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Arsenal Cards: Volume 5: Bows & Crossbows
par Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Ajoutée: 09/01/2013 13:01:07
If your character uses a bow or crossbow, this ought to be of interest. Opening with a history of the bow and some useful terminology (OK, your character sheet says you can use a bow, but do you sound like it?) there is also a useful illustrated analysis of different arrow types.

This is followed by an explanation as to how the actual weapon cards are laid out and what the information on them means - things like draw-weights, for example: essential information if you are an archer, but a bit baffling for those of us who play them! There are even some real-world archery references to chase up if you are getting interested.

The cards themselves are two-sided, with a picture of the bow on one side and detailed stats and other information on the other. These build up into a handy reference, although a neat idea would be to leave space for you to note the relevant game mechanics for the ruleset that you are using for your game.

A wide number of bows and crossbows - mediaeval up to the ultra-modern - are included. It's an excellent summary of what you might be able to get hold of, so don't just write 'bow' on your character sheet, make an informed choice and get more specific.

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Arsenal Cards: Volume 5: Bows & Crossbows
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Megan, Thank you for taking the time to comment on our product. We are glad you like our product, and we thank you for the comments. We will take your suggestion for leaving space to write your own relevant game mechanics in mind as we work to bring you more Arsenal Card products. Geoff Habiger & Coy Kissee Tangent Games
Arsenal Cards: Handguns Volume 1: 1850 to 1899
par Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Ajoutée: 04/12/2013 12:50:14
I am totally obsessed with cards as RPG aids. Ask me sometime on twitter why cards are better than dice and watch me go insane as 140 characters keeps me from explaining it fully. Also, every gamer loves a bagful of guns. These Arsenal Cards provide a solid aid for a historical game and as a result I'm giving it high marks.

The supplement begins with a glossary of what various firearm terms of the period mean, from wheellock to lever-action. Then a quick page or two of setup and you're into the cards.

The cards are meant to be printed on business cards - each is a color photograph of the appropriate gun on the front, and a description on the back that includes manufacturer, weight, trigger style, and ratings in Power, Recoil and Concealability.

One particularly interesting statistic is "Max PBR", which stands for Maximum Point Blank Range. Since in most RPGs you're dealing with close-range shootouts, the creator of the Arsenal Cards actually went to a gun website and calculated the approximate range that a shooter would consider "point blank" using each of these historical weapons' weight in normal shooting conditions. This is pretty awesome.

It closes with a table that will help a player or GM see and compare different traits of different guns.

Because it's not system-specific, players will still have to adapt these ratings to the system that they're using. That's fine - this is a very in-world description of the guns rather than pursuing specific stats. (Many of these guns would almost certainly have identical stats in some broad systems.)

Weirdly, there's a suggested table of penalties and bonuses when discussing ranges, power, and concealability, but no clue as to whether, say, a -1 penalty is on a 1d20 roll, on 2d6, on a pool of d10s or d6s being added or counter, on Fate dice, or what. This section is of no use and should be discarded, or it should be more fully integrated into a specific system so that players can understand what they refer to. If I had to name another way to improve the arsenal cards, it would be to include traced or more constrasting pictures, as the details of some of the pictures will be difficult to get in normal printers. Also I would have bookmarks for the guns and the glossary instead of the glossary and the card layout section, since most of the card layout is on one page.

Still, If you're not running a historical game, this supplement will make you want to run one with a ton of shootouts so you can scatter these cool pictures all over the table. Having one clipped to your character sheet will help you visualize the weapon your character's carrying in the terms they might experience - is it heavy? Can I conceal it? What exactly do people see when I pull it? Highly recommended.

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Arsenal Cards: Handguns Volume 1: 1850 to 1899
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R�ponse Editeur:
Jason, Thank you for purchasing Arsenal Cards and taking the time to give us your comments. We greatly appreciate your comment about the suggested table of penalties and bonuses. We will include your recommendations in future versions of Arsenal Cards. Also, the comment to add bookmarks is a great suggestion and we will work to add that feature to the existing sets and to future sets. Thank you, Geoff & Coy Tangent Games
Ados: Land of Strife Campaign Setting
par JK R. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 03/31/2013 09:27:37
This is a large book, with over 200 pages, detailing a vast continent in a fairly typical D&D world. There is very little distinctive about the setting, with the only real theme being a battle between the followers of various members of an unusually large pantheon of deities. This particular book, however, doesn't elaborate too much on that, instead focussing on the geography and politics of the world. There are also three new races - monkey-people, bird-people, and cat-people - and some fairly standard prestige classes and feats. The book concludes with a bunch of house rules that confirm the feeling that this more a collection of campaign notes than a cohesive book.

