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Crime Pays
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/13/2011 09:37:12
This product is ultra cool!

The basic mechanics are as such:

As a crime lord, your need to control a territory and a criminal organization to control that territory. There is a certain minimum of city blocks for a territory and a certain minimum of thugs/beggars/conmen (called "coves") needed to control that territory at efficient levels (having more or less affects the efficiency of your control).

Each month you determine the income and expenses of the organization, random events may or not happen to your organization, and your organization does the following:

(1) Your coves do crimes (low-level crimes outside of your day-to-day guidance);
(2) You guide your higher-authority rogues (your captains) to do specific crimes, with our without coves assigned to help them;
(3) And you roleplay your character in classic D&D fashion - - either doing classic adventuring to bring in more money for the organization, or in response to events and conditions affecting your orgainzation.

Crime Pays sets up a vibrant structure for running a criminal organization, with a lot of player input while keeping the mechanics relatively simple.

It also gives a wealth or roleplaying opportunities. For those who have shunned 4E because they feel it is roleplaying light, this product plunges 4E characters into roleplaying like a corndog into oil at a county fair (or a screw into the bay while wearing concrete boots).

Oh, and like all Goodman Games products, the layout, graphics, etc are aces.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crime Pays
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Jabbro Jones Miniatures: Fantasy Monsters: Arabian Knights
Publisher: Jabbro Jones Miniatures
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/10/2010 18:44:47
This product has been my favorite set of standies ever! When you take the time to cut out the interior part (between the arm weapon and the body, etc.), once done, this standies take on a three-dimesional feel that makes them more striking than most all my D&D minis. Truely an execellent art job. I originally bought them to cover the lack of Al-Qadim type figures and would love to see standard orcs, etc. to help build out mini armies. With the coloring, shading, and body poses, these are the best standies I've seen and way worth the price!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Jabbro Jones Miniatures: Fantasy Monsters: Arabian Knights
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Rugged Adventures
Publisher: Silent7Seven Games
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/02/2010 18:13:38
I really like this supplement. I got it via the Haiti Relief promotional and otherwise would have missed this product. One of the issues I have with 4th Edition is the 'Super Hero" quality of the play. WIth so many healing surges, it is fairly common that the party is rarely at risk of losing any members in combat until the third encounter of the day. While this plays well in most of my campaigns, in a horror-styled campaign, one loses some of the tension and edge because one's party is never at risk on the first or second encounter. Rugged Adventures is a tweaking of the rules so that the party recovers slower, and thus is more vulnerable on the second and subsequent encounters before the party's extended rest. (An extended rest possibly requiring two days of rest rather than 6-8 hours; a short rest requiring 6-8 hours rather than 10 minutes, etc). The product goes further by giving ideas of how this adjusted system would deal with daily powers (which are now gained back after two+ days of rest); encounter powers (which would now come back after 6-8 hours of rest); magical items, etc.

If you like the way 4th Edition runs regaining of health, use of surges, encounter, and daily powers, then this product is not for you. If you have a problem - or want to tweak the rules to run closer to 3.0 or 3.5 - or just want to run a more deadly campaign or scenario at any time, then it would behoove you to pick up this product.

As a caveat, tweaking the surge/encounter/daily power usage in 4th Edition is not an easy task. In other words, there are many powers, magical items, and other what-not in 4th Edition that uses the surge/ecounter/daily power calculus that one product could not touch on them all without being a long list of rule addendums for each relevant power, etc. This product does not do that, but it does set the GM in the right direction. That being said, when I give this product a 5 out of 5, it is with the understanding that it is not a long list, but it is a good explaination of the concept, and a good discussion of the highlights.

I liked it a lot.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rugged Adventures
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Indulgence: Art of the Duel
Publisher: Sinister Adventures
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/23/2010 10:06:08
Nice 5-page supplement. It provides 5 new weapons (from cup-hilt rapier to swept- hilt dagger), each with some new weapon abilities. Also provides is a new special attack - bind - that allows a PC to lock down an enemy's weapon rather than merely disarm. Finally, 11 feats are provided from, Challenge to a Duel & Cloaked Duelist to Riposte & Stop-Thrust. A small but power-packed supplement. I bought this product looking for a way to flesh out a Dumas style character's combat abilities.

I give this a 4 out of 5 only because of the small page count.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Indulgence: Art of the Duel
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Underdark Adventure Guide
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/23/2010 09:40:15
I bought this product primarily for Chapter 3 of the guide, "Creating the Underworld." In this chapter is two parts: part one on the physical and flora/fauna characteristics of a particular region; and part two on the characteristics of civiliations in the underdark. From my Traveller days (1980's) I enjoyed the planet creation rules that allowed for making varied Sci-Fi worlds. The Underdark Adventure Guide provides 9 physical and 10 cultural characteristics that can be applied to the underdark regions. By adjusting these characteristics, one can create a myriad of underdark regions.

