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The Echoes of Heaven/The Throne of God (RM Version)
by Graeme W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2014 22:07:42
Great pack we finished in in 3 sittings and everyone says they thoroughly enjoyed it I am now currently making a map of Belm for seed 1A, and the group are waiting impatiently.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Echoes of Heaven/The Throne of God (RM Version)
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Adventure Seed 1a: A Knife in the Dark
by Matt A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2014 01:11:25
The adventure is a fairly thin outline of an assassination plot against the PCs. It offers a couple interesting twists and characters, and breaks down suggested events into a helpful sequence of Acts, but the book offers very few details and no mechanics.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Seed 1a: A Knife in the Dark
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Adventure Seed 5--Black Screams
by Lyndon R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2014 17:23:20
I believe this is a good product as it provides a good setting for an adventure, even if it is in an entirely different format.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Seed 5--Black Screams
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Adventure Seed 1a: A Knife in the Dark
by David R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2013 13:29:16
The bare "framework" this seed promised intrigued me. As I read it I realized that it was perfect for some current intrigue I was planning in my home campaign. I was able to convert it to my world, and due to the ideas it presented I was able to flesh it out and get several game sessions out of it. I am a huge fan of these seeds now!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Seed 1a: A Knife in the Dark
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Death by Cliché--Episode 1
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2012 21:05:49
This review is for the entire story with the first three chapters available for download here at rpg.drivethrustuff.com and ALL TEN episodes available at author Robert J. Defendi's website, PlayTesting.net (http://playtesting.net/?cat=3). After all, completionists (myself included) will naturally be compelled to download all ten episodes of this podcast novel in order to know the entire story as it unfolds.

I know this story is labeled as a comedy of sorts, and believe me when I say that I did indeed get the premise of Death by Cliché, but even with that in mind and after having I’d downloaded and listened to all ten of this podcast novel’s episodes, which range in duration from 29:12 (Episode 2) to 1:18:03 (Episode 1, I still have to say that I wasn't all that crazy about it. The story had a pretty original premise in the beginning, I'll admit (a game designer who gets shot by a deranged fan a la the Beetles’ very own John Lennon, only to be transported to the crazed fan's tabletop RPG campaign in an “afterlife” of sorts), but it got a little cheesy for me at times. The near-end of Episode 9, for example, the chief protagonist, Damico, starts bickering with two of his party members and the chief antagonist on how to set up the dramatic scene where the Evil Overlord himself threatens to destroy the world right before the final battle ensues. Granted, I know the story is all about a game designer trapped inside an RPG dimension where the lines blur between the world he’s now living in and the real world gaming sessions that are supposedly controlling it, but for me, this cheesiness often got a little too much for me, and I would’ve preferred it if Mr. Defendi would’ve toned it down in certain places. Additionally, there were scenes that Defendi had written into the story (e.g., a random 20th-century housewife who greets the husband who she apparently hates with venomous henpecking) that more or less drew my attention away from the primary narrative itself and, to my ears, didn’t add all that much to the adventure at hand, if anything at all. However, if there was one solitary thing about Death by Cliché that didn’t sit well with me at all, it was the fact that Defendi did all the voice acting by himself, which made it hard for me to tell the difference between certain characters (most specifically Omar the half-elven fighter and Gorthander the dwarven cleric). Not only that, but Defendi had made some questionable voice acting choices at certain points in the story (i.e., the aforementioned scene involving Damico bickering with his two party members and the Evil Overlord over the final climactic scene) that made it hard for me to take it seriously. Next time, Robert, if you’re reading this, I advise you to hire a handful of fellow readers to read certain parts so that there’s less confusion between the characters for untrained ears.

All in all, even though I didn’t hate Death by Cliché , especially in terms of how it began, I still didn’t feel compelled to listen to it a second time after I was done with it the first. It’s not a bad podcast at all, like I’ve said before, especially in terms of the quality of recording quality. At the same time, however, I’d be lying if I was to say that I loved it. Maybe it was just my serious demeanor that had gotten in the way of my enjoying this product, but hey, if nothing else, at least all ten episodes of this audiobook are available for free, so if nothing else, at least Final Redoubt Press can say that.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Death by Cliché--Episode 1
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Adventure Seed 1b: To Burn a Witch
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/08/2012 18:54:16
If 'To Burn a Witch' is an indication of the general level of FRP's work, then they should be charging for this (and I'd gladly pay). The Adventure Seed is a an incredibly versatile and practical addition to a GM's virtual bookshelf. The writing is strong (and has a wry sense of humur) and the reader is left with a sense that there is no wasted space in the product (which weighs in at 13 pages). The underlying rationale for the product is a system-agnostic stats-less module which can provide an entire adventure. Whilst it does fit into the broader 'Moving Shadows' campaign, it can easily be played as a stand-alone experience.

