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Enlightened Scholar (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/18/2010 12:00:50
The ability to customize your own class is a staple of the Pathfinder game system. Some classes, like the monk, were given a more “rigid” treatment than the bloodline Sorcerer and jack of many tricks Rogue. Rites Publishing obviously noticed this slight and produced the finest monk replacement class in the D20 world with Enlightened Scholar.

I do not like toss around superlatives but I cannot remember feeling so good about a monk class in a long time. It is the same feeling felt when I first read the Pathfinders Sorcerer Class. The Enlightened Scholar feels like a true monk. Sure you still have the physical prowess, but it also contains the wisdom “lore” that monks of fantasy and film are often known to have.

Most single class PDFs come in at 10 to 12 pages, maybe 15 if the publisher gets carried away with the artbook. Enlightened Scholar weighs in at a heavy 26 pages and not a single word of it feels like too much. Most of this is needed to include the customization of the Scholar’s Enlightened Knowledge ability. This ability defines the class and presents a whole new list of options that will give your character the feel of playing a decent melee fighter with wise man abilities.

For the Dungeon Master
There is a new skill called Feng Shui that I see getting a lot of use for the DM controlled Enlightened Scholar. It allows you to bend the rules in that way that we DMs love and yet stay within the confines of the game rules. Thus villains and PC helpers can offer wisdom, recover and get more powerful with a good skill roll.
For the Player

This class rocks. You can play the monk however you want to play. There are options for the old school karate master, options for over-the-top Naruto ninjas, and even options for sit back and let the hitters do all the work cowardly monks. Besides the Enlightened Knowledge ability, which allows you to pick abilities from trees such as Academia, Invention, Medicine and Warfare, there’s a whole set of optional feats that are based on Ch’I and Chakra.

The Iron Word
I would heavily consider replacing the monk class in any campaign with the Enlightened Scholar. It opens the book of customization and allows players to do what they wish to with the monk within the rules. Sure, the power and hard hitting are watered down, but that feels more in line with the traditional monk lore. This book is a must buy for those looking for a very different class.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Enlightened Scholar (PFRPG)
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Evocative City Sites: Bedlam Asylum (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/18/2010 11:28:27
How a gem of a series like Evocative City Sites by Rite Publishing went completely unnoticed by me for a year is completely mindboggling. For the Dungeon Master who does not want too much, but wants just enough for inspiration, Evocative City Sites delivers. Each entry is a location with an impressive write-up packed with a lot of detail. A black and white battlemap is included along with several NPCs . A few adventure hooks are sprinkled in to give the Dungeon Master several ways to include the product into their campaign.

Bedlam Asylum, the latest entry, presents a nut house set that fits comfortably in a fantasy world. The 26 page, though short, is well bookmarked allowing you to easily take what you want and what you do not want. Bedlam Asylum does not go too over the top with the craziness of its inmates. More fearful are the individuals who run the asylum.

The adventure hooks as well stray from the traditional D&D fare. It was relieving to see that the publisher did not just toss a bunch of elements together and settle for “that” product, but put a lot of creativity into every element. It makes for a cohesive finished book.

For the Dungeon Master
The NPCs in the Evocative series are impressively statted. There is no exception in Bedlam City. There is a medusa bloodline added to one of the NPCs that could be spun into a product of its own. This is a product for the dungeon master who knows how to wield a tool, just as a hammer, its up to you to figure out how you want to use it in your campaign.

The Iron Word
I could kick myself for not finding this series sooner. Bedlam is the latest, but all of the books in the series share the same level of cohesion and writing. The first person narrative can be cut, pasted and trimmed to form handouts that can increase the experience for the player. You can put the whole thing in, or just take bits and pieces like the adventure hooks or NPCs. Got to love it when the publisher puts the choice in the hands of the Dungeon Master.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Evocative City Sites: Bedlam Asylum (PFRPG)
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Avalon Design Elements Parchment Set 2
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/18/2010 09:48:26
Iron Nugget
Avalon Design Elements Parchment 2 is a decently designed piece of layout art work for background and cover art for an RPG product. You won't find anything better for a buck, though some of the art feels a bit too symmetric. Still, this is the best set that the company has come out with and the parchment works great for handouts.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Design Elements Parchment Set 2
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Template: Wyrmskin
Publisher: Sade
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/18/2010 09:45:28
Iron Nugget
Presentation is everything, especially in the small PDF product market where you are competing with thousands of individuals. All of them believing their product is the absolute best on the market. If you are laying out the work yourself and need a great background for the master page, I have determined that the artwork and effort by Sade is notch above a lot of the other word you will find out there.

