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Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium (4e)
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/13/2015 07:37:56

Originally published at: http://diehardg-
amefan.com/2011/09/28/tabletop-review-mordenkainen%E2%80%99s-
-magnificent-emporium/


There are lots of iconic characters in Dungeons and Dragons. Drizzt and Eliminster are legends from the Forgotten Realms. And anyone that ever stepped into the Demiplane of Dread, will never forget the name Strahd. But before there was a Ravenloft and a Forgotten Realms, and heck before there even was a Dungeons and Dragons, there was Greyhawk. And probably the most important character from Greyhawk was Mordenkainen, because you see Mordenkainen was Gary Gygax’s player character. So when Gary played the game that would become Dungeons and Dragons, he played as Mordenkainen the wizard. Over the course of time, Mordenkainen became a powerful wizard that kept the peace in Greyhawk. He maintained the balance between good and evil. He also obtained and cataloged the many fantastical magical items he came across in his travels. And this compendium of magical items is contained in Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium.


At first glance you may assume Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium will be a book of nothing but magic items for your game. If you thought this you are wrong. It’s more than just magic items. It’s more of a book of anything your character may want to buy. You’ll find a wide assortment of magic items, standard adventuring gear, and hirelings and henchman. You’re also given the cost of buildings as well. What better way to help part your players from their gold than some real estate speculation. There is wide variety of items, with something for every class. So let’s delve a little deeper and see exactly what we will find in the emporium.


First you are greeted with an introduction by Mordenkainen. He also introduces every subsequent chapter. This adds some nice flavor to the book, which is very flavorful in general. In this book you will not find a generic +1 sword. Every magic item has a description with a little backstory as well. The main goal of this book is to give you unique magic items to add to your game. Long time Dungeon and Dragon’s players may even recognize from of the magic items from early editions. The Helm of Brilliance returns to D&D in this book. It has a similar feel to its 1st edition counterpart but is not quite as lethal to the character if they are hit with a giant fireball. Ioun Stones are another item returning to D&D. With the Ioun Stones you lose some of the variety contained in the 1st Edition stones. The stones that enhance your ability scores are still present, but the stones that absorb and store spells are nowhere to be found. There are lots of items that players of previous editions will recognize, but all of them have a slight twist that prevents them from being their identical to their previous versions.


And the reason for those changes, besides the obvious rules changes, I suspect are due to a change in philosophy in Wizards of the Coast. Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium originally had a Spring 2011 release date but was pulled from their release schedule for additional playtesting. WotC is now focusing on playtesting more and making sure what is in the books work as intended. They want to minimize the online errata and offer a better playing experience straight from the book. And in a book of magic items this is appreciated. I’m sure long time player can all think of a magic item from an earlier edition that were quite game breaking when left in the hands of an ingenious players.


Something else WotC did unique to this book was make it a Game and Hobby Store exclusive. You will not be finding this book in a Barnes or Noble or being sold directly by Amazon. The only place this book is available is your friendly local game store. This doesn’t mean you cannot find a copy online since FLGSs can sell this book online. But this book is another way WotC is helping drive people to their local game store.


There are a lot magic items in the book. You have magic rings, swords, implements, armor, and other miscellaneous magic items, but there is also some content specifically for players as well. Several new armor types are introduced in this book that will be familiar to older players, such as banded mail, ring mail, splint mail among others. And with those armor types comes the appropriate armor proficiency feats. There are also new weapons and weapon feats. There are two types of weapon feats Weapon Training and Strike Specialization. The three new weapons training feats are Fail Expertise, Pick Expertise, and Polearm Expertise. Each gives you a bonus to your attack. As for Strike Specialization, there is a feat for each melee weapon group and each has a different effect depending on the chosen weapon group. Power Strike is a prerequisite for the feats so really these feats will only appeal to the melee combat heavy characters in the game. Do not think our magical characters have been forgotten about though. There is a new for them as well Superior Implement Training. This gives characters access to the superior implements in the book, which enhance the magical ability of the user by increasing their attack bonus, enhancing damage, or giving a defensive bonus among other things.


There is also additional content for DMs beyond the slew of new items to integrate in your game. DMs are introduced to artifacts. These are the items legends are made of. These are one of a kind, super powerful items that can be the focus of an adventure or campaign. It’s also best these items are in the hands of players temporarily otherwise you may find the players are powerful beyond their levels due to these items. And once again we see a two items from prior editions return one being the Codex of Infinite Planes and the other Jacinth of Inestimable Beauty. Something that I miss in the artifacts in this book that was present in prior editions is the customizability of the 1st Edition artifacts. The 1st Edition artifacts have power slots that a DM could fill in from several lists of powers. Some were good for players, some were bad for players and some were just plain annoying. This made the artifacts truly unique and no amount of player knowledge would help players when dealing with the artifacts since no two DM configure the same artifact identically.


The next thing present for DMs is something I love throwing in my games, cursed items. These are great for a group of players that insist on looting everything in the game. You have Boots of Uncontrollable Dancing, Armor of Vunerablity, and a Backbiter Spear among other things to make your player’s a little more cautious about picking up those gauntlets in the corner.


The concept of Story Items is also introduced. These are magic items that require no game mechanics and help the players overcome an obstacle. Basically you use the item, it helps you get past a specific obstacle and it’s job is done. They give an example of Jack’s beans from Jack and The Beanstalk as an example of a story item. The beans give Jack a way to the giant’s castle, with the obstacle being overcome in this example getting to the giants castle. This seems like a concept most experienced DM would already be using, but this could be good for newer players teaching them new concepts to integrate into their game. Several pages of examples of story items are given and these are worth looking through, whether you’re an old or new player, for potential story ideas for your game.


Out last chapter is our standard adventuring gear. This section is a mixture of standard items and alchemical items. The standard items focus on the concepts of kits, pre-grouped items that would be useful for a particular task or tape of character.. There’s a charlatan’s kit for the con-artist, devotee’s kit for the religious, a delver’s kit for those that go deep in the earth, a sage for the sage, and a travellers kit for well….the traveller. Each kit contains items appropriate for that type of character. Also tucked in this section you’ll find a sidebar with rules for gambling and how to use the gambling cheat items in the charlatan’s kit. So if you ever wanted to know how to run gambling in your game without slowing the game down by actually playing a game of chance, now you have your rules. The alchemy section adds another feat, Alchemist that gives a character the ability to construct alchemic items. There are several pages of alchemical items as well. There is enough variety to keep the alchemist in your group in the lab for quite some time. It’s also in this section we are told the cost of building construction. So just remember a castle with a dungeon cost 1,000,000gp before you go plopping them in your campaign willy nilly.


