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The Sinking: Widow's Walk
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/12/2014 09:26:33
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of 0onegames' short modules centering on one catastrophe is 17 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This being an adventure-review, this review contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



The Hasserbruk family has had to endure quite a lot - when Albrion Hasserbruk's ship vanished beneath the waves, his widow grieved, though she did take the reins of the family business, as women of well-bred stock are wont to do. The widow Hasserbruk thus raised the family to newfound glory. Then, suddenly, her presumed dead husband returns....and she slams the door in his face.



Enter the PCs - and an investigation resumes that will prove...interesting. For while the lady suffers from a slight delay in facial muscles, both she and her faithful butler seem to be telling the truth...as does the captain. The resulting investigation of the mansion and the Hasserbruks hides a disturbing truth - turns out, the widow Hasserbruk has committed suicide years ago, deeming her beloved husband gone. As fate would have it, an unlikely couple stumbled across her body.



Turns out that the lady's faithful butler is the former lover of the being that now controls her - an intellect devourer. But not any intellect devourer, but one that chose said bard over its own brethren and thus was exiled. Maintaining the body of the widow with a magic mirror, the creature is actually an exile from its own people and hunted...and as far as intellect devourers are concerned, it is open and yes, nice even. So the PCs are looking at an interesting conundrum - the creature hasn't done anything wrong and exposing t will mean certain doom for it. Worse, hunters of the intellect devourers have arrived in the city and seek to reclaim the magic mirror that is the basis for the widow's body...



A moral conundrum indeed, one without any right answers, but with A LOT of different, awesome, roleplaying options and consequences. Better yet, the module actually features various helping pieces of information that cover spells and similar ways of finding out the truth - great to see those options being taken into account.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, though not perfect, I noticed a couple of minor typo-level-glitches. Layout adheres to 0onegames' neat 2-column standard and the original pieces of b/w-artwork are great, as are the maps. Though, as always with the series, I would have enjoyed printer-friendly versions of them. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



The characters herein are well-crafted, and the capabilities of 8th-level characters are taken well into account -what can I say: I'm thoroughly impressed by David Schwartz's ability to cram a TRULY interesting scenario into the scant few pages allotted. Roleplaying potential, awesome moral conundrums, cool builds -this is a truly awesome little module, with the superb price-point offsetting the lack of player-friendly maps. My final verdict will hence clock in at a triumphant 5 stars + seal of approval. Glorious!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: Widow's Walk
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The Sinking: The Skullfire Inquisition
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/08/2014 04:34:20
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of 0onegames' short modules centering on one catastrophe is 19 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This being an adventure-review, this review contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



Still here? All right!

Blood Senator Eldon Vulgrax contacts the PCs to escort one of his contacts in the Temple Ward from a safe house to true safety - unfortunately, said man, one Myron (or Byron, the module isn't sure there) Galdemarr, has already been captured by the Skullfire Inquisition - a militant arm following the church of the newly incepted Cult of Lazarus. Turns out, the safe house isn't that safe and a whole team of inquisitors is ransacking the place, looking for Byron/Myron's silver sextant. It should be noted that the module here makes a lot of references to "move silently", which should be "stealth" - easily avoidable glitch there.



