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Dwimmermount Dungeon Tracker
by Jake P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/09/2017 09:23:59

I'm currently 7 sessions in to a Dwimmermount campaign. While the dungeon itself is remarkable, I would say the same of Barrowmaze, in which I've also run a campaign. What has set this experience apart is the Dungeon Tracker. I have a copy printed and laminated, and I keep behind my screen the two sheets appropriate to the level that the characters are exploring. Being laminated, I'm able to use wet erase markers to easily make notes and track time while having all of the most necessary details of the level right in front of me.

While I still keep a copy of Dwimmermount open on a small table to my side so that I have access to detailed room descriptions, the Dungeon Tracker seriously reduces the amount of page flipping I have to do during a game. That has translated into a tighter game and a more enjoyable experience for the entire table. The Tracker has also allowed me to keep my notes on the dungeon much better organized. With Barrowmaze, my copy of the book was littered with Post-It Notes, one per room that the PCs had explored, on which I had written what PCs had taken and defeated, what was left behind, and what may have moved in afterwards. Using the Dungeon Tracker with Dwimmermount, I can do a better job of maintaining a living dungeon environment while spending less time doing so.

I don't know how much value the Dungeon Tracker would have in purely electronic format, but printed, laminated, and perhaps bound using coil stock, I've encountered few game aids that come close to providing this much utility. For a referee running a game in Dwimmermount, or for anyone interested in tools for helping games play as easily as possible, I'd give this a very strong recommendation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Dungeon Tracker
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Axioms Issue 1
by Jarrod M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2017 12:12:58

I had a more detailed review, but DTRPG decided to let me timeout while writing up so you'll have to settle for the cliffs notes version.

Note: I am a subscribed to Autarch's Patreon, and got this issue as part of my ongoing support.

Beyond Arcane and Divine: These work best with the ACKs Player's companion rules, where you can combine new modifiers with the rules for making new spells. That being said, any B/X style D&D can use these rules along with the numbers that arcane and divine casters have to put existing spells at new levels. (For Example: if you make a magic source with healing at x2 when divine has it at x1, you can put cure light wounds as a level 2 spell).

The Shades of Magic: unlike other attempts at corruption systems I have seen, this breaks down an all-encompasing way to place all existing spells into either black, gray, or white magic. It provides a nicely balanced corruption table, and includes ways to further modify the system in pursuit of Howardian and Lovecraftian play.

Introducing the Wizard: this is an arcane spellcaster subject to shaded magic with several variants reminiscent of the wizards from Lord of The Rings. Because of the added abilities canceling out shaded magic, these variants are balanced with the core ACKs mage and therefore with any magic-user in a B/X system.

The Art of Arcanogenesis: this will make the most sense to people who have read the other kinds of Magical Research descrbied in Core ACKs, but the rules are so detailed that even someone unfamiliar should be able to follow along. This is about creating new monstrosities whole cloth. the example included is a non-copyright-infringing version of a certain eye-stalked floating orb.

Overcasting: this brings systems for getting to cast more spells in a day, like those in Dungeon Crawl Classics, to ACKs



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Axioms Issue 1
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Adventurer Conqueror King System
by Jarrod M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2016 10:56:39

This game was my introduction to the OSR, but it's much more than that.

Adventurer Conqueror King not only gives you an updated and clever reconfiguring of the original B/X Dungeons & Dragons rules, it delivers on the promise of high level play.

So many D&D games make reference to "gaining a stronghold and followers" at level 9, but they offer no interpretation of what that means, what that would be like. It's often relegated to story dressing, and doesn't get the attention that, say, combat does. ACKs fills in this sorely needed gap in a way that is largely compatible with most fantasy medieval games.

They say that what you give experience for in an RPG determines the kind of play you encourage. In this way, ACKs encourages ruling kingdoms, engaging in magical research, founding religions, running a thieves guild, or embarking on mercantile ventures as well as it does things like killing foes and stealing their treasure. Not only this, but it encourages doing these things boldly: timid rulers satisfied with their holds won't gain XP, but ambitious conquerors who expand their realm will.

Of course, these rules alone are worth the price of entry, and are easily ported to your game of choice, as the economic ideas underpinning the XP rewards are consistent enough to survive translation as long as you properly anchor to common worths. But the actual rules for playing adventurers are good too. You get a servicable expansion of available classes that simultaneously preserves the feel of "race as class" while giving people playing demihumans more options than usual.

