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Village Backdrop: Vulcanbridge
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
Date Added: 11/18/2014 07:29:38
Village Backdrop: Vulcanbridge An Endzeitgeist.com review This Village Backdrop clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 5 pages of content, so let's take a look! Vulcanbridge is perhaps one of the most interesting, unique settlements in the series so far - situated on a volcanic plain, the result of gnomish ingenuity and dwarven labor, Vulcanbridge is constructed as a hanging village on several stable pylons - which is rather neatly represented in the gorgeous map of the settlement. It should be noted that the pylons of course suffer from tectonic issues and hence, the settlement, nowadays more dependent on delving below the liquid lava towards the gems and ores hidden within the bowels of the earth. The unique construction of the settlement and its frontier's position are also represented in the items for sale, the rumors and unique tools that characterize the uncommon and dangerous, extremely unique conditio...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Underworld Races: Dweorg
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Publisher: AAW Games
Date Added: 11/18/2014 07:26:39
Underworld Races: Dweorg An Endzeitgeist.com review This supplement clocks in at 20 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let's take a look! As with the other installments of the Underworld races-series, this one kicks off with a massive mythology of the subterranean races, a collective origin history that can be potentially transplanted from Aventyr into other settings, should one choose to do so. From there on, the dweorg are described - amidst the numerous dwarven races forged from the ancestry of the dvergr, the dweorg could be called those most in line with conventional dwarvenkind in other campaign settings - apart from better craftmanship and gruff demeanor (penalizing social skills when interacting with upperdwellers), they adhere to the regular dwarven virtues and attributes. Not only are the dweorg the dwarves closest to surface dwellers, unlike many races of the underdark, they are not utterly evil a...

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Character Death Certificate
by Jon M.
Publisher: Stormlord Publishing
Date Added: 11/17/2014 22:34:14
Character Death Certificate I like that it has both full size and quarter sheet size. The check boxes are a bit limiting as the first death in the campaign I'm running would be: Stoned by a Goblin. A few checkboxes with fill in the blanks would be nice.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lizardmen of Illzathatch
by Joe J.
Publisher: 3 Toadstools
Date Added: 11/17/2014 13:47:13
The Lizardmen of Illzathatch This is a fun little adventure for the casual old school RPGer that will last 1-2 game sessions. Mercifully light on background, this dungeon can be slapped onto almost any campaign with little effort. Small though it is, the dungeon has plenty of surprises for the careless party. Although designed for a 3rd level party, a carefully armed and experienced party of 1st-2nd level characters could probably succeed here too.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures
by David C.
Publisher: Flatland Games
Date Added: 11/17/2014 11:07:17
Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures A rare treasure. Based on the familar rules mechanics of the early editions of D&D, this is not a retro-clone. It truly does something different. Lloyd Alexander, Ursula LeGuin and JRR Tolkien in his lighter moments shine through. "Farmer Giles of Ham" could be a scenario pack for this game. I would add the Princess Bride, Ladyhawke, the Beastmaster and a healthy dollop of folklore to the inspirations. Beyond the Wall does an excellent job of building characters who are real people with a reason to adventure together. The Village is built along with the characters in a fluid manner. There are hints of a deeper and broader world scattered through the game, "The Endless Pit of the West", the "Sunken City", the deserts of the East. None of these recieve any more fleshing out besides the name, but the names evoke a sense of adventuring possibilities. This would be an excellent game to introduce new players to RPGing with. I think it would also shine as a convention game. Instead of b...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Peel Colonies
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
Date Added: 11/17/2014 08:17:16
Peel Colonies Although still part of Gypsy Knights Games's alternate Traveller universe setting, the Peel Colonies are not in the Clement Sector at all, but in the Ariel Sector coreward of it. As such they are very new colonies, having only been established for some fifty years or less. Moveover, most of the worlds have not been fully explored - at least, not on the ground, whatever surveys might have been done from orbit. We start with a map of the Peel Sub-sector, which contains some eighteen systems although only seven are as yet inhabited. There's a list of UWPs and other information, and a bit of background about the sub-sector as a whole. We then move on to look at each settled world in turn. Each is presented in a standard manner, beginning with an overview of the star system as a whole with a diagram and notes about every body in the system. There's a map of at least the main world (often some of the other planets as well, especially if they have been visited) followed by physical, atm...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Penny Dreadful
by Michael B.
Publisher: White Wolf
Date Added: 11/17/2014 07:44:58
Penny Dreadful Penny Dreadful is an irreverent and untamed adventure that uses the gloomy and serious game-world to great comedic effect. The book crosses over with several of the World of Darkness lines, but while knowledge of them might clear a few things, I don't think it is necessary. Even knowledge of Mage the Ascension isn't all that critical, since Penny makes a point of explaining her magic to herself and others. As the humor goes, Dreadful is very reliant on references. But these are delivered through the first person account of Penny herself, who uses 90's pop-culture, Victorian goth and medieval occult together to cast her magic as well as make sense of the world around her. And it works. These references are all over the place and Sailor Moon is just as prominent as the Malleus Maleficarum and familiarity with either is not essential, but contributes to the hilarity. Symbolism is the name of the game and Penny's habit of substituting Bastet, the cat goddess of ancient Egypt for Hello Ki...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Tiger Ox (Wuxia/Wushu Source Book)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Publisher: Little Red Goblin Games
Date Added: 11/17/2014 07:35:11
Dragon Tiger Ox (Wuxia/Wushu Source Book) An Endzeitgeist.com review This massive book by Little Red Goblin Games clocks in at 172 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 7 pages of SRD (with some pages duplicating text from the adventure at the end of the book), leaving us with 163 pages of content, so let's take a look! Now if you've been following my reviews, you'll know that I usually take apart crunch for races and classes in a pretty detailed manner. The problem with a book of this size and my approach is evident -were I to do that here, the review would bloat beyond compare. Hence, I'll be somewhat less detailed than usual in this review, picking out the cherries and the less than awesome components and highlighting them. Got that? Great! So after a short introduction to the topics and tropes of WuXia/Wushu and the implied setting of Dragon Tiger Ox, we delve into the basic supplemental pieces of information. A basic introduction to a third alignment axis in the guise of honor can be found here, ...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures of NeoExodus: Dancing Dragons (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Publisher: LPJ Design
Date Added: 11/17/2014 07:31:18
Treasures of NeoExodus: Dancing Dragons (PFRPG) An Endzeitgeist.com review This installment of the Treasures of NeoExodus-series clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page of SRD/editorial, 1/2 a page advertisement, leaving us with 2.5 pages of content, so let's take a look! The dancing dragons were the nunchaku of the Monkey Prince, NeoExodus' take on Son Goku and as such, are powerful, legendary tools - they are +2 mithral countering nunchaku that allow the wielder to choose damage type (bludgeoning, piercing, slashing) and upon disarms, the nunchaku animate the weapons of foes and have them attack the target. Finally, the nunchaku can blast foes in short-range, deadly cold bursts a limited amount of times per day. As always, the installment comes with item cards for the weapon. Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to LPJr Design's drop-dead-gorgeous 2-column full-color standard and the pdf features a glorious original artwork of the weapon. The pdf comes in a more printer-fri...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Two Worlds Tabletop RPG
by James C.
Publisher: RPG Objects
Date Added: 11/17/2014 02:49:49
Two Worlds Tabletop RPG This is just another d20 fantasy setting. It does as advertised, an attempt to translate the video game to the table top. While it does not feel like a port of the video game to the table, it makes the effort and comes off as just another d20 variant. It's a free supplement, and it feels like one. I owned the physical hardback that came with the game and felt the same initial impression: it didn't cost me anything. As such, it's free. It contains a setting. It has rules. But there's nothing in it that sets it apart from any other supplement already available....

