation upon which to build. Also, it doesn't contain any GM-only secrets so the players can browse the individual articles to get a feel for the overall flavor without finding any spoilers.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Distant Vistas
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The GM's Planet-Building Handbook
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/13/2012 21:52:17
If you’re running a sci-fi RPG that involves interplanetary travel and you, like me, don’t know all that much about the details of planetary physics, then you owe this resource to yourself and your players. You’ll need to track along with some science and math, but author Mark Wightman keep it simple, always with an eye on helping the GM create interesting yet basically realistic planets. Aspiring sci-fi writers would benefit from this book, too.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GM's Planet-Building Handbook
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Last Stand at Kirrinbahr
by Ricardo N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/20/2012 21:52:52
This is a well-written paragraph-based solo adventure. The difficulty feels right, and the consequences to your actions feel logical. As with most books of this type, once you complete the adventure there isn't much replay value, although I did feel compelled to try again with different character choices. I only wish that they had used hyperlinks in the PDF for those that play it on a computer instead of printing the book.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Last Stand at Kirrinbahr
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the feedback comments, Ricardo. During our recent re-brand we took the opportunity to make some improvements, and \'Last Stand at Kirrinbahr\' is now supplied as a bookmarked PDF to make on-screen navigation much easier.
The GM's Planet-Building Handbook
by D. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2012 23:47:40
Excellent book, it is short and to the point !
This is not a set of tables to randomly generate worlds, we have this in many sf games anyways.
This guide explains you how do planet "work", what is the physic and the logic in their features, climates, etc. It is not too technical and it is very easy to read.
Once you have read this book you won't be looking at rpg planets the same way anymore. A MUST READ before going into planet design.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GM's Planet-Building Handbook
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Per Ardua...
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2011 22:00:09
Per Ardua is a basic modern investigative horror adventure written for Call of Cthulhu using the 2nd Edition mechanics. It is usable within the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. The investigation takes place in and around the village of Manderton in Britain.

OVERALL

Per Ardua is a very straight-forward, linear adventure for Call of Cthulhu. At times, it’s a little too linear and lacks much of the flexibility that should be given to players. They layout is overly simple and some of the writing is clunky. It could benefit from a lot of editing and a much cleaner layout and presentation.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 6 out of 10
Per Ardua’s layout and presentation are very simple but mostly effective. However, there is no table of contents or page numbers and an excessive amount of white space. There are a few illustrations that I find interesting, but are generally too small to be truly effective. There are a set of text boxes in the back supposedly designed as entries in various printed material, but lack any type of design to look like anything other than text boxes. The one thing that truly stands out in Per Ardua are the maps. They are not flashy, but they are effective and well thought-out.

Storyline: 5 out of 10
The storyline is a little bland, lacking much character and setting depth. It develops throughout the adventure, although it feels a little rushed. There is a complete lack of background concerning the storyline and most of the adventure takes place outside of it. It wouldn’t take much work to further flesh out the storyline and give it some flavor, but that means more work for the Keeper.

Desire to Play: 6 out of 10
The adventure is not a bad one. In fact, if you are running a game with new players, it’s simplicity is ideal. Advanced players would probably rifle through it fairly quickly. The biggest problem I have is that during the final scenes, the players could feel very railroaded with the lack of available options. The way the adventure is written makes too many assumptions about game-play and general outcome.

