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The City of Faymouth
The City of Faymouth
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Other comments left for this publisher:
The Root of All Evil
by Brent H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2014 14:17:32
i enjoy seeing some of the old games, like 'Root of all Evil', restored on PDFs. The entire game package was included. The only minor problem was the pages of a gray background / edging. This does interfere with reading the information on the screen and describing details just cannot print out the maps very encomically - lots of ink printing that gray background / edging. But it is a good way to prevent abusing the low cost of the game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Root of All Evil
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Raid on Bokagna
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2014 06:27:46
A straight forward dungeon bash, with the only twist being that the inhabitants are gnomes rather than goblins or whatever. The scenario is written for 1st to 3rd level orc characters, but they could be anything, so long as they're evil. Change the gnomes to some other race, or tweak their alignments, and the PCs don't even have to be evil. (This would, naturally, require some alteration to the encounters, but to be honest, not very much.)

There is a page of advice at the end on how to play orcs, although it doesn't really address the question of 'evil' acts in play - orcs, it seems, aren't really all that different from some PCs, only a bit more cowardly.

It's all competently written up, well illustrated, and properly laid out. But at the end it's a dungeon bash no different from any other, and not quite as 'different' as it would like to be.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Raid on Bokagna
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KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 6
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/22/2014 21:38:16
Bundle of Trouble Volume 6 continues the fine tradition set up by the previous strips. In this volume, the reader is treated to the progression of the 'Bag World' storyline resulting in B.A. facing a HackMaster Audit at the request of his players (in which Weird Pete interrogates his game notes), a return to the the previously defunct SpaceHack campaign, and a trick from Nitro Ferguson that has the Knight LARPing in a biker bar (with unsurprising results).
As always, it is frightening to see how many of the Knights mirror my normal gaming group, but that has always been a part of the appeal. Jolly Blackburn has a keen eye for the hobby and it is wonderfully translated into this comic.

If you are unfamiliar with KoDT (shame on you!) or a long-time fan, these volumes represent excellent value not only in terms of price point, but also the enjoyment of reading these stories in full in one sitting.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 6
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HackMaster Player's Handbook
by Graham P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/08/2014 16:20:32
Being new to HackMaster I'm finding this book quite easy to navigate and read, which is helping a lot with the complex rules. This is a superb game and I highly recommend it, even if the learning curve is a little steeper than others.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HackMaster Player's Handbook
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By the Sword: Dueling in Realms of Fantasy
by Nick S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2014 10:12:43
By the Sword is a fun little book with some great information, HOWEVER the way they formatted it cramming each entry with Hackmaster AND D&D information makes it a little hard to read. I really wish they would have just split the book in half and had one half be dedicated to hackmaster and one to D&D.

That aside the information in the book was really great. I really enjoy mechanically how they handled fighting styles with each fighting style actually changing the way a character fights in a small way such as fighting styles which swap out strength for dex, rather that just having fighting styles give a dull +1 to hit or defense. Beyond the fighting styles I enjoyed that the book really explored dueling, not just with swords, but the whole concept from battles of wit to duels of words and how to fully bring them to life in your adventure. I'm normally critical of "How to play" guides which often come across as a way to pad out the page count in a book, but the content here is all very insightful and didn't belabor the point.

