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d30 Sandbox Companion
Publisher: New Big Dragon Games Unlimited
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/30/2013 11:16:21
Do you even have a D30? I know there is one somewhere in my dice bag... I can even remember where I bought it, not quite sure what I'd do with it!

Here is a collection of tables on which to give it a good workout. They are all aimed at helping the DM deal with all the vagaries of above-ground adventuring, and in particular to aid in the creation of wilderness maps for the party to wander across, not to mention the population of such maps with anything from scenic features to passing NPCs.

The really good thing is, that this product is not just tables. There is a wealth of information about how to use them to best advantage as well. Worksheets are provided to aid the world-building process, which can be a daunting task even if you are comfortable designing dungeons and their immediate environs. Indeed there are three of them, one for the general environment to enable a 'hex-crawl' exploration adventure, one for settlement development and one for NPCs. Used together, you will soon find the world taking shape, so that when the adventurers emerge from the dungeon there is something more than an inn to slake their thirst and somewhere to sell their loot and purchase supplies for the next trip!

In creating your world map, there are three levels of hexes: the 'atlas-level hex' that gives a broad overview, with each hex being 36 miles across and best used for countries or whole continents; the 'sub-level hex' that is around 6 miles across and good for wilderness explorations; and the 'detail-level hex' where a hex is but a mile across and you know exactly what is where. With systematic mapping, you can tell where anything is and shift focus in or out as needed to suit what is going on in your adventures. Each worksheet provides room for not only the map but your notes as well, anything from shopkeepers to wandering monsters and any other feature you want to record.

And then the tables. What do you want to create today? There are adventure generators, weather generators (those sheltered adventurers that have spent all their time on dungeon crawls will be surprised just how important weather becomes once you start an overland trek!), and even a nifty little section for determining how good their navigation is and how badly they have gone off course. Do not laugh, anyone who has seen my daughter getting lost will know how easy it can be! Characters out in the wilderness will need to eat and drink, and most will want to supplement whatever supplies they have with them with hunting and foraging - so there are tables for that as well.

If you are creating a map - whether in advance or on the fly - there are tables of natural features by terrain type, settlements and even a ruins generator to populate your map with. Temples, cults and magical places are not forgotten either, and it goes on: pilgrims, road encounters, castles and keeps, and even... a heraldry generator. Instant coats-of-arms at a few rolls of the dice. (The one thing it doesn't mention is the Rule of Tincture: do not place a metal on a metal or a colour on a colour - this just makes it easier to see what is on a shield, and so identify the owner, at a distance.)

As for settlements, there are plenty of tables to help there as well. Background, encounters, the composition of Watch or Town Guard patrols... and should said encounters go badly awry there's even a table of 'Methods of Torture and Execution" - don't think I want to go there! Moving on there are extensive tables for generating shops and taverns (even a tavern name generator and what entertainment or food you'll find there) and then a similarly-extensive set of tables for creating NPCs, including a separate section for sages...

Having looked this over, it looks virtually essential for anyone wanting to create a fantasy world (irrespective for the most part of rule system) who would like to take some of the donkey-work out of it. After all, you do not have to accept the results of any die rolls if something else would suit your intentions better, but as a starting point, a lot of the work can be done for you! Recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
d30 Sandbox Companion
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Night's Black Agents: Double Tap
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/29/2013 13:19:07
Described as "the Night's Black Agents Expansion Book" this contains a wealth of additional material for Agents and Directors alike: new skills, new approaches and (of course) new kit. It is jam-packed with ideas and is well worth a read by anyone who enjoys contemporary espionage games. Whilst most of the material is going to be of interest to anyone, irrespective of which side of the Director's screen that they sit, the contents have been divided into an Agent's Companion and a Director's Companion.

The Agent's Companion begins with a section on Abilities. Virtually every ability is examined, with different angles and enhancements on the material presented in the core rulebook. New ability foci are introduced, and there are a whole bunch of ideas as to how both old and new ones can be utilised within the game... not just mechanically (although that is covered well) but in conceptual terms that will inform role-play and descriptions of what the agents are attempting to do (and how!), serving to enhance the game no end. Even what sound on the face of them quite boring abilities, skills you might overlook in character creation in favour of more exciting and cinematic ones, are developed in ways that will give the agent using them a chance to shine and contribute to the success of the mission... and in a realistic way, there is plenty of what a spy would call 'tradecraft' here to enjoy and use in your game.

