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Otros comentarios dejados por esta editorial:
War of the Burning Sky: The Complete Campaign (D&D 3.5)
por Branden L. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 05/05/18 08:56:55

Holy crap. I purchased and downloded this for a few bucks with minimal expectations. What I got is something that could easily have been sold by Wizards for $50. This a professional-quality, full-blown campaign guide with a well thought-out story, detailed NPCs, maps, etc... I run my campaign in an existing setting of my own (well, my wife's) own creation. Fortunately, this campaign guide also includes suugestions for incorporating this campaign story into your own setting.

I'm really looking forward to getting started with this campaign.

If you're looking for a rich campaign setting for your players, or just want some inspiration for your own campaign, I highly recommend purchasing this guide.

My only wish is that they published a 5E version, but 3.5 will do.



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Creator Reply:
Hi! So glad you liked it. We are, indeed, releasing the adventure path for 5E. The first adventure and two guides were just released today, in fact!
[WOIN] Starship Construction Manual v1.1
por Ben B. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/27/18 12:29:22

A fantastic resource for N.E.W. or Space Fight!

Build pretty much any ship you want, captain it in NEW or pit it off in arena combat in Space Fight! Make your own design or dig up information on ships from any fandom you are a part of, and build those, the sky is the limit!



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[WOIN] Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing
por Ben B. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/27/18 12:07:16

The campaign outlined in the book is fairly fun and I will definitely run it with some peopel at some time... But what I really wanted this book for was to create my own Xenomorphs campaign. All we really need is a template to make other races Xenomorphs and it makes this fully cross compatible with anything WOIN. I mean think of the crossover possibilities. Batman VS Judge Dredd VS Xenomorphs VS Predators is almost fully supported in the WOIN universe. Using this, the NEW core rulebook, and The Last Star Knight supplement, you can make a more amazing Xenomorphs Star Wars crossover than is even remotely possible in Star Wars D20 (trust me, I've tried)

This book is pretty great, I have no complaints. After running homebrew Xenomorphs in other systems that needed too much tweaking, I was happy to see these majestic beasts made available from the publisher :)



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[WOIN] Starship Recognition Manual
por Ben B. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/27/18 11:59:39

There is no shortage of words to describe this book, so I will use only one, phenomenal.

If you like reading about Starships and looking at pretty pictures of starships, this book is well worth the cover price. As an added bonus, it is one of the best starship resources for any game I've ever seen in this price bracket, it has full colour artwork, a table of quirks for used ships, full stats, detailed information on each spacecraft, and some of them even have deck plans. I really love this book and it's quite obvious the authors poured a lot of time and love of their own into this. I honestly recommend this to ANYONE with an interest in starships. And have to say it is an ESSENTIAL resource for any WOIN campaign in space. And also for Space Fight!



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[WOIN] The Holds of Vendalyr
por Ben B. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/27/18 11:36:42

Until I got this book I had wondered what made the Venetians different from Vulcans or maybe Elves, and now I know! This book delves into the rich and interesting history of this race and is definitely worth a read for GMs or any player who wants to play a Venetian character. Almost any kind of information you'd want to know about the Venetian people is in this book as well as some careers, exploits, starships, NPCs, and information on Venetian Martial Arts. Well worth the price and would definitely consider buying again as a present if I have a player interested in playing a Venetian...



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[WOIN] The Moons of Boria
por Ben B. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/27/18 11:01:15

I will note that my print copy came misprinted, but that is not the fault of EN Publishing and I have been properly reimbursed by DriveThru RPG, so I will not be changing my 5 star rating.

This book itself is amazing. Almost anything you want to know about Borians is in here, from their really interesting star system in a nebula to their society, language, how important crafting and apprenticeships are to them, items, legal info, more careers, star ships, why some Borians are red and some Borians are blue, and even how to talk in a Borian accent!

This book has definitely taught me that there is more to Borians than being "space dwarves" and I think I actually like the Borians more than I like Dwarves (and I like Dwarves)

This book is simply amazing and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any N.E.W. GM (even just the star system can give you ideas) or any player who wants to play a Borian, fantastic resource.