Template: Wyrmskin, like their other skins, is ready for use right form download. This particular set of templates are skins of dragons vividly rendered to jump out at the reader. The skins come in various colors and are fitted to be placed easily on an 8 by 11 page. This is a big bonus if you do not feel like fiddling around with photoshop on deadline. I used a variety of different fantasy fonts and all read very well on the images.

If you are looking for some nice layout art for your next project, check out Wyrmskin or any of Sade's other products.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Template: Wyrmskin
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the review, i will work hard for my next product deserve the 5 stars :) i hope the price is ok as well. best regards sade
[PFRPG] Strategists & Tacticians
Publisher: 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/05/2010 21:34:44
When you have been Dungeon Mastering as long as I have, you can get quite bored with the way most gamers play the game. Roll dice, try to metagame the enemies weaknesses and exploit them with your supped up special attack or magical combo. But I continue Dungeon Mastering because I love finding and playing with the player who thinks outside the box and uses strategy and tactics to play the game.

I do not know what cool group Flynn Dielle first sprouted his creative brain, but it’s the kind of awesome character I love to design adventures for and the voice behind 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming’s Strategists & Tacticians The Definitive Guide to the Clever Warriors.

Strategists & Tacticians is surprisingly mechanic driven in its presentation. The 82 page PDF goes a different route than similar books, avoiding strategies and tactics for current class abilities and feats and instead presenting all new variations of them that support “creative” uses more so than the current batch. In what would first seem like an odd deviation comes across as a great idea. Instead of providing classes, feats and spells that rub the power ceiling, it goes the right of creating flavorful new toys that add diversity on the battle field.

For the Player
There is a little something for every type of gamer in this book. For the most part, by using mechanics instead of flavor, it allows even the hack and slasher to find something he can use to add a bit more variety to his arsenal. Fighters will love the brutal feats that allow you to severe limbs effecting other enemies in several different ways. For those who really want a change, there are 2 new classes and 14 prestige classes that are quite unique. Jinx, a luck manipulating prestige class, is one of my favorites.

For the Dungeon Master
Tactical Maneuvers have been done before, but they have a crisp and easy new presentation that bonds well with Pathfinders Combat Maneuver Bonus system. There is a great table on limb severing that should be used with caution. If your players react extremely negatively to losing items, imagine what they would do if they loose a leg. Thoughtfully, the author has included an appendix that provides some prosthetics.

The Iron word
Strategists & Tacticians is an adventurous endeavor that slides into the strike zone by inches to provide a fun alternative to the power creeping game style.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Strategists & Tacticians
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks so much for the review!
[PFRPG] The Genius Guide to the Shaman
Publisher: Super Genius Games
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/05/2010 21:10:29
This time, Super Genius Games was designed a product a little too creative for their own good. The Genius Guide to the Shaman is a fantastic and diverse presentation of a shaman class for the Pathfinder Game system, but it may be too innovative for some.

Its innovation comes in the form of giving the players the power to pull just about any spell or ability out of the d20 universe and use it for their ability with a few rolls. In a short 13 pages, The Shaman provides a strong 20 level class designed around a character that can summon spirits and use their abilities. The power is checked by its length of time, several ability checks and rules that call for the player to role play out every spirit interaction.

This is a class for a player who believes in role-playing. In the hands of a player who loves to role-play, it can be one of the most entertaining designs that have come around in a time. However, in the hands of a powergamer or munchkin, this class can easily be broken and create a character that is direly unfriendly to play with.

For the Player
If you enjoy combining flavorful mechanics with in character role-playing, The Shaman delivers a fun experience. The class can substitute as a healing class and, played creatively, can become a formidable control and damage caster.

