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Ronin Arts
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DREAMSCAPES: The Definitive D20 Guide to Worlds Beyond Sleep
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/29/2006 00:00:00
DREAMSCAPES: The Definitive D20 Guide to Worlds Beyond Sleep is an idea for playing dream worlds. There is great potential in the idea. The resource does a good job of fulfilling it.

The main idea in the PDF is that a dream world would be able to be affected by its inhabitants. It?s designed for D20 but because of its small amount of reliance on mechanics it can apply to other systems without too much trouble. I have used this system for a dream encounter and a trip inside a magical item to unlock its power. This resource did the majority of the work, I altered it a bit and reworked a few mechanics, and it all went well. If you know your game and what you are aiming for in your dream world this book will lead you to how to pull it off. If you are drawn to the concept of having a strange encounter or just throwing off your party for a night, get this book.

The Dream use of this PDF I threw at them when they finally found the mystic who could help them find the answer they needed agreed to help them. As the next meeting started they woke up and were not where they expected to be, and then started finding out things didn?t work the way they should, and slowly started figuring out how to use the world they were in (with some help). At the end they defeated the enemy and found out what they needed to know then woke up in the Mystics tent to find out that short-term memory loss was often a side effect of a quest trance. They kind of figured it out about ? through, but they still had a great time.

Be creative and you will get great use out of this resource, and your adventurers will get a very memorable night.



LIKED: The idea was great and they did a solid job of fleshing it out, while keeping some options open for you to fill in how you want the world to work.

DISLIKED: That openness is great if you have some ideas of your own, if you are looking for an adventure for tommorrow night, your not going to get much sleep.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DREAMSCAPES: The Definitive D20 Guide to Worlds Beyond Sleep
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Campaign Planner
Publisher: Ronin Arts
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/30/2006 00:00:00
Very useful if you want some tools for better organization. I'm getting some good use out of this, at least when I remember to.


LIKED: the cards are well designed and not bigger than they need to be. Many have a few sizes and I appreciate that.

DISLIKED: If you don't need it, then it isn't useful. That makes sense.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Campaign Planner
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Hot Pursuit: ON FOOT
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/30/2006 00:00:00
Finally used this product, and must say it is lovely. It does exactly what it says, it makes chases fast and exciting. It is also not hard to convert to most systems.

My players actually used a chase where I hadn't planned one, a fight got nasty and they actually decided to flee, they really like the chase dynamics and used the chase to double back and get around the bad guys. Took some improvision but worked great. Just make sure you have a rough idea of the setting so you can use this system if you need to.

Also I use 3x5 cards for my players (have some newbies) to keep the most used stats for their rolls. This really came in handy to keep the pace of the chase.


LIKED: Great system for chases, best I've seen.

DISLIKED: You need to have the hot pursuit book to use this, and I changed a few things as I thought they could have done a better translation to foot chases. This one is good, but felt a little less cool than the vehicle chases.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hot Pursuit: ON FOOT
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Stuff! (EABA)
Publisher: BTRC
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/30/2006 00:00:00
The amount of work that went into this resource is incredible. I showed it to a friend of mine who is a physics student and he was impressed with some of the lengths they went to in making and testing this.

EABA is a great system, and like the system this book uses a lot of details and a lot of work to create a suprisingly easy and fast paced system.

I've been creating an EABA environment for my group to try out, and this book really is all I need to turn my ideas into a functioning world. the creation method and EABA universal chart will bew useful to anyone, even if you don't use the system. There is some very good advice in here too. Especially if you are looking to try your hand at creating a setting.


LIKED: Best resource ever. The creation sheets are awesome.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stuff! (EABA)
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E.N.Arsenal - Whip
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/02/2006 00:00:00
good material. Makes the whip interesting without changing it from what it is. My favorite was the duelist prestige class. I created a NPC to antagonize my party and it really threw them off how it fought with the whip. One person wants to do that class now.


LIKED: the prestige classes and the way they balanced the improvements to the whip. The whip sword has potential too.

