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Cry Havoc
by Simon G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2008 05:45:02
As a PDF - good quality. As with all (most) Malhavoc products, it has a clean, black and white layout making it easy on the printer and quick to scroll through. This one is quite a big product, though.

As a supplement - This is really two books in one. It is part of Malhavoc's 'Event Book' line (also including When the Sky Falls and Requiem for a God) that give guidelines on how to incorporate huge world-changing events into your 'd20 fantasy' game. In this case: War.

So the book includes some of the usual splat-book elements of prestige classes, items and spells, plus some useful notes on what player characters can *do* during warfare that isn't just endless fighting. These are reasonable, but nothing special.

Then it's also a wargame. Almost two wargames, really - one dealing with small scale skirmishes and another for large scale combat. They're pretty much the same system with a bit of scaling. I don't know how they play out as I haven't used them.

There is a third level of wargame, which covers about three pages, which is a much more abstract system used for fights in the background. It's *almost* paper-scissors-stone with tactical maneuvres. I've used this when I ran a Dragonlance game (it is very useful for the Battle of the High Clerist's Tower) and it works quite nicely. But perhaps not worth buying the whole book for.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cry Havoc
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Book of Experimental Might
by Brendan F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2008 09:17:16
A little too late in 3rd Edition D&D's life? Not really...

While this would have had far more impact a year ago, Monte Cook seems to have a strong following and undoubtedly the 3.5 die-hards will be interested in what he has to say here.

Options, options, options... The book is jam-packed. Some are better than others, not all will suit every game style. But by the sheer wealth of ideas, many of which have gone pretty much untouched in WotC's official books, it's clear that Cook has a damned good handle on the system, and the many ways to use it.

I won't go point-by-point through the many options here. But the familiars and healing options are excellent, and stood out as something I'd likely use. As it is, this book gets a high rating, and is well worth the £5 asking price.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Experimental Might
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Requiem for a God
by Simon G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2008 07:19:08
As a PDF:
Most Malhavoc products have a clean design, mostly B&W with reasonable white space. This makes them quick to read and lighter on toner. This one is no exception.

As a product:

This is a sourcebook covering possibilities of a deity dying, or being resurrected, and how to implement this into your campaign. Bearing in mind this is written by the author of the Planescape adventure Dead Gods, you can see Monte Cook recycling his ideas.

As is typical for this kind of book, there are new spells, feats, items, prestige classes and monsters. Most function around the concept that the body and soul of a deity have residual power that can be exploited. If you don't like the concept that dead gods can be carved up and used to fuel spells, you probably won't enjoy this book, as it doesn't offer much in the way of alternative approaches.

What it does offer is solid enough. Whether you like it or not will depend on how your ideas mesh with those presented here.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Requiem for a God
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When the Sky Falls
by Simon G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2008 07:14:30
As PDF:
Good quality. Typical of Malhavoc products there is a clean design with much white-space, making it fast to read and easy on the toner to print.

As a supplement:

Of reasonable interest. Covers the events surrounding a 'skyfall' (i.e. meteor strike) and how it could be implemented in an ongoing campaign. Three different types of skyfall are covered - a mundane meteor strike, a magical meteor strike and an 'engram ark'. Other options, such as a fallen angel or monsters similar to The Blob, The Thing and The Colour Out of Space are also given brief notice.

As is typical of these kinds of books, a smattering of new feats, spells, items and prestige classes are covered. The concept of the Sky-Callers, an apocalyptic cult dedicated to calling down meteoric ruin would make for a good adventure or campaign. Other rules elements are fairly so-so. The Engram Ark concept is one that you will either love or hate. It draws on Bruce Cordells psionics work for Malhavoc, with a dark star-spanning Cthulhoid entity known as the Dark Plea (perhaps more Galactus, actually) that destroys entire worlds. Several monsters and items relate to the failed attempts of one world to send out their racial memories in 'engram arks' before the Dark Plea got them. Unlike other aspects of this book, this one plotline is to specific for my tastes.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
When the Sky Falls
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When the Sky Falls
by Ward M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2008 16:16:32
If you ever need to shake up your campaign with a little natural disaster, buy this book. It will literally rock your world.

