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The Age of Shadow: Role-playing Game
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/14/2012 08:02:11
A fantasy RPG based on OpenQuest, an open source version of the rules that powered RPGs in the Basic Roleplaying series (Call of Cthulhu, Elfquest, RuneQuest, et al). Anyone familiar with those classic games will easily adapt to this system.

For those who aren't - in brief, the system is percentile based - a whole set of standard polyhedral dice are required for damage rolls and other results, but skill and combat rolls are made with percentile dice. The combat system is deadly (as it has always been with BRP games), and adventurers in an Age of Shadow campaign may find themselves avoiding combat more frequently, which could open some possibilities for creative tactics and great roleplaying.

This book has a great section on campaign structure, but very little background or lore - for that, see the Age of Shadow Campaign Guide, which fleshes out the world nicely.

A character sheet and a beautiful full-color map round out the book. All in all, a great start. I'm interested to see where it goes from here.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Age of Shadow: Role-playing Game
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The Age of Shadow: Campaign Guide
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/14/2012 07:37:39
A nice collection of goodies for the Age of Shadow RPG, assembled for easy consumption by interested players or potential gamemasters. This package includes a primer on the history, cultures, races of the Great Lands, a guide to Elvish script, a gazetteer of the various nations and the races that occupy them, a pair of beautiful full-color maps, and a guide to special items found in the realm (Dwarf-steel, Elvish lamps, Runes of Power, etc.). In addition, there are several alternate rules provided, for those who want to customize their game - a point-buy system for character creation, and rules for epic characters, combat order, and variable armor. Last but not least, there is a chapter on using improvised NPCs, with 14 printable NPC sheets for quick, on-the-fly character improv.

This is a great little starter package that appeals to anyone interested in Age of Shadow.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Age of Shadow: Campaign Guide
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The Little Book of Dungeons: Geomorphs
by Dennis S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/18/2012 21:06:25
A simple and cheap collection of room tiles for dungeon maps, with some very quirky shapes. Put together (a good example is the cover of the book) they can make for some interesting layouts. The use of curves and non-square shapes is much appreciated and gives the dungeons a more organic and charming look than just a bunch of straight line walls would have done. The tiles vary greatly in size, with multiple-room tiles, single-room tiles, connecting hallway tiles, entrances and exits to higher or lower floors, and an overall great variety. Well recommended if you're into dungeon tiles.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Little Book of Dungeons: Geomorphs
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The Little Book of Dungeons: Geomorphs
by Luca L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2012 12:16:52
An excellent collection of geomorphs, with a good greyscale simple layout. This product features a really large selection of rooms, and a good variety of them, handily the best I've seen so far.
While most geomorphs tend to make the same dungeons over and over again - or at least to produce a very recognizable scheme in the overall map - these "room chunks" are so finely laid out that even in a small (or in a very large) combination, the resulting map will seem quite natural and not some simple drawing algorythm result.

Recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Little Book of Dungeons: Geomorphs
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/28/2011 15:37:12
Simply: sublimely awesome.

12 of the 15 pages of this pack are dedicated to geomorphic map tiles of varying size at a small enough scale to be practical to a dungeon master assembling a large level at speed (i.e. maps for reference, but not cumbersome tiles for minis).

Currently at $1, this is a marvellously fun resource of a quality I have come to expect from CSP, which I believe, in terms of grey-scale black and white printing, rivals products by larger publishers, like WotC and Paizo.

Simple single shade geomorphs used to be a traditional staple of fantasy gaming, but these, by contrast, have a high modern production standard in terms of design, texture, shadow and believable solid dungeon structure, whilst also being free of smaller details - allowing for a creative DM to decorate and populate the dungeon to match their campaign.