DISLIKED: not really anything. Solid product.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
E.N.Arsenal - Whip
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Elements of Magic (Revised)
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/02/2006 00:00:00
I was working on a system like this myself (or at least thinking of how one would work) when I read the description of this product, I bought it and was and still am incredibly impressed. That?s not to say this system is game ready as is, I don?t think it?s that polished. What it is is an incredibly different and exciting way to do magic.

It basically breaks down the magic system into parts of the spell and lets you put together those parts however you want. The ability to alter the effects through adding cost (it?s an mp system) and the ability to combine 2 spells into one cast (if they work together) makes for an almost unlimited potential with your magic.

And now a few negative points to balance my incredible joy with this product. The system is complex, yet simple. . . yeah. It will take some time to get used to, you can?t just look at your list and call out the spell, you have to build each spell. However your players will most likely use a small amount of spells and alter them to fit the situation. (alterations involve range and area and such, all at cost) My main problem as the material stands is the amount of mp they suggest giving each character per day. It?s enough to cast 12 highest power spells a day. One they give an example of is a level 14 spell that lasts one day and instantly revives the person it?s cast on if they die during that day and then it heals them substantially. I don?t like the charging so well, they allow for a lot of triggers and that just does in combat work before combat. It also can be exploited easily, for example you could charge powerful damage spells into pebbles, give them to someone with a slingshot and watch them decimate enemies. My initial reaction would be to lower overall mp per day and limit the charging of spells drastically.

Overall it is an intriguing system that you could work with to create a really unique magical world.

The system is not as complex as it seems when you first read through, I don't think they do a very good job of explaining it.

LIKED: I love the system and the ideas behind it.

DISLIKED: Needs better editing. The charging spells system allows you to do way too much. Players that want faster paced learn and cast spell system will hate this.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied

[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elements of Magic (Revised)
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Minor Magicks
Publisher: Silverthorne Games
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2006 00:00:00
Incredibly useful. I can't wait to put these spells into use. So many of them have effects that while menial will allow a lot of use while role-playing, and can be used in some interesting combat situations. There is also a huge number of spells and items. Great value for price.


LIKED: These spells are often usable for many purposes, useful for PC's and NPC's. I bought this thinking it would only be useful for the villagers and townspeople we ran into, but a few of these I can tell my players will use right away. Some of the spells have me thinking up new messes to get my players into. I was expecting a 3-star product but for me at least this is a 5.

DISLIKED: nothing.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Minor Magicks
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RPGNow DEPOSIT
Publisher: OneBookShelf, Inc.
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2006 00:00:00
My players chipped in and got me $30 for GM's day. I used some of the stuff I bought the next adventure. Everyone was happy. An incredibly convenient feature.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RPGNow DEPOSIT
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101 Feats
Publisher: Ronin Arts
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2006 00:00:00
I appreciate the amount of combat useful magic feats in the book. It allows some variety to the casters in you group who might want to do more in combat. Arcane Rush is a good example, a magic duplicate bull rushes your enemy. There are a few more, none make the mage a real offensive threat, but can help them in a closer fight to have options other than hide and run.

A great number of useful general feats, ones to help an armored fighter grapple, ones that grant better cover if that mage is hiding behind you, even a progression of two feats that allow you to use that cloak to aid you in battle. (really cool option)

Some are overpowered, some seem redundant or just too weak. Many of the feats won?t be useful in most campaigns. Fortunately there is a word document version of the PDF, so I just cut and paste together a list of feats I?m allowing and print that out to give to players.

I have a rogue who can?t roll for HP to save her life, a level 7 rogue with 11 hp is bad. Introduce Unnaturally Healthy feat for her, lets her roll twice for health and take the better one. Many instances of these types of feats. This book has been a big hit for my players, and a few have made major strides in balancing out our team.

I can?t think of a campaign where at least 5-10 of these would be usable, and at least 1 or 2 taken.

I can?t think of a campaign where at least 5-10 of these would be usable, and at least 1 or 2 taken. I think it?s a good deal for the price.