The book starts by describing how your campaign world will be physically altered by a significant meteor impact. It then goes on to describe several directions in which a post-disaster campaign can go. The book includes new rules and prestiege classes for version 3.5 tailored for a Skyfall campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Ptolus: A Player's Guide to Ptolus
by Ward M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2008 16:11:15
Monte Cook's Ptolus was a well thought-out incredibly detailed product. However, his campaign world suffered from unfortunate timing. When the bottom dropped out of third edition, it kind of left his books stranded.

If you want to know about Ptolus, this is a good place to start.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ptolus: A Player's Guide to Ptolus
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Spell Treasury
by scott e. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2008 19:27:25
This product is exactly what I expected: a whole slew of spells (most of which are familiar to any D&D veteran), updated and formatted to fit into the AE magic system.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spell Treasury
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Ruins of Intrigue
by Malcolm M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2008 21:06:44
I have a real problem with sourcebooks that provide little more than mountains of descriptive text, and this is one of those products.

Sure, there's a sparse overview map, and a few illustrations, but mostly this product is page after page of description and setting background. If you're a hardcore fan of all things Malhavoc, I expect you'll love it regardless. For the rest of us, not so much.

Technically, it provides what it promises, but in no real way does it take the burden off of the Game Master, who has to distill it all down into details which can be used readily and easily at the gaming table.

So, I flag my bias: I'm dead-sick of supplements which promise to flesh out an interesting area or setting for game use, and then proceed to bury you in text description -- leaving the actual hard and tedious work of player-scale mapping and _practical_ setting implementation for game table use all on the GM's shoulders. Basically, I paid them for a travel guide textbook, and that's not what the ad copy implied.

Since Ruins of Intrigue technically does what it promises -- it does deliver a setting (and a setting which seems oddly reminiscent of RuneQuest's "Big Rubble" boxed set), albeit almost entirely in text -- I suppose I should, technically, give it a passing grade.

But you know what? I'm really tired of buying supplements which don't actually help to alleviate my GM workload, the way they imply they will.

So it's a 2 out of 5 -- Malhavoc, of all publishers, should know better than this.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Ruins of Intrigue
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Book of Experimental Might
by Thomas E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/07/2008 15:43:19
A very good read and definitely worth the money, but not perfect. My only real objection is that Monte seems to have this strange idea that casters are underpowered and needed a boost and that Fighters are overpowered and could stand to be toned down. I'd hope it would be obvious that the complete opposite is true, but whatever. Combining this with a few house rules of my own is producing a very good and playable ruleset, so I'm happy!

There really are a lot of excellent rules in here. The changes to Paladins, Rangers, and Druids are my favourite, and the little changes like Trip and how Poisons work are quite useful as well. It's also nice to see some of my houserules validated by knowing Monte Cook does the same thing. Definitely worth picking up, even if you don't use everything in it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Experimental Might
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Book of Experimental Might
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/06/2008 08:13:38
Few books have inspired me like Monte Cook’s The Book of Experimental Might has. It is as if he took a lot of the good things that designers have talked about in 4e, merged it gracefully with 3e and still retained the Role playing game feel that early playtesters of 4e say WOTC’s new system lacks.

If you are waiting to play the next version of Dungeons and Dragons, there is no need to wait until June, Cook has already created it.

Dubbed by many in the fan community as 3.75, this book feels like it should be 3.99. It is fully compatible with 3.5, making it possible to utilize to new system and its mechanics with your current game. There are three major changes in Experimental Might. The biggest overhaul is to the spell system, which is changed from a 1 to 9 to a 1 to 20. Spellcasters can spells that equal to their level. It is a much more fluid delivery for magic. The Cleric, Druid, Ranger, Paladin and Wizard are given a small revamp. Whereas saves are not covered, you can use the PHB version, their special abilities have been stripped away. Instead, players may choose disciplines every even level. Some of these disciplines replicate abilities such as wild shape and turning, whereas as some represent spells such as healing and magic missile. They are all standard actions.