The final section of Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporioum is the appendixes dealing with hirelings, npcs, and henchmen, and some charts breaking down the magical items contained in this book by level and rarity. In the NPC section you will find the cost for hiring an experienced crew for your ship or a linkboy to hold your torch. It is nice for those DMs that want to know the abilities and cost of skilled NPCs the players may hire. Henchmen on the other hand are the NPC that go adventuring with the players, the rules for creating henchmen are actually contained in the Dungeon Master’s Guide 2, so all you get here is a brief description the three types of henchman and 5 sample henchmen complete with backstory for your game.


Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium is a book filled with both fluff and crunch. You have tons of stats for new magic items and new feats mixed with the backstories and descriptions of the unique magic items. I can easily recommend this book for DMs that are looking to add some flavor to the magic items in your game. There is also enough fluff that a DM should be able to walk away with many ideas for their home adventures. Now if you’re only a player, then it’s not as easily recommended. Yes there are some new feats and equipment, a majority of this book is geared towards DMs. It’s hard to recommend this book to player’s with the amount of player’s content it contains. If you’re a player that likes reading the fluff of magic items then it may be worth looking at. Really I don’t see the need to have more than one copy of this at the gaming table. But I think there definitely should be one copy of this at the gaming table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium (4e)
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Neverwinter Campaign Setting (4e)
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/13/2015 07:26:06

Originally published at: http://diehar-
dgamefan.com/2011/08/15/tabletop-review-dungeons-dragons-nev-
erwinter-campaign-setting/


Although Ravenloft is my favorite campaign setting from Dungeons & Dragons, the City of Neverwinter and the Sword Coast nearby it are where I’ve spent most of my D&D days. Whether it was playing in the first ever MMORPG in the early 1990s, creating adventures with the Aurora tool kit in 2002, or playing in a tabletop Forgotten Realms campaign, everything always comes back to Neverwinter. So when Wizards of the Coast decided to focus on a specific region of Toril, I wasn’t surprised Neverwinter was the chosen land (although part of me did think it might be Waterdeep). With the campaign setting hitting tomorrow, it’s time to see if Neverwinter is worth picking up, or if it’s just a supplement to the 2008 Forgotten Realms campaign setting.


First of all, Neverwinter clocks in at 223 pages with a full color glossy pages, a full fold-out map (that you do have to tear out of the book) and a very striking cover of a black dracolich squatting on the reminants of an old keep, now mostly washed away by the tide. It’s probably my favorite 4th Edition cover to date, but a good campaign setting needs more substance than style, so let’s crack the pages open.


Neverwinter consists of four chapters and an introduction. The first chapter, Jewel of the North is only about ten pages and it tries to cover the entire history of the Neverwinter region in that span. Don’t think that the book tries to flesh out every detail from first to third edition – it doesn’t. Instead it gives you a paragraph or two on twenty-one different important locations in the area, such as Neverwinter itself, Helm’s Hold, the Sword Mountains, Waterdeep and more. The chapter then completes itself with a “History of Conflict,” which gives a running timeline for the area, starting with -22,900DR up to the current year. This time line only takes up two pages, so again – there’s not a lot of detail there and longtime D&D players might be a bit miffed at the lack of history in this opening. It’s very truncated, but if you’ve been playing in the Forgotten Realms setting prior to this, you probably know most of the history by heart (or have old gaming books to fill in the blanks) and if you are new to Dungeons & Dragons with 4th Edition, you likely don’t care. Still, it would have been nice to have a more in-depth piece on what happened from the start of the Spellplague on other than a few novel series.


Chapter Two, Character Options is far meatier and it runs nearly seventy pages. The chapter can be divided into four sections: Character Themes, Racial Backgrounds, Warpriest Domains, and finally, a brand new character class known as the Bladesinger. We’ll take a VERY in-depth look at the character themes tomorrow in their own special feature, but the book gives you thirteen: Bregan D’aerthe Spy, Dead Rat Deserter (Wererat!), Devil’s Pawn, Harper Agent, Heir of Delzoun, Iliyanbruen Guardian, Neverwinter Noble, Oghma’s Faithful, Pack Outcast (Werewolf! ), Renegade Red Wizard, Scion of Shadow, Spellscarred Harbinger and Uthgardt Barbarian. I have mixed feeling on the themes ranging from “Holy hell, that’s awesome” for the lycanthropes and “Wow, that is pretty underwhelming” for the Red Wizard. For the former, I was really pleased to see Lycanthropes get their biggest “player character” push ever, while as a long time fan of Thay, I was disappointed to see how well, weak Red Wizards are in 4th Edition. I’m by no means a power gamer or stat min/max’er, but still, the Red Wizards seemed…far less impressive that I would have expected.


Choosing one of these themes (which the book all but insists that you do) gives you a new starting feature to lay on top of everything else your character would have, along with some additional features and optional powers you can pick up as you level up. Each Character Theme has specific class and race prerequisite, although many are merely suggestions instead of hard and fast rules ala AD&D (No halfing wizards!) When you choose a Character Theme as your specific background, you also get to add a +2 bonus to a specific skill related to said theme OR you can pick one of those background skills and add it to your class’s skill list and even become trained in it. Themes were something completely missing from the original 4th Edition books, and it’s interesting to see players getting some new stat and power bonuses. My only complaint is that several themes are unbalanced and it would have been nice to have more than thirteen. Perhaps twenty or so, Because of the imbalance, you’ll quickly see certain ones become prevalent over others.


Racial Variants provides two new Dwarf types to play as, along with four new Elf types. Of course, longtime D&D fans will recognize all of these and it’s nice to have these specific sub-races back with distinctions on how they differ from their generic counterparts. Say welcome back to Shield Dwarves, Gold Dwarves, Moon Elves, Sun Elves, Wild Elves and Wood Elves. Choosing any of these races instead of the standard dwarves, elves and Eladrin yet you change the languages, skills and benefits you would otherwise get. For example, a Gold Dwarf gets +5 to any saving throw involving psychic damage or psionics instead of Cast Iron Stomach while a Sun Elf gets +2 to Bluff and Insight instead of the standard bonuses to Arcana and History an Eladrin would otherwise have.


