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ZEITGEIST Add-on - Crypta Hereticarum (4E)
ZEITGEIST Add-on - Crypta Hereticarum (4E)
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Little Spaces: Scary Basements
Publisher: Moebius Adventures
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/31/2013 11:38:34
The 'Little Spaces' line from Moebius Adventures are short pdfs for adding little details readily overlooked when designing scenarios.

Scary Basements is a set of three tables used in combination to create a random stimulus for the PCs. Some of the combinations if taken as rolled won't make sense. For example, you could roll 'hairy music'; but that could really add to the wonder of it as well. How would the players react if they were told the PCs hear 'hairy music'?

Like Ghostly Effects, I don't see myself using this at the table a lot; but I believe this can be used to spark ideas for encounters, strings of encounters, or an entire adventure.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Little Spaces: Scary Basements
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Little Spaces: Ghostly Effects
Publisher: Moebius Adventures
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/31/2013 11:31:02
The 'Little Spaces' line from Moebius Adventures are short pdfs for adding little details readily overlooked when designing scenarios.

Ghostly effects is a list of 100 different effects that you can use to add some creepiness to any type of horror scenario. Some of them will raise questions that might not have answers unless you are using this as a list to spark ideas rather than using them at the table in the middle of a game.

Because of that, I don't see myself using this at the table; but I believe this can be used to spark ideas for encounters, strings of encounters, or an entire adventure.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Little Spaces: Ghostly Effects
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HackMaster Basic (free)
Publisher: Kenzer & Company
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/12/2012 18:08:17
This game saved me from gamer death. In 2009, I was ready to give up RPGs as the d20 system had finally 'run its course' for me. D&D4e didn't appeal to me at all.

After reading some previews for this, I decided to pre-order it and check it out.

I'm glad I did.

HMb gives me the same feelings of wonderment and awe that I had playing AD&D 1e as a teenager.

Here are several highlights of the game:

It's a modern throwback to AD&D, but the character power level is about half of what AD&D had. A 6th level fighter in HM is about equivalent to a 3rd level fighter from AD&D.

Combat is very similar except that AC is gone. Attack rolls are opposed by defense rolls. Armor gives you a defense penalty but absorbs damage. Shield, OTOH, give a defense bonus AND absorbs damage.
Even though hit points act as in AD&D, all wound heal separately. A 1 hp wound takes a day to heal while a 2 hp wound will become a 1 hp wound in 2 days and heal in one more. So, a character with 5 wounds of 1 hp each will have them all heal in one day as opposed to a character having a 5 hit point wound healing in 15 (5+4+3+2+1). Magical healing affects one wound, but any excess will roll over to another wound.

Skills are %-based and not tied to your character level. It is possible, however unlikely, that a beginning character could have a score of 100% in a skill.

Most dice 'penetrate'. If you roll the maximum, you roll again at '-1' and keep doing so as long as you keep rolling maximum on the die.
In a recent session, I had an player 'penetrate' on his 2d8 damage roll for a total of 20+ damage dropping a bugbear with one shot

Honor is an in-game mechanic that helps the players survive, but don't let it get too low, or you'll be looked down upon and have in-game penalties if it gets extremely low. You can use it to modify die rolls on a one for one basis or burn off 10 points at once for a re-roll.

Mages use a combination of spell points and memorization. Any mage a spell knows can be cast without being memorized, but it costs twice as many spell points. Spell points can also be used to increase the effectiveness of a spell.

Clerics of different gods each have their own entry and completely different spell lists. HackMaster Basic has 5 of an eventual 43 from the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting.

It has something of a learning curve; but after a few years of playing it, we rarely have to look up a rule.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HackMaster Basic (free)
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Play Dirty
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2012 15:45:23
I loved every page of this book. Some of it was just the gaming stories, but most of it is due to the ideas spawned from it.

John Wick does a great job in planting campaign seeds to use to screw with (not screw over) the players in your campaign. He describes way to use not only a character's weakness against him; but his strengths as well.

