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The Temple of Lies
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2016 17:11:52

Nice clean scenario that should fit into just about any campaign. Great use of space. Price point cant be beat. Kowolski continues to impress.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Temple of Lies
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Under the Waterless Sea
by Thomas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2016 12:18:43

Have you ever wished you could play D&D in an underwater tropical paradise? Of course you haven't. But now thanks to the unlikely-named Zzarchov Kowolski you can!

The setting is a pacific-inspired archipelago that is in the end-game of a run in with a rival underwater nation - the Deep Ones. There's quite a bit of innovative flavour here, some it coming from names of real pacific island nation equipment and monstrous races from mythology (wikipedia is your friend). There's some scope for political and economic adventures above water if that’s your party's thing. The real 'meat' however is underwater. Kowolski has come up with a novel way to enable an underwater adventure without the messy mechanics of actually dealing with the water: to anyone entering the sea through a small and shrinking portal on the surface the sea water simply appears to have been replaced by air (a wizard did it). This means the party can easily interact with any underwater denizens. The body of the adventure is driven through 3 interesting encounter tables (interesting both mechanically and from a content point of view), and a 6 map dungeon - there is also a nice diagrammatic illustration of the deeps and the shore inside the back cover. The module is rounded out by 7 pages of new spells and magic items, and a table of long-term consequences based on the "score" of the human and Deep One sides, a score that is affected by what the party encounters and how they act (or not).

The module contains stats for Kowolski's self-admittedly byzantine OSR-inspired system "Neoclassical Geek Revival (NGR)", and basic OSR compatible stats - very basic, e.g. "3rd level Lawful Evil cleric with 15 Wisdom" - so you will have to hack this into shape a little for your table, but that's the Old School Revival spirit, right?

All in all this is interesting, well made and value for money with a good amount of sandbox and possibly replay value. Try it as a change to your usual settings; as they say: "a change is as good as a holiday".

(Caveats: a got a PDF copy free from a mini competition the author ran on Google+. I was not asked to write a review. I have not played this, only read it.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Under the Waterless Sea
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Neoclassical Geek Revival Character Sheet
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2016 12:40:10

It's a pretty good character sheet. I like the art. It could use more ribbon, though.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Neoclassical Geek Revival Character Sheet
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The Trail of Stone and Sorrow
by Ahimsa K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2016 13:19:40

I've run this twice in the last month, and both times it made for an engaging couple hours. It's an adventure with no fighting and not even really a mystery, at least not in the gathering clues sense, and yet it's highly engaging and strangely challenging. Definitely a nice curveball to mix into your campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Trail of Stone and Sorrow
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The Price of Evil
by Stefan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2016 16:45:54

I'm a big, big fan of haunted houses, I admit, so this tickled my fancy immediately. It turned out to be totally worth the two mochachinos I had to give up to buy it, too - the mechanics for the generation of haunted houses are incredibly useful, even to GMs who don't intend to run the adventure as written. Need an old mansion (or two or three) for any reason? This has you covered, complete with creepy hauntings tied to the specifics of each room. If I have a complaint, it's that the sprits themselves are more archetypes than individuals, which somewhat undermines the personal nature of the horror involved and requires the GM to flesh out their stories to really get the most out of this. Still, anyone and everyone running a horror game should buy this product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Price of Evil
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The Gem Prison of Zardax
by Bevan A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/08/2016 16:24:25

I purchased The Gem Prison of Zardax from a recommendation on an excellent puzzle dungeon, and it is billed as such: 'Puzzle adventure'. Overall the premise is interesting, but the puzzle aspect is a bit of a non event. There is but a single way out of the dungeon, and although some of the encounters are interesting, many are lacklustre. Scrap princess has some excellent art (if you are inclined towards that style), and in particular I really liked the mother in room 19- awesome. Only a few of the ideas resonated with me, and nothing significant here to mine for my own game. There are runes in each room that give clues as to the contents of each room, which is cool, but since there are no clues about how to use them or what each stands for, by the time the party has explored most of the rooms will be when they figure out what different aspects stand for, so they are a bit of a non-event. Format and content otherwise all good- 48 pages, great cover art (uncredited?). Overall Firmly average. This is a linear adventure hidden behind some randomness- Zzarchov Kowolski has a good reputation for interesting adventures, but not executed particularly well here. If you are looking for a different example of a puzzle dungeon with some chops, try Ex Libris in Dungeon#29. If you are looking for a non sequential linear extra dimensional trap for your PCs, Gem Prison of Zardax is definitely worth a look, just not suited to my purposes.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Gem Prison of Zardax
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A Thousand Dead Babies
by Pa T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2015 13:04:09

This is an introductory adventure for both Neoclassical Geek Revival and OSR retroclones. Everything in this adventure is dual-statted for both games.

I cannot comment on the NGR part of the book, but the OSR stats have a minimalistic elegance to them that actually makes this easy to run with pretty much any game. One of the enemy stats is listed simply as “3 hit dice, AC as leather, Attack as weapon, gore for 1d6.” While that may cause a beginning DM to feel confused and need to flip through books, those two lines give enough information that anyone who has memorized the basics of their game instantly fills in the blanks. It even works with non-D&D based games simply because of how stripped down the stats are.

