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Modernity Character Sheet
Modernity Character Sheet
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A Game of Blood
by Devon K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2013 21:16:10
This is an absolutely wonderful book. I really love reading vampire stories and this has got to be one of the better ones I've ever read. The main character changes throughout the story. The change is gradual and you're left wondering which moments, exactly, were the ones that cause him to shift. The antagonist is an awesome character, someone who I started out hating to love and then just began to love him. He's very much a vampire, and yet has a sense of wonder to him.

The story is wonderful but there were a couple of times where the book slowed down and I had to put it down and come back to it later. It's well worth the read.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Game of Blood
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Troubleshooters
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/11/2012 18:33:05
Interesting story with interesting characters but I wish that it was a little longer. Not really enough here to know what is going on or if it will get better or worse.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Troubleshooters
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A Stealthy Thief
by Jazmin O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2012 11:04:14
This adventure is a bit too micro. I find it hard to believe there will be a party out there that will take an hour to run through the adventure, as the cover states "Hour or less Micro adventure." My current party would be done with it in 15 minutes, and that's on a bad day.

The plot is a bit too obvious (ie, well there are no foot prints, so either magic is involved or something large is coming in and taking off with the cattle). Speaking with animals is a moot point and doesn't *really* help the party, and it's a waste of a spell.

I also noticed there were a few typos (writing"it" instead of "he" in the dm text, and typing he instead of the).

The NPC background being already fleshed out is great, but too bad most of it is not being adequately used during this particular adventure (most of the backgrounds assume that the party will visit the NPCs more often and will get to see more of their quirks, etc).

In the end a creative DM would have to flesh out the adventure some, to make it fulfilling to the party.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
A Stealthy Thief
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Adventure Havens: Lords of the Manor
by Tristan Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/23/2011 12:25:33
A solid product, worth the $5 I paid for it.

The included sites include a variety of traditional castles and highly non-traditional castles. The included NPCs (the titular Lords of the Manor) are by and large interesting and fun, and should certainly keep your players' attention. Most are of sufficient depth and quality to be well-liked (or thoroughly hated) recurring NPCs. The art is in a sketchy, impressionist style that goes well with the style of the writing - enough detail to keep your players excited, but not so much to stifle you.

If you're looking for a few castles, keeps, and manor houses to drop into your game, I would recommend this product to you.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Havens:  Lords of the Manor
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A Distressed Damsel
by Jazmin O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2011 16:47:47
I used this recently for my Black Company Game, which had a group of 6, all level 2. I changed out the werewolves for the wereleopards in the Black Company setting (which were all between level 4 and 5).

One of the fighters and the thief/ranger was immediately suspicious of the Mother, however they didn't question her too much, and left her to talk to the Academician.

The party and I came to the conclusion that the module was fun, needed a bit more substance to it (although they do tell you that it's a micro adventure that lasts about 30 minutes), and a little railroady.

Besides that, the party had fun with it anyways.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Distressed Damsel
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Caelumancy
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/30/2011 08:19:55
Caelumancy is the term used in this book for truly potent weather and nature magic. It's described as a crafting feat, by analogy with making magic items, but effectively the powers listed here are spells that affect areas miles across for months at a time.

There are eight different weather effects, which tend to closely resemble spells such as Control Winds or Lightning Storm, except for the greatly increased duration and area of effect.

Most of the effects listed in the book, however, have nothing to do with weather: for example, a further fifteen relate to living things, and here resemble (without just duplicating) spells like Goodberry or Plant Growth.

Five further effects are described as "boons" and do things like changing all water in the vicinity into healing potions, while five are "wracks" and are more like Contagion. Four "apocalyptic" effects create things like earthquakes and volcanoes.

In addition to the effects themselves, there are some additional feats for their creators, a section on how to dispel such powerful magic, and a fair sized selection of ideas on how to combine different effects to produce weird bits of magical geography. Also, some of this weather can apparently become sentient - presumably because magic items can - which does, at least to me, feel a little odd.

Its all pretty powerful stuff, although, like magic items, creating it requires expenditure of XPs and large amounts of money (quite what the money is spent on is unclear, however). As magical effects that can bring flavour to a game world its actually pretty good, and there are also rules for things like extreme weather.

GMs might, however, be wary of actually giving these powers to PCs. But even so, they can be used as rules for creating unusual meteorological or geographical hazards in a high-magic world. The list of effects is fairly comprehensive, and doesn't simply duplicate more regular spells. There are some good ideas here, although you might want to be careful how you use them.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Caelumancy
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World Building
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/14/2011 14:12:43
There are many worldbuilding products available to a GM, and this is one of the simplest, cheapest, and easiest to follow. It's 16 pages long, including workbook-style sections that leave plenty of room for people to write their own notes in. There's no art - this is for working with, not for oohing and aahing over.

