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Wormskin Issue 4
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2017 08:39:23

This series has scored a hit with every issue. One of the most useful features is the modularity of the content. You could play an entire game in the Dolmenwood or use various aspects of it to enhance pretty much any fantasty setting, from gritty low-magic to the highest of high fantasies.

This issue is the best of the lot, an encouraging sign that these are getting better and better. A particular highlight of this issue and the previous is the Abbey of St. Clewd. This location gets creepier and creepier the more it is explored and embodies the history of the setting in a way that allows for excellent player engagement.

The Attacorn is also a great monster. It and its siblings could provide the basis for an entire campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wormskin Issue 4
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Wormskin Issue 3
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2017 08:36:54

This series has scored a hit with every issue. One of the most useful features is the modularity of the content. You could play an entire game in the Dolmenwood or use various aspects of it to enhance pretty much any fantasty setting, from gritty low-magic to the highest of high fantasies. A particular highlight of this issue and the next is the Abbey of St. Clewd. This location gets creepier and creepier the more it is explored and embodies the history of the setting in a way that allows for excellent player engagement.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wormskin Issue 3
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Wormskin Issue 1
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2017 08:33:50

This series has scored a hit with every issue. One of the most useful features is the modularity of the content. You could play an entire game in the Dolmenwood or use various aspects of it to enhance pretty much any fantasty setting, from gritty low-magic to the highest of high fantasies. A particular highlight of this issue is the deep dive into fungus and the particularly excellent d30 table that accompanies. The root thing is also an eminently usable monster.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wormskin Issue 1
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Wormskin Issue 5
by Billy L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2017 07:15:04

I've been reading Wormskin since the first issue, and running a campaign for sevearl months now set in Dolmenwood, and thus far it has never disappointed. Issue #5 is without a doubt the best yet. The section concerning the Drune, a cabalistic organization of sorcerers and warlocks who've been hinted at for a year, lived up up to all my expectations. You won't be disappointed in picking up this issue either, or if you've not read Wormskin at all, just buy all of them. You won't regret it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wormskin Issue 5
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The Complete Vivimancer
by Michael R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2016 22:42:08

A campaign setting in a character class. Brilliant, interesting, weird, gross stuff. Great art and writing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Complete Vivimancer
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Theorems & Thaumaturgy
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/23/2016 03:49:03

A great book complete with new classes and spells. If you like the Vivimancer (Which is my personal favorite), the Complete Vivimancer is a must have book as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Theorems & Thaumaturgy
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Wormskin Issue 1
by rowdy s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2016 16:34:27

I picked up a hardcopy of both issue one and two of Wormskin as I was impressed by the preview and the price was right. Having just got done reading them both, I'd say I was pretty happy with my purchase....with a couple of suggestions/ nit picks. 1) Both issues have information on drugs/ narcotics/ fungus effects/ compounds. As this magazine is covering a campaign setting, ok...sure, but how about just making that an issue of the mag unto itself? 2) Same with the Cat stuff. Now, I love cats and I thought the cat character class was cool, but again...how about doing ONE issue covering it all? 3) Going back to the Fungi of Dolenwood, there is a line saying that "roll on the enchantment table (see future issues of Wormskin)". I can NOT tell you how much that drives me crazy. If you refer to a table, it should be right there in the same book. So, when WILL we get that table?

Overall, I enjoyed the mag. Liked the Moss Dwarf, the art was well done and I did not notice a lot of typos. Looking forward to the next issue!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wormskin Issue 1
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Publisher Reply:
Hello, thanks for taking the time to write a review and glad to hear that you enjoyed the first two issues! I wanted to reply to a couple of the points you raised, just to explain a bit of the background around why we\'ve done things the way we have. Regarding the \"X will be detailed in a future issue\" references: we try to make each issue a stand-alone package, as far as possible, but it\'s in the nature of what we\'re doing (i.e. detailing a campaign setting over the course of many issues of a zine) that that\'s not always possible. There are always going to be loose ends or things which are left unexplained due to limited space. (That is, until we reach the hypothetical final issue of the zine, when everything that\'s going to be explained has been.) That said, thanks for giving this feedback! We\'ll certainly try our utmost to minimise such references, in the future. And regarding your point about combining related content -- the fungi and psychedelics, say -- into one issue: our aim is to collect a varied set of articles and types of content into each issue. There\'s a lot of stuff to include: hex descriptions, spells, classes, monsters, villages, random tables, etc. My feeling is that an issue with mixed types of content makes for a more interesting read than one which focuses solely on one. Again, \"your mileage may vary\", but that\'s the reasoning behind the choice. Thanks again for your feedback! (Issue three should be out in late June / early July, by the way, and will detail some more hexes and monsters, give some historical background info on the setting, and feature the first level of a dungeon in the wood.)
Wormskin Issue 1
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2016 20:48:00