And as if that wasn't enough: this system is well supported. If you find that you like this, you will be amazed at the supplements available that can further expand your games into anything you've ever wanted to run.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurer Conqueror King System
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The Sinister Stone of Sakkara
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2016 00:28:38

"Over a millennium ago, when the borderlands were in the dark grip of the Zaharan Empire, the empire’s sorcerer-priests erected a profane temple to house the terrible artifact known as the Stone of Sakkara. Using the Stone, the sorcerer-priests could birth monsters and abominations with frightening ease and magically command the loyalty of chaotic creatures. The Stone brought its evil masters great power throughout the fell empire. "

Clocking in at eighty pages AX1 The Sinister Stone of Sakkara is an introductory adventure for the Adventurer,Conqueror, King system hearkening back to classic TSR era B/X adventures such as Keep of The Borderlands. By that I mean that it takes all of the existing ACK's products within the Autarch lines and puts them into play as a homage to adventures of a bygone era. The idea of the lone Auran/Roman style keep on an Ancient Egyptian/Mesopotamian border that they have conquered is used as the backdrop for a very well thought out adventure. Here the action is centered on the factions of the dungeon & the PC's must deal with the fall out of the evil that slumbers here. There is a bit of everything in this adventure as its meant to do exactly what the Adventurer, Conqueror, King rule book lays out. That is to explore, deal with, get hired, hex crawl, fight, battle, & play while getting an entire feel for the ACK's system with both the players and the dungeon master cutting their teeth on the The Sinister Stone of Sakkara . Everything has a pseudo Lovecraftinan sword & sorcery vibe mixed in with the Auran empire setting. Monsters & encounters have that late night Saturday matinee mixed with a Mountain Dew war game feel. There are actual motivations, as well as reasons why the PC's are here in this part of Türos Tem the place is presented as the stronghold of a realm controlled by a high-level NPC, with its maps, buildings, population, revenues, costs, and morale score all detailed and provided. This makes modifying and adding it into your own home game campaigns a snap. Many of your standard ACK's humanoids are present but there are far more sinister things lurking as lots of slimes, molds, jellies, fungus, & worse crawl through the AX1. If the players are stupid & make poor decisions their going to have their PC's killed in no time flat, this is a great module but parts of it can be very unforgiving as the writing and design is very tight. Its well done and easily modified but you're going to have to think on your feet. Yes your PC's might end up with their own domain but they might end up a victim of the very evils that they're investigating or being killed by one of the multiple factions of this realm. Action is fast, reactive, and the plot moves along. There is a sense and story to the history of the region that echoes bits of Robert Howard, Michael Moorcock, with a blend of Caesar and Rome thrown into the blender of this module. NPC's function as movers, shakers, possible patrons, or flat out enenmies of the PC's & the ambitions that they bring to the region & your table. This is a place of sand,blood, evil, & flat out mayhem. Expect no quarter if crossing the wrong person or their hidden agendas. The powers that use this region do so with intent and guile. This is because the whole adventure of AX1: The Sinister Stone of Sakkara is a guide as well as adventure intended to take the PC's through the whole of the ACK's system in miniature. Once again we've got that classic collapsing empires of earth’s Late Antiquity (250 – 750 AD) as the mirror of the age of Auran that AX1 is set. A turbulent era in which ancient glories were drowned in a torrent of violence & murder. So this is a perfect place for the PC's to make their mark as they come to explore the dungeons & environs of The Sinister Stone of Sakkara. I was somewhat shocked by how underpowered the NPC's are in this adventure, well not really. This adventure's NPC's reminded me of Dark Albion's 'anyone can be killed' in the Rose War attitude. Because there's also an almost boom town/end of empires set of circumstance that surrounds the setting of the Sinister Stone of Sakkara. This is so that the PC's can not only make their mark but possibly take over the local domain if their very lucky. Certain things about this adventure stand out such as the fact that it intergrates & plays around with Adventurer,Conqueror, King's Domains of War. The aspects of military & trade details is fitted in seamlessly within the adventure but its a weird fit in some respects unless of course you're used to war games being a part of your old school systems. The aspect of the war game as a part of the dungeon crawl hearkens back to the old school roots of OD&D when empire building was part and parcel of the gaming experience. Many independent companies kept this style of table top adventure going even as AD&D took another twist. AX1: The Sinister Stone of Sakkara builds upon & to some degree advances this concept on paper. How? By making the players take their PC's center stage or dying in the attempt. Even the description has this conceit built right in, "AX1 includes a two-level dungeon filled with chthonic horror along with a friendly stronghold from which your adventurers can explore the region." AX1: The Sinister Stone of Sakkara isn't Dwimmermount & for that I'm thankful. Even though I'm an experienced dungeon master there are several systems that Adventurer, Conqueror,King brings to the table that I need a bit of hand holding with. There is also the fact that introducing new players to this system is an added stress but reading through AX1: The Sinister Stone of Sakkara the experience doesn't seem so bad. I really like the Character Motivations table, which adds an interesting twist to the 'reason a PC is this way' and the motive for adventure.
The motives for the adventure in part are the war bands of beast men looting, sacking, pillaging throughout the countryside to gather sacrifices to power the Stone’s birthing pools again. Local farms and hamlets have been laid low and destroyed. This sets up everything for the PC's to get into the deep end of this adventure & perhaps become entangled in the adventure's plot and weird horror that echoes through out. All in all I did enjoy looking through & reading AX1: The Sinister Stone of Sakkara. I think its a four out of five for the style, utility of use at the table, an economical use of writing and some fine gaming designing in the old school traditions. All in all I think that X1: The Sinister Stone of Sakkara does a fantastic job of presenting not only a great quality introductory adventure for Adventurer,Conqueror, King. But a great set up for a possible domain and base for the PC's all the while bringing the high quality Autarach standards we've come to expect.

Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery blog Dark Corners of Role Playing Blog Want to see more OSR action subscribe to http://swords- andstitchery.blogspot.com/ Or http://darkc- ornersofrpging.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinister Stone of Sakkara
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Lairs & Encounters
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2016 09:23:35

There are times when I need to know facts about monsters such as background, where the monster is dwelling, how long the horror has been in its location, the social background of the beast, are there others of its species within a certain number of square miles, & more. All of this material sometimes needs to be joined together in a concise & coherent way. Well that's where Adventurer Conqueror King System: Lairs & Encounters comes in. This book breaks down all of these details & more. This book continues the high caliber standard set by the other Autarch titles. The physical book isn't out quite yet but the pdf sells for around ten dollars. Everything in this book is geared toward creating monsters that can deal with PC's on an even footing & then come back for more. Some of the highlights of this include the following:

More than 135 ready-to-play monstrous lairs - that's at least one lair listing for every possible monster lair mentioned in the Adventurer Conqueror King System. The lair listings are designed to be used both as domain and adventure plot points that can be shaped to the adventures that DM wants to run. New subsystems for sandbox play, including rules for populating 6-mile hexes with lairs based on the terrain and extent of settlements in the region, and rules for searching for lairs in the wilderness factoring in terrain density, aerial reconnaissance, splitting up to cover more ground (never split the party!), and these are one of my favorite bits of Lairs & Encounters. Additional mechanics for monsters, including ability scores for monsters, proficiencies for monsters, and young monsters. This takes the monster from simple hazard & a quick encounter to a fully fleshed out NPC. This ties in with the Taming & Training rules which hits & then paves the way for fully fleshed out pets. The system ups the anty for taming and training monsters, complete system details on the lifespan, roles, tricks, trained and untrained value, supply cost, training period, and the trainability modifier of every monster in the game. All of this means simply that monsters, animals, pets, even live stock have a fair market value. Another addition to the dungeon that gives players even more trimmings to add to the PC in, out of, and as a part of the dungeon. These are pretty well done a complete system for creating your own unique monsters.now we bring our same rigorous attention to details, customization, hacking of traditional D&D style monsters for the dungeon and the wilderness as well as urban materials.

There are samples throughout the book presenting the types of details on monsters that I haven't seen since the days of the 'ecology of' Dragon magazine articles. There are samples of monster lairs and the details that go with them. There are lots of uses for all of this material and I have to say that it back ties into the Adventurer, Conqueror, King main rule book. This is a welcome and wise decision to the DM who wants to bring the monster goodness to their tables. Here's a good example of the level of detail that I'm talking about that appears in the Lairs & Encounters book:"

MEN, BRIGANDS

A fortified camp, with barracks, tents, and a large command pavilion, surrounded by a log palisade, is home to renegade mercenaries from the Company of the Black Thorn. They survive by raiding towns and robbing caravans and travelers. There are 100 Brigands (AC 3, Move 120’, HD 1, hp 5 each, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon, Save F1, ML +1, AL C) equipped with leather armor, shield, sword, and shortbow, and another 100 mounted Brigands (AC 5, Move 120’, HD 1, hp 5 each, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon, Save F1, ML 0, AL C) with chain mail, shield, sword, and riding horses.

They are led by Inthorn, their captain (AC 7, Move 60’, F9, hp 45, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon +6, Save F9, ML 0, AL L/C), equipped with spear +2, sword +2, plate armor, shield, and a plate-barded medium warhorse. He wears a red-plumed bronze helm of alignment change, which has turned him chaotic and led to his band going rogue, as well as a dragon-hide sword belt studded with hematite (900gp) and a wrought gold necklace set with thorn-shaped hematite (1,200gp).

Inthorn keeps a war-chest of 7,000gp, which is about one month’s operating expenses for the band. In a small locked coffer, trapped with a poison needle, he keeps 7 bloodstones (50gp each), 5 amethysts (100gp each), 6 amber (100gp each), 3 topaz (500gp each), and 1 sapphire (1000gp each). He keeps 3 wrought gold goblets (700gp), a gold decanter (800gp), and gold bowl (500gp) in the command tent.

Inthorn has 4 lieutenants (AC 6, Move 60’, F5, hp 25 each, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon +2, Save F5, ML 0), 5 sergeants (AC 6, Move 60’, F4, hp 20 each, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon +2, Save F4, ML 0, AL C), and 10 corporals (AC 6, F2, hp 10 each, Move 60’, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon +1, Save F2, ML 0, AL C), all equipped with plate armor, sword, lance, and warhorse.

