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The Great City Campaign Setting
by Paco G. J. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/18/2011 23:13:53
This review was written by Thilo Graf and first published in gmsmagazine.com

This campaign setting/city source book from 0one Games is 162 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside front cover, 1 paged editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page blank inside back cover and 1 page back cover, leaving a whopping 154 pages of content for us to lose ourselves in, so let’s check it out!

Due to the size of this book, I’ll not comment on each and every nook and cranny of the city as detailed in this pdf, but rather give you an overview, some examples and generally tell you which components caught my fancy.

After a 1 page foreword, we’re treated to an introduction to the city per se in chapter 1, complete with a nice map, heraldry of the noble houses and basic information such as political positions and taxation. The basic premise for the general political landscape is that there are two human ethnicities, the Azindraleans and the Kortezians and the latter have subjugated the land in the past, now having been installed for a very long time. While this might look like a colonial backdrop, it really isn’t – the city is aptly named after London in its imperial heyday, as it is a blistering metropolis of trade, intrigue and adventure, at the same time blessed and cursed by the cultural discrepancies between the houses of its ruling class.

Set against this backdrop of a now semi-independent metropolis with political unrest, we are introduced to the individual wards of the city, all of which get their own maps. Even better, we get personalities of interest, a huge plethora of interesting locations that fit to the ward and even some more than interesting adventure locales. Each of the wards comes with such a distinct flair that they might actually serve as their own towns and the distinctiveness of the wards lends itself to comparisons of the best among modern urban fantasy writing: Though I happen to love the work of e.g. China Míéville, you don’t have to necessarily dwell upon the more urban/steam-punkish/weird elements of the city, as this setting succeeds in walking the tightest of lines, providing on the one side all you’d need to do to steer your campaign in that direction, while still having the option to ignore the almost industrial-revolution feeling of the city. Nice bits of details like parade, festivities, etc. are also presented as are new and old street names, taking to conflict between Azindraleans and Kortezians and their supporters to the linguistic level. That being said, on to the wards (which all get their alternate monikers to choose from depending on the NPC):

The Army Ward contains both a coliseum and of course, the judicial branch as well as the barracks for the military. Consequently, we are also introduced to several generals and to the intrigues within the military.
The Castle Ward contains, surprise, the castle and the mansions of the ruling class. As such, it’s of course heavily patrolled And features some nice ideas with regards to the politics of the city. We also get a sidebar detailing the prejudices of the different ethnicities towards other factions and people, which proved to be immensely useful. Once again, the adventure hooks are plain awesome.
Dock Ward, the trade-hub could have easily fallen prey to feeling somehow like Freeport. Thankfully, due to the great writing, the docks feel unique and even comes with a nice, creepy children’s rhyme.
Residential Ward: Probably one of the coolest districts, at least in my humble opinion, this is the hot-bed of Kortezian resistance against their oppressors. The district is almost catatonic in day-time. At night, however, the whole district erupts into an extremely atmospheric carnival and drunken revelry, including a butcher that makes entertainment of his slaughtering pigs likened to the nobility, a group of creepy mimes as well as hilarious jokes played upon the tax-collecting lord. This chapter alone is probably cooler than almost any ward I’ve ever read in any medium.
Temple Ward: A rather safe place, the temple ward features a procession of benevolent ghosts that seek to ease the burden of the downtrodden, cultist and clerical intrigues and a disfigured, albeit brilliant soprano who has become a kind of celebrity with a nice twist and potential for political unrest.
Trades Ward: This is where both mercantile feuds and criminal syndicates/gangs clash, where the slave-trade is orchestrated and where adventurers can both spend and earn money in a plethora of different ways.
After that, we get a great investigation-style introductory adventure in which the PCs have 3 days to prove the innocence of a man who is charged for murder and can expect no justice from the court.

We also get some nice monsters, one of which, an aberration, is just plain genius.