I bought this zine off the recommendation of Martin Ralya and holy crap I am so glad I did. The art is beautiful and the writing follows suit very nicely! Thought my OSR game of choice is Lamentations of the Flame Princess and the stats here are presented as Labyrinth Lord it's still all OSR so the heart is in the right place. I purchased the Print-On-Demand version and it is lovely. The size and quality are exactly what I would like for a POD zine with gorgeous color covers and a nice content level for the price. There are exactly three things that might be listed as cons:

  1. Very slight formatting error (although I'll be damned if I can find it now so no big deal)
  2. The fungus table has a reference to a future issue of Wormskin (I'm buying them all but a con for folks that just buy this one)
  3. I find the forest texture very difficult to read in print (print is grayscale, PDF is color)

That last one is the only real con for me but it's offset by having the pdf where the colors make the map just look dandy.

In addition to the pros of all of the articles being full of flavor and general awesome, I LOVED the fungus tables. Grimalkin are cool, Moss Dwarfs are rad, but I would buy this again just for the fungus table and its potential hooks.

Well done, y'all!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wormskin Issue 1
by Ahimsa K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/12/2016 09:37:37

This seems to be just the beginning of a pretty cool setting. Some of the art is stunning and I don't use that word lightly. The Moss Dwarf is quite cool and something I want to play. (Their resistance to spoors alone can break a few adventures I can think of.) It seemed incongrous that they had minuses to using metal armor and weapons but could specilize in lock picking, which surely involves metal, but that's a pretty small quibble.

The list of Fungi is another resource with value for almost any game and is a great inclusion. The Fae cats I could take or leave, and I would have liked to see more than one monster included in the "Monsters in the Wood" section but overall this is really a cool ass thing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The B/X Rogue
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2015 14:11:34

This review originally appeared on my blog at http://www.halflingsluck.com

Necrotic Gnome Productions has quietly produced quality products for almost a year now. The Complete Vivimancer is, in my opinion, their strongest product to date and showcases author +Gavin Norman's ability to take the simple rules of Labyrinth Lord and really run in an entirely new direction with them. He doesn't gussy it up with flashy art or layout - just good ol' fashioned OSR content.

I heard some of the buzz around The B/X Rogue and decided to plunk down the very reasonable cost of $1.50. After giving it a read I can say that this product really brings a lot of options to the traditional "Thief" class, while keeping things simple and easily integrated into any B/X clone out there. It seems to be written with Labyrinth Lord specifically in mind. But, there's no reason it can't work for other OSR games on the market.

The B/X Rogue does something unique with the traditional thief class. The product is correct in calling itself "The B/X Rogue" and not "The B/X Thief." Instead of providing several abilities that are locked in and increase at a specific rate, a character selects a number of special abilities called "Talents" at character creation to reflect their unique skill set. This can include the traditional picking locks and hiding in shadows or things like being able to make a skilled retreat from combat or even cast minor magic spells. As a character increases in level they can learn new Talents. It's a simple system that works very well and is easy to understand.

This creates a kind of a la carte character, but always with a roguish flavor. Want a more bardic character, or an assassin, or a swashbuckler? The B/X Rogue does it all. At a buck fifty, its well worth the cost of admission and has me chomping at the bit in hopes that Norman gives Fighters, Clerics, Magic-Users, Dwarves, Elves and Halflings similar treatments. I'd really recommend this to anyone out there who plays a lot of Basic/Expert, Rules Cyclopedia, or Labyrinth Lord.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The B/X Rogue
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The B/X Rogue
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/24/2015 12:06:41

I love new B/X classes. If I have demonstrated nothing else here it is that. So when +Gavin Norman of the excellent City of Iron blog and Necrotic Gnome Productions came out with a new B/X class, well I had to get it. Gavin has already given us some great classes in his Theorems & Thaumaturgy and The Complete Vivimancer. Now he takes on the thief archetype in The B/X Rogue.

I say archetype because what this book tries (and succeeds, but more on that in a bit) to do is create a Rogue class that encompasses all of the various "sub-classes" we have seen on the thief over the years. How he does it is both very elegant and very, very basic, if not Basic.

Like the thief the rogue has a number of talents at his/her disposal. Instead of a percentile (or d20) roll the rogue is assumed to be fully proficient in their talent. The differences lie in the choice of talents and some of the talents themselves. The example given is the iconic Remove Traps. If a rogue has this at 1st level then they can remove or disable a trap 100% of the time. However the types of traps are now changed. The rogue can only disable small mechanical traps. Not huge pits in the floor.