4 stars for overall value of the material versus price, up to 5 for the word document.


LIKED: The feats, of course, but moreso the Word version, that was a great addition for GM's who aren't introducing the entire list. Seriously don't introduce the whole list.


DISLIKED: The epic absorb one rings power feat. That will never get used by me. No other problems, great value.


QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Feats
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for your comments on the PDF. I also really enjoyed some of the arcane feats that create new ways for mages to enter battle.
UNORTHODOX Knights
Publisher: The Le Games
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/02/2006 00:00:00
Battle Knight: The Tank. Lots of bonuses to negate Armor penalty and give a bit better movement, some cool charging bonuses and some AC increase. Tank.

Chevalier Amour: A fun class. Uses skills alot. Gets bonuses to fight for his true love and to escape perilous situations. Would be fun to Role-Play if your party isn't stuffy. "Look a Monkey" is my favorite feat ever.

Knight of Frost: A sworn warrior from the evil and cold North. Gains frost abilities, eventually gaining the cold subtype.

Knight of the Road: I like this class, but the art doesn't seem to fit the description. . . A wandering Knight who gains some cool abilities. Sword sling is like backstab except only for when you start the fight with a flat-footed opponent and your sword sheathed. I like that because it will make the knight work to gain this advantage so they can use this awesome attack. The "Traveler's" abilities are cool, but they describe it through a points system that is the same as the # of times per day. I'm not a huge fan of mounts, and while I understand a wandering knight using a beloved horse I've just never liked them. I also don't like summoning the horse, I would definately limit that in my campaign.

Knight of the Broken Tusk: A half-orc special. I like this class, it gains lots of tough combat abilities and some good leadership type abilities. This of course is offset with being a Half-Orc and swearing devotion to the order. There are some guidelines for adventuring, and a stern warning not to abandon the group as you wander about. I like the "smite" they have in this character, but I would rename it because it doesn't act like other smites at all.

Lanternian Knight: The repentant warrior seeks to undo his crimes fromt he past. I like this class. It's especially usefull to me because I have an Everquest fan who had to play as a Dark Knight, but has become a Good Dark Knight. . . I am definately going to give him the option to use this class after I kick him out of Dark. Some cool abilities, and great role-playing opportunity, especially if you involve the characters mysterious and dark past.

Blind Blade: Prestige class. Interesting, and gives blindsense and later blindsight. has a lot of cool roleplaying potential and would be a great option for a character who was blinded. I would use this on a low level character who didn't meet the requirements and once they got blindsense let them take other class levels again. This doesn't seem powerful enough to warant a character voluntarily blinding themself.

I like all of these classes and I think they are easier to integrate than other of the Unorthodox Jobs. Knights of Frost are going to make a nasty series of intrusions into my campaign as NPC's. One of the bonus of getting these books is throwing in NPC's to go with the party that fight differently than the party. It actually has a few people wanting to try the Unorthodox jobs themselves.



LIKED: Very easy to integrate as NPC or PC. Much better job on that part than the other books. (at least for my campaigns) I liked the Lanternian Knight and Blind Blade for their ability to come into play in a campaign when things go differently than expected. Chevalier Amour sounded dumb at first, but it really is a well thought out class and would be a lot of fun to play and especially to role-play. All of the Unorthodox jobs give a little boost to the Role-play side, valuable if you have some gamers who don't do a very good job of creating their character.

DISLIKED: Not so keen on the battle knight, It is my least favorite of the jobs, it just screams tank at you, although it has some other really cool abilities. Not a big complaint, I would still let someone play the class. If they want to be the tank.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
UNORTHODOX Knights
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UNORTHODOX Rogues
Publisher: The Le Games
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2006 00:00:00
I got this in the Bundle with Unorthodox Knights and Druids.

I value this book more for the characters it creates than the classes. The classes themselves seemed more suited to NPCs than PCs, unless you are much better at coming up with ways to play them. They make great NPCs and Antagonists, I?ll go through them quick and give my impression. Note, everyone gets backstab, but some get a weaker one.