I know I'll be reading this book another time or two (printed for highlighting) to keep these ideas fresh in my mind.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Play Dirty
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Mansions and Manors Floorplans
Publisher: Darkfuries Publishing
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/16/2011 15:15:36
The maps themselves are great, but I don't like the HTML format. I think this could have been a better product as a straight pdf. It would have gotten 5 stars from me if it were.

That said, I will likely buy the rest in this series.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mansions and Manors Floorplans
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Kingdoms of Kalamar: Player's Guide to the Sovereign Lands
Publisher: Kenzer & Company
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2011 12:35:34
If you like the Kingdoms of Kalamar and D&D3.5's crunch, this book is for you.

Chapter 1: Races - the races of Tellene detailed out with ability adjustments and special abilities

Chapter 2: Classes - seven new classes along with notes about the roles of the core classes as they appear in a Kalamar campaign.

Chapter 3: Prestige Classes - eleven prestige classes easily adaptable to any campaign setting.

Chapter 4: Skills - new skills along with new uses of old skills. Also, a skill-based system for languages and literacy.

Chapter 5: Feats - new feats that can be used in any setting.

Chapter 6: Religion - information for worshiping the gods of Tellene from being a priest to just a layman follower along with faith magic.

Chapter 7: Equipment - new equipment and concoctions that can be used in any campaign.

Chapter 8: Combat - new maneuvers and styles to help your PCs gain an edge.

Chapter 9: Adventuring - an overview of the setting for the adventurer along with rules for diseases and more.

Chapter 10: Spells - new spells for any campaign along with 'scalable spells' that can be used in any spell level slot.

Chapter 11: Magic Items - everyone loves magic items; dozens are here and can be used in any setting.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kingdoms of Kalamar: Player's Guide to the Sovereign Lands
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The Spirit of the White Wyvern - Game Pack
Publisher: 0one Games
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 14:23:26
Penned by one of my favorite writers from the earlier days of Dungeon Magazine, Willie Walsh, The Spirit of the White Wyvern is a short scenario easily dropped into any campaign.

The entire adventure takes place in an inn run by a member of a secret society. This society's main adversaries start suspecting this around the time the PCs make there way here. Naturally, the PCs get draw into the intrigue.

He starts off with an adventure summary which has interesting NPC descriptions mixed in a sidebar. One of them is a bit puzzling in part to me, but it has nothing to do with the adventure at hand, so it's easily ignored.
A friendly ghost makes a nightly appearance that draws the attention of the rival society. The inn owner asks the PCs to get rid of the ghost and get drawn into more than they've bargained for.

The description of the inn and surrounding buildings... the only thing I found strange was that the rooms are described twice: the first go-through gives game mechanics such as wall hardness, door opening DCs and such. The second set gives the room descriptions and typical residents.
Short descriptions of both of the secret societies are given in sidebars of this section. These can easily be adapted to any society in an existing campaign world.

The adventure itself is set-up on a time line ; all events happen at certain times, it's up to the PCs to determine which side is the 'right side' to help.

At the end, all of the stat blocks are compiled for convenience. This, also, leaves the main body of text free of extra clutter.

This package, also, contains a set of 1" = 5' maps of the entire area. Unless I were using the inn on a long-term basis, I would just sketch up areas on a battle mat as needed. Also, a file of counters exist. If you use miniatures, save your ink. Neither of these really add to the value of the product..

I plan to make use of this by adapting it to my campaign setting and game system. I think it wold make a good recurring location for long term.
All-in-all, I'm quite happy with the purchase.
Welcome back, Willie!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Spirit of the White Wyvern - Game Pack
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Free Gems
Publisher: Faster Monkey Games
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/02/2011 20:20:20
This freebie from Faster Monkey Games gives several examples of what can be done with 'All the Treasures of the World: GEMS'.

Even if you don't have that, you can use this to drop into any pile of treasure containing gems without description.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Free Gems
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All the Treasures of the World: JEWELS
Publisher: Faster Monkey Games
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/02/2011 20:14:37
A great short (8 pages) and inexpensive ($2) sequel to 'All the Treasures of the World: GEMS'.