For the Dungeon Master
Keep this class out of the hands of any player who does not absolutely love role-playing. It took me only one week to realize I made a mistake when I allowed a player to play this class. I had a specked out low-level character dreaming of new ways to cast 8th and 9th level spells by altering his abilities.

The Iron Word
The Shaman is one of my favorite classes by Super Genius and yet most frustrating. It is a class you can not introduce into every gaming group. However, if you have a good roleplaying focused group, this class is a great replacement for the mundane cleric healer and melds smoothly with wilderness campaigns.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] The Genius Guide to the Shaman
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The Genius Guide to Feats of Metamagic
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/26/2010 12:12:58
Iron Nugget
OtherWorld Creations has avoided traditional feats so far, and their first foray into a traditional feat category has mixed results. Their Spellcaster Feats book did a great job of introducing spell casting feat devoid of metamagic enhancements and for good reason. The Genius Guide to Feats of Metamagic is as good as it gets, and still a few of the feats feel like things we have seen around the block before. For the low price, Metamagic is worth it to incorporate Chain Spell (allows you to target multiple people with the same spell) and Metamagic Focus (allows you to enhance metamagic spells even more), but Metamagic is certainly in the lower end of the feat books produced by OtherWorld.

The Iron Word
Even on the low end of their feat books, Metamagic still provides enough innovation to make the enhancements a slight cut above similar feat books.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to Feats of Metamagic
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36 NPC Secrets
Publisher: Scavenger Studios
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/26/2010 12:05:03
Iron Nugget
36 NPC Secrets morbidly provides some useful secrets that can be used for NPCs, primarily for modern campaigns and, even then, those with serious adult themes. The PDF starts off great, with a decent format explaining the secret and a Suggestion of how it can be used. But a good many of the secrets veer off into adventure hook land and some, such as cannibalism and Pedophile feel incredibly adult to be in a PDF.

The Iron Word
The author has some good ideas, and this book works primarily for modern campaigns with adult themes and more realistically dark characters.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
36 NPC Secrets
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101 Magical Weapon Properties (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/26/2010 11:53:36
I am pretty sure hell will freeze into a tropical abyss before Rite Pubishing puts out a bad product. 101 Magical Weapon Properties is another great production by the publisher that enhances the Pathfinder System.

The product contains 101 different special abilities for weapons and armor within its 25 pages. Elegant and very easy to navigate, the PDF shines in producing different takes on abilities we’ve seen before and a few that are just out of the box. Products with this many different products I often treat as if I was watching a spoof movie. If half of the stuff is good its an A, and I’d say more than 75 percent of the abilities in the book are things I would put on my NPCs and special items.

Magical Properties starts off great from the start with a detailed chart giving the costs and random rolls for the items. Taking no time for lengthy forewords, it jumps right into the abilities.

For the Player
Books like this make me want to play, and so my favorite two abilities I recommend for players. Guided is an awesome ability that plays with numbers that rarely are utilized, miss chances. I can not imagine a situation where this on a weapon would not be useful. Another ability I fell in love with was the Spell Echoing ability. It allows the wielder to mirror a spell that was cast. The stipulations to balance the ability insure that it is not misused.

For the Dungeonmaster
Infectious is something I’d sneak onto an NPC’s sword simply for its lasting effect. It allows the weapon to implement a disease without the normal waiting period. I know all you Dungeonmasters are salivating at the idea of instant mummy rot. Not an ability but a nice little bonus spell at the end is Bestow Affliction, which is a deadly little spell for putting some new curses on PCs.

The Iron Word
Balanced and chocked full of creativity, 101 Magical Properties does the impossible by making a book comprised mostly of new abilities.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Magical Weapon Properties (PFRPG)
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The Pugilist Class and NPC
Publisher: Wordcasting Entertainment
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/26/2010 11:37:01
I admit it. I had to grab a dictionary and do a tad bit research when I found the Pugilist on my review list. Quite simply, it means fighter and was an exotic way for the publisher to emphasize the new class without putting it in the same mill as fighter variant copies.

And a copy this class is certainly not.

Whereas the name is not one that I would have chosen, The Pugilist Class and NPC, by Wordcasting Entertainment, is a nice addition to the Pathfinder Class line up. It is a little rough around the edges, like a fixer up mustang, but well toned, its a creative break from the norm.