To add to the fun, each ability's write-up includes a 'tactical fact-finding benefit' which gives an example of how that ability could be used to great effect within the course of a game. There are also 'sample spend benefits' which give quick examples of how you use what you have discovered to mechanical advantage in your investigations and 'sample clues' detailing the sorts of things you might be able to find out. Study these well and hone your use of your chosen abilities. For General Abilities, which follow after the Investigative ones, there are 'sample clues' for when you use that ability to investigate and 'new cherries' to take in the abilities into which you have put the most points.

Although plenty of ideas pop up throughout the Abilities section, the next section looks specifically at Tricks of the Trade. This section focusses a bit more on mechanical aspects with new thriller manoeuvres, customisable achievements and the concept of 'adaptive tradecraft' which explores the extreme uses to which you can put off-the-shelf items, if only you can come up with the ideas! Tne 'manoeuvres' utilise the neat mechanic from the core rules of giving a game mechanical advantage to the player who can talk the talk, giving appropriate graphic descriptions of what his agent is up to. There are some splendid examples, and of course whilst the agent is improvising, the well-prepared player has a few choice phrases ready to trot out when the opportunity occurs. The achievements are a list of stunts which, when pulled, garner the player a bonus. The adaptive tradecraft is reminiscent of the TV series Burn Notice, those wonderful monologues where Westen details various tricks of the spy trade as he puts them into use. Each example trick comes complete with ideas of how to use them in-game and the benefits you might gain.

Next comes a collection of standard operating procedures... but this isn't what you think: these are metagaming concepts to help both players and Director keep the game moving rather than flagging. It's something both should read and make use of - indeed many of them will prove practical whatever game you are playing, never mind Night's Black Agents!

The focus then changes from concepts to kit with the Materiel section. Much of this will sound familiar at least from the movies if not from the technology reports you can find online, but even if you have heard of the stuff now you have the necessary rules to go with it. There's a delightful selection of things you can add to a vehicle... perhaps the only reason there's nothing novel for me here is that one of my gaming friends happens to be a special projects engineer at Bentley Motors (he once came in grousing that he'd not been allowed to test the grenade launcher he'd installed for one client who'd better remain nameless...)! And then, of course, there's a goodly selection of firearms for all the runner-and-gunner agents out there. Even if you are not a gun-bunny you will soon sound like one after working through this. There's even a table of the favourite weapons used by various militaries and other agencies (although the British Army has replaced the Browning Hi-Power with the Glock 17 Gen 4 pistol recently).

Next comes a section on Thriller Contests and Manhunts. This takes the basis of the chase rules from the core rulebook and retools them to suit other situations when it's not your running, flying or driving abilities that are being put to the test. There's digital intrusion, for those times when you just have to hack the planet, pitting hacker against the defending operators. This includes hints on making it sound exciting when nobody's running around visibly doing stuff - for when all's said and done, me hacking (or trying to keep a hacker at bay) doesn't look much different from me writing this review! Then there's regular infiltration, actually physically breaking into (or out of) a facility. You may feel that you can model this adequately with the regular rules, but turning it into a formal contest does have some advantages in terms of making things truely cinematic. There's a parallel set of rules for carrying out surveillance too, and finally there are rules for conducting a manhunt. This last may be a more long-drawn-out sequence, but it too can have you on the edge of your seat as it plays out.

Although he'll have found plenty of use already, we now come to the Director's Companion part of the book. It's all about making the Director's life easier, given that he has to present not just the plot but everything else in the world to a bunch of players that just have a character apiece to worry about. Things like 'cameo NPCs' who fit particular roles and can be trotted out when needed. There are sample ones here, and ideas for creating your own. Each one comes with a basic overview and further notes on how to use him as an asset or a clue, along with ideas on how to present him in play. Then there's a collection of 'establishing shots' to use in the way a movie director uses them: to paint a scene ready for the action to take place there. Each comes with an evocative description as well as a selection of likely extras and cameos who'll be there, clues that might be found there and other ideas to incorporate into the game.

A Monsters section provides a few more critters - and their abilities - to broaden the scope of the core vampire menace, with plenty of suggestions as to weave them in to whatever rationale you have chosen as the basis for your game. And then comes a section on Stories. At the heart of the game is the story we are telling with our players, but here are a few ideas for added elements. Perhaps the conspiracy, whatever it is, that they are trying to defeat does not present a unified face but is rent with internal dissension. What happens if instead of the whole group, you meet up with a single player and have his agent go solo for a while? And what changes will come if you leave the core setting of contemporary Europe and try the Victorian era (always good when vampires are involved!), World War 11 or the Cold War period? These are explored in some detail: try them or not as the mood takes you.