The four new Warpriest Domains are: Corellon, Oghma, Selene and Torm. While Torm and Corellon make sense to me, a Warpriest of Knowledge is a bit…odd to me. Same with a Warpriest of Selene. The book does try to justify these, but I still think someone like Bane, Cyric or even Kelemvor would be better suited to having a specific Warpriest theme after theme. Still, the book does give a slight guide on what Warpriest set from other D&D supplements can be used for a dozen or so other FR gods.


Chapter Two finishes off with the Bladesinger, which is very similar to the 2nd Edition AD&D Fighter/Mage dual class elf. This character class is only supposed to be used by Elves or Eladrin, but with some tweaking, it could make for a good swashbuckler human as well. We’ll cover the Bladesinger in detail on Wednesday but for now, I’ll say it is a pretty interesting class that lets you be both mage and warrior at once and some of their spells are old Gygaxian favorites.


Chapter 3, Factions and Foes is about fifty pages long and the title kind of says it all here. This is where you’ll find a lot of plot hooks around countries or organizations that will make up the majority of your antagonists in a Neverwinter setting. You’ve got Lord Neverember, The Abolethic Sovereignty, a cult of Asmodeus worshippers known as the Ashmadai, Thay, the Netherese, the Cult of the Dragon, the Harpers, Mind Flayers and more. Each section tells you about a faction’s goals, allies, enemies, relationships and more. You’ll also get stats for some monsters and NPCs here along with suggestions for possible encounters in each area. Neverwinter is pretty much populated by very low level characters and monsters – almost shockingly low in some areas. For example, Neverember is only a Level 7 Soldier while Valindra Shadowmantle, a lich and Thayan higher-up is only Level 9. Maybe it’s because I grew up with 1st-3rd Edition, but that really low to me and she’s the highest level NPC in the book. IF you have characters that have been playing for a while that you just want to move into Neverwinter for a change of pace, you’ll have to make up some new enemies or expect your players to steamroll through the region.


Examples of some of the cast and creatures you’ll find in Chapter 3 are: two aboleths, a grell(!), two kinds of Nothic, some devils, Unhallowed Wight, stats for undead members of the Neverwinter Nine (!), stats for Clariburnus Tanthal, Werewolf Stormcallers and more. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get any real Harper information which is really odd since neither the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting nor its Player’s Guide had any real information aside from “They broke up and the band is getting back together.” It would have been nice to see this FINALLY fleshed out. Aside from that minor quibble, Foes and Factions give both players and the DM a lot of story hooks and new enemies (maybe even allies?) to encounter in Neverwinter. It’s very well done and contains the kind of depth a lot of people were hoping to find in 4th Edition.


The final chapter of the book, Gazetteer takes up half the pages contained therein and it pretty much answers all the complaints people had about earlier 4th Edition Forgotten Realms publications. However the section doesn’t spend much, if any, time talking about the past – everything is in the present. So again, for those of you looking to bridge between third and fourth edition’s Neverwinter, there won’t be much here for you. For everyone else, CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT. You want legends about why Neverwinter stays warm even in a region where it should be freezing? You get TWO (not just the fire elementals heating the water one). Do you want to learn about all sorts of important locations and buildings within the city of Neverwinter? It’s here? Interested in the stats around the Lost Crown of Neverwinter, which the D&D Encounters are currently revolving around? They’re in here! Want your characters to learn secret special moves from Drizzt Do’Urden himself? You can! There is more detail about the area of Neverwinter in this book than previous 4th Edition campaign settings have given to entire WORLDS. For someone like myself who likes to read sourcebooks as much as play in them, this is wonderful.


There are a few minor annoyances I have with this chapter, like the Kraken and the obvious Clash of the Titans remake joke inserted into here a year or so too late. I also didn’t like how both chapters three and four spent emphasized the presence of Chartilifax the dragon…but then never give its stats. However, compared o in-depth information on things like The Dread Ring, the ecology of the Illithids in Gauntlgrym and more, the good really outweights the bad here.


The last thing to talk about is the art. It’s pretty hit or miss. I’ll admit I am one of those that preferred the art from the 2nd Edition AD&D error to what we currently get, but as I seem to be in the majority on that one, I wish Wizards would push the current D&D artists toward the level of quality we had “when I was a kid.” You whippersnappers today don’t know how good we had it! Seriously though, some of the art in the book is really good. I adore the cover of the campaign setting and there’s a piece where a Mind Flayer is eating a humanoid that is just disturbing. Most of the art in Neverwinter is amongst the best I’ve seen come out of 4th Edition, but all that comes to a grinding halt when you hit the end of the book. Specifically I’m talking about Evernight. Wow is the art here almost comically bad. Honestly I think that’s what they were going for, or at least I hope so. I look at things like the art for the Corpse Market and think either, “This is Evil Ernie awful!” or, “They honestly paid someone for this?” Again, the negatives I had with this campaign setting are very minor, and to be honest, Neverwinter is easily the best fourth edition book I’ve gotten my hands on so far, but when the art is bad, wow, it’s really bad. I’ve purposely tried to include what I found the best pieces to accompany this review.


Overall, while the Neverwinter Campaign Setting has a few minor issues, the overall book is a wonderful one from beginning to end. It’s honestly the best product I’ve seen Wizards of the Coast put out for 4th Edition so far and I honestly think if this version of Dungeons & Dragons had started out with products this strong, the backlash against leaving the d20 system wouldn’t have been so severe. If you’re playing 4th Edition at all, this is well worth picking up. If you’ve been putting off 4th Edition for a myriad of reasons, this is the campaign setting to start with. If the rest of the Nerverwinter theme products coming out are just as good as this one, than Wizards has a sure fire success on its hands. If you’ve picked it up, by all means, let’s talk about it.