The rogue class begins with 4 talents. This increases by 1 per level. Some talents have prerequisites and can only be taken at 5th level (Expert Talents, love the split of Basic and Expert Talents here). Outside of that the class it remarkably like the B/X thief.

The bulk of the book describe the 36 talents a rogue might take. This allows for near infinite (or close enough for the amount of character sheets I'll print out) rogue types. There are even magical talents for the Bards and Arcane Tricksters out there. Of course I immediately went to the magic section and quickly figured out an Occult Scholar, a rogue that raids tombs and libraries for bits of arcane knowledge and some spells to help them out. Won't help you when you need an orc killed, unless he has a scroll for it.

There is also a very useful table to help you with your archetypes. Want an assassin? Great, take back-stab, hide, garotte, move quietly at 1st level. There are 10 of these, so a d10 will also get you up and going fast. Don't want a magic-one? Easy. Roll a d8 instead.

The PDF itself is 26 pages; a front cover, a back cover and two page OGL, all for a $1.50. Not a bad deal at all really, especially when consider how flexible this class is now. If you are a fan of the theif class, B/X or Gavin's other classes then this is a must buy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The B/X Rogue
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2015 09:00:45

I received a copy of B/X Rogue from a friend just as I was wrapping up a leg of writing on a new campaign, more on that later. B/X Rogue is a new Gavin Norman title that takes the thief and defines the PC class in new ways. The book clocks in at about twenty six pages of old school goodness. Gavin is in charge of the City of Iron blog and clocks in some damn fine titles such as the Complete Vivmancer and the crowd sourced Free OSR adventure From the Vats . He is also the man whose put out one of my all time favorite B/X pay what you want PC expansion class books Theorems & Thaumaturgy. So when B/X Rogue hit the stands today I contacted a friend to grab this title and let me take a look at it right away. So colour me intrigued, and very happy to have another variation on one of my favorite PC's classes at the table. BX Rogue does quite a bit different, this blurb from the City of Iron blog really intrigued me "More than simply a thief, the rogue class has access to talents drawn from a wide array of archetypes, all integrated into a single class. Scouts & spies, burglars & tomb robbers, charlatans & con-artists, swashbucklers & explorers, brigands & highwaymen, assassins & thugs. No need for all of those specialized sub-classes any more!" Now given that sort of a claim I could see what B/X Rogue was trying to do? But then the second part really caught me by surprise. Within these pages you will discover:

Complete advancement tables for levels 1 to 20 36 adventuring talents Themed packages of talents for a quick start into the game Guidelines for other classes attempting roguish feats Rules for song magic and dabbling in arcane secrets Right out of the gate we've got an expansion of the levels of the class and boat load of brand new adventuring talents. And that really is one of the chief things I love about this version of the Rogue. Besides being able to use ALL weapons they have a range of skills that really makes them much more customized. According to the book;The chief aptitude of rogues is the plethora of highly specialized skills of dexterity, stealth, intrigue, infiltration, and cunning that they are able to learn. These are known collectively as talents . The following section lists dozens of talents which a rogue may learn over his or her career, beginning at 1st level with four, as chosen by the player, and gaining one more talent per experience level gained. (For players who do not wish to spend time browsing the complete library random tables and quick-start selections of talents are provided later.) Talents allow the players to customize the rogue to their vision of the character and the niche of where the PC is going to fall within the bounds of the party. From a simple pick pocket to an acrobatic assassin B/X Rogue allows for this and more. Examples of talents include Awareness Your honed reactions and instinctual awareness of danger make it difficult for enemies to sneak up on you. When surprise is rolled, you are only surprised on a roll of 1 (instead of 1-2, like other characters). Gavin has a great knowledge of the Basic system and the talents system is a nice fit for just this sort of an application. Take for example Climb Rock Face, a quick and easy talent that can turn a simple thief into a movie style assassin scaling up the sides of cliff faces. Climb Rock Faces When lightly encumbered, you can climb rough rock faces unaided, with a successful DEX check. You can climb less treacherous surfaces without a check. And another thing lurking in the background is the idea of being able to have occult based talents that dovetail into the idea of the magician style thief. Something that has come down to us from the pages of sword and sorcery novels and comic books. Like the assassin its right there in the talents lurking for the dungeon master to approve the matter as they see fit for their own game campaigns. This section dovetails into the next bit quite nicely. Magical Talents get's its own section as a PC option with the Detect Magic talent, and the ever intriguing spell song abilities thrown in for good measure. Spell songs are not complicated concepts and plug into the bard being brethren to the Rogue. A concept I've seen used a couple of times over the years in various game products but this product's explanation of the spell song is straight forward, concise and well thought out ; "You have learned and mastered an enchanted song which you can sing or play on an instrument once per day to magical effect. (This talent presupposes a level of musical skill, with either vocals or one or more instruments" There are rules for the application and casting of this style of magic and spell song spell lists included within it. There are even archetype PC class style kits included, these are not clunky and ill thought out. These are concise pieces of game design that includes everything a player needs straight out of the gate. All of this comes under the "Quick-Start Talent Selection". There's even a random talents section that rounds the entire package out.