The Pugilist is a streetfighting brawler class. The nice sized for a nice price 25 page PDF comes with the Pugilist class and several NPCs that can be used. The inclusion of an NPC is a great idea that I wish more publishers would adopt. DMs would get so much more use out of the product with them included.

The Pugilist class itself is fairly creative. It is a hand-to-hand combat class, similar to the monk, but takes the sorcerer approach. Players choose a fighting style, from streetfighter, to brawler to grappler. Each subset has their own set of bonus feats, maneuvers and a super 20th level Style Mastery.

For the Player
This is a great class book for the player wanting to play a melee type of a different kind. The various fighting styles allow for a lot of deviation, and though some of the class abilities mimic that of the monk, the flavor sets it apart. I find the Boxer to be one of the better designed subsets, and an interesting idea to implement into a game.

For the Dungeonmaster
This book is very rough around the edges and this class should not be allowed to be combined with the monk. That said the NPCs are the most important part of this book for a DM. Each subset has 3 different statted levels of NPCs. I recommend using bullies as basic guard NPCs. Their abilities to strike true fear into their opponents comes out of left field but works.

The Iron Word
Despite its less than polished production, the content drives this product at least to third place. It is a very innovative brawling melee class and better than most streetfighting classes I have come across.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Pugilist Class and NPC
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Races of Obsidian Twilight (PFRPG)
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/18/2010 08:45:46
Slow releasing a product has its positives and negatives. On one hand, it means that if you want to start a campaign, you may have to wait months to a year to receive all the material necessary. On the other hand, it builds tons of momentum to solidify the foundation for the product.

Very much similar to how their last campaign setting was released, LPJ Designs Races of Obsidian Twilight has finally released the first large page count release in the campaign world. Proceeding this was a series of race previews and two strong NPC write ups. Obsidian Twilight is a very unique setting, a post apocalyptic fantasy world.

If you think that this material is just a collection of the previous races that were released for zilch, think again. Though half the book includes those races, the other half includes satisfying reincarnations of the Pathfinder core races. In material that usually finds the highlights in the new, shiny races, the rebranding of the old, tried and true races steals the show.

In something I hope is not a trend (and a repeat of the previous NeoExodus products, Races jumps right into the material instead of providing us some type of foreword or overview of the world. If you have read the free World of Obsidian Twilight PDF, you will have a somewhat easier time jumping into Races.

Races begins by giving a strong 2 pages to core races. However, you will not find any half-elves, half-orcs or humans here. There is a human type race, but that is apart of the new races from the preview. But more to that in a minute. The old races really come off fresh and playable. More than just creatively written fluff, there are new abilities to emphasize the current plight of each race. For instance, the now cautious dwarves have an ability called Wary Appraisal to distinguish new people and instead of a monster race, Dwarves no hate undead. This is a small adjustment that adds a lot of mileage to the credibility of the world.

After covering dwarves, elves, gnomes and Halflings, Races then goes into the new races of the world. This is primarily where the world leaves out some valuable information. Most of the races are breeds between outsiders and humans, and though there is a human type race, no where in the text does it say what happened to the basic humans. There are four races that are created from non-traditional hybrids. The Exalted are human/angel mixtures, the Genesai are angel/demon mixtures, the Harrowed are human/undead mixtures, the Infernals are human/demon mixtures. The Khymer can best be described as souls that have had their bodies destroyed. The Lykians are a less than normal power werewolf race. I found this inclusion fairly interesting considering one of the authors of Races is also working on a post, post apocolypitic fantasy world with a very similar race. The only thing described as a “humanoid” race are the Osirians, a favored human race of the gods who specialize in hellfire. The final race is the Raijan. The Raijan are ghost like beings whose bodies were destroyed and now wander the world.


For the Player
The harrowed quickly rose to be my favorite race. I have been a long proponent that not all undead are evil.

For the Dungeon Master
When compared with one another, the races all feel equivalent to one another, though some skirt the line of being slightly more powerful than a traditional Pathfinder race. However, given the backstory and the notion that most of these races are blended with outsiders and potent undead, it makes a lot of sense that there’s a half level kick given to them. The 45-page book also includes sheets of counters, character sheets and initiative cards. More useful than counters would have been a few more iterations of the race characters. It was one of the things that made NeoExodus hard to play, there was not too much artwork of the other races, so everyone pretty much looked the same.

