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Other comments left by this customer:
Troubleshooters
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2007 00:00:00
If you like vampire stories you will like this one. The vampires in this story are likeable in that charismatic serial killer sort of way. And I really liked the little twist at the end which didn't feel forced. Some writers try to get too cute with their stories and end up screwing them up with those "surprise" endings. But this ending is one of those "I should have seen that coming" but didn't ones, which was fun. The only thing is this is a really short story, and it probably could have been fleshed out some more.


LIKED: cool characters and plot

DISLIKED: Could have been longer.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Troubleshooters
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Add-A-Room I: The Alchemist's Workshop
Publisher: Creation's Edge Games
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2007 00:00:00
Add-a-room represents a great theory. A collection of interlocking rooms that can be dropped randomly into dungeons for variety or just to help a DM save some time. This one is the Alchemist?s Workshop. I bought this because I thought it would be a random Alchemist?s workshop. Surprise, it isn?t. It?s a big room with a bunch of pools of water. Apparently the pools are the run-off or something from an alchemist?s experiments. Which is all well and good. But this ISN?T an alchemist?s workshop. It?s an alchemist?s sewer maybe. But not a workshop. Apparently, this is some riddle or something that you need to solve before you can open the alchemist?s workshop. But even when you do, there is nothing of real interest in the workshop but the charred remains of an experiment and some gold. The map of the workshop is dull. Just a square with the pools noted on it.

I guess the PDF isn?t as bad as I sound. It?s just I was expecting something a bit more, I guess. I was hoping this series of products would be a real help to GMs since it offered maps and rooms all ready to go. But it?s kinda dull and doesn?t do anything of note. And the map was generated with a free online map maker. Not that this is a bad thing, but since it?s free I can make the maps myself. I don?t need these products.



LIKED: Great theory

DISLIKED: dull map and didn't really do what I hoped it would do.

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Add-A-Room I: The Alchemist's Workshop
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Coupons & Artifacts
Publisher: The Le Games
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2007 00:00:00
Nice way to introduce people to new products with this free sampler. A few free artifacts, some free spells, and lots of coupons. As someone new to the PDF side of stuff, it was nice to see the variety available.


LIKED: freebies are always good.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Coupons & Artifacts
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Buck-A-Batch: Magic Armor I
Publisher: Creation's Edge Games
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2007 00:00:00
This PDF has some of the same products as the other Buck-a-Batch product I reviewed. The writer keeps added the phrase ?as described in the Dungeons & Dragons Player?s Handbook, 3rd edition? to everything. Its sort of annoying after a while, particularly since we already know that we need the PHB anyway, just say ?as per whatever-the-name-of-the spell? is and be done. Also, the layout is sort of hard to read because the margins are all jagged on the right and the spacing looks too big. It just doesn?t look like a professional produced product. I do like the different choices that the product offers, but some of them are just variants on the theme. 9 of the shields are just represent different dragon types, when the writer could have just offered ONE shield and then made it known there are different varieties (much like the Bag of tricks is listed as one item in the SRD but there are different types of it).


LIKED: Nice idea and can't beat the price

DISLIKED: redundant items and wording.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Buck-A-Batch: Magic Armor I
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ARTIFACTS: Ducks of Ultimate Doom
Publisher: The Le Games
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2007 00:00:00
This is probably the best of The Le products I?ve read so far. The editing is much better in this one than the others I have purchased (except for the writer constantly writing paladins (plural) instead of paladin?s (possessive) in product descriptions). The artifacts in this product offer some great variety that can really add some neat ideas to a game. Each artifact includes a nice history to flesh out some backstory and fit the item into the game world. The centerpiece artifact, DUCKS OF ULTIMATE DOOM, is a riot. I can?t wait to use these things on a party (insert evil grin). Plus this PDF includes more of the baubles that I really liked from the 17 Wondrous Items PDF. This PDF fleshing out the idea a little more. Unlike a lot of artifacts, I don?t think introducing one of these to a game under the right circumstances will be too overpowering. If placed properly, any one of these artifacts could make a nice quest by itself.


LIKED: Nice histories for the artifacts. More baubles.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ARTIFACTS: Ducks of Ultimate Doom
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17 Wondrous Items
Publisher: The Le Games
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2007 00:00:00
Another case of a product needing some editing. The header of page two reads 17 Magic Hats and Helmets, but this product is for 17 Wondrous Items. I like the two separate random treasure generators, one for 1d100 and one for 1d20. So depending on your style you?ve got both. Some of the item descriptions need work. For example, the Amulet of the Unnatural says that the item emits a burst of energy that says ?all those in the area are affected as they normally would be by negative energy.? But what?s normal? There are a lot of different effects generated by negative energy spells. I have no idea what this is suppose to do other than heal one point of damage to undead. Seems 65,000 gp is overpriced for an item that can heal one point of damage on an undead every other round. Whereas the Mask of the Cutpurse is only 18,000 gp but has a boatload of benefits like turning invisible for 3 minutes, a constant pass without a trace effect, disguise self for 30 minutes, and tons of bonuses to rogue stats. I don?t even get the purpose behind the Snake Oil, which is a potion that really doesn?t do anything but have the appearance of another potion.

The baubles and Urus of Ancient Power are an interesting concept. These are items that are infused onto other items in order to get certain effects. This is a very cool concept that allows players to enhance existing magical items instead of having to ?trade up.? But the writer decided to declare these were artifacts instead of offering the rules for making them. Sort of like he couldn?t figure out the game mechanics to justify these items so just decided to call them artifacts so he didn?t have to. I would have really liked to have seem the actual rules for crafting these. That would have been useful. Maybe even a new feat ?Craft baubles and Urus? would be in order.