Join us back here at Diehard GameFAN each day this week as we take a more in-depth look at some of the specific sections in Neverwinter. Tuesday we tackle the Character Themes, Wednesday is the Bladesinger, Thursday are actual stats of monsters and NPCs and Friday we’ll finish things off with the Warpriests. To learn more about Neverwinter and all the products surrounding it, visit ExploreNeverwinter.com. To learn more about Dungeons & Dragons, visit the official home page. Finally to buy a video game based on Neverwinter using 3rd Edition rules, you can buy Neverwinter Nights: Diamond Edition from GOG.com for only $9.99.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Neverwinter Campaign Setting (4e)
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Dreams of the Red Wizards: Scourge of the Sword Coast (D&D Next)
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/12/2015 18:17:18

'Dreams of the Red Wizards' presents a module that should take a number of nights to explore and complete, and offers a wide scope for players and DMs who like non-linear adventures. It mixes exploration, intrigue, social encounters, and combat, so there should be something for all classes.


Set in Daggerford, the module asks the PCs to make a number of choices that will influence the resources at their disposal later in the game, but does so by prompting the characters to express their values (and their commitment to said values). The DM could easily tailor these to reference the characters history, or a recent module (although this starts at Level 2 - an odd choice - so chances are the characters have only completed a single module beforehand). Daggerford is not well-presented and subsequently appears to be very dry. It has potential, but running this module off-the-cuff is not recommended.


Overall, the module makes good use of a variety of monsters (some of which are played very intelligently and woven into the overall plot) and locations - again with the clear intent to ensure that not any one class or race is constantly in the spotlight.


The only downside to this module is the lack of practical design. Puzzles that aren't repeated in handouts (and have the answer on the same page), maps that have both player and DM information (instead of two separate maps which I thought was standard development), and a lack of xp amounts on monsters means that you'll need to prep this before playing quite well and think about the implementation choices that weren't catered for by the design team.


That said, the writing is on standard with other Wizards modules, and the adventure is suitable scaled and challenging for a party of second-level adventurers. The module offers the opportunity for far more than one night's play, and with some work, Daggerford could be developed into a 'home base' for a much longer-term campaign.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dreams of the Red Wizards: Scourge of the Sword Coast (D&D Next)
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Player's Handbook 2 (4e)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/08/2015 11:35:01

The intention behind this book is to introduce new races, classes and powers as options that players can choose when designing their characters. The Introduction launches off with some grandiose claims about being a 'significant expansion' - well, it is fair to say that five new races and eight new classes broadens your options... it just depends if what is offered happens to suit what you want to play. The second part of the Introduction presents the 'Primal Power Source' which underlies the supernatural powers available to the barbarian, druid, shaman and warden classes presented later on. It links to the spirits of nature, the power of the world itself that originally arose to protect it from the depredations of squabbling deities and primordials. Having banished them so that they can only exert an influence the primal powers, a myriad of spirits, have established what is perceived as the 'natural order' - the cycle of life and death, the turning of the seasons. The characters who draw on them are thus firmly rooted in nature.


Chapter 1, however, looks at new character races. While the original eight races in the Player's Handbook may be the most common ones from which adventurers are drawn, they are not the only ones. So now the gnome, the shifter, the deva, the goliath and the half-orc join them. Gnomes and shifters appeared in the Monster Manual, but although it is stated that information here supplants that in the Monster Manual, some guidance on how to apply the process to other 'monsters' that you fancy playing as characters would have been appreciated.


Presentation of each race follows the same pattern as in the Player's Handbook, including the rather patronising "Play a XXX if you want to be..." notes in case you struggle to see the potential in a given race. First up is the deva, who is an immortal reincarnated spirit present as yet another cycle on the wheel in the form of the character. Memories of past lives can surface, dimly, and these elegant humanoids are forever aware of the struggle between good and evil both in the world and within themselves. Gnomes are quintessential tricksters with natural stealth skills, and they enjoy humour as they explore the world around them with avid curiousity. Next, goliaths are large and strong, with origins in mountainous areas and a comptetive nature. Half-orcs - familiar to those who have played previous editions - combine the combatative best of both humans and orcs. Finally, shifters are ferocious fighters who are able to take on some aspects of the beastial, even if they do not shape-change completely as a lycanthrope does. Two types are given, one with wolf characteristics and one with cat tendencies. While it would be quite easy to come up with shifters linked to another animal type, no guidance is given to help you develop such. Each race is described in somewhat stereotypical detail with the general characteristics which typify members of that race, plenty and enough for you to see ways in which to play one.


The chapter ends with a selection of paragon paths based on race - both the new ones here and those in the original Player's Handbook - rather than on character class. To qualify, you just have to be a member of the appropriate race but once chosen the paragon path works much like any other, providing specific powers and other advantages to the character following it. Should you choose one of these, your character typifies the best of his race, tapping into the very myths and legends that underpin their culture - nice!


Chapter 2: Character Classes is the biggest part of the book, because of all the new powers and class features that need to be described as each new class is introduced. The eight new classes are distributed between the three sources of power and all four combat roles. And at last I have my beloved bard back! He and the sorcerer draw on the arcane power source, with the avenger and the invoker drawing on the divine and finally four based on primal power, these being the barbarian, the druid, shaman and warden.


Avengers serve their deity by wreaking havoc on that deity's enemies. This class is somewhat akin to the monk of old, save that a character is more likely to fight with weapons than his bare hands. The barbarian is a wild and ferocious warrior, and like the avenger fills the striker role. The bard mixes music and magic in the leader role while the druid wields primal power as a controller with the ability to adopt a beast form. The invoker literally calls down the power of his god to strike his foes, and if he chooses the appropriate paragon path can even become an angel. A shaman considers himself the voice and hands of the spirits, doing their work in the world; and attracts a spirit companion to his side. The sorcerer is the embodiment of arcane power, drawing on draconic or chaotic sources to channel raw magic through himself. Lastly, the warden is a protector of the natural world, a defender incarnate. Each comes with several paragon paths based on that class which may be chosen once the character reaches the appropriate level, drawing on various aspects of that class. The chapter winds up with a selection of epic destinies, open to characters of 21st level or above who meet the prerequisites.


Next, Chapter 3 looks at Character Options. While race and class provide much of what defines a character, there are other aspects that go to making your character an unique individual. First discussed is the concept of a background, providing a range of options to choose from or to use as inspiration for one of your own devising. It's not just flavour, you can extract tangible advantages in the shape of skills, languages or other benefits based on where your character came from or what he did before that fateful day when he became an adventurer. There's also a collection of feats to choose from, some based on the new classes and races presented here while many are open to all. Next comes an assortment of adventuring gear. Of particular use is a selection of musical instruments, vital to any budding bard. There's also some magical items, chiefly magic armour with a whole range of new features to choose from in designing that special suit. Magic weapons are not neglected, and there are also rods, staves and totems. This section rounds out with some musical wondrous items for bards to drool over. Next comes a whole lot of new material on rituals. One of the most interesting bits are some ideas of variant ways in which characters might choose to record their rituals - the traditional leather-bound tome does not survive too well in the hands of a barbarian or someone who prefers to live in deep forests or high mountains. So knotted threads or painted hides, carved wood or... well, see what you can come up with... might replace the conventional book as repository for your character's ritual musings. Lots of new rituals as well, of course.