Excellent. :)

Billiam B
(http://bit.ly/rpgblog)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Little Book of Dungeons: Geomorphs
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/26/2011 10:39:07
Inspired by author/artist's Kristian Richard's "Map-a-Monday" weekly map project on his blog, this is a compilation of a year's worth of neat grey-scale dungeon maps... but even if you have been a dedicated follower and collector of these, it is more than a mere collection of them all in one handy package (useful as that may be). There are some extras, chiefly being several long corridors and assorted 'dead ends' - after all, even a geomorphic dungeon has to end somewhere!

All the maps - and these are genuine maps, not miniatures-oriented tiles - are done in a uniform crisp greyscale, with clever use of darker and lighter areas to allow for different levels, e.g. a flight of steps down (or up) to an area lower or higher than the main part. Being designed on a geomorphic basis, you can clip these out and arrange them however you want seamlessly, certain that you will not have to fold, mutilate or spindle any element to ensure that corridors and doorways will join up. A uniform grid, designed for the conventional 'one square = five feet' scale, is laid over all floors. Whilst fairly grid-like, there is a vast diversity of shapes and sizes of chambers and connecting passages: whatever you have in mind you ought to be able to find something to suit, be it a mammoth underground complex for your Big Bad Evil Guy, a training dungeon in your Adventurers' Academy facility or whatever. If you are minded to a small underground area, this may not be the most appropriate set, even so you ought to be able to find what you're after.

There are plenty of features: colonnaded halls, or a dias, perhaps... not just rooms and corridors. Some rooms are oddly-shaped, some have anterooms or side-rooms accessible from the main one. Areas might be cell blocks or living quarters, chapels, training rooms or chambers constructed for ritual purposes. Useful if you do not draw well, lack spatial imagination or are pressed for time, or just want everything laid out neatly. Let your imagination run riot, this product gives ample scope for somewhere in which it may thus scamper around!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Age of Shadow: Role-playing Game
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/03/2011 23:01:46
(originally posted at TenkarsTavern.com)

The Age of Shadow, a fantasy RPG drawing upon the OpenQuest rules, which drew upon the Mongoose RuneQuest, has it's roots deeply in the previous versions of RuneQuest. Got that? Good.

So, it's OpenQuest with a few twists, like less modifiers but higher mods when you do have one. Oh, and its free, which is always nice when looking for new options for a current game engine.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Age of Shadow: Role-playing Game
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Purple Mountain: Level 1 Battle-Map
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/06/2011 07:15:01
Why are you even reading this? Are you having doubts?
It's 25 pages of printable dungeon. It's massive. It's looks great.
It's a bargain too!

Go for it. :)

http://bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Purple Mountain: Level 1 Battle-Map
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Colony 19 - room set (28mm)
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2011 21:26:00
Colony 19 Room Set is a modular add-on to the Colony 19 Starter Set and contains a pair of large along with a collection of corridors or other tiles that are designed to link one room to another (not simply a corridor). It contains the same beautiful textures as the starter set and utilizes the same design features. In addition, as with the starter set, all elements and doors are separate so they can simply be cut-out and place anywhere within the battlemap or simply not included. Much of the Room Set’s design is meant for flexibility not only with the starter set but also with itself allowing you to create various configurations for the large rooms by combining the tiles in different ways.

OVERALL

Considering the lack of large rooms in the Colony 19 Starter Set, this Room Set is a welcomed addition. It provides those possibly key large rooms along with different corridors and elements to build upon that starter set.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
Colony 19 Room Set follows the same high-quality as the starter set, but not only that, all the tiles are properly cut so as not to interfere with the overall look of the battlemap and ease of use for the tiles.

Visual Appeal: 10 out of 10
The textures, wall design, and elements all look fantastic and make the set a great addition to your tabletop, not only for functionality but for looks too. It’s clean and smooth and visually stunning!

Desire to Use: 10 out of 10
Colony 19 Room Set is an add-on to the starter set. Considering this, there’s very little why those using the starter set wouldn’t want to use this room set as well. The large rooms are perfect add-ons while the small corridors add great visual appeal.

