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0one's Blueprints: Lizardfolk Settlement
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/27/2012 14:48:53

A great set of maps for any fantasy adventure based around exploration/infiltration of a primitive humanoid (not just lizardman) settlement. All maps are presented in black and white and "blue and white" (like the maps found in classic D&D/AD&D modules from the 80s). The layers feature is cleverly put to use to allow GMs to customize features of the maps for their own preferences. This is a great map set for a very reasonable price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Lizardfolk Settlement
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The Sinking: The Plumb Line
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/14/2012 05:53:38

This installment of "The Sinking" is 17 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving 12 pages of content for this adventure.


This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS, so potential players might wish to jump to the conclusion.


Still here? Righty right!


A famous architect has gone missing and the PCs are hired to find him. Unfortunately, as their research shows, he was not only massively indebted to problematic individuals, but somehow, everyone talking to the PCs tends to wind up mutilated, beaten or even dead.
Hunted by a sadistic loan-shark debt-collector, the PCs will find the architect's base, strange diagrams and deduce the truth - it seems that the architect has found an unpleasant end in the sinkhole - along many of his holdings. His source of wealth, a tomb of a former king, though, is yet there and via an enchanted plumb line, the PCs can climb down into the sinkhole, through an illusory wall and explore the crypt - only to be confronted with a rather unpleasant curse...


Conclusion:


Editing and formatting are ok, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard and the artworks and maps are top-quality. The pdf comes with full bookmarks. A combination of simple investigation, exploration and mini-dungeon, complete with a hand-out of the plumb line and a minor puzzle to figure out how to use it, this installment of "The Sinking" sets a precedent for what can be done with such a short little scenario - Tito Leati has created a nifty little scenario I can unanimously recommend. Thus, final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 stars for the purpose of the platform.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: The Plumb Line
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The Sinking: Tatterdemalion
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2012 08:10:11

This installment of "The Sinking" is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving 9 pages of content.


This being an adventure review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players might wish to jump to the conclusion.


Righty right, the Great City-adventures have provided some of the most exciting fêtes I've encountered in any written modules and the latent sense of aristocratic decadence reminiscent of the fin-de-siècle is one of the components I personally have always enjoyed about the setting. This particular installment of "The Sinking" fully capitalizes on the idea, as the PCs are hired to make sure a party of some decadent nobles goes smoothly - said party is to take place in a bathhouse (fully mapped, btw.!) right at the edge of the sink-hole. To add more complications, the bathhouse was supposed to be haunted, which develops a nice basic tension.


The PCs will have to contend with quite a few complications during the party - an albino python concealed by its particular color, two hot-blooded young nobles almost coming to blows over a flirtatious lady, a brown mold infection that may claim the life of an attending guest and finally, once enough social and other complications have been sprung upon them, the climax of the adventure happens:


The ghost of the bathhouse appears! Only, there was never a ghost, but rather a trapped water elemental and a rather powerful guttermage called Burlstaff has taken up residence here and taken the gem containing the element as the center of his new shrine. The grumpy fellow doesn't necessarily want to hurt the attending crowd or the players and might make for a social resolution or a very tight battle once the PCs see through his ghost-bluff. Of course, the panicking crowd can get itself into quite some trouble and in the end, it's up to the Pcs to save the panicking youngsters.


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting were actually quite good - while I noticed a minor glitch here and there, I didn't notice enough to rate this adventure down in and of itself. Layout adheres to the elegant b/w-2-column standard and the b/w-artworks and maps are top quality. The pdf is fully bookmarked. This particular scenario is rather interesting as it is rife with social complications and offers a nice twist on a rather creepy masque. The potential for the final encounter to be resolved without spilling too much undue blood is nice as well. I essentially have only one gripe - why not make the bathhouse be in danger of slipping over the edge/falling into the sinkhole? The angled bathhouse would have made for an exciting location and the natural disaster-component of "The Sinking" would have featured more prominently as well. Due to the minor glitches and said unrealized potential, I'll settle for a solid verdict of 4 stars for this very affordable, neat little scenario.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: Tatterdemalion
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Battlemaps: Floorplans, City Shops
by Michael T. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/09/2012 20:55:16