The Iron Word
Obsidian Twilights innovative premise displays well in the Races presented. The artwork, as usual, is amazing and really brings out the personalities of those left behind after a cataclysm. It is a good first start to the campaign line.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Races of Obsidian Twilight (PFRPG)
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5 Minute Mini-Games
Publisher: Chaotic Shiny Productions
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/29/2010 12:25:23
5 Minute mini-games is an example of a well-conceived idea that is not necessarily important to the overall aspect of the RPG, but when given first star production and presentation, turns into an essential supplemental tool at any game table, regardless of the system.

5 Minute mini-games, by Chaotic Shiny Productions, is a brief 9-page collection of games designed to be played between players when the DM’s focus is elsewhere. At first glance, this product seems non-essential, but looking underneath, it’s a smart tool to keep the focus on the gaming sessions without having to nanny everyone all of the time.

When I first started gaming, it was customary for players to play Magic: The Gathering and shoot dice when the party was split or the DM needed to convey secret information. By the time the DM came back, it took an additional five or ten minutes for everyone to refocus themselves on the game. 5 Minute mini-games fix that, by providing in game entertainment in the middle of the RPG. These games are decided on the characters’ skills mixed with a few players’ decisions. All 13 games are distinct and makes sense in a traditional fantasy game world. They are not necessarily breaking the banks of creativity, many of the games are fantasy versions of familiar real world games like tag, jacks and paper-rock-scissors. The innovation comes in how well they were executed in a land of sword and sorcery. The games are broken up into three sections, simple, standard and Complex. Each game entry has the skills required to play, number of players allowed and any additional material required.

For the Player
Drunken God’s Honest Truth is a very fun Wisdom based game that incorporates role-playing strongly with skill checks. It bypasses complex drinking rules and focuses on the game.

For the Dungeon Master
Half of the games in the book I have made up at one tieme or another to introduce the idea of gambling to my group. Mini-games adds another way to challenge PCs and to distribute information and items. My favorite game for DMs to use is possession. It’s complex and requires all of the players to be involved. It also utilizes several different skills to increase the challenge level.

The Iron Word
5 Minute Mini-Games makes itself a must have supplement by filling a niche that few products have attempted. It aims to starve player boredom by always keeping the fantasy going.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5 Minute Mini-Games
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Fallen of Obsidian Twilight: Zebadiah (PFRPG)
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/29/2010 11:53:51
Maybe it’s the expressively colorful artwork. Maybe it’s the direly detail writing. I am not quite sure, but every new campaign book by LPJ Designs brings a strong sense of anticipation.

You know that it is going to be something far different from what is out there in the D20 world. With Obsidian Twilight, the months of free and inexpensive marketing preview style PDFs is nearly at an end. Obsidian Twilight: Zebadiah is a fluid summary of everything Obsidian Twilight promises to offer.

Even if you do not plan on following Obsidian Twilight, Zebadiah offers an incredible big bad you can build a campaign around. The fully statted, pathfinder compatible NPC is one of the closest things to a god in the bleak, post apocalyptic fantasy world. Once an angelic creature destined to lead the forces of good against the evils of this new, destroyed world, he was left with half of his body seared, the other half still in angelic form.

It is an amazing analogy of what Obsidian Twilight has been promising. A deity that is no longer as pure as it used to be. The flavor of the writing speaks a little bit old school planeshift and a little bit fresh outlook of Pathfinder. The stats hold some new equipment without overpowering Zebadiah too much for that final level 20 encounter.

For the Dungeon Master
Zebadiah’s flavor can be applied to any foreign angel in your campaign world. He can be a deity or just a powerful being.

The Iron Word
Obsidian Twilight: Zebadiah, presents a powerful new flow that is filled with grays. At this point in his story, he can go either way. The top notch layout and production once again delivers a product that makes you want to implement it in your game. I would have liked to see lower level minions of Zebadiah, but I am sure that more is soon to come.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fallen of Obsidian Twilight: Zebadiah (PFRPG)
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MyD20 Lite Player's Guide
Publisher: Samardan Press
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/29/2010 11:35:23
There’s an old adage about slapping lipstick on the bed and making a beauty queen. I would hardly call the successful d20 system a pig, but MyD20Lite Player’s Guide certainly does not add much more than a variant d20 system that is no lighter than Fantasycraft or Trailblazer.