Fabricator: Trap master. This would work great as a friend to your party, can train the rogue and build interesting little things for them, as a PC though they are just one aspect of Rogues taken and specialized. Make a great enemy because their traps are wicked and could really make for some nasty fights. Especially if you had to fight one in his lair.

Layabout: The most usable by PCs in my opinion. Uses social connections a sharp wit and natural charisma to get himself in to any group and mooch off them, not useless in a fight, but not too inclined to help. Would be a good character for someone you are familiar with and who could handle an unconventional character who sometimes might have a sore knee just when the fight is about to start. Also a good contact or NPC tagalong to the party to spice things up and bleed some cash.

The Seductress: Only problem I have with this character is that they have no ambition to join a group and adventure with them for more than a short time. A good side character, a very interesting friend of the party (esp if you got some with money to spend) Has connections and could help your party, but I don?t know why they would stick around and go fight orcs. A very interesting character I will somehow find a way to use, but I don?t think she?ll ever make a good PC. Could start some fights in your party if your players would be into that.

The Shroud: A grave robber. Has the ability to get a corpse to give up it?s secrets. Could work in a party with a Necromancer, even if they supposedly compete for corpses, the shroud doesn?t really use the corpse, just gets info from it. That ability makes me want to put it into a party, kill that rogue then find out who sent it while it?s freshly dead. A decent villain, but best would be the rogue of a freaky evil-necro party.

Skulker: A great villain if you want a crazy mystery story. Can hide in plainsight by hiding in little spaces and disguising itself. Read the intro to it in the demo and you?ll see the character really well. Might not work for PC. ?It?s day four, and you are still hiding in the corner of the living room under the couch, roll to resist starvation.? I think you could use this character if you had someone willing to be different and use it well. I would make a maximum strength score for this class though, you aren?t too strong if you are that thin.

The prestige classes are alright, the Ward Boss is nasty, the Backstabber I don?t buy, it?s just too given. The Saintly Thief I actually made our Good Rogue?s mentor one of these, cause it works, and I might open the class for them. The alias rules and bonuses are a cool idea.



LIKED: The back story really brought these characters to life, and gave me plenty of ideas for use as side characters.

DISLIKED: They didn't seem the best fit for players to use, much better as NPC's.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
UNORTHODOX Rogues
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Unorthodox Barbarians
Publisher: The Le Games
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2006 00:00:00
I got this book as part of the Bundle with Unorthodox Paladins and Monks. It?s a great buy if I might say so. This book was my second favorite out the group (I got it mainly for the PLD one) as I generally dislike Barbarians in general. All of these variants are useful in some circumstances that would allow their specialization to shine. The Conqueror and Savage Screamer are more easily integrated, but the others will still make very good NPC?s in campaigns that they don?t work as PC?s. The most limited one in my opinion would be the Planar marauder, as you would almost have to create a campaign focused around this character. If you aren?t using planes a lot then they would be very out of place, but they still would make a great villain, having to track down these disappearing warriors could be very interesting.

My favorite is the Corsair. This is the big guy that the scheming captain has managed to get unswervingly loyal to him. You know the big Pirate holding off at least 5 of the Royal Navy?s best. In a land fight he?s not bad, but put him on a ship deck in a storm and he?s a Juggernaut.

Savage Screamer seems fun, unless your characters get into their parts too much and your neighbors have ears. Interesting abilities and fun descriptions, I don?t know if my pc?s will try it, I might have to throw one in myself.

Wild Riders are like the Corsair for Horses, very focused on fighting from horseback, would be weaker in dungeons or cities.

The conqueror should be popular, every group has someone willing to forego all defenses if it means they can hit really hard. This one gets the ?Most likely to roll bad and die early? award, but it seems balanced and fun.

Corsair was a big hit, everyone wants to do a Pirate campaign now.


LIKED: The Corsair and Savage Screamer look cool, Conqueror will no doubt have fans, and I don't mind that. Wild Rider could be fun if your campaign fits.