Accompanying the mercenaries-turned-brigands is Dairin, a powerful chaotic wizard (AC 0, Move 120’, M11, hp 22, #AT 1 weapon or spell, Dmg by weapon or spell, Save M11, ML 0, AL C). Dairin wears elven cloak and boots and carries a wand of enemy detection (20 charges) and a scroll of cloudkill and conjure elemental. His spellbook has the following spells: burning hands, charm person, detect magic, magic missile, shield, sleep; detect invisibility, invisibility, knock, mirror image, web; dispel magic, fireball, fly, invisibility 10’ radius, protection from normal missiles; conjure elemental, cloudkill; death spell.

Inthorn’s new lover is Olyma, a priestess of Nasga (AC 8, Move 90’, C8, hp 28, #AT 1 weapon or spell, Dmg by weapon or spell, Save C8, ML 0, AL C). Olyma is equipped with polished black plate armor +1, a whip, a spiked mace, a shield, an unholy symbol (a silver statuette of a bat-winged woman with a whip), and a potion of poison. She wears a pair of engraved silver armlets (600gp each) and a platinum tiara set with a ruby (1,300gp)." Needless to say that this sort of work is scattered across the board in Lairs & Encounters. This makes Lairs & Encounters a monster path book, that is not simply a source book but a source book that creates within its wake a way of detailing a monster as much as the setting within the context of an adventure or campaign.

Where ACK's is designed expressly for the purpose of providing interesting domain-level play, putting the "game" back into the endgame; Lairs & Encounters takes the domain level game applies that concept into the background of the monster. This means that the concept of the monster becomes two things one it becomes the competition, the horror, the mythological concept and antithesis to the PC's within their domains. The second thing it does is makes the animal or being that is being used within a game as much of a resource as any of the other natural game elements to be exploited by the DM. It means that those within your domains are going to be far more eager to seek the protection of those more powerful than themselves. This gives a whole other aspect to monsters as protection, rulers, etc. within those hexes that parties seem to continue to crawl through.

Another thing about Lairs & Encounters that's the 'encounter' part there is the gravity of history in many of the encounters that are created within this book. Many plug into the 'official' ACK's setting but they can easily be applied to your own campaigns for example:"

SKELETON

The ground here is torn up by the remains of nine ancient Zaharan scythed chariots, broken and partially covered by webs, dust, and sand. Here and there the jagged blades stick up from the scattered chariot wheels. Each character passing through or searching the area has a 1 in 6 chance of stepping on one of these partly-buried blades and suffering 1d3 points of damage. 18 skeletons (AC 2, Move 120’, HD 1*, hp 4 each, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg 1d6, Save F1, ML N/A, AL C), with rusted mail and jagged, broken scimitars, litter the ancient battlefield in clusters near the chariots. They will rise to attack if blood is shed. " This is something to keep in mind when designing your own encounters and this book has the tools, guidelines, and more to help you out with that. Something else to keep in mind is that Lairs & Encounters plugs into Domains at War, ACKS' expansion focusing on mass combat and how it relates to all other aspects of the game, from monsters in domain management to mercenary wages to mercantile supply and demand all centered around the aspects of the monster. By popular demand, they have distilled just the mass combat system itself to an ~8 page kernel which they are planning to add as an expansion but Lairs & Encounters slides right into the backside of this material. That means that all of those battle grounds, war fields, places of violence, ancient war sights and more have the real potential to turn into adventure locations unto themselves. This is something to keep in mind when running games after a party has passed through hex '5671' and they're entirely done with looting the bodies and the bandits, mercenaries are dead. Their foes can rise again to cause problems for the locals and you might have to back to clean up your messes. There are several reasons to really get into Adventurer Conqueror King System: Lairs & Encounters:

When you want a really well thought out lair for an adventure or hex crawl that not only blends into the setting but enhances the adventure material adding in another layer of adventure Sometimes competition is good & monsters can add an entirely unforeseen complication for those domain owners. Monsters domains can also be a readily made domain for PC's to take over(Lairs & Encounters can make that process very wily and interesting as well). Fast set up and lots of prefab encounters that can be dragged and dropped into your own adventure enviroments to serve as bridge gaps when you've got fifteen minutes before your players arrive and nothing written. Expanded war game ties for domains of war that make those war games an actual part of the adventure with monstrous tie ins. This book can be used to enhance, expand, and blow life into the factions and background of existing or classic modules to give new twists on modules or adventures that parties have already played through. Take Keep of The Borderland and suddenly it becomes more then a simple introduction adventure, it becomes an introduction to factional warfare with monsters surrounding a tiny island of humanity in the wilderness on the border of war! Drag & drop in some of the encounters and the entire tone of the adventure changes!

