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Power Gamer's 3.5 Wizard Strategy Guide
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2010 19:34:01
Im really enjoying this. Its very informative but also written in a way thats interesting and fun to read. I hope somewhere down the line a Pathfinder update will come out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Power Gamer's 3.5 Wizard Strategy Guide
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Critter Cache 3: Animals & Beasts
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/06/2010 10:25:44
I was disappointed by the Monster Manuals' lack of basic animals (the indices of animals and vermin at the end of the 3rd edition MM was great). Some of the best adventure story moments come from animals, from predators in the night to circus escapes or the savage pets of arch-villains, so I was pleased to find this product aiming to partly fill the gap.

Content:
The product covers a decent range of animals, mostly theoretically tropical species, but there are a couple of tundra species (woolly rhino and mammoth) and most could be readily adapted to other climates. I was especially pleased to see frogs, eagles and weasels in there, which are a bit more unusual as monsters, but much easier to slot into a game without extensive planning than some of the more dramatic beasts. Not that I don't intend to use those as well! Several monsters are useable as mounts, so I was pleased to see a table of mount costs and carrying capacities as well. On a slight downside, some of the more obvious creatures (big cats, apes and elephants) either are or will be in the Monster Manuals, though having extra versions available won't do any harm.

Presentation:
Goodman Games stick with the familiar Monster Manual format, which is clearly presented, with the usual encounter groups and tactics sections. There were a few minor editing mistakes, irritating to people like me, but I haven't spotted anything that would affect gameplay (although it does make me wonder if a number might be off here or there). The artwork follows the cover style of clear black-and-white illustrations; if you lust after the MM full-colour spreads you'll be disappointed, but I considered it a plus, as I imagine that would at least triple the price. As I'm looking for gaming material, not an art book, the illustrations are a bonus and the low price tag suits me fine. Some pictures are more striking than others (I get the impression Mohn enjoyed drawing the brontotherium) but nothing to make you claw your eyeballs out.

All in all, I see it as a very decent product at a reasonable price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Critter Cache 3: Animals & Beasts
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #63: The Warbringer's Son
by Ryan P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2010 18:43:30
This is a fine product, however, Mac users should be aware that the pictures and maps will not show up if you attempt to view this PDF with the Preview application.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #63: The Warbringer's Son
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Xcrawl Core Rulebook
by Alan K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/25/2010 02:18:41
XCrawl, the reality show of the future; with a slight fantasy twist. If you liked films like The Running Man or enjoyed the Cube; then you will enjoy this.

This is the ultimate dungeon crawl, with not just treasure; but fame and fortune awaiting those brave enough. Watched by millions, teams are pitted not only against the XCrawl; but also other teams. The Dungeon Judge (DJ) controls the Crawl, while players attempt to plunder the riches within.

Its a good solid game, with a fantasy feel; but with a bloody reality twist. Gain fame points for that special move you have developed, the crowd roaring your name as you slay the zombies. However, remember one thing about XCrawl - if you die, you die!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Xcrawl Core Rulebook
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Age of Cthulhu 3: Shadows of Leningrad
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2010 14:20:50
Another good product from Goodman Games. This one pulls us into the Soviet Union and as such makes it a little more difficult to suspend disbelief than the other products in this series have. Not to bash the scenario -- it is well written, well thought out, and follows the usual Goodman approach of great flexibility, permitting the players to wander where they will and where the clues they discover take them. There are a couple of key bits of information in this one that the Keeper may even have to "cheat" in order to ensure the players get in a timely manner, but overall it has a good design and good pacing. The antagonist chosen for this one is perfectly appropriate to the locale and the servitor races will make for some very interesting scenes from time to time. Admittedly, this one requires a somewhat more "pulp-ish" approach to it, though Goodman had the excellent sense to provide some alternate play info to permit players who rely less on their fists and guns to do a job to play it through too.

The biggest problem with this one is the entire concept of the Soviet Union -- this is in the midst of Stalin's collectivization drive and foreigners are held in great suspicion throughout the Soviet Union -- but most ESPECIALLY in places like Moscow and Leningrad. Yet, oddly, though the OGPU (later the NKVD, and still later the KGB) make occasional appearances in the game, there is little feel for what that would have really been like had a group of foreigners suddenly appeared in Lenin's city and started running around investigating things. In reality, they probably would have simply disappeared into Lyubianka or the Gulags and that would have been the end of it all. In this game though, the OGPU is almost benevolent, and no Soviet citizen appears to feel much hampered in chatting with the foreigners. Goodman tried to give a good reason for all these foreigners to show up, and did the best they could with the premise, but overall it just feels kind of forced, and highly unlikely. Despite that, it's a fairly fast-paced and fun scenario, and worth playing if everyone can suspend disbelief long enough to play it out. (As a side-note, my original play group was filled with people taking Russian language and history classes in college, and it would have been extremely interesting to see how they would have played this one out. In their case though, it probably would have been better to have played Soviet characters instead of foreigners (or, at most, one foreigner) and done a lot of the role-playing in Russian instead of English!)