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WOIN Art Pack (Fantasy)
por Bryan H. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 01/24/18 08:31:30

34 pieces of imaginative artwork. Most of it very usable in games.



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O.L.D. The Fantasy Heroic Roleplaying Game
por Keith S. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 01/22/18 17:07:10

Love this book! First off, it is absolutely beautiful. I bought the PDF when it first became available, and then had to have the hardcover when it came out. I hear a lot of complaints about how crunchy the magic system is, but that is actually one of my favorite things about the game. Magic becomes much more rarified and those who do study it actually have to invest time into learning the secrets of their craft. Creating personal spellbooks adds so much flavor to magic weilders, instead of just making them a tempory dip into a career to just to get some powers. Using the careers for charcter creation is a dtroke of genius, as it allows you to tell the story of your character during creation, often leading into new concepts and personality quirks that you hadn't concieved of at teh beginning.

TLDR: Great for customization of characters, magic is deep.



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[WOIN] Spires in the Sky
por Keith S. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 01/22/18 16:56:25

Just did a quick read through, looks like a really fun adventure. can't wait to play it. i like the way it supports the players being a part of the indigenous culture or an advanced space-faring society hiding among the locals a la Star Trek. They did a great job of pacing and i love the characters and the artwork .



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[5E] A Touch of Class: 7 New Classes for 5th Edition
por Jeff H. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 01/19/18 06:31:53

The Noble (a 5E Warlord, basically) is by far the best thing here. If a smallish writeup that basically takes that idea and does it reasonably well is worth the price to you, buy it. Otherwise, don't, because the rest ranges from nothing to write home about to actively bad.

It's dubious whether some of these concepts - particularly the Feywalker and the (somewhat misleadingly named) Occultist - are interesting and archetypal enough to support their own classes. Several of them could be done more satisfyingly as archetypes for classes that already exist.

But even the good ideas are not, in general, executed well, especially from a balance standpoint. The Alchemist - the one I was most looking forward to conceptually - can get Cure Wounds as a ritual starting at second level (and eventually, at 20th level, as a cantrip), which dramatically alters the game's balance, basically flipping a huge middle finger at several of the game's underlying assumptions, not least the entire concept of hit dice. A party with a competently built alchemist is almost not playing the same game anyone else is. On the other end of the scale, the Occultist appears laughably weak, so obviously inferior to all the other melee classes that, even if a player really liked the concept, the only thing I could do in good conscience is steer him or her toward reskinning a fighter or barbarian to incorporate that concept, rather than using this class as written. With these two examples in mind, I don't know why I'd trust anything else in the book enough to let it into a game.

The formatting is also kind of dodgy. The back cover promises that the classes have been revised and expanded, and this was also strongly implied in the Kickstarter campaign that resulted in this book. That's kind of hard to credit. I haven't got the relevant EN5ider issues that would let me say for sure, but it sure looks like they've just directly copy-pasted a bunch of magazine articles (what these classes started as) together into a book, with at most superficial changes to use a unified trade dress. The Alchemist, for example, is still broken into three separate articles. Even dirt-simple things that would have taken literally seconds to fix (the Noble's chapter using a completely different naming convention from the others, for instance) haven't been changed. There are feats (some of them of potential interest to more than just characters of these new classes) scattered all over the book instead of sensibly compiled together into their own appendix. (Also, one of the feat names hits a pet peeve of mine - while I'm reliably told both forms are correct, I will never not wince when people say "Cardshark" instead of "Cardsharp".) All of this could probably have been fixed in an afternoon of InDesign work by a minimally competent layout person, preferably one who was also (or was working closely with) a good editor. Overall this aspect of the book feels very lazy.