Another overhaul is that players receive a feat every level. Another fascinating concept that does not really change the game much in hindsight. Considering that most feats can only be done at specific times the players feel more balanced in this system. Along with other brilliant changes to the poison and skills, there is a pretty balanced spellcasting fighter class whom uses ruins to enhance his fighting. A lot simplier than the Book of Nine Swords, though just as effective.

For the Dungeon Master
I really enjoyed making NPCs with more feat choices. It gives me the chance to round out the character without overpowering them. I also loved the changes to spells, as many of the changes eliminate save or die spells and make some of the traditional spells different than just damage dealers. My favorite spell change is the one that finally makes raise dead special. Whereas it is easy to cast, you have to put more effort into it. There is also a 10th level “quick” revive” spell that allows a player to wake up a downed player who fell in an encounter.

For the Player
The new class is the perfect antidote to those with the gimp disease. It does not lean too far one way or the other in terms of magic and fighting. The ruins feel very creative, covering defensive moves and attack options.

The Iron Word
Buy the Book of Experimental Might. It is amazing and will change the way you play 3.5. I’d even go as far as to say that this book, combined with Malhavoc Press’s Book of Iron Might, is a spectacular choice for those not interested in 4e but want a better version of 3.5.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved
by scott e. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2008 00:52:17
Though not for the beginner by any means, this product will greatly appeal to any experienced player or GM who is looking for terrifically customizable characters and fresh new approaches to character classes and roles, and a setting that isn't just another cookie-cutter Tolkein-inspired world.

The only complaint is the dearth of cartography. A package of color, high-res maps would make this an ideal product line.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved
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Looking Glass Deep
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/25/2008 22:41:09
Free maps-what more can you ask for. Useable with Map Tool, which I strongly recommend.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Looking Glass Deep
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Book of Experimental Might
by Ian C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/25/2008 12:32:38
Monte Cook is a gaming god.

Of course, we all knew that. While it saddens me to note that He has chosen to concentrate on being a novelist these days, let us also note that He has gifted us with so much that we would be ingrates not to acknowledge His ceaseless devotion to our hobby and give Him his well earned rest.

Still, ... just when He thought He was out, we pulled Him back in.

And He is still a gaming god.

This product is brilliant, not because it is a cohesive whole, but because it is somewhere between a cohesive whole and a hodgepodge of unconnected stuff. While it is certainly possible to use all of the alternate rules as they are presented in the book (and they do all work together nicely), it is also possible to pick and choose from the offerings, selecting only what works in your game (as I have chosen to do). It gladdens me to note that I have actually used very similar ideas as these in my own games already, and although I am certainly no Monte Cook, it warms the cockles of my tiny blackened heart to see that He and I have been on the same wavelength at least once or twice before. I particularly refer to and admire the discipline rules, which are the shining gems in this beautiful piece of well crafted gaming jewelry. Well done, sir, well done. Go buy this now. Stop wasting your time with this review, which only states the obvious, and go buy this RIGHT NOW. No, no. Don't thank me, I'm just the messenger. Thank Him, and be thankful that He can be persuaded to come back to us occasionally and bestow His blessings upon us.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Experimental Might
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Book of Experimental Might
by Salvador M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2008 21:39:36
You're either going to love what Monte's done in hs house rule set, or your going to hate it, I think. There's some pretty deep changes here for the magic using classes that take them into DnD 3.6 territory (the spell progression changes and introduction of disciplines warrants a .1 version increment, at least). Very much changes things up so that your spellcasters get something new and shiny every level, instead ofe very other level, all with the goal of extending the number of encounters you can go through before having to rest.

Liked it enough that I'll probably rebuy in paper form if it becomes available.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved
by John C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2008 00:46:47
The other reviewers have done an excellent job of explaining why this is a fantastic product. So why am I bothering to add anything? Honestly, mostly because I don't see a way to remove this product from my "needs to be reviewed" queue without reviewing it. :p

However, so this won't be a waste of space, let me point out that Okay... Your Turn, the official message board for Monte's work, has an incredibly active, friendly, and knowledgeable user base. If you have any questions about this book, before or after buying it, just pop in at

http://okayyourturn.yuku.com/

and ask your questions. You'll get answers, and you could even make some friends.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved
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