Via minor investigative skills, the PCs track the inquisitors to a warehouse, which they can infiltrate (though the watchdog chimera will provide a challenging foe) and then make their way through subterranean torture chambers - via drugs, prisoners are made pliable, then they are subjected to the tender ministrations of the villain and his gargoyle ally - turns out, they have an item that, when placed upon the brow of a target, lights up and has their thoughts and memories literally burned away. The torture master may inhale these fumes to know the respective contents. A vile (and fully depicted) item. Oh, and the hiding place of the sextant is actually smart enough to make the adversaries not look like complete tools for not getting it.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are okay, though some glitches have crept into the module. None of them are truly glaring, though. Layout adheres to 0onegames' elegant, nice two-column b/w-standard with awesome pieces of b/w-artwork and neat cartography, though sans player-friendly versions. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Michael O' Day's Skullfire Inquisition is a straight-forward rescue scenario that comes with some nice ideas, but ultimately mostly boils down to "KILL EVERYTHING". Don't expect much social interaction, investigation or the like. That being said, the adversaries herein are delightfully despicable and the item they use is dastardly indeed - there ought to be no question after that who bad guys are. Which is also one of the weaknesses of this module. The meta-plot of "The Sinking" has set up a particular faction as enigmatic and weird, but not clearly as evil - and this module ends suddenly, with one blast, all pretenses: Said faction is revealed to be vileness incarnate, capital "E" EVIL. And the meta-plot suffers from that, at least in my opinion. When weirdness and enigma before this module made the faction in question intriguing and frightening, now it is simply yet another group of vile bullies for the PCs to crush. In fact, at least in my opinion, this module ends one of the most intriguing questions in a surprisingly one-dimensional way, not starting with how fast said faction got access to significant resources. Is the module bad? No. It may be a bit railroady and combat-focused, but it's not a bad offering. But it also isn't a mind-blowing one and resolves one enticing open question in a very disappointing manner. I'm not sure whether that's due to meta-plot-issues or the author's prerogative, but it left me a bit less excited than I was prior to reading this about The Sinking. Still, the price-point is excellent and hence my final verdict will clock in at a tentative 3 stars since I can't fault the module for having the meta-plot not live up to my expectations.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: The Skullfire Inquisition
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0one's Blueprints: Keep on Mountain Pass
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/18/2014 08:05:30
It's good set of maps, but there is one large problem. There is _one_ set of stairs from level "0" to level "10". As shipped, these stairs go up/down in a circular fashion. There is a portcullis guarded landing on each level, but players can simply ignore all of them and go straight to the top. I didn't pick up on this until game time. It was rather annoying. This problem is easily rectified by repurposing rooms on various floors as stairwells, but it would have been nice if this wasn't necessary.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Keep on Mountain Pass
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0one's Blueprints Backdrops: The Golden Eel Inn
by Phillip A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/07/2014 08:24:47
This 16 page pdf offers two very small, poorly designed blueprints and one isometric rendition. The rest of the pdf is full of generic adventure seeds, location description and just filler content. 3 pages are unreadable. For four bucks, I feel like I got jipped.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints Backdrops: The Golden Eel Inn
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The Sinking: Seeking Dawn
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/04/2013 10:57:07
The heat is on... Intended to be played in sequence following the adventure 'The Freedom Gambit' this scenario can be played on its own by stating that the characters are on the run from someone who is rich enough and annoyed with them sufficiently to send professional assassins to hunt them down. Basically, the party will find itself being pursued out of the Great City up into the surrounding mountains, defending themselves from their pursuers as well as the inhabitants and wildlife, whilst also surviving the ardours of their journey... and maybe even finding some allies along the way.

Designed to be run in a single session, the quality of this adventure is in the considered and well thought out tactics of the opposition, who should all prove potent foes and yet the challenge is not overwhelming for characters prepared to think and negotiate as well as wield sword and spell with vigour. There's plenty of excitement and action here. Should the party not take the intended course through the adventure (or indeed the mountains!) there are suggestions for how to ensure that important plot points are not missed.

An exciting adventure in its own right, it sets the party up well for the next stage in the campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: Seeking Dawn
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0one's Blueprints: The Great City, Castle Ward
by Patrick D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2013 12:57:04
Excellent layout and quality! The only way to improve this would be to add the "Rule the Dungeon" feature.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Great City, Castle Ward
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Battlemaps: Floorplans, Inn Vol I
by Michael T. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/01/2013 07:22:30
I bought this product because I was looking for battle tiles of an inn. Battlemaps: Floorplans, Inn Vol I outlines an inn called "The Fang." It's broken out into a kitchen, brewery, warehouse, common room, bedroom with toilet, master bedroom, and "genius room." There are also black-and-white versions of all of these rooms.

0one Games' products tend to have a bit of a CGI-look to them, in that they're cleanly rendered but semi-realistically shadowed. It's a slightly isometric rather than a direct top-down view, so some detail is visible -- barrels aren't just circles, you can see the shelves on a bookcase, etc. This gives a little bit of a fisheye lens to the map, which works well in providing enough detail for the players to distinguish between a large plate, a bowl, and a barrel (all of which look like different colored circles from above).

It's called "The Fang" because of how it protrudes from the mountains, but although there is a front and side elevation map as well as how all the rooms hang together, there is no visual of this fang-like architecture. That's a shame, because by simply looking at the maps it doesn't make any sense as to why the place is called "The Fang." "The Axe" or "The Edge" might be more appropriate.

The brewery features a steampunk-looking distillery and a table with a tapped barrel and several mugs. The floor features 1 inch-square (or 5-foot square) tile that consists of two sets of different-colored triangles meeting in the center. These tiles are the unifying theme throughout the set.

The common room (two pages) has lots of detail, with weapons hanging from the walls and an active fireplace. There's a theme of axes on the carpets, which biases the set a bit. Maybe it's owned by dwarves, maybe by Vikings, but if you weren't planning on having axes be central to the inn you're out of luck. The kitchen is straightforward, but the warehouse is really the basement, also two pages.