One other thing that makes this project feel a bit of a Frankenstein's monster is the art style - or rather, the many art styles. Many different artists have been used, as well as what look like a few public-domain historical pieces, and the overall result feels every inch the stitched-together mishmash it is. If there's a unifying thread to the art here, it's that most (not all) of the art styles used are a bit too cartoony for my tastes, though even that manifests in varying ways. But that bit is admittedly very subjective.

Don't let this review turn you off EN Publishing altogether - many of their adventures are just excellent. But this particular product was very disappointing to me.



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To Stake A Vampire
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 01/03/18 04:45:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive adventure clocks in at 75 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 70 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested and made possible by one of my patreons.

This module is the direct sequel of “To Slay a Dragon” and thus assumes a 7th level party that is preferably able to cover the basic 4 core roles; particularly having a cleric is something I’d strongly suggest. The module makes use of Holdenshire as a backdrop – like its prequel, and medium advancement track is considered to be the default. Considering the highly random chances of the dragon Cirothe destroying a variety of places, this aspect may be one that GMs running the prequel should take into account.

Another note to be aware of: While it is possible to run this as a stand-alone, the end of the previous module saw the PCs knighted, which means that a certain authority and sense of responsibility is assumed – if your PCs are murderhobos from the lower social strata, this may require some tinkering.

Anyways, this being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

.

All righty, so lord Pemberton has fallen ill and his wife is consumed with caring for him, leaving the citizens of Holdenshire to fend for themselves as a particularly harsh winter is approaching. The pdf provides a full gazetteer-like section of Hengistbury, the most important settlement, and the key NPCs found here – the NPCs come with mugshots, though groups that have ran Zeitgeist will be familiar with the mugshots, which can be a bit jarring. Much like its predecessor, we begin this module with a series of modular, smaller quests and we do get a random encounter table.

Hengistbury is not the usual, friendly place – the cold inds seem to mirror the coldness and hostility of the folk there and indeed, it seems as though a curse has fallen on the village, one that requires some investigation: You see, a pig-farmer (whose pigs represent one of the threats here), has been turned into a covert-Ops-style vampire spawn and he has been poisoning the food of the local people – something the PCs can hopefully stop! The PCs are also contacted by Stephanie Rosewynd, one of the gypsies, who fears for the health of Ugg, the friendly hill giant mascot of the region. Her vision proves true – his dire bear companion has been vampirized and may well spell doom for the poor creature.

Ultimately, the PCs will have to track down the vampire spawn pig farmer…which will also lead them to a mini-dungeon, where the amulet of the spectral grove can be found – a 78K item amulet that duplicates protection from evil keyed specifically to vampires and vampire spawn and may allow the wielder to become a ghost, leaving the body behind and emitting untyped damage-causing pulses of light. The rules-language regarding these pulses is wonky – action economy constraints prevent the multiple uses the item ostensibly allows per round. I am also quite sure that we have a 3.Xism here, with return to one’s body requiring a save (that becomes harder, the more the powers of the amulet are used) to avoid dropping to -10 hp: This can kill characters with bad Con and I’m pretty sure it’s instead supposed to deliver the target right at death’s door – which would be negative Constitution hit points. Why is this important? The VERY valuable item is one of the tools the PCs are supposed to use to defeat the BBEG. Issues in the rules here are problematic.

Returning to Holdenshire does not provide the relief expected, though: Injuries fail to clot and vicious animals attack – oh, and in one section people uncontrollably “bleed tears.” I am pretty sure this was supposed to read cry blood. The module does have a rumor-battling mini-game – basically, the PCs gain points and so does the GM, which may then be used to modify social interactions. While the mini-game per se is nice, it does not really come that much into play; it would have imho made more sense as the central motif for an adventure or section, but that may be me. (It should be noted that the release of this module predates Ultimate Intrigue, so I won’t complain about a lack of synergy there.)

