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0one's Blueprints: Dragon's Peak
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/30/2009 03:31:56
You can always has use a new map, particularly if it's a good map. And by a good map I don't necessarily mean a map that has brilliant art, but more a map that is logical and well designed with the additional capability of being versatile. If you can modify the map to be, for example a handout, or modify it for another purpose or use, a good map becomes several good maps. 0One Roleplaying Games have always produced good maps, and they've managed to do that for years now. Each map in their Blueprints series contains a series of maps tied to a location, both in black and white, and what can be called 'old school blue'. Their maps/map sets have always struck me as logical maps where thought has gone into the design, the creatures that are there, and what a map should look like based on all external circumstances. This product, Dragon's Peak, is no exception to the above.

0One's Blueprints: Dragon's Peak is a 23 page pdf file. The file comes with a stylish cover, two pages of introductory text which includes the legend and details on the product, 12 pages of maps (6 maps in total in two different colours), and lastly itemised sheets detailing the maps, locations and location names. The latter sheets allow you to flesh out the location on the maps using short descriptions and other pertinent details. A blank detail sheet is provided should you require any additional sheets for writing details related to these maps.

Dragon's Peak depicts a small mountain that overlooks a very small hamlet. The maps provided include an overview of the mountain and the hamlet, and maps of all the interior caverns, tunnels and lairs within the mountain itself. No detailed map of the hamlet is provided, although the one that's there is still useful, and this product's sister product, Dragon's Foot, contains all the details of the little hamlet at the foot of the mountain. The background story included allows for plenty of room to manuever, and creative DMs can modify the details of the product fairly easily to allow the maps to suit a different background story to the one provided.

The maps provided cover the peak and the hamlet, a cross-section of the mountain, the two maps of mines inside the mountain, a goblin dwelling inside the mountain and the dragon's lair itself. Each map features 0One's 'Rule the Dungeon' feature, which allows you to change some of the features of the maps at the click of a button on the map. This gives the user control over furniture, text, grids and the like on the map, allowing you good flexibility in customization of the map for DM or player use. A good amount of detail in provided with each map, giving you a clear indication of content and to a lesser extent purpose. As mentioned earlier, the maps make logical sense, so there are no features there just for the sake of it, but rather more purpose-orientated features. The layout of the maps is also very good, maintaining a cavern-like feel but also indicating purpose and inhabitants at the right locations on the maps.

0One's Blueprints: Dragon's Peak is another quality map in the Blueprints series, and one that delivers on every count. The quality is good, the amount of detail is just right, the maps are logical and purpose driven, and the whole product adds flexibility through the use of pdf layers. This is the kind of map that I'd happily use, particularly when combined with Dragon's Foot, but even on its own there's a lot to offer. With useful background information and options for plot hooks and story lines, the creative DM can get a lot out of this. Even if you don't use all 6 maps as a whole, the individual maps on their own can easily slot into other areas of a campaign world on their own. Overall, a good, quality and very useful map and product.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Dragon's Peak
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Battlemaps: Floorplans, Inn Vol I
by Daryl P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2009 18:45:10
While everything contained in the PDF looks rather nice itself, even when printed, there are major issues with this product. Bewarned: Do not buy this with the intention of printing it!

Firstly (and very importantly), the images in the document go clear to the edges of the pages. Printers cannot and do not have the ability to print the ENTIRE coverage of the page. When your printer enforces margins, things from this will get messed up. Other products I've seen have done this much better by having lots of white space around the edges of each page to be trimmed after printing.

Secondly, the file is not a complete inn! It gives you a few of the rooms to it that each stand on their own, but they do not combine or line up at all. The kitchen and the brewery, for example, which are meant to be adjacent, simply cannot be placed next to each other and work without a lot of fiddling, by which time it looks bad.

If you buy this expecting to have a whole inn at your disposal to print, mount or tape together, and play on, you (like I) will be sorely disappointed. The second floor in particular is lacking: only four small rooms of the entire floor are provided, with the rest left to do on your own.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Battlemaps: Floorplans, Inn Vol I
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0one's Blueprints: Dragon's Peak
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2009 01:05:57
Not bad-the production quality is up to the high Oones' standard, the price is always right, but I could have used a few floorplans of the village included.