On Chapter 3 alone, I would give this product 5 out of 5. However, it also comes with three other chapters:

Chapter 1 - Underdark Characters - details 8 races for player characters: Deep Dwarf, Derro, Drow, Duergar, Gloom Barbarians (humans), Half-Drow, Svirfneblin, and Troglodytes. Prestige classes, feats, and new equipment is also provided.

Chapter 2 - Underdark Creatures - presents multiple new monsters.

Chapter 4 - Locales of Interest - presents 11 locations that can be placed directly into an underdark setting. Also provided is a 100 mile by 150 mile map of the underdark with all 11 locations sprinkled across it for use in an underdark setting.

5 out of 5. Good stuff all around.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Underdark Adventure Guide
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Imperial Gazetteer
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/22/2010 20:37:29
I kept thinking I would read the whole PDF from cover-to-cover before I did a review. Time keeps passing and I never have.

I have read the first half - the vampire principalities. I found them excellent and will probably drop them into my world as they fit anywhere along the edge of civiliation or in a high mountainous region. This section sets forth several vampire NPCs in the principalities' power structure. Some fascinating information on the culling of non-vampires for sustainance of their rulers.

The second half of the book deals with an underground ghoul kingdom that could be used in conjuction with the principalities, or dropped in separately into a campaign as an underdark region.

The quality of the maps were a bonus, making an area similar in feel to a mountanous eastern-european region.

Worth a 5 out of 5 stars!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Imperial Gazetteer
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The Great City: Castle Ward
Publisher: 0one Games
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2010 13:54:18
You get a 20-page document with the following:

(1) three maps: Castle Ward itself [1 full page] and 2 levels of Castle Atregan [@ 1/2 page each]
(2) Overview of the ward with keyed locations [11 locations]
(3) Description of the power groups of the region and NPCs
(4) Description of adventure opportunities and locations

I did not have any problem opening up the product and I have previously bought the overall map of The Great City. I am a big fan of city products and this gets a 5 out of 5 for a great product for free! Certainly worth a download to get an idea what the other sister products are like.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Great City: Castle Ward
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Masterwork Maps: Buckbray Tower
Publisher: Darkfuries Publishing
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/18/2009 11:17:33
I bought this product knowing, from the 2006 review, that it was light on maps. The only other Darkfuries product I bought was the 25mm mapset of Vaugroux Castle, which is 100+ pages of maps for miniature use.

Buckbray Tower has 7 maps of the tower itself. On the preview you can see the one full-page map of the tower (the ground floor). The four upper floors and the two basement levels are shown taking up about 1/4th of a page each. Also with the PDF are maps of the local feifdom (farms, quarry, cemetary) and maps of buildings and locations in that area (inn, etc).

Overall, I liked the product very much. About 20 of the 32 pages of the PDF cover the tower and the surrounding lands to include NPCs from the lord of the castle to heads of each of the families of the surrounding farm holdings.

The area is in a current crisis. The tower's lord is unwed and has not legitimate heirs. Income has fallen (due to some natural and humanoid caused events). The local lord could soon become unable to meet his feudal obligations (mostly taxes) which could cause his lands to be taken from him and given to a neighboring lord. About 12 of the 32 pages of the PDF cover adventure scenarios that could draw in a party of adventurers - from the incursions of goblins and orcs to the secretive silver mining of the lord's mason.

LIKED: This product sets up a very nice smallish feifdom for the players either to visit, aid, or rule. The NPCs are well constructed. The feifdom could be placed at any location (interior or border of a kingdom). The area could be dropped into any campaign location.

DISLIKED: Given I was not looking for full-sized maps, there is not much to dislike.

QUALITY: High.

VALUE: High - if you are looking for a realistic feifdom and not a collection of maps.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masterwork Maps: Buckbray Tower
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Fantastical Currencies - Dark Kingdom Edition
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2009 17:28:06
I ordered bought all three of the Fantastical Currencies and this one is excellent! Players love the look of the money and they are a big hit. At $3.50 so very worth getting this PDF. I went an bought metalic card stock (gold-silver-copper) that put the look of this money to another level. In comparison with the other Fantastical Currencies and other company's "money" PDFs, Dark Kingdom has complex (almost baroque) artwork and lacks the simple portraits (heads of kings and such) that can cause the currency to look a little cartoonish. Great job!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastical Currencies - Dark Kingdom Edition
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