Each segment is well-presented and I quite enjoyed the 'Dramatic Purpose' sidebars with each step of the module. The work as advertised - explicitly stating the purpose of each scene and what a GM should try to achieve with it. I feel that this is of use to novice and veteran GMS alike. The actual story of the module could be played out in a night or two and balances roleplaying and combat and has plenty of opportunities for the GM to personalise the experience. There is an unexpected twist which can be can be a source of great drama if foreshadowed well enough. Beyond that, I can't give too many other details without ruining the adventure.

I'd highly recommend this title, and if it is indicative of the general quality fo the Adventure Seed line, then I'd be keen to try them too.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Seed 1b: To Burn a Witch
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Critical Matters (Combat Essentials 1)
by Joel B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2011 19:15:05
I was looking for something to make the new 4E combat both more lethal and a bit quicker. This product serves that purpose nicely. It overlays onto the existing 4E system with little adjustment. Beware, if using this be sure you have a strong healer in the group (if you don't travel with a cleric you are crazy, IMO). One of the other benefits of this system is that it also makes powers and feats that cancel out critical hits (such as Armor of Bahamut) MUCH more useful. It also raises the stakes a bit on those Opportunity attacks! I could regale you with tales of the characters in our group one-punching monsters and pulling their bacon out of the fire in the process. Suffice it to say that combat is a bit more nail-biting and when that natural 20 does come up, it is a LOT more exciting. Pick it up, you won't be dissapointed.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Critical Matters (Combat Essentials 1)
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Death by Cliché--Episode 1
by Gavin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/30/2010 17:48:22
Okay. This doesn't really work with the usual review format so I'll just kinda go with it...

This first part of Death By Cliche is highly entertaining and promises much from the rest. From the Chapter Quotes to the evaluation of gamers and gaming to the actual storyline, everything works rather nicely. Defendi has a nice turn of phrase and I frequently found myself laughing out loud at this, rather than merely grinning wryly as I expected to. In general style it's somehow the closest thing to a gaming Rifftrax that I've come across (check Rifftrax website if you don't know what that means, you wont regret it).

There are limits to how well I can justify my opinions without quoting from the piece and spoiling the fun for other so I'll just say "It's funny. It's good. Download it. I mean, what have you got to lose?"
I can honestly say that I'd have been happy to pay for product of this quality and the fact that I haven't been asked to is a huge bonus.

Right, I'm off to transfer the first three parts to my MP3 player, right next to Old Harry's Game and Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

PS. Bob, if you read this, I've got this system I'd like you to look at... _:^)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Death by Cliché--Episode 1
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The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (OGL Version)
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/13/2007 15:02:50
The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (OGL version) is a combination of adventure and accessory from Final Redoubt Press. The zipped file is over twenty megabytes in size, and contains two separate PDFs, along with a PDF readme and Campaign Cartographer files. The Bestiary is ninety-five pages long, while the adventure is fifty-eight. Both PDFs contain full bookmarks.

Both PDFs have full color covers, with those being (the adventure maps notwithstanding) the only instances of color artwork. There is plenty of black and white interior art in both products (notably, the Bestiary has artwork for most of the creatures it gives), and no borders along the page edges.

Reviewing this product is a tad more difficult than with most books, since this is actually two products in one. On the one hand is The Tainted Tears, the fourth adventure in The Moving Shadow campaign. One the other is The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary, filled with new monsters for this setting. I’ll cover the adventure first, followed by the supplement.

The Tainted Tears follows where the last adventure left off, as the PCs continue to investigate (and become entangled in) a diabolic plot to allow an Ulcer (a place where Hell seeps into the mortal world) to grow and become permanent. As with the previous adventures, this actually begins with a mini-adventure where the characters “remember” themselves from ten thousand years ago, during the war in heaven. After this, the main saga continues as the characters chase Morthon, a duke of Hell, while he uses his new unholy relic to create new Ulcers in the world. When he creates one in a slaughtered village, the PCs have to put the nightmares of the slain inhabitants to rest before they can close the portal.