I would not have minded this being part 1 of a two-part series, the second part being the floorplans of the village.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Dragon's Peak
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The Road to Revolution: The Bloody Fix
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/25/2008 11:37:18
What a relief it would be if I could hack the internet so that anytime an inexperienced DM or RPGer attempted to submit a query of some poorly thought out adventure a screen saver would pop up and display a message to return to your home brew gaming table and get some more experience. Too often adventures are narrow minded and lack the basic information needed to run a game, which is why there is such an overwhelming calm of refreshment whenever I read an adventure from Oones Games.

The publisher’s latest adventure, Road to Revolution: The Bloody Fix, is a gritty urban adventure set within their campaign world, The Great City. It is the second in the campaign arc, Road to Revolution, which led to the PC shutting down a Fight Club. This adventure follows the same NPCs and characters as they attempt to solve a series of gruesome murders of the cities soldiers and protect the fight club owner from a execution.

Mysteries are the most difficult adventures to write because of their freeform nature. On one hand you have to have enough information so that there is a reasonable direction to go and on the other you can not have too much information or you will railroad the adventuring party. The writers of Bloody Fix do a tremendous job of walking that fine line, providing an abundant amount of information for the DM without overwhelming the players. Outside of the various tables and charts to aid the Dungeon Master with this adventure, there are very nice tables that relate to rumors and news going on in town. This is a very nice touch to add a dimension of realism to the city. I especially enjoyed the colorful NPCs, an ingredient very important in an adventure.

The adventure’s plot surrounds the PCs attempting to solve the murder, becoming further engrossed in the subplots of the fight club owner. The final showdown pits the PCs vs. one of the best creatures I have seen this year. It is one of those creatures that, even if you did not run the adventure, you will want to purchase the book just to snag out because it is such an innovative concept.

Where Bloody Fix makes up in innovation it lets down in typos and difficulty labeled navigational tools. One of the biggest types are in the summary, which makes you have to read a bit into the adventure to figure out what is going on. Still, navigating through the minor pot holes for a well written mystery adventure for PCs is worth it.

For the Dungeon Master
Tables, Charts, Handouts, Diagrams, Pictures, Explanations, Breakout boxes. If only every publisher went the extra mile with their adventures to make them easier to run. So many writers are caught up with their great adventure that they forget to help the dungeon master run it. This will be one of the easiest mystery adventures you will run in a long time.

The Iron Word
Few writers attempt the mystery adventure because of its difficulty to pull off properly. 0ones takes gamble and delivers a spectacular second adventure in the Revolutionary Roads series.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Road to Revolution: The Bloody Fix
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0one's Blueprints: Pirate Ship
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2008 01:55:48
I don't normally give Oones products less than 5 stars, but this map had three faults I feel drew from the otherwise high quality of the product. LKisted in order of importance to me:

1) No depiction of rigging-a sailing ship had a lot of 'room' up there.

2) no cannon. This is supposed to be a pirate vessel, and cannons are bulky-using them as 'furniture' would have let this map depict warships & merchants alike.

3) what ship type is this? A general class would have helped.

Still, a worth-while buy.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Pirate Ship
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0one's Blueprints: The Pirate Island
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2008 01:51:34
You can't beat Oone's products. Great detail at low prices!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Pirate Island
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Battlemaps: Floorplans, City Shops
by Scott B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2008 20:41:36
Awesome graphics. I wish their were more like these [frowns].

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battlemaps: Floorplans, City Shops
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Battlemaps: Floorplans, Inn Vol I
by Scott B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2008 20:34:15
Everyone has raved about the quality of these floor plans and rightly so.

My gripe is that once they are printed out, cropped and laminated they don't mesh well along their borders. It's real sloppy. It makes the tiles look screwy once they are assembled [frowns].

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battlemaps: Floorplans, Inn Vol I
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The Great City: Color Map Folio
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/29/2008 07:11:26
This product consists of two poster maps, done to the usual high standard we've come to expect from 0one Games. The first is quite unusual, at full size it is 25.5" x 11" and depicts the city as a 3-dimensional image - imagine you are standing on a hill at a distance with the city laid out before you. It is provided as a single sheet for those lucky souls who have access to printers capable of dealing with it, and as 3 normal pages for those of us who make do with an ordinary colour printer and some sticky tape. It really gives a good feel for the city, making more conventional maps come alive, and would look good on the wall especially if you are running adventures in the city!