Finally, an appendix presents rules updates for powers and the stealth skill. They provide quite a lot of detail and are intended to supplant those previously published. The book winds up with a glossary and index.


There are a lot of new character options to consider and digest, obviously widening the range considerably. Everything is still completely focussed on combat, though, all the powers are aimed at making each class - in its own way - a potent force in a brawl. Material for those for whom fighting is not the be-all and end-all of their character's life will be able to extract snippets of use in creating and playing a properly rounded character who can live in the alternate reality of your game as well as fight in it but, as with the rest of this edition, combat is the primary focus.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook 2 (4e)
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D&D Rules Compendium (4e)
by Ashley M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2015 03:26:22

Covers everything I need at the table to GM a session of D&D. If I need a rule I can look it up quickly. Some organisational features aren't as good as they could be (e.g. conditions are spread over several pages whereas a single page is all that's needed in a larger format book) but that's minor niggle is overwhelmed by the rest of it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Rules Compendium (4e)
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Dark of the Moon (2e)
by Joseph W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/06/2015 13:47:29

Overall this dungeon is excellent for players with some experience. It can be either a stand alone dungeon, or a pit stop in a greater journey through the realm of Ravenloft.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark of the Moon (2e)
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Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
by david w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/05/2015 15:58:58

I think that this could be a very fun addition to the d&d game platform. I originally selected this book looking for 4e titles. I have not yet had the chance to play 5e, but I do plan to try it and incorporate it with 4e. what i have glanced at so far is very good material. I am just waiting for the day that wizards of the coast change the sloppy d20 combat system to a an opposed attack/defend roll,real-time attack system like rifts does. the game system is too chancy,
either the monsters are too easy to hit or too tough. but overall, i put 31/2 stars on it because the game is interesting and fun,if a bit corny and unfair/
sloppy.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
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Divine Power (4e)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/04/2015 09:03:37

This book is aimed at the players of characters who look to the deities of their world for inspiration or power, and presents new ideas and options for any paladin, cleric, avenger or invoker character. The main part of the book consists of chapters for each class mentioned, giving new class features, builds, powers and paragon paths for each. The final chapter looks at divine domains with new feats, epic destinies and rituals available, and at deities in general.


First up, the avenger. Introduced in Player's Handbook 2 he is an agent of divine justice with a mission to smite the enemies of his deity wherever they arise. There's a new type who specialises in bringing his targets to justice through power of numbers, gaining strength from his allies. Lots of new 'prayers' of course, and some interesting sidebars about underlying motivation. One suggests options for why a character might have become an avenger, and how his fellow-religionists might view him; another - more aimed at DMs than players - suggests ways of using avengers as a potent force in your campaign, allies or adversaries depending on your needs. The suggestion that an avenger might serve more than one deity, perhaps persuing an idea - e.g. opposition to slavery - rather than the ends of a single god is made, and there's a list of likely targets that followers of the (good) deities in the core rulebooks might hunt. The paragon paths present a diverse range of approaches, and even before you reach that level you could benefit by deciding which one appeals and playing your character that way.


Chapter 2 deals with the classic god-botherer, the cleric. It presents a new build, the shielding cleric, who acts as protector to the party in combat, as well as choices which lead to greater healing abilities. One interesting paragon path option in this combat-oriented game is the Messenger of Peace, who seeks to find more civilised ways of resolving differences than a brawl - but with a note that this only applies to sentient opponents, not much use preaching peace to a monster who is merely looking for its lunch!


Next comes the invoker. Carving an agreement with a god and wielding his power, there are new powers in profusion here along with some ideas for role-playing an invoker... did he enter into his agreement willingly, for example, and what do the words his deity puts into his mouth sound like? Or you can take the paragon path Adept of Whispers and speak rarely if at all. (The suggestion is that you still talk at the game table, though... probably wise, I once lost my voice totally on game night and all notes had to go round the whole table to satisfy that suspicious bunch!) Other paragon paths include the Devoted Orator, whose preaching echoes his deity's voice, and the Speaker of the Word, who knows some dread word of power granted by his god...


Then it is the turn of the paladin. The chapter is headed by a quote from a Tennyson poem that I've been using for paladins since 1980! Paragon paths include the classic roles of Demonslayer and Dragonslayer, as well as the Holy Conqueror who is an all-out brawler determined to further the ends of his god whatever the odds, and the Questing Knight, whose quest is fertile ground for the imaginative DM to weave through the campaign.


The final chapter is called Divine Options. It concentrates on providing a wealth of options to allow characters to be customised in accord with their chosen deity's focus and outlook but in a myriad of ways depending on individual preference. Mechanically, this is handled by a vast array of feats based on divine domains, character class and more; but of more interest to the role-player is the section that discusses how your choice of deity will influence how your character thinks and acts. Unlike the Player's Handbook, evil domains and their associated feats are given here, primarily for the use of DMs building antagonist characters, although they could prove interesting in the hands of players prepared to tread those paths. The overwhelming assumption is that player-characters will be 'good' or at least neutral in view, however. Another interesting section is that on backgrounds, a collection of reasons you can pick and adapt to explain why your character is who he is and does what he does.


This book provides an excellent range of options for anyone playing an avenger, cleric, invoker or paladin. While tied to the core patheon presented in the core rulebooks, it will be fairly straightforward to transfer ideas to deities of your own devising. Best, though, are the notes scattered throughout on how to make that character come alive in the service of his chosen god, aiding the player in thinking about his character as a coherent whole, an individual dedicated to his cause rather than a collection of powers and feats.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Divine Power (4e)
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Vault of the Dracolich (D&D Next)
by Ross B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2015 17:41:56

This was enjoyable to run, and had good role-playing options for any group. Especially good was the group map handout, which gave clues to certain areas, but did not destroy any surprises. So the players could use some tactical decisions to try and work their way through a fairly deadly dungeon.