Finally, we get a huge amount of pages devoted to providing stat-blocks for all the NPCs introduced in the book.

Conclusion:

Layout adheres to the two-column standard, is clear and concise and printer-friendly b/w. The book is extensively bookmarked, but could have used another pass at editing: I noticed a bunch of minor typos & editing glitches as well as some minor homophone-errors. While none impeded my ability to understand the content, it’s the only significant problem I have with this book. The writing of the were-cabbages is absolutely stunning and the city comes to life in a way I have rarely encountered in any work of fiction, be it RPG-book or fantasy novel. The huge amount of unconventional ideas and hooks for adventures is enough to keep a DM going for years and even make you actually want to do it. While the details presented, the setting falls somewhat short on the item/drugs/poison/etc. section, but with e.g. 4Wind Fantasy Games “Luven Lightfingers”-book, you can easily remedy that. Usually, I’d settle for a verdict of 3 or 3.5 stars due to the amount of editing glitches, HOWEVER: Even if you’re as nitpicky as I am, at least think about giving this book a chance – the writing is that good. Yeah, it’s 3.5 and while the stats thus are not PFRPG, the writing alone is more than sufficient to make up for that. My final verdict will thus be 4 stars: One of the best, most imaginative city-sourcebooks out there.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Great City Campaign Setting
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Ironhill Citadel: Virtual Boxed Set©
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/10/2011 19:15:12
This is a HUGE map set. It includes a number of areas of the Ironhill Citadel like the Merchant District, Lord District, Citizens' District, and several others. You can print these in sections or as the entire map. Like the other Oone's Blueprints sets you can get wireframe versions, versions with overlayed items/terrain, and a host of other options. This is just massive and quite frankly is a great map to use as a city-state in Dark Sun. With the number of options and huge overall size, this is well worth the $20.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ironhill Citadel: Virtual Boxed Set©
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0one's Blueprints: Pirate Ship
by Adam P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2011 19:44:16
A quality product with a major oversight.

The ship is very detailed and clean and has optional furniture and grid types. I'm okay with the lack of maps for the rigging, but that's not really the deal-breaker. Unfortunately, the lack of any guns on this ship makes it very ineffective as a pirate ship. By forgetting to place the cannons on this ship, they make it difficult to roleplay ship to ship combat effectively, which was one of my primary motivations for this purchase.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Pirate Ship
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The Sinking: Epicenter Rising
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/22/2011 13:10:09
The introduction explains the concept, a series of short inter-connected adventures designed to occupy an evening's play, centred around the Great City (mapped in beautiful detail by 0one Games) and somehow connected to a significant event. Which of course, is not yet explained, even to the GM!

Moving swiftly along to this adventure, the pilot for the series, we hear that - for the moment - things are quiet in the City, with little more than youthful high jinks to disturb the peace... but even those can lead to trouble!

The plot centres around an investigation of a band of smugglers. Several reasons are provided to get the characters involved, from doing their civic duty (with the added bonus of payment) to dealing with the competition to their own nefarious activities! A spot of asking around, and a beggar who'll do virtually anything for a hot meal, and they will soon be set on the right track.

Everything is beautifully described, with those delightful little details - like a cheesemonger who 'corrects' his coffee so often he's normally drunk by the time he closes his shop for the night - that help you bring the alternate reality of your game to life. This goes far to overcoming the linear nature of the starting phases of the adventure, and the blatent 'even if you succeed in this skill check, certain things will not become known' which forces a brawl irrespective of how the characters might have handled it were they allowed. Later events allow more leeway, with some of those encountered prepared to fight or negotiate depending on how the characters decide to approach the encounter, whilst the claustrophobic situation and growing environmental danger allow you to build tension to create a moment that the characters will remember for years to come.

