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Battle Maps & Grids - Arcana System
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/03/2016 10:00:23

I liked the general idea behind this product (I have one such on the works) but I didn't like very much the implementation. Yes, there are 100 pages but they're mostly split between 4-5 backgrounds with different parts of them blacked out. The images are also not geomorphic. Then some tokens follow but to me, they were not enough.
While this product is not bad, it's not what I expected either. If you have Fractal Mapper on your PC you can recreate most of those maps very easily by taking a background image, overlaying it with a grid and blacking out parts.
Yet... someone else made the work for you and you can use those tiles without going through the trouble.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Maps & Grids - Arcana System
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Mass Combat
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/29/2016 11:34:56

I am very torn about this product. On one hand, it has a very interesting and refreshing idea for mass combat. On the other hand... the product has literally nothing except a QUICK representation of this idea. It seems like the first page of an accessory that's not there.
I want like to ask the author of this product to revise it, presenting a few examples and few stats and a few optional rules. I whole-heartledly encourage the author to work with this nice idea, explore it a bit, add to it.
Give us a few examples even if you're not sure we will use them as is.
How is a band of 200 orcs different from a band of 800 orcs? 4 times more hit points and greater strength score? How greater? What if a band of 200 well armored soldiers defends a narrow pass reducing the front of an enemy suppressing numeral superiority? That kind of thing. Yes, I can do all that at home with the baseline presented here. But it would give me a far better understanding of how you envision this system to work.


I liked the idea very much, and I'll use it, but heavily modified.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mass Combat
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The Spider's Value
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/25/2016 10:23:39

With a few words: Loved it.


More words: Interesting concept, nice maps, well written without being tiresome. Could be used with different editions by changing the stats. Can be expanded as needed.


Verdict: It's a nice refreshing adventure for 1$. You won't regret buying this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Spider's Value
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Gothic Castle Map Set
Publisher: Gamer Printshop
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2015 11:40:54

A nice and detailed map of a small medieval castle. The keep itself is 6 floors (about 60'x80' each) and there is also a map for the castle grounds, that includes stables, the yard itself and servant quarters.


As it stands, the main keep doesn't have room for servants; they stay outside. This can be rectified easily by changing one of the small rooms to house a couple of servants in order to have someone 24/7 to serve the aristocrats. The Ladies embroidery work chamber could also be changed to guest room if needed.


The castle is generic medieval and can be used from high fantasy settings to realistic games in the middle ages or renaissance. The maps can be printed out or used with virtual desktops.


To close: Is there any Dungeon Master that didn't at some point wish he or she had a castle map at hand for the local lord's residence? This product is an answer to this problem.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gothic Castle Map Set
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Poacher's Swamp Home Map
Publisher: Gamer Printshop
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/08/2015 18:34:24

other very fine map. Aside of being one of a rare category of maps (few swamp maps in general), this map is nice to look at. It conveys the right "feeling" for me if I may say so with the brownish, muddy water, the algae and other swamp green floating stuff etc. This is a map that (at least in my opinion) exudes huminity, smell of rotting plants and the buzzing sound of mosquitos.
Inside, the 2400x2400 map (suitable for roll20 and other virtual tables) is sliced up nicely in parts to be printed if that's your preference.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Poacher's Swamp Home Map
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Dhur Naal Dwarven Mine Map Set
Publisher: Gamer Printshop
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/06/2015 18:57:36

Another excellent map, this time of a mine, comprised by several huge chambers (Some multi-layered). The level of detail is enough that you can zoom in and count the pebbles below the mine tracks.
But it's not just halls, mine carts and tracks. The map includes an infirmary and a small bar (easily repurposed to underground inn if that suits your story better) along with a huge smithy (again easy to repurpose to a smelter).
Access to that underground river along with the small lake, dock, bar and beds means that this huge facility could be a smuggler's hide out. Whether the mine illegally works with abducted slaves, dead brought back to a mockery of life or is abandoned and used only for storage, the tracks over the river where the evil ones could pellet your PCs with rock, flaming oil and arrows as they frantically navigate the river to reach to safety, will be a memorable encounter in a memorable adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dhur Naal Dwarven Mine Map Set
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Neptune Undersea Station map set
Publisher: Gamer Printshop
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/03/2015 16:03:20

We have here a product at a bargain price. Inlcuded here are several huge (usually 7200x7200 pixel) maps that comprise a multi-level near-future sci-fi undersea research facility\university + maps for small submarine craft. Accompanying these maps is a pdf that gives suggestions of how these maps are combined.