The second poster is the more conventional top-down "Bird's eye view" map, in a poster of 25.5" X 22 or as six ordinary sheets to stick together. Again, its lush colours allow the imagination to run riot, if this popped up in Google Earth somewhere you would believe it!

In both posters, you have the option of displaying various information such as a map key, text or a compass rose; or just leaving the map to speak for itself. While neither of these maps are as convenient for actual gaming as other mapsets of the Great City, they are too beautiful to ignore.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Great City: Color Map Folio
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Urban Adventures: A Pound of Flesh
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/28/2008 10:20:45
Designed to get a campaign in The Great City off to a flying start, this adventure embroils the characters in an investigation of the disappearance of a drunk pearl merchant that leads them to places they'd probably rather not go and people they'd rather not meet, with a spot of arson, evil cultists and revolutionary plots for good measure!

From the very beginning, there is a lot going on and the characters have cause to explore a lot of the city - in particular, the seamy side of the docks - and interact with many different people. It's not all talk, of course, and there is ample opportunity for combat as well, while the finale involves the need to defeat the enemy against the backdrop of a very high-society party - preferably discreetly! The adventure is probably not suited to players whose main interests lie in fighting and acquiring loot - but if a rich tapestry of varied characters all leading their own lives within the setting appeals, you have picked up the right adventure.

Overall, it is an outstanding adventure with a depth that - despite what might seem a simple plotline - should keep your players well-entertained and their characters challenged and intrigued. Thoroughly recommended both as an adventure in its own right and as a way to introduce characters to The Great City.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Adventures: A Pound of Flesh
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The Great City Campaign Setting
by Malcolm M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2008 01:27:35
It's the strangest thing. The major appeal of 0one Games' Great City product line is that it offers a fully-mapped fantasy city that Game Masters can finally make their own. A few optional labels are included with the maps to offer guidance and/or inspiration -- but for the most part, 0one's great gift to GMs was to say, "Here, take these maps and bring them to life in your own unique way".

And now, we have the Great City Campaign Setting, completely filled in and fully detailed for us -- which makes it effectively the same as Greyhawk, the City of the Invincible Overlord, Raven's Bluff, Ptolus, Bard's Gate, Barakus, Yggsburgh, Altdorf -- and any of the dozens of other published fantasy cities available to rpg gamers that you'd care to name.

Frankly, I don't get it. This product basically takes the one thing about the Great City which makes it unique, and removes it. Buying this product is rather like buying a coloring book with all of the pages already colored in for you. I can't shake the feeling that it entirely misses the point.

Technically, the book is as good as anything 0one puts out. Nice production values, layout, and artwork.

The authors' constant misuse of the term "empirical" throughout made me wince a little on their behalf -- and I found myself remembering Inigo Montoya's famous line from "The Princess Bride" -- "That word ... I do not think it means what you think it means" -- but the truth is, most readers are unlikely to care. We live in a text-message age where even vowels are too much trouble.

In their defense, the authors do show spirit and a clear love of their material. There's nothing glaringly wrong here on a content level, and if you want your Great City pre-made for you, you could do far worse than this --

-- but this Campaign Setting still feels like it misses the entire point of the Great City by the very fact that it exists.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Great City Campaign Setting
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0one's Colorprints #8: Gnoll Enclave
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2008 08:24:54
In this mapset, a gnoll enclave situated deep in the desert atop some mountains is depicted. You might think this a bit specialised - but perhaps they have been raiding caravans, or your characters might encounter them when travelling in the desert for completely unrelated reasons or... Well, it's up to you; but this mapset cries out for a visit!

There are four maps in the set: gnoll dwellings, a temple, slave pens and a palace. Time or hard work has levelled the top of each mountain, and they are linked by walkways which look flimsy enough for some good cinematic moments during a running combat. The ordinary gnolls have simple huts of differing sizes, with a central well and a few other constructs to fill out their area. The temple - to a hyena god, it's suggested - occupies a hill-top of its own with an imposing circular worship space and ancillary buildings for the priest's residence and what looks like an ossuary. The slave pits look inhospitable, but gnolls have a reputation for not looking after their slaves well. Finally, the Packmaster's Palace includes an audience chamber and private quarters for the packmaster in the main building, including a bathing pool (do gnolls bathe?); while there's a second building for servants, advisors or perhaps his harem - the notes suggest elite guards, actually.