There's a real wealth of ideas here, and you will find yourself visiting again and again to mine this work for useful bits to enhance your agent's performance or add a new twist to your game. Everyone who plays Night's Black Agents really needs this on the shelf (or hard drive) next to the core rulebook.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Night's Black Agents: Double Tap
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Cheben
Publisher: Michael LaBossiere
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/28/2013 09:00:25
Like any career, getting started as an adventurer can be quite tough. This adventure provides a ready start, almost an internship (only you get paid) for budding adventurers and is recommended as a campaign starter...

In the Kingdom of Maarin, you see, everything is nicely organised. Would-be adventurers can head for a certain inn (of course) where an official hires likely groups for various tasks that the royal army is too busy or not quite suited to undertake. The party is offered a good starter position, to attend to various issues in a new island settlement called Cheben - the usual sort of thing: restless undead in the graveyard, an old armoury dating back to a previous empire which might have been raided by goblins, a spooky wood that needs clearing out and a cache of books belonging to some long-dead wizard that needs recovering. The people in the settlement are welcoming and offer monetary rewards, discounted equipment and so on.

The township itself is outlined, with some of the local notables detailed; and then each of the sub-adventures is given similar treatment... all you need to run them but plenty of space for you to put your own spin on things and stamp your own individuality on the burgeoning campaign. Maps are basic but provide everything that you need.

The nice thing is that the balance between detail and freedom is well-measured, making this an idea campaign starter whether or not you have any idea about your campaign world or indeed where longer plot arcs may lead. It is easy to weave your own ideas through what is presented here, yet makes an ideal jumping-off point if you do not have much more developed yet. Neat.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cheben
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Elementals Lords of Porphyra [PFRPG]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/27/2013 09:21:20
A collection of dark powers, elemental lords with aspirations to god-hood and - sad to say - cult following amongst mortals for use in Porphyra (or readily adapted to a campaign setting of your choice or devising if preferred) is presented here.

Each comes with a range of details - alignment, typical worshippers, domains, favoured weapons and so on - as well as the legend that devotees tell about them and notes on their 'church' and spell rituals... all the flavour that elevates merely stating that an NPC belongs to a certain cult to having his very actions speak of his affiliation. Each entry also provides a couple of traits that are available to devotees.

One nice quirk is that each elemental lord is given several names... and the last is the one by which they are known to their enemies - who quite understandibly do not want to use the more normal self-aggrandizing terms that the elemental lords themselves prefer!

These can be used to build a dark subculture to your campaign. Perhaps it may feature large in your plots as the party strives to defeat their evil plans, or maybe they serve merely as a nasty little backdrop, a reminder that not everyone around you is nice and kind and devoted to the good things of the world.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elementals Lords of Porphyra [PFRPG]
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100 Things To See In The Devastated City
Publisher: Fishwife Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/27/2013 09:02:13
You are busy planning your post-apocalyptic game's visit to a shattered city, and no doubt your mind is full of the plot that will play out whilst the party is there... but to create the authentic feeling of an alternate reality, you'll want to add flavour and colour that doesn't have anything to do with the story... and that can be difficult to think up, especially when you are thinking about your plot.

That is where this product fits in. Just roll percentage dice and describe what's there. Local colour adding realism to the scene but quite irrelevant... or are they? Anything from an incidental encounter to a full-blown side adventure - or even something that contributes to your main plotline - can result, and you can of course hide the plot-related events amidst these others...

Maybe there's a young couple selling tie dyed clothing from a prop up booth on the city sidewalk (# 61) or three rastas armed with assault rifles stand guard at the front entrance of an apartment complex (# 91). Is there a story behind them? Do they know where to find whatever it is that the party is after? Or are they just what they appear? Only you know... but it all goes to add to the realism of the scene, making the shared alternate reality come alive for you and your players.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
100 Things To See In The Devastated City
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Modern Floorplans: An Average Modern Bowling Alley
Publisher: Fabled Environments
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/27/2013 08:40:11
Hopefully there won't be a brawl next time the party visits a bowling alley, but should something go down you now have a fine battlemap on which to plot out the mayhem.