Anyway, DriveThru did their usual excellent job of reproducing this one, and the text, art-work and handouts were easily usable and legible. There are a couple of ties to the previous adventures in the series, as well as a couple of plot hooks that may be designed to foreshadow additional future products in the series, or may simply be something the Keeper can use to trigger off a scenario of his own design. Either way, they are a nice touch. The pregenerated characters, again, provide some useful motivational examples to help the players figure out why they got involved in this one, but overall, due to the difficulties in travelling to the Soviet Union, the even greater difficulties in returning to the United States and/or Great Britain AFTER such a trip, and the lack of genuine menace from the Soviet Government (and yes, I know that an organization OF the Soviet government invited the foreigners -- but that still wouldn't have prevented the OGPU from doing their thing), I can only give this one a "4."

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Age of Cthulhu 3: Shadows of Leningrad
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Age of Cthulhu 2: Madness in Londontown
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2010 14:03:02
Another excellent effort by Goodman Games. This one, in fact is better than the first one. It takes us into quite an interesting scenario and the choice of antagonist is much better for this setting than it was in the first one. The scenario, again, is designed to accommodate the players instead of forcing them down a particular investigatory path, and in this case succeeds rather well. The opening scene is more or less a set piece, but from that point on, the players are free to go whither they will (and where the clues they discover take them). There are multiple opportunities to discover the clues the players need, and while there is still the possibility of missing a key bit of info due to a bad roll, the Keeper can always overcome this by judicious use of the clue rules from something like GUMSHOE. Anyway, this one has not only the usual areas the players will likely investigate in the course of the mystery, but even a delightful little interlude (not really necessary to the scenario itself, but way cool all the same) in a wax museum!

There are a couple of ties to the preceding scenario book -- Death in Luxor -- as well as the usual handouts and pregenerated characters for use by a group just starting out. The pregenerated characters are even useful for established groups in that the history section of each character provides an excellent example of motivation for a character to become involved in the story. As always, DriveThru's reproduction of the material is excellent with no problems noted in reading the material, viewing the art work, or reproducing the handouts noted. The handouts, by the way, are extremely well done. This one easily earns a "5" in my book. Good job to both Goodman Games and DriveThru!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Age of Cthulhu 2: Madness in Londontown
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Age of Cthulhu 1: Death in Luxor
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2010 13:54:28
I was extremely pleased with this entire series of supplements for CoC. In the case of Death in Luxor, it was clear, well laid out, and flexible enough to permit the Keeper to run it in any order the players care to approach it in. Of all of the ones published to date, this one felt the most like it would "railroad" the players based on the first scene out of the blocks, though a clever Keeper (with a clever play-group) should be able to overcome that issue. The player aids were extremely well done, and easy to access, print and produce. And the pre-generated characters (while not useful in and of themselves to an established player group) provide some excellent examples of how characters may have become involved in the adventure (motivations). Admittedly, if I were picking a servitor race and plot for Egypt, I probably would have picked the Sand Dwellers as my primary group with maybe ties to Yig or someone vice what was chosen here, but overall, it just has a really nice feel and flow to it and despite that particular quibble, I like this scenario very well.

An additional bonus to the AoC series of supplements is that there are ties between the adventures and even the newspaper clippings provide some additional information that could lead to other adventures. All in all, an awesome job.

As always, the quality of the reproduction by DriveThru RPG was simply awesome. No problems reading, viewing the art work, or reproducing the player handouts. Overall, this one earns a "4" mostly because of personal prejudice against the servitor race and Great Old One chosen for this setting, and because it does try to railroad the players to some extent, but if it weren't for those two factors, it would easily make a "5."

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Age of Cthulhu 1: Death in Luxor
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #3: The Mysterious Tower
by Txabier A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/28/2010 11:10:19
Probably my favorite module in the great and prestigious long-running line of supplements, Th Mysterious Tower is a great old school-styled adventure that I have run with many of my groups for greqat effect and hours of enjoyment. While it 's aimed at low-levels, it can be easily scalable for Joseph made a well thought-out series of plans a nd encounters that can be easily adapted to siut your specific player groups.

While it's easy tu run, it's by no means straightforward, and with careful scheming of the DM's part it can easily keep the players on their toes and thinking their way out of increasing trouble.

Finally, I must admist that 3e wasn't my cup of tea, but the best thing with every Goodman Games module is that it can easily be adaptyed to suit your group's playing style or the system you've chose. So, yes, it will work--and marvellously so--with Pathfinder and be very easy to transplant into any of the newer Rune Quest settings... or go real old-school and use your AD&D or AD&D "nd Edition rules with it, with minimal hassle.

