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Midgard Bestiary: 13th Age Compatible Edition
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/02/2014 00:10:27
I have received this pdf by purchasing the print + pdf bundle for an extra $10 from Kobold Press' website. Here are my first impressions of the pdf as I await my printed copy.

This 110 pages file (104 of which are actual content) is packed full of flavorful creatures statted for the 13th Age RPG. Most entries contain a handful of variants, at least one of which is well-illustrated. Lists of carried items and adventure hooks are also provided along with the usual background and description. The association of some new magic items with many of the creatures is an interesting approach. Additional PC races are also offered although the treatment given to some of them is somewhat brief. The book then closes with Icons linked to the Midgard campaign setting and proposed as substitutes to those in the core book.

All in all, the new creatures, magic items, PC races, and Icons contained within can be ported to any game and make for a worthwhile supplement to the 13th Age line even if Midgard is not used as a campaign setting.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Bestiary: 13th Age Compatible Edition
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Age of Ideas: Character Backgrounds (13th Age/Archmage)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2014 20:41:25
I was fairly disappointed with this product which essentially lists 100 mundane medieval professions. The four character backgrounds given as a sample are among the most interesting. The two pages of content are duplicates except that one of them is borderless.

I was expecting to see more inspiring entries to help spark the imagination when creating characters. Stamping it as 13th Age Compatible feels like a lazy attempt to profit from the interest generated by the game. You will likely get more mileage out of this free list : http://arcana.wikidot.com/list-of-medieval-european-professi-
ons

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Age of Ideas: Character Backgrounds (13th Age/Archmage)
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Old School Dungeons - Crypt of the Dread Lord
Publisher: Crypt Thing Press
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/10/2014 22:52:23
You get a decent-looking but somewhat generic old-school dungeon map. Can't complain, it's free! I especially like the layering feature and wish that it would show up in more products.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Old School Dungeons - Crypt of the Dread Lord
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VTT Campaign Maps Volume I
Publisher: Stoneworker Cartography
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/01/2013 21:57:25
This pack contains an interesting and varied selection of attractive color maps. For some reason, I prefer buying collections over individual maps. Providing keyed & unkeyed, night & day, grid & gridless versions of those maps is a nice touch. Lighting and shadows are adequately done.

This product's main downside is that some of the maps (at first glance, about 4 out of the 22 maps) show features such as blood spatters and fire which might limit their use to specific circumstances. Such features are better left to be added at the GM's discretion.