Anyways, in order to deal with the afflictions ailing Holdenshire, the PCs will have to explore a variety of tombs, all around the theme of one hero – as such, each of the brief tombs offers a couple of minor challenges like traps and combats and nets one potent item each, while also allowing the PCs to deal with one of the curses. These tools include a quickbow, a variant hand crossbow that allows for quicker shots at -5 to atk, a good-aligned magical earthbreaker that grants 3 feats (power Attack, Cleave and Great Cleave, sans penalties versus the undead!), hastening anti-undead starknives, a gun that transforms holy water into beams of sonic energy – which is per se damn cool and basically a non-weapon launcher, closer to how magic items than regular weapons work. Each of the tombs also sports nightmares for the PCs to experience (depending on sequence) and, in case you were wondering, the aforementioned amulet acts as basically a beacon. Having collected all, the items point the PCs towards the final artifact of the Order of Light, whose tombs the PCs had to raid…and banishes the curses, but then, the vampire lord mastermind’s remaining agents assault the PCs, making for a brutal finale to the second act.

The PCs now may have brought the common folks some respite from the unearthly, vampiric curses, but in order to be triumphant, they will have to track down the vampire lord Nemirtvi – and deal with his most prized agent, which is, unsurprisingly, the vampire-spawn’d lord Pemberton. Yeah, we all saw that one coming and one big issue of the module is that it would make a lot of sense for the PCs to suspect that from the get-go and deal with it at all costs – the GM must engage in some serious handholding here, at least when dealing with more experienced players. The dungeon that lead downwards is mostly mapped with player-friendly full-color maps, but not exclusively so – it should be noted that, much like “To Slay a Dragon”, the exploration of the dungeon sections of this pdf don’t go room by room, but instead provide the basic tools. The relative simplicity of all dungeons and their linearity are one of the aspects that will probably not be to everyone’s liking, particularly regarding the old-school crowd that this is marketed for. (The module, much like its predecessor, even states old-school feeling as a design goal, so that is not just an observation!) Interpreting a mad dwarven engineer’s rhyme, the PCs can destroy a horrible crystalline construct that enhances the vampire – and would allow the beast to return, unless it is dealt with for once and for all. In the lair of the vampire lord, the PCs have to brave the vampire and Pemberton among countless wax statues, who may btw. be saved by competent PCs…of sorts. He can become the intelligence of an awakened relic of the order of light, further enhancing the relic – from there, he may actually be returned to life.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, though not as tight as usual for EN Publishing’s modules. There are a couple of formal and rules-language snafus here and there. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports solid artworks, though fans of EN Publishing will be familiar with most. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks.

Russ Morrissey, Mike Myler and Brian Casey’s anti-vampire romp…left me singularly unimpressed. Much like its predecessor, it feels more like a sketch than a finished adventure and makes you do A LOT of prep-work. The non-standard presentation (all stats etc. at the end of a section) make running the module less convenient than it should be. The exploration of multiple bland and extremely linear tombs is a boring grind and unbefitting of the cool idea of the curses and makes the center part of the module feel redundant. Much like its predecessor, the adventure does not care about WBL that much, so PCs will have some serious wealth on their hands, item-wise.

The issues of “To Stake a Vampire”, beyond these, are two-fold: On one hand, it tries to be an investigation-heavy adventure; on the other, its railroad overall structure doesn’t necessarily help with that premise. The obviously vampified friendly NPC is a potentially huge roadbump for the GM. As for the old-school premise, I’d disagree in the module excelling at capturing that style of play – compared to the original Ravenloft-module, this, alas, falls woefully short in feeling and aesthetics – old-school GMs will not like this one and should probably instead take a look at Frog God Games’ Quests of Doom I, which sports two nice anti-vampire modules…or, you know, the classic Ravenloft modules.

In fact, the saving graces of the module are when what I assume to be Mike Myler’s pretty distinct playfulness and new school high-concept aesthetics break through; while this doesn’t fix the issues in structure and themes, it does elevate what I’d otherwise consider to be a very underwhelming scenario to one that sports a couple of saving graces. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded up by a margin for the purpose of this platform. I’d strongly suggest getting one of the excellent vampire modules out there instead.

Endzeitgeist out.