The second floor has an axe-head design built right into the tiles. The single bedroom with toilet features two beds per room and a very fancy washroom. The master bedroom steps going up (not sure to where) and a double axe laying across a chair. This isn't really a master bedroom so much as it's a dwarf's bedroom, probably the owner, which means it's not particularly useful for scenarios.

Finally, there's the "genius' room," which features some kind of mechanical contraption, lots of papers, and little else.

If you're looking for an inn run by a dwarf, you can't beat this map collection. Because this set makes some very specific commitments to a style of play, game masters looking for a generic inn should look elsewhere.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Battlemaps: Floorplans, Inn Vol I
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0one's Black & White: Medusa Hideout
by L. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2013 21:08:14
I plan on using the printout as a hideout/base of operations for the next encounter that needs one. So convienient !

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Black & White: Medusa Hideout
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0one's Blueprints: The Galley
by Trevor D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/18/2013 15:50:11
I was hoping for a layout of the galley that I could use with standard miniatures. This product does not provide that at all. I could always draw it based on the diagrams, but that isn't what I was looking for.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Galley
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0one's Black & White: Medusa Hideout
by James M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2013 15:03:41
This is a good "off the rack" mission for mid-high level characters and could be plugged into a larger adventure or played stand alone over 1 session. A moderate amount of conversion is necessary for use in the AD&D game system. Overall, very useful.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Black & White: Medusa Hideout
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The Sinking: The Tribunal Edicts
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/15/2013 05:27:12
In a delightful romp through political intrigue, this adventure proves that politics, Great City style, are not in the least bit boring! An ancient but lapsed custom of calling an open meeting called a tribunal to solve major issues facing the City has been revived to discuss the Sink - as 'experts' the characters (assuming that they have played through at least some of the earlier adventures in the series) are called as witnesses.

Of course, there's much more to it than that, and a heady mix of celebration, assassination and a good chase will keep the characters occupied in ways more fitting to an adventurer that participating in a political talking shop... yet for those who relish a good intrigue or debate, there is plenty of that too, clearly set out with the appropriate mechanics to abstract the process yet enable the characters to have an influence on the outcome if they so wish.

Old acquaintences and new are woven deftly into events, which will increase the feeling of being at the centre of affairs and beginning to wield some real influence over the course of events. Everything is laid out clearly for the GM, with information, maps, stat blocks and other game mechanics provided just where they are needed. It's quite amazing how much is packed into a few pages, and yet the adventure can - and indeed for best effect should - be played out in a single session. A fine addition to the saga of the Great City, and an excellent demonstration of how to weave politics into your plot whilst keeping it exciting.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: The Tribunal Edicts
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Deep Blues: Nautilus
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/14/2013 10:56:21
In this 'Blueprint' 0one Games's interpretation of the Nautilus, first described by Jules Verne and immortalised in several movies, is presented. Suitable for any steampunk or industrial fantasy game, it's a fine vessel with two main decks and a 'cockpit' deck and a delightful shape - as shown in the side elevation - that is subtly fish-like but complete with a nautilus shell of steel plates clapped on the side!

The cockpit is roomy, with a control room and cabins for senior officers. The main deck is where most of the crew live and work, the captain's quarters and guest rooms are here as well as workshops, a chart room and the like. The lower deck is where the engines and fuel stores are to be found. The Chief Engineer lives here too, there's also a dining room and the torpedoes... There is plenty of scope for some underwater adventure here, whether you choose to give the submarine to the party or to the bad guys they are trying to defeat.

The normal technological artistry is shown, 0one's command of PDF technology allowing various options to be accessed via the 'Control the Dungeon' button... although one might question the need for a compass direction in a vessel that moves around underwater!

As a bonus, you also get a poster map of the Nautilus which you can print out on several A4 sheets and stick together or take the single-page version to a printshop to have a proper poster made. This comes on a parchment-style background, like an old nautical chart, but you can turn that off to have the poster printed in brown/sepia on white instead. You also can choose if you want text displayed or have it plain.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deep Blues: Nautilus
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Deep Blues: Airship
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/14/2013 09:44:42
If you have ever thought that an airship would be a neat place to stage part of an adventure, now's your chance.

This product contains a selection of plans based around a 800ft monster airship, the sort that boded fair to become the transportation of the future in the 1920s... then the Hindenburg burned to a cinder and people switched to aircraft instead. This one, however, can fly on in your imagination and your games.

