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Raven Downs Dungeon Map Tile Set: A Torn World Gaming Accessory
by christopher h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2013 06:37:02
It's basically what you get with the free version but the map is broken down into larger tiles. Was hoping for more than that!

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Raven Downs Dungeon Map Tile Set: A Torn World Gaming Accessory
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Torn World Presents: Hand-Drawn Cities: Volume II
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/14/2012 11:39:18
I am always intrigued by real pen and ink (usually so I can steal ideas, ahem, I mean learn techniques...). Volumes 1 and 2 of Torn World's Hand-Drawn Cities are for the more discerning map appreciator. These two black and white products nestle amongst the other gorgeous colour maps and accessories provided by Torn World, but for me these are the bright treasures. Everywhere you look in these sprawling cities there are details, and yet they are plain enough to make those cities your own. As is the fashion these days, the PDF comes with graphics files (.png and jpg) which can be imported into other packages (perhaps you would like to give to different districts your own shades your reference?) All of Alyssa Faden's cities appear to have grown organically, developing in sections - the awkward geometries imply social history and civil expansion. Every block of buildings is depicted, so that the streets are very detailed. However, the details do create a flaw when using the graphics files... Basically, these maps will make you want to zoom right into street level, which results in mild blur and pixelation. Again, I have to stress that this is because the overhead detail is so amazing that you just have to see how far it goes! The good news is that all of the files in these packs are small enough in size to be usable in many applications and platforms without any sluggish scrolling. Bonus.
-Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Torn World Presents: Hand-Drawn Cities: Volume II
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Torn World Presents: Hand-Drawn Cities: Volume I
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/14/2012 11:37:56
I am always intrigued by real pen and ink (usually so I can steal ideas, ahem, I mean learn techniques...). Volumes 1 and 2 of Torn World's Hand-Drawn Cities are for the more discerning map appreciator. These two black and white products nestle amongst the other gorgeous colour maps and accessories provided by Torn World, but for me these are the bright treasures. Everywhere you look in these sprawling cities there are details, and yet they are plain enough to make those cities your own. As is the fashion these days, the PDF comes with graphics files (.png) which can be imported into other packages (perhaps you would like to give to different districts your own shades your reference?) All of Alyssa Faden's cities appear to have grown organically, developing in sections - the awkward geometries imply social history and civil expansion. Every block of buildings is depicted, so that the streets are very detailed. However, the details do create a flaw when using the graphics files... Basically, these maps will make you want to zoom right into street level, which results in mild blur and pixelation. Again, I have to stress that this is because the overhead detail is so amazing that you just have to see how far it goes! The good news is that all of the files in these packs are small enough in size to be usable in many applications and platforms without any sluggish scrolling. Bonus.
-Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Torn World Presents: Hand-Drawn Cities: Volume I
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Eastern Oljanus - The Sisk Empire: A Torn World Overland Map
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/03/2012 12:23:41
Review of the Torn World product: East Oljanus – The Sisk Empire – A Torn World Overland Map – UPDATED.

By Lee A. Smith (MadCartographer)

Scale 1-5 with: 1=poor, 5=Great, 20 possible points.


Visual Appeal: 4
There are 2 files to this product:
MAP_-_Oljanus_East.JPG: As per usual, the cover has the same “standardization” for the World of Torn as all the other products. I can’t say how much I love this because there is no doubt that this a World of Torn product. I hope they continue to keep this same look and feel to all their products.

TWOM003_East_Oljanus_-_Sisk_Empire.pdf: The manual is also well laid out, with the standard format. I also note the additional text that explains their year reckoning of A.R. I like this addition as it has not been explained before, now it makes sense to me.


Readability: 5
The information contained in the pdf is fantastic, gives full political, climate, and Current Interests in nice detail for your roll playing needs. Once again giving the “type” of people that live here, as Roman, Greek minded, so you know how to play them. This section is a great addition that was omitted the first go around. Well done!


Art (Color and Black & White): 5
As per usual, the cartography is exceptional. Nice and easy flowing colors and the labels blend well with the map. Very easy to look at and understand what’s where on this map. A nice pic of a Sisk solder is also included in this pdf file. The cartographers and artists are all pros.

