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B1 Journey to Hell
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/19/2013 16:19:55
I bought this on a whim but I am so glad I did.

First off you get a lot of adventure for your buck. 45 pages of adventures and maps (granted it is the same adventure twice, but still).
The artwork is great, coming primarily from sources like The Inferno. This is quite fitting given that the adventure itself is quite reminiscent of Dante's great tale.

It is dual stated for the OSRIC and Altus Adventum Role-Playing Games, always a plus in my book, but it can be played with any number of OSR systems or their fore-bearers.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
B1 Journey to Hell
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A3 Hunt for the Ogre Lord
by Rachael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/04/2013 14:42:12
First off I rated this a four for potental more then achievement.

This adventure can use a few corrections (this is A3 NOT A4 see page 4). Another correction is the lack of 'battle damage' that is listed as showing on the handouts. I would suggest that someone inhouse re-read this for logic errors. The handouts should each be a FULL PAGE image, as these quarter page ones look like crap when printed to full page size for real use. My god people this is a PDF who the hell cares if it costs more pages?!. Another note, we print these at home can you please use layers to turn off the ink sucking background parts of the maps?! PLEASE Also when putting together monster stats if you would put in THAC0, S, I, W, D, C, Ch, PPD, PP, RSW, BW, Sp, Bk pg data or BLANK LINES lines for us to fill in would make combat SOOO much smoother.

This adventure is a one lane railroad very simular to the original A3 module back from TSR, it was not a good thing then it is not a good thing now. This needs a work-around. Think about a party of stealty persons comeing at this with the cloak of invisibility you provided to the group in earler adventures. For that matter plan for all the magic you gave the party to be used in each next adventure in your series. NPCs get caputred and questioned. My party went through over 60% of this adventure without killing everything in combat and still managed to gain the information form several orcs and ogres that were caputred. If you place an subsection in each encounter of "information obtainable from NPC XYZ" it would make this much easer to use.

All in all this product is a good core bundle but requires a commitment to corrections/ alterations to fit it into a campaign, unless your group is closer to a group of starting players.

If the publisher were to fix their logic errors, update the handouts, expand the monster statblocks and republish this I would even buy it again.

?Rachael ?Strange

page 4 Correct A4 to A3
Page 5-8 the "Untamed Lands" these need to ALSO be in a player handout version of what the characters know about the areas
Page 6 the outpost maps need to be setup on a single page for each outpost with area descriptions. Use a full page allowing for 3-ring binder use
Page 8 the handout for Rall's Note is not easy to read once printed out.
Page 9 a sword that is +0/+2? what the heck is this? i have never seen any magic item ever that is magical and only provides damage bonus? can you please explain this to me? seriously please.
Page 10 why are encounter chances 50% per hex that seems like way way above 'normal' for encounters.
Page 10-11 50 elite orcs, 6 shamans C5, subboss vs party when the army on Page 23 is 50 orcs L1, 30 archers L1, 6 elite orcs, 1 Ogre are sent to take out a town!?! Elves, rangers and local wildlife don't notice this? Ask any hunter what 57 men in the woods does to the local wildlife. There would be NO random encouters at all and PCs have a good chance of noticeing the 'army' in the woods. Seriously, ever go to a convention and smell the dealer hall? 50+ orcs would SMELL BAD!
Page 11 having escaped the trap and taking the orc prisoner (into one of the bags of holding you have given the party) and tucking his body into the bag with his gaged head hanging out the party escaped with the cloak of elvenkind (3 bags = 2 loud PCs + orc) on the elf and the thief sneeking the party is away and alive and unrailroaded.
Page 12 Having gotten the location of the 'state prison' (really? and the inquisitor does not know about this?) the party goes after it and while scouting it trips a larger pit + shute trap and lands in area 1 with some broken equipment.

At this point I'm going to hold off anymore comments as you can see some of what i'm talking about. Seriously this is a good product, even if a little short sighted.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A3 Hunt for the Ogre Lord
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A4 Rise of the Bloodwolf
by Douglas S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2012 21:03:24
This module is designed to be a continuation of A3 Hunt for the Ogre Lord. As such, using it as a stand-alone adventure poses significant problems.

The adventure starts out with the PCs hunted. Now, at the end of the previous adventure they had helped save the kingdom, so why they should now hide their identities is difficult to explain. But that's how the adventure starts. From there it's sneaking into BBEG's lair and gathering evidence of his treachery in order to present it to the king. Of course, the BBEG isn't there, so the king can beg the PCs to hunt him down. Supplies, lodging, food, and support are now provided (because apparently saving the kingdom from an orc/ogre invasion wasn't enough).