This set consists of a baker, jeweler, tavern, potion maker, stables, glass blower, merchant, and smith. The maps are fully three-dimensional. This means that although the maps are detailed, quite a bit of space is taken up by the walls. Since you're presumably using these maps for miniatures, navigating the walls can be a challenge. Each of the maps are somewhat grainy representations of computer-rendered rooms with bright, contrasting colors. Lighting is used generously – some rooms have shadowy illumination, others are brightly lit.


Unlike other tile sets, these tiles are extremely detailed, down to utensils on the table and debris on the floor. Most of the maps are a single page with the exception of the stables. Of all the maps, the small warehouse, tavern, and stables will probably see the most use. I just don't see a lot of combat taking place in a glass blower's shop – not long enough to justify a map with miniatures anyway. This set of maps work better as complete encounters than a generic tile set. If you're anticipating a battle with a baker, jeweler, or glass blower…this tile set will do nicely.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Battlemaps: Floorplans, City Shops
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The Sinking: Ascension of the Prophet
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2012 11:49:12

This installment of "The Sinking" is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving 10 pages of content.


This being an adventure review, I encourage potential players to skip ahead to the conclusion in order to avoid the SPOILERS that now will come.


Righty right, so a rather shocking event like "The Sinking" striking the metropolis had to have some kind of religious consequences and this particular installment deals with one of them: A prophet has risen from the crowd, an enigmatic man who calls himself Lazarus and claims to have surfaced from "The Sinking". The new cult is rapidly spreading and his right-hand man, a pudgy man who is called "the Mouth of Lazarus" contacts the PCs with a rather urgent request:


It seems like the deadly assassin "Deathbolt" was hired by a rival cult to make Lazarus very dead indeed and that said legend always uses a rather strange, signature weapon - a weird crossbow he always uses for his kills. While the authorities will be at the speech in the person of Judge Winch and his guards, he wants this additional insurance. Lazarus' speech is impending and time is of the essence. The PCs thus journey to Deathbolts hideout (the location of which is conveniently provided by the Mouth), where they encounter some low-level thugs and finally find the strange weapon - sans bolts. Hopefully, the players are smart and smell a rat here. If they didn't kill the thugs, they can easily find out that something is amiss.
The thug claims that he was hired by a man in the shy mermaid. The rather pompous and exclusive design of the weapon might point the PCs to the Castle Ward weapon shop, the only place in the city with sufficient expertise to create said weapon. While the weapon shop offers no clues per se, showing off the weapon to the respected craftsmen there might offer a way for the PCs to escape unpleasant consequences in the aftermath of this scenario... One of the girls in the shy maiden saw the face of the one who hired the thugs and, for a bribe of her madame, might accompany the PCs to the church of Lazarus, where the speech by now should be due. Further inquiries might have yielded a baffling absence of knowledge about any kind of "legendary assassin Deathbolt" in any area/social circle, which should provide another clue as to what is being played here, namely: The PCs.


The Mouth of Lazarus, actually a quite smart urbanist, has decided that the church would profit from a martyr, namely Lazarus. He plans to murder the prophet via one of his automatons, a thing called nail which by coincidence shoots the strange bolts that only a custom-made crossbow could - like the ones the PCs recently acquired. While the prostitute can identify the mouth, he has yet another contingency and tries to kill her as well. During the speech (in a sinkhole-adjacent, fully mapped church), chaos erupts when Lazarus drops dead by the Mouth's ghastly ploy and he seeks to frame the PCs - who are stand-in in a crowd of enraged believers! The resulting finale and potential repercussions (after all, the mouth was clearly visible, unarmed and a judge is present...) might make for interesting complications beyond this particular scenario. Also, Lazarus' spirit is seen sometimes, floating over the mysterious sinkhole...