Whilst this is an atmospheric introduction to what may well become pivotal events, it is a bit thin for even an one-session scenario, perhaps it would be best presented almost as an aside during other adventures with its true significance only becoming apparent later. For indeed. this puts the characters at the beginning of events that will change the Great City forever.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinking: Epicenter Rising
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The Spirit of the White Wyvern - Game Pack
by Cedric C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/14/2011 00:28:43
*SPOILER* Spirit of the White Wyvern is a timeline adventure set in a tavern. By timeline, I mean that certain events will happen during the period the party stays at the in. It's definitely a change from the usual "we go to the next room" location-based dungeon slogging of most adventures. The party wanders into a tavern, and is hired to drive out a ghost -- actually a red herring subplot for the real event, a settling of old scores between two old enemy organizations. Some of the side characters, including the ghost, are amusing, and the players get to have some combat in the end. While the adventure is officially for Pathfinder et al., the adventure is *very* easily adaptable to any adventure system of low-magic levels.

The adventure is accompanied by a black-and-white two story tavern map. The map's better than a wash-and-wipe board, but. if you have your own tavern map, you might as well use it for this adventure -- certainly you'll save printer ink. The adventure comes with black-and-white counters, but you're better off just using your own miniatures or tokens.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Spirit of the White Wyvern - Game Pack
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Ironhill Citadel: Virtual Boxed Set©
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/10/2011 16:50:42
I'm a little skeptical about Ironhill Citadel's claim to be the most detailed citadel ever mapped, but it certainly is the most detailed one I've ever seen.

When I saw the price, I was at first questioning who would pay $20 for a map. Then I saw how many maps Ironhill Citadel had. There's easily enough to run a whole campaign in the city with only a few frequently visited areas. The detail is good, though at times the line art ran together for me, and there were a couple times when little nitpickings about how the type ran through other lines at places distracted me from the map. However, I will say this. There's a lotta map here. The concurrent rooftop and dungeon maps don't hurt either (though I had a little ADD with Assassin's Creed style stuff running through my head, so I may be biased pro-rooftop).

The Rule the Dungeon feature is useful for people, and I like the simultaneous blueprint/black maps, even if they make it a little harder to figure out what's going on while still in the digital side.

For $20, my only gripes with this product is that you'll have to do the printing yourself (and it's a lot of printing, depending on what you want), but with two poster-sized maps, and more maps than most people have table for, I'd say go for it. No digital option for those of us who use digital tabletops, but I guess there's reasoning behind that that I can't argue with.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ironhill Citadel: Virtual Boxed Set©
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Ironhill Citadel: Virtual Boxed Set©
by Alexander M. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/10/2011 09:40:38
I've used 0one Game's products in my fantasy campaigns for years. They are a Gamemaster's best friend - well-crafted maps for virtually any imaginable fantasy environment. The Ironhill Citadel Virtual Boxed Set is no exception, and the production value is even higher than the normal Oone quality. If you are intent on running urban games in a fantasy setting, this handy virtual boxed set will give you a complete city with maps for every location, as well as some beautiful full-color poster maps you can show your players. Highly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Deadly Ice (Pathfinder)
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/26/2011 21:03:38
As modules go 'Deadly Ice' is very standard fare. It doesn't deviate too far from the 'go to the tavern and take on a quest' mantra, and the usual fantasy stereotypes are presented. That said, I feel that a beginning party (it is designed for character levels 4-5) would probably find it an interesting evening. There are equal parts puzzle-solving, investigation and combat, so there is a chance for most character types to have a moment in the spotlight. The nature of the plot means that any DM should be able to pick up the main themes and run the module with very little prep time.
Given the title, locale and emphasis on the environment, I expected the terrain to be a major feature and challenge; and I felt this was under-developed. An enterprising DM could easily take this and make the environment a true challenge for the party.

The new creatures presented were interesting and I can see myself slipping a couple of these (especially the Whitemonks and the Ice Lords) into my regular campaign.

The production values remind me of the original D&D module produced in the early 80's - the artwork is average at best, the maps detailed and the text arranged in a very readable manner (with obligatory stat blocks throughout making these ready-reference materials in combat).