While the maps and PDF suggest use in near-future games, I believe that this product can easily be used in Star Wars or similar space-fantasy and sci-fi games. The research facility could be used as a colony also in my opinion. As made, the research facility is suggested to be able to support 400 students and about 100 professors, researchers and stuff.
Change some of the "entertainment venues" to training stations and a couple of classrooms to armories and you can have a soldier training facility for the evil tyrrants your players oppose along with dozens of scientists and labs working to develop weapons etc.


For the price given, this product is excellent and I am eagerly expecting more similar products in the future.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Neptune Undersea Station map set
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for your review, Andy! I even think if you remove the surrounding seascape, this station could serve as a planetary space colony on some airless or exotic atmosphere world as well!
Blackstone Tomb (5e)
Publisher: R&D Adventures
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2015 09:35:08

This product is more than an adventure. You get a lot of information on useful for your campaign NPCs, maps, locations along with a nice, interesting adventure. The effort put in this work is apparent. I'm very happy with my purchase and I hope we'll see more products and adventures of this quality.


The adventure is well written, with all the things you expect from such an adventure (treasure, undead, traps). It also has puzzles, codes etc. The adventure has the read-aloud text in a nice green and blue color. Green is for narrative, as if someone speaks and blue is for descriptions. Another example of the care given to this adventure is the "possible variables" and "outcomes" sections to help the DM run it.
This booklet doesn't come with a lot of art in the text, but it has 4-5 nice sketches that make the text easier to read and it has lots and lots of maps.


NOTE: the adventure is for 5 adventurers of 1st lvl but since it's D&D next, it can be run for 3 characters of 2nd lvl if you increase a bit the damage of traps and the hp of enemies.


Andrew Pavlides



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blackstone Tomb (5e)
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Empire
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/09/2015 20:55:30

Empire had some interesting ideas but in my opinion failed to deliver them adequately. The rules as-is can't create a believable, medieval world. They need some work from the DM.
As an example, the population growth is so high that easily beats the modern world. You easily get 5% per year, doubling your population in 14 years. Another example is the small size of domains that also needs to be tweaked.


There are three scales: Barony, kingdom, empire, each with a different "population unit", "area unit" and "resource unit" size. That idea is innovating, it's good and it's useful. But the way the book uses this idea, the numbers that go along with the scale, the way you create and develop fiefdoms for the characters to control need work.


There is not enough versatility in "Empire" in my opinion. Whether your campaign is low magic, high magic, set in a the early medieval or renaissance, the rules are the same. There are very few random events with little imagination behind them.
There is a lack of rules for your liege and your vassals. No info on what you pay them or what they pay you.
There is a lack of rules for changing from one scale to another. If you want to go from barony scale to kingdom scale, you have to improvise.


For those interested in such things (I'm not personally), the art in the book isn't very good.


What is good in my opinion is the chapter on the "Empire campaign", that offers useful information.
The chapter on character classes in a campaign of barons and kings also has some interesting rules.
The rules of mass combat are solid, but I have seen similar in different products.


If you don't have a book with solid mass combat rules, want a few ideas and pointers on how to run a campaign where the PCs are rulers and you can easily afford this book, then buy it.
If not, then look elsewhere.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Empire
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ROLF: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters
Publisher: NUELOW Games
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/16/2011 23:07:55

Let's see:
Cost: 1.5$
Complexity: Simple and effective
Learning curve: Fast
Average game time: 10 mins for the battle including bragging to the loser, showing off to your friends and laughing heartily. So you could play that at lunch break in your job.
Originality: Do you know many games where you can strategically bleed on the winner as you die or that you can castrate the enemy?
Fun: Very!


The only minor flaw I found in this game is that it could use a bit more replability. But with updates coming every so often, and with the "expansions" and all costing less than a trip to the cinema I say it's well worth it. And speaking of the cinema? If the movie sucks you can always ROFL! Charlee Sin.


So... what are you waiting for?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters
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D&D Companion Set
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/28/2009 07:46:55

In my 2 decades in gaming, in this book there's the best D&D fief system I have seen. Not the most realistic but the one more easily implemented. With some adaptions it has become the system I use for years.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Companion Set
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