Despite formatting issues By the Sword is a great picked for Hackmaster giving lots of new great new options for martial types and bringing a ton to that game system but just a decent pick up for D&D.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
By the Sword: Dueling in Realms of Fantasy
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Adventurer's Guide to Pixie-Fairies
by Nick S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2014 10:03:41
The Adventurer's Guide to Pixie-Fairies was exactly what I wanted. Pixie-Fairies are a very unique race and due to their size and other factors are very different from the other races in Hackmaster. This book really explores that giving lots of information of fairie equipment, culture, fairie specific flaws and lot of other game information which was exactly what I picked it up for. I was further surprised however to find the book was also stuffed with information of pixie hybrids and other variant pixie creatures. I can't imagine playing a pixie-fairie without the AGtPF and would highly recommend it to anyone who plans to regularly play Hackmaster's most unique race.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurer's Guide to Pixie-Fairies
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KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 11
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/10/2014 08:01:13
Kenzer continues to deliver with these faithfully reproduced Bundle of Trouble digital collections. I am very happy to see these classic comics make it to digital format, and couldn't be more pleased with the way they've been produced. All of the pages crisp, clear, and easy to read. They're bookmarked and hyperlinked, which makes them easy to browse on both the computer and portable devices (I read them on my Nook Tablet with the EZPDF app.) Each of the collections feature all of the strips and columns from three issues of the comic series, plus bonus strips never seen before.

For those familiar with the KoDT comics, these are a great way to revisit them - and for those who've never seen them before, this is the perfect way to get started. This particular collection features the beginning of the Hawg Waller's story arc, one of my favorites of the series.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 11
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City Map Folio
by Brian F. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/04/2014 16:05:49
As a GM, it’s nearly impossible to get by without a few maps. Sure, you can come up with a village on the fly, or maybe a 5-room dungeon, but cities are sometimes tough to design at the drop of a hat. Not only are there landscape concerns, but population, location, general disposition (friendly or un-), and so on.

Thankfully, there are many creative, artistic people who have created maps for us already. The Kingdoms of Kalamar: City Map Folio from Kenzer and Company provides more than 30 detailed maps to use for inspiration or in a Kingdoms of Kalamar campaign. From the full color map of Kalamar presenting the region where all these cities are located to the gorgeous interior black and white maps, there’s plenty here to salivate over from cartographers Craig Zipse and Clayton Van Sickle III.

What impressed me the most was the little details. Though the maps themselves have few labels or legends, anyone familiar with maps appearing in RPG adventures or books over the last 30+ years will instantly understand what they’re looking at… from rivers and roads to walls, buildings, forests and plains. Seeing how buildings flow around obstacles such as major roads, rivers, and docks can provide fodder for the most inquisitive player to explore…

And each map provides a small summary of pertinent details such as the city size, longitude and latitude, type of government, as well as major alignments, races, and size of the population. Also included is the name of the ruler (or rulers) of the city – such as with Baneta… “ruled by wizard Lakaran the Twisted under figurehead Lord B’Pareso.”

I did find it very difficult (impossible in some cases) to find a particular city on the full color map at the beginning of the book. It would have been nice to perhaps broken the bigger map into smaller regional maps to simplify finding them in the larger context. I also found it interesting that every single map in this collection has a wall or other defensive structure completely surrounding the heart of the population. Though I can see having walls around some portions of a city, I can’t imagine that building one around a population of 20,000 people can be cheap or easy to maintain.

That said, the Kingdoms of Kalamar: City Map Folio (first published in 2004) offers GMs tons of inspiration for their own campaigns and worlds. Who knows what dangers may lurk in these literally thousands of city streets ripe for the picking? Definitely worth the $6.99 as a PDF from DriveThruRPG.com.

(This review first appeared here: http://www.gameknightreviews.com/2010/07/rpg-review-kingdoms-
-of-kalamar-city-map-folio/)