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I only noticed 3 minor punctuation-style glitches. layout adheres to an elegant b/w-2-column standard and the quality of the b/w-artworks and maps is top-notch. The pdf comes fully bookmarked. Ascension of the Prophet is a prime example that an intriguing investigation can be done in just a few pages. The writing of Mario Barbati is concise and the adventure per se simply a nice little blast to run. Add to that the cool final encounter and we have n excellent installment of "The Sinking". Taking the low price into account, I'll ignore the very minor glitches and settle for a final verdict of 5 stars - well done!


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: Ascension of the Prophet
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The Sinking: The Devil's Smuggler
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2012 11:47:41

This installment of The "Sinking"-series of short pdfs is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1.5 pages advertisements, 1 page back cover, leaving 7.5 pages of content, so let's check this scenario out!


This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS, so potential players please jump to the conclusion.


Still here?
All righty! The Menach family (known from the Great City before) was rather severely influenced by the Sinking, losing the patriarch of the half-orc smugglers and collapsing a lot of their tunnels. When his sons took over the family business in his absence, a devil corrupted them promptly and changed them by adding the half-fiendish template. yawn
Ever since, they have been kidnapping people with alchemical ether and started operating a slave-ring. The PCs thwart a kidnapping attempt in an alley (yawn x2 for the cliché of saving the damsel in distress that way) and one of the kidnappers has a note (a hand-out, which is nice) that leads the PCs to the tunnels that contain the operation. I can't count how often this "parchment of the guild leads to hide-out"-routine has been done and quite frankly, it means that everyone participating in the operation is stupid with a capital "s". A short investigation based on some other clue would have gone a long way of making this more enticing.


After surviving a trap, the PCs stumble upon the smugglers and their devilish allies and hopefully defeat them. A little map of the complex is included, as is a magic chamber pot, feeling like a ominous and unfortunately rather fitting end for this one.


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are ok - I noticed some typos and punctuation glitches that are unnecessary at this length. Layout adheres to the elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pieces of b/w-artwork rock. The pdf comes with bookmarks. I'm sorry, this is probably rather harsh, but this adventure is BORING. The Npcs take what has been a morally ambiguous, but useful factor in the great city and turns them into card-box cut-out villains who are utterly stupid to boot. The combats don't offer that much enticing imagery or environmental complications and the damsel-in-distress-parchment-clue angle is stale, bland and bad. If I'd use it, my players would ask whether I was hungover, as I usually improvise better lead-ins. The tie-in to the Sinking is also rather flimsy, as the PCs probably never get to find out why the foes turned towards the means of their corruption and probably wouldn't care either. Not engaging, boring and clichéd to the extreme, I can't bring myself to recommend this installment. Due to the nice artworks, low price and the fact that the formal criteria are ok, I'll settle for a final verdict of 1.5 stars, rounded up to 2.


Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: The Devil's Smuggler
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0one Bundle: Complete Customizable Battlemaps [BUNDLE]
by Richard S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2012 19:11:02

Excellent Product, professionally done, I will defintely buy from Oone again!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one Bundle: Complete Customizable Battlemaps [BUNDLE]
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B&W Adventures: The Spirit of the White Wyvern
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/24/2011 13:02:58

As I look over any of 0one's mapsets, adventure ideas always begin to stir... so, here is the first in a line that takes some of their 'Black and White' line of game-ready tiles and battlemaps and presents you with an adventure tailored to that location.


The location in question is the White Wyvern Inn, situated with an eye to the travelling (and adventuring) community about a day's journey from anywhere... you pick a suitable place in your campaign world. The adventure is not just based in the inn, it is built around the very fabric of the place, and provides opportunities for those who wish to exercise their brains and their role-playing abilities, as well as their sword-arms.


The work begins with some extensive background, some of which can be explained to the characters as events unfold, some of which they might find out for themselves... and some of which they may never know, but which make for a rich experience as you use the whole to good effect as the game proceeds.