Overall: 5
Now that this product has been updated, I’m happy to give it full marks. I feel the text for the Sisk really adds to the area. Shows GM’s and PC alike what to expect should they venture into this hostel peoples land. I also like the addition of A. R. Explained. This now makes sense to me since I had no way of knowing what A. R. meant. Fantastic product, and another must get if your gaming in the Torn World.
I rate this a 5.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eastern Oljanus - The Sisk Empire: A Torn World Overland Map
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Northern Druath Glennan & Turtleback Reef: A Torn World Overland Map
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/27/2012 11:53:34
Review of the Torn World product: NorthernDruath Glennan – Turtleback Reef – A Torn World Overland Map.zip

By Lee A. Smith (MadCartographer)

Scale 1-5 with: 1=poor, 5=Great, 20 possible points.


Visual Appeal: 5
I must admit, this map is by far my favorite, I love the Turtleback Reef. The makers are still sticking with a uniform design for the cover. I like this because this makes it easy to associate with the Torn World. I must admit, I’m a fan at this point. Cover is top notch!

Readability: 5
I really enjoyed the “Dwarf” talking at the beginning of this PDF. The wording sounds “Dwarfish” to me. Also I like the OOC info; “Think Scottish Highlands”… Gives the race “Feel” for what type of humanoids they are. Nice thinking there. The info given has nice depth and gives you plenty of options for campaigns and other possibilities such as political battles if your into that, or going Orc hunting to rid the area of the vermin. I also like the idea of Orc cities. Lots of possibilities there. Very good read.

Art (Color and Black & White): 5
I’m obviously very intrigued by this area. I plan on my games being done in this region. The Turtleback Reef is amazing! Lots of little islands on this rather large reef. Also lots of possibilities with the inhabitants of the reef as well. Could be lots of adventures for my gaming group here.

Overall: 5
This product is a must have if you plan on gaming in this world. With lots of cities and various types of terrain, and just think of the creatures that can inhabit this area! The map is as usual, stellar. The text is vry appealing to the reader and lets the creative juices just flow for campaigns and adventures for your PC’s. Thumbs up for this product, this is a solid 5.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Northern Druath Glennan & Turtleback Reef: A Torn World Overland Map
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Kelek Thalgar & Shadow Vale: A Torn World Overland Map
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/27/2012 11:28:59
Review of the Torn World product: Kelek Thalgar - Shadow Vale - A Torn World Overland Map

By Lee A. Smith (MadCartographer)

Scale 1-5 with: 1=poor, 5=Great, 20 possible points.


Visual Appeal: 5
As usual, the cover is simply amazing, a nice pic of the area dominates the cover, and the cartography is simply the best. High marks as usual. I love the fact that they keep the same look and feel for all of their products.

Readability: 5
As I read through this PDF, I was taken to Blessed Gorge, the Blight and the Kings court. There is a lot of good info in this document and the reading is very easy to follow. Well written and thought out. I really enjoyed this!

Art (Color and Black & White): 5
MAP_-_Kelek_Thalgar_&_Shadow_Vale_(Handdrawn_-_no_labels-
).JPG
I really like this map for players, no labels means the PC’s can mark it up all they want with whatever they need. I like this concept of on labels for the players. Good job. The map is also excellent!

MAP_-_Kelek_Thalgar_&_Shadow_Vale_(Handdrawn).JPG
This map has tons of labels for the GM and player alike. The more labels the more I like them, I like my maps well populated with mountains and rivers, valleys etc that are named.

MAP_-_Kelek_Thalgar_&_Shadow_Vale.JPG
What can I say, I’m a fan! Alyssa is an amazing cartographer! Her shades and colors she uses go well together and makes the map just jump out at you. Good job.

Overall: 5
This bundle is the best I have seen from their products thus far. I really like this Torn World the more I dig into it. Well laid out and thought out. I can’t wait for the next one. Well done! Rating of 5.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kelek Thalgar & Shadow Vale: A Torn World Overland Map
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Gullwash: A Torn World Town Map
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/26/2012 23:15:53
Review of the Torn World product: Gullwash – A Torn World Map.zip

By Lee A. Smith (MadCartographer)

Scale 1-5 with: 1=poor, 5=Great, 20 possible points.