The alley consists of a large hall in the main subdivided by half-walls into the bowling area itself, a bar/lounge and a games area with arcade machines and pool tables. There is also office space and a desk where bowlers can pay lane fees and rent shoes. The place has front and side entrances, and rest rooms are available. And for the important bit - there are twelve lanes... at full capactity it probably gets a bit noisy here.

There is a single sheet overview and a massive single-sheet 'full-size' version, at the 1 square to 5 feet scale. If, that is, you want squares. By good use of the layers facility, you may have a square grid, a hex grid or none at all. You may also choose whether or not the furniature and text labels are displayed.

If you do not have access to a plotter you can make appropriate selections when printing to print a series of pages to put together to get the fullsize floorplan. A visit to a copyshop is recommended, however, and they've even added a helpful note to reassure copyshop staff that it's legitimate to print the floorplan out for your own use!

Enjoy your next trip to the bowling alley...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Floorplans: An Average Modern Bowling Alley
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Gostor: Skill Encounters
Publisher: First Ones Entertainment
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/25/2013 08:39:41
OK, so what is a skill encounter anyway? Basically one occurs any time you want to use a skill (other than that of waving a sword around or casting spells) with a desired outcome in mind... and others who might prefer that you do not accomplish it. Easy, you say, check my skill list, roll a d20 and apply appropriate modifiers... but do you really want to reduce all the effort that, in the alternate reality of the game, your character is putting into using that skill down to a single die roll which may not work in your favour anyway?

A skill encounter can work like combat, if you use these rules. Instead of a single die roll, several are made - just as most combats last several rounds and involve a whole bunch of die rolls. Several people can be involved too, just as most brawls involve more than two combatants. Whilst it sounds mechanical talking about lots of die rolls, this approach can also enhance role-playing, weaving player descriptions of what their characters are doing with the aforementioned reaching for the dice.

It is a good way of involving everyone in what is going on, as a skill encounter works best as a collaborative effort. Players need to be aware of what sort of things they need to do, and the GM has to be flexible and responsive to whatever ideas they come up with.

From the game mechanics point of view, to succeed in a skill encounter the party must achieve a set number of successes, the number being derived from the Encounter Level set for the skill encounter and the number of player-characters involved. Moreover, each round the party must gain more successes than failures.

Once the basic details of how a skill encounter works have been described, the discussion moves on to detail a format for laying out a skill encounter in your notes. Three examples - besieging a castle, a compacting room trap and a night at court where the aim is to determine which nobles are on the side of good and which are evil - are given to demonstrate how it is done.

This rules addition is nicely presented, clearly explained with good examples - and the illustrations and overall presentation are pleasing to the eye as well, an added bonus. If you want to promote role-playing and all-party involvement, but prefer a solid structure over a looser 'winging it' way of running non-combat encounters, this is well worth a read!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gostor: Skill Encounters
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Raid on the Blackrock Mines
Publisher: Red Pub Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/25/2013 07:35:24
In an area ruled by a despotic princeling, it is best not to catch his attention. But if you do... well, you had best be prepared to demonstrate your loyalty in a spectacular stunt.

Opening with the historical background, provided mostly for scene-setting reasons as it is not of great importance for this adventure but will be in those that follow, the plot begins when the party are noticed by the local Thieves' Guild (which now has quasi-legal status as the princeling's enforcers) as either possible recruits or as threats to their cushy little number - various suggestions are made as to how you can effect this. This is followed by the offer of the chance to serve the locals by clearing out a tribe of kobolds that are causing problems... the sort of offer it is best not to refuse.

The actual adventure, in the main an exploration of the kobold's lair in a deserted coal mine, is presented clearly and with plenty of atmosphere to bring the scene to life. All the details necessary to run each encounter are provided just where you need them, and there is a good variety of things to figure out, traps to avoid, features to notice and opponents to fight.... and there is a surprising yet cinematic chase scene to enjoy!

A wealth of maps are provided, to the level of having the ENTIRE MINE provided as battlemaps... complete with an element of 3D as all doorways are designed to stand upright.

A neat first-level adventure with excellent supporting features, good as a campaign starter or at least very early on, especially if you like the political intrigue in the background. Recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Raid on the Blackrock Mines
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Dungeon Crawl Classics 2013 Holiday Module: The Old God's Return
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/24/2013 07:39:07
Herein is an exciting 1st-level adventure (suitable for 6 characters and possibly best as a one-off rather than part of a campaign) to shake off the effects of a large dinner - assuming that is that you can round up enough gamers over the holidays, here they all vanish until after the new year is in.

