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FT 1 - Creeping Beauties of the Wood
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/20/2014 10:41:53
Sweeping fairy-tale inspired adventure that is a sequel to FT0: Prince Charming, Reanimator, it is hard to remember at times that this is a first-level adventure, there's so much going on and indeed so much at stake. It is recommended that if you have not played the previous adventure that you do so, it will make more sense for the party to get involved in this adventure.

The action begins with the party being summoned by Lord Charming, who wants the nearby forest called the Grimswood rid of evil. Amongst other things, it contains the mausoleums of three of his son's former wives - and the poor Lord is a bit embarassed about this, feeling that he should have held his son in check. The rewards are quite generous, even unto that traditional reward, the hand of a princess. (A real live one, not one of those residing in the mausoleums.)

Loads of background material is provided to keep you on track with who is plotting what, along with a plethora of maps to put in front of your players as the adventure progresses. These include big ones for virtual table top users as well as regular ones. Each encounter comes with a goodly list of options to pick from depending on what the characters decide to do, excellent support when you are planning and running your game.

Many of the encounters are drawn from the grimmer sides of fairy tales, but not everything is hostile... characters will have opportunities for interaction (and information gathering) should they choose to take advantage of them. As well as a forest to explore, there's a goblin market to visit and caverns to delve into, plenty to keep everyone amused. There's plenty of advice on running the encounters and using the elements of this adventure, with particular regard to the 'spirit' of the Dungeon Crawl Classics game. A thoroughly enjoyable adventure to weave into your campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FT 1 - Creeping Beauties of the Wood
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Scroll Generator
Publisher: Ennead Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/19/2014 06:13:37
If you want to go beyond merely telling your players what is written on the scroll their characters have just found, this should help spawn a few ideas for making those scrolls a bit more interesting.

It consists of several tables covering everything from what sort of scroll it is (arcane, divine, etc) to ink type and material, not forgetting the container and even how legible the handwriting is! It's advised if you want to use the complete system you roll scrolls up ahead of time, but you can always use a single table if one of your players asks a question that you haven't considered.

Interestingly, there are some perfectly mundane scrolls included, so characters may find themselves holding a dictionary, a recipe, a shopping list... or birthday greetings or perhaps the deeds to a house or research notes on a range of topics. Not every scroll is crackling with spells, after all.

There are also some innovative scrolls that are themselves magical, rather than having magic written on them. Fancy a scroll that takes dictation or which can make an exact copy of another scroll merely by being laid on top of it? Or one which will map an area for you? They can be found here.

Of course, there are also some cursed scrolls. Not everything the characters will find should be beneign and useful...

As well as providing all those little details that make scrolls come to vivid life in your game, just reading through the possibilities starts spawning ideas regarding scroll-based plots... a hidden benefit, perhaps, but one worth pursuing.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scroll Generator
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Mythic Mastery - Mythic Efreeti
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/17/2014 09:56:38
You might think that a regular efreeti is a pretty mythic fellow, but once you read through these notes it becomes clear that a true mythic efreeti is even more potent.

Sharing common characteristics with their regular brethren, mythic efreet have additional powers most notable of which is the ability to magically shackle a humanoid creature, enslaving them. A full stat block and notes on their special abilities are provided along with comprehensive notes about how mythic efreet fit into the hierarchy on the Plane of Fire.

This explains how mythic efreet gain 'mythic' status... by interacting with us 'lesser' creatures on the Material Plane! An efreeti who grants too many wishes and warps the fabric of the multiverse enough begins to gain mythic powers.

The rest of the work contains several rituals for summoning mythic efreet. The usual planar binding spells don't work on mythic genies, so other means must be employed. In some ways these rituals are easier than regular summonings, but they are also more risky and the unwary may find themselves unprotected when the summoned efreeti - likely to be in a bad mood - pops out in front of them!

Some interesting twists to throw into run-of-the-mill genie interactions here.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Mastery - Mythic Efreeti
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Found Footage
Publisher: Aegis Studios
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/16/2014 09:06:55
Innovative material to drive an investigation, following on the basic premise of a young couple going on a camping trip and disappearing. The scene is set and a variety of possible outcomes provided, leaving you to pick whichever one suits your ongoing campaign the best.

Several suggestions are made as to how the party gets involved in the disappearance. Once they begin investigating there is plenty of material for them to find, background for those who have vanished and in the woods where they were camping. The real gem, though, is a collection of photos and video clips ostensibly from their phones which are provided for you to show to your players.

Various NPCs, including the disappeared couple and some that could appear depending on which outcome you choose are provided, with background notes and full character sheets.