Visual Appeal: 5
Once again, the standard look and feel keeps me attracted to the covers of these products. They just look sharp!

Readability: 4
Nice info on the town and easy to read through the text. This PDF is precise and very clearly written.

Art (Color and Black & White): 4
This map is well detailed and well laid out. I enjoyed the choice of colors used in this map. That gave it a different look than the others thus far.

Overall: 4
Overall, I say this product is a must get for anyone wanting to play in the World of Torn. Great map and very nice info on the town makes this a great buy. I give it a solid 4.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gullwash: A Torn World Town Map
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An Gearesdan 20 x 20 miles: A Torn World Overland Map
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2012 22:02:41
MAP_-_AnGearesdan_20x20_(no_labels).JPG 5
Visually stunning map for players, no labels allows the players to mark up all they want on this map. The map shows the location of the major seaport of An Gearesdan and the rough outline of the city.

MAP_-_AnGearesdan_20x20_(CLOSE).JPG 5
This map has been zoomed in a bit more than the other two maps to show more detail for players and DM alike. Names of some locations are also on this map such as mountains and plains etc. The font and colors of the text is easy on the eyes.

MAP_-_AnGearesdan_20x20.JPG 5
This is the exact same map as the (no_labels) map, but it has labels and shown at more altitude than the (CLOSE) map. Again, a beautiful map for your enjoyment.

TWOM011_An_Gearesdan_20x20.pdf 5
This PDF has all three maps in it plus the details on the areas shown. The details of the prison colony and how it started and ended are listed and I must say, I like the promises of many a games/campaigns it can generate. Overall, this is a solid product, once again I recommend this to anyone wanting to play in torn. It could also be used as a standalone island in your own campaign if you wish to go that way too.

This product I give a solid 5, great graphics, and a nice storyline for the area give the GM lots of options open to them. Well done!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
An Gearesdan 20 x 20 miles: A Torn World Overland Map
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The Shattered Blade Thieves: A Torn World Character Pack
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/19/2012 22:34:59
Review of the Torn World product: The Shattered Blade Thieves Character Pack
By Lee A. Smith (MadCartographer)
Scale 1-5 with: 1=poor, 5=Great, 20 possible points.

Visual Appeal: 5. Once again, the cover is fantastic, and they are keeping with the same style and format as all the other Torn products. This is one thing I love about this product line. Conformity and standardization of all products across the board is outstanding. Graphics are stellar as usual.

Readability: 4. Well written and thought out characters. I like how the “team” is not fully trusting of each other (true thieves). Some of the characters have sections that describe their relationships with each other. The character pack layout is easy on the eyes and flows nicely from one charter to another and in the same format.

Art (Color and Black & White): 5. Fierre Carles and Jeff Hill, The quality of artists for the Torn projects are top notch! Torn has a very good team of talented artists working for them. Again, top notch work here.

Overall: 4. A solid product. Nice graphics from the map on the cover and it’s layout, to the character sketches inside, and their stat blocks with background. This is a nice addition to your game. There are some editing issues in this Pack but overall, one solid product I’m happy to have in my collection.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Shattered Blade Thieves: A Torn World Character Pack
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Morieka Myleisaer: A Torn World Character Pack
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/19/2012 19:26:15
Review of the Torn World product: Morieka Myleisaer Character Pack
By Lee A. Smith (MadCartographer)
Scale 1-5 with: 1=poor, 5=Great, 20 possible points.

Visual Appeal: 5. The cover is fantastic. I love how they keep all the products with the same basic cover. With the Torn world logo at the top and a section of the world as the main background, then the Character portrait large and on the left. Looks slick.

Readability: 4. Very easy to read and follow through the different ages (levels) of the character. Background of the character at all the different age’s flows nicely and make sense. Well thought out character. This is a nice NPC, and should be easy to insert into any game by the GM.