It is left to you to arrange for the characters to be in the White Wyvern Inn. Perhaps they're 'passing trade' or they may have been sent for deliberately... because the landlord has a bit of a problem. A ghost that haunts the taproom, playing the organ and entertaining the patrons, even acting as bouncer when people get a bit rowdy. But it has a disquieting habit of possessing someone mid-evening and declaiming a monologue in their voice, leaving them unharmed it is fair to say, but not everyone is happy about it and so the landlord has decided that the spook must go. Can the characters help?


Naturally, there's plenty else going on, even if the task of discovering how to ensure that the ghost goes to its rest was not enough. There's a whole cast of well-detailed characters each with their own distinct personality, agenda and set actions for the night - picking their way through what everyone is up to will provide plenty to keep your characters busy, never mind attending to their ghost-busting duties. Some may attack, some will try to enlist the characters' aid in their own schemes... and should you wish to make this an integral part of an ongoing campaign, rather than a one-night stand, much can be used to foreshadow further adventures.


The Inn itself naturally plays a starring role, and is described in loving detail, and referencing the original mapset if you have it. There's a decent-size map for the GM to work from, and if you like lots of floorplans and battlemaps to put in front of your players you can either get the original White Wyvern Inn set or don't buy this at all but get the Spirit of the White Wyvern Game Pack instead: adventure, maps, tokens and more.


After all this, background and maps and room descriptions and all, we actually reach the adventure itself. On page 8, there it is, the 'read aloud' text to introduce the characters to what you have in store for them - must be one of the longest introductions I've read in a long time! Once launched by their arrival, events move at a cracking pace with plenty of detail about what the NPCs are doing and how they will react to whatever the characters get up to. Everything is presented in two parts - there are the 'location' based events that will take place whenever the characters go to the stated location, and the 'timed' sequence of events that will take place at the appropriate time wherever the characters have got to... all melding together to create a vivid alternate reality that should come to life around your characters.


It's a cracking little location-based adventure with a lot crammed in, full of excitement. Drop this in somewhere suitable, tweak events a little to fit your own campaign, and it could become a momentous and memorable part of the story you and your players are creating together.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
B&W Adventures: The Spirit of the White Wyvern
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The Sinking: The Plumb Line
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/21/2011 13:47:41

The Sinking: The Plumb Line by Rite Publishing


This product is 17 pages long. It starts with a cover, OGL, ToC and credits. (4 pages)


The Adventure (11 pages)
This is the 7th part in the new adventure path in the Great City. It starts with a summery of the adventure and a background. The PC's are hired to find a missing architect, the first part is them getting the job. After some investigation and social encounters the PC's will be ambushed by some thugs. Eventually the PC's learn he went to investigate some tunnels found by the large sink hole in the city. From here it turns into a mini dungeon.


It ends with a back cover and ads. (2 pages)


Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white, and pretty good. Editing and layout is very good. I didn't notice any mistakes. Being as how this is only the second part of the adventure I own and don't have the rest I am unsure how this ties into the rest of things. This of course can very easily be played as a stand alone adventure with a few minor tweaks in any setting for 3rd level characters. It has a nice mix of some investigation, RPing and combat. The maps are pretty good. So what's my rating? I am going to give this one a 4 star review. Good, but I think could have been better. I would have liked to have seen a couple of more pages of investigation myself.


Trust me, I'm a Succubus.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: The Plumb Line
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The Sinking: Ascension of the Prophet
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/25/2011 13:47:20

The Sinking: Ascension of the Prophet by 0one Games


This product is 16 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, ToC, and OGL. (4 pages)


Adventure (10 pages)
This is season 1, part 5 of the adventure. It is for 2nd level characters. It starts off with a intro, plot overview and starting of the adventure. It starts off with a bit of RPing the PC's are hired to go after a crossbow of a assassin that is trying to kill the Prophet. They head off to the assassins hideout, only to find hired goons there. After a fight and hopeful some information gathering and a bit of RPing they are off again to a inn. At the inn they do some more investigation and RPing to find out more about the assassin. Eventually they go to a smith that supposedly made the weapon, this can be just RPing or end up into a fight depending on the PC's. At this point they head back with the crossbow where the Prophet is giving a speech and that’s where the plot twist comes in. I won't say what but it is neat and I think most players will like it. The last little bit is dealing with the sudden plot twist. It ends with half a page about the aftermath and advice on scaling the adventure, plus a a full page map of the area of the city.