Adventurer Conqueror King System: Lairs & Encounters is a very useful book with lots of utility at the table the mechanics to create balanced new monsters, new spell powers, and other enhancements for foes itself is worth the price of admission because it can be applied for any OSR retroclone game with B/X D&D at its heart. Is it worth the ten dollar price of admission? Well in a word yes if you're used to creating your own adventures with in the confines of your campaign world and you want a book with the right tools for the job. Adventurer Conqueror King System: Lairs & Encounters ties directly back into the Adventurer, Conqueror, King main rule book making this one very thought out monster & encounters book. Do I think its worth the money for this book? In a word yes! Go buy it and will I be using it! Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery blog Dark Corners of Role Playing Blog Want to see more OSR action subscribe to http://swords- andstitchery.blogspot.com/ Or http://darkc- ornersofrpging.blogspot.com/



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lairs & Encounters
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Guns of War
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/12/2016 18:32:37

So I've been gone a good portion of the day & how this review came about is a bit tangled. I've been rummaging around the a great many Adventurer, Conqueror, King titles for the better of a year now. Yes, I have friends of mine who feed my OSR habit quite regularly & I've been off the ranch for a long time now. This means I review what I want when I want as well as how I want. Still there are titles that I don't have access to so I hit up Alexander Macris with an email. Well the gentleman is a very busy guy and all, so I don't like bothering him. At least that's what I thought. Wham two nights later I had a bunch of titles from the ACK's line up sitting in my inbox!? Among them was 'Guns of War', yeah great another 'fire arms' set of rules rattled through my head at about two A.M. Wait?! There's a whole supplement on black powder weaponry that could be used with both ACK's & Lamentations? Given my obsession of wheel lock weaponry & my love of all things Lamentations colour me interested folks. So what does 'Guns of War' bring to the table? Well its a supplement that brings the timeline for ACK's up to the age of black powder weaponry not simply for the humans but most of the major races of the Adventurer,Conqueror, King & Lamentations of the Flame Princess. This adds an entirely new dimension to these OSR games themselves. This brings that setting dynamic into a new light entirely.

"Guns of War brings you all the rules you need to add the gunpowder, firearms, and artillery of the Age of Pike and Shot into your fantasy role-playing game. This century-and-a-half period was an age of war more terrible than any that had come before, as the technology of battle changed more rapidly than it had in any time in the preceding 3,500 years of human history. It was also an age of apparent anachronism made real, as plate-clad knights battled rifle-armed soldiery, field artillery fired on pikeman, and swords hung alongside pistols on the belts of cavalry.

Guns of War is designed for use with Autarch’s Domains at War (D@W) rules for military campaigns and battles. You will also need a copy of Adventurer Conqueror King System (ACKS), Lamentations of the Flame Princess (LOFTP), or a similar D20-based fantasy role-playing game to use this book."

But is it worth getting into? Well from a dollar stand point my answer is 'yes' it adds whole new aesthetic to these games and it could be used with Dark Albion as well because its going to change events across the board in broad gun powder clouded strokes. The age of powder & shot becomes an entirely new set of dynamics & history stalking changes to the set up of games. This means that the material has a has a vaguely 13th-15th century feel to it in equal measure. Guns of War manages to do all of this in fifty eight pages of jammed black powder packed book. Does this really make a difference in the dungeon? Not really when your wearing twelve hand grenades packed with black powder called the 'twelve apostles'. Because your going to be facing down things like this Ifreet in some God forsaken megadungeon. Guns of War does the job of taking ACK's from the dungeon into other realms of adventure into things like the a fantasy age of piracy, full on full city siege warfare with cannons, mixing up with the forces of darkness with powder, and much more. I make this book sound like one of the essentials for ACK's don't I? Well that's because technically in my estimation it is! When you have chain mail clad warriors fighting with pistols & swords then you've got a different mix of a game setting happening. Guns of War presents its material concise and well laid out details with the rules, tables, & descriptions being very easy to read as well as the content presented in a way that's easy on the eyes. The artwork is public domain with an eye towards the real world history whist keeping the book grounded in the ACK's setting (sort of). Because it moves the technological time table up there is a sense that Guns of War has at its core the OSR with an eye towards taking systems to the next level or at the very least the next time period. This book has lots of potential because of its use in ACKS Domains at War but that's a blog entry for another time. What it also means is that I can now run Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg materials within the ACK's system quite well. Things are not seamless but they work quite well so that suddenly that mini wall of Lamentations of the Flame Princes books has lots of potential in the ACK's system. This is another mark of the ulitity of the ACK's material at the gaming table. All in all I really enjoyed Guns of War so much so that I called the print shop today to get myself a copy of this pdf spiral bound. I give it four out of five because not only was I pleasantly surprised by Guns of War. Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery blog Dark Corners of Role Playing Blog Want to see more OSR action subscribe to http://swords- andstitchery.blogspot.com/ Or http://darkc- ornersofrpging.blogspot.com/



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Guns of War
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Auran Empire Primer
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2016 11:45:06