Art (Color and Black & White): 5. Jeff Hill & Serena Verde are masterful artists. From the line art, to the full character portrait; crisp and clean lines that just make the character pop out at you. Very nice!

Overall: 3. Lots of typos in the document but easy to miss. I enjoyed reading about Morieka and how she matured during her three different stages. Graphics are superb, layout is exactly what I expect for the World of Torn. Simple and very eye catching. Nicely done!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Morieka Myleisaer: A Torn World Character Pack
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LaCroix: A Torn World Character Pack
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/18/2012 19:10:13
Review of the Torn World product: LaCroix, World Character Pack.pdf.
By Lee A. Smith (MadCartographer)
Scale 1-5 with: 1=poor, 5=Great, Possible 20 points.

Visual Appeal: 5. Cover art is fantastic, the conformity of the products is top notch. They all have the “same look and feel”. The full character art is stellar, along with the background picture of a part of the world of Torn, (also nicely done). There is enough detail for the character to envision playing this character in any game.

Readability: 4. Very easy to read threw in about 15 minutes. Well written and thought out. I spotted a few “typos” but nothing too bad. The info is presented in a well thought out manor and is consistent as the character gets older.

Art (Color and Black & White): 5. Jeff Hill & Serena Verde are exceptional artists, from the black and white drawings to the full color rendition of LaCroix. I’ll be looking them up online to see their portfolios very soon.

Overall: 5. The PDF is 13 pages, with 1 for cover, 1 for credits etc…, 1 for Table of Content, 6 for product, 2 for OGL, 2 for other product info. The layout is well planned and well presented. Material is likewise well planned and well presented. Stats are given at 3 different ages for this character so you can easily insert the NPC into any game easily enough and at any level your players are. I recommend this product as a MUST BUY if you plan on gaming in this world.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
LaCroix: A Torn World Character Pack
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The Shadow Vale Player's Guide
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2012 07:06:13
This pdf is 71 pages long, 1 page front cover, 3 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages advertisement, 2 pages SRD and 1 blank page, leaving a total of 61 pages of content, so let's check this out!

After a 2-page introduction and a 1-page overview map of the Shadow Vale, we are introduced to the role of the races of the Vale - the inland kingdom surrounded by cliffs and inhospitable wilderness all around, making the Shadow Vale a somewhat isolated place. From the humans to the war-weary dwarves to the newcomer goblins and the dominant, yet splintered elvish people, we get a nice run-down of them, though gnomes, halflings, half-orcs and half-elves get the short end of the stick. The entry also includes an entry on the Vastersund raiders, a hodge-podge of raiders from across the sea.

After the racial run-downs, we move on to the classes and in what roles/belonging to which cultures in the vale they can be found -while these write-ups are ok, they also display a distinct lack of coverage for ALL classes of the APG, Um and UC. Especially the APG has thankfully become standard in coverage and honestly, I can find no valid reason for this particular omission. A total of 31 generally available traits is next, all of which do nothing particularly exciting, but serve their niche. It should be noted that a couple of them melt down to "You've been bullied, thus bonus X" - a bit more variety would have been nice here. The 13 race-specific traits (not alternate racial traits) fall in the same category, as do the 5 new regional-based traits.

The next section is something often neglected by similar supplements and covers the trade and bartering in the Shadow Vale in excessive detail - which is awesome due to one fact - the Vale does not feature a single coinage and rather subsists on bartering - including a table on slight modification to e.g. equipment qualities (with less hardness for example) as well as a market demand table to determine the flux of demand, a haggle-table and even a table that provides appraisal modifiers by professions - very cool. Even better, the pdf gives a comprehensive run-down that should make it easy for even the most novice of DMs to implement these new rules.