The basic setting for A Thousand Dead Babies is an Earth-like town that recently converted to Christianity and the surrounding woods and fields. Lately, the town's priest has become scared of demon worshipers and witchcraft in the surrounding areas, and hires adventurers to investigate/eradicate.

There are a few different factions at work in the adventure. The townsfolk (mostly) follow the Holy Church, and want to see the old paganism driven from the land, a select few still follow the old pagan ways and want to see the new faith driven from the town, and there are evil demon worshipers who just want to watch the world burn. Depending on who lives, dies, or is skipped, it all spells out a different ending for the town. I like the sandbox-y nature of the adventure.

There is a small, totally optional, dungeon to explore as well. It is a mere six rooms, but contains interesting traps and dangers that change the outcome of the town and lands around it. There is one magic item that has almost no mechanical use, but will really affect the flavor of the adventure, and any to come after it. It would easily fit into a Lamentations of the Flame Princess module.

Zzarchov Kowolski adds in quite a bit of humor, and knows how to use tropes to his advantage. There are god-fearing townsfolk who want to drive all the other religions out and burn witches at the stake. You've got nature loving pagans who just want to protect their groves in the woods. There is a satanic cult that dances naked, sacrifices babies, with a stoic black knight and black goat presiding over it all. There is a threat of an inquisition incoming, and both the town and priest are rotten enough to be worried about it. There are a lot of cool things here, barely detailed, and just begging you to take them off in your own directions.

The art and layout for this book is gorgeous. Jez Gordon does the maps and a few interior illustrations, but even the page headers and the back cover's image imprinted as a watermark on the pages gives this an incredible sense of style. The stock art cover is the only color piece. While I normally do not really care much for stock art, it really fits the adventure in this case.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Thousand Dead Babies
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The Gnomes of Levnec
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2015 00:13:38

If your looking for an adventure with gnomes, high weirdness, a great sense of humor, and plenty of room for customization. I went to the author to secure a review copy of this adventure but found myself laughing out loud several times while reading it. The Gnomes of Levnec might just be for your party of warriors, wizards, and adventurers. I went to Zzarchov Kowolski with one thing on my mind, gnomes. This adventure incorporates gnomes but not in the traditional sense but in the weird humor of old school gaming. The Gnomes of Levnec is one part outdoor adventure, two part dungeon crawl, and a whole little mini sand box of gaming adventuring with a twisted humor slant to it. I don't mean that this is a jokey unplayable adventure, rather its a twisted romp with a wry and twistedly strange sense of humor about itself. Levnec is actually a very interesting little setting, with the slightly familiar and the oddly twisted existing side by side. Your adventurers are thrust right into the deep end of the adventure. And the adventure is well worth the money, this adventure would make an excellent and more then slightly twisted adventure to run with OD&D, Swords & Wizardry, or Lamentations of The Flame Princess. In point of fact I love to run this adventure as a low level introduction to the world of Lamentations of the Flame Princess. In only sixteen pages the author establishes the setting, adds in a number of interesting NPC's within the adventure locations, adds a real plot with some minor hooks for adventure continuation, and ties it together with a witty yet interesting device or two. There are some nifty random tables in this adventure that add to weirdness factor of piece without taking your PC's out of what's going on. This adventure knocks the traditional out door adventure on its ass and does it with style. A style that has a unique view point on gnomes, spells, magick, and a ton of weirdness at its heart. And uses these elements with a sense of the morbid and strange. But it does it in a completely awesome way. Repeatedly! If your expecting hack and slash dungeon crawl fest, this adventure isn't for you. If you want an adventure with plenty of DYI old school OD&D adventure with plenty of Twin Peaks style high weirdness this might be the adventure for you. This adventure has some nice maps, great diagrams, and I love, love, the art in the adventure piece because it suits the adventure rather nicely and set's the tone for this darkly whimsical adventure. The Gnomes of Levnec provides the DM with a handful of locations in the village, and there's plenty of room to add more in except for the gnomes are waiting to screw with adventurers. And yet they're still more going on then is hinted in the general outlay of this adventure. In fact the plot will have your adventurers crawling around the woods in no time flat and getting lost. In fact their's a rather nifty random table for that. The adventure is going to take PC's into the woods, twist their perceptions around, and then leave them feeling more then slightly disturbed. This is a perfect adventure for a short set campaign adventure that can be dropped right into the background of an existing campaign and yet leave the PC's feeling rather particular about the gnomes that are featured. Which in my book is a good thing. Five out of five because this adventure ticks so many boxes. Dark and more then slightly twisted, great maps, easy set up, deployment ,and a great weekend adventure to keep the PC's weirded out and more then slightly disturbed. This adventure is a five out of five in my book. A very well done and tight adventure. Eric F Swords and Stitchery blog



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gnomes of Levnec
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