Technically, each map is presented in both full colour and greyscale, and while 0one's famous 'Rule the Dungeon' controls are available, gnoll residences are rather primitive for these to be effective. You can choose whether or not to see their basic furniture, doors, a fancy border to each sheet, where north is, and so on.

Overall, it's a neat and unusual settlement and just looking at it begins to spawn ideas of how it might be worked in to future adventures.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Colorprints #8: Gnoll Enclave
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The Great City Campaign Setting
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/11/2008 12:12:08
Over the past few years, 0one Games has been regaling us with a series of exceptional city maps, laying out in minute detail The Great City. It's just been crying out for information about who lives there, what's going on and even some adventures to await visiting characters - and here at last is a campaign setting worthy of those map!

Chapter 1: Introduction begins with an overview of the history, telling of the original settlers and their conquerors, who built the city into a thriving port but then departed to engage in civil war elsewhere... Left to itself, the city developed further into a major trade centre, but about 30 years ago they were re-invaded by their previous conquerors who were anxious to regain control, which with much effort and bloodshed they finally accomplished. However, the citizens are still very much divided and there are many tensions on the streets. This naturally leads to the potential for a lot of political intrigue, should that be the direction in which you wish to take your game. As those familiar with the maps will know, the city is made up of several 'Wards' which are quite different in character. Each has an appointed noble 'Blood Senator' in charge, with a number of elected Ward Representatives to present the views of the inhabitants. The chapter ends with a fine overall map of the city.

Next, Chapter 2 delves more deeply into the city's history. While giving considerable detail about the background of both original inhabitants and invaders, it's loose enough with dates and locations for you to be able to meld it into an existing campaign world's history.

We then move into a chapter by chapter analysis of the defining nature of each Ward, beginning with the Army Ward. Each Ward has been developed by a different member of the writing team, ensuring that they are truly different. The Army Ward certainly is! Home to the conquering army, most soldiers remain there - being provided with ample means of recreation (especially taverns and houses of ill-repute) - and indeed need permission to enter the rest of the town when off-duty, although citizens from elsewhere may enter the Army Ward freely. Numerous organisations and groups are described, from military units to the 'stables' of fighters who train for appearances in the Circus Maximus, and less desirable types. Major NPCs and locations are also detailed; and there is plenty of information should you wish to run some of the contests that occur in the arena, whether as spectator sports or with some of your player characters featuring in competition. The chapter rounds off with some ideas for adventures to take place in the Ward.

The Castle Ward comes next, seat of the empire's power. The Castle itself dates back to the early conquest, and has dungeons underneath best not explored... or perhaps a magnet for the average adventurer. Other buildings include government offices and upmarket private homes. It's also where the law courts - used mainly to settle civil disputes - are to be found. Again, the chapter ends with notable NPCs, location descriptions and adventure ideas. Finally, there is mention of the area under the castle - which is the Dungeon Under the Mountain, featured in a whole series of maps and location books in a separate series from 0one Games! This means, of course, that there's a lot more there than most locals know about - they think it's just a level or two of prison cells and storage.

The Dock Ward is next to be explored. As you can imagine for a city whose wealth is based on trade, there is a lot going on here, with organisations and individuals jockeying for position. This is followed by the Residential Ward, which is nearly deserted by day but very lively at night. Then there is a carnival atmosphere, with an undercurrent of resistance to what is still seen by many as an occupation by a foreign power. Again a good place for your characters to find adventure as well as perhaps a home base. Rather grander is the Temple Ward with stately marble temples to just about every deity you can imagine - yet many deities remain homeless, and their priests rely on the hospitality of other temples to find space to pray. Of major importance economically, the Trades Ward is busy both day and night with legitimate trade and rather more shady activities. It's a good place to find (or sell) just about anything, or to find a job - with enough intrigue and deals to keep you occupied for days on end. Each Ward contains many interesting NPCs, locations and ideas for adventure.