The sub text and descriptions were enough for each encounter and left room for the GM to add flavour. I adapted this to my Hoard of the Dragon Queen campaign due to further dealings with the Dragon Cult. It is a bit of a death trap dungeon for the unwary, but with the right tweaks, a very fun game to run.


My only query was about the reward at the end of the adventure which in the game was a Diamond Staff of relic proportions. I changed this to one of the goals in my campaign. I think the adventure lends itself well to some adaptation by the GM.


Most importantly the players enjoyed the variety of encounter types, and the need to use their combined group skills to survive.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vault of the Dracolich (D&D Next)
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Haunted Temples Map Pack (4e)
by Steve J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2015 19:01:19

My 4e group played on the 6th and final map, a 2 level library complex, last weekend. They really enjoyed the detail and layout of the rooms. The only issue I had was getting this particular map to print the way I wanted it to. As 2 levels are shown on one page in the image I had to do a little very simple layout work in a graphics program (I used Fireworks) to separate them into 2 images I could print at A3 size for our figures.


Overall a highly detailed and well laid out simplistic floor plan so I would recommend this, especially at the current price of $5.99.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Haunted Temples Map Pack (4e)
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Player's Handbook (4e)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/23/2015 03:46:17

So here it is, the latest re-creation of the original role-playing game. It opens without preamble, with a chapter on 'How to play' that assumes you have never heard of role-playing games before; but gives a vivid overview of what role-playing is about - structured make-believe - that should leave nobody in doubt about what is in store. Key points include the pivotal role of the Dungeon Master as being able to direct a storyline with complete flexability to respond to player-character actions, and the core idea of having fun! Next comes a brief overview of the fantasy-mediaeval setting (with some preconceptions about the lack of an overarching empire and ancient races that have gone before that may not suit everyone's campaign worldview) and a potted history of the D&D game since Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson first came up with the concept in 1974.


We then move on to more detail of how the game works, with the main components being player-characters, a Dungeon Master, an adventure (published or written by the DM), and the rules and dice. Miniatures are assumed to be essential as well although I've rarely found them to contribute much to play even in combat. Within the adventure, the game proceeds by encounters - which are either combat or non-combat (everything else, from figuring out a trap or picking a lock to seducing someone or talking your way out of trouble!). Between encounters, you explore the world you're in. Exploration doesn't take turns, but encounters, particularly the combat ones, take a more mechanical turn-based approach. The chapter ends with the core rule mechanic - roll a d20, apply modifiers and compare to a target; if the target is exceeded you have managed to do whatever you were attempting to accomplish.


Chapter 2 is Creating Characters, the real core of the rules as once you know what your character is capable of, he can start to come alive within the alternate reality. It's good to see that proper attention is paid to the concept of role-playing as well as to the mechanics of what the character can do within the ruleset. To begin with, you are encouraged to think about what sort of character you want before you even look at the options like race and class that are available, subsequently making your choices in the light of the character you want to play... although things are a bit biased towards what you fancy doing in combat rather than within the game as a whole. A quick overview of the options is given here, more detail later on, although it's advised that you decide your race and class before determining your ability scores - strength, constitution, dexterity, intlligence, wisdom and charisma - by one of three methods. These are a standard array (six numbers which you distribute as you please), a customised array (start with an array of lower numbers but raise them by spending points) or the traditional method of rolling dice for a random set of numbers. You get racial adjustments to apply after you have allocated numbers to abilities. Alignment is also discussed, but it is an optional extra now if your character wants to take a clear moral stance, and there are fewer to choose from than the 9 used in earlier versions of the rules. It's advised that most players stick to good (or lawful good) or remain unaligned unless the group as a whole wants to indulge in evil. A selection of deities is provided, and it is suggested that most people worship several choosing the one most appropriate for their needs at the time, while clerics will probably devote themselves to a single one - but acknowledging that the others also exist. Finally comes some ideas for those to whom role-playing may not come naturally, a series of questions to consider about what your character is like as a person. You also might have some mannerisms, describe what you look like and think about your character's background before he started adventuring.


Next is a brief word about languages, a review of the different sorts of checks (die rolls) which the game mechanics call for and the detail of what happens when your character gains a level. Characters now can progress from 1st to 30th level, these fall into 3 tiers of heroic, paragon and epic - the assumption being that even a 1st-level character is a hero of some note. Finally there's an overview of the character sheet, showing where you write everything.


Chapter 3 explores Character Races in some detail. Some are familiar, some new and some are missing... and all have racial traits that serve as a collection of bonus features to apply to your character. One new race is the Dragonborn, scaly dragon-descendants who walk around like people but have breath weapons and other draconic characteristics. Dwarves and Elves are familiar, but another new race is the Eladrin - fey creatures similar to Elves (and with pointy ears!), while Elves themselves are closer to nature, wilder beings than hitherto, the Eladrin have taken on the love of artistry and magic Elves had. Half-elves and Halflings remain, both being inveterate wanderers; while Humans are still given the advantage of being infinitely adaptable. New - at least, to the mainstream game - are Tieflings, descendants of human-demon hybrids that are claimed to have once ruled the world... and have horns and tails to prove their heritage. Each race has notes about their general demeanor and some sample character outlines to give you a bit more of an idea about them.


Next comes Chapter 4: Character Classes, again a mix of old and new with notes on the capabilities of each one. Your class is more of a vocation than a career choice. You can be a Cleric, a Fighter, a Paladin, a Ranger, a Rogue, a Warlock, a Warlord or a Wizard... but no longer can you be a bard. Perhaps they'll show up later, but at the moment the emphasis is on classes which excel in combat. Even the Cleric is described as a 'divinely-inspired warrior' rather than as a priest who can fight! (If you thought that was a Paladin, he's described as 'a champion dedicated to a specific deity.') Most of the classes are pretty obvious, although the Rogue is more of a sneaky fighter, the Warlock gains his magic from a pact with a supernatural power (other than a deity, else he'd be a Cleric) with the power chosen affecting what's available to you, and the Warlord is a specialist battle commander. In battle, each class acts as one (or with aspects of more than one) of defender, striker, leader or controller; and draws power from arcane, divine or martial sources. All characters of a given class share some class features, while they can also choose from class-specific lists of skills and powers to customise their characters. For those who want a hand with their choices, there are 'builds' based on different concepts within a given class which suggest a mix suitable to that concept. For those who rise in level, once you reach Paragon status (11+) you may choose a more specialised Paragon Path within your class, and again at 21st level you can choose an Epic Destiny to shape your character's ultimate role.