There are five sections in World Building. The first emphasizes the logic of your world The second asks you to try to evaluate the purpose of the world you are creating as well as its place in various classifications of fictional worlds. Third, you now have a direction in which you can develop the logic of the world you're creating. Suggestions for research also come in here. Part Four is about the civilizations and mythology of your world. Finally, you are asked to focus on the workings of the world, whether fictional or game-mechanical.

The most fun part of this supplement are the worksheets that I mentioned earlier. These have several open-ended questions and a blank space for you to answer for your particular world. Keeping these documents throughout a campaign will help you improvise during game sessions and will remind you of what your game is all about when you are in the midst of a campaign. Are you still going the way you intended to go in the beginning?

Because this product is priced exactly right and is meant to be worked on rather than shelved or archived, I give it a high rating. The only way it could be better is if the worksheets had been more developed or been form-fillable, so that people who prefer to type for their archival copies could type directly on the sheet.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
World Building
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A Stealthy Thief
by Andrew F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2010 17:09:27
I thought this micro-adventure was a bit too micro. The opening scene and NPC information was good and I liked some of the descriptive text about the environment, the manor, etc. Some of the NPC speeches were competently written. I liked the artwork.

However, I think there are a few problems.

(1) The plot is very, very simple. Someone is stealing the lord's cattle, there is one obvious place to look for the guilty party, sure enough he's there, confrontation, and the adventure is over. I realize it's a "micro" adventure but it really should have another beat or a twist somewhere.

(2) Of the six pages, two are taken up on NPC background material. It's nice to have them fleshed out a little, but for a quick micro adventure, everything should be relevant to the story and a lot of the material isn't. It provides hints and ideas but in this very space-constrained format, I think they should have built the main plot out a bit more.

Not bad but not great.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
A Stealthy Thief
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Karma Roleplaying System Core Rules Book
by Bastien D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2010 10:52:49
I was actually rather disappointed by this one. Possibly because I expected a lot out of it from the pitch : this book ends up missing two thirds of its alleged content, allowing gameplay at the first power tier only.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Karma Roleplaying System Core Rules Book
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The Mom Player Class
by Eric A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2010 11:14:08
This is hilarious. I especially like "Power Word: Sigh." I'm tempted to try and sneak this into my campaign just for the reaction. Don't you think it should be a prestige class, though?

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mom Player Class
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Publisher Reply:
Well, there are a few prestige classes for mom. There is the Grandmom prestige class, the Evil Stepmother prestige class, Soccer Mom prestige class, etc. You can use your imagination! But I'm glad folks enjoyed this. It was a lot of fun to write.
The Mom Player Class
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2010 09:17:27
This isn't a bad product in the least in that it suits the whole Mother's Day theme well and presents the Mom class in a manner that it short, sweet, and to the point. The only things that are missing are Starting Wealth and all the fluff about Adventures, Characteristics, Alignment, Races, et cetera. However, considering that this class was not intentionally made as a full-blown PC class and was made to be more of a tribute to mothers everywhere (especially gamers' mothers and mothers who are gamers themselves), this makes very little--if, in fact, any--difference whatsoever. Even so, in a way that might seem strange to some people, I can actually see how a Game Master can tweak the features of this class so that it can be fully functional in an actual d20 (or even Pathfinder) campaign. Nice job, Bards & Sages! This was a great idea for Mother's Day 2010.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Caelumancy
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/12/2009 20:01:50
It goes without saying how most magic in the 3.5 RPG is tactical in nature. Because of this, it’s easy to forget the more wondrous aspects of magic from fiction and folklore. Spells that eternally turn a blasted desert into a lush rainforest, or a fertile valley into a dust-choked wasteland, are lost in the shuffle of new damage-dealing enchantments. In fact, it’s almost astonishing how much magic that permanently alters a local area’s ecology has been ignored up until now. However, this is a hole that is filled with Caelumancy, by Bards and Sages.

Caelumancy is, as noted above, the creation of permanent effects that affect an area. Interestingly, this system is treated as creating a magic item, taking the form of a spire on the Ethereal plane, which continues to create the effect on the Material plane so long as the spire remains. The obligatory new item creation feat is presented almost immediately, with the bulk of the book being the various types of caelumancy that can be made.

The various types of caelumancy are divided into five groups: those which affect the weather, the flora and fauna, boons (which enhance creatures), wracks (which harm creatures), and apocalyptic effects. The first two types have more specific types of caelumancy than the rest, but there’s still a fairly diverse number of effects altogether. After this, the book explores several related subjects, including additional feats related to caelumancy and magic item creation, the possibility of sentient caelumancy, how to destroy caelumancy spires on the Ethereal plane, and several example caelumancy effects.

