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Prestige Archetype: The Arcane Archer
Prestige Archetype: The Arcane Archer
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[PFRPG] Shadowglade: Game Master's Guide to Shadowglade
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/06/2012 15:27:47
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=29637.

*SPOILER ALERT* If you are going to be a player in a Shadowglade game, do not, I repeat DO NOT read this review of the Game Masters guide: buy it and don’t touch it until after that game has ended, but buy it anyway!

Shadowglade: Game Master’s Guide picks up the intentional slack left from the Shadowglade: Player’s Guide. Yes Nate Peterson and crew actually lied to the players in the player’s guide and what players might think is the truth is very far from it, how cool is that? This Game Master’s Guide tells the real story of Shadowglade and how things really run, not what the Player’s Guide would lead the players to believe.

d-sworn enemies made as the surviving nations have begun to rediscover their roots. Out in the wilds and darkness, however, not all that lurks is friendly…or human…or even alive. The history of Shadowglade is one shrouded in mystery and uncertainty. The ruling nations and popular churches and inquisitive souls have documented what little history they could, however, in an attempt to ensure the ravages of time could not scour what little they knew ever again.

The Game Master’s Guide to Shadowglade is a supplemental setting for Pathfinder containing a human-centric world that focuses on below 10th level play. There are three core products that support this setting including the Player’s Guide, Game Master’s Guide and Basic Bestiary but several more are in the works or have already been released. The Shadowglade Game Master’s Guide has all of the tools a game master needs to take their players through a wild romp within the Shadowglade setting.

OVERALL

What this game lacks in dynamic cover art it more than makes up for by uncovering the authors brilliant deception during the course of the Player’s Guide. Yes Nate Peterson used common sense and decided to let the players believe one truth while the game master knows the real truth, well played sir, well played.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 8 out of 10
Nothing has changed between the Game Master’s Guide vs. the Player’s Guide. The cover art is still uninspiring, and the interior artwork still looks like it was lifted from a Dragons Lair type video game. The fonts and text are still crisp and this, like almost every other RPG book, uses the two-column format. The only real difference between this book and the Player’s Guide is that I think there is actually less art and because the content is so outstanding, it actually might be a slightly better product. I was disappointed that the Game Master’s Guide did not include a map.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10
The E10 setup for this game is really smart, it doth smell of D&D 4th edition, but I like the way Mr. Peterson and crew dealt with it. I am focusing on the E10 concept because it is really the major mechanical factor making this game standout. There are things like Supernatural Points as well as traits and defects, which are setting appropriate and a few of the old standbys. The E10 setup focuses on what I call the sweet spot in gaming, by level 10 you have some really cool powers but a combat turn doesn’t take 3 hours. There are rules to support game play after 10th level and they seem balanced and fair. The lack of most arcane spellcasting classes may turn many folks away from this setting, but sometimes it is good to be forced to change things up a bit. I like playing non-standard races and there really isn’t much room for those in this setting, again the change of pace should be welcomed not a deal breaker.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
This is how a Game Master’s Guide should be written. I love that the Player’s Guide is actually deceptive. This Game Master’s Guide is succinct and full of useful information, while still addressing rules support. While it contained more charts than the Player’s Guide, it didn’t feel like a simple collection of charts with a few pictures. Sometimes less is more and this is a svelte GM guide that does what it sets out to do.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Even with racial and class restrictions, Shadowglade is still a wonderful setting. The player’s and game master’s guides are wonderful examples of blending meta-game and in-game concepts. The fact that the players guide does not provide meta-game data is done really well. Most GM guides are full of charts and tell GMs how to run a game, this GMs guide actually gives the GM the truth about the world and presents a bird’s eye view of what is going on. There is more information that could have been included in this setting, but I know that will come out in more supplements. The sub 100 page GM guide is a great way to provide the necessary information without getting too deep. The differences between the truth in the Player’s Guide and the actual truth as revealed by the Game Master’s Guide alone make this a product to be reckoned with. This GM guide really reveals what is behind the shadows in the world of Shadowglade.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Shadowglade: Game Master's Guide to Shadowglade
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[PFRPG] Shadowglade: Player's Guide to Shadowglade
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2012 08:30:19
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=29596.

Players Guide to Shadowglade introduces us to a world that ended 500 years ago and has been reborn with a distinct lack of arcane magic. Divine magic is still around, but magic is generally a rare thing to be feared. Society has been slowly rebuilding itself, but when there are people involved, conflict is sure to follow.

Players Guide to Shadowglade is a supplemental setting for Pathfinder detailing a human-centric world that focuses on below 10th level play (E10). There are three products supporting this setting including the Players Guide, The Game Masters Guide and a Basic Bestiary. Settings for Pathfinder are a dime a dozen, however the Shadowglade setting incorporates some interesting concepts that allow it to feel unique without complicating the game mechanics.