In point of fact this book could be used to create Rogues of all calibers for space based science fiction games, scavengers & assassins for post apocalyptic hell holes, sword and sorcery religious fanatic cut throats, and even inter planar highwaymen. The limit is really your imagination because of the set up of this product. The B/X Rogue is hands down one of the best products I've seen for creating a B/X Rogue that you want as a player or to create an off the cuff NPC rogue, thief, assassin, highwayman or other criminal of the underworld. I give B/X Rogues a five out of five. I should also mention that I love the black and white artwork that evocates a certain old school something within the pages. It adds a feeling of looking through a mimeographed old school fanzine.
Eric Fabiaschi Sword and Stitchery blog Want to know more? Subscribe to http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
From the Vats
by Chris C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/03/2015 09:26:31

Really a must-pick-up for the old school(ish) gamer--especially at that price. The Submerged Spire by Ben L is across-the-board good: highly evocative and with a good sense of place. The long monster section is excellent and thematically coherent. Great stuff.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
From the Vats
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The Complete Vivimancer
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2015 10:14:00

There are important books that come out and then there are books for OSR games that you wonder how you ever did without them at the gaming table. Years ago, I downloaded Theorems & Thaumaturgy, which is available as a free download now: it contains (among many other things) a basic version of the vivimancer class. The Complete Vivimancer is essentially not only as a follow up book but an expansion of this class that does some awesome things with biosorcery, magic items, spells,etc. This is because I've been reading and following through The Complete Vivimancer From Necrotic Gnome Productions after tearing into the free monster & adventure book Out of the Vats . The Complete Vivimancer does exactly what it says on the tin. It brings eighty eight pages of sheer wizard master goodness of gene splicing, cross breeding,and the Vivimancer as a corruptor of nature itself. In the first two pages of the book we get a complete overview of this class and then the book jumps into the deep end of the darkness . For the advanced edition version of this class we get Elves and half Elves as the preferred racial foundations for the Vivimancer. This enables them to advance up to 10th and 11the levels respectively. This reenforces the alien aspect of the Elven race and this is part of an under current theme in the OSR that Elves really are far more alien to the humanity. A fact that came in loud and clear in games such as LoFP. This supplement takes full advantage of this fact and even through it claims to be for Labyrinth Lord. There are ton of options for adding this book to both OD&D and its retroclone systems all the way through the various Advanced editions.
Another added bonus is the amount of time it takes the vivimancer down in the lab to master the craft of flesh warping, genetic meddling, neural manipulation, and vat growth to become a master of mind slaves, mutants, symbionts, parasites, and viruses.The guidelines for this book's chapter are very nice and helps to flesh out the laboratory details and adds a certain Lovecraftian something to the class. The book details a ton of spells for levels between one all of the way to nine. And here's where the book really starts to take off for me. The spells have flavor and add a ton of resonance for me for the backbone of the Vivimancer as a whole. These twisted freaks are putting together the horrors and weirdness that adventurers loath to encounter. Remember those random monster tables that created horrors with the claws of a lobster, the head of a giant monkey, and demons blood that the DMG guide had in it. These are the wizardly guys putting those together. The magic item section proves that in spades. We get an overview of items for these twisted practitioners of the bio sorcery arts over and over again. Here's why you want one of these guys in your party, not only are they going to know the ins and outs of the biology and applications of this stuff they're going to want some of this of stuff as their own which means favors and big ones at that. The last sections are appendixes on mutations and psionic powers, these are really needed because of the bio science fantasy and fictional nature of this class. There's lots of icky stuff in this book, slime laden weirdness that brings to mind all of the really cool VHS nastiness of the Eighties horror movies, science fiction 'B' films, and lots of other wonderfulness but it also clocks in with all of the pulpy bits from the science fiction, fantasy,etc. of the 1930's thru 1950's. As far as I'm concerned this is win/win. So let's get right down to brass tacks, is this a good book and even a necessary one? Yes not only is this a good book but it has a huge range of possibilities at the gaming table. You really do want a mad scientist type in your party, you want them as vile villains as well. This brings the dual nature of the class as a whole. This book gives you every last tool to pop these guys into the post apocalyptic wasteland, the science fantasy deserts of your choice, as dimensional travelers and invaders, as motivators for adventures, adventurer patrons, twisted healers, & the list goes on and on. In my own Warlords of the Outer Worlds setting, I'm using these guys sparingly and lovingly as a twisted faction. Applying what I've learned about them after reading about them over the last week or so, I've come to the conclusion that one can take the frame work and backdrop of the Vivimancer and apply their own creations to the class without losing the vitality and freshness of these twisted practitioners of the dark arts of bio sorcery and mad biological magicks. So five out of five for one of the more original and flat out weird books and PC classes to come down the pike in a very long while. Eric F Sword and Stitchery blog