I went into the Auran Empire Primer with open eyes not expecting that much, this is the implied & now fully fleshed out OSR setting for the Adventurer, Conqueror, King rpg system. The whole setting implies not so much the usual Sword & Sorcery of D&D but Late Antiquity, around 250 - 750 AD."Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, and the Middle East. " . This is the time period that saw the Roman Empire split in two, with the western half eventually dying while the eastern half of the empire continuing until 1453.Auran isn't the Roman Empire, there are some really interesting marked differences right off the bat. The fact that Auran is an empire with its cracks beginning to really taking its toll on many fronts means that there are lots of places for adventurers to make a difference. The setting is close to a Constantinople of the era of Antiquity in many respects including a reaming cross section of peoples, religions,and weirdness of a world on the edge. This is a place of forbidden black magic, the blackest magic that cracks peoples souls & beastmen capable of rending an empire in half. This book presents in twenty five pages an overview of places, things, religions, cultures, and other elements that we've heard in other ACK's products such as ACKS Player's Companion, The Sinister Stone of Sakkara, & Axioms digital magazine. That's pretty much only half of the material though. What this book actually is a showcase of the elements from Adventurer, Conqueror, King & a kit for creating your own world if you want to look past the usual set pieces & system place holders which one finds in other OSR games. This system has a good grounding in real world as its inspiration & that to me seems to make a solid difference;"The ancient civilizations that precede the campaign’s era have realworld cultural analogues as well. The ancient Argollëan elven civilization resembles a sort of Proto-Helleno-Celtic culture; imagine if the Danaans of Ancient Greece and the Danaans of Ancient Ireland were actually the same people, part of a single, more advanced civilization. The ancient Thrassian civilization is inspired by Sumerian civilization with an Aztec aesthetic, while the subsequent Zaharan civilization is inspired by pre-Hellenistic Akkadian civilization with some Egyptian flavoring. The early Auran “Empyrean era” civilization draws on elements of the Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Sea Peoples, with extensive Heroic Age Greco-Roman (Illiad, Aeneid) inspirations." This is a case of heavy is the head that wears the crown and that head just might be your PC, if their very lucky & the players might think outside the box. So what does the Auran Empire Primer bring to the table that's different then say Greyhawk or some other old school rpg setting book? Not much & that's fine with me! Let me explain here, the book presents a brief bite sized overview of the Auran world setting & it does it with a nice level of presentation along with some really well done artwork, cartography, and ideas. The overview is brief, to the point, and gives me exactly the level of detail that I want without overwhelming me with lots of filler BS that I don't need. In other words this is a place that I want to set adventures in.Its not a world that is so on fire that I as a DM don't have room or a elbow space to set up my own political or world events in. This is often one of the problems that I've had with other RPG products, the world events are happening right now! There's no time to get to know anything or do great deeds, your characters have to be heroes now! Well they do but in a system such as Adventurer, Conqueror, King they're going to need to build PC in roads into the world. This book helps to fill in the colour and setting material that you need. Did I mention that the book sells for only two dollars and fifty cents? All in all I think that the Auran Empire Primer does a really killer job of presenting the world of the empire and its very well done product.

Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery blog Dark Corners of Role Playing Blog Want to see more OSR action subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/ Or http://darkcornersofrpging.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Auran Empire Primer
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Dwimmermount (ACKS version)
by Omer G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2016 09:01:14

If I was asked to describe Dwimmermount in three letters, this would be - WOW. The amount of thought, creativity and effort put into this product is staggering. It offers a complete setting, with a detailed and interesting history - as well as a secret history to be pieced together from clues and hints left in the dungeon. It details a large area of land, several settlements, its own very interesting interpretation of player-character races - and a megadungeon. This is, mind you, a REAL megadungeon - with ten large levels, all interconnected and well-fitting into the overall concept, many artifacts and dungeon systems to interact with, and multiple factions vaying for control of the dunegon.

This is a campaign in one book. You can simply take this book, and have months - if not years - of gaming fun. It is choke-full of material, little of which is generic or drab - careful thought was put into everything.

Highly recommended, if only for all the stuff you can easily "steal" from this for your own home campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount (ACKS version)
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The Sinister Stone of Sakkara
by Jeremy Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2015 05:42:42

Very well done homage to Keep on the Borderlands, this time in a pseudo-Roman empire keep in an Ancient Egyptian/Mesopotamian culture that they have conquered.

Very high production values (other than some use of very common stock art) with a lot of original art, including some color pieces. The keep is meticulously detailed.

The adventure is very much like Keep on the Borderlands, with a dungeon complex ruled by different factions, but the map is very much historical looking, like a real temple.

