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DCC RPG Free RPG Day Adventure Starter
by Scott B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/09/2012 10:43:48
This package includes an introduction to the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, a 0-1 level adventure "The Portal Under the Stars", a 5th level adventure "The Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad", and gorgeous art. A print version was available free on FreeRPG day 2011. I picked up a copy then, but I found myself wanting to run the first adventure when I didn't have access to my print version so I purchased the PDF version.

I ran this as a quick game over the holidays for family members. There's no quick-play rules (you need the free Beta rules download for that), but they're barely required due to the nature of the adventure. If you've played a d20 game before, you'll pick this up with no effort.

(I used an online 0th level character generator to speed things up, creating multiple set of characters and let my players pick one set each. Google "DCC RPG resources". The rules for creating characters by hand are in the free Beta rule download, and are very fast.)

Spoilers?
"Portal Under the Stars" is primarily exploration of an ancient crypt, with some combat and traps. There's enough information for the players to learn the history of the crypt, and there's a final "boss fight" which can be avoided by clever/lucky/unlucky/greedy characters. There are nine rooms outlined, including the "foyer" and treasure room, but there's plenty to think about and do in all of the rooms.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC RPG Free RPG Day Adventure Starter
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Broncosaurus Rex: Dinosaurs That Never Were
by Dennis P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2012 21:11:02
Dinosaur Planet seems like a fascinating setting. I haven't gotten the main book yet but the information in the Broncosaurus Rex: Dinosaurs That Never Were makes me interested in more.

The opening chapter is about the Storm Valley. It is a distinct area in the Dinosaur Planet setting that contains these unusual dinosaurs. It has some mysteries to it that have obvious potential for adventures. The area is under continual storm clouds but it allows light through. The storms make aerial travel dangerous. The valley dinosaurs are even more intelligent those of other valleys. The Confederate and Union are kinda setup in reverse rolls where the Union is trying to use dinosaurs and the Confederate have more technology. They have a set of plot hooks after the history of the valley but I kinda prefer the hints of possibilities in the valley's history.

Dinosaur Planet was made for 3rd edition not 3.5. On top of this the authors have chosen to do some things differently than standard 3rd edition. You could still use the creatures without too much trouble in 3.5. The descriptions of the dinosaurs are very interesting. I do find that some pictures aren't as good a match as I would like. The ankylosaurus peltaspinos picture doesn't have a club like tail and ends up looking similar to the spinoflagella peloros. Similar problem exists with the craspedoceratops gregarium where the picture doesn't seem that different from the multiceratops tarbos. The description (and stats) of the craspedoceratops gregarium explain that the frill should be larger and go back to protect the sides as well as the front. I was surprised there isn't a poison spitter in the monsters.

I'm not currently running Dinosaur Planet or even 3.5. I actually purchased the book with the intention of using the creatures in a 4th edition game. The pictures will work well as visual aid and the tactics of the creatures can give ideas for 4th edition power. Still it has convinced to put the rest of the Dinosaur Planet products on my wishlist.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Broncosaurus Rex: Dinosaurs That Never Were
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Complete Guide to Beholders
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/05/2011 17:42:50
What makes a good monster book? Probably most importantly, you have to be able to finish it and still want to kill them. ("Good" dragons have never appealed to me just for that reason.) Beholders, crazy floating eyeball beings, have been a staple of D&D play since the early days, when they were saddled with cartoony art. They were major villains throughout the Forgotten Realms, where their magical capabilities and scheming methods made them memorable antagonists.

Goodman Games has a reputation of producing high quality, high-detail supplements and the Complete Guide to Beholders is no exception. It contains information about beholder culture, physiology, and their beliefs about the universe. It's a self-contained set of beliefs (nihilism focused on "The Void") that has attitudes about "the gods" without reference to who they are, to help you fit them into whatever campaign world that you have. There are even suggestions for how to incorporate it into superhero, espionage and horror games.

A welcome addition is a section regarding how to roleplay the beholder (don't shake your head! You know how irritating that is?!) This is something that other games should take note of. Specific advice for GMs on this level is highly needed and very effective.

There are some ideas for beholder-oriented campaigns, most of them fighting them from the outside but at least two based on being magical beings connected to beholders, or even beholders themselves! If you like play-the-monster games, it's definitely worth checking out.

I'm reviewer tilting this one up one star because I absolutely adore the roleplaying suggestion/instruction section. Surprisingly flexible and highly effective, the Complete Guide to Beholders is Well Worth The Cheap Price.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Complete Guide to Beholders
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #14: Dungeon Interludes
by Timothy H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2011 14:16:17
This DCC is an excellent resource for ideas for between adventures. They're more than just 'regroup at the tavern and go see what the boss/Laird/Priest wants.'

