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A Drake Miscellany
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/08/2009 10:04:58
The Introduction starts off with a statement about how much of a nusiance drakes can be to a wilderness community... but that some of them can pose an even greater threat, particularly to small parties of adventurers in untamed lands. Without further ado, the product launches into descriptions of a wide range of drakes - herd-drakes, lizardrake swarms, shell drakes, stonemuchers and vermin drakes. Each comes with all you'll need to have them infest your campaign world as monsters - stat blocks, descriptions and sketches, combat tactics and the sort of lore a well-informed character might have about them.

Herd-drakes are quite interesting, as they can be domesticated provided they are caught young enough. Despite the ferocious appearance and vicious bite, they are herbivore (NOT vegetarian as stated here!) and as can be imagined from the name are herd beasts. In combat they typically act to protect their young, with the largest 'bull' animal leading the defence.

Lizardrakes are small flying beasties and come in a vast variety of types. They congregate - or 'swarm' - for mutual protection, with a basic tactic of attacking whatever is closest to their nest site. The shell drake, on the other hand, is a four-legged creature more like a large armadillo with a solid carapace, and they can be trained to act as guard-beasts. Stonemuchers are less intelligent, but can literally eat their way through rock (hence the name).

Vermin drakes are possibly the most dangerous, they are predators in their own right whereas the others generally only fight if attacked or to protect territory or herd members. Again, they come in a fair few sub-types, but all run on two legs or fly and have breath weapons as well as teeth and claws.

The work rounds out with a few drake-related magic items, either made out of drakes or designed to be effective against them. It's a neat niche collection, although falls into the same trap as did the 4e Monster Manual treating drakes as combat opposition rather than living, breathing parts of the ecosystem of your campaign world. Still, they make good low-level pests to annoy adventurers!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Drake Miscellany
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The Collected Character
by Rudy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2009 06:43:38
This booklet - like a player sheet but with lots of pages - turns out to be an invaluable aid for character generation, with a simple and clear method of creating your character, an all in one place source of information, handy tables for backgrounds and professions, and the brilliant worksheet. A serious improvement over the original. Includes a character sheet example that is too compact for my taste, but that offers some great ideas to implement in my own sheets (we use 3 types of character sheet). A complete product.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Collected Character
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Duck Friends and Foes
by Rudy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2009 06:34:22
This is brilliant. Of course it's a NPC compendium, it says so on the cover, but it's not just the numbers. I love the physical description, the flavour and atmosphere that comes with the descriptions, it really makes them come to life. The adventurer sheets are sweet, and I love how you can come up with a few friendlies or a nasty gang leader Duck (chuckle) on a moment's notice. Sooo much better than the Creatures of Chaos printouts from back then.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Duck Friends and Foes
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A Clan of Wretches
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/11/2009 10:05:24
A Clan of Wretches is a 24 page pdf for the 4e GSL system. This product is the 2nd product in Sceaptune Games' Greysca4e series of products, the other being A Drake Miscellany. The aim of the Greysca4e series is to produce innovative game supplements for your 4e games, while at the same time being easy to print (hence the use of the term Greysca4e). The first two products in the series so far, which includes this one, focus on monsters and creatures, but also provide ways of adapting these creatures as PC races where applicable. A Clan of Wretches details the lives of the wretchers, a group of clanspeople creatures that live on the outskirts of civilised territories.

A Clan of Wretches comes as a single pdf file that's neatly presented and well designed. The product includes nicely done front and back covers, complete bookmarks, a table of contents and even a searchable index. The product is largely produced in greyscale, apart from the racial write-ups where the powers have been color coded. The use of greyscale means that when printed you'll use less ink than a solid black pdf. Sceaptune Games have pulled out all the stops in making sure this product is as usable as possible, both in terms of printing and searchability. General writing, editing and design is good, as is the current art set. Note that this product has been released prior to all the art being available, but a free update will be issued once the artwork has been completed. On the whole, this is a neat little pdf that looks good, and will hopefully be even better once the art arrives.

The wretch or wretchers are a group of humanoid creatures that live on the fringes of the known lands, where they gather together in social clans with strict and ordered hierarchy. This product presents these creatures both as monsters and as a racial race for PC characters, and introduces three different subspecies of wretch - the bogwretch, the moorwretch and the stonewretch. Each subspecies gets a complete write-up, including several different monster varieties under each write-up, meaning that in total you get 16 different wretchers to use as monsters, and this does not include the handful of other monsters that the wretchers can summon through the use of their ancestral magic.