Next comes an introductory adventure, The Cost of Freedom. It is aimed at 1st-level characters and provides a good introduction to the political structures, legal systems, strained relationships between all manner of residents and general intrigue that goes on here... and a murder, perhaps, if intrigue sounds too sedate for your players. Not that it is in any way sedate, but this adventure will suck them in and embroil them in all manner of goings-on, with the opportunity to use wits and a strong sword-arm to see them through to the conclusion. Several ways to get the characters involved are included, with copious details for the DM about what appears to be going on, as well as the actual underlying facts of the matter. It's a good and busy adventure to get the characters embedded into the city, even if they do not have any knowledge of it beforehand... so getting round the usual difficulty of players not knowing somewhere that their characters might be familiar with!

The book finishes with a few new monsters, followed by what are the core of any city - a good collection of NPCs (including full stat blocks for those mentioned earlier).

Overall, this product really brings The Great City to life, while providing enough about the layout that it should not pose a problem if you do not have the earlier maps. You'll probably want to get them if you decide to spend much time here - and after reading this, I for one want to do so! Apart from a few niggling mis-spellings that a good proof-read should have caught, presentation is good with clear maps which are an advance visually on those in the previous maps, yet of course fully-compatible with them. Definately recommended to anyone who likes city-based adventures, or whose campaign needs a well-designed city as a base or place to visit.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Great City Campaign Setting
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0one's Blueprints: The Great City, Cutthroats' Alley
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/29/2008 11:59:05
Another great product-you simply cannot go wrong with Oones. This particular product details a area of about a city block (roughly), from the sewers to the cellars to the rooftops.

For two bucks.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Great City, Cutthroats' Alley
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The Great City Campaign Setting
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/26/2008 09:47:52
Campaign settings centered around a particular city or small region are a special kind of campaign setting for a specific type of gamer. This gamer often forgoes the world exploration and dungeon hopping romps of a world campaign setting in lue of intricate political schemes and lost haunts within and surrounding a large city.

For the gamer looking for an expansive city to adventure, 0Ones Games presents The Great City Setting. The Campaign Setting is a well crafted anthology of regions composed of the talented writers at werecabbage, headed by notable RPG Adventure writer Tim Hitchcock. The setting is designed for the 3.5 edition and compatible systems.

The biggest fear about City Adventures is that there will not be enough to do. One of my early D&D Campaigns consisted of waking up in the city, talking to the governor and then heading off to the underdark for the day. The city was uneventful and the NPCs lacked any color. The writers of the Great City avoid this pitfall. With the writing spread out, each region feels alive like its own world with Hitchcock skillfully applying the glue to make it all cohesive. The 162 page PDF starts off with a strong introduction and almost too lengthy history and moves into the description of the various wards. The city history revolves around the Azindraleans and the Great City that was conquered by the Kortezians. The tension between the two sides is evident throughout each region. Each region is divided into subsections of special interests, power groups, important NPCs, keyed locations, adventure opportunities and adventure locations. Each also has a detailed map of the area.

The regions or Wards, step away from what is too be expected. There are no merchant wards or noble wards. Instead the wards appear to be more organic, generating from the back-story of the occupation. There is the Army Ward, where the major armed forces reside; the Castle Ward, where the elite live and the government offices lie; The Dock Ward, where merchant ships and the large navy dwell; The Residential Ward, housing roving gangs and common citizens who secretly plan rebellion; the Temple Ward, constituting a number of faiths and the Trade Ward, an area similar to a merchant area with a strong blackmarket feel to it.

The Great City does not simply hand you the keys and drop you off at the door, it provides you an introductory adventure to ease your players into the world as well as a list of creatures unique to the setting.

For the Player
City Campaigns are great places for players who like campaigns with more of a political edge to it. The NPCs in the Wards seem to come to life on the pages.

For the Dungeon Master
The most creative parts of the book are the Adventuring Hook descriptions of the Wards. Sure there is a large dungeon nearby, but instead of resting solely on that, the Wards include a lot of other places for the PCs to find trouble. The Underscore, located in the Traders Ward, is a fun, moody place to flesh out an adventure and stood out as one of my favorites.

The Iron Word
0Ones is more known for their amazing map cartography, however, they score a home run with their first campaign setting. There are a few typos, but never to the point of distraction. The Great City offers a far different setting that creates a dynamic city with a wealth of material to take a party from levels 1 to 20. The history is very intriguing, though a bit too long in many places, it does benefit the story and add to the richness of the campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Great City Campaign Setting
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