In order to get an overview of the respective settlements and the distribution of races across the vale, we get another version of the vale's map, including color-coded areas of the respective ethnicities, before we delve into the respective settlements. While we don't get settlement statblocks, we do get detailed run-downs of the respective location's resources, government, enemies and allies, etc. It deserves special mentioning that each of the settlements comes with its own banner, beautifully rendered in full-color and that 6 of the villages come with their own beautifully-crafted, hand-drawn maps. It should be noted, though, that each of the maps bar one comes with annoying numbers denoting different buildings and one lacks them, making the maps feel slightly disjointed from another. All of the dominant elven ethnicities get additional toys in the run-down of their respective villages alongside beautiful artworks - from I Hecil knight blades and armor to Morë Aldu battle glaives, armor, bows and healing salves to Taurë Sûler laminated long-bows and armor and Tymara Ainu sun armors and mirroanwi blades, an evident predisposition towards elvish ethnicities and cultures is evident in this section, with the respective tribes getting rather cool pieces of non-standard equipment that help define them against the standard long-eared people one would expect.

The next chapter details the calendar of the World of Torn and it's interesting to say the least - the Shattered Orb has 3 different measurements of time, one elven, one dwarven and one human, 2 suns and 2 moons, including a mysterious time in which the two satellites actually disappear from the skies. The very cool diagrams that illustrate the moon phases for the respective days of the month is awesome and should be standard for similar campaign settings - I hate tracking moon phases for e.g. lycanthropes and these diagrams do a great job of illustrating the passage of time. Even better, we get a rundown of the days, including the mythological significances between the naming-conventions of the days and months of the year - again, awesome, since our real-world measurements of time etc. hearken back to such ideas.

The final chapter details the religions and essentially the pantheon of the world of Torn: Emphasis is put on the link between followers and gods - unless a god has followers, he/she loses divine status, directly linking a gods power to the respective worshipers. While perhaps not assumed to be standard in all campaign worlds, I can name a few in which this very much holds true. That being said, the pantheon is familiar to those well-versed in Norse mythology - From Odin to Baldr, we get all the gods and villainous giants like Surtr even lesser known, cool deities like Forseti. Intermixed in this conservative pantheon are gods like Athena and Bast, which feel, at least to me, like impurities in an otherwise cohesive pantheon. Unfortunately, not the same level of detail provided for other sections of this book is provided for the gods, leaving the respective information cut down to a bare-bone minimum. On the up-side, each of the gods gets a b/w-rendition of his/her holy symbol.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good, though not perfect - I noticed the awkward turn of phrase here and there and once in a while a minor glitch. I feel like I need to mention something, though: While the Pdf seems to adhere to a quasi-Norse nomenclature, it half-asses it, forgetting Umlauts while devoting e.g. circumflex accents to elvish nomenclature. The linguistic nerd in me was utterly annoyed by this: Either fully anglicize the respective names or keep them authentic - as written, the nomenclature of e.g. the Æsir (which is NOT the same letter as "ae", as it's written in this book) left a sour taste in my mouth. In that regard, Open Design's Northlands did a better job. However, I will not fracture that into my final verdict, since I gather that most people would not care about these peculiarities.

Layout adheres to a per-se beautiful two-column standard, though I feel the need to mention the tendency to leave a lot of blank space between paragraphs. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is an inexcusable blunder at this length. The absence of a printer-friendly b/w-version is another major downer, since the pdf features a BROWN border with multi-colored jewels etc., executing a brutal toll on printers. As with all "World of Torn"-books, the cartography, especially the hand-drawn one, is beautiful and the full-color renditions of the elvish ethnicities in full battle-garb are awesome. More jarring, though, is the decision to include several, terribly ugly CGI-full-page, full color artworks that just look WRONG. Not only do they blow up the page-count and drain the printer, they also detract from a cohesive, uniform look. The banners of the settlements are beautiful, but the slapped-on run-down of the pantheon with its, once again strange art-choice (being b/w and not cohesive with the other artworks) feels, again, strangely disjointed.

