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Emerging Forms - Euqsam
Publisher: Primal Urge Games
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/31/2005 00:00:00
This series has really impressed me, on the whole. At first glance I questioned paying $2 for a single new race, but this is not just a pile of stats and feats. Each race in the series gives you 15-20 pages of information, ranging from background, to relations, to land and language, to game stats... it's all here. The depth is impressive without being overbearing.

The Euqsam are a sort of parasitic revenge-of-the-plants kind of race. They have some very sci-fi remniscient qualities (certain aspects invoked images of the breeding methods from "Aliens" or even the human-farms in "The Matrix"). In many ways they could be seen as scary, or even downright evil... but from their own point of view, things are quite different.

Oddly enough, they are a very playable race under the right circumstances, and at the least would make a fascinating NPC race in any world that's not completely devoid of vegetation.


LIKED: Most everything. I really can't say much negative about most of the titles in this series. They really have proven almost universally to be worth the money.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Emerging Forms - Euqsam
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E.N. Treasure Troves - Figurines of Wondrous Power
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/31/2005 00:00:00
Very well thought-out, nicely detailed, well-described set of items on an old familiar theme. The presentation is visually attractive, the flavor text is sufficient, and the editing was good.



LIKED: It was a very imaginative extrapolation on old treasures. It also opened up the imagination to ideas for further expansion on the theme, or comparable expansion on other old familiar faces in the treasure trove.

DISLIKED: The only complaint is that it is, of course, very limited in scope. But that's not really a big problem, since it more than delivers what it advertizes... so you're certainly getting at least what you expect when you buy it.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
E.N. Treasure Troves - Figurines of Wondrous Power
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Culture Clash, Volume 1: Elves
Publisher: Dungeon Dwellers' Guild Games
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/31/2005 00:00:00
The game mechanics were fine, but the majority of this lacked imagination. The history and style material was sorely lacking, so the result was nothing more than a handful of statistical variants on standard races, much like you used to see in the old 1st edition D&D Monster Manuals. I expected cultural detail and history. What I got could be compared to "They're dwarves, but they live in a swamp. So instead of tunneling and smithing, they are good at foraging and swimming."

There were a few good ones, but most of them just lacked imagination, and all of them lacked depth.



LIKED: Statistically well-defined.

DISLIKED: Not enough to work with. It was just some numbers to toss in a few subraces, but in order to make them actually functional for a campaign world, the DM is going to have to add pretty much all of the 'flavor' on their own time.

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Culture Clash, Volume 1: Elves
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Publisher Reply:
On the flip side, in-depth campaign setting detail for the races would make them unusable for anyone that does not use a campaign that matches ours. The beauty of an "encapsulated" race without a lot of historical details is intended to be versatility. We're truly sorry that this product did not meet your needs and encourage you to contact us at 'contact@ddggames.com' to discuss options for making sure you're satisfied with your purchase in the end.
Races of Twilight: The Green
Publisher: 12 to Midnight
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/31/2005 00:00:00
The race presented here is given a great deal of background and well-thought-out game mechanics. I'm not sure how I feel about the prospects of a series based upon races that are dying off, but it works well enough for this particular example. Still, there was something... predictable about the whole thing.

Overall it was well-done. It just wasn't overly exciting like some other series of new races that are out there currently. It really just comes down to whether a race of treant-like beings is something that you are interested in having spelled out for you in your game world.



LIKED: Easy to read, plenty of background and history.

DISLIKED: It's just that nothing particularly jumped out and grabbed me about it. It was OK... but there was no feeling of something special. Perhaps it was a bit predictable given the base material.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Races of Twilight: The Green
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Arms and Armor of the Stone Age
Publisher: Bloodstone Press
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/29/2005 00:00:00
We'll start with the good news: there are plenty of new and intersting weapons and shields provided in this tomb to flesh out your less advanced races in interesting ways. The statistical data is complete, even though it often seems a bit on the high end (i.e. one would think that these more primitive items would be inferior in some numerical capacities to their more modern steel counterparts). There is a reasonable description of each weapon type given.

The bad news is that the book does not contain what it advertizes. Only a fraction of these weapons were actually from the 'Stone Age'... the majority came anywhere between said age and that of Iron or Steel. The editing was also sub-par, which always bothers me in a purchased product - it strikes me as odd that so many companies are willing to push out a product with a bevy of spelling and grammar problems rather than making it look professional by having 1-2 people read it through for that sort of thing.

In the end, it's sufficient if you're looking to expand the armory of your campaign world or add some local flavor to the somewhat less civilized corners of the lands, but there wasn't anything about it that I found terribly impressive.


LIKED: The amount of content for the price was good. They also seemed to cover the essentials on each weapon from a game-play perspective.

DISLIKED: Bad editing. Not what it was advertized to be.