It ends with a back cover and ad. (2 pages)


Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white and ok. Editing and layout was good. I don't have the first 4 parts yet or any of the follow up parts. So I don't know how well this ties in with the rest of the adventures in the series. It is a short, interesting urban adventure that has a good mix of combat, RPing and investigation. With a really nice plot twist at the end. I liked the adventure, my only real complaint is it was a bit too short, I would have liked for there to been a bit more to it. I might feel differently once I read the rest of the adventures in the series though. So what's my rating? For the price it is a nice quick adventure that can be run in the series or as a one shot. So I am giving it a 4.5, very good but could have used a little more to be great.


Trust me, I'm a Succubus.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: Ascension of the Prophet
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The Sinking: Epicenter Rising
by Paco G. J. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/22/2011 16:51:16

This review was first published in GMS Magazine and written by Thilo Graf


This pdf from 0one Games is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages advertisements and 1 page back cover, leaving 9 pages for the adventure.


The Sinking is the new project by 0onegames and consists of a series of short adventures that can be played in one session. The series will change the face of the Great City and this adventure is the Pilot for the events to come. Thus, being an adventure, this review will contain spoilers, potential players beware.


Epicenter Rising send the PCs on a quest to destroy a minor smuggling organization – 4 hooks are provided and the lead the PCs to a cheese shop. The shop features a nice map (although I would have loved a version of the map sans map-key numbers – I love handing maps to my players and the numbers detract from their suspension of disbelief) and has the PCs enter the smuggler tunnels/sewers in which they experience minor tremors and some sewerish encounters. The coolest encounter ensues after the PCs have left the smuggler tunnels for the sewers and has experienced the first minor cave-in: We get a nice, key-less map of complex sewers, complete with planks etc. to serve as a backdrop for a great chase scene that can end in a nice scene, or if you as a DM feel particularly sadistic (like I usually do), a three-way battle between a smuggler, a young Otyugh and the PCs. The final encounter has the PCs fight the head of the smugglers who tries to make a getaway by torching his shack. An additional small map of the shack would have been nice. In the aftermath of this encounter, the panic in the streets is evident and a huge sinkhole has opened right in the city, providing a nice omen of the things to come and an appropriately cool end to the module.


Conclusion:


Editing is top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout is beautiful, easy to print-out and adheres to the two-column standard. the b/w-artwork is nice, the maps are great. There is one minor formatting glitch in the "Into the Sewers"-box: There is a blank line too much and the final sentence feels awkward, spelling out "That was the designer’s intent." Oh well, more importantly, I would have loved to see a small map for the final encounter and/or some alternative means of problem-solving (roleplaying, stealth, whatever, expanded chase-rules) in this very straight-forward, action-oriented romp. Thus, I’ll settle for 4 stars – a very good and promising start of the new series.


Source: GMS Magazine (http://s.tt/13bLU)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: Epicenter Rising
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0one's Blueprints: Hill of Many Dungeons
by Kevin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/06/2011 17:35:03

Very reminiscient of the maps of old, and done very well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Hill of Many Dungeons
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The Sinking: The Devil's Smuggler
by Nearly e. D. P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/02/2011 16:10:16

The Sinking: The Devil's Smuggler is a short adventure published by 0One Games and is designed for their Great City setting for the Pathfinder Roleplaying game. The adventure is designed for a 4th level party and the presentation is the usual crisp, quality production I've come to expect from them.


The adventure takes place after a major event in the City, namely the formation of a huge sinkhole in one of the districts and focuses on what happens to one of the crime families in that area in it's aftermath. I like the idea of the sinkhole as a way of hooking in the party to the events of the adventure, it's always good to see a different method of starting a scenario and using the background of a natural disaster/event is quite a refreshing change.