Overall: 10 out of 10
Colony 19 Room Set is a definite must have for those using the Colony 19 Starter Set. There is very little that hasn’t already been said other than you can make awesome battlemaps when combining this with the starter set.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Colony 19 - room set (28mm)
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Colony 19 - starter set (28mm)
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/10/2011 21:30:04
Colony 19 is a set of battlemap tiles designed with a sci-fi look. This appearance is created by the textures used for the floor and the walls along with the design of the separate bits and pieces. The tile texture of the floor definitely creates the sci-fi appeal while the walls can easily fit within a sci-fi setting. Most of the loose pieces included in the set are also sci-fi in nature with others that can fit in modern settings as well. The tiles generally fit within the same dimensions and can be assembled in any fashion. There are no defined doorways and every end wall can be considered as a door or an archway.

The set is very small to be considered as a starter set and there are long hallways or defining rooms such as a bridge, crew quarters, work stations, or engine rooms. The tiles themselves are fairly basic, almost too basic, especially for a starter set.

OVERALL

Overall Colony 19 Starter Set is a good set of battlemap tiles. It has numerous possible uses although everything is so generic that those possible uses are limited to certain areas of wherever the encounters are taking place. There are only 14 full tiles, 3 small “entryway” tiles, and a host of furniture pieces. Not quite big enough to be considered as a starter set.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 8 out of 10
The quality is quite good. The textures come through beautifully although the excessive use of terminals in the wall is a bit annoying. I really like that the furniture is kept separate from the tiles to allow for variable placement. Even though the page count is low, extra copies of the tiles can be printed to increase the size of your battlemap. However, the lack of defining rooms and common furniture pieces such as beds, control equipment, and navigational equipment is a little off-putting.

Visual Appeal: 10 out of 10
Visually the tiles are stunning! The textures are crisp and clear with every detail coming through perfectly. Anyone using these for sci-fi encounters should be proud of how much attention was paid to detail.

Desire to Use: 6 out of 10
The tile selection is lackluster and there are way too few for a starter set. Without defining rooms, the tiles are limited to being used within common areas of wherever the encounter is occurring. The furniture pieces are nice but most of them are too large to fit properly within the majority of the tiles.

Overall: 8 out of 10
The biggest problem I have with this tile set is that it feels like a sci-fi version of a dungeon. Most walls within spaceships or stations and various futuristic establishments would not be quite so majestic and flowing with lots of hard edges and crammed with equipment within and along the walls. However, the design and visual appeal is what makes the set most desirable for those looking to use something quick and simple.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Colony 19 - starter set (28mm)
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The Age of Shadow: Campaign Guide
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2011 12:59:04
A welcome addition to the free main rulebook.

A 2-page colour map, which gives the players locations of the stated towns, etc.
A list of towns, ruins, etc is included to go with the map.

The campaign guide includes a brief history, locations, special items, alternate rules, and NPCs.

All in all, not bad for £1.89.

Well recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Age of Shadow: Campaign Guide
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The Age of Shadow: Role-playing Game
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2011 12:50:53
Having played Runequest & CoC over the years, I was tempted to download this and give it a look.
I wasn't disappointed.

Some nice artwork throughout the 70+ pages (not too many as to drain the ink).
It was enjoyable reading through the PDF, so much so, that I bought the campaign guide as well.

I tried a quick scenario with 2 friends, who also enjoyed reading the PDF, and eagerly created some characters.
The game worked quite well for them, and we've made plans to play some more at a later date.
We're hoping to get a few more involved as the system and theme does seem enjoyable to the players.

It's worth going to the forum & blog site for extra resources, etc.

Worth downloading (IT'S FREE!!!).
Get the campaign guide as well to round the collection off.