All in all, a solid, easy to read and use module from Goodman Games. I heartily recommend it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #3: The Mysterious Tower
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Age of Cthulhu 1: Death in Luxor
by Ethan P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/08/2010 17:11:25
We reviewed this in Gamer's Haven Episode 43 – Miniatures Gaming, which you can listen to here ... http://www.gamershavenpodcast.com/?p=262.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Age of Cthulhu 1: Death in Luxor
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Level Up #1
by Ethan P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/08/2010 17:10:10
We reviewed this in Gamer's Haven Episode 47 – Fantasy Accuracy. Go here ... http://www.gamershavenpodcast.com/?p=273 to listen to our review.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Level Up #1
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Amethyst: Foundations
by Ethan P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/08/2010 17:04:43
We reviewed this on the Gamer's Haven Podcast. You can listen to Gamer’s Haven Episode 67 – Convention Gaming to hear what our first impressions of it! You can go here ... http://www.gamershavenpodcast.com/?p=2233.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amethyst: Foundations
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Azagar's Book of Rituals
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2010 08:45:28
This is a hefty and cheap addition to the D&D supply of rituals. There's a large array of rituals, some obviously more likely to be useful than others. They seem ideal for a DM to introduce as researchable rituals, perhaps as solutions to a specific problem, or as rare treasures appropriate to the adventure. As well as using the rituals as given, the large array here could be templates for similar rituals created to fit your campaign. Although I haven't yet used any of them in my campaign, I'm already prepared to say it's worth the price.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks to this product, which won't bother everyone.

The first is that the book is presented by hobgoblin general Azagar, which means fairly salty language and anecdotes at the head of each chapter. If you're sensitive about these things, or are running a game for children, you might need to censor it a bit. The rituals themselves are not affected by this, and as businesslike as any other rulebook. I didn't mark the product down for this, as it doesn't bother me and it's a very subjective point.

Secondly, I'm sorry to say there are a significant number of typos, spelling and grammatical errors, and other minor editing slips. I find these jarring, though not everyone will care. In a couple of cases, the exact effects of a ritual are unclear because of ambiguous language, which is a bigger problem. Given the size of the product, it's not too bad, but I still knocked off a point for this because it's affected the quality.

If there's a follow-up product, I would love to see a range of cheap everyday rituals. Rituals that would be useful and affordable for ordinary farmers, artisans, tradespeople etc. would be a very interesting addition from a world-building and roleplaying point of view. However, I've certainly no complaint about not finding them in here.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Azagar's Book of Rituals
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The Adventures of Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer: Shadows of Mirahan
by Brian B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2010 07:44:37
For anyone who is a fan of Frazetta's art, low magic, dark fantasy, or Molly Hatchet, this is a must-buy. Classic sword and sorcery. Goodman Games has done a very good job of translating the six-issue mini-series from Image Comics into a 4th-edition adventure. No, you don't get to play the Death Dealer, but you do play the adventurers who ultimately allow him to enter the world. As I read through the adventure, I wondered if I could tell my group we were playing a one-shot adventure, and not let them find out what we were playing. To have them arrive at the climax and "discover" the horned helmet and axe would be very, very rewarding.
As I said the adventure is very good, but I was also impressed by the six appendices. The first is on character creation - the races of Iparsia. If you're like me, and enjoy human campaigns, this will give you five human race options. As a fan of vikings, I was very glad to see stats for playing Vikavians (from the Dark Kingdom comic series). Also, there are two feats to help balance the rules for a low-magic campaign. Again, this was something else I had been hoping to find for 4th edition.
The second appendix is advanced rules to really flavor your game. Action points, critical hits, and milestones are all tweaked for classic, brutal sword-and-sorcery. This is why I think this is a must-buy if you like low-magic campaigns. I will probably be using the 1st and 2nd appendices from now on.
Appendix 3 is your mini monster manual for the adventure.
Appendix 4 is a handy XP tracker. After reading through the adventure, I can see why this would be very, very helpful.
Appendix 5 are pre-gens.
Appendix 6 is... drumroll... stats for the Death Dealer and his Black Charger. And now you know why you could not play him nor would you want to encounter him. It would be short-lived.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Adventures of Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer: Shadows of Mirahan
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Underdark Adventure Guide
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/23/2010 09:40:15
I bought this product primarily for Chapter 3 of the guide, "Creating the Underworld." In this chapter is two parts: part one on the physical and flora/fauna characteristics of a particular region; and part two on the characteristics of civiliations in the underdark. From my Traveller days (1980's) I enjoyed the planet creation rules that allowed for making varied Sci-Fi worlds. The Underdark Adventure Guide provides 9 physical and 10 cultural characteristics that can be applied to the underdark regions. By adjusting these characteristics, one can create a myriad of underdark regions.

On Chapter 3 alone, I would give this product 5 out of 5. However, it also comes with three other chapters:

Chapter 1 - Underdark Characters - details 8 races for player characters: Deep Dwarf, Derro, Drow, Duergar, Gloom Barbarians (humans), Half-Drow, Svirfneblin, and Troglodytes. Prestige classes, feats, and new equipment is also provided.

Chapter 2 - Underdark Creatures - presents multiple new monsters.

Chapter 4 - Locales of Interest - presents 11 locations that can be placed directly into an underdark setting. Also provided is a 100 mile by 150 mile map of the underdark with all 11 locations sprinkled across it for use in an underdark setting.

5 out of 5. Good stuff all around.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Underdark Adventure Guide
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Eldritch Traps
by Dwight F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2010 20:22:11
This document is well worth it regardless of what system you use. Innovative and interesting.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch Traps
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