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The Encyclopedia of Skill Lore
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by I. P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/05/2005 00:00:00

?The Encyclopedia of Skill Lore? is an interesting attempt to provide dungeon masters with descriptions of books that can be introduced into a campaign. The novelty to be found here, beyond the thought spent imagining what books might be included, is the weaving of game mechanics into the effect of these books on player characters. This is a very short product, but the product is presented well. The PDF is 14 pages long including the front cover, two pages of coupons, and the Open Gaming License text covers two pages.

Included are descriptions of the 23 volumes that make up the Encyclopedia of Skill Lore. The author has also included additional content that reaches far beyond those 23 volumes. First, there is a group of six additional books with a variety of impacts on the reader. Then the author describes six new items that all maintain the ?book? theme.

In addition, the author provides a background history for the books so that dungeon masters can incorporate the books into a campaign using elements of the provided history as plot hooks. The history is actually a short story concerning the first owner of the books and how they fared over time. Providing a history in short story format works very nicely as a source for potential plot hooks, and is an improvement over the simple lists of plot hooks that are sometimes provided in products such as this. If a dungeon master would prefer to incorporate their own elements into the history they can change the history as much or as little as they like.

Despite the relative shortness of this product, it delivers on its promise to provide the concept behind a quest that can be incorporated into any campaign. It also could simply be used to ?freshen up? the items available to a party and perhaps get the players thinking about additional elements of roleplay. If you want some prepared books to spark your imagination, this product has 29 books for your reading pleasure. You can then jump off from them to expand the literature available in your campaign to include as many different books as you desire.

To rousing gaming and ample rewards, I. Perez<br><br><b>LIKED</b>:

  1. Short story style description of the history so that dungeon masters can incorporate it immediately into a campaign.
  2. Interesting topics for the books and interesting effects on the reader. <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>:
  3. This was such a good idea that it could easily have been expanded to either include more books or to provide some supplemental aids to a dungeon master looking to incorporate these products. Perhaps maps for one or two locations where one or two volumes might be found, or perhaps guidance to dungeon masters on adding additional volumes.
  4. Given the brevity of this product, it?s current price ($3) is slightly beyond a deal. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>

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The Encyclopedia of Skill Lore
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