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Teratic Tome
Publisher: Neoplastic Press
by Daniel S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/29/2013 17:22:05
The Teratic Tome is like the Monster Manual and the Fiend Folio mashed up, stripped of the dross, and dialed up to eleven. The monsters in this book are unique, formidable, and often truly horrifying. The art is top-flight, and the Tome goes the extra mile to create its own internal mythos, enough to fuel an entire bloody, grueling campaign. This is the best RPG product I've purchased in a long time. If you're any kind of fan of D&D or even just awesome monsters, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Teratic Tome
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Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places
Publisher: Troll in the Corner
by Daniel S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/07/2012 11:35:10
Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places is the kind of fast toolkit you can actually use when you're short on inspiration and time, or when your players take a turn you didn't expect and you suddenly have to come up with a new NPC or encounter. Unlike products of this kind that sometimes feature hundreds of generic and barely-useful "seeds" or encounters, Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places actually has some thought and craft behind the material, and it shows.

The first thing I noticed about this product was the quality. There are three versions of the file: normal, print-friendly, and tablet-optimized. There's also a tidy and organized PDF index / table of contents. I can't tell you how much I wish more indie developers would pay attention to these details. A good index makes all the difference.

Since Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places is system-neutral, each entry is focused on the story details, not on statistics. Each NPC, for example, has the following attributes: name, motivation, strength, weakness, and a relative "power rating" for incorporating the material into your own game world. So be advised that if you're going to drop this stuff in, you're going to have to come up with your own game stats.

Each entry is concise and easily digestible. Each of the NPCs, places, and items come with at least one or two "plot hooks" for incorporating them into your game. Personally, I love that there were multiple hooks for each -- I love having a choice. The NPCs and encounters range from the rather typical to the truly bizarre.

The interior artwork by Hisham is also great -- none of it looks like stock art or random illustrations that bear no resemblance to what's on the page.

Finally, the book has a sentient sword called ULTRAMIND. You heard me.

Although I received a free copy in return for a review, I would gladly have shelled out the six bucks for this product.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places
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Fragments
Publisher: Wooden Vampire Games
by Daniel S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/30/2012 15:03:23
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Fragments is a series of short horror stories by a pair of authors, C.R.Smith and Victoria Snelling. The previous reviewer who characterized these stories as "easily digestible" was on the money; the chapters are short, pointed, and full of impact. The subject matter varies from the Lovecraftian and supernatural to the realist and psychological, and varies in style from narrative to modern epistolary (something of a lost art among horror writers in this day and age).

Personally, I would have preferred a couple of stories with more dialogue and less narrative, but that's a subjective preference. These stories are also about as bleak as they come -- few end well for the protagonists. My personal favorite was "Imelda," a harrowing little tale with a brutal twist at the end.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fragments
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Starships Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Daniel S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/18/2009 15:28:10
For starship combat enthusiasts, good paper starship minis can be hard to come by, and this is by far the best set I've purchased. The Starships Set provides a wide variety of ships both large and small, with nice art and solid craftsmanship. The minis can be easily cut out and assembled, and the Powerpoint version allows you to easily customize the sheets to print out whatever combinations you want, as well as resize the minis themselves.

This set has only a few small shortcomings:

1) It lacks even the most basic instructions. These minis are not at all complicated, but even a sidebar to eliminate the guesswork would have been nice.

2) The copy claims you can assemble them as flats, A-frame or triangular format, but the minis themselves only come in one format -- so if you want flat counters, you'll just have to print off the whole thing and then simply lop off the unused portion of the mini. This is kind of wasteful, and seems like it could easily have been remedied by just adding a sheet or two of flat counters.

3) If you want to fit your minis to a standard hex grid or battlemat, you'll have to shrink them in the Powerpoint presentation and do some legwork -- the PDF versions are nice, but too big unless you're using rulers or tape to measure distance.

4) The larger minis have an assembly issue in that the back end folds down too far. It can be corrected by snipping off the end, but this seems like a clear error that should probably be addressed.

I originally gave this set four stars, as overall I think it's very good, but on attempting to assemble a couple of the larger minis, I have to downgrade to 3 stars. This is a good set that could really be great, and it's a bargain at the price, but it could use a little work.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Starships Set
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