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[5E] A Touch of Class: 7 New Classes for 5th Edition
por Jordan B. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 01/02/18 07:33:50

I went in with high hopes for this book ($15 for homebrew content with only a couple reviews, but neat ideas) and was hoping the authors would "wow" me with good mechanics to match some of the cool ideas put forth in the description (was especially excited about the Diabolist, Feywalker, Noble). Unfortunately, I can not recommend this to anyone looking to expand their table's class selection.

An overarching issue is that most of the classes thematically (and some, mechanically) appear as though they easily could have been (and due to a variety of reoccuring balance issues, perhaps should have been) created within the framework of existing classes. Diabolist stands out especially in this regard for both, the class description presents no real difference between it and the Warlock and the core mechanics (Necro debuffs, summons) could easily have been a Patron and/or Pact Boon combination with these simply giving access to summoning spells/abilities and a Debuff effect for certain spells (with the addition of some Invocations, if that would be easier to streamline). I simply do not understand some of the mechanical choices made to represent some of the ideas, which themselves take unnecessary steps to distance themselves from existing classes (and sometimes in flat out poor ways, such as elevating the class in its description text above existing classes).

There's is a correlation within this document that the more an ability deviates from existing framework/class abilities the more mechanical and balance issues it tends to have. Some abilities (The Noble's Expertise comes to mind, which grants expertise to 3 skills rather than 2 like every other Expertise ability in the 5e) are blatantly overpowered compared against their counterparts. The Cardcaster (as fond as I may be of its inspiration) is perhaps the most unique class produced in the document and, unsurprisingly, suffers the most in terms of balance, unnecessary complexity (read: fat could have been trimmed to produce the same desired effect) and poor design. This correlation is entirely consistent throughout the document.

While not as critical as the mechanics, the flavor text is often poorly written in that it references mechanical concepts rather than taking the opportunity to highlight what such a character of this class might be like, might believe. Referring to "lawful slavers" and "chaotic" characters does not accomplish this at all. Combined with how the classes fail to differentiate themselves effectively from their core class counterparts, I get the feeling the concepts did not successfully transition from bundles of custom-tailored mechanics to fully realized and rich classes: skill kits from which different sorts of believably rounded people might grow and develop. That might not bother you if you're looking for a new class to tinker with, but for some it is a pretty big let down.

I did find the Alchemist class to have some of the more creative ideas but it too suffers from horrible balance issues that should have been very apparent during playtesting (scaling at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, 17th levels instead of 1st, 5th, 11th, 17th like every other spell effect in the game? And throwing multiple of them as well?). I also thought the formatting and art was very well done and the quality for these was consistent through the document. Unfortunately, the design problems were too great to ignore. That's perhaps the best way to describe this document as a whole: "Poorly Executed Design".

I am a huge fan and supporter of homebrew developers and love seeing the community produce new and exciting content to try at my table, but the problems here are simply far too much for a normal 5e table to incorporate without immense revision which might as well be an overhaul. When you charge professional prices ($15 for 70~ pages of content) you need to take the time to ensure your work can at least approach existing professional standards in the field. This does not even begin to approach that qualifying level of quality.

I would recommend you spend your money elsewhere.



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[WOIN] Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing
por craig n. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 12/02/17 06:59:01

the adventure is pretty good and is a great introduction for players to the N.E.W. rules and there is pleanty of room for expanding and retooling for your own wacky adventures



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[5E] A Touch of Class: 7 New Classes for 5th Edition
por Thony D. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/26/17 19:30:06

I was part of the kickstarter that brought this product to fruition, and have been using this for a while. The classes inside are, for the most part, fun and interesting to play with. There are a couple balance issues. The carcaster's YuGiOh archetype is a bit of a mess and requires what feels like a fair amount of DM fiat to be playable in a long term scenario. The Moorph suffers a fair amont, as well. The saving throws disobey the 'strong and weak' rule that some homebrwers might be aware of. But aside from that, there aren't a lot of beasts to actually transform into, making it's greatest strength, the ability to turn into higher CR monsters than a druid, difficult to work with. I've allowed the use of monstrocities, which are basically beasts with elemental powers, and this has worked well, though may be too powerful like that without some serious planning on the DM's part.