DISLIKED: I didn't like the Planar Marauder, no problem with the class, I just don't like using the planes in my world, so I don't like a class that's all about them, that's the only complaint I have.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Barbarians
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E.N. Armoury - Chainmail Bikinis
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2006 00:00:00
I got this book because I have some gamers interested in wearing less traditional armor. I am actually implementing a few of the options in this book in game. One of the gamers wanted her cleric to wear armor but still look sexy when not in battle, so I decided to let her use the "naked defense rules in this book but I made her take a feat to do it.

The idea of the beauty pagent and the prestige classes could be a lot of fun, since they aren't so seduction based but are more diva-like with the ability to get your own way with your looks.

I would suggest this book if your gamers are wanting to go a bit racier or like more innuendo and silliness. This book definately doesn't belong in serious campaigns, although I'm still wondering what those are like. . .




LIKED: Some well thought out abilities and ideas, I liked the idea for a beauty stat, but I would make it take penalties from fierce combat that would have to be recovered through training, or some time at a beauty spa.

DISLIKED: A lot of the feats just sem not worth it, a lot give +1 attack, or allow +1 max dex. That's not really worth the effort.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
E.N. Armoury - Chainmail Bikinis
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Unorthodox Paladins
Publisher: The Le Games
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2006 00:00:00
I really like this book, and have used 2 classes so far, one a tag-along NPC and another for an antagonist, and both went very well.

I like that a few don't get spells, but have some divine style spell-like abilities.

My favorits so far are the "Hooks" who are inspired a bit it seems by the Spanish Inquisition style church. (No cumfy chairs here though) Their abilities to interrigate and create fear and pain are sweet for Gods that need some dirty work done, or the less nice religious orders out there.

My second favorite would be the "Fist of God" who is a bit monk like but is incredibly focused on combat with various divine attributes. Not as overpowered as I thought, but a min/maxer might do a better job of exploiting the job and make it too strong. That should be mostly taken care of with the demands for diff attributes to be decent that the job has. I was very attracted to the unblinking devotion and power it brought, a very nice addition to any campaign involving a questionable church.

I also liked the Pld that were devoted to balance, a very fitting character that can gain bonuses to fight against good or evil, chaotic or lawful but only in the cause of balancing these forces. It would be a great PC if the GM was willing to commit to checking their use of what would otherwise be a lot of power without this check of it's use.


LIKED: I liked the idea and execution of this product, The classes were well thought out, and the ones I tried out worked great and were fun without unbalancing.

DISLIKED: I was hoping the "Echo Paladin" would use some songs or brd skills but they just had some vocal abilities. I've read this class over numerous times, and I just don't get it. The other 5 are very good.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Paladins
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E.N. Classguides: Monks of the 9 Animal Clans
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Geoffrey B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2006 00:00:00
This book had a good Idea, and I really like the alternate class options, so I purchased it. The 9 animal clans each has a focus to it, the tortoise is tough (looks a bit too tough at the end) with less flexibility as they lose speed based attacks and movement increase. Tiger keeps trades defensive feats for better quick attacks, including a pounce attack. Serpant gets a jacked up attack per day by level. . . and so on.

Each seems decent witht he trade off to retain balance, some appear to be a bit too exploitable, but I haven't tested them yet so I could be wrong. May require GM to balance a bit.

Heavily based off D&D Monk and expects you to have the manual as it only offers the varients each alternate path introduces.

If you like alternate classes and don't mind doing a bit of work on them before using, this book just might be worth $3, otherwise I wouldn't make the investment.


LIKED: The idea and some of the execution, the serpeant strike is well designed (maybe a bit too powerful but that can be fixed easily if it's the case.

DISLIKED: Assumes familiarity with D&D monk, which isn't a problem for most. I wish they had more detail instead of depending on you to look it up in the D&D Book. Ex. One monk gains spellcasting at reduced level and they give you the levels and that's about it. The rest I guess you figure out. No big gripes.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
E.N. Classguides: Monks of the 9 Animal Clans
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