The adventure flows very well, both in narrative function and as part of the overarching campaign. No corners have been cut, as it covers everything from running the adventure in another campaign world, to a section detailing what happens if the PCs fail. There’s really nothing here that’s poorly done.

The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary is also a good product, but doesn’t quite live up to the same standard as its companion adventure. To be sure, the Bestiary also has a high premium placed on completeness. It begins with over a dozen pages explaining how various monster types work in The Echoes of Heaven, as well as the role of monsters in the campaign world. After this, it begins to showcase new monsters, the majority of which fall under large banners (e.g. angels, demons, nephilim, etc.). Each monster has a section (usually about a paragraph) dedicated to their appearance, motivation, and campaign use.

If this all sounds too good to be true for the Bestiary, it is, to a degree. While the monsters are very evocative in how they’re described and showcased, this seems to come at the expense of mechanical uniqueness. While the stat blocks here seem solid, it’s sort of expected that new monsters will have some degree of unique abilities to help set them apart. While all of the angels share a common suite of powers, beyond that they just have individualized spell lists; there are no supernatural or extraordinary abilities unique to each kind of angel, which makes them seem somewhat bland, particularly if you want to cherry-pick from this monster book for other campaign worlds. Moreover, there are a number of epic-level creatures here, but they pale in comparison to epic monsters from other sources. Moruloth, the Demon of Pride, is a CR 34 monster, but has an anemic 346 hit points (and no supernatural abilities beyond what all demons have). Clearly, this guy would be eaten alive by a group of level 34 PCs.

Those are really the only failings in these products. If not for the fact that the monsters lack uniquely inspired powers (and some oomph at the higher levels), the Bestiary is a good resource, and the adventure serves very well as the next step in a dramatic campaign. The Bestiary and The Tainted Tears are great resources for an Echoes of Heaven campaign, but you may need to do some tweaking to use them in any other OGL game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (OGL Version)
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The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (HARP Version)
by eric m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/20/2007 12:15:32
Once again I was amazed at the possibilities that can be used in an Ulcer. In the Tainted Tears the party enters one and basically become posessed by the tormented souls trapped therein and attempt to solve a mystery while battling some demons trying to take over the Ulcer as their own. It did take two read throughs and some page flipping to figure out what was going on but it was well written. This type of adventure may not appeal to all players as it will make them think and there are some straight forward combats so there is something for all types of players.

One thing also that I liked was that this is not a 'close it or the world as we know it ends' type Ulcers as was in the latter adventures - something that the author points out in the introduction as well. In fact this is more of a side-bar Ulcer and could very well be avoided by the party. Although the cause of the Ulcer does tie in with the last adventure, it could easily be ignored and could be dropped in just about anyplace without a problem.

I also enjoyed the Beastiary quite a bit. It contains predominantly several types of demons, angels and everybody's favorite - dragons. While some of the entries are repeats from previous books, like the buckle golem and wind wraith, the majority is new. What really struck me is the relationship between the divine creatures to their fallen counerparts. The angel to their demon or the giant to nephilim relationship for example. I felt it added depth to the creatures by giving the potential temptations that might make an angel fall or the struggle of a giant to do good even though it knows it will be a demon after death.

One drawback in the HARP version is that to get a complete set of elementals you will need to reference the Bazaar #5 (or first annual) to get stats.

But overall I was very pleased with the content. The beastiary for background information as well as more options unique to the EoH setting and the adventure for not being 'world affecting' while adding a new perspective on Ulcers.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (HARP Version)
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The Echoes of Heaven/The Throne of God (RM Version)
by Harjit K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2007 07:45:59
I recently purchased this product intrigued by the Christian themes. I was aware of Mr Defendi’s previous work on Spacemaster. There are also not many modules written specifically for Rolemaster. I have in the past dealt with this by converting Warhammer Fantasy Scenarios.

I was not certain what to expect. I am not in any way disappointed by my purchase. In fact I ended up getting all the other available products in this line and now eagerly await new releases.

I have been incredibly impressed – even stunned – at just how good the setting and adventure module are. The level of quality is incredible and the dedication of the people involved is clear in every page and illustration.

