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Aasimar & Tiefing: A Guidebook to the Planetouched
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Alan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2005 00:00:00

A very nice sourcebook of character options for planar gaming in general, not just for planetouched characters.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The planetouched creation system is just what the DM ordered when it came to peicing together some of the odd individuals that haunt the corners of planar games.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Some of the PrCs are a little weak or otherwise did not grab me conceptually.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Aasimar & Tiefing: A Guidebook to the Planetouched
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MEG: Artificer's Handbook
Publisher: Ronin Arts
by Alan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2005 00:00:00

Of all the MEG products that have been hitting PDF, this is the one I was waiting for. Strangely enough, I don't really agree with the author's main fist-shaking tenet: that paying XP for magic items is a bad thing.


But I do like the slot method for creating items (as opposed to the spinstery old-school "you stop for tea and you have to start all over again" approach) and the types of items you can create with it.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Great system and ideas. The slot mechanic also removes the artificial distinction between bonus and normal items, which also makes conversion of pre-3.5 material easier<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: I don't care for "generic" style item creation feats; it doesn't leave particular classes or organizations with special and unique item creation capabilities, which would strip campaign specific elements of flavor (fortunately, this is easily ignored.)


Art also wasn't the greatest; this is from before Soler was doing his best stuff.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
MEG: Artificer's Handbook
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Blue Rose - The Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy (True20)
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Alan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2005 00:00:00

Blue Rose is intended as a system to represent the "Romantic Fantasy" genre, which Green Ronin defines as various novels with authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradly, Tanya Huff, Dian Duane, and others, marked by strong female protagonists, often with psychic powers, and a nature-friendly outlook.


The book has a setting revolving around this style of play, and a system to support it. The system is a stripped down version of the d20 system (no d20 logo, hence they are free to provide basic chargen details.) It reduces the class set to three classes, uses a background system to add further details. The spell and magic system are skill-and-feat based. The 3-18 statistic range of classic d20 is replaced by simply a stat modifier for each stat.


The setting does not feature the standard Lord of the Rings inspired races, but a new set of races.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The system. It's a good adaptation, much truer to the ideal of a "simplified d20" than C&C.


I love both Stephanie Law's and Jennifer Meyers' artwork, and the whole book is simply beautiful.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: I thik they went just a little too far in cutting corners on classes; it leaves you too little flexibility with skills as your character advances.


Other than the races, the background of the Aldis setting is pretty typical of a d20 fantasy setting. On first blush, the nations and cultures of the setting seemed a bit uncomfortably like charactures of modern social issues.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blue Rose - The Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy (True20)
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Lions Den Press: The Iconic Bestiary -- Classics of Fantasy
Publisher: Lion's Den Press
by Alan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2005 00:00:00

An unusual product to say the least, but a nice one to have. Classics of Fantasy provides different takes on some classic creatures. So if you want snake-men, chaos-spawm, or psycic alien entities, either because you are a publisher who can't tap into the wizards IP, or are merely a GM who wants to go a fresh direction or wants to surprise your players, this is a nice book.


In some places, while the author taps into the same basic concepts, he turns some things around. For example, the Ophiduan social caste is reverse from that of the Yuan-Ti; the most human ones are the nobility.


I also like the Ei'risai. Randomized traits were sort of an afterthought with the slaad; the concept is a lot more central to the Ei'risai.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Ophiduans and Ei'risai, mainly.


Cover art is also good.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Being a fan of the XPH, I would have much rather seen the Ophiduan's and the Phrenic Scourge magical abilities expressed in those terms. (Incidentally, Malhavoc's Hyperconscious contains such a beast, an open content mind-flayer like alien psychic entity.)<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lions Den Press: The Iconic Bestiary -- Classics of Fantasy
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Masters of Arms
Publisher: Second World Simulations
by Alan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/13/2005 00:00:00

Still the best "weapon specialist" book... now available for 3.5. If you ever felt that the weapon specialist prestige classes or feats out their were a little bland, this book is just the ticket. If you dislike prestige classes, most of the class abilites are also available as feats.


Better yet, the book meshes well with Unearthed Arcana action point rules. If you want to try out some maneuvers spontaneously, using the emulate feat rules, you can try all types of interesting maneuvers in combat.


As always, the enterprising GM or player can also add their own maneuvers with a little math.


The choices aren't limited to typical weapons. You can master magic items like immovable rods, or special abiliteis like telekinesis. Or you can flesh out a feirce beast with the alpha beast prestige class.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Adds great variety to fighters and fighter types.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Er... that Steve still hasn't put out the Second World Sourcebook in this format...<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masters of Arms
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1001 Science Fiction Weapons (Revised)
Publisher: Plain Brown Wrapper Games
by Alan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/18/2005 00:00:00

A huge selection of weapons, some of them rather bizarre. Enough to never equip a sci-fi villain with the same weapon twice.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Sheer variety of options and ideas for weapons.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Formatting is very brown-paper. The statistics don't try to conform to any specific d20 implementation; Your Mileage May Vary depending on which d20 futuristic game you play, and some tweaknig may be necessary.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
1001 Science Fiction Weapons (Revised)
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A DM's Directory of Demiplanes
Publisher: Ronin Arts
by Alan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2004 00:00:00

A nice collection of demiplanes for planar gamers. Some, like the clockwork lighthouse, can reach normal "prime" campaigns and serve as motives for players to travel to the planes. Others, like the Ageless Chamber, are more appropriate for campaigns already occurring on the planes.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Lots of plot hooks and adventure seeds. Lends itself well to DMs that like to create their own scenarios but can use a sturdy foundation to build on.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: A little short.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A DM's Directory of Demiplanes
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Lions Den Press: Secrets of the Planes -- Planar Factions
Publisher: Lion's Den Press
by Alan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2004 00:00:00

Another planar product from Ronin arts. Surely, these are good times for us planar cutters!


Each faction is covered in extensive detail. However, those of you that are fearful of a prestige class for every organization will be happy to hear that not all of the factions provide prestige classes. But the author does package a few "crunch" (game mechanics) goodies in each one.


Those coming from a planescape background might be expecting something slightly different when they hear the term "faction". Some of these resemble the philosophical trappings of planescape factions, but others are more minor sects or secret societies. Regardless, if you have a planar campaign (or a campaign that might be touched by planar action), there is good material here for you to draw campaign ideas from.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Good ideas and good support material<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: A little plain. There are some aspects of the text that don't mesh with the mechanics. I did speak with the author about some of these, and hopefully he'll make a revised PDF soon. (hint!)<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lions Den Press: Secrets of the Planes -- Planar Factions
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