Powers are the core of class capabilities and are made up of at-will (use as often and whenever you like), encounter (may be used only once per encounter, but as many times a day as you like) and daily (only once per day) ones. An at-will power may be a simple spell or healing ritual, or the ability to use a bow or a sword to effect, while encounter and daily powers are more complex and taxing actions which basically are tiring and require you to rest, or at least take a pause, before you can perform them again. They have a complex yet standardised presentation which shows you precisely what you can do, and provides the game mechanics to gauge your success. To begin with you can choose only a handful of lower-level powers, but as you rise in level the number and strength of the available powers increases. All of which makes for a very long chapter which repays careful study before you decide what you want to play! It rounds off with a discussion of the Epic Destinies available, most of which are open to characters of more than one class provided they meet the prerequisites.


Chapter 5 looks at Skills. The basic assumption is that your character has a basic level of competence in every skill, but can choose to study some of them in more depth. Even without specialisation, you get better as you increase in level, but further study of your chosen skills - a subset of the full list is available to each character class to choose from - grants a further bonus when making a skill check. If you want to learn a skill that's not on your class list, you need to take a feat Skill Training to do so. There are 17 skills in total, all quite broad and often combining both practical and theoretical aspects of that skill. Generic craft, knowledge, etc., skills are no more. You can still choose to 'take 10' on a skill check (accept a result of 10 + applicable bonuses rather than risk a low roll) if not under pressure, and are assumed to be doing so for 'passive' checks - for example, if someone is sneaking up on you, do you notice him even if you aren't keeping a look-out (i.e. have not asked to make a Perception check)? The skill descriptions give detailed ideas for how to use each skill in a variety of circumstances, along with guidance as to what skill checks are appropriate when doing so. Choose skills with care, they are useful and a way in which to greatly enhance your non-combat abilities and to use them to good effect in playing a rounded character, rather than a fighting machine.


Next, Chapter 6 looks at Feats. On the whole, feats are used to enhance what you are already able to do, but they can give you some of the capabilities of another class (useful, since multi-classed characters are a thing of the past although the use of specific multi-class feats enable you to dabble a bit in one other class from your own). You start off with but one feat (two if you are human) and gain one every second level thereafter. You often need to meet prerequisites to take a feat, and generally can only take a given feat once. More impressive feats become available once you reach the Paragon and Epic tiers. Most feats are primarily combat-oriented, enhancing something you do in battle, or letting you mix in something new.


Chapter 7: Equipment ensures that your character has all that he needs to go adventuring. All starting characters have the clothes they stand up in and a notional 100gp to spend on gear. Needless to say, the emphasis is on weapons and armour, which are covered in great detail. An oddity is a restriction on selling stuff... according to the rules you can only sell things if the DM allows it and then only for a fraction of the cost. (Hmmm... scuttles back to see if haggling comes under the Bluff skill...) Only art objects and the like can be sold at full value. Adventuring kit is also included, but in quite broad terms, and there's a brief discussion on how much you can carry.


The next section of the chapter looks at magic items. Although they can be purchased occasionally, the idea is that you find and acquire them by adventuring or use a ritual to enchant one of your own (which costs as much as the purchase price if you found it in Ye Olde Magick Shoppe). Again, if you find yourself with surplus magic items, tough. The rules say that if you sell them you only get one-fifth of its nominal purchase price. Now I'm all in favour of preventing looting for the sheer monetary gain, but I'd prefer to restrict it through role-play - maybe you cannot find a buyer who can afford it, or trade in magic is illegal in this town so you have to make a dangerous journey to somewhere you can sell (or run foul of the law) rather than use an arbitrary rule. Still, there is a comprehensive list of magic items to get you started with your collection. Many, instead of exhausting 'charges' when you use them, work like your own powers - being able to be used at will, once per encounter or once per day. Things like potions are still one-shot, though; when you have drunk one and its powers take effect, it's gone. For weapons and armour, there is a whole range of magical properties which you can apply to a weapon or suit of armour, so it's a very customisable system. Similar effects can be applied to holy symbols, orbs, staves, etc. for those characters who use such items; and likewise shields, boots, gloves, rings, and other ordinary items are also capable of enchantment. There are also some wonderous items, so if you want your very own magic carpet...


Next, Chapter 8: Adventuring gets down to the guts of the game. Going adventuring is what your character was created for, after all. Starting off with quests - why you might go forth and where you can go - the chapter takes a detailed look at encounters and what you can do during them, as well as the rules for exploration, rewards, and the rest and recovery you'll need after you've been doing all these other things! The concept of the 'encounter' is simple: this is when role-playing is set aside while you use your character's statistics and the dice to determine if you succeed at whatever you are doing... obvious if it's a brawl, but a mechanic that come in useful when you are trying to do anything in which you can suceed or fail, be it opening a locked door or trying to convince the guards at the gate to let you into the city. Obviously, as you get more familiar with the rules the non-combat encounters can be woven seamlessly into the storytelling with a few die rolls.


Rewards tend to be quite mechanical. Each encounter successfully resolved should garner you experience points (XP) which are used to gain levels. You can also receive action points. You start with one, and can use it during an encounter to make an extra move or to use certain feats. You gain extra ones at each 'milestone' (these aren't clearly defined, but a lot of the rewards material is no more than summarised here, the full details are in the Dungeon Master's Guide) or you can take an extended rest, lose any you have not used but start again next day with one. Treasure is also a reward, the loot you pick up in the course of your adventures. This might be cash or things readily convertable to cash (gems, artwork and other such valuables) or it may consist of magic items. Wise parties will keep track of what they find and determine a way of sharing it out fairly. There are also the intangible rewards, that is, anything that isn't of monetary value or adds a combat bonus... but for role-playing purposes, being in a High Priest's good books, owed a favour by a wizard or awarded the local city's Medal of Honour has a value all of its own!