The product presents a very detailed and structured overview of the wretch, and details all the important aspects of their society, such as their clan structure, their art, their music, their social hierarchy and more. Each of the three subspecies expands on this information, allowing one to get a complete overview on where the different wretchers fit into the overall society and what their role is. The moorwretch is the predominant wretch and the most intelligent, and these wretch normally use the massive and lumbering stonewretch as guards or guardians, while the bogwretch see to the day to day activities of the clan or society. The pdf provides useful Knowledge checks related to each subspecies and the wretch in general, typical combat encounters for each wretch subspecies, details on typical wretch clans, and several new rituals related to the wretch ancestral worship. All the wretch powers and racial abilities are combined towards the end of the pdf to allow you to use these creatures as a PC race.

This is a very complete pdf. The wretch or wretchers (the naming and singular/plural is very confusing) are detailed very nicely, and the social structure, group dynamic, and culture of the creatures is nicely illustrated. In this way the wretch have a sense of purpose and an identity, which makes them more meaningful creatures within a campaign world. This detail of their society and culture feeds down into the mechanics and abilities of the various monster creatures and racial powers, and it's good to see monsters build around a common theme or common societal elements. The detail allows you to see the wretch as a whole rather than in a vacuum which is frequently the case for monster design. The racial powers and monster abilities are well constructed, and there are some good ideas in there stemming from creative design. While some of the monsters have a little flair, for the most part the creatures are standard fare, as one would largely expect for a society of 'non-magical' humanoids. Typical abilities revolve around group tactics, music or battle cries and ancestral worship, fitting in nicely with the wretch culture.

A Clan of Wretches is a good pdf. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the naming and the subsequent confusing use of the creature's name, but that aside this does a good job of presenting a well thought-out, detailed creature that has an identity, culture and society of its own. Even if you don't care for those details, there are almost a score of new monsters, several rituals and lots of other useful bits in this pdf. The culture and background has been well incorporated in the monster mechanics, although with the freedoms allowed with the 4e GSL, I'd hoped for a little more flair in the various abilities. Still, they mesh well with the nature and culture of the creatures, and that's good to see. Good pdf.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Clan of Wretches
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The Collected Character
by Colin N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2008 16:03:54
Very pleased with this product, especially the character creation worksheet. It made creating PCs so much easier, especially when one of the players wanted to tweak his concept when he had nearly finished. With the worksheet it made it a simple matter to move points around.

With all the rules for creating PCs laid out in one handy booklet and in a logical order it makes PC creation a dream rather than the nightmare it would have been without it!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Collected Character
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The Quester's Guide to Duck
by Abraham F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2007 22:14:57
Good job on the background for a race that is usually blown off.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Quester's Guide to Duck
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Duck Friends and Foes
by Abraham F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2007 22:10:58
This product has some good and bad points, to the good it shows a wide range of Duck characters and gives a better range of character types that one usually sees acknowledging that Ducks are more than just feathered (and annying) adventurers. On the down side it's all about Ducks. I am hoping to see the same treatment with other less popular races.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Duck Friends and Foes
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Publisher Reply:
We're saddened you only gave three stars and criticised the book because it's only about Duck - as that's exactly what it's supposed to be and does not make any other claims. Given the wide range of characters within it (as pointed out), to include other races at the same level of detail would make for a huge PDF! Look out for more Friend and Foes for individual races over the next few months...
The Quester's Guide to Duck
by Jez G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/28/2007 13:41:59
Previous to reading this guide I wasn't a fan of Duck in Runequest. They always seemed too comedic for the gritty style I liked.
After reading this excellent sourcebook my opinion has changed. No longer are Duck relegated to the comedy sidekick or fall guy, they are now a fully realised race and a viable option as player characters.
The excellent writing style really helps bring the Duck to life and is an invaluable aid for any GM or PC who wishes to portray Duck characters in a believable manner.
Although there is some mention of other rules found in different Sceaptune Games books it is certainly not neccessary to own them to gain full enjoyment of this product, indeed, if they are as good as this book though I may well have to get them too!
Excellent value for money!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Quester's Guide to Duck
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