Overall, it is a good entry-level module and in the hands of an imaginative, prepared DM it could become quite an experience - if they are willing to do the work to make it so.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Deadly Ice (Pathfinder)
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Dungeon of Terror: Virtual Boxed Set©
by Rose T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/16/2011 06:41:28
The product was very nicely done it is going to have many year of play and my player may lose many adventurers in it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon of Terror: Virtual Boxed Set©
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0one's Blueprints: Lizardfolk Settlement
by Joe K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/02/2011 16:33:59
It's hard to find fault with 0one's products. Weighing in at 26 pages and coming through a zipped download, the lizardfolk settlement has all of the standards. Each map includes a blue version and a black version. The product includes PDF technology that allows the user to turn on numbering, change the N position, turn the grids on or off, hide or reveal furniture, and other nifty bits.

This product includes seven maps; an overview and six maps that can be combined to form one larger map. Locations covered include the following; Gate and Slave Pen, Temple, Sorcerer's Hideout, Pyre Area, Royal Palace, and Hatchery. These also include some background elements and are system free so you can use them with any setting, although 4e with it's need for massive locations might require some elements to be joined together while older editions and different games will not.

If you're looking for flexibility and options, for less than the cup of a Starbucks coffe, 0one has you handled.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Lizardfolk Settlement
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The Andwan Legacy (Pathfinder)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/29/2010 07:12:44
Beware of beautiful ladies approaching you in inns... or at least, expect spectacular adventure to follow! This lady seeks help in retrieving her inheritance, secured by her late husband in a dungeon under their house, the secrets of which he took to his grave. Needless to say, all is not precisely what it seems, and characters who take up this challenge will have to contend with two rival gangs of thieves as well as the perils of the dungeon itself.

The adventure provides characters with challenges both mental and physical, as before dealing with the contents of the dungeon they need to figure out how to get in! Interaction with various people, most of whom are not quite what they claim to be, provides scope for role-playing as well. Astute characters will ask around even before entering the villa, and talk to those they encounter within.

The adventure is presented in two sections: Events and Locations. Events can happen in any order, and each has set conditions which have to be met before they occur. Locations describe the places the characters may visit, and detail what happens when they get there. Hence it will be wise to read through the entire scenario in advance so that you are clear on where and when the various components of the adventure take place. Whilst no adventure survives contact with players, both Events and Locations entries are replete with suitable responses to likely character actions to aid you in coping with whatever your players throw at you. The NPCs are also well-detailed, and any who survive could easily be re-used.

As a bonus, there's a beautifully-detailed villa suitable for a minor noble which could be repurposed after you've run this adventure, or if your characters ignore beautiful women approaching them in inns! As well as conventional plans, you also get an isometric view of the villa and battlemap-scale layouts of a few key locations.

Overall, this is very nicely done and well-presented, and the conversion to the Pathfinder RPG has been done with skill. One or two clumsy turns of phrase betray the fact that the author is not writing in his native tongue, but neither they nor the single typo detract from a neat adventure to occupy an evening when your characters thought they could sit back and relax over a drink!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Andwan Legacy (Pathfinder)
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The Road to Revolution: The Bloody Fix
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/14/2010 21:42:08
The Road to Revolution by 0onegames

This product is 64 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits and ToC. (4 pages)

Introduction (4 ½ pages)
This section talks about how it is connected to the others in the series. How to tie it to the previous adventure. Background for the adventure. Plot Summery. Four plot hooks and a map of the over all area the adventure takes place in.

Starting the Adventure (7 ½ pages)
This section is the actual beginning of the adventure, starting with the PC's going to meet someone that wants to hire them. The plot is there are fight clubs in the city and the person hiring the PC's believe they are rigged to murder officers in the militia that take part in them. The man that hires them was a nemesis from the first adventure but it is not required to play it to play this one. Several other NPC's from the first adventurer also make appearances in this one.

