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HHQ3 Thief's Challenge (2e)
by Ricky P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 21:14:15
Pros:
Great sandbox, very little railroading
As advertised, well tailored to a single PC playing a thief (emphasizes skulking, larceny, and investigation)
Great NPCs with motivations that match the tone of the story

Cons:
The "bad guy"'s plan seems a little weak, and it would not at all be guaranteed to lead to "bad guy"'s desired outcome.
The location of the town and the town's purpose (maintaining a river lock) where most of the adventure takes places does not make much sense from a practical real-world perspective. This really is not a problem, but might lead to the player dropping out of character to question the verisimilitude.

Overall, I recommend this adventure. Run as-is, it is very good. With a few tweaks, it can be great.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HHQ3 Thief's Challenge (2e)
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Up Front Complete Game [BUNDLE]
by David H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 17:00:41
Finally! The groundbreaking wargame classic from the 80s is finally available outside badly worn used copies or pristine copies that cost and arm and a leg. In both cases, you really hate to play it in order to at least preserve the components. Efforts to republish the game over the past 15 years have met with more drama than an entire season of "The Guiding Light."

This is a straight-up scanned version from Second Edition, with reminder text in the Action Deck enhanced for legibility.

Action cards are printed on Poker sized cards, which are a tad wider than the original deck. This makes sleeves easier to find, as they fit perfectly in sleeves for M:tG. The backs have the images expanded to fill the entire card to excellent effect, while the front of the card maintains the same ratio, leaving a negligible bit of white space on the left and right margins. This deck has the most errata that needs to be applied: Marsh cards should have -1 instead of +1, Card #7 should have a 1 instead of a 7 in RPC position 9, and all the black RNC Movement cards should have INF shifts 2 to the right instead of the left. Remember: you'd have to do the same thing to your $150 copy off eBay. The cards are flexible and riffle shuffle easily. As stated previously, the reminder text has been enhanced for legibility.

AFV cards are printed on the same size cards as the action deck, and have been slightly enlarged to fill the size of the card, as the original cards were smaller. The errata on some of these cards were already applied by the time the Second Edition was published, so no problems there.

Personality cards are printed on mini-card size cards, and the images were reduced from the original size of the cards. This will leave a smaller footprint on the gaming table, which is nice. I'll have to play a game or two to determine whether the size reduction will make reading the game information during play more difficult (Morale and Firepower numbers, for example).

The rulebook is a PDF scan from a well-preserved copy, and the scan quality is fantastic. There's only a slight discoloration on the back of the rulebook, which is pretty common for a game 30-some odd years old.

The counters are available as both PDF for self-printing, or printed on the same card stock as the card decks. The card stock version is the most convenient for those who simply want to cut and play, but it's very much worth putting forth the effort to apply to sturdier material such as cardboard or wooden square pieces you can buy at Craftparts.com.

As for the game itself, it's incredibly tense. The game is designed to produce the type of fog of war and chaos that soldiers faced on the battlefield. The Designer's Notes in the rulebook should be required reading by all wargamers, as it explains the method to the madness. There are "gamey" elements to play, such as the fact that groups don't have flexibility to move to one side while they have flexibility to move to the other due to the A/B/C/D nature of group formation the game imposes.

Learning the game can be a challenge, as there are tons of fiddly bits you have to remember. Once you've played the game a few times, things fall into place, and game play will quicken with only minor reference to the rules for handling situations that don't occur very often. You have to be patient with both the game and yourself, roll up your sleeves and dive in as best you can, and go back and review areas that are unclear. The effort is definitely rewarded.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Up Front Complete Game [BUNDLE]
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Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 13:55:51
I am pretty impressed with 5e. This is a quality document. Unfortunately I am facing a 4e rebellion with my players refusing to even roll a 5e character at the moment!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
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P3 Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress (4e)
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 13:51:45
This is why 4e got so much criticism. Little plot, one fight after another. Even our resident Raven Queen paladin hated it. Much better adventures in the dungeon magazines, and much more value for money.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
P3 Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress (4e)
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Dragon #386 (4e)
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 13:47:36
I use these to flesh out campaigns and npcs. They are very useful and very good value for money. Especially since 4e is finished.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon #386 (4e)
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Dragon #373 (4e)
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 13:41:19
The assassin's article is good with some interesting backgrounds and powers

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon #373 (4e)
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Dragon #372 (4e)
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 13:39:13
We had pretty much ignored shadar-kai until we read this. Brings them to life. Tatoos now a regular with characters