Naturally, there's some work to do before you actually run this as an adventure: it's designed as an adventure seed not a full-blown scenario. However, a straitforward basic premise is well-presented with lots of hints and ideas to get you going, as well as the delightful additional media to use as props. Well worth a look.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Found Footage
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Publisher Reply:
Megan, So glad to see that you enjoyed Found Footage! We are looking into more enhanced transmedia supplements which will contain additional artwork & handouts, video elements, audio elements and other resources to enhance gameplay. Thanks so much for your review! Thanks, Travis Legge Aegis Studios
Arcknight Maps: The Grand Cathedral
Publisher: Arcknight
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/15/2014 12:22:54
A versitile and comprehensive set of tiles to enable you to build a European-style Christian cathedral battlemap. By selecting the appropriate parts, you can have the full cathedral complete with gallery and crypt, an ordinary church, an abbey or even a rather fancy office (which need not be religious at all). Suggestions are made for these layouts, but the individual pages are geomorphic so you can assemble them in any way that takes your fancy.

These all come as hex, grid or unmarked, in 11x17 and 'letter' size PDFs and high resolution JPEGs for those using virtual table tops or who wish to edit the images for themselves.

Detail is very good and clear, with everything drawn well and crisply. Each area has appropriate furniture and if your intention is to model a religious facility run along these lines it will serve well. Although I have described it as an 'European-style Christian cathedral' that is from knowledge of how they are laid out - there are no overt religious symbols so this may be used for the worship of the deity of your choice.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Arcknight Maps: The Grand Cathedral
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Hex - AoH Solo (M&M3e)
Publisher: Xion Studios
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/15/2014 11:06:06
The backstory for this superhero involves an early adoption and a kid growing up quite normally until her 16th birthday dinner when she felt a bit sick and visited the restroom - only to have the bathroom furniture spout water and ultimately explode around her as her powers made themselves manifest! Fortunately they then remained quiescent again until she went to college, but there she fell in with a bad crowd and turned to petty crime... until one of her superpowered crime partners decided to attack her adoptive parents. A massive battle ensued, and after defeating him, she turned herself in and did her time for the offences she'd committed.

Now a reformed character, she brawls on the side of good. Her powers include probability manipulation and the ability to change the colour of an item, and she has also taken to the study of magic.

Hex is an interesting character with the potential to walk on either side of the street as superhero or supervillain. She'd be quite interesting to play or to use as an NPC associate of the party, with a backstory that can - and should - intrude into the plotline every so often.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hex - AoH Solo (M&M3e)
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*Dungeoneering Presents* Temple of Amon-Ra
Publisher: Dungeoneering.net
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/15/2014 10:07:56
Very much what it says on the tin - a mammoth complex all ready for you to populate with monsters, traps, loot and anything else which takes your fancy.

There's a one-page overview to show you how it should be laid out (along with a note that if you want to expand it, the publisher also has a 'desert tiles' set available), and then there are 20 sheets of tiles in an appropriate size to use with miniatures or tokens.

The grid pattern is nicely presented as actual tiles... as in a tiled floor. There are tonal variations so it isn't too boring, along with a few tiles of completely different colour and some with symbols on them. You'll have to decide their significance... or lack thereof.

If you like a good 'crawl but don't have the skills, time or inclination to map it, this should start you off. If you are really time-strapped, there are random 'dungeon contents' products available as well (try the Raging Swan Press "Dungeon Dressing" series, Ennead Games or Lee's Lists - all available here - for a start).

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
*Dungeoneering Presents* Temple of Amon-Ra
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Battlemap : Archaeological Dig
Publisher: Christian Hollnbuchner
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/12/2014 11:12:13
An interesting battlemap that just begs to have an adventure written around it. Quite timeless too, so whether you are running a fantasy, contemporary or future game there's scope for incorporating it.

The situation is quite straightforward, a dig is in progress unearthing a giant marble statue of a human or at least humanoid figure. What it is, what it portends, is up to you; as is how it was discovered in the first place. Will something dire take place if it is completely uncovered? What secrets are there to be revealed? Does the party want to dig it out or prevent it from seeing the light of day? Are they real archaelologists or mere treasure hunters seeking to make a profit from whatever they find?

There are a few tents for the archaeological team, platforms and ramps to gain access to the dig site and the giant statue itself.

Art is clear and crisp, although you will need to work out depths based on the elevation on the cover as the top-down view does not give you much to go on. There's a multi-page print-and-stick-together version and a massive single sheet version for virtual tabletop users.

Many games make use of archaeological discoveries so be it Cthulhu or pulp, something in the far future or something to puzzle your fantasy characters there is likely to be a use for this.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battlemap : Archaeological Dig
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Division 20 Issue #0 - Collectors Edition
Publisher: Le Nurd Mystique, LLC
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/11/2014 12:35:25
Interesting start to what should be an enjoyable comic.