Without giving too much away the party will find themselves tangling with a crime family and some extraplanar foes, all of which should provide a reasonable challenge to the group. On the whole this is quite a nice product, if I had a criticism it's that the adventure is a little too linear and a bit too short for my liking, it looks like a party should be able to get through this in a session or two at the most.


That aside I like the scenario and although it's not set in my current game world it could easily be worked into it and would prove an interesting diversion for a party.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: The Devil's Smuggler
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0one's Blueprints: Eerie Forest - Red Vampire's Way Inn
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/02/2011 13:20:40

Originally Posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2011/08/02/the-ga-
zetteer-volume-i-issue-ii/


I’ll admit, as much as I like really detailed and in-depth maps, I have a soft spot for the old school blue or black maps that we saw from the original version of Dungeons and Dragons into first edition AD&D. This is exactly the type of map that 0one games provides to gamers. Couple that with a name that feels like a perfect fit for one of my Ravenloft campaigns and you have a product I definitely was interested in. What’s really neat about this nineteen page collection of maps is that it’s not only a map of the primary location, that of the Red Vampire Way’s Inn, but it also includes a surrounding would-be haunted forest. IS it actually populated with things that go bump in the night? That’s up to the DM.


What I really like about these maps are how they can be customized to use as a straight PDF or for printing. Usually I’m down on giving players the actual maps I’m using unless it is a miniatures based campaign, as they might see something they shouldn’t. With this particular map, the PDF is editable by a “Master Control Button” Using this map turns certain things on or off so that the map you print can contain just the items you want your players to see. You can turn off the hexes, the room numbers, doors, furniture, text, etc. It’s pretty impressive just how much you can modify this map and it makes for a nice tool to use with players, say, by having them purchase a map from a vendor who promises it will show them how to get through the forest.


I also love that the map pack contains a VERY detailed legend so that you know what every little bit on the map means, if anything. You’d be surprised how few maps actually have one of these anymore. It’s a great boon to DMs, so I have no idea why map makers have stopped this.


One of the other things that really makes this map stand out is that it contains a story hook and a full background of the inn. Basically, it’s a trap by a vampire who uses it to lure in victims without having to exert any real effort. I was really excited about this, as again, this is a great map for a Ravenloft campaign, but also for any generic fantasy gaming session.


The various maps included with this pack are


1) a map of the haunted forest and surrounding other locations
2) a map of the ground level floor of the inn
3) a map of the inn’s first level
4) a map of the inn’s rooftops
5) a map of the inn’s cellars
6) a set of notes for the DM to write down ideas and information on


This is a really great in depth package. For less than two dollars, you are getting a set of maps that basically write an adventure for you. The maps are appealing to old school gamers, and although there isn’t enough detail to use it with a miniatures based campaign, the thing is wonderful for a campaign that just uses storytelling and imagination. This is a hard product to say no to.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Eerie Forest - Red Vampire's Way Inn
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The Great City: Urban Creatures & Lairs
by Paco G. J. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/17/2011 11:09:52

This review was written by Thilo Graf and first published in GMS Magazine.


This pdf by 0one Games is 103 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, 1 page ad, 1 page SRD, leaving 96 pages.


We also get three pages of monsters indexed by CR, alphabetical order and a wandering monsters-table.


After one page of foreword by Tim Hitchcock, we are introduced to the creatures and lairs. The best of monsters provide the GM with a plethora of ideas for adventures or encounters once being read and this book goes a step further – it also provides “lairs”. Which is actually a misnomer – this monster-book goes far beyond just providing lairs for the monsters and instead often provide mini-adventures or at least encounters. I won’t spoil the encounters/adventures, but I will comment on the best ones. That being said, let’s dive in!