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #14: Dungeon Interludes
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
by Larry L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/04/2011 07:33:14
Nicely done. Very good for starting players new to the game. A bit hokey with the shrunken part, but easily sidesteped. It seems to me I downloaded a supplement that fleshed out the Welwyn and a few of the significant characters. That was great support.

I want more of the same - on both counts. Well done.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
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Critter Cache 6: Lovecraftian Bestiary
by Sandra B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2011 05:15:04
This book was created with true scholarship and love. The monsters are helpfully set out each with description, stats, attacks, driving force/reactions and a picture, all the information you need to add them to your campaign seamlessly. Easy to use and a joy to look through. Some magic items at the end are the cream on top of this excellent work.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Critter Cache 6: Lovecraftian Bestiary
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Dinosaur Planet: Broncosaurus Rex
by Shaun W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/03/2011 00:06:53
It's a good product, but my main focus in purchasing this PDF was to see if I could adapt certain feats found inside to a D&D 3.5 dinosaur campaign without the futuristic elements. I was not able to do this, but otherwise was able to make use of the dinosaur stat blocks.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dinosaur Planet: Broncosaurus Rex
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DCC RPG Free RPG Day Adventure Starter
by Stephen N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2011 18:12:03
I was able to pick this up at Free RPG day, and have picked up the PDF as well. It is meant to be played with the Goodman Games upcoming Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG game - the beta rules for which are now available.

The product itself contains 2 short adventures, one for 0-level play, and another for 5th level play. The B&W artwork is consistent with the tone of that in the DCC RPG beta rules which itself hearkens back to a 1ED D&D thematic feel. The two included maps are quite evocative and should be shared with others at the table once the adventure concludes so all can share.

As the previous reviewer mentioned, much of the fun of DCC system is the 0-level character funnel where player's should create 2-4 PCs each as the mortality rate is expected to be high. The 0-level adventure is a mixture of dangerous trap settings along with a few monsters. Both adventurers will require some clever party thinking to conclude to avoid the TPK.

Two fun little adventure and nice introduction to the DCC system.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC RPG Free RPG Day Adventure Starter
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DCC RPG Free RPG Day Adventure Starter
by shawn r. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/30/2011 16:18:18
This game is a nice change from the break down the door and kill them all games that are out now. I played the 0-level adventure at a local comic shop on free RPG day and had a blast. The character funnel is fun. You start with three peasant characters and hope that one survives to become a first level adventurer. The book also contains a fifth level adventure that looked very short. I never got to play it. Great art! If you like old school you should get this book for the art alone.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crime Pays
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/31/2011 14:47:29
Have you ever wanted to start your own mafia with dragons . . . and dungeons? Well you should buy this book! The Crime Pays supplement provides a comprehensive, detailed, and well thought out system for creating, running, and expanding an entire campaign where your players are crime bosses looking to make a profit at others’ expense. I’ll let you know right now that this isn’t just some simple reskin of a few mechanics or a few back of the envelope calculations of how you’d run your gang. This book adds a series of rules to allow you to fully flesh out and direct your posse of henchmen for fun and profit.

You obviously start with creating your mob. Every mob needs lackeys to do your bidding, right? Creation is simple to learn, but still fairly deep. Your mob has a stat block that you build out by hiring coves (bands of street folk that do your shake downs, thieving, and selling), lieutenants to direct their activities, and of course your territory. There are charts and costs for all of these as well as what you would expect to earn from a mob family of your size.

When you actually get things up and running, you can have your thugs commit crimes (a laundry list is provided) with various resources needed and risks involved. For every crime, there are also punishments from the law that result in loss of property, limbs, and if bad enough, your life. Stat blocks for each of your types of crew members and law enforcement that might be after them are provided. Of course the law isn’t all you have to worry about as every other syndicate will be gunning for your territory.

The fun of this type of campaign is the solid world building mechanics that create a pseudo-Mafia simulation game feel while you can personally handle major issues. Obviously, it is up to the DM to come up with situation where your underlings can’t quite get the mission accomplished. That’s when your players (one of them likely the godfather) get their hands dirty to show your adversaries that you mean business. There is plenty of information provided on how to run a mafia campaign and the types of issues your players are likely to run into. It even presents one origin story arc for each tier where you can jump right in if you have an ongoing campaign.

I was surprised at the depth and level of detail presented in the book. It is comprehensive and entertaining at the same time. With the newly released Heroes of Shadow book out, it is a perfect time to roll up some nefarious PCs and see just how good it is to be bad.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crime Pays
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Complete Guide to Werewolves
by Michael T. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/30/2011 12:48:52
I'm the author, so it's difficult for me to review this book. Instead, I'll refer to an existing review: http://www.rpgamer.com/savingthrow/reviews/d20/source/rev-we-
rewolves.html

The review, by Martin Drury, gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Complete Guide to Werewolves
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Complete Guide to Treants
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2011 09:28:13
Treants are, perhaps, an unusual topic for a sourcebook. Despite the role of the ents in Lord of the Rings, they have never received much further coverage in fiction or fantasy RPGs. This book redresses the balance with a thorough look at the race, their psychology, and their magic.