Jewels picks up where gems left off with an awesome set of tables to randomly determine the type, size, value, and material types for any type of jewelry found in an RPG. It's obvious the author has done his research for this series, and I am looking forward to Part III: Objects D'art!

One of the best features is that this is usable for ANY FRPG. Even though this uses the gold piece as the standard (as many RPGs do), it is easily adaptable to games that do not by substituting the standard in for the gold piece.

Another great product from Faster Monkey Games. Keep up the great work!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
All the Treasures of the World: JEWELS
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All the Treasures of the World: GEMS
Publisher: Faster Monkey Games
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/31/2011 16:28:35
Wow - in a mere 12 pages (and only $2!) , FMG has published what I consider the best GEM supplement available.

These tables are more than a mere 'the gem is worth x gp'. This goes into size, quality, color, and more allowing a GM to give detailed descriptions within a few moments even when completely unprepared.

Although this uses the gold piece as a money base as many RPGs do, I can easily use this with my HackMaster game by substituting the silver piece in for the gold.

If the 'jewels' pdf (which I've already bought) is as good as this, these guys will be getting a few more of my dollars for adventures.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
All the Treasures of the World: GEMS
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Campaign Workbook (Fantasy)
Publisher: Big Finger Games
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2009 12:05:04
If this had cost more than $1.99, I'd probably be upset as the price is the only reason I bought it.

Anyone with any talent in excel could create better worksheets tailored to their specific campaigns with minimal effort. In fact, the same could be said with any word processor or loose leaf notebook paper.

I guess I was just looking for more than what it is.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Campaign Workbook (Fantasy)
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Publisher Reply:
All of the forms are veiwable in the flash preview below the product description. This should give any potential customer a fair idea of what the product entails.
None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness III: Tortured Savant
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2008 11:21:21
Pain, Suffering, Agony: these are the meat & drink of the Tortured Savant; a prestige class living for inflicting pain upon others...and himself!

The third in the "None So Vile" series, DoD III: Tortured Savant is 16 pages (13 after cover, ToC, and OGL) of more vile goodness.

Once again, Blackdirge starts out with a short story in which two elven rangers have an encounter (unfortunately for them) with a Tortured Savant.

The prestige class itself is described next. It is set up as a typical 10-level progression in which the Tortured Savant gains powers based on pain and suffering (Aura of Pain for example) while continuing to gain divine spell caster levels.
As a requirement, an aspiring Tortured Soul must perform an act of horrendous self-mutilation to show his devotion to this vile path.
The Tortured Savant also gains resilience due to his constant rituals of self-inflicted pain: minor Damage Reduction being one of it's benefits.

After that, a few pages are dedicated to ideas for incorporating Tortured Savants into you campaign. There is plenty here to get some creative juices going for anyone wishing to do so.

Next is a sample NPC with a few levels of Tortured Savant complete with a background that ties into the background for DoDII: Soul Harvester. It appears Blackdirge might be sharing the beginnings of a campaign setting here.

The last section details some background and history on a new (to the game) deity of pain including a new domain and a few spells used by his priesthood. The spells, as one would guess, are sadistic ways of inflicting pain. If you've seen season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you might recall Willow stripping Warren of his flesh leaving a gruesome visage. One of the spells does just that. ;)

If I had any complaints with this at all, it would be the fact that the background of the new deity doesn't drop into existing campaign quite as easily as the rest of the series. A few minor name changes alleviates this, though.

All in all, another great product. Fans of the BoVD need this on their cybershelf.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness III: Tortured Savant
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None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness II: Soul Harvester
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/01/2008 22:37:37
After reading the first in this series, I had to continue on to the second.

DoD II: Soul Harvester is a 16 page (12 after cover, ToC, OGL, and advertisement for DoD I) pdf detailing the Soul Harvester prestige class.