The background explains how in the long-distant past ancient civilisations fled advancing ice, but sometimes left treasures behind... and one such has come to light as an iceberg containing it breaks off of a glacier to be set loose in the ocean... excpet that as it floated free, ancient magicks reactivated and instead of drifting off on the sea the iceberg rose high into the air! A long forgotten godling stirs... and pestilence falls on the land beneath.

OK so what does the party have to do with this? It's the time to celebrate the shortest day of the year in a remote village (their home, or just where they happen to be that night) and rumours of disease and a strange glittering shape in the sky soon turn to aweful reality. With the characters being the only adventuring types to hand, it's up to them to deal with the problem.

Imbued with power by the sun-god worshipped in the village, the party needs to chase and then gain access to the flying iceberg - no mean feat in itself as it is some 100 feet in the air! However, several methods are suggested to accomplish this. Once in, there are some interesting and unusual places to explore and a very godling to battle - not bad for first level!

Everything is well-laid out for the GM, with monster stats just where they are needed and atmospheric illustrations and maps to set the scene. It should prove an enjoyable adventure and something to remember, with a seasonal feel that doesn't descend into bizarre appearances of contemporary holiday trappings. Recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics 2013 Holiday Module: The Old God's Return
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Tallow's Tipsy Tales
Publisher: Fishwife Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/23/2013 11:30:15
Ostensibly penned by a bard noted for his enjoyment of alcoholic beverages, here is a fine collection of carefully-developed drinks to have on hand whenever the party drops into a tavern.

Each drink has not only a name but Talloow's own tasting notes, a detailed description of the drink and how it's made and even notes of its origin. Some have magical or medicinal properties as well. There is a section on likely costs and how drink may be supplied which is straightforward to relate to the game system that you are using.

How about a refreshing glass of Bumblebutton's Berry Barrel Beer - a halfling brew infused with the flavour of summer berries, or if you prefer white wine try some Gelf's Golden-White. (Gelf makes several other drinks as well, if white wine is not to your taste.) There's Raldenshyre, a red wine, or Red Scoundrel - possibly the best known vodka. There are some racial favourites from both elf and dwarf suppliers and plenty more besides.

The aim of these is just to provide some flavour during a tavern visit, but it would not be too hard to write a plot around them!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tallow's Tipsy Tales
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[PFRPG] - Fantastic Feats Volume VIII - Bards
Publisher: Ennead Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/23/2013 11:07:59
A nice collection of feats for Bards, aimed primarily at improving their performance skills.

For those who attract an enthusiastic audience there is Anything For A Fan, granting a bonus on all social interaction rolls (bluff, intimidate, etc) neatly mimicing the way in which a dedicated fan is likely to believe what his idol says more readily than they'd accept the same from anyone else.

Then there's a collection of performance enhancing feats which give subtle advantages to some of the more combat orientated elements of performance - countersong, fascination and so forth.

For the flashy and spectactular there's Power Slide, where striking a magnificent chord can propel the bard five feet in the desired direction (or land him flat on his face if he flubs his roll!).

Finally for those who really want to make an impression, there is Shatter Wine Glass. Which does exactly that, and impresses the audience no end (especially if they're of low intelligence) again making them all the more likely to believe what the bard says.

A neat bunch of feats for bards, which play to their strengths.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] - Fantastic Feats Volume VIII - Bards
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Adventure Seed - The Christmas Robbery
Publisher: Christian Hollnbuchner
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/23/2013 10:30:52
Potential excellent, execution flawed... bestrewn through a jumbled outpouring of information there are the strands of a good plot in which to embroil the characters, but it is difficult to tease them out into an organised storyline.

So a bank robbery has taken place... for a start, there is absolutely no indication of why the party should get involved. The limited amount of information that is made public (that the characters could reasonably have access to) is muddled up with details of what was actually going on, likewise the evidence that they can unearth should they decide to start investigating.

The annoying thing is, it is a very good plot... there is plenty of scope for getting characters into all sorts of trouble, with different factions involved and the potential for an interesting news story as well. There's even a good handout in the shape of the local broadsheet newspaper headlines of the robbery to hand to your players. A sensible structure, an introduction explaining how the whole affair comes to the party's attention, then a logical description of what can be discovered and how coupled with the background of what's really taking place and I would be shouting how wonderful this is...