Arrbiong (CR 2): Urban fey that feeds off dreams with a nice twist and some great roleplaying potential.
Bay Zombie (CR 4) & Bay Zombie Leviathan (CR 18): Necromantic experiments gone wrong these creatures feature tentacles and claws. The leviathan makes for a great mystery/campaign arc/seed that is further enhanced by the lair.
Bone Hag (CR 8): Urban hag with a flexible anatomy and a great, disturbing artwork the made me reminiscent of my old Solomon Kane stories and comics. The legend provided along the lairs also rock and this one just screams to be used.
Corpse Rider (CR 4): A disturbing, tiny fey (think tooth-fairy gone horribly wrong) that can take over dead people and animate them. Their hooks rock and make for great conspiracy-potential.
Earwig, monstrous (CR 1) & Earwig Swarm (CR 4): The lair for these monsters is actually a supremely cool sketch of a low-level adventure. Two thumbs up!
Fabricata (CR 1/2): A creature worthy of China Mièville in its imaginative potential, these self-aware constructs are animated pieces of cloth that have their own society and secret wars. Awesome!
Ferals include Feral Dogs (CR 1/2), Feral Cats (CR 1/4) and a Feral Cat Swarm (CR 2). Cool, but no lair/sample adventure is given.
Devil, Gutterkin (CR 5): Manipulative little devils that push addicts and people who are down on their luck over the edge. Despicable and cool.
Harvestman (CR 6) and his Harvesters (CR 2): Arachnid construct that, as a local boogeyman, hunts and drains arcane casters. The lair/mini-adventure is cool.
Jacke-in-the-Rafters (CR 7) and the Weitheryn template (CR +1): An old Goblin who cheats death by killing other people in its stead. Not only does the template and creature rock, but the adventure is great, too. Especially the ideas for further adventuring.
Mokkahl (CR 11): A bulette-turned-ooze by necromantic/arcane waste, this thing is not only disturbing, but might make for a terrible encounter with the PCs. Nice!
Penumbra Bride (CR 9): Shape-changing aberrations, these brides make for a disturbing twist on the doppelgänger-trope. Their lair is a great location, too.
Plague Lichen (CR 3): A virulent fungus that rapidly and virulently spreads when in contact with flesh. Disturbing fungi, but you only get a very short encounter, which is a pity, I have some great ideas for this one…
Saaran (CR 10): Once a pure and noble gladiator, this giant now is a broken thing that still clings to his former principles and would make for a great “right wrongs-adventure”.
Screegie (CR 1/4) and Screegie Swarm (CR 2): Eye-picking, impersonating birds, their mini-adventure once again rocks.
Shi (Sin-Eater) (CR 13): An extradimensional earth-aligned junkie dependant on souls, these creatures may unintentionally raise the dead and, by consuming souls, get into conflict with undead or work as a medium for the deceased.
Siluri (CR 3): Croaking monstrous humanoids, they are unique and disturbing.
Stone Gouger (CR 1/2): Miniature gargoyles, they live in the walls and attics. Unfortunately we don’t get a lair/mini-adventure for this one.
Tillochann (CR 14): Extremely cool owl-like outsider with bizarre abilities to use silk and cocoons. The lair is ok, although it is not up to the supremely cool critter. Believe me, you haven’t seen one like these before.
Zaelemental (CR 13) and Zaelemental, Greater (CR 16): Filth and muck-aligned creatures of all the negative, tainted dark things associated with cities, these creatures make frightening and yet cool enemies. The lair rocks, too.
Conclusion:


Editing and layout are great, the b/w-artworks rock, the file is extensively book-marked and the lairs/adventures rock. The creatures are all killer, no filler and quite frankly, each and every one of them made me immediately come up with either an additional encounter or even a whole adventure or campaign-arc revolving around them. The sheer quality and the imaginative potential of the writing is supreme and the content is just stunningly well-crafted. While I encountered 2 minor editing glitches, for the low price and the exceptionally awesome content, I’ll settle for 5 stars.


Source: GMS Magazine (http://s.tt/12Ogk)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Great City: Urban Creatures & Lairs
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