All in all, good value for my money. Some of the maps will soon see action in my own game. Keep them coming!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
VTT Campaign Maps Volume I
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for your review, Sylvain! You make a great point about the spatters and fire. I will certainly keep this feedback in mind as I begin work on the next map pack, and unless the mood of the map requires such things, I'll just leave them out. Thanks again! - Lanndon
Ultimate GM Toolkit: Campaigns, Prep, Plots, and NPCs [BUNDLE]
Publisher: Engine Publishing
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2012 23:37:41
In all honesty, $35 is more than I'm usually willing to spend for PDFs but I have to say that, in this case, it was well worth the money. This Ultimate GM Toolkit lives up to its title and it really is an invaluable resource aimed at busy game masters such as myself.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate GM Toolkit: Campaigns, Prep, Plots, and NPCs [BUNDLE]
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Vornheim: The Complete City Kit
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/21/2011 14:37:32
As a GM, I personally find the creation of any settlement larger than a village to be a daunting task and published city settings to be often overwhelming with details. I appreciate the author's approach to fleshing out an urban setting on the fly. About half of this product offers information on the city of Vornheim which, although interesting, will not be of much use in my own games. On the other hand, the remainder of the book will serve as a very useful city creation tool kit. I would have granted an extra star if not for the pdf's hefty price tag.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vornheim: The Complete City Kit
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EMG Mapper
Publisher: Emerald Giant
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/21/2011 14:01:11
Probably one of the best random dungeon map generator I have ever seen even though there are some free alternatives out there.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
EMG Mapper
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AoV: Volondor: The City
Publisher: Stainless Steel Dragon
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/21/2011 13:39:23
I found this product useful for its rare collection of varied urban setting floor plans.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
AoV: Volondor: The City
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Characters (Original version)
Publisher: Ye Olde Gaming Companye
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2010 22:46:46
This supplement is the perfect companion to the Wayfarers RPG. A drawback of point-buy character creation systems is the added preparation time needed for the GM to write-up NPCs. This book remediates to this problem by offering a great selection of named and unnamed pre-generated NPCs of various levels corresponding to the most common fantasy archetypes. This product can also be very useful to guide less experienced players in their character's creation.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Characters (Original version)
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Wayfarers (Original 2008 version)
Publisher: Ye Olde Gaming Companye
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2010 22:07:26
I have longed for a game that offered the D&D feel but previous and current incarnations of the D&D mechanics never quite did it for me. Wayfarers is no clone and has a personality of its own but yet offers the familiarity I was looking for. At first, I was worried about the 436 pages as I am getting too old for extensive rule systems. Much to my relief, the game has crunch in all the right places while remaining of very elegant design. This tome is a complete package, it includes everything you would expect from a players' handbook, a GM's guide, a well-stocked bestiary and a non-invasive but interesting setting book. It can fuel gaming sessions for years to come. Talk about value! The point-buy character creation system covers all the bases and allows the design of pretty much any fantasy archetypes I can think of. There is simply no need for countless splatbooks. The game is supported through the Wayfarers Guild Journal but I wish to see more adventure modules published to support the line. This game has actually pulled me out of my fantasy RPG burn-out. I sure hope it will get the attention it deserves.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wayfarers (Original 2008 version)
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Hearts & Souls
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Games
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/05/2009 11:19:37
H&S is a great narrativist rules-light supers RPG. Its scaled rank system for attributes and powers works well. The game's core mechanics for character motivations (called drives) and stress (emulating physical, mental and social setbacks) brilliantly support the superheroic genre. H&S oozes with potential for some fantastic role-playing and story-telling in any style of supers game.

However, some elements of the game feel somewhat too sketchy for my taste. Character creation and advancement come to mind, the author meant them to be free-form but I think both elements could benefit from a bit more structure. Some of the rules should also be clarified although the book contains a very useful example of play.

Hearts & Souls is a rough gem that could really shine with a little polishing but that sure didn't stop me from making it my supers RPG of choice.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hearts & Souls
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Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
Publisher: Beyond Belief Games
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/05/2009 10:06:50
BoL is without a doubt the best rules-light fantasy RPG I have ever read. I actually wasn't compelled to implement house-rules before playing it (a rare occurrence as far as I'm concerned). Its narrativist system allows for high creative freedom while being structured enough not to leave any loop-holes. The rules are clear, simple and streamlined. The careers paths and heroic origins work great and it contains the only open magic system that I don't find bland and generic. Even the advancement rules work to support the Sword & Sorcery genre. The writing, art (yes, even the art is good in the most recent version of the book) and setting (don't worry, no invasive metaplots here folks) all work together to give the right Sword & Sorcery feel to the game. BoL oozes with potential for some fantastic role-playing and story-telling. I can totally envision that its system could/will be adapted to many other genres.

As for the very few downsides (I'm being a real nitpick here), I'm not sure about that "no horses" thing and I think the game's bestiary could use a few undead critters.

Barbarians of Lemuria is worth every penny!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
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Castles & Crusades A3: Wicked Cauldron
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/21/2007 00:00:00
The maps have since been added to the product, therefore making it a good adventure module.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades A3: Wicked Cauldron
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The Collectors: The Burning House
Publisher: Rogue Publishing
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/17/2006 00:00:00
This may well be my single best RPG-related read ever. In my humble opinion, the material presented in The Collectors is novel-worthy.


LIKED: This game allows players to portray demons while brilliantly avoiding most of the theme's "clich?s". An authentic sense of humanity is conveyed to the characters without needing to involve any kind of rule mechanics. A very well written introductory scenario titled The Burning House is included and also acts as a great tutorial on how to handle all of the game's concepts.

DISLIKED: Surprisingly, the game seems to benefit from very little following and, unfortunately, no support material is available for this fantastic setting. Although obviously not the focus of this product, an extra 2 or 3 pages of rules on combat resolution, including a sample of common modern weapons, would have been a nice addition to "complete" the package (the rules can still be expanded with the readily available Fudge material).

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Collectors: The Burning House
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