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Average Rating:3.6 / 5
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Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/01/2010 21:40:26
Overall, I rather liked this one. While I see the justice of some of the other reviewers' critiques, it seems to me that they were expecting an awful lot from a 40+ page supplement. It seems clear from the context of the book, that while the Oriental villain is FROM China (or at least the far east), he isn't supposed to be encountered IN China. He's here in the United States (or perhaps Great Britain) pursuing his nefarious ends, and to that end most of the material included in the supplement is highly useful, especially including the information on the Tongs and Chinatowns. The various minions and henchmen in the text take up a lot of space, but then, you would expect an Oriental mastermind to HAVE lot's of varied minions and henchmen, so again, it seems like no problem, and, while I will admit the fiction provided as an intro in the first ten pages took up a lot of space, it was well enough written that I really don't see it as a problem either.

Like the supplements on the Nazis and the Thugee, this one provides a sufficiency of information to permit you to at least establish the concept of the Fu Manchu-like villain; though if you plan to make such a villain a major part in your campaign, you'll clearly want to do a lot more research on the subjects briefly touched on in this volume -- just as you would need to with the Nazis and the Thugee. The technical detail provided gives you plenty of information to use in your search (the Wikipedia article on Mongolian Death Worms is an interesting read), as well as providing enough information to play even without exhaustive additional research. The illustrations are evocative and add to the feel of the material. As usual, DriveThru has done an excellent job reproducing the material, and the entire product was legible, readable and viewable. Overall, I have to give this one a "4."

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/29/2008 08:02:19
Excellent treatment of the subject matter, well up to Adamant's usual high standard. Perils of the Orient is a primer on utilizing the "Yellow Menace" in your pulp games, and it serves that purpose well. The product opens with long piece of flavor text, which I find a bit too long for the purpose. While this detracts from my overall rating, the rest of the product redeems this editorial choice. The introduction cites numerous examples of oriental pulp villains and provides the social and historical context of the "Yellow Menace" as a genre. Different types of villains are detailed in successive chapters, and there is even a chapter on Asian weapons, their origins, and uses. The d20 stat blocks would be useful for anyone running a pulp d20 scenario.
This product could have used a few more maps, perhaps of an historical or quasi-historical Chinatown neighborhood. The illustrations are evocative of the era and genre, even if some of them are seen elsewhere in Adamant's product line. Overall, I'm satisfied with the purchase and happy to recommend it to any pulp GM, especially if you're running a d20 system game.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Joseph Q. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/26/2007 01:10:21
Useful information but sparse. If you already have a handle on the Pulp era treatment of Asian crime syndicates then this supplement will have little useful information for you. I was able to acquire more information freely through internet searches in an hour than this PDF provides. There was a lack of particulars ( name a particular - any particular) in the descriptions of the individual villains and organizations outlined in the PDF. This work should serve only as a starting point and very, very basic introduction into the Oriental villain concept. I bought it, honestly, because I am a completist and have the rest of the TT line, I like the idea but don't recommend this as a supplement for DM/GM use - I have not used a single idea from this PDF in my gaming since the day I read it. If you are an enthusiast of Pulp adventure gaming as a player, then make your own judgement.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by jeff m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/24/2007 00:00:00
I wanted to like it.

Let?s have a look by sections?

First of all ? the product starts off with ten pages of flavor text. A bit excessive in my opinion. Anyone buying this product probably has a good handle on just what this supplement is all about, the reader is most likely a pulp gamer who has purchased this in the hopes of finding some crunchy inspiration Death traps, exotic locales, ports of call, villains, etc. instead ten pages are wasted on what could be summarized in a paragraph or two, at ten pages this section is just too fluffy. It could easily be reduced by half, giving over the remaining pages to more crunch.

A standard introduction that speaks to this particular sub-genre of pulp. The author is very careful to point out that none of the information in this work is to be taken in any context other than a reflection of this particular genre of fiction and the style of the writing of the period.

The Mastermind revisited
In this section we are given an overview of the Oriental Mastermind and some of the particular traits that make the Oriental Mastermind special. That was the good part. The disappointing part is that we are given a set of stats for an Oriental Mastermind but no background on him. No history, no motivation, no information on his empire, secret base, connections, family, nothing-just abilities skills and numbers- this is one of those areas where we could use a page or two that was wasted on the flavor text in the beginning.

East meets west
In this section we are given a light overview of the history and struggles of Asians in America, with particular focus on the Chinese, ?Chinatowns? and the Tongs.

The Dragon lady
Here we are treated to a section on that most alluring of pulp fixtures the ?Dragon Lady?. Real world examples of powerful Asian women are offered in addition to a nice section on the motivations and behaviors of this Femme fatale as presented in the Pulp genre. A sample character write-up is added, but here again no specific background, or details about her organization, etc.

The Mysterious Orient
At the halfway point of the product we reach a gazetteer of sorts that takes us on an all too brief (two page) tour of the Orient, touching briefly with paragraphs on China, Japan, Mongolia, and Tibet. What?s lacking is any detail whatsoever on the cities that make the ?Mysterious Orient? so Mysterious- Shanghai, Singapore, Manila, Macao, just to name a few. There is a huge map of China though, which looks like it was photocopied from a 1930 high school textbook and takes up three quarters of a page; pure filler.

Enemies from the East
This section deals with the exotic adversaries that are in the service of the Oriental Masterminds. This section proved the least disappointing of the entire product. Besides your run of the mill Ninja, Mongol, and Martial artist write-ups, there are two foes that showed particular promise for my campaign: The Dacoit and the Black Monk.

Oriental Armory
Here the weapons of the Orient are described with stats and descriptions.

Horrors of the Orient
The monster manual section of the product. Three monsters are presented-a snake, a lizard, and a yeti. That?s it. What was I expecting? I don?t know- choking vines maybe, brain worms that are inserted in the ear and make their way to the brain, more stuff along those lines.

Adventure seeds
The product ends with three one-paragraph adventure seeds.

When I saw this product at RPGNow I was so excited I bought it instantly. I wanted it to be great; I knew it could be great. Man was I disappointed.

Nothing on deathtraps, exotic locales, or hidden bases. No detail on how the Oriental Mastermind?s organization operates, nothing on the various illicit rackets (dope smuggling, prostitution, white slavery, piracy, extortion), nothing on how the Oriental Masterminds empire influences city hall, the state department, or small countries. None of that.

On one hand it was only six bucks, but on the other hand I felt I spent four bucks too much.

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Disappointed

[2 of 5 Stars!]
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