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
City Map Folio
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KoDT: Tales from the Vault vol. 1
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/21/2013 00:03:44
The first collection of KODT showcases the earliest comic strips from Jolly as the characters are slowly established. I became familiar with the strip during its’ run with ‘Dragon’, so I missed the earlier development. In this volume we’re treated to the formation of the group, B.A.;s experiments with diceless RPGs, unionised players, and the arrival of Sara (who will remain for the rest of the series). Weird Pete runs a few games for the Knights, his style very obviously influenced by the tone of first-edition D&D books.
Overall, it is a fine collection, and makes me nostalgic for the pizza-laden gaming sessions of the 90’s as it captures the zeitgeist so well.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
KoDT: Tales from the Vault vol. 1
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HackMaster Basic (free)
by Andrew K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2013 14:22:07
Years ago this product came out with great fanfare, I bought a printed copy, and eagerly awaited the full product. THAT KENZER CO TOOK ALMOST 5 YEARS TO FINALLY RELEASE!!! NOW THEY GIVE THIS AWAY FOR FREE?! THANKS FOR TAKING MY MONEY AND THEN LAUGHING IN MY FACE BLACKBURN, THE JOKE ISN'T THE GAME IT'S YOUR PATHETIC RELEASE SCHEDULE. FOOL ME ONCE, AND THATS THE LAST KENZER CO PRODUCT I'LL EVER BUY.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
HackMaster Basic (free)
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Aces & Eights: Player's Guidebook GM addendum
by William V. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2013 09:52:37
I originally rated this a '4', but downgraded it based on a couple of factors. One is what I feel is the unnecessary complexity of some of the core rules (commented on in my review of the Player's Guidebook), but the bigger issue is the title. This should really be called the GM's Guidebook (not an addendum), as it's really essential if you want to run a good game of Aces & Eights. There's some very solid information here for a GM looking to run a Western campaign (so good that I'd recommend it to anyone looking to run this kind of game, even with a different rules system), and as with all products in this line it's visually stunning.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Aces & Eights: Player's Guidebook GM addendum
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Aces & Eights: Player's Guidebook
by William V. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2013 09:46:56
Another visually stunning product from Kenzer, in my opinion it falls down when it comes to the actual rules. I found the whole system to be cumbersome and geared more toward originality (no one's done it THIS way before, so it must be good) as opposed to playability. The lack of character classes isn't original, and was actually handled in a more streamlined (dare I say elegant) way by the old FGU product Wild West (it wasn't anywhere near as pretty, but was at least as complete...more so when it came to animals in the game). I'm not a fan of needing additional components (cards, poker chips, and so on) to play a game when those elements could be done as easily (if not more so) with dice.

The alternate history is an interesting touch (although likely not needed), and the coverage of weapons is better than average for games in this genre (not as good as Wild West's but better than ICE's Outlaw or TSR's Boot Hill). I'm a big fan of Old West gaming and really wanted to give this a '5' but just couldn't do it based on the unnecessary "novelty" in the rules system.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Aces & Eights: Player's Guidebook
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Judas Crossing
by William V. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2013 14:22:34
Again, this is a visually stunning addition to the Aces & Eights game line. The maps are good, and the NPCs have the level of detail one expects from this line. Sadly, though, the adventure material is lacking. The mechanism for determining faction reactions to PCs is cumbersome, and seems to have been done for impact rather than utility. A simple chart would have been much easier and more logical.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Judas Crossing
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Aces & Eights: Fool's Gold
by William V. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2013 12:28:02
Visually this is a stunning product, like all the Aces & Eights material. The NPCs are as detailed as a GM could hope for, although it would have been nice if as much attention had been paid to linking the module to the town setting included with the GM's Addendum rulebook. The overall organization is decent, and the boxes with adventure and dialog possibilities for GMs based on the actions of their players are helpful. They do consume a fair amount of space, though, making the adventure seem more involved or substantial that it actually is. On the whole it's a great product for those new to a Frontier setting but experienced GMs might wish for more "meat" in the adventure and less in the way of window dressing.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Aces & Eights: Fool's Gold
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KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 5
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/08/2013 22:54:38
Once again KotD provides the perfectly pitched gaming humour that we have come to expect. In this instalment, the Knights tackle the new FBI-style game 'Men in Hack' and deal with the inevitable fall-out from passing notes with the GM. Woven into the rest of the collection is the ongoing saga as Bob tries to get an even break (and fails), and the party deals with the disastrous results of leaving a Bag of Holding unattended.
Brilliant stuff all round, and highly recommended. Can't wait to read the next one in the series.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 5
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