Having said that, there is a lot of detail here, and if you're looking for a standard world without too many twists, this will at least save you a lot of work. Weather, geography, and earthquake risk are all covered for each region, and there's a full list of cities and towns. Much of this is quite good, but the tables of racial and class composition for the populations of the key cities is arguably overkill. Nor are the implications of the tables thought out; they're presumably just outputs from a calculator. Why, for example, are cities with multiple nobles of 15th level and up nonetheless ruled by aristocrats of only 6th level? Why does a city with a population of 1,900 apparently only have about 50 children in it? (I'm assuming here that the children are the ones without a character class or level listed - if not, who are they?)

There isn't a lot of variety, either. For a continent nearly twice the size of Asia, there's no real sense of cultural variation. Perhaps this is just detail that got left out in favour of class/level demographics. I'm all for information on the weather (something that sometimes gets left out of such books), but I'd also like to know what the people look like. I *think* they're all caucasian (albeit some are more Arabic than Aryan), but I'm even not sure of that.

To be fair, much of this can be brushed aside by not thinking too hard about it, and it's not as if they're likely to affect a game too much. And it does save you the trouble of rolling up the tables yourself. There's obviously a lot of effort that has gone into this, and there are a number of plot hooks, useful NPCs and so on scattered through the book that are certainly handy.

The art content is fairly minimal, and varies from good to embarrassing. The maps are basic and rather pixelated, and could do with a key, as could the colour scheme used in the towns and cities apprendix.

Overall, this is basically a collection of someone's campaign notes. It's not bad for what it is, and $7.50 isn't really a bad price for the sheer size of the thing. There may be some good things in here to make use of elsewhere - if nothing else, there's a good selection of deities. But, on the whole, it's more average than impressive.

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Ados: Land of Strife Campaign Setting
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Children of the Planes
par JK R. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 03/31/2013 06:48:51
This sourcebook provides twelve planetouched races, going beyond the basic options of aasimar and tieflings. Unlike those two races, each of these has a specific outsider ancestry - lantern archons, dretch, and so on, rather than the more generic "celestials", or whatever.

There's a good balance of types here - of the races, five are descended from celestials of various kinds, five from assorted evil beings, and one each from LN and CN outsiders. The non-celestial parents are similarly varied, with one good and one evil variant for each of elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and orcs. This, of course, means that we have, among the others, the rather interesting concept of a race with both celestial and orcish blood - and its a combination that works surprisingly well.

The races are not over-powered; like aasimar and tieflings, they all have a +1 level adjustment, and their abilities are broadly equivalent to the ones possessed by those races. Some of the ideas are quite interesting. I like the inclusion of as many good-derived races as evil ones, and the inclusion of efreet among the latter, as well as fiends, gives some variety. It's also nice to see a good range of favoured classes, with some suited to combat, and others to magic.

The races are followed by fifteen new feats, most of them tied to specific races in the book. Some of these are arguably a bit powerful, giving access to the supernatural abilities of some moderately potent outsiders without any meaningful prerequisites.

Finally, there are seven prestige classes. Four of these are fighter-types with enhanced powers based around good, evil, law, and chaos. Of the others, one is essentially a boosted bard (which, for no particularly clear reason has to be female), another is a spellcaster focussed on both healing and inflicting damage, and the other is a means for characters of mixed ancestry to gain the racial abilities and feats of dwarves, elves, and so on. This part of the book, is, I feel, something of a mixed bag.

The layout is fairly basic, although the artwork is reasonable, and the writing could have done with a better edit. One the whole, while I like the idea of many of the races, the feats and prestige classes are less useful and lack the same spark of originality.

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Children of the Planes
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Natural Wonders - Flora
par JK R. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 02/24/2013 09:39:56
This quite a large supplement for the price - 77 pages, discounting cover, contents, and license. It's a list of fifteen plants suitable for a fantasy world. They're specifically linked to the Ados campaign setting by the same publishers, but there's no reason why they'd have to be. Plants are just plants, after all.

However, the book is more than a description of some odd botany. Each plant comes with an extensive rules section, explaining how it can be used to make potions, items, armour, and the like. All of these various items are summarised in tables at the back, and cover a wide range of low-level, mostly non-magical, goodies. The list of these items, and their linking to specific features of the world, in the form of unusual plants, is the heart of the book.

The page count is upped by adding in scenario hooks to each plant, with stat blocks for NPCs who want to hire the PCs to collect the stuff, or want to steal it of somebody else, or whatever. This does feel a little like padding, especially since the stat blocks aren't always terribly relevant, but it does at least give some ideas for short encounters.