Although character classes, feats, and spells are provided for treants, their distinctly inhuman nature does, to my mind, make them most suitable as NPCs. However, a GM wishing to use them as such will find much here of use, and its well written and evocative.

The treants of the MM are NG, but this book provides plenty of alternatives that make them more useful as a foe in traditional games. There are 'shadowed' treants here, that take vengeance against axe-wielding humans to an extreme, but also a couple of varieties of undead treant (both of which make perfect sense, and don't just feel like something tacked on for the sake of it), as well as three other evil or monstrous creatures based on the treant theme.

All in all, this provides rather more useful material than might be expected from its coverage of an obscure and good-aligned, but not very PC-friendly, race might suggest. Its well written, has good artwork, and gives a real opportunity to have a neglected race from one of the founding works of fantasy literature have a key role in your campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Complete Guide to Treants
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Complete Guide to Fey
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2011 04:28:38
As the title suggests, this is a thorough examination and reworking of beings with the Fey template for D&D3. For those looking for crunchy details, there are plenty here, with feats, character classes, races, spells, and monsters all provided. The races and classes are not overpowered, making them easily adaptable.

The best part, however, is the detail on the culture and nature of the fey. Some of this departs from the standard MM information (these fey, for example, do not need to eat or sleep), but that's easily adapted if you really feel the need to stay consistent. What it does provide is a feel for the fey as truly alien beings, and as something much more than the standard dryads, satyrs, nixies, and so forth - while still encompassing all of those.

The book really brings a touch of folklore to a D&D game, making the fey more than just strange monsters or a different culture, and does a good job of explaining why the fey act the way they do. It does introduce a large number of new concepts, making it of more use for a campaign that heavily features the fey than one with just a few casual encounters. But, for such a campaign, it does seem invaluable, and highly original.

With good layout and high quality artwork, this book is well worth the price.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Complete Guide to Fey
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Crime Pays
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2011 09:37:12
This product is ultra cool!

The basic mechanics are as such:

As a crime lord, your need to control a territory and a criminal organization to control that territory. There is a certain minimum of city blocks for a territory and a certain minimum of thugs/beggars/conmen (called "coves") needed to control that territory at efficient levels (having more or less affects the efficiency of your control).

Each month you determine the income and expenses of the organization, random events may or not happen to your organization, and your organization does the following:

(1) Your coves do crimes (low-level crimes outside of your day-to-day guidance);
(2) You guide your higher-authority rogues (your captains) to do specific crimes, with our without coves assigned to help them;
(3) And you roleplay your character in classic D&D fashion - - either doing classic adventuring to bring in more money for the organization, or in response to events and conditions affecting your orgainzation.

Crime Pays sets up a vibrant structure for running a criminal organization, with a lot of player input while keeping the mechanics relatively simple.

It also gives a wealth or roleplaying opportunities. For those who have shunned 4E because they feel it is roleplaying light, this product plunges 4E characters into roleplaying like a corndog into oil at a county fair (or a screw into the bay while wearing concrete boots).

Oh, and like all Goodman Games products, the layout, graphics, etc are aces.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crime Pays
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #20: Shadows in Freeport
by Michael T. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/01/2011 19:52:43
I knew that one of the PCs would have to sacrifice themselves to save Arcanis, so I had a contingency plan all along to rescue whoever that was. Since that was Sebastian, arguably the most destructive character in the group, it meant that any adventure involving undead was going to be that much harder.

However, the last time our heroes faced off against ghosts, way back in Madness in Freeport, they were unprepared. Since then, both Kham and Vlad acquired ghost touch weapons. And both of them have bane weapons against Carcosan beings, which is precisely what they were up against. I changed many of the infernal references to Carcosan references instead, and gave just about everything that wasn’t undead has the Farspawn template.

That said, one big difference in how the heroes approached this adventure is that they had a mission. In the original version of this adventure, the goal is to find the children lost in the house, which means tearing the place apart. Instead, I changed the party’s goal: find the portal to Carcosa. They know it’s in the basement. And if you think about it, aren’t all portals to horrible places in the basement?

This means the adventure goes very quickly. Our heroes are in no mood to explore; they want to find the portal and get the hell out of there. So they skipped a whole section of the module with almost no prodding from me. Indeed, they made a beeline straight for the portal without knowing where it was!

What was supposed to be a creepy haunted house ended up being more like a raid on a drug den. But the adventure bridged the gap to Carcosa, and in that regard it was definitely a success.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #20: Shadows in Freeport
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