On the down side, most the dungeon is full of bog standard D&D monsters (the regular humanoids) with only a few new monsters. But as it's an homage to Keep on the Borderlands, this isn't necessarily a bad thing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinister Stone of Sakkara
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ACKS Domains at War: Free Starter Edition
by Eric S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2015 02:54:36

I really like the basic idea but...no examples, no ready-made factions/characters, no scenario. Any questions of depth get referred to some other core book. In sum, I can't see how to use this book to start anything. It's just not a quickstart. I want to like it, but after several read-throughs, I simply can't use it.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
ACKS Domains at War: Free Starter Edition
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Dwimmermount Illustration Book
by Michael F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2015 10:01:50

I was disappointed with this product. Not due to the art, which ranged from average to very good. My criticism is that virtually all, if not all, of the images also exist in the main book. Now if you only had the hard copy version of main book, I can see how this illustration book could be handy. However, I have the PDF version. I could simply copy and paste each image in order to show my players.

I was also disappointed that there was no identifications for the images. Most are obvious but some I have no idea what in the adventure they are supposed to represent.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Illustration Book
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Dwimmermount Illustration Book
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2015 16:09:16

But what the hell is in it, what monsters crawl in its rooms, deal death in its halls, and kill over and over again? Well the artbook has some fantastic dark and deadly fantasy artwork done by some of the best of the old school artists. You want to show your players what killed them on level seven. Its here in dangerous and diabolical colour. A picture may be worth a thousand words – but a dungeon with more than a thousand rooms still requires a lot of pictures. The Dwimmermount Illustration Book includes a complete set of illustrations of the Dwimmermount megadungeon’s most essential features and locations, designed to be shown to the players in the style of the classic adventures of old. Featuring artwork hand-selected by dungeon creator James Maliszewski, the Illustration Book has over 40 different works by top artists including Jeff Dee, Mark Allen, Eric Quigely, Conor Nolan, John Larrey, Steve Zieser, Russ Nicholson, Kelvin Green, and the grand master of old-school fantasy, Erol Otus. Bring Dwimmermount to life with illustrations ready to be used right at your gaming table! Is the art book worth the fiver that its going to cost you? Yes it is because art costs money to put into rpg products and this is a solid set of artwork that actually relates right into the backbone and backdrop of the dungeon you happen to be playing in. This isn't a cute art book that simply exists for the sake of existence, its a tool to show your players exactly what, who, and where they're exploring. This is a book to get across the old school action that they happen to be involved with. This is a professionally done book of OSR nastiness by some top flight artists and it presents the material for Dwimmermount right in your hands!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Dungeon Tracker
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2015 15:54:05

what about the monsters and mayhem happening in the dungeon? What the hell are you going to do when you've got those twenty orcs baring down on you and the PC's are with their back to the pit trap or the flame spells? There's a the dungeon tracker for this situation and another thing that makes this series unique in a way. I can hear the grognards howling in anger and frustration at the inclusion of such a thing being included in an OSR campaign. Believe me I'm howling along with you but hear me out. The Dwimmermount Megadungeon Tracker is pretty neat, it allows you to keep the party seemingly off kilter while actually neatly organizing the whole affair nice and concisely all in one go. Here's the product description: The Dwimmermount Megadungeon Tracker is a unique play-aid designed to help you get the most out of a 13 levels of Dwiermount. For each level of the dungeon, the Megadungeon Tracker provides a double-sided reference sheet, with a specialty keyed map on one side and a level summary on the other. The map provides brief descriptions and contents for each room on the level; the level summary covers each level’s history, factions, wandering monsters, access points, and special areas, and a llows the dungeon master to easily track turns and marching order. This brings up the motives, reasons, hatreds, rivalries and high OSR monster weirdness of Dwimmermount. There are reasons for everything here and not unlike an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel those reasons bare out over the time as the PC's go deeper and deeper into Dwimmermount. If and only if they get that far. They're going to need a ton of luck, plenty of magic, and a butt load of healing potions. The dungeon tracker is one handy little device to have and its a nice addition to a DM's arsenal. The lessons of the tool box are there to be used and I for one I'm planning on making my own version of the Dungeon tracker. A very handy device to have at the table.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Dungeon Tracker
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Dwimmermount Map Book
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2015 15:42:18

The rooms,passages, and dungeon setting pieces as well as room descriptions are well thought out and concise. The problem here is the amount of time and energy a group of players and DM here are going to have to invest in the backdrop and details. This is where the dungeon map book comes in very handy. The book is filled to the brim with every location, place point, and adventure detail all concisely drawn out in glorious OSR detail for the DM and players to use. The idea of the 'hows and whys' of the place are done in a very neat slight of hand bit of editing in the ACK's book and the map book that works very very well together. But why purchase another book of simply the maps? Well because the Pdf is like a small heads up display for the DM to keep track of everything while giving the players bits and pieces of the action either through print out or by screen bits. Very easy to make this sort of thing happen. Its right in the product description from Drivethrurpg: Few adventurers who ever enter the legendary halls of Dwimmermount ever return. Its dangers are too great – its mysteries unplumbed. If only a map were at hand – or better, a dozen maps, one for every level of the dungeon…. The Dwimmermount Map Book presents each of Dwimmermount's wilderness, dungeon, and fortress maps as a two-page spread for reference and annotation in play. It’s an indispensable reference when running a dungeon that’s large enough to encompass an entire campaign! The Dwimmermount Map Book also includes a special two-page visual timeline of the construction of Dwimmermount, showing its origins in the early First Era to its final completion millennia later. This is not a standalone product. A copy of Dwimmermount™ is required to run the dungeon. Dwimmermount is a 13-level megadungeon for Adventurer Conqueror King System™, Labyrinth Lord™ and other d20-based fantasy role-playing games, available for purchase separately from Autarch™ LLC.