The layout is very basic, although the artwork isn't bad, and it shouldn't be tough on printer ink. All in all, it's a useful little supplement that could add colour and useful material to a game world, whether one's using it with its intended setting or not.

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Natural Wonders - Flora
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Better Damage Through Alchemistry
par Balican B. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 12/31/2012 05:26:09
Game system should have been better marked, it showed up in a search for a different one that it turned out to be. The items described were quite underwhelming for me, but of course, it's a plus that it wasn't overpowered. I really liked the artwork in the book, the small symbols signifying the various substances. It just wasn't what I was looking for, and similar info is freely available online. I expected more.

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Better Damage Through Alchemistry
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Mineral Alchemy: Alchemy from Gems and Minerals
par Balican B. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 12/31/2012 05:21:41
The booklet seemed very superficial and lacking in information. Also, it could have been marked better which game system it was for since it showed up for me searching for another one than what it turned out to be. However, it's not a bad buy if you're playing in a low or no magic campaign setting in d20 OGL..

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Mineral Alchemy: Alchemy from Gems and Minerals
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Gemerator 2: Jewelry
par Chris H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Ajoutée: 07/27/2012 02:01:02
Would you rather tell your players that they looted a “fancy pewter badge” or a “marquetry-enameled, satin-finished, pewter enseigne, ornamented with six silver baubles”? If the latter, then you’ll find Gemerator II: Jewelry a rich resource. A little less than the first half of the book presents a series of tables on which you can roll to produce a piece of jewelry as simple or complex as you’d like. A little more than the second half of the book consists of an illustrated glossary of all the specialized terms used in the book. The PDF is thoroughly indexed, right down to every single entry in the glossary. Obviously, a lot of work went into Gemerator II, and GMs running many different types of games can get considerable good use from it. The product does have some weaknesses. The alternation between “portrait” and “landscape” pages is annoying, the typography is both drab and inconsistent (several different serif typefaces—very similar, but not identical—are used), and the illustrations are photos from a variety of sources and in a variety of styles. The price strikes me as a little high as well. If this review system used half-star values, I’d give Gemerator 2 three and one-half stars; since it doesn’t, I’ve rounded down to three (because four stars just feels like “grade inflation” for this product).

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Gemerator 2: Jewelry
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Castle Ruins: A Hand-Crafted Map
par Stephen P. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 05/24/2012 15:08:50
This product is only really necessary if you have no ability to draw or no time to create your own layouts. I was hoping for something more artistic with the title "A Hand Crafted Map", but what I got looks the same as the maps I would have drawn on graph paper with a #2 pencil back in High School. Maybe I'm expecting too much for the cost of the supplement: however, if I could have seen a larger preview, I wouldn't have bought this. I don't mind paying for good or ambitious products, but for $2.50 this is not a good buy, maybe 99¢.

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Castle Ruins: A Hand-Crafted Map
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R�ponse Editeur:
Stephen, Thank you for your feedback. You are correct - our target is the GM who may not have time to create their own maps and wants a map in a hurry. As we say in our introduction to the product, "The maps within are all hand drawn and evoke a time of simplicity in role-playing games when the only things you needed to play were a character sheet, a pencil, some dice, and your imagination. These maps are intended to be system independent: only a general overview for the location and its levels are given, leaving the imaginative GM to fill in the blanks." Because Hand-Crafted Maps are not system dependent and provide a general overview of the location, a GM is free to fill in the details specifically for their campaign and group of players. This versatility allows the GM to spend more time focused on the players and the game and not wondering what they should drawn next on the map. We will check on the preview available for the product. There should be a preview available showing the first map available in the product, so we will make sure that is addressed. Thank you for bringing that to our attention. Geoff Habiger Tangent Games
Deadly Toxins: Poisons
par Yore L. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 10/10/2011 09:21:37
gracias por el libro ha servido de mucho, hizo feliz a un amigo k es gran fan del RPG y a sus jugadores

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Deadly Toxins: Poisons
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Better Damage Through Alchemistry
par Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Ajoutée: 09/21/2011 11:11:39
Iron Nuggets
Because of the overcomplicated and tedious crafting rules that has plagues D&D from the age of time, books on the subject of making your own things in Dungeons and Dragons have been scarce.