Happily, the references to the other system seem less, although there are still problems ("alter" instead of "altar" for instance).

Given the reliance on the previous module, as well as the illogical start, this module clocks in at two stars. The railroading is less, but the motivation for the PCs to bring the BBEG to justice is weak.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
A4 Rise of the Bloodwolf
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A3 Hunt for the Ogre Lord
by Douglas S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2012 20:22:56
This module starts with a railroad ("Answer the summons or face execution"), continues with a railroad ("Accept this mission or face treason"), then railroads the PCs into being captured ("There is no way the part can win this combat, nor are they intended to fight. Is this railroading? Sure, but it's part of the adventure plot and this would be a short adventure without it."). The PCs are then thrown into a prison without their weapons or equipment, and expected to go through a dungeon that is so linear it does not require a map (there are no other paths to choose, it's either the next area or go backwards), only to end up requiring the ability to scale walls like a spider in order to find a secret door that allows them to escape. In the words of the adventure, "Failure to detect this means that there is essentially no way for the party to escape the tunnels."

Throw in the editing I've come to expect from Sacrosanct Games (see my reviews of the previous two modules for those details), and this module clocks in at one star.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
A3 Hunt for the Ogre Lord
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A2 Lost Treasure of Actzimotal
by Douglas S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2012 18:04:15
The OSRIC version of this module is 16 pages, plus maps and handouts.

The editing, much like A1Lair of the Goblin King, leaves much to be desired. "Intellect" and "willpower" checks are not used in the OSRIC system. At one point, the PCs may run through near-boiling water, at which time they might suffer a minor wound. Furthermore, the adventure locale is rather generic, and the plot forces minor railroads of the PCs.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
A2 Lost Treasure of Actzimotal
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A1 Lair of the Goblin King
by Douglas S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2012 22:02:51
The OSRIC version of this module is 8 pages. There is an additional page of GM material in the front (describing the lands surrounding the adventure area; one page for a new creature, two new spells, and two new "arcane items"; one page for 5 sample characters; and five pages of maps. Spoilers follow; skip to the last paragraph to avoid them.

The adventure itself is fairly straightforward: Goblins are attacking innocents and need to be stopped. The reward for this deed seems rather high, especially if the goblin king's head is returned. For a first level party, I would hesitate at handing so much gold out. That said, the goblins themselves are rather weak. While the OSRIC site lists goblins as having 1d8-1 hit points, the basic goblins in this adventure are 1/2 hit dice creatures. Their armor class and weapon damage is also weaker. Overall, they use the stats for kobolds, rather than goblins. The stats for dire wolves are also different from the OSRIC rule books.

Further problems with this adventure involve references to Sacrosanct Games' own system. A more rigorous proofreading of the material would have excised these references, and eliminated some confusion. For example, the "arcane items" mentioned above. At the end of the module, there is reference to the local church that can heal wounds, but instead of listing the cost for a particular spell, the author says a "deep wound" can be cured for 10 gp, while "any severe wound [can be healed] for 50 gp."

Finally, there is an issue with "Outlook Tower/Overlook Tower." Both names are used, once again showcasing the lack of proofreading. There is a what the author calls a plot hook located in the basement of this guard tower, but it will likely derail the PCs. A vivisectionist's table in the basement of a royal tower isn't something that one encounters on a regular basis, and the author's note says "plot hook for expanded adventure, perhaps?" The only problem is that this isn't a plot hook. It's far stronger than that, and not something most PCs would ignore. As there are no further information provided, it's up to the GM to determine answers to players' questions. Not a good thing in a published adventure.

My final rating is 2. There are a lot of problems with this adventure, even for the low price. A skilled GM can fix the problems, but there are other options out there that don't require the additional work.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
A1 Lair of the Goblin King
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Compact Heroes Starter Electronic Version
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/23/2012 20:24:22
Notes: This review was originally written at http://diehardgamefan.com/2011/08/29/tabletop-review-compact-
-heroes/ and covered the physical copy of the game in its original Kickstarter form.