The setting is very detailed and has enough information with adventure seeds to allow for you to create your own scenarios in the setting with ease. However, the adventure book with the settings book that comprises “The Moving Shadows” campaign is what really makes it for me. It is for me one of the most epic and interesting campaigns I have come across in 22 years of gaming. I am really looking forward to running this. I wholeheartedly recommend this line.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Echoes of Heaven/The Throne of God (RM Version)
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The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (HERO Version)
by Craig W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2007 08:16:48
OK guys, first thing to get straight is that I bought this product at a discount on condition that I review it. I had downloaded the freebie adventures which I thought were pretty impressive, and wanted to see how good the real product was. The limits to this review is that I have not spent the full time it would take to read the product completely as at this point I was taking advantage of the discount opportunity offered to see if I would buy the complete campaign in the future, and for the small price you get a lot of pages to review.

So will I buy the rest? Most definitely. I am a GM who likes most things outlined for me, so prep time can be minimised in those really busy weeks. The module comes with commentary on how to use the product in either the full campaign or in your own world, and is broken down quite nicely into logical sections each with their own outlines of what the section will achieve, goal of the action - including how to start, text that you can just read out to the players, and even commentary on how to cope with failure of players to obtain the correct goals. There appears to be a nice balance between action events and puzzle solving events - if you are after a dungeon bash this is probably not the product.for you. For me the ease with which I can pick up and run the campaign is a great attraction - however if you like to add your own twists there is plenty of scope to do that also.

This is the fourth in a series of ten - each comes with an extra sourcebook. Included with this is a bestiary. It contains great detail on all of the creatures and monsters and includes a lot of illustrations. It is divided into a number of sections, including how to use the monsters in the game, the rules for using them, and the detailed bestiary entry itself. I was impressed by the detail and quality of whole package.

Overall I think that while this product can be run on its own, the full benefits of the detailed commentaries, the strength of the detail, will only be realised by running this as part of the greater campaign where the linked plots build into the full story design. Again the breadth of the scope of the complete series is pretty impressive.

One of the features of the product is that it is available in different rules versions but I'm not sure how useful that is to the average GM. I've never changed rulesets mid campaign, so being able to buy the product ready for 4 different rules is not that useful to me. I only play with 2 of the different rules versions myself, and the different versions have slight differences in mechanics tailored to the specific rules versions, which is nice and shows some care in putting together the different versions. The bestiary entries also look to be tailored nicely for each ruleset. But ultimately I think I will decide with my players on the ruleset we want to use, and stick with that for the whole campaign.

overall I was pretty impressed!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (HERO Version)
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The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (HARP Version)
by Craig W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2007 08:16:08
OK guys, first thing to get straight is that I bought this product at a discount on condition that I review it. I had downloaded the freebie adventures which I thought were pretty impressive, and wanted to see how good the real product was. The limits to this review is that I have not spent the full time it would take to read the product completely as at this point I was taking advantage of the discount opportunity offered to see if I would buy the complete campaign in the future, and for the small price you get a lot of pages to review.

So will I buy the rest? Most definitely. I am a GM who likes most things outlined for me, so prep time can be minimised in those really busy weeks. The module comes with commentary on how to use the product in either the full campaign or in your own world, and is broken down quite nicely into logical sections each with their own outlines of what the section will achieve, goal of the action - including how to start, text that you can just read out to the players, and even commentary on how to cope with failure of players to obtain the correct goals. There appears to be a nice balance between action events and puzzle solving events - if you are after a dungeon bash this is probably not the product.for you. For me the ease with which I can pick up and run the campaign is a great attraction - however if you like to add your own twists there is plenty of scope to do that also.

This is the fourth in a series of ten - each comes with an extra sourcebook. Included with this is a bestiary. It contains great detail on all of the creatures and monsters and includes a lot of illustrations. It is divided into a number of sections, including how to use the monsters in the game, the rules for using them, and the detailed bestiary entry itself. I was impressed by the detail and quality of whole package.

Overall I think that while this product can be run on its own, the full benefits of the detailed commentaries, the strength of the detail, will only be realised by running this as part of the greater campaign where the linked plots build into the full story design. Again the breadth of the scope of the complete series is pretty impressive.

One of the features of the product is that it is available in different rules versions but I'm not sure how useful that is to the average GM. I've never changed rulesets mid campaign, so being able to buy the product ready for 4 different rules is not that useful to me. I only play with 2 of the different rules versions myself, and the different versions have slight differences in mechanics tailored to the specific rules versions, which is nice and shows some care in putting together the different versions. The bestiary entries also look to be tailored nicely for each ruleset. But ultimately I think I will decide with my players on the ruleset we want to use, and stick with that for the whole campaign.

overall I was pretty impressed!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (HARP Version)
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The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (Rolemaster Version)
by Craig W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2007 08:15:27
OK guys, first thing to get straight is that I bought this product at a discount on condition that I review it. I had downloaded the freebie adventures which I thought were pretty impressive, and wanted to see how good the real product was. The limits to this review is that I have not spent the full time it would take to read the product completely as at this point I was taking advantage of the discount opportunity offered to see if I would buy the complete campaign in the future, and for the small price you get a lot of pages to review.