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fear! Fire! Foes!
by James C.
Publisher: Olde House Rules
Date Added: 11/17/2014 00:08:18
Fear! Fire! Foes! If Braunstein! was my Holmes Basic, and Pits & Perils was Advanced Holmes, it would be logical to think of this as the Advanced Holmes Companion. House rule suggestions such as combat moves for the fighters, new spells, the introduction of the Monk and Savant, and the capacity to become an Elven Fighter or Elven Magician. The document is still concise and evocative at 56 pages, allowing for expanding the game without feeling weighed down with a load of new rules. I believe the three titles can work together in a cohesive way; I should know within a couple months if that is the case....

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pits & Perils
by James C.
Publisher: Olde House Rules
Date Added: 11/16/2014 23:57:07
Pits & Perils If Braunstein! is my new Holmes Basic, this is Advanced Holmes. It literally feels like what I learned in Braunstein! can be applied to Pits & Perils. I appreciate the take on race as class, and it even addresses where the Elven and Dwarven Clerics are hiding (i.e. not adventuring). The Spells and Monsters listing are inspiring without taking a one half or a whole page explaining what a Kobold is. It's evocative without being overbearing. The singular fault I've come across, if you can call it that, is rolling for a character's attribute didn't feel like it did anything until stumbling upon the last sentence of page 22. "Abilities determine what actions a character may attempt in the game (p. 5)." At first, I thought, "So not having Strength means I can't Lift Gates?" When I was just about to accept it as an old school concession, possibly house ruling it, I came across the suggestion on page 22; from a rules POV, I would recommend moving the statement into the Attribute section of pag...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Braunstein!
by James C.
Publisher: Olde House Rules
Date Added: 11/16/2014 23:47:11
Braunstein! I just received this along with a copy of Pits & Perils and Fear! Fire! Foes! I have been looking for a written copy (or reasonable facsimile) of the Braunstein rules. This was an awesome 24 page discovery. Even though I am less interested in historical gaming, I appreciate using historic settings as a foundation for fantasy. Combining the last page of the document (introducing magic and witchcraft) with Pits & Perils (using Braunstein's Luck vs. Pits & Perils HP and magic), might make for an interesting game. At its core, this feels like a new take on Holmes Basic D&D....

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the Deceived
by william p.
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
Date Added: 11/16/2014 17:37:01
Book of the Deceived Even if you have minimal to zero interest in the Deceived as antagonists or player characters this book is worth purchasing. It contains a huge amount of delicious, well written setting material about the Mummy: the Curse setting in general, and about the Shan'iatu and the Nameless Empire in particular. It also contains numerous powers that are usable by any mummy, and an excellent continuation to the pre-made adventure from Guildhalls of the Deathless. The art quality is some of the best I've ever seen from a White Wolf/Onyx Path product, and for RPG artwork in general....

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Oubliette Version 1
by Kenneth S.
Publisher: Voidspiral Entertainment
Date Added: 11/16/2014 17:08:49
Oubliette Version 1 This is a fairly rules-lite game that has an imaginative setting that is something like a cross between Gormenghast and Riverworld. It's a mysterious purgatory where death is only a brief respite from fighting for survival. Everything takes place within and impossibly huge castle... millions of sentient beings cast adrift in it's halls and towers and dungeons... forming up factions and impromptu alliances to stay alive. While I was reading it it kept reminding me of prison dramas I'd seen. In some ways it comes off a a bit naive or not fully thought out... the rules talk a lot about 'storytelling' and such but it's never clear what the PCs would be trying to do except survive. The place is so unstable that I can't picture adventures there being much more than a series of battles... with the winners eating the losers... BECAUSE...there's isn't much in the way of farming going on here and no herd animals either... you're going to be eating goblins and werewolves and other humans ...

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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