Being a tabletop RPG fan in the military is tough. I wouldn’t know personally, but every one of my friends who was (or currently is) in the Armed Forces is a fan of Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu and the like. Unfortunately RPG books are cumbersome, awkwardly sized (compared to say, paperbacks) and heavy. Because of this it’s hard to take them when you are shipped overseas and even harder to take when you are in the field. It’s kind of hard to have a Player’s Handbook, DM Guide, Monster Manual, character sheets when you are deployed. Things like the Kindle and Laptop make it easier, but some companies don’t put their games out in PDF format but then you have to deal with things like sand getting in the electronics, the cost of replacing those things (and all your books!) if you lose them, and so much more. The difficulty in playing a tabletop RPG when you are in the military is what caused Rob Waibel, creator of Compact Heroes to make his RPG/card game hybrid.

Unlike other card games like Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon, this is not a collectable card game. It’s also not a standalone card game like Gloom either. It’s an actual RPG that happens to be contained in card form. The “starter deck” is all you need to play the game and the box it comes in with roughly the length of two playing card decks. It’s similar to the two player starter packs M:TG and Pokemon used to do, but an entire tabletop style RPG instead of a customizable deck. The cards are broken down into seven categories: Character Sheets, Character Races, Character Spells, Character Skills, Character Equipment, Monsters and DM Cards.

The character sheets literally fit on a single playing card and you can use a pencil to erase and re-write on the card to make a new character. Character stats are: Strength (each point gives you 1 extra point of damage), Agility (which adds to your Evade score, which is AC in this game), Endurance (Each point in this gives you an extra 2d6 Hit Points), Intellect (each point in this lets your spells do an extra point of damage and your number of Intellect Points determines the number of spells you can cast) and Luck (dealing with traps, poison, etc). All characters start with a flat 10 Hit Points and a skill point which can be used to pick from any of the skills card options. You get two points to put into the five categories, along with a point based on your character’s race. Yes that means you will start with some stats with a 0 rating, but that’s not a bad thing. Consider 0 to simply be “average.”

Character races include Human, Elf, Dwarf and Halfling. Humans get an extra point of Strength AND an extra skill (letting them start with two). Elves get a point of Intellect and infra-red vision. Dwarves get a point of Endurance and +1 to resist poison and disease. Halflings get +1 Luck and +1 Evade. Overall Humans are by far the best class as two skill points at the beginning of a game is INSANE.

There aren’t a lot of magic cards in the Starter Deck. You have three types of magic: Necromancy, Summon and Elemental. There are only two cards for each category, except for Summoning, which gets three. I’d have preferred to see more magic available in this deck instead of the double or tripled up cards that are there for Skills and Equipment. We really didn’t need three “clothing” cards. Hell, we didn’t really need doubles of anything. So magic is a bit of a letdown, but as I’ve seen the expansion packs, magic really does get a boost in the following sets – both in terms of quantity and categories.

There are only ten monster cards to begin with. You get three animals, one goblin, two undead, two orcs, one ogre and a fairy. It doesn’t seem like a lot and like magic, I’d have preferred to have more monsters, but you can make a pretty decent adventure with just these to start.

Equipment cards make up half the deck and as there are some double and triples, I would have preferred to see this pared down and split amongst other types. I look at Compact Heroes as only needing one of each card for reference purposes. There is a wide range of equipment, both regular and magical. The cost of everything is a bit odd though. A long bow costs 75 gp and you can only start with a maximum of 30, so it is impossible to be an archer at the beginning of the game.

Skill cards are the second most plentiful type of card and as I’ve said before, duplicated were unnecessary and I’d like to have seen more in spells and monsters. Still, there is a lot of variety to what you have in the deck, and you can make a wide range of characters, all highly customized.

Finally there are the DM cards and I find these to be a waste of space. I get the idea behind them, but they take up room that would have been better suited to more monsters and spells. A good DM makes up their own adventures after all. These nine cards include an adventure background card, a story hook, a map of the region, two “goblin cave” maps, and four cards detailing the adventure and what is in each room of the maps. Again, I get the concept behind it but as a DM and/or a player, I’d rather have more of the other things. These would have been better suited to an all DM expansion pack. The adventure really only works if you have at least four people playing (Besides the DM) as it has WAY too many monsters otherwise.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the game. For the weight and space of two deck of cards, you basically get a Player’s Handbook/Core Rulebook for a game. It might seem a bit pricey for a deck of cards, but look how much some people pay for say, a Black Lotus. Remember those? I spent a lot of time trying to find the best starting characters that I could make and also looking at all the art, which I found to be quite nice. My two favorite cards artwise were “Necromancy Magic” and Skeletons of Ak’Mar.