So will I buy the rest? Most definitely. I am a GM who likes most things outlined for me, so prep time can be minimised in those really busy weeks. The module comes with commentary on how to use the product in either the full campaign or in your own world, and is broken down quite nicely into logical sections each with their own outlines of what the section will achieve, goal of the action - including how to start, text that you can just read out to the players, and even commentary on how to cope with failure of players to obtain the correct goals. There appears to be a nice balance between action events and puzzle solving events - if you are after a dungeon bash this is probably not the product.for you. For me the ease with which I can pick up and run the campaign is a great attraction - however if you like to add your own twists there is plenty of scope to do that also.

This is the fourth in a series of ten - each comes with an extra sourcebook. Included with this is a bestiary. It contains great detail on all of the creatures and monsters and includes a lot of illustrations. It is divided into a number of sections, including how to use the monsters in the game, the rules for using them, and the detailed bestiary entry itself. I was impressed by the detail and quality of whole package.

Overall I think that while this product can be run on its own, the full benefits of the detailed commentaries, the strength of the detail, will only be realised by running this as part of the greater campaign where the linked plots build into the full story design. Again the breadth of the scope of the complete series is pretty impressive.

One of the features of the product is that it is available in different rules versions but I'm not sure how useful that is to the average GM. I've never changed rulesets mid campaign, so being able to buy the product ready for 4 different rules is not that useful to me. I only play with 2 of the different rules versions myself, and the different versions have slight differences in mechanics tailored to the specific rules versions, which is nice and shows some care in putting together the different versions. The bestiary entries also look to be tailored nicely for each ruleset. But ultimately I think I will decide with my players on the ruleset we want to use, and stick with that for the whole campaign.

overall I was pretty impressed!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (Rolemaster Version)
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The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (OGL Version)
by Craig W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2007 08:12:03
OK guys, first thing to get straight is that I bought this product at a discount on condition that I review it. I had downloaded the freebie adventures which I thought were pretty impressive, and wanted to see how good the real product was. The limits to this review is that I have not spent the full time it would take to read the product completely as at this point I was taking advantage of the discount opportunity offered to see if I would buy the complete campaign in the future, and for the small price you get a lot of pages to review.

So will I buy the rest? Most definitely. I am a GM who likes most things outlined for me, so prep time can be minimised in those really busy weeks. The module comes with commentary on how to use the product in either the full campaign or in your own world, and is broken down quite nicely into logical sections each with their own outlines of what the section will achieve, goal of the action - including how to start, text that you can just read out to the players, and even commentary on how to cope with failure of players to obtain the correct goals. There appears to be a nice balance between action events and puzzle solving events - if you are after a dungeon bash this is probably not the product.for you. For me the ease with which I can pick up and run the campaign is a great attraction - however if you like to add your own twists there is plenty of scope to do that also.

This is the fourth in a series of ten - each comes with an extra sourcebook. Included with this is a bestiary. It contains great detail on all of the creatures and monsters and includes a lot of illustrations. It is divided into a number of sections, including how to use the monsters in the game, the rules for using them, and the detailed bestiary entry itself. I was impressed by the detail and quality of whole package.

Overall I think that while this product can be run on its own, the full benefits of the detailed commentaries, the strength of the detail, will only be realised by running this as part of the greater campaign where the linked plots build into the full story design. Again the breadth of the scope of the complete series is pretty impressive.

One of the features of the product is that it is available in different rules versions but I'm not sure how useful that is to the average GM. I've never changed rulesets mid campaign, so being able to buy the product ready for 4 different rules is not that useful to me. I only play with 2 of the different rules versions myself, and the different versions have slight differences in mechanics tailored to the specific rules versions, which is nice and shows some care in putting together the different versions. The bestiary entries also look to be tailored nicely for each ruleset. But ultimately I think I will decide with my players on the ruleset we want to use, and stick with that for the whole campaign.

overall I was pretty impressed!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Echoes of Heaven Bestiary/The Tainted Tears (OGL Version)
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