Disjointed. It's rather ironic that a setting called "World of Torn", that is referred to as the "Shattered Orb" by its inhabitants, feels that disjointed, at least to me - on the one hand, we get an awesome calendar, cool bartering rules and intriguing elvish ethnicities. On the other hand, the other races remain painfully under-developed, the traits remain the blandest fare imaginable and are no way up to the standard set by e.g. Rite Publishing and then there's the art direction. One thing I always enjoyed about the other pdfs by Torn World was the excellent art direction, the cool original artworks. And they're here again. BUT: The ugly full-color CGI-graphics interspersed as well as the b/w-symbols of the gods make one feel as if the budget of the pdf was simply depleted. Worse, the copious amount of space between lines and the full-page CGI-crap feels as if they are here for the sole purpose of bloating the page-count. The hand-drawn maps also add to this disjointed feeling - the overview maps have been included directly from the map-packs and are CGI, while the hand-drawn maps are beauties and seem to be original - not even the maps are cohesive in style. Worse, while I love the fact that one village-map comes without numbers, the others do and not all of the villages get maps - again, a feeling of a depleted budget creeps in.

This pdf feels, unfortunately, as if its ambitions have been too lofty only to be crushed by a lack of funding. The potential for an epic book are here, but without bookmarks, the weird disjointed presentation and the glossed-over aspects on races as well as the lack of support for APG, UM and UC, this pdf can unfortunately only be classified as one thing: Sloppy. Glossing over the last years of development in PFRPG, providing boring traits, no new feats and no new archetypes and PrCs, this pdf is unfortunately also a failure on the crunch-side. Which is oh so bitter: The trading-section made me anticipate, even look forward to the rest of the pdf and my expectations were squashed. I also wager that by cutting down on the extensive use of blank lines and filler artworks, this pdf could easily be 20 pages shorter, delivering less content than promised and adding further to the impression of an artificially bloated book. As presented, this pdf feels unfortunately like a professional book was handed over to amateurs halfway through production, bloated to meet a page-count and then rushed out to make a buck. For fanboys of elves, people intrigued by the bartering rules and those interested in the calendar, this pdf has at least a bit to offer, though the majority still remains a heart-wrenching jumble. Don't get me wrong, not all about this pdf is bad - in fact, the greatness herein only further serves to highlight the abject failure of a majority of this pdf's content, making the result all the more bitter. And it is with a bitter taste in my mouth, I deliver my final verdict: 1.5 stars, rounded down to 1. As a player's guide, this fails and can't hold a torch to e.g. Headless Hydra's FREE players guide to the Viridian Legacy AP, much less justify a price-point of 6 bucks for an unbookmarked, rushed pdf.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Shadow Vale Player's Guide
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The Shattered Blade Thieves: A Torn World Character Pack
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/20/2012 07:25:54
This pdf is 17 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, leaving 12 pages of content to introduce us to the Shattered Blades, so let's check them out!

After two pages of introduction, we are introduced to the respective thieves:

Moresha Cethly-Riyll is a blight-touched human female rogue 5 (CR 5), born with a soul and the blessing of the immortal lich-king and fighting with her deadly blightsteel weapons - these cause an additional point of damage that is essentially vile damage from D&D 3.5 reloaded - the damage can only be healed when influenced by a consecrate or hallow effect.

Ridd, a CR 4 Minotaur belonging to the Thrasher-tribe and fighting with their signature thrasher chains (large chains that do 3d6 (!!!) points of damage and get full stats) is next, while Usolor Mij'r, cleric of Hel and sycophantic healer of the troupe makes for the third of the evil antagonists. Second among the tanks of the group, Eridor Kirith, cavalier of the order of the cockatrice could be consider a good-looking fellow, were it not for his personality and the the noble drow evoker Karalea Kel'Rae, exile from another world completes the group of villains.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a full-color, two-column standard and each of the characters gets his/her own stunning artwork, which is plain and simple awesome at this low price. The pdf unfortunately has no bookmarks, though. The shattered blades thieves are interesting characters obviously intended as a rival adventurer group for lower levels of play and this role they fit quite well. The prose is generally well-written and makes references to quite a few Norse pastimes and fluff, which is a nice touch. However, not all is excellent about this pack: While every character gets a neat piece of fluff that makes one more intrigued in the World of Torn and its peculiarities, said fluff is rather sparse - the respective characters get only a rather bare-bone background when compared to other, similar offerings of even Torn's LaCroix.