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Arms and Armor of the Stone Age
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Limited Editions - Kobur's Encyclopedia of Exotic Ores
Publisher: Primal Urge Games
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/29/2005 00:00:00
As someone who prefers to not include a ton of standard "+" type enchanted items in my games, I love to incorporate things like special materials and the like. The materials themselves were thus very convenient to me, but what I liked best about this product was the history, description, and information about the Encyclopedia itself. In a world where knowledge really can become power (you'll have to be the judge of the world in which you play), this could be an exciting treasure indeed.




LIKED: Overall, I liked the content of the product. I thought it was very imaginative, and while it may not prove useful to every campaign world or DM, it certainly provides what it advertizes... so you'll be getting what you paid for.

DISLIKED: There were a lot of editing (or lack of editing, apparently) errors. It made understanding parts of the book lore particularly difficult. Also, my printer struggled with producing a hardcopy from the format they used, so bear that in mind if you tend to want to produce such a thing after downloading.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Limited Editions - Kobur's Encyclopedia of Exotic Ores
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Emerging Forms - Thozeran
Publisher: Primal Urge Games
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/29/2005 00:00:00
I simply can't say enough good things about this highly original and well-written series. Any individual race from the series may or may not fit in to a given campaign world as a playable race, but almost all make at least intriguing NPC species. The format and style make them easy to read, the technical aspects are comprehensive, and there is not a bit of skimping on background lore and history, making each race imaginative and distinct.

The Thorezan themselves are an aquatic race... one of several that this series has produced (which is nice, since underwater options in most campaign worlds are drastically limited). They can easily be used as a playable or NPC race, and could be an interesting way for a DM to introduce important lore or history into a campaign.

I highly recommend not only the Thorezan, but any race from the Emerging Forms line. If you look at their list and see one that intrigues you, don't hesitate to take the leap. I really don't think you'll be disappointed.


LIKED: As someone who doesn't even use a D20 system (I buy the cool D20 products and convert them), I fell in love with the imaginative descriptive depth behind these races. They are full of flavor, without being so explicit as to make it difficult to drop them into most worlds.

DISLIKED: I honestly had no complaints.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Emerging Forms - Thozeran
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Lions Den Press: Secrets of the Planes -- Planar Treasures
Publisher: Lion's Den Press
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/10/2005 00:00:00
Another excellent product. Wonderfully creative, great detail, and very in-depth flavor content. This whole planar series is really quite good, for those who like to include planar elements in their campaigns.

The items in this book can be adapted to any campaign world with a bit of work, but their fullest value would be gained when used by a GM who not only uses planar influences, but also has a copy of Ari Marmell's Planar Factions (which I believe is published by the same folks). Many of the items make direct reference to those factions as the source of their origin and purpose. This is not really a drawback though... I would highly recommend Planar Factions to anyone who runs a planar-influenced campaign anyway.

LIKED: Excellent followup to the planar line. Very original and imaginative stuff here. This company seems to get better about editing and formatting with each new release.

DISLIKED: It might be confusing (or at least require more adaption) to someone who didn't own Planar Factions. That could be a bit limiting, although it'd be easily solved by just getting the other supplement.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lions Den Press: Secrets of the Planes -- Planar Treasures
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Dryden: Hero or Horror
Publisher: Ancient Awakenings Publications
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2005 00:00:00
The flexibility of this supplement was nice, as was the depth of background material and other flavor. It wasn't nearly as racey as the preamble makes it sound (although I still wouldn't recommend it for kids). The violent nature of the Dryden life cycle is described fairly graphically, and the art shows some skin, but most everything that would be of a purely sexual nature is left to the imagination of the reader. There was also not a lot of things added just for the sake of titilation... anything that was sexual or graphically violent was relevent to the nature of the Dryden ecology. The title is also a bit misleading, as there is small mention of the Dryden as any kind of 'hero' (and then only in the fantasy setting really), and vastly more attention paid to them as a horror prospect.



LIKED: Flexibility and depth were good. Plenty of flavor, but the technical specs are there if you need them. Addressed in a well-rounded manner. This is a very legitimate and usable supplement regardless of your setting or world system.

DISLIKED: I thought $7 was pretty steep for what ended up amounting to a single monster, even if it was made out to be a playable race (which would be kind of difficult to incorporate into most campaign worlds). It was well done, but it would have had to be over-the-top amazing to really merit that price tag... and I don't think it really made it.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dryden: Hero or Horror
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Emerging Forms - Alratheen
Publisher: Primal Urge Games
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/06/2005 00:00:00
I love this series. Honestly, the depth of the material in each of these products is worth every penny. The ideas are fresh and creative, and the races are extremely well developed and characterized.

The Alratheen in particular are a strange and complicated race, and may be one of the more difficult ones in the series to actually incorporate into a campaign, since their very existence depends upon the existence of a new Demiplane provided in the supplement. If you don't have place for such things as planar travel in your world, this is probably not the right Emerging Form for you to get (although I would still recommend the others). If you DO have the capacity for such things in your world, the plane itself, and the Alratheen in particular, can be fascinating additions.