So let’s take a look at two potential starting characters. First up is my human warrior. He starts with a point of Strength, giving him +1 damage. I then get two other points to put into any of the five abilities I want. I decide to put another point into Strength, as I want to maximize his damage potential, and another point into Endurance, giving him an extra 2d6 Hit Points. I roll a ten, and that means my character starts with 20 Hit Points. Nice. Because I am a human, I get TWO skill cards instead of the regular one. Weapons don’t have a specific skill for them which is good, but armour does. I could spend a skill point on “light armour” but light armour only gives me +2 to my damage absorption (subtract 2 from an opponent’s damage roll when they hit you) and regular clothes, which don’t require a skill card, absorb one. I decide to pass on that. Instead I take Novice Combat, which gives me a +2 to hit and a +1 to damage. This means my fighter currently sits at +2 to hit and +3 to damage. Not bad. For my second skill card I thought about taking “Novice Two Handed Weapon” which adds +2 to my damage with that type of weapon, or “Novice Shield” which lets me well, use shields. I also liked “Novice Weapon Specialization, which would give me +1/+1 with a specific weapon of my choice. Instead I went with “Novice Single Weapon” which gives me the same bonuses as “Novice Weapon Specialization” but it goes for ALL one handed weapons, not just one specific type. This means my starting character gets +3 to hit and +4 damage. Not bad. I then equipped him with clothing (+1 damage absorption) and a mace. I chose the mace as it did more damage than a short sword (There isn’t a long sword card!) The mace does 1d6+2 damage, but in my warrior’s hands it jumps up to 1d6+6, meaning he’ll do a minimum of 7 damage when he hits. Nice.

But what if you want to make a Wizard? Well, let’s look at what we can make. I’ll start with an Elf, as that gives me +1 to Intellect, which is the only stat you really need to casts spells in this game. I’ll put another point into Intellect and one into Endurance as that way he’ll survive a lot longer. I roll a 7 and that means my starting Hit Points are 17, which is pretty good. For my one skill, I’ll take Necromancy Magic, which lets me cast one Necromancy Spell a day per point of Intellect that I have. So this elf could cast two spells a day. Having a three Intellect IS tempting, but I also am a defensive gamer and I’d rather have the health. The Necromancy spells in the Starter Deck are “Power of St. Antioch” which does damage to the undead and “Helindar’s Touch” which heals damage. So I have a versatile character although he won’t be very helpful in combat unless it is with the ghoul or skeleton in the game. Instead he’ll be a healer. Because of that, I’d purchase him clothing (+1 damage absorption), a Spear (which can be wielding one or two handed and does a nice amount of damage) and a set of throwing daggers, which is the best overall ranged weapon in the deck, and only 3 gold pieces to boot. Huzzah.

There isn’t a lot of XP in the game, and from the basic adventure you’ll only get 2-3 points for completing it, but that’s actually a lot. All you need is a single XP to raise a stat one point or gain an extra skill. For my warrior’s I’d spent my first XP on either Endurance (more health) or that Novice Weapon Specialization as I’d then be at +4+5. For the Wizard, it may seem tempting to put that first XP into intellect and gain the ability to cast three Necromancy spells a day, but I’d actually taking a skill instead – Summoning Magic or Elemental Magic. Remember, that choosing a spell category as a skill lets you can a number of spells of that type for your intellect per day. So by choosing a second category with a two intellect, you’d actually be casting FOUR spells a day (two of each type) instead of three spells a day from one type. I’m sure some might find this broken, but from looking at all the cards and fiddling with them, it seems pretty balanced.

The only thing you need to play Compact Heroes besides the deck is a pencil and a d6. You can also have a d20, but the game has optional rules for just d6 usage if that’s all you have. Remember, it’s all about portability. Combat is pretty simple. You roll either 3D6 or 1d20 (based on what you have). You add your die roll to your “To Hit” score and if the total is a higher number than the opponent’s Evade rating, you hit! Then you roll for damage, subtracting the opponent’s Damage Absorption score from your die roll. Easy enough, yes?

Compact Heroes is primarily a hack and slash/dungeon crawl game with an emphasis on roll-playing over role-playing, but any good DM can overcome that with storytelling and good players. The rules of the game are only two pages long and so there is a lot for a DM to fill in for his or herself. Still, it’s a wonderful idea, extremely portable and lightweight and it really fills a niche for people who want to roleplay when they travel, but can’t be bothered with all those books (and their weight). It’s definitely a great idea and from looking at the PDFs of the first expansion pack, it looks like there won’t be any doubling up and there will be a lot more magic and monsters coming.