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Seed - The Christmas Robbery
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Tomb of Curses (DCC RPG)
Publisher: Dragons Hoard Publishing
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/22/2013 11:31:03
You've heard the one about the sailor with a wife in every port?Well, this adventure starts with a wizard who has a wife in every dimension he's visited... and ends with an extra-dimensional tomb in which the party is trapped. You may prefer to use one-off characters for this one rather than risk the characters that you've nurtured to the dizzy heights of 6th-8th level on this one.

The tomb is the resting place of the eight wives who all predeceased the wizard (some, tis said, by his hand), and they do not rest easy. Powerful women, they reach out, infusing the legendary artefacts of the wizard and tampering with one is the way to enter the tomb - to escape it again the party needs to collect various artefacts belonging to all eight wives and complete a ritual.

Little is provided by way of hooks to get the characters involved in the adventure. There's an in media res battle with a giant, apparently the last defender of one of the wizard's artefacts, with the assumption that the party will defeat him, grab the artefact and... find themselves elsewhere. You may wish to play through the entire artefact hunt (especially if weaving this into your regular campaign) or have another idea entirely.

The actual Tomb itself is mapped out and described well. It is very much a 'puzzle dungeon' - if you or your players do not care for such things, find something else. Most of the puzzles are pretty deadly and clues to solve them are limited (I'm finding many hard to figure out even with the book in front of me...), you may wish to add clues or allow the players to roll for hints. Plentiful use is made of random tables and teleport spells, it can all get quite confusing... but played in the right spirit, this has the potential to be a blast, a fun adventure (provided you are not too attached to your character).

The illustrations are glorious, however, many looking like mediaeval wood-cuts. There's a lot to explore here, a lot to do... never a dull moment indeed... this dungeon may not be for everyone but for those who like this style of adventuring it will prove memorable.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tomb of Curses (DCC RPG)
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Master Nicholas and the Wayward Wizardy
Publisher: Silver Gryphon Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/21/2013 11:03:52
It is Winterfeast in Summerfort, a time when the calm chill of winter is enlivened by ten days of feasting and merriment. Only there's something evil stirring in the nearby forests and Master Nicholas, the wisest wizard in town, wants the party to go out into the snow to investigate.

This adventure is based around exploration, but there are combats to be fought and puzzles to be solved with a culminating moral dilemma that will make the characters consider the very nature of being a hero.

It opens dramatically, with a frantic local pleading for help to rescue his daughter from 'monsters' - a task which of itself should be simple enough but which brings the characters to Master Nicolas's attention and the main part of the plot develops from then on. Once out in the woods, it soon becomes clear that all is not how it ought to be...

Everything is clearly if loosely presented. There are no maps for the forest, just encounters which need to happen if the adventure is to be brought to a conclusion. All the information you'll need to run each encounter is provided, however, making it all quite straightforward to run the adventure. There are one or two places where a little proofreading would have improved things, but it is possible to discern what is meant.

Overall it is a nice winter-themed adventure to keep a party occupied, and several ideas for follow-on adventures are provided. Whilst it is written for the Ingenium RPG, if you are happy providing the necessary rule mechanics it would translate well into most fantasy games.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Master Nicholas and the Wayward Wizardy
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FP12 - Raiders at Fargone
Publisher: Adventures in Filbar
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/20/2013 08:35:15
A neat adventure that could be run stand-alone but which is well-embedded into the area with lots going on - much of which could lead to further adventure - so works well as part of a campaign. If your adventures are not in Filbar, you may wish to amend a few names but it ought to be relatively easy to find a suitable location in your campaign world.

A plot hook is given - a spot of bounty-hunting - to get the party heading in the right direction, up into the mountains towards the remote settlement of Fargone. Whether they take that bait or have some other reason for going there, once they arrive there are good thumb-nail pen portraits of some notable inhabitants - plus, of course, plenty of notes for the DM about what is really going on!

As well as wandering monster encounters suitable to the mountain terrain, there are a tomb and a cave system to explore and some bandits to fight as well as resolving either the bounty hunting job (or at least, getting clues as to where next to go) or whatever other reason the party has for being there - plenty of action to keep the characters entertained. They ought also to be able to help the inhabitants of Fargone to reopen a mountain pass and renew trade links with a seaport on the far side of the mountains.

The adventure is supported by some basic maps and even a few photos of appropriate snowy scenes. It is a good, solid, traditional plot with hidden depths. Recommended!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FP12 - Raiders at Fargone
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