I don?t know why the writer felt the need to bulk up the PDF by including several pages of SRD spells. The actual items end on page 19. Then there are ten pages of spells listed. I guess these are spells that relate to the items, and are here so you don?t have to flip back and forth between the PDF and the PHB.



LIKED: Cool ideas for new items if you are tired of the same old same old. Liked the concept behind the baubles and urus. Would have liked to see this expanded.

DISLIKED: Bad editing and unclear item descriptions.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
17 Wondrous Items
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Adventure Havens: Library Lore
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2007 00:00:00
Library Lore is worth the price just for the NPCs alone. There are dozens on NPCs in this book, from challenge rating 1 all the way up to 30, and it even includes some dragons as NPCs. Some of the NPCs are generic guards, commoners, and such that are meant as background characters. But most of them come with not only full stats but also detailed histories. There is a nice index that sorts them all by name, race, and level so that if you need an NPC for an X level encounter quickly you can just find it no problem.

But the purpose of this booklet is to make libraries exciting. I think a lot of DMs handwave it when PCs say they are going to gather information or research something, and don?t much think about where they are going to get the information in the first place. This product does a nice job of giving you a reason to actually go to the library and explore it. Some of the libraries, like the Corner Store, are more like a fantasy version of Borders. They serve as an information gathering place for the locals to read books, gossip, drink coffee, or whatever. Gadget Hall is less a library than a gnomish workshop, with not only collections of books but rentable work benches to run experiments and such. Many of the libraries double as something else. Grom?s Library is actually a giant underground proving ground for rogues, as an example. The Halls of Steel are built above a dwarven mine. Which kind of makes sense, since I don?t think a fantasy world would often have a dedicated library system.

Oddly, I guess I was expecting a librarian NPC class or something, but the product doesn?t offer any new classes, and only a handful of new feats. The bulk of the product is to provide locations, NPCs, and ideas. In that, it does a good job. Each library has a listing of seed ideas, and the NPC histories include are sure to inspire ideas of their own. The mini-quests are interesting, though some feel slightly contrived. Many of them are suppose to tie in to a multi-library quest that leads to the discovery of a library on the astral plane. It?s difficult to pick up the clues at first, though thankfully the writer included an appendix that actually spells out where the clues are and how they all connect.

I really liked the art in this. It?s sort of a fantasy cartoonish feel that works with the concept. Layout was nice and easy to read.



LIKED: Plenty of NPCs and ideas. Very nice artwork.

DISLIKED: multi-library quest a bit hard to follow.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Havens: Library Lore
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17 Relics
Publisher: The Le Games
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2007 00:00:00
Not very well edited. A proofreader would have done this thing some good. For example, on the very first page there is a line that reads ?Otter?s worries are not unfounded as the your party?? And later there is a sentence that reads ?Among the great and many magic items in invention?? and goes on in a really bad run-on sentence the rest of the paragraph. Stuff like that is throughout the booklet, and its kind of annoying. It?s weird that the product starts off with a section on plot devices before it even gets into the relics. I?m not sure what I?m supposed to do with this information.

Once it actually gets into the relics, however, things get better. The relics are interesting items. The author gives just enough information to make them unique while leaving out enough information so that the DM can tweek the description to suit his own story for the game. I don?t know if any of these things were actually playtested or anything, as some of them could potentially knock a game completely out of wack. But I guess it?s like any relic. The DM has to think before using it. This is not a product you can just flip through and grab a random item to use. You need to read it and think about how it will impact the game. There isn?t a lot of artwork, but the art there is works well with the product and the layout is clean.



LIKED: Nice selection of relics to use for story ideas.

DISLIKED: bad editing.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
17 Relics
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Buck-A-Batch: Magic Masks I
Publisher: Creation's Edge Games
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2007 00:00:00
I think magical masks need a more prominent place in fantasy games. Historically, many cultures use masks to commune with the spirits or to strike fear in enemies. It seems natural that masks would have a place in d20. Unfortunately, Wizards in their infinite lack of wisdom never really did a lot with the concept. Fortunately, Creation?s Edge Games stepped up to the plate to fix the omission.

Magic Masks I gives you 50 different magic masks with a variety of powers, making this a phenomenal value. This product offers a good variety of masks that can fit into pretty much any sort of game you have going on. I didn?t notice anything too overpowering or out of wack, though there are some mechanical concerns that I?ll need to think through and may have to adjust before using these in a game. For example, it seems that some of the prices don?t seem to work right. Breath Mask (Color Spray) basically lets you cast color spray three times a day, but it only costs 375 gp? And the author doesn?t specify at what level the color spray is cast at. Most wondrous items say something like ?as if cast by a 5th level whatever? so that you know how to figure out the saving throws and stuff. Many of these items don?t do that, so you sort of have to guess. But if you think it through beforehand, you should be fine.

Two other things that irked me about the product, though. One, the text doesn?t look right. Most books have aligned margins. This one doesn?t. And the spaces between paragraphs seemed really big. It didn?t hurt the readability or anything. I guess it just looked unprofessional. Two, the descriptions sometimes got wordy or redundant. I don?t this the OGL requires you to say ??as described in the Dungeon and Dragons Player?s Handbook, Third Edition? every time you mention a spell or something. But the author does that almost every time he references something out of the SRD. It?s kind of annoying.



LIKED: 50 masks for an excellent price.

DISLIKED: sometimes wordy, and the mechanics are a bit twitchy.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Buck-A-Batch: Magic Masks I
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