I haven't playtested with every class, yet, but for the most part these are spectaular and I do not regret my purchase in the least.



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To Slay A Dragon
por Thilo G. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/10/17 11:41:00

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This mega-adventure clocks in at 150 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page monster/NPC-index (handy), 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 143 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested as a non-prioritized review by my patreons.

The focus of this module is something that should provide no surprises for the GM or players – it’s to kill a dragon. The adventure comes with notes on character advancement and tables of Quest Xp-awards for the PCs, conveniently collated in a table. The module takes place in the rural county of Holdenshire and starts in the village Hengistbury, which comes with proper village stats, though these do sport a formatting deviation from the standard – but that as an aside. We begin this adventure with basically a gazetteer of the village, which goes into details, including tavern menu for the Bleeding Heart tavern, notes on locations of interest and fluffy write-ups of the NPCs featured – these btw. include a good hill giant, Ugg, who is a kind of mascot for the village. The massive cast of characters here is impressive and their full-color mugshots are nice – however, if you’re planning on running Zeitgeist, then these may irk you: Not only is there overlap in the nomenclature of NPCs, the art assets employed here have also been used in the Zeitgeist AP. It’s a purely aesthetic thing and will not influence my final verdict, but it is something that irked me.

After a brief bit of introductory prose, the adventure becomes pretty free-form, with several (11) quests and a full page of rumors providing plenty of adventuring potential.

However, to go into details here, I’ll have to dive into SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

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All right, only GMs around? Great! So, the quests per se are interesting – they e.g. deal with an evil fey dubbed spring-heeled jack, kidnapping kids. They feature a werewolf; dealing with a troll under a bridge, caravan duty, dealing with some lizardfolk and a green hag, a retribution for a prank that went too far, dealing with a manslayer particularly fond of traps, accompanying someone on chimera-safari – the quests, idea-wise, are interesting and feature copious amounts of read-aloud text – they are, thankfully, not the basic and bland ogre/shadow-slaying standard level 1-quest. That being said, they do, at one point, start feeling like filler – the quests are all very brief and while they mention terrain, skills, etc., they don’t sport encounter maps or the like and almost always boil down to: “PCs venture forth, find villain, dispose of villain.” – They are basically a series of boss fights. They are a good series of boss fights with interesting foes, but yeah – structurally, I would have loved to see a bit more variety. Though there is one interesting task: Finding a poltergeist and freeing her requires a bit more than brawns and the quest is supplemented with a basic map of the ruined keep that’s haunted – this quest is also pretty much non-optional, for it provides one of the tools the PCs will definitely need...

As soon as the PCs have reached 3rd level, they will hear of kobolds kidnapping a girl – hunting them down provides the catalyst for the main-quest – Lord Pemberton bestows the sword secured in the ruin-adventure to the PCs. The sword is called Dragonbane and is a +3 wounding dragon bane greatsword. Which nets +4 to saves against breath weapons, SPs and spells cast by dragons. And critical hits cause an additional “2d10 holy damage” against dragons – this damage type does not exist in PFRPG. On a nitpicky, aesthetic side, the weapon’s write-up also lacks some italicizations. On a less nitpicky side, you can probably glean one issue of the module. That’s a 90K weapon for 3rd level characters. For comparison: The suggested 3rd-level PC-value is 3K gold. And unlike many a artifact, the blade does not come with a drawback or the like – apart from the promise to slay the red dragon Cirothe.