I hope there's more.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Age of Shadow: Role-playing Game
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Battle-Map 1
by Cor H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/10/2011 13:56:31
A good start for a quick game.
I can focus myself on the story and the monsters

The fact its for free does help to spread gaming within my club

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battle-Map 1
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The Little Book Of Dungeons - Volume II
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2011 22:00:09
As with the Volume I review, The Little Book of Dungeons is not a collection of printable battlemaps to be placed onto your tabletop and used with miniatures. Rather, it is a collection of maps that can be translated onto an erasable surface, referenced on paper, or simply dictated during game-play. These maps are designed as dungeons for fantasy play, but are drawn generic enough that they can be used outside of fantasy systems and settings. In fact, they can easily be translated into building schematics for sci-fi games or mines or temples for pulp games. Essentially, The Little Book of Dungeons is actually filled with a collection of maps that are drawn simple enough to be translated into multiple genres.

Again, there are nine total maps all drawn as 35 tiles by 50 tiles. Instead of reiterating what was said in the Volume I review, I’m going to speak about how well this second volume advances the series instead of simply repeating the first volume. There are some unique features in this collection compared to the first collection. However, four of the maps are very similar in nature and similar to those found in the first publication. The remaining five maps contain the unique features.

One map has a great looking “bridge” over an underground river before entering the dungeon. A second map uses a river theme with a couple small, sculpted rivers underground which would work great outside of fantasy as well. These five more unique maps utilize a good combination of caves (instead of sculpted dungeon), interesting hallways (not simply straight), and a good use of levels (even those only a few steps apart). These features along with unique room structures make for interesting maps that don’t simply follow those already presented in the first publication.

OVERALL

After a solid set in Volume I, I would expect to see more than just standard maps in Volume II. Over half of the maps contain several unique features, but some seem like more of the same thing. The problem with designing simple maps is that they can easily be replicated with other tile products. To further this series of products, unique features need to be incorporated in all the maps.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
The Little Book of Dungeons, Volume II is as clean and effective as Volume I. The details continue to remain crisp and clear and the use of shadows makes the different floor heights very obvious. The effects of the underground river look fantastic along with all other unique features like the bridges and what appears to be a sunken floor. The quality is primarily influenced by this visual appeal.

Visual Appeal: 10 out of 10
As with Volume I, these are excellent looking maps that don’t need color to look great. The use of shadows in the grey-scale makes it easy to understand the pattern of the stairs and steps. The cave system in one of the maps has some wonderful textures creating a 3-D effect, again with the use of well-placed shadows. The simplicity is almost as appealing as the use of shadows creating the proper perspective. Because this is not a 1-to-1 scale battlemap, color would probably ruin the appeal.

Desire to Use: 6 out of 10
Five of the nine maps contain unique features that make them stand out and difficult to replicate otherwise. The other four remind me of standard, old-school dungeon crawl maps that can easily be replicated with the myriad battlemap tiles available. To make a product stand-out that is a map that has to be translated onto another medium really needs to have unique features on every map. Those five maps do carry very unique features that make this volume worth purchasing.

Overall: 8 out of 10
The Little Book of Dungeons is a unique style of product which depicts extensive maps for translation during games. They cannot be simply printed and used as a battlemap and are not designed to be used as tiles. The result is a collection of maps, instead of just one, that are quite large and detailed. The key to pursuing this style of publication is to make them unique and not “like everything else”. You still get multiple maps (nine in this volume) allowing you to mix and match for the ultimate dungeon (or temple, underground city, encampment, mine, etc…). Another positive note is that the maps don’t have to be translated into dungeons but can be used in other genres as well.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Little Book Of Dungeons - Volume II
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Colony 19 - room 01 (28mm)
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2011 16:18:31
The room seems just a little bare (could be amended with some extra cardboard pieces).
Colourful, and well designed artwork.
It's only a page preview, but well worth a look.

Since there is now exit or entry, one can be made by adding a cardboard door or tunnel.

Well worth a look.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Colony 19 - room 01 (28mm)
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