OVERALL

This is what a players guide to a setting should be. Many guides follow the lead and style of a D&D type players guide and while that works for some, this guide is written with the idea that the information contained within is really attainable for player characters. Shadowglade is a mysterious world and this is the type of player’s guide a player could keep with them at the table and reasonably reference during a game without breaking the game with meta-thoughts.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 8 out of 10
Player’s Guide to Shadowglade looks good, not great; the sparse art has that cell-shaded feel that many people are using these days. For me that style still looks like screen captures from the Dragons Lair video game, but some people are really into it. The cover art is done well, but not evocative. The picture of the Gunblade revolver felt forced and inaccurate. There are no revolvers in this world, so why picture them? The font used is good and easily readable; the textured blue faux leather pattern that forms the background of the front and back covers is smart and simple. The “world map” looks great; it is minimal but effective. There is plenty of “white space” for an enterprising GM to “color” in. This book uses the standard 2-column format that most gamers are familiar with. The page borders are interesting without being a distraction.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10
This setting doesn’t blaze a bunch of new or innovative game mechanics, but rather expresses its qualities in other subtler ways. The setting is designed on the tier 10 system. Put into simple terms, this means the primary focus of Shadowglade is to play below 10th level. There are suggestions and advice and simple, straight forward rules for running the game past 10th level, but the focus is 10th level and below. I enjoyed going into this setting knowing that it was designed as an E10 setting. I am not a fan of firearms in a fantasy setting, but their development makes sense based on the lack of arcane magic and the fact that the Pathfinder system has several firearms-based abilities and classes.

Desire to Play: 10 out of 10
Player’s Guide to Shadowglade is top notch when it comes to how it is written and information that is contained within. Shadowglade could be inserted on that mysterious continent that always seems to exist on any RPG world with almost no difficulty. Because of the restrictions on arcane magic, some class choices are limited, but rather than being a detractor I think this makes the system even more interesting. The rules in this setting make sense and with this guide most players can really make their characters come alive in an interesting way.

Overall: 9 out of 10
If you want to play an exotic race, Shadowglade is not the place to do it. If you want to reach 20th level, this is not the setting for you. If your entire gaming career is based on playing arcane casters, stay away. And yet I still give this product a solid, well deserved 9. This book seamlessly integrates game back-story with the realistic table-side implications of those rules. Player’s Guide to Shadowglade does a great job of changing its voice to reflect the world it is describing as well as what an everyday sword swinging adventurer knows. Stay tuned for my reviews of the other two core books from Shadowglade, but be warned, there will be spoilers involved with those reviews and I recommend you not read those reviews if you are going to be a player in a Shadowglade game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Shadowglade: Player's Guide to Shadowglade
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The Imp Game - Big, Dumb Heroes!
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/14/2006 00:00:00
Neo Productions presents its latest entry into the series, Big, Dumb Heroes, though with all of the whimsical game play and colorful characters that made its first game so good.

Big, Dumb Heroes is a lite-table top role-playing system that seems better played in single settings as opposed to deriving an entire campaign. The system has an interesting XP system by using left over Guts Points, but the flavor seems to maintain itself if every adventure is self contained.

The system seems designed for the beginning role player, as a quarter of the book explains the concept to the newbie player. I found this part a good reference for newbie players and those not familiar with the concept of role-playing. The downside is that there are no bookmarks, so skipping to the relevant sections of the book for the majority of us familiar with role playing becomes a headache at times.

For the DM
Big, Dumb Heroes uses the same mechanics as Mischief and Mayhem, which allowed you to make bumbling evil lackies. The system is literally set up for failure, and that?s the good thing. Big, Dumb Heroes fail more than they succeed, so instead of trying to get high numbers on the 2 six-sided dice, you?re trying to get low numbers. Narration plays a big part in the dice roll because each failure and success should be narrated to the group depending on how much the roll was missed by. The system forces some of the storytelling to the player which can be a relieve for new DMs.

For the Player
The color of the game is not perfect when switched to heroes, but it still maintains a decent amount of humor to make it enjoyable. Its more fun to be a meandering minion, but a hero whom fails at nearly every task seems to get old quick. However, the traits assigned to each class make role playing the characters fun, despite the constant failures. Traits such as gullible, homicidal and sarcastic can and will be played by good role-players to their fullest capabilities. DMS, beware of over the top acting equivalent to Jack Nicholson?s performance as the Joker.

The Iron Word
This system is fun, though the PDF could use some navigation work. If you?re looking for a humorous change of pace and some over the top shenanigans, this can be a fun diversion from your normal campaign.



LIKED: My group had fun playing this system and delving into the excessive humor.

DISLIKED: Unless I print this out, it's hard to navigate on screen.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Imp Game - Big, Dumb Heroes!
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[PFRPG] Shadowglade: Game Master's Guide to Shadowglade

01.[PFRPG] Shadowglade: Game Master's Guide to Shadowglade
02.[PFRPG] Shadowglade: Player's Guide to Shadowglade
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04.[PFRPG] Shadowglade: Wyre of Shadowglade
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06.[PFRPG] Shadowglade: Priests of Shadowglade
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08.Festival of the Harvest Moon
09.[PFRPG] Shadowglade: The Travelers' Daughter
10.Quick Crawls Adventure OGL #1 - The Goblin's Cannon
11.The Imp Game - Big, Dumb Heroes!
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