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Classic Modules Today: B2 The Keep on the Borderlands 5e
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/06/2017 12:11:04

For $1.95, I wasn't expecting much, but I was expecting more than this.

This will be a time saver when I prep then adventure, but only about 15-20 minutes, maybe.

Conversion Guide is 10 pages long: 1 page cover, 1 page credits page 2 pages of introduction, notes, summary, conversion notes for Forgotten Realms players, continuing the adventure, etc

That leaves 6 pages of actual product. Before I begin, let me state my expectation for a conversion guide. I want to use the original module and pick up the conversion guide for when I need stats. I consider it acceptable (but I will grumble about it) to have to pick up the Monster Manual, as long as the page number is given. That is it. I shouldn't have to do any math, any figuring out at all. I want it broken down by encounters so I can just see what encounter I am on and I have everything I need. Boom. Done. I am using a module to make my life easier, and I am using a conversion guide to make my life even easier still. Any amount of work to be able to use this quickly brings down my enjoyment of it and makes me wonder why I didn't just do this myself. So how does this stack up?

We start off with notable NPCs (2 pages). The first one says:

The Castellan: Treat as Knight (MM 347, CR 1 XP 200) with an effective AC of 23 due to magic items. How the PC's gain entrance to the Inner Bailey and get the opportunity to interact with the Castellan is detailed on p. 7.

Stand Alone Stat Block, no. BAD! Page number, yes. Good! Math needed, yes. BAD!

AC 23 on a CR 1?!?!? A first level fighter is going to need an 18 if not higher to hit this guy if they ever get in a tavern fight with him. NO! Magic items?!? What magic items does this guy have at CR 1 (and down 2 CR's from the MM)?

All the other NPCs have various issues noticible from a cursery glance, like never explaining what armor the NPC has to give them their armor class, sometimes spells are in italic, passive Perceptionis not last on the senses line, etc.

The layout is also pretty bad as well. It is difficult to see where one stat block ends and another begins. More space between stat blocks and the names should each be LARGER. Ideally, each stat block should start its own column. On top of that, the NPCs are presented alphabetically. Better then at random, but it would have been better if they were in here in the order they appeared in the module, even if reprinting in this guide is required. "Oh we're in cave B, I need these sheets." Spells are mashed into one full paragraph instead of each level starting its own line. No horizontal lines between sections of the stat blocks, like ability scores, actions, etc.

When you dive into the stats themselves, it gets even worse. Finesse is not taken into account on some weapons, meaning the hit and damage of weapons is not accurate.

Then there's my favorite error. Next to Size, the type is listed, every time. Its almost like the designer forgot to change the word size to what it should be, every single time.

At best, I cannot trust these numbers and will have to check them. At worst, I will have to redo this section myself. Conclusion for this section: useless.

Magic Item Conversion Notes is next. This will actually be of a help. Instead of X magic item, use this one, with a page number. Great! Presentation for this: terrible. Because I don't have the original module I can HOPE they are in this conversion guide the way they appear in the advneture. The ideal way for this to be presented is a table. Original Magic Item - New Magic Item - PHB/DMG Page Number. Nope, every single line here has "treat as" sentence format. Not all that helpful.

This section may will turn out to be helpful. I am not sure yet.

Spell Conversion Notes and the Traps sections may also prove to be helpful.

Monsters: Presented with with original name, treat as ... and page number. No notes as to how the encounters should be adjusted because of different editions. Worth. Less. I can look up the orc's stats myself, thanks. I still have to figure out how many to put into the encounter to make it balanced.

Now, at this point I was willing to give this 2 stars. The first two pages of stats were problematic but better than nothing. The magic items will be a help, as will the traps. The Monsters page was ... lets go with "sad." The next two pages is what broke the thin line justifying that second star. THIS IS NOTHING BUT A REPRINT OF THE LAST 4 PAGES!!!! No organizational improvement, no additions (but some subtractions), but now in a smaller font and in 3 columns. You can literally throw away these last two pages and you would have no difference in this product, what so ever.

Normally I can justify giving someone a better rating than they deserve because I know how tough this is, if I can see the creator putting in a solid amount of work. This ... was not a solid amount of work. It is a directory of page numbers. I can do a better job for my prep by searching the basic rules and copying them into a word doc for the vast majority of this. All of this, leads me to not being able justify a rating higher than 1 star. I really cannot recommend this to anyone.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Classic Modules Today: B2 The Keep on the Borderlands 5e
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ERG003: Cyberpunk Girl - Full rights
Publisher: Eastern Raider Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/16/2016 21:53:44

As described, this is a B/W and Color image of the woman holding a scifi looking gun, with a face tatoo and military-like badges on her shirt. Size is 1200x1650 (could be better, but not bad). What is not very noticible from the preview image is that you can see her nipple. What you definitely can't tell from the preveiw is that you can clearly see her full boob under the shirt. The shirt is not skin tight. It is form fitting. In other words, it was an image of a naked woman and the artist color changed her top half and hoped no one would notice. Closer inspection reveals the gun and the arm holding it is not in the same style as the woman, making it quite jarring. It is obvious that the gun is just there to cover the other nipple that I am assuming was added to cover the other nipple that just wouldn't look right color changed. Also her midriff is exposed. If the pants were any lower, you'd start seeing public hairs. It just looks unnatural as is. I have to cut off half this image for it to be usable.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
ERG003: Cyberpunk Girl - Full rights
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Stock Art: Shade Cleric
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2015 10:52:25

A solid piece of artwork. I've used it in my own products.