More Damage Through Alchemy, by Tangent Games, is one of the few crafting books that adds a considerable amount of meat to the crafting ability. Built for 3.5, though fully compatible with Pathfinder, it provides a list of items and new rules for Craft Alchemy. If all you find yourself doing with Craft Alchemy is making acid, the book provides various types of acids, bases and new alchemical products that can hinder enemies, blind foes and help comrades. The 24 page book is quite balanced except a few spots where the product seems to do a bit much, despite the logical reasons behind it. Layout is great, and there’s a neat table in the back of the book for quick reference to what each of the new concoctions do.

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Better Damage Through Alchemistry
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R�ponse Editeur:
Nathan, Thank you for your comments. We hope we can continue to provide high quality books to enhance your game play. If you have any suggestions for other titles you would like to see please let us know. We'd be happy to hear from you. Geoff Habiger & Coy Kissee Tangent Games
Children of the Planes
par Adam P. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 08/06/2011 02:33:27
Very creative with some interesting ideas for combing races. The artwork is not the greatest but the material is definitely worth it!

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Children of the Planes
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Better Damage Through Alchemistry
par JK R. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 01/30/2011 07:21:51
Better Damage Through Alchemistry describes, as its title implies, how to use chemicals to cause damage and injury in d20 systems. It covers a range of chemicals, including varying strengths of acids, bases, chlorine gas, and so on.

All of the chemicals are ones that exist in the real world, although a great many are modern discoveries not known in the middle ages. (Of course, in a world that already has magic, that's not necessarily much of an issue). Each comes with a brief description, and a reasonably detailed summary of the effects of splash damage, ingestion, and inhalation - which reads a little like a Hazard Data Sheet, but with game rules. This information is also summarised in a table at the back of the book.

There are 16 chemicals in total, which is a fair selection. Many of them are quite deadly, but that's likely fair enough - drinking concentrated sulphuric acid isn't going to do anyone any good. The layout of the product is good, including drawings of alchemical symbols (again, real world ones, so far as I can tell), and, aside from the cover, everything is in B&W, and should be easy on a printer.

The book is clearly based heavily on real-world data, but applies it competently to the d20 rules. If you want to add real-world chemicals to your game, with some variety between different kinds, this is a handy resource.

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Better Damage Through Alchemistry
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Gemerator
par Michael M. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 08/07/2010 17:35:31
I have used the Gemerator for a while now. The steps and tables are manual (e.g. pencil and paper based) and time consuming for each gem/jewel. The result is a unique and enchanting gem that my players enjoy. I would highly recommend the Gemerator or providing the extra sparkle to a treasure pack.

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Gemerator
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Deadly Toxins: Poisons
par Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Ajoutée: 07/24/2010 17:26:54
"Deadly Toxins: Poisons" serves three overlapping yet distinct audiences equally well: DMs and players who don't know much about poisons to begin with, DMs who want to use poisons in their games to challenge the PCs, and players who want their PCs to use poisons. All three audiences will find plenty of useful information and ideas here.

The crunchy parts of the book provide D&D 4e stats, but there is plenty of system-agnostic information here, giving the product broad applicability. In D&D 4e terms, most of the rules are judiciously written, though some elements are highly questionable. The warlord utility power "cleansing wind," for example, strikes me as thoroughly magical. I can understand the warlord's core "inspiring word" power as nonmagical, since I've seen "Rocky" and plenty of other sports films, but I can't really convince myself that a warlord could use martial skills to push poison vapors away from herself and her allies. However, this is a relatively minor complaint when stacked up against the extensive list of real-world poisons and antidotes expressed in game terms.

Better writing (in terms of English grammar and style) and/or editing could have improved this product significantly. From awkward phrasing to misused words ("run the gambit" instead of "run the gamut," for example), page after page annoys attentive readers. When you buy a PDF gaming supplement, you're essentially buying words, and it's reasonable to expect proper, even skillful, use of those words.

In sum, I cannot honestly say that this is the best 4e supplement detailing poisons, and it's not the one I would choose to use in my campaign. But it's not bad at all.

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Deadly Toxins: Poisons
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01.Commodity Cards I: Food and Drink
02.Commodity Cards II: Raw Materials
03.Commodity Cards IV: Finished Goods - The Adventurer's Kit
04.Commodity Cards III: Finished Goods - Swords to Plowshares
05.Commodity Cards V: Finished Goods - Hearth and Home
06.Gemerator
07.Mineral Alchemy: Alchemy from Gems and Minerals
08.Mineral Magic: Volume Two
09.Mineral Magic: Volume One
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11.Mineral Magic: Volume Three
12.Even More Damage Through Alchemistry
13.Gem Cards Set One
14.Better Damage Through Alchemistry
15.Arsenal Cards: Handguns Volume 1: 1850 to 1899
 
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