One word of caution though: they are certainly a playable race, but if done properly, it may be hard to be an Alratheen without annoying the everliving snot out of your fellow party members. Their obsessive nature could get tiresome after a while...



LIKED: I can't say enough good about this series as a whole. The quality and depth are outstanding, and the content is very original.

DISLIKED: It's not so much that I didn't like something, I just feel compelled to warn folks that this particular race, while excellent, may or may not fit conveniently into your campaign world. If it does, it's worth while... but it's not the right fit for everyone.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Emerging Forms - Alratheen
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Tainted Troves: A Collection of Cursed Items
Publisher: Silverthorne Games
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/06/2005 00:00:00
The content of this is very nice. The cursed items, places, and artifacts are original, and the introduction gives a nice cursory summary of the general nature and origins of cursed items. Overall, I was very pleased with what I got for the price.

But sweet mother of our Loki.... this thing is impossible to print. I don't know what they did to this PDF, because the borders don't look unbearably fancy, it's not saturated in background graphics, and nothing is in color. But in spite of a decent computer and a high-end Dell laser printer, it takes almost 5 minutes to get a single page printed.

Anyway, it's a very nice product that gives you everything it advertizes, and then some. If you don't feel the need to make a hard-copy, I think you'll be pretty pleased with your purchase.


QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tainted Troves: A Collection of Cursed Items
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Secrets of the Dwarves
Publisher: Ronin Arts
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2005 00:00:00
A very creative and intriguing supplement. It helps to add some real flavor to dwarves, whom I often find to be overshadowed in this sort of thing by all the elf-fanatics out there.

As mentioned in the synopsis, not all of them are compatable to be used in every campaign, but certainly there are enough good ideas in here to choose from.

LIKED: Outstanding production and editing quality typical of this publisher. I'm also a fan of the minimalist look, with the download being almost entirely content-driven (give or take the legal stuff). Not a bunch of fancy art and fluff introductions or borders to clog up your screen or printer.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Secrets of the Dwarves
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Emerging Forms - Pergothi
Publisher: Primal Urge Games
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/22/2005 00:00:00
This series has really impressed me, on the whole. At first glance I questioned paying $2 for a single new race, but this is not just a pile of stats and feats. Each race in the series gives you 15-20 pages of information, ranging from background, to relations, to land and language, to game stats... it's all here. The depth is impressive without being overbearing.

The Pergothi are a very elaborate and well-rounded aquatic race. A GM could use them for all kinds of purposes in a game world, and they are adaptable enough to make a nice player race in an aquatic-based campaign. This is a well-detailed, adaptable race with some good potential for impact on world politics.

LIKED: Adds variety to a biome that often lacks it. Very intriguing race with a lot of external tensions, despite not being evil in any particular sense. Very playable, which gives an option besides just elves or mermen for those who like to play in the water.

DISLIKED: Other than some editing type errors, I had nothing to complain about on this one.


QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Emerging Forms - Pergothi
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Emerging Forms - Ryonth
Publisher: Primal Urge Games
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/22/2005 00:00:00
This series has really impressed me, on the whole. At first glance I questioned paying $2 for a single new race, but this is not just a pile of stats and feats. Each race in the series gives you 15-20 pages of information, ranging from background, to relations, to land and language, to game stats... it's all here. The depth is impressive without being overbearing.

The Ryonth are sick, creepy, and frightening. The ramifications of being overrun by a Ryonth horde would be enough to make anyone move at the first hint of them. When you think to yourself "I'd rather just be eaten alive," you know it's pretty bad.



LIKED: Excellent detail and presentation. A whole campaign could be built around these guys as enemies.

DISLIKED: My only issue with regards to the Ryonth is that their incorporation could seriously change the face of a GM's campaign world. They'd have to be designed in from the start I think... it'd be tough to plug them in later.


QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Emerging Forms - Ryonth
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Emerging Forms - Cyndarim
Publisher: Primal Urge Games
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/22/2005 00:00:00
This series has really impressed me, on the whole. At first glance I questioned paying $2 for a single new race, but this is not just a pile of stats and feats. Each race in the series gives you 15-20 pages of information, ranging from background, to relations, to land and language, to game stats... it's all here. The depth is impressive without being overbearing.

The Cyndarim are a ruthless, predatory, and powerful underwater race. For my part, I do a lot with aquatics... so getting more variety under the waves is always a plus. This was one of 2 very original aquatic races in this series.

LIKED: Adds nice variety to an oft-neglected part of a campaign world. Could make an excellent challenge in a campaign, and has the potential for serious political impact for those who like to include such effects in their worlds.

DISLIKED: Just the kinds of typos that could benefit from some manual (i.e. not spellcheck) editing. This particular race might also be of limited use from a playable standpoint... it's probably more suited to being an NPC group.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Emerging Forms - Cyndarim
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