The section on exploration is mainly concerned with movement and the rules applying thereto, speeds over different sorts of terrain and the like. Mounts, marching order (and why you need one...), light and vision and other topics are also covered. You also find the rules for breaking things, kicking in doors and so on... and after all that exertion, it's time to take a rest. There are two types of rest each with a set of applicable rules. A short rest lasts about 5 minutes, the sort of thing you might do after an encounter, and you can take as many as you like and circumstances permit. An extended rest is the equivalent to going to bed for the night: it lasts at least six hours and usually includes sleeping and eating. You only need to do this - and only gain the benefits thereof - once a day.


While the whole range of activities that comprise 'adventuring' are key to the game, for many the core activity is combat - it's certainly one of the most complex and rules-intensive parts of the game - and Chapter 9 is devoted to a detailed discussion thereof. To enable it to be administered fairly and logically, it gets quite mechanical with the action taking place in rounds during which each participant - character and monster alike - has a turn in which various actions can be taken. When everyone's had their turn, a new round begins. At the start of the combat encounter, you'll need to determine (with the DM's help) where everybody is and both player-characters and monsters (i.e. all present who are not player-characters) need to roll initiative, which determines the order in which turns are taken for the whole of the combat. The use of some visual means of depicting the combatants and their surroundings is recommended, even if you don't like playing with miniatures it can help to make a rough sketch. There's a whole load of detail about what you can do and how, area effects, range, line of sight and so on... well worth ensuring that everyone has at least a basic grasp of this chapter or else combat can take a very long time while people figure out what they can do!


After you've been in a brawl, chances are you will need to heal your injuries, so the topic of the next section is Healing. Each character has hit points determined by his class, level and Constitution score. You cannot exceed this maximum, but every time you take damage you loose them - being classed as 'bloodied' when you reach half your hit points and falling over unconscious when you reach 0... at which point you are dying and need attention. Each character has at his disposal a number of 'healing surges' which you can use to regain hit points. Once per encounter, and whenever you like outside of combat, you can activate a healing surge to regain one-quarter of your maximum hit points (if you haven't lost that many, you don't get more than your maximum back, of course!). An extended rest enables you to regain the full number of healing surges to which you are entitled by your class and Constitution modifier. Use of the Heal skill, healing powers and the use of various items can allow other people to help you regain hit points as well.


Finally, Chapter 10: Rituals looks at complex ceremonies which create magic effects. They are always performed from a written text, being too long and complex to memorise, although you need to spend time beforehand studying a ritual in order to master it. To actually perform the ritual you spend a length of time specified in the ritual carrying out the necessary actions such as scribing circles, reading aloud from the text and so on. You may also need to purchase items to be used during the ritual. The Ritual Caster feat (available initially to Clerics and Wizards) is needed although you can enlist the help of assistants who neither need the feat or knowledge of the specific ritual. You can do a one-shot ritual from a scroll, and do not need prior knowledge or the Ritual Caster feat to use it, although you will need any necessary items. Rituals can be used to enchant magic items or create an effect directly - such as an arcane lock to protect your treasure, or consulting an oracle to find something out. Curing diseases or enabling you to understand a language you don't speak are some of the other useful things you can do if you know the right ritual... and there are a whole lot more, many based on what you may remember as non-combat spells in earlier editions of D&D.


Overall, I'm pleasantly surprised. The game has been rebuilt from the D20 system, giving something that is coherent and playable. It's a bit combat-obsessed - there again, so are many gamers! - and everyone will find something they cherish has been left out (I want my Bard back!). The actual combat system is possibly over-complex without any options for abstraction for those who do not enjoy being quite so mechanical, but on the whole this is a worthy successor to the tradition that started with Gygax and Arneson...



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook (4e)
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d20 Modern Core Rulebook (d20M)
by John M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2015 03:52:01

I already own 2 paper copies of this book, but wanted to add a digital version. This is a great system and book, but this is a poor scan. This pdf is human-readable but throughout there are whole chunks of text that have not been OCR'd correctly. This makes it useless for a screen reader or other accessibility tools. The issue is the background image on the gutter side column of the page. There is not sufficient contrast in the scan for the optical character recognition software to distinguish the text from the background image, so 2-5 words are missing from each sentence throughout several paragraphs on almost every page. I have paper copies of all the other d20 Modern, Future, Apocalypse, Dark Matter and Call of Cthulhu books and I am buying the OEFs as they become available. In comparison the scanned d20 Modern Core Rulebook is sub-optimal. It is not even on par with other scanned and OCR'd books I have bought from the DND Classics line. Hopefully, WOTC will do the right thing and re-scan with better settings.



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[1 of 5 Stars!]
d20 Modern Core Rulebook (d20M)
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MC9 Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix II (2e)
by Paul M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2015 18:58:35

This is pretty much the same rating as I gave to the first Spelljammer monstrous compendium. Overall, it presents a solid block of creatures with some especially neat ones (like the astro sphinx and the witchlight marauders) along with the occasional dud (instead of space gorillas, we have space penguins this time). Unfortunately, the scan quality just isn't that good compared with the uploads of newer D&D material. The text isn't sharp and the black-and-white monster pictures often look either faded or too dark. As with the first Spelljammer monster collection, I would only purchase this if you're extremely curious or if you have fond memories of playing Spelljammer and you no longer have your physical books.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
MC9 Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix II (2e)
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Weapons of Legacy (3.5)
by Paul M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2015 03:46:38

Like its description says, this book provides a system for using items that become stronger depending on their wielder's experiences. There are roughly 50 of these so-called legacy items detailed here, each of them with its own history and stats. Most also have a mini-adventure that players can go on to acquire them, often including a small map that shows their location. Each legacy item (most are weapons, but there are some armors and a few miscellaneous things like amulets and instruments) has its own illustration as well, and while all of the artwork is well done, some drawings in particular are just beautiful and really give a sense as to the item's story. On top of legacy items, the book also provides mechanics for legacy heroes, monsters, and even epic legacy weapons if a DM is crafting a campaign for high level PCs. Overall, this is an excellent book with great ideas, top-notch art, and some interesting new mechanics. The legacy items also seem like they could easily be converted to the new 5th edition or even to a different game (like Pathfinder) with relatively little effort. The quality of the pdf is excellent, and it's also indexed and searchable.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Weapons of Legacy (3.5)
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The Forge of Fury (3e)
by Giles R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2015 00:15:56

Top notch module. Wide variety of enemies with tactics well described. Also good variety of encounter design. Good selection of routes into and through the Dungeon.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Forge of Fury (3e)
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