Do not be confused, MyD20 adds a few interesting new variants to the d20 world and is a nice little system if feat customization is as made you a bit drained. But you will be greatly disappointed if you are looking for the second coming of the light d20 RPG.

Md20 Lite has marketed itself in a corner. If you claim to be a light RPG, you have to greatly decrease the amount of time everything in the game takes. Scouring the 113-page, Samaradan Press publication, you will recognize familiar customer creation with some slight modifications.

Instead of a chart that displays the formula for saves, each class receives a specific bonus to saves that accumulates with their level Instead of feats, players select talents from a limited pool for their class. Instead of races having ability bonuses, players receive the same amount of points to put into their abilities, but each race has a minimum score that certain abilities may be. Skills are slightly reduced and combined to 15. Combat is suppose to take less time, but they simply do not use a tactical map, an alternative for most systems.

For the DM
There are some major changes that adds an identity to MyD20 Lite as not another system clone. They are one of the first variants to have a working easy to use spellpoint system. Which is long overdue in the mainstream d20 world.

The Iron Word
MyD20 Lite is a nice alternative system that creates a self contained system free from tactical maps, feats and the Vatican spell system. However, it not quite the lite RPG system it claims to be. I have never been supportive of the excuse of “d20 glut”, which the writer says is the inspiration for MyD20 Lite. If there are too many options in the d20 world, limit those options. Myd20 Lite tends to rename or readjust part of the system, not quite limiting any time.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
MyD20 Lite Player's Guide
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you, sir, for your review. When it comes to specifics in regards to the system itself, I think you have pointed out a number of the elements I've added to make the system lighter than 3E. I realize that it's not light enough to meet your definition, as your words seem to indicate. During the development of the Player's Guide, I received feedback that many people enjoyed what I've created here, finding it a nice retro-variant that implements some of the features of the D20 System without being too burdened by the excess. I think more of its lightweight nature will be revealed in the Referee's Guide, and I look forward to your review when I post that in the next few months. I realize that MyD20 Lite isn't going to please everyone, and I hope that you find the game you're looking for. Thank you and good luck! With Regards, Jason "Flynn" Kemp
Avalon Encounters Vol 1, Issue #1
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/29/2010 10:59:11
Avalon Encounters: Double Edged Sword suffers from the underlying premise beyond a conversation I had with one of my players last year.

He was playing a Paladin, and the story had his order venturing into the most evil realms and mindlessly slaughtering all that is evil. His argument was that paladins would not do that, that they needed a particular law to be broken in order to perform their duty. My argument, and of course me being the DM the winning argument, was that Paladins hate evil, can easily detect evil and any amount of evil that disappears from the universe is satisfying the paladin code.

And so here we are with Double Edged Sword, which makes one fatal flaw in expecting the PCs to believe a particular way, that the mindless slaughter of evil demons is bad. Double Edged Sword is a well thought out tale of a sword that appears as if it should be used for good, but is a disguise for a sinister purpose.

The background and summary of the adventure hook is detailed and fairly exciting. The problem lies in some far fetched ideas that have to be conceived such as archons siding with a demon and a demon being able to wield a demon-bane sword. If your players can get beyond this, and you make some tweaks, (there is no way that a paladin should not be able to detect this sword as evil nor realize that they have become weaker – losing 3 negative levels).

The worst part of the 12-page PDF is not the book, but the 7 pages of non-gaming material, most of which is advertisements. You are definitely receiving material worth a $1, I just wish that they would not have piled so many pages on to give the believe that you were getting a 12 page adventure hook.

For the Dungeon Master
There is some descriptively strong writing in the first couple of pages of this document. I found the idea of the sword to be intriguing enough that a good adventure can be designed around it without breaking the inconceivable barrier.

The Iron Word
Avalon Encounters: Double Edged Sword, stumbles slightly in its first foray into adventure hooks, but provides enough to feel as if you got your moneys worth.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Encounters Vol 1, Issue #1
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