This leads into Act II of the mega-adventure, the section that is about doing the eponymous deed. In order to defeat the dragon, the PCs will have to explore through the massive wilderness, collecting 4 items: The coward’s map (so named for the dwarves that fled Cirothe), said to be in the hands of the Fedap clan. The hammer of vengeance remains in the dwarven fortress Deephall Point – Cirothe devastated the fortress and left it to giants – ostensibly due to this mighty weapon. The quiver of the dragon’s bane is said to have been developed by the elves of Greendell Forest – though their sage has been lost in dubious circumstances. Finally, the PCs will need to find Cirothe’s true name – something only known to the by now mad fairy queen of Greyfell Forest. Each of these quests sports three steps – progress in them is measured by stars. The further the PCs are, the more stars they’ll have assembled. Here’s the issue: You roll the dragon die each day, which simulates Cirothe’s actions – this would be a d20 and you add the total number of stars and consult a table: On 20+, Cirothe flies forth, which means that the PCs will at least encounter more kobolds; from 21 to 32, each entry in a corresponding table denotes one or more areas utterly destroyed by the dragon. While this is intended to simulate the assault of the dragon and the devastation caused, it does come with a bit of an issue: What if the PCs are in the respective town? There is a solid chance for that to happen and the adventure tens to relegate these instances to off-screen events, replacing destroyed places with ruins inhabited by kobolds.

The chapter also employs injury and illness rules – which are tacked on and make not much sense within the context of PFRPG. Illness reduces, for example, maximum hit points – and oddly, both types can’t be healed with magics. Which makes no sense within the context of the system. The wilderness section also introduces a decent way of tracking overland supplies. As a whole, I considered both to be a bit cumbersome and, ultimately, superfluous. The settlements featured, just fyi, lack settlement statblocks.

Anyways, the quests themselves are pretty interesting in their concepts: For the coward’s map, the PCs will have to break an alliance between orcs and bandits and liberate the town; after that, the PCs will have to break the orc horde besieging Halfpoint and finally wrest a mace from nasty ogres to trade for the map. It should be noted that this quest’s first segment also represents the start of the quiver-questline.

The quiver quest focuses on aforementioned elven sage, one Sonina, getting the unicorn king kidnapped – freeing him from the goblinoids is not easy. Once he has been freed, the problem remains – the sage needs the poison of the intelligent queen of a race of smart spiders!

In order to secure the hammer, the PCs will have to test their mettle by presenting the head of a troll elder to one Theobod – he tells the PCs about a route to Deephall Point, which is now held by a few cave giants. Ultimately, the PCs will have to destroy a rift crystal and thus secure another tool.

The quest for Cirothe’s true name deals with the PCs first trying to rescue an elf from the mad plant-creatures within Greyfell forest – if they do, the elf’s master will tell them where to find the mad fairy queen’s castle – in order to get there, the PCs will have to pass a drowhold and finally convince the queen to tell the PCs Cirothe’s true name.

Okay, so what do these items do? The Coward’s Map can show the PCs the way to any place noted – and conceals them from Cirothe and her minions; the quiver coats arrows in dragonvenom – this means that hits auto-crit and “lower all of the creatures defenses by 5” – whatever that is supposed to mean. Rules-language this is not. The hammer auto-dispels all spell effects on the dragon on a failed DC 25 Will-save and costs the dragon 1d8 spell-levels per hit. When the dragon’s true name is spoken, the speaker can dictate the actions of Cirothe for one round. Each speaker may only use the name once and never relearn it. The quiver is btw. a “back slot” item – guess what doesn’t exist in PFRPG? Bingo. A back slot.

This section is btw. also complemented with a massive array of random encounters, treasure generation tables, etc. You may note one thing: From this vast amount of quests and their ideas and a quick glance at the page-count, you’ll notice that all of these cannot possibly e fully detailed. You’d be correct. There are no maps provided for them and while different plans and PC-actions are noted, all aspects of the adventure remain sketch-like – the module presents a cool idea, a couple of suggested strategies and stats – the rest is up to you. Personally, I don’t mind that too much, but it’s something to bear in mind. The wealth of ideas may be, at least a bit, too much – one quest less and instead more details regarding the quests themselves would have probably done the adventure good.