The plans start with an overview of the entire airship: side view, section, front and rear views. There are struts to enable access to the main body of the airship, primarily intended for inspections of the giant gasbags that provide the airship's lift. These can be seen in the side section view. Passengers never see these in the normal course of events but they can make for exciting chases and combats where it is vital to avoid even a single spark! Then there is more detail on the gondola, where passengers and crew travel. Equipped for 20 people - presumably both crew and passengers as I cannot see any crew quarters separate from the main sleeping chambers and common lounge area - there are limited bathroom facilities and space for pilot and navigator and a kitchen as well as the lounge already mentioned. There are side elevations, and logitudinal and transverse sections of the gondola as well as the more familiar plan view. Particularly wealthy adventurers might even own the airship, others may travel as passengers.

The options available include 'blueprint' or black and white line art, along with gids (hex or square, in feet or metric scale), whether or not you want to see the furniture, a settable north pointer (not much use, airships move!) and so on, controlled via 0one's standard 'Rule the Dungeon' feature. Everything is drawn in vector graphics so can be scaled up or down without image degradation.

An airship may be quite a specialised thing to have a plan for, but when your game calls for one - well, this is a nice one... although budding Indiana Joneses will have to supply their own aircraft, there isn't one here!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deep Blues: Airship
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Deep Blues: Victorian House
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/13/2013 11:55:50
Here is a magnificent Victorian-style house, standing in its own grounds, and presented in exquisite detail. It's up to you whether it is as creepy as the Addams Family home or warm and welcoming...

In this product, 0one Games have taken their customary mastery of PDF technology and used it to present a mapset that is easy to customise to your needs. Working at individual page level or via the 'Rule the Dungeon' feature to customise the entire mapset at one go, there are a lot of things that you can change. There is a choice of hex grid, square grid, metric grid or none at all. You can decide which way is North, and whether or not you want it to be shown. You can have furnished or bare rooms... and of course you can decide whether you want 'blueprints' (white lines on a blue background like a classic technical drawing) or black lines on white.

The house itself is three stories high, and has a driveway leading up to it as well as a quite extensive garden. As well as a view of each level, including extensive cellars and the rooftop, there is a plan view that shows the house in its grounds including an outbuilding (probably, in the terminology of the day, a 'motor-house') and a 'front view' (or 'elevation' in architect's parlance). There are also several pages you can use to make notes about the various locations within the house and grounds. US players will note the European nomenclature: we have a ground floor, first floor and second floor. It's not difficult to see what is what, though.

Overall, it's a delightful house and I'd be happy to live there... until, that is, you populate it with ghosts and other unspeakable things appropriate to a horror game!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deep Blues: Victorian House
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Basic Paths: Wrath of the Orc God (Pathfinder)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/11/2013 12:29:12
Whilst like the preceding adventures in the Basic Paths series this one is aimed particularly at beginning players and GMs, this is both aimed at slightly more experienced (4th Level) characters and is set in the same township, with the intention that the characters are beginning to get to know, and hopefully care about, the locals.

The adventure opens with a scream, as a lone orc attacks the settlement of Gafolweed. A single orc is no trouble to a whole party of adventurers, but it soon becomes apparently that there are hordes of orcs out there all on the warpath, and the characters' help will soon be enlisted to deal with the problem. And we're off...

Background is vivid and engaging, be it the backstory to the adventure provided for the GM, the overview of Gafolweed, or the details of locations and individuals encountered along the way. Particularly of note are sidebars designed to highlight and explain features of the rules for novice GMs - even the most experienced will find snippets of mechanics that will enhance their game knowledge - for example, a clear description of the art of 'reskinning' a familiar monster to give it a wholly-new aspect without having to go to the trouble of designing one from the bottom up.

The adventure doesn't shy away from things that novices might find hard, like mass combat, but settles down to explain what needs to be done clearly and concisely. Worth studying in advance, but even a new GM should find it possible to run hordes of orcs and equally-numerous defending cavalry confidently.

As the adventure unfolds, there is plenty to do and a quite surprising route to discovering and combatting the evil that has come to roost in the neighbourhood. Everything is presented clearly, with discussion of the options available and catering for many of the things that players might do that could so easily catch an unprepared or new GM on the hop!

In classic style, this adventure moves smoothly from the initial set-up and a good brawl, through a journey along which information, resources and even allies can be gathered to wind up with a dungeon-delve and climactic showdown. There's a lot to see and do throughout, with interaction and investigation balanced well with combat. The dungeon is no mere backdrop to the climatic fight, either, just getting there provides a good challenge with plenty of the things all good dungeons have (traps, monsters, tricky bits...) even before you get to the final showdown.

Everything is laid out clearly and where you're going to need it, with some flavourful illustrations, delightful maps and battlemaps for the main brawls. There are even paper 'standee' miniatures for the main opposition. Overall a well-presented adventure that is a delight to run... and ought to be fun from the other side of the screen.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Basic Paths: Wrath of the Orc God (Pathfinder)
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