The premise is simple. Some secret agents were deep-frozen about 50 years ago and one has just been revived (with a remarkably contemporary view of political correctness for someone from 50 years ago) and is just finding out that the cover is that of a talent/modelling agency - but no indications as yet as to what the mission might be. Guess we'll have to wait for issue #1 to find out.

It's well-drawn and laid out, with a few photos mixed in to good effect, definitely showing promise.

For gamers: it could make a plausible start to a contemporary thriller/action game, and the cover of a talent & modelling agency is certainly a concept worth noting (and capable of being used for a mixed team of agents, not just a female one, depending on your players).

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Division 20 Issue #0 - Collectors Edition
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Unconventional Diplomacy
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/09/2014 12:05:22
If your Laundry officers have been sitting around for a while getting complacent in their knowledge of what's going on, these six adventures should light a fuse under them! Each is well considered, a delightful balance between arcane manipulations and good traditional tradecraft, pitting wits and muscle against the forces of evil and the enemies of your country (who may or may not be the same thing).

For 'diplomacy' means something a little different to the seasoned Laundry officer than it does to the mundane world. It's all about making treaties and deals not with other nations but with otherworldly entities... but if that goes awry and they won't come to the negotiating pentacle, why, then you have to resort to more, ahem, direct means.

Each of these 'diplomatic missions' comes with detailed background, the initial briefing as given to the officers, and then the adventure unfolds with all the information you need to run it every step of the way. Everything is well organised and ought to make for easy running, at least from this side of the GM screen. There are, naturally, plenty of twists and complications for the officers to contend with, neatly coupled with plenty of leeway to let them run riot around the plotline without derailing it completely.

All six are a real delight of nightmarish bureaucratic dealings with Things That Should Not Be, their earthly minions and anyone else who happens along (especially those who do not regard the officers' employers in a fond light). The level of detail is amazing, and support for running it well organised. Gibber and meep, all ye enemies of the state!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Unconventional Diplomacy
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Dungeon Dressing: Dungeon Entrances
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/08/2014 10:09:37
They say don't judge a book by its cover, but the entrance of any structure may well determine if you decide to go in. So, you've designed a fantastic dungeon, how are you going to entice the party to venture into it?

The first section, Characteristics and Appearance, talks about setting the scene. Will you use your entrance to set the tone for the rest of the dungeon, will it foreshadow some of what is to come? Or will it look completely innocuous? Will it be trapped or have other challenges that the party must overcome before they can even set foot in the place? Once you've had time to mull over these ideas - or if you're in a hurry you can move straight on - there's a table of options, some 16 of them, which basically give you 'read aloud' text for when the party walks up to the entrance of the dungeon. (Of course, this may not be an actual 'hole in the ground' dungeon, I'm using the term loosely to represent any structure that you want to have the party explore in classic 'dungeon crawl' style.)

Next comes Dressings and Features. This gives some of those little touches that make the place come alive, or raise thoughts in the characters' heads about just what they are getting themselves into. There's about half an hundred of these. Perhaps Lightning has struck nearby and turned the ground to glass, or maybe a big red "X" has been drawn on the wall or floor near the entrance... it may be completely meaningless, or at least unconnected to what lies inside, but maybe not....

Finally, there's a selection of Tricks and Traps. Now, any treatise on dungeon design is replete with those, but these ones are designed specifically for an entrance. Maybe its a death-trap foyer, where visitors can be trapped and attacked if those within don't like the looks of them (no, double glazing salesmen are not fair game, however annoying!). There's also a demonic gate, guarded by a demon mask and comprising all sorts of nasty events if not approached with the correct token, and the lightning hall which is frankly quite shocking.

Make the entrance to your dungeon as memorable as what lies within.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Dressing: Dungeon Entrances
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Seventy and Sevenfold
Publisher: Aegis Studios
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/08/2014 08:25:04
Exploring the underbelly of the city in the shape of a district called Westmore, against a backdrop of a sudden plague of house burglaries and rising gang activity, this scenario can serve as an introduction to Contagion 2e or further an existing campaign.

Westmore is the sort of neighbourhood that even police officers drive through in numbers and without stopping, but fortunately up until now the spate of burglaries, although unpleasant, has not resulted in any deaths. But now the demise of one elderly homeowner unleashes an unprecidented terror that neither gangs nor police can contain... perhaps this is something more suited to the specialist skills of the party?

Several hooks are provided to get the party involved. Maybe they knew the deceased, or have some involvement with the gang that controls Westmore, the South West Crew. Or they may just be in the area and get caught in the crossfire... it's up to you to decide what will work the best.