Act III, finally, is about climbing the active volcano Skull Mountain, entering the dragon’s lair and slaying Cirothe. The volcano comes with a great, full-color side-view and venture down skull mountain. There also is a really nice isometric map – but unlike many comparable maps by EN Publishing, this module does not sport a layer that lets you turn off the annoying numbers, secret door indicators, etc. – that would be a comfort detriment. Now, to give the adventure credit: Cirothe is a fearsome beast. At CR 14, we have an adult red dragon here. She is significantly more powerful than anything the PCs could hope to deal with sans the artifacts. Speaking of which: They cause their wielders to fail the first save against a red dragon’s breath – and said breath destroys them. While this allows the GM to get rid of them easily, an autofail save can mean instant death for many characters. The dragon’s superior power in the final encounter is offset by the name – basically, the PCs get 1 round per character knowing the name of free pot-shots…which makes the final encounter anticlimactic rocket-launcher tag. If the dragon can kill off the PCs before they lock her, she wins; if the PCs manage to lock her, they can potentially have a pretty easy battle on their hands – a decent sniper can, with the autocrit quiver, take down the dragon in a round, provided the “defense lowering” applies to AC. In short: Instead of an epic battle, we get a briefer altercation. If the artifacts focused more on defense instead of offense, the whole battle would have imho been more exciting.

On the plus-side: We get a COLOSSAL dragon’s hoard spanning multiple pages. The pdf also provides a couple of notes for dealing with the colossal wealth, though, frankly, that train’s probably gone, considering the potent blade. I strongly suggest keeping this a contained one-shot campaign.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting on a formal level, are very good. On a rules-language level, the same can’t always be said – from some wonky subsystems to a couple of issues with terminology that directly influence the integrity of the rules, there are some issues here. Layout adheres to a nice, two-column full-color standard – the pdf is layered, allowing you to take away the used-paper look and making the pdf more printer-friendly. Artworks are a combination of stock and re-used assets. The modules sports a few maps that range from really cool (Act III) to decent – they are in full-color, but we get no player-friendly versions for any of the maps.

To Slay a Dragon, penned by Russ Morrissey, Jacob Driscoll and Christopher J. Herbert, with additional text by Brian Casey, is per se an epic take on the “Kill the super-powerful dragon” trope. That being said, it is one that falls short in a couple of the details: The adventure shows in several instances a disregard for some rules of the game, which is annoying; the WBL-breaking, if used in a continuous campaign, can be problematic. More jarring, at least to me, would be that the adventure, ultimately, feels almost like it’s…not really done? It’s a strange feeling, but from the lack of maps of a majority of the environments to the massive scope, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this tries to provide too much.

Don’t get me wrong – the respective quest-lines in Act II are really cool and fun…but they remain sketch-like, opaque, and require serious GM-work to fully flesh them out. Significantly more so than in the big APs by EN Publishing. When run as written, a significant amount of this module will feel like a sequence of montages. Cool ones, yes – but ultimately, this adventure feels like it could, and probably should, have spanned more pages – 50 to 100. Act III is more detailed; Act I, ultimately, is lead-in level-up filler and doesn’t really contribute that much to the overall proceedings. Structurally, this falls short of the promise that its ideas deserve. I also have an issue with the way in which the final encounter will boil down, at least to an extent, to rocket-launcher tag, courtesy of the artifacts assembled. A properly-built ranged weapon specialist could theoretically solo Cirothe when handled properly and getting halfway lucky. I get and applaud that the artifacts allow the PCs to deal with a proper dragon – I like that! I just maintain that defensive artifacts would have made the final showdown much more rewarding. Speaking of which: If you’re lucky/unlucky, the dragon die-mechanic, while interesting, can really screw over the PCs. A more nuanced cat and mouse game between PCs and dragon would have probably been more rewarding.

Is this module bad? No! If you want a cool set-up for an against-the-dragon campaign, then this should provide what you’re looking for; just be aware that you’ll need to do some serious work fleshing things out – and redesign the artifacts/rules-relevant components. I will rate this module for what it is; if you want go-play/minimum fuss adventuring, detract another star. My final verdict will hence clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



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