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon #372 (4e)
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Dungeon #167 (4e)
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 13:35:04
This is excellent if you like Eberron. The main adventure is excellent.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon #167 (4e)
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Dragon #366 (4e)
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 13:32:57
Worth it for the bloodghost syndicate and mithrendain make it worth it on their own

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon #366 (4e)
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Dungeon #162 (4e)
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 13:29:29
This is great for high level characters, with a chilling Fey theme.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon #162 (4e)
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Dragon #385 (4e)
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 13:27:54
I looked forward to this for some time, as there is a lot of Eberron based material in. There is always some useful things in these magazines. Just as well I bought 386 too though as the website has them mixed up.)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon #385 (4e)
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D&D RPG Starter Set "Quickstart" (4e)
by Jennifer D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2015 15:12:05
As a Dragon Master/ Storyteller it seamed fairly easy to understand for players that never played before and not overly compacted.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
D&D RPG Starter Set "Quickstart" (4e)
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Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
by Matthew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2015 16:41:48
The quality of the physical product is what I've come to expect from gaming books. It's of high quality cover and paper. The content of the book was successful in making me purchase two more books to get going.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (5e)
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Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild (4e)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/28/2015 09:44:52
So I picked up the Heroes of the Feywild a while back. I had been looking forward to this one for a while, especially when I saw that the Witch was going to be one of the character class options.
I then spent some time working on various witch characters and builds (and yes I did them all by hand). Here are my insights.

In General
Like Heroes of Shadow, Heroes of the Feywild assumes that these characters are either from or have strong ties to their "homeland" in this case the Feywild. IF you have any interest at all in the Feywild or any sort of land of the Faerie (such as Avalon, Alfheim or any number of others) then this is a good book. While not really compatible with older editions of D&D there is still plenty that can be used. The feats even are written that they could even be used with Pathfinder or D&D 3.x. I found plenty I can use for my current 3.x game that I run with the kids and Ghosts of Albion. I actually ended up liking this book more than the Heroes of Shadow book out earlier.

The Witch
The witch is a new "sub-class" of wizard that basically learned in the Feywild. On one level I didn't like this since the witch isn't really a type of wizard. But in reading it I can get past it since the witch is only a type of wizard "mechanically", she uses the same rules as a wizard and thus all the same powers, feats, magic items, Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies the wizard can use. In this respect it makes her more like what I have done in the past where wizards and witches are both a type of "magic-user". It gives the witch a lot of power to choose from.

The witch has two builds or covens she can choose from, a Full Moon Coven and a Dark Moon Coven, or if you prefer a good witch and a bad witch. The covens have some powers associated with them, but the witch is still free to choose powers as she sees fit.
Only Paragon Path is given, the Legendary Witch, and it focuses on the two covens. It lacks any strong thematic element, but this is a complaint I have had of the Paragon Paths of the post Essentials line.
The Epic Destiny, the Witch Queen, though is quite good. I had done something similar as a Prestige Class for 3.5. This one is different but there are some interesting powers and effects.

I might try a multi-classed witch/warlock, but that might be splitting my roles a bit too much

Powers and Spells
What sets this witch apart from another Wizard or a Warlock are her spells and powers. The witch relies on her familiar to learn magic. Something I have seen more and more of late in FRPG versions of the witch. Her magic has a distinct feel to it different than that of the warlock, even if there seems to be some overlap. Witches do get a minor healing power from the Full Moon Coven, and her magics in general are more subtle. She does not for example have a fireball like spell, but she can change monsters into other animals and they take damage for it. Heavy on the charms and transformations. Lots of powers with the Psychic key-word. Some are similar in theme to the Warlock; Horde of Puckish Sprites is not too different, save in level, than Pixie War Band.

I would like to see more on the relationship of Witches and Warlocks. Especially given the Fey commonalities and interactions with Patrons. I think I'll have to write that myself now given that the 4e is a dead line.

Non-Witch Material
There are three new races to play that are well suited to a Feywild/Faerie World sort of game. The Hammadryad, the Satyr and the Pixie. All have something very interesting about them and I'll stat up some witches for each race as well. There are other class builds as well the Berserker (Barbarian), Protector (Druid) and Skald (Bard). All great for a psuedo-Celtic themed game of D&D. Just add Player's Handbook 2 to the mix to get the base Bard and Gnome and you are set. Honestly there is enough here to run a high-magic game and never leave the Feywild.

Overall I am very pleased with this book. It's not perfect, but it is very, very close.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild (4e)
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D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)
by Troy V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2015 02:11:34
This is the essential complete volume of Basic D&D. All rules are compiled into one handy book. If WOTC tried this in 5e or in the future 6e, I would certainly buy it for its portability, handiness, and critical role.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)
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