Compact Heroes is scheduled to be available to the public in the Fall of 2011. I received my two starter decks early by funding the project on Kickstarter and I’m very happy with the end result. I’ll be sending the other starter deck to my best friend, who is a Gulf War Veteran and who used to tell me how much he missed playing RPGs when he was over there, so I know he’ll get a kick out of it. To learn more about Compact Heroes click on the link for Sacrosanct Games at the top of this article or visit the official Kickstarter.com page.

************************

This part is from the Diehard GameFAN 2011 Tabletop Gaming Awards

BEST NEW GAME

Compact Heroes

The problem with a lot of tabletop RPGs is that no matter your preference, you’re going to end up having a lot of thick, heavy books to lug around when you play. For something that spreads its rules across multiple oversized hardcover books like Dungeons & Dragons, it’s almost impossible to bring along to play on a hike or, you know, into a war. At the same time, you could get something like a Kindle and get all your books turned into PDFs, but then you run into the problem of losing EVERYTHING when that device dies along with the fact some games don’t have PDFs that you can obtain by legal means.

That’s where Compact Heroes comes in. The entire game is a deck of cards. No, this isn’t a customizable or collectable card game like Gloom or Magic: The Gathering. It’s an honest-to-god actual RPG that is made up of cards the size of a Bicycle Poker pack. You get races, skills, weapons, magic items, monsters and even a quest in the core set and there are already three expansions available on Sacrosanct Games’ home page. There’s also a new master set contains cards for the core box and a few from some expansion packs with a price point of $29.99. No matter how you choose to purchase Compact Heroes, you’re getting a highly innovative game that is easy to learn, offers an enormous amount of character customization and is highly portable. Even after playing the game a few times I’m still shocked that no one had come up with this beforehand.

Compact Heroes was designed to give men and women in the Armed Services a chance to play an RPG after being shipped out. There’s only so much they can bring. Now, anyone with a single die and a pencil can play a complete RPG…and it fits easily in your pocket. It’s a great idea AND a great system and that’s why it wins our “Best New Game of 2011″ award.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Compact Heroes Starter Electronic Version
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Altus Adventum Primer
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/18/2012 01:19:57
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: I feel very bad about this one, because I was asked to review this quite a while back, apparently misplaced the file, and have let WAY too much time go by without touching it. Altus Adventum is isn't a retroclone, but it is an attempt at recapturing earlier experiences with fantasy RPGs. The primer is a very meaty 92 page document that covers character generation, combat, skills and even a selection of monsters. Literally everything you need for at least an adventure or two is right here, completely free. The races are fantasy standards (human, elf, dwarf, halfling, gnome) with six attributes (Strength, Agility, Endurance, Intllect, Willpower and Luck) that run a range of 1-100. Combat uses dice pools in which each side compares the highest die in their pools for success. Magic is also included in this primer, with nine different forms to choose from, all operating off of the same basic mechanic, but with tweaks for the type you use. The monsters included cover basic animals as well as orcs, red caps, carnivorous plants and plenty more.

WHAT WORKS: For a free product, this primer has a ton of usable material in it. I mean, we're talking more than some smaller commercial PDF releases. I'm not sure what's missing from the main core book, but it is 204 pages, so presumably there is quite a bit extra there above and beyond the impressive amount of material here.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: If you've gotten used to RPGs that tend towards using unified mechanics, Altus Adventum's different approach to combat versus skill checks is going to annoy you.