Overall: 6 out of 10
Per Ardua is a decent Call of Cthulhu adventure. It has many of the basic aspects of a Cthulhu adventure, although without much detail. It may actually work better as source material for other adventures given the amount of seemingly accurate or at least plausible content. It could work well to introduce players to Call of Cthulhu, but I wouldn’t recommend it for more seasoned players.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Per Ardua...
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the comments, Aaron. Since your review we\'ve redesigned the presentation of Per Ardua. We\'ve changed the layout, added more artwork and completely revamped those text boxes!
Anyburg and the Lands Thereabout
by Julia E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2011 10:41:39
I've wanted a book like this for a long time! Well-written, nicely laid-out, and chock full of great data. Well worth the price!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Anyburg and the Lands Thereabout
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Anyburg and the Lands Thereabout
by Fernando G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2011 13:36:59
Fantastic help to create a realistic town, village or city. Not only offers numbers and statistics of population, density and professions, but also includes a review to add the typical fantastic races like orcs or elves. It is separated in three main bodies:
-the town itself, with the minimum professionals per inhabitant to make it independent, divided by sectors (defence, education, trade, religious), with mention to fantasy genre.
-the lands and limits of the typical city, natural resources, crops, etc, needed for the number of inhabitants and the type of the city.
-several examples including maps and types of fortifications and castles, the example of the design of a town, and a template to create your own cities and maps.

Although most of the information is based mostly on medieval Britain, with little research it can be adapted to most of European medieval cultures and to any fantasy set-up.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Distant Vistas
by Jesus B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/19/2011 15:41:16
Unfortunately, I found Distant Vistas didn't offer much inspiration. Not worth the price in my opinion. The regret might not have been so strong had it cost me only a buck.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Distant Vistas
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Distant Vistas
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2011 22:46:52
Distant Vistas is a sci-fi game resource, primarily designed with the Game Master in mind. It contains a number of pre-designed items that can be slotted into numerous sci-fi systems. This ranges from weapons and technology to space fleets and solar systems. Each one is described and illustrated with wording that is vague enough to be translated into any system’s game mechanics but detailed enough to make that translation easier. At first glance much of content seems almost too simple, but after reading the different descriptions, you begin to picture how those items could fit into your own setting. Add to this the variety of the content and a GM can find great value within these pages.

OVERALL

Distant Vistas is not a supplement about options. It is a supplement dedicated to providing quick and easy source material for GMs in a hurry or simply stuck during adventure or campaign creation. It encompasses such a huge part of sci-fi game experiences that you’d be hard pressed to not find at least one thing (if not twenty) that you can use for a game you are running or one you plan to run. I myself found probably 40 different items I would like to either use directly or indirectly by farming them for new ideas. To make itself even more useful, you can easily print out each piece of content that you intend to use as everything is detailed on 1 or 2 pages with most being on a single page. This is a great tool for any GM.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 7 out of 10
Distant Vistas has a great visual appeal, good looking illustrations, and an easy-to-read presentation. The layout may not be ideal as every detailed item is listed in alphabetical order. This requires the GM to flip through the entire book to find the types of items they’re looking for rather then being able to quickly navigate to a specific section (such as spaceships or solar systems) which contain that piece that is to be added to their setting. This is even more critical considering the volume of content, lack of table of contents, and lack of appendix. To overcome this, each item does contain a set of keywords at the top to grab the eye. However, you still have to read through the entire book to find every entry with the one keyword you’re looking for.

Mechanics: no rating
As a universal product, Distant Vistas does not contain any in-game mechanics.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
Distant Vistas is filled with a huge amount of excellent sci-fi content. It’s so easy to cherry pick through it and extract not only a large number of items but a large variety as well. You can take an existing campaign and spice it up with a new race or let the PCs set sail into a new solar system with detailed planets. You almost have to read through Distant Vistas twice. The first time you read it allows you to see what is detailed. The second time you get a sense of what fits together and what can be combined to create more new ideas. However, what makes this supplement truly valuable is its variety. There so many different aspects of a sci-fi adventure that any small or even large gap can easily be filled with one or more pieces within Distant Vistas. This value is increased for sandbox and space opera settings.

Overall: 8 out of 10
Some GMs need a helping hand when creating an adventure campaign. It can happen often in a sci-fi game where the PCs follow a direction you did not anticipate. To grab content on the fly, there are supplements like Distant Vistas that has numerous pieces of source material to fill those gaps and keep your games going. It’s a definite asset to any Game Master’s library.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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