There is also 5 hand outs, broadsides(news papers) of goings on in the city. A rumors table, of rumors the PC's might here around the city while the investigate things. This section also introduces a young boy to help the PC's out, he knows the city and the people in it well. They go into great detail how to use him, to annoy and endear him to the PC's all at the same time.

Part one The Investigation (22 pages)
This first section is a investigation into the fight clubs and looking for proof they are indeed being used to cover up murder. It begins with advice on how to help make sure the PC's take part and stay on track. It is very well done and very sandboxy, with plenty of advice on how to help keep things moving if the PC's get stumped.

There is 8 location based encounters, they may or may not involve combat depending on how the PC's handle things. There is also 3 event based encounters, one may happen several times.

Part two of the adventure (7 pages)
For reasons that are very good and should drive any PC into action. They head to one of the fight club nights during one of the fights to confront who the believe are the villains of the adventure. There is 4 encounters in this section and their will being fighting. There is some stuff going on in the background that really puts pressure on the PC's and a sense of urgency as well.

Part three of the adventure (8 pages)
They catch up to the person in charge of the previous section and find out where the real villain is. From there they go off to confront the real villain. I so badly want to talk about this section of the adventure but I really can't say anything with out spoiling it. It is just outstandingly well done. It also talks about how to end the adventure depending on how well the PC's did in defeating the “big bad guy” at the end.

Next is a new monster. (7 pages)
It is a very cool new monster. I can't and won't say anything about it other than it is a very clever idea and I am surprised no one had thought of it before. Or I have never seen something like this before and after reading about it, it seems so obvious. The reason I can't talk about it is I don't want to spoil the surprise.

It ends with a handout, ad, OGL and back cover. (4 pages)

Closing thoughts. I loved this adventure, I really did. It was a well done mystery with a lot of twists and turns that totally make sense once you know whats going on. Plus the PC's should figure out the whole story and the history to the adventure as well. It is well written, I didn't notice any obvious errors in the adventure. The layout was good, artwork was black and white and good.

The adventure is a pretty dark and mildly disturbing adventure. It is bloody, gritty and very sad in parts. If a GM pulls things off well and gets their players to emotionally invest with their characters in this adventure, I think it will be something they talk about for some time. The only downside for this adventure is. It doesn't work very well with evil characters, or players that are into hack and slash. This is a very story and RP driven adventure. There is a lot of location maps scattered thru out the book.

So whats my rating? Well I really have nothing at all bad to say about this adventure. I just loved it. So I am giving it a 5 star review. It should be noted while this is a 3.5 adventure there is free download for Pathfinder conversion.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Road to Revolution: The Bloody Fix
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Cavern Tile Designer
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/14/2010 15:59:39
Neat product for $10, but it's very limited, especially if you're looking for detail that's smaller than one grid square. This leads to creating very "blocky" maps, where every wall is 5 feet thick and details like pools, campfires and pits only occur at the center of the 6x6 square.

Nevertheless, it's still quite useful for quick battles or for encounters where it's not worth building a 3D model.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cavern Tile Designer
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0one's Blueprints: Meteora
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/06/2010 18:48:49
Another nice map from the kings of pdf gaming products.

Meteora is a very nice map. As soon as you look at it you'll start to plan out where it goes in your campaign.

At $1.95, how can you NOT buy this product?

I recommene Meteora as a nice map and a nice value. It stands out as a game setting even among 0one's other Blueprint products.

You won't regret buying this one.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Meteora
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0one's Colorprints #10: The Sunken City
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2010 00:53:31
Oones has the best maps, bar none. I have bought most of their product line and will likely own all of it eventually.

That said, I docked them a star for this product because the Rule the Dungeon feature (while nice) is wonky in this product, and because since I use the maps as jpgs with MapTool, I'm stuck with the big ugly button covering a portion of the map. The older products' discrete check boxes were much better.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Colorprints #10: The Sunken City
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