Another problem is that quite literally, while the characters are cool, at low levels they are also rather simple builds - I could have created each of them myself and didn't consider them terribly exciting - probably due to the lack of an overall narrative tying them together. They are a group, but we don't really get to know that much about what makes them tick, how they got together etc. - the background story of the group, hinted at in the respective character sections, perhaps a scarce one or two pages of it, would have made this pdf much better. Unfortunately, I have to rate this in context and the context is RiP's excellent "Faces of the Tarnished Souk" series as well as TPK Games stellar line of "Infamous Adversaries": RiP's FoTS has 3 incarnations per character and the respective builds are highly complex. TPK Games offered us STELLAR fluff with their latest offerings and even a whole campaign outline, minions etc. for the villain. In comparison with these, this character pack falls rather short. Don't get me wrong, the artworks are neat indeed, the potential is there, but try as I might, I can't rate this higher than 3 stars. I look forward to reading more from Torn, though!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Shattered Blade Thieves: A Torn World Character Pack
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Raven Downs Dungeon Virtual Tabletop Map Set
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/19/2012 16:33:11
I'm not currently using any virtual tabletop software, but I have to say that for free the map included as a jpg and in PDF form is beautiful colour dungeon level - perfect for a one-to-session game.
A resourceful DM could possibly enlarge and print the graphics out, poster-style, to create a set of tiles.
Nice work.
Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Raven Downs Dungeon Virtual Tabletop Map Set
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Morieka Myleisaer: A Torn World Character Pack
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2012 09:51:37
This pdf is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages SRD and 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's check this out!

As with the other character-pack offering by Torn World, LaCroix, we get 3 different incarnations of Morieka: At age of 90, this elven woman is a competent fighter (CR 5), but has been overlooked time and again for promotions due to her rambo-esque attitude - in spite of her martial prowess with her greatsword.

At age of 108, Morieka, she has grown out her rebellious phase and joined the elite cadre of Molas Saedi at the behest of the leaders of the legendary leaders of said brotherhood. She has become a fighter 6/Molas Saedi 5.

At the age of 208, she has gone into hiding due to the fact that the Molas Saedi have been pronounced traitors - living a covert life as a town blacksmith and with family, she nevertheless keeps tabs on her Molas Saedi brothers and sisters. She is now a fighter 10/Molas Saedi 5.

The last two pages of the pdf are devoted to the Molas Saedi PrC - if you're interested in my thoughts on it, check out the review of LaCroix, I went into all details there.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting could have been better - the otherwise solid prose has one or two hick-ups and I noticed a formatting error regarding bold letters. Layout adheres to a full-color two-column standard and the artworks deserve special mention: The younger two incarnations of Morieka get their own mug-shot b/w-illustrations and her grown incognito version a full-body shot in blacksmith's garb and full color - all of the artworks being of top quality. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is a bummer.
I like the notions and nomenclature of the Torn World characters, however, Morieka suffers from multiple problems: For one, she is not as complex or cool a character as LaCroix. Secondly, regarding internal consistency, her name adheres to completely different standards the LaCroix's, although she's also an elf and a Molas Saedi. Third, the Molas Saedi PrC, while nice, has already been featured in LaCroix's pdf. And then, fourth, we have another problem: Her build. It's just BORING. Every DM can create a level 10 character and slap some PrC-levels on it. When compared to Rite Publishing's "Faces of the Tarnished Souk"-series and its exceedingly complex characters at the same price, Morieka almost feels insulting. The other benchmarks, the latest offerings by TPK Games' Infamous adversary-line also prove to be vastly superior in terms of bang-for-bucks and concept of the characters. Morieka and future builds in this line need archetypes, templates etc. - something that sets them apart. Don't get me wrong - her character is nicely developed and I love seeing the individual fluff for her different incarnations, but that's simply not enough to carry here when we take a look at what other 3pps offer. Her artworks is excellent, though. I'd usually go for 3 stars on her...BUT. But I've rated 3 stars some other files in the IA and FoTS-series that are superior to this one in almost any way. Thus, I'll settle for a final verdict of 2.5 stars, rounded down due to glitches, lack of bookmarks etc. to 2 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Morieka Myleisaer: A Torn World Character Pack
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