That's why the map book is really out to provide the DM his road map and back up for everything. You have more to worry about with the death and destruction of the PC's in this dungeon. Then there are some of the science fantasy elements that are in the background to contend with. This book helps out alot. Its available right over HERE And on top of this the maps are concise, well done, and perfect for use with Dwimmermount. Everything is percisely right where you need to know what's happening in real time as your player's PC's stumble right into the yawning death trap or pit trap right over there. This is where the Dwimmermount Map Book is not only useful but completely and utterly necessary to run through this thirteen level dungeon of destruction



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Map Book
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Dwimmermount (ACKS version)
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2015 15:07:58

It is the place where adventure begins, the ender of lives, and the legend itself. Dwimmermount (ACKS version) From Autarch is all that and more. And it almost broke me. Well not really but this is the first of a multi part review in which I take a look at one of the most massive products in PDF to come across my hard drive. So lets dive right into Dwimmermount (ACKS version) I want to take a look at the descendant of Dwimmermount ACK's version). The Adventurer, Conqueror King system has some twists to it and I spend sometime looking and reading up on it before even attempting to tackle this megadungeon. I actually like the system from what I've seen. Its well done and has some very smart twists and turns to it. The skill and proficiency bits are nice. But as a DM you really don't have to know the system to get the most out of this product. The history, setting, timeline, interaction, and back base material for Dwimmermount are essential these are the backbone of the campaign itself and tie into everything about the dungeon. How it all fits together and how this over arching monster of a campaign can fit into your world. That's one of the beauties of Dwimmermount dungeon that it can easily and compactly be fitted right into the back drop of your own campaigns. This book is really a tool kit for the design and care of the Dwimmermount setting itself. The fact is that the Autarch crew have done an excellent job of setting up this book into a whole cloth campaign into itself that can link into the backdrop of your own dungeons and that for me at least is part of its charm and OSR style. There's a lot to this beast and using it is going to take time, patience, and a whole lot of build in with it. That's not a bad thing at all. There's plenty of room here for DYI improvement to shoe horn it into your own campaigns. Does this campaign live up to its hype? Yes, I think so because of the care and feeding that has been done into the quality of Dwimmermount (ACKS version) but this is a very different and highly expanded beast then the original incarnation in my humble opinion. There are a metric ton of monsters here with their own motives, motivations, and agendas for your PC's along with a world into itself which is Dwimmermount. PC's are going to be changed forever going into this megadungeon. There are everything here from PC options to leveling up to simply having your PC killed outright. There are sections of sheer nasty and lethality that are going to take PC's by surprise. This is only the tip of the OSR iceberg here even if its a well written campaign your going to need a few things as well even though their optional. The maps are very well done but you as the DM are going to want the optional map book. Seriously this is a wise investiment on the DM's part and they show just about every over arching map that a DM is going to need to really truly run this mega dungeon right over HERE The Dwimmermount Map Book presents each of Dwimmermount's wilderness, dungeon, and fortress maps as a two-page spread for reference and annotation in play. It’s an indispensable reference when running a dungeon that’s large enough to encompass an entire campaign! The Dwimmermount Map Book also includes a special two-page visual timeline of the construction of Dwimmermount, showing its origins in the early First Era to its final completion millennia later.

The second piece of equipment whist running this monster is the art book. If you want to show your players exactly what the hell their getting into grab this book. This is an entire world of a dungeon that your PC's are getting into and their going to be there for quite a long time. A picture is worth a million words and the artwork is perfect setting fodder to really bring home the feel and old school vibe echoing throughout this product.

Which really brings me to the whole point of Dwimmermount which is the investment factor itself. And I'm not talking about money here but time as well as energy. All of those are going to come into play with running this monster. This campaign is compatible in some respects to fully thought out old school dungeon ecologies. There are plenty of set dressings, ideas, monsters etc that are pulled from this product and will engage your PC's for a very long,long time to come if used properly. This product if used correctly could connect a plethora of old school campaigns for years and years to come. In a word, yes and its ulitity is quite frankly something that you as a DM will be using for years and years to come. A very nice and in my estimation an improved version of Dwimmermount. I enjoyed the hell out of this OSR product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount (ACKS version)
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