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Complete Vivimancer
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From the Vats
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/22/2015 00:35:15

There are books that players are going to hate to see the DM having and know that the PC's are going to be in for a hell of a weirdly strange trip and well get ready for that with this free rpg resource! From The Vats was just birthed! The vivimancer.was first introduced in 'Pay What You Want' title Theorems & Thaumaturgy which your going to need in order to properly use 'From The Vats'. I consider it one of the essential books for Labyrinth Lord or any retroclone game. Each year free RPG day gives birth to some wonderfully twisted strange creation that sort of defies convention. There are really wonderfully strange OSR books that come out from time to time and then there are books that you have to have if your a certain kind of DM. Those books that leap right into your lap. Deformed, mewing and sort of like the baby thing from Eraser Head. Wailing this thing wants, no needs you to use it. Well, 'From The Vats' is that thing with genetically engineered bells on. I have over the years spent way,way too much time with Necotic Gnome Production's creations over the years and this one is no exception. This book is an eighty four page tour de force about the abominations, creations, and high weirdness of the vivimancer class, a magic-user sub-class specializing in flesh-warping, genetic meddling, neural manipulation, and vat growth. These guys give mad scientists nightmares or genetic drift envy. There are two adventures here. The Submerged Spire of Sarpedon the Shaper, by Ben Laurence is a look into stomach churning journey into the world of a particularly nasty vivimancer. The maps are very nice, the ideas, setting material, monsters, and goals are very nicely laid out. The two one-page adventures by Alex Schröder and Anders Hedenbjörk Lager take the themes of the book and expand them further and twist the material into other directions. The three adventures within the book are plug and play allowing them to be dropped anywhere into the background of your campaign. In point of fact these creations have a strange sort of universal appeal about them many of the things in From the Vats would fit a wide variety of campaigns from pulp, science fiction,sword and sorcery, fantasy, science fantasy, and even post apocalyptic material. In point of fact this whole book could be dropped right into your favorite Advanced Mutants & Mazes campaign for Mutant Future and not one person would be the wiser. Holy crap the monsters are meant for Labyrinth Lord but with a little tweaking would give an OSRIC or AD&D party a hard time and these things are straight up adventurer nightmare fuel. Seriously these things are horrors from beyond the vats of nightmare. These things could be used in a science fantasy game and not one person would bat an eye at their use. This is one of the strengths of these creatures. They would also fit right into the background of a sword and sorcery campaign or a pulp campaign this is again one of the basis of evil that is From The Vats. Look if you already haven't stopped reading and grabbed this book let me go on. The seven magic items are perfectly suited for this book and these things are perfect for wrecking the lives of PC's and making the vivimancer spasm with glee. A bit of warning, use these things sparingly as many of the magic items are life altering things that one might find within the lab of some of the most dangerous members of this class. The six new magic spells are especially tasty and give the DM even more sauce to get the maxium flavor for the meal of From The Vat. These are very well done and can be vary dangerous to the well being of PC's and are of great use to the vivimancer. The magic here is bold, dangerous, and borders on things man wasn't meant to know. Many of the things within the 'From the Vat' dove tale into the vivimancer PC book The Complete Vivimancer Much of that material supports and expands many of the elements, themes, setting material presented in 'From The Vats'. The Complete Vivimancer goes into far greater detail into the back setting of the PC class. Filling in many of the gaps and what have you presented in Theorems & Thaumaturgy. All in all this is one of the best books that I've seen released for the Free RPG day weekend. And its amazing that this book has been released into the wild for free. This is easily a five out of five book for From The Vats. Grab this one right now and don't wait. Eric From The Sword and Stitchery blog



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
From the Vats
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