CONCLUSION: Look, I can't complain much about an incredibly complete free product. The primer covers all the rules you need to play, including skills, combat and magic, and even includes a decent amount of setting material, monsters and magical items. If you have any interest in checking out an another fantasy RPG, you have no reason not to at least download the primer...there is ample material here to decide if the full game is worth your purchase or not.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Altus Adventum Primer
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Classes of the Far East
by Alessio S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2011 12:14:27
Interessante approccio orientale ai retrocloni. Trova, però, scarsa applicazione perchè nessuna ambientazione di Old D&D è ambientata nel lontano Est a meno di non forzare Kara-Tur e convertirlo a OD&D. Ad ogni modo gli autori hanno fatto un bel lavoro di adattamento che non lascia nulla al caso.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Classes of the Far East
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Altus Adventum 2nd Ed Rulebook
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2011 11:45:15
First let me say that I purchased this PDF as a part of a bundle with four OSR adventure mods, so in effect, I paid 50 cents for it. The system itself is skill based via the MRQSRD from what I can see, with the added innovation of die pool combat and an initiative system that reminds me of the 80s Star Trek game's movement rules. The setting is an omage to 70s and 80s TSR fair. I particularly like the attention given to "Oriental Adventures" style play. The "Creature Catalog" is an impressive mix of European and Japanese fantasy standards. Conversion rules to OSR are provided. The couple of pieces of Larry Elmore art are a nice bonus. Two issues keep this PDF from being a five star product: no maritime combat rules, and no guidelines for playing non-European fantasy races.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Altus Adventum 2nd Ed Rulebook
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Classes of the Far East
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/26/2011 23:50:12
This product is well-presented and representative of the source material without being rule-heavy. The generic yokai, or "monster" class can represent tengu, kappa or other anthropomorphic characters from East Asian myth without needing an entire book. I do have two complaints about this product: it is listed as compatible with Castles and Crusades, but no ascending armor classes or saves as universal mechanic options are given; no descriptions are given for the Japanese weapons and armor stats.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Classes of the Far East
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A1 Lair of the Goblin King
by Roger B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2011 14:59:43
An interestin gadventure to took me back to the good old days of the dungeon romp. Very easy to read, set up and play. Open eneded enough that it can be put into a different world or slipped into another campaign.

I liked the length of the module as it isn't a huge plot-twisted filled adventure. It is a simple afternoon get the bad guys, get the tresaure module.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest in the series.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A1 Lair of the Goblin King
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Altus Adventum Primer
by Graham A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2011 18:31:01
Gives a Nice overview of the game, and starting characters.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Altus Adventum Primer
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Altus Adventum 2nd Ed Rulebook
by Gokce M. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/22/2011 00:54:52
Starting with its fabulous foreword about roleplaying games, about old ones and new ones, Altus Adventum promises us a fun and old-school roleplaying. To be different than others, author says “If you don't like a rule or just you are thinking that it will ruin fun, remove it.” Altus Adventum is a rulebook that completely gives materials to run a game.

I think I could use this system in my games. Not because it is old-school or anything, it is because I like the idea of lots of kinds of magic, and wizard fighters or rogues who doesn't only use their blades to kill. Because Altus Adventum is not a “I got a level higher” game, but a “Woohoo, because I used my lance in fights, so I'm better in that” game(I'm just saying, characters in game does not level up, but they gain xp to upgrade their skills). And because you have several types of experience, your interest in magic won't disturb your fighter way too much, yet you are not going to be skillful with weapons as a full-time fighter. This skill-based character development system, gives players to create unique character, not only in habits but also in character sheet, you possibly will not say to another character “Oops, looks like we are twins”.

Also its combat system seems a bit fun. That reflex rating and dice pool system, they are not unique but exotic. And again because I like the idea that getting nearer to real time, it hits me from my weak spot. Reflex Rating system lets a knife-wielding rogue to hit a barbarian two or three times until it slashes rogue with its gigantic axe. Also lots of strategic opportunities. I can't take myself from thinking when it is about reflex rating. But this is just because I like it, it may also be dead weight to your games. Dice pool system is for munchkins. You may create a good fighter that can slice a fly in air two pieces. A monk that can run from an asteroid. But munchkins were, munchkins are, and munchkins will be. In any system. I am a munchkin(I am proud of it) also and any rulebook will not say anything about that, because we are working legally.

Starting near of end of book, It presents a setting named Arcadia, and a sample adventure(also a bestiary), it is something good because most rulebooks don't have them and any new started game master will get confused, any experienced gamemaster will have some problems tweaking system for their setting. This is nothing new, and nothing more than it promises, but it is nothing bad, fairly good compared to lots of system and it is product of hard work of one man, despite a company. Drawings are not bad, there are some typing mistakes that can be ignored.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Altus Adventum 2nd Ed Rulebook
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Altus Adventum 2nd Ed Rulebook
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/05/2011 13:30:14
There is a lot I like about Altus Adventum, but ultimately it fails to stand out in any particular way.

The setting blends Western and Eastern fantasy, and generally touches on most everything. However, it doesn't feel particularly original, and while the rules are at least not a direct d20 system, they're a little more obtuse than would be nice, and needlessly complex.

The art is generally decent, but it feels like it's drawn from way too many places and at times there are pieces that could have used a quick once-over with blur so the lines aren't just pure black or pure white, which is something I'd really expect from an older book, and with better art mixed in it's unacceptable.

That said, for $9, you get a lot, but it's not specialized and focused. At least it does come with an example scenario, which is an often-overlooked feature.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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