The adventure itself is left open-ended: it can develop in a number of ways from the initial premise. What's provided is the initial set-up, details of the area and notes on the major players in the area. Just mix in your characters and stand well back. If you enjoy this kind of loose structure to your games, and are able to take these details and run with it, you should be in for a good game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Seventy and Sevenfold
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks so much for your excellent review! Glad you enjoyed Seventy and Sevenfold!
21 Plots: Samaritan
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/07/2014 10:22:01
Here's another collection of plot outlines, this time linked by the common theme of the Patron needing help. Well, all Patrons need the party's help, that's why they hire them, but in these cases it is the more traditional use of the word 'help' - someone who actually needs (or appears to need) assistance.

Presented in conventional style for Traveller, each outline is given as it appears to the characters coupled with six possible outcomes/developments. The Referee can choose the one which appeals most, or roll a d6. These outcomes vary widely from 'Just as it appears' to something completely different.

Possible adventures range from rescuing kidnap victims to dealing with outbreaks of disease and helping spacefarers in distress... a real range of different situations. There's even a missing cat to find! Any or all of them should provide for an entertaining episode in an ongoing campaign. Many of the outcomes give suggestions as to future ramifications, generally gaining a contact or an enemy from amongst the involved parties.

Some of the situations make reference to various worlds within Gypsy Knights's published Clement Sector, but if you are not using that it will be easy enough to pick suitable worlds within your own campaign. Indeed, if your players are inconsiderate enough not to go to the 'right' world in the Clement Sector, again you could change to a more appropriate one if that's the adventure you want to run.

Overall, a fine collection of plots in true Traveller tradition.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
21 Plots: Samaritan
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Iron Bay Megatropolis
Publisher: Louis E Danhoff - AHC
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/06/2014 09:34:14
All superheroes need a ‘patch’ to patrol and protect, so here is a new place for your ‘heroes to call their home. It’s located in Virginia – a change from the spate of west coast settings for superhero games, yet not quite the Gotham City/New York style metropolis either.

Beginning with a detailed history which mixes real history with fictional events well, we learn a lot about this new home. The occasional typo sneaks in, nothing that a thorough proofread would not have caught, but otherwise it is comprehensive and well written, with not only the history but major corporations and a very detailed education system being covered as well.

Now I initially got confused with the Table of Contents and page numbers (it only seemed to go up to page 9 in an 80-odd page book…) but this is due to the final work being several documents stitched together, each with their own Table of Contents – again something easily corrected with a good editorial eye being cast over it all before publication.

The next section looks at Megatropolis, a completely fictional addition to the area (earlier bits having at least some roots in the real world). Again well described, this has more of the feel of the ‘traditional’ setting for a superhero game. As befitting such a massive conurbation, the write-up is replete with details of companies, municipal authorities (including a police department struggling a bit with metahuman perps) – even an innovative tailor store chain (now, do they just do business suits or can their tailors run up a nifty little number in spandex?) and restaurants… and of course a major newspaper. Sports fans can follow the Megatropolis Knights football team, whilst the more active can train at Martial Arts Mayhem, a massive dojo complex.

Flavour is provided by well-chosen photos, plenty of original graphics and even a column by the major newspaper’s lead op-ed columnist. This is followed by a selection of notable residents (including said columnist) written up in detail for use as NPCs, including ICONS stat blocks. Most of these are the local superheroes, people well embedded into the setting. You may have them around to interact with the party, or you may choose to play them if you like characters who are really part of the environment in which they operate.

Finally, what is promised as a story idea is actually a piece of fiction - you'll have to pick through it and extract what you want to turn into a plot for your game. A separate document in the download provides a comprehensive map of the city.

Overall, this has the potential to be an interesting setting. The way in which several superheroes have been embedded into it is good and provides a fair few ideas for things that might be going on in town.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Bay Megatropolis
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Battlemap : Mountaintop Oracle
Publisher: Christian Hollnbuchner
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/05/2014 09:42:36
Presenting a suitable setting for a climactic battle or some strange goings-on, this battlemap depicts a strange construction on top of a mountain. Given it's supposed to be on a high and rugged mountain, you might well wonder how it got there in the first place.

The centrepiece is a bronze brazier, arround which there is a double ring of marble monoliths. In turn this structue is surrounded by rough rocks through which you have to scramble to get there (and which will provide excellent cover once combat breaks out).

There is a good illustration that shows what the oracle looks like, and the traditional top-down battlemap view presented in both a multi-sheet version to print and stick together or a single giant image for those wishing to use a virtual table top.

Illustration is crisp and clear, and gives a good feel for the place. One might have expected a few drifts of snow, but maybe that's part of the mystery: why such a high point is without snow... particularly if the party has had to fight its way through snow drifts to get there.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battlemap : Mountaintop Oracle
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