License is quality. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Shade Cleric
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Stock Art: Human Mystic
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2015 10:50:18

A great piece of artwork. I've used it in my own products.

License is quality. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Human Mystic
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Stock Art: Gnoll Guardian of the Dead
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2015 10:49:01

A great piece of artwork. Evocative and excellent for any Egyptian themed publications. I've used it in my own products.

License is quality. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Gnoll Guardian of the Dead
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Stock Art: Dark Creeper
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2015 10:47:32

I used this piece of artwork in my own publication, but it is not one of my favorites.

License is quality. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Dark Creeper
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Stock Art: Cinder Ghoul
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2015 10:46:38

A good piece of artwork. I've used it in my own products. License is quality. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Cinder Ghoul
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Dungeonmap : The Forgotten Tomb
Publisher: Christian Hollnbuchner
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2015 10:43:15

What you see in the PDF preview is exactly what you get: 6 maps that are all have the same base with different furnishings and lighting. On the whole, it is good. I would have preferred it to be 1 map on different layers. This way, I could move the light or delete a coffin if I want with relative ease.

I would say this is a 4 star map, but I am giving it the full 5 stars since it is Pay What You Want. If you use this map in your own published adventures, I highly recommend paying the suggested price, if not a little extra.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeonmap : The Forgotten Tomb
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0one's Blueprints PRO: Kobolds Warrens
Publisher: 0one Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2015 10:32:50

While these are, IMHO, not publishable-grade maps, they are really good author turn over maps (turnover map being what the author turned over to me after writing an adventure). I would have no problem taking any map from this set, giving it to an author, saying "make me an adventure using this map" and then turning it over to a cartographer saying, draw me this, only better. The maps are readable, and clear and using them as the basis for writing an adventure should be no problem.

At a price of $10 for 5 turnover-grade maps (one map being 3 levels of a tower, another being a cemetery and the crypt underneath), I'd call it worth the price, barely. I would rank this as 3 stars, but the fact that everything is on separate layers, something I want to encourage, I am bumping this to 4 stars.

One final note: if you are publishing your first product/adventure, these can certainly be used as publishable maps. These are a great starting point for a new publisher without a large library of art and connections to established artists.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints PRO: Kobolds Warrens
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0one's Blueprints PRO: Ten Small Dungeons
Publisher: 0one Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2015 10:27:57

While these are, IMHO, not publishable-grade maps, they are really good author turn over maps (turnover map being what the author turned over to me when an adventure). I would have no problem taking any map from this set, giving it to an author, saying "make me an adventure using this map" and then turning it over to a cartographer saying, draw me this, only better. The maps are readable, and clear and using them as the basis for writing an adventure should be no problem.

At a price of $10 for 10 turnover-grade maps, I'd call it worth the price if you publish adventures. I would rank this as 3 stars, but the fact that everything is on separate layers, something I want to encourage, I am bumping this to 4 stars. Certainly worth it.

One final note: if you are publishing your first product/adventure, these can certainly be used as publishable maps. These are a great starting point for a new publisher without a large library of art and connections to established artists.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints PRO: Ten Small Dungeons
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Albish Isles Map Pack
Publisher: Sleeping Griffon Productions
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2015 14:32:23

OMG, I LOVE THIS MAP!!!!!! What you see in the preview image is what you get. So that is excellent! On top of that, it includes the layered photoshop PSD so you can turn anything and everything on and off. Don't like the latitude/longitude lines on there, turn them off. Want to move/turn the compass rose, you can do that since it is on its own layer. Want less mountains, add a layer mask and erase mountains to your heart's content. I was ALL stock art maps were like this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Albish Isles Map Pack
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Stock Art: Troglodyte??
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/04/2014 11:58:01

I used this as a lizardfolk cleric. The necklace around its neck makes for a perfect holy symbol. Great image. Excellent size. And the License is quality. Couldn't ask for more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Troglodyte??
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Stock Art: Water Dragon
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/04/2014 11:56:19

Yea, this one is a favorite of mine. The tiny human in the foreground really sells it. Great image. Excellent size. And the License is quality. Couldn't ask for more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Water Dragon
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Stock Art: Slime Dragon
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/04/2014 11:55:21

I enjoyed using this image in Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes. Great image. Excellent size. And the License is quality. Couldn't ask for more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Slime Dragon
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Stock Art: Savage Lizardfolk
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/04/2014 11:54:15

I used this as a half-dragon lizardfolk. Great image. Excellent size. And the License is quality. Couldn't ask for more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Savage Lizardfolk
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