Now book is without its flaws, however, and Caelumancy is no exception. Besides some minor issues (like the Caelumancy feat not being properly labeled as an item creation feat), there were a few things on the technical side that I noted. For example, the printer-friendly PDF actually keeps all of the book’s illustrations – it simply changes them to being grayscale. Why weren’t they simply removed entirely? At least the border on the facing pages was removed. Also, the bookmarks were extensive, but didn’t nest properly, meaning that sections and sub-sections among the bookmarks weren’t indented, making them harder to use.

Overall though, I was quite taken with this book, as it presented a neat new bit of d20 lore that seems to have been ignored up until now. Permanent weather effects are a great bit of magic to add to a game; I’m reminded of how, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the White Witch made it so that Narnia was “always winter, but never Christmas.” If that isn’t the sort of evocative imagery that gets your imagination going, the example caelumancy effects at the end of the book might do the trick. Either way, the environmental-magic portrayed here is a great way of bringing a classic form of magic into your game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Caelumancy
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Pantheon Building
by Andrew F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2009 15:27:31
The tools and information provided inside are very useful for a Game Master developing his own Pantheon of Gods. The author, Julie Dawson, breaks down some very complex concepts into short descriptions and suggestions. It covers the different needs of society and moves onto how to fit your deities within a structure that your players will understand. They are after all the representatives of your society while they are in character.

I found this to be an excellent resource. It is only 7 pages so it is not an encyclopedic book of Gods or deities by any stretch, I don't think it was intended to be. I think what this book provides the world-builder GM with is a resource he can go back to again and again. It is one of six books that never leaves my writing desks. I tend to like reference books that are easily accessible and not provide meaty substance. Pantheon Building is both.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pantheon Building
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Dangerous Creatures: Bullet Ant
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/31/2009 21:26:22
It’s a truism that insects evoke a visceral reaction of disgust and horror in most people. That response is so instinctive it’s almost hardwired into us, even when the bugs in question are relatively harmless. Imagine how much more frightening such an insect would be, however, if it was a kind that wasn’t harmless but could inflict long-lasting and devastating pain on you with a single sting. Enter the bullet ant, one of nature’s scariest insects, brought to the d20 system by Bards and Sages.

Part of their very short line of Dangerous Creatures PDFs, the Bullet Ant is four pages long, consisting of a cover (which is a photograph of the insect), two pages of information, and a page with the OGL.

While I can certainly appreciate why Bards and Sages wanted to bring this particular creature to the d20 System, the end result of their attempt left me less than impressed. For instance, the flavor text describes the bullet ant as being just under an inch long, so why is it size category Tiny, which is the size used for something roughly the size of a housecat? Why does it have an Intelligence of 0, instead of more correctly using dashes (--) to indicate that it has no Intelligence at all? And of course, a creature with no Intelligence shouldn’t have skills or feats (except for inherent skill bonuses and bonus feats) like this creature does. It’s disheartening to see this many errors in a product this short, to say nothing of stylistic decisions that made me cringe, such as listing the CR as “0.5” instead of using the fractional notation of ½ - I could go on and on, which is troubling to say the least. Beyond that, the new uses for bullet ant venom seemed decent, but uninspired (two very similar uses against poison, for example), and the cultural note for how some tribes used bullet ants was mildly interesting, but that’s all. There was no note about how to really use it in a game.

Ultimately, this product is okay overall, but does a poor job of translating the bullet ant into d20 terms, and does only slightly better on offering other ways to work the creature into your game. More could have been done than is given here, and what is here isn’t done very well. It’s a product that still has some bugs to work out.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dangerous Creatures:  Bullet Ant
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A Matter of Honor
by Marco K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/28/2009 10:53:51
Somewhat strange ... and no more than a fleeting idea given some shape.

... ok, perhaps at $ 0.99 you cannot expect too much, so it is not surpising that everything about this adventure is very micro ... except for its file-size of course.

Beside two stat blocks and a micro map you get three almost half pages and one almost full page of text.

Nonetheless the whole lot of it sums up to an astounding 25MB!!! file-size like a full 500-page rule-book.

Perhaps it would have been a good idea to at least automatically reduce file-size with Adobe Acrobat - resulting in a nice 650KB file after barely 10 seconds of work.

To sum it up: Just an average idea given some small shape at a very large size.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
A Matter of Honor
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Publisher Reply:
Marco, OOPS! Thanks for the head's up. I went back and checked the production files and the settings were wrong. The size-issue has been corrected and the file is now a much more suitable size of 1.88 MB. Should you ever notice odd issues like this with future products, please feel free to contact us directly using the Contact Publisher link and let us know so we can get them fixed.
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