Once again, Blackdirge opens up with a short story of a Soul Harvester (a hobgoblin detailed later) going off to the altar to sacrifice some prisoners captured in a raid. Although not described in great detail, enough is there that the imagination can fill in the gruesomeness of the ceremony.

Next, the ten level prestige class is detailed with its requirements and abilities.
The main requirement is the dedication of a weapon personally enchanted by the Soul Harvester wannabe. This becomes his/her "Sacrificial Blade" and grows in power as SH levels are gained. With this weapon, the SH can harvest the souls of those sacrificed for personal power and gains "virtual feats" when using it in combat.

Next is my only "issue" : the Dreadmark. Although I've not been able to see this in game play, it seems a bit overpowered to me. With it, the SH can "mark" an opponent in melee. It has no save and only requires a touch attack. If the marked one is slain within the duration, the SH gains several enhancement bonuses for a period; even if he is slain by someone else. These bonuses get better at a higher level. The only balancing factor is the limited use it has based on SH level. I will have to test this in play to see if my judgment is correct, though.

A short section follows describing ways to use them in your game. Nothing spectacular is here, but it does get some ideas for use flowing.

Next is a description of the aforementioned hobgoblin along with his known history and recent activities with the tribe he "serves". With a few geographical name changes, this could easily be dropped into any existing campaign. IMHO, that is a must for any "generic" RPG product.

Concluding is a description of a new god "worshiped" by the NPC previously described. Once again, the background created makes it an easy addition to any campaign.

As with the first in the series, this is a "must buy" for any fan of The Book of Vile Darkness. Unfortunately, the lack of OGC in the BoVD doesn't allow for any referencing or content from it.

Kudos to Blackdirge. I look forward to reading the last two in the series and hopes he has more waiting in the wings.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness II: Soul Harvester
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None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness I: Ravenous of Agramogg
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/28/2008 11:05:37
This is the sort of product I envisioned being done after WotC released the Book of Vile darkness.

Blackdirge has taken one of the vices, gluttony, and personified it though game mechanics in a manner that is believable within the limits of the game. The product is 15 pages long minus the cover, ToC, and OGL leaving 12 pages of Vile goodness. Artwork is minimal, but what is here suits the product. The layout is done nicely and easy to read; even on the computer screen.

He starts with a short story in which a drow negotiator has a dealing with a Ravenous of Agramogg, a prestige class to a recently (in cosmic terms) elevated demi-god: Agramogg. The story pulls no punches in the descriptive text as to how vile a member of this prestige class has become.

The Ravenous of Agramogg is detailed as a 10-level prestige class that gains abilities (and penalties) from his/her own gluttony. Some included are a bite attack that gets better as level increases, increased STR & CON scores from the added girth, a natural AC bonus, and powers from foes recently devoured. On the flip side, penalties included are: a reduction of DEX and movement penalties.

The first Ravenous is included as well; an example of an NPC that has progressed through all ten levels of the prestige class along with a back story of his life and involvement in the cult.

He closes with a short background for Agramogg and his cult that is done in such a way that it can EASILY be dropped into any existing campaign; even those long-standing published settings like the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk.

The only thing that disappointed me was the lack of BoVD content or references; but due to the lack of OGC in the BoVD, this is not the fault of the author.

If you like to run pull no punches dark and horror type campaign, or you are a fan of WotC's Book of Vile Darkness, this product is for you. If not, get it anyway. It might change your mind.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
None so Vile - Disciples of Darkness I: Ravenous of Agramogg
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Buy the Numbers
Publisher: S.T. Cooley Publishing
by George F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/22/2007 21:45:33
I wish I had known about this product when it came out. For a few years now, I've been looking for a good fantasy RPG that doesn't use the class / level system but still felt like D&D to me.

This book changed the core D&D into that and will probably keep D&D as my main RPG of choice or just use these guidelines to rewrite it ground up.

Many others, author included, stated the dryness of the text. Being an old math major, I found it actually refreshing.

Kudos to S.T. Cooley. I love this book!

Hail & Peace

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Buy the Numbers
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