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    Scroll Puzzle Generator
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/06/2021 05:20:41

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    So, this generator, ideally, cuts up an image you choose and disperses it among scrolls, which the players can then use to solve a puzzle.

    The deal includes a 3-page “How to”-pdf, which explains the process; you choose an image for the puzzle. Then, you choose a background image; you also select a scroll and a paper image.

    Then, you determine the parameters of the puzzle: The number of scrolls and the height of pages, and a bottom buffer: The larger that is, the easier the puzzle can be solved. The puzzle generator (html-file) also includes an option for a background change and a message overlay option.

    The archive included here features a series of different artworks from Mind Weave RPG’s library. These include some cover artworks, backgrounds, some paper textures, etc. The archive features one image folder that includes the aforementioned, and also a puzzle-folder that includes 3 pregenerated puzzles. The puzzles you generate must be copied into this folder.

    Additionally, we have a 3-page pdf that provides a kind of in-game context for the puzzles, providing a sort of sample encounter, which comes with some advice on using checks as hints. The encounter set-up was intriguing, and it assumes a 5e frame.

    The pdfs also explain the core mechanic of these puzzles, and a kind of b/w handout-seal of the NPC that contextualizes the generator.

    I have tried making scroll puzzles in both Firefox and Chrome; both browsers worked perfectly.

    The main criticism I can field against this generator would be that the image selection is very limited and not that appealing; getting more paper textures or artworks/sigils for the actual puzzles would have been nice. On the plus side, you can use your own images, if you have any.

    Structurally, the puzzle is VERY simple as far as I’m concerned and is more a matter of perseverance than genuine brains, but that may be years of adventure game-experience speaking; I can see some groups being rather challenged by this puzzle. Unfortunate: Once you realize how the puzzle operates (which I did within a minute or so…), the gig is up and solving the puzzle remains a matter of slogging through it. Some means to modify the factor behind the solution would have been nice; a scramble variable would have greatly enhanced the longevity of the puzzle generator.

    How to rate this? The generator works but didn’t exactly impress me in either depth or complexity, but for a single buck, this might be worth checking out. As a whole, I consider this to be a mixed bag, and as such, my final verdict will be 3 stars.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Scroll Puzzle Generator
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    Rotating Labyrinth
    by Lisa S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2021 09:09:43

    I put this together for our special Halloween night dungeon. Everyone loved it! Thanks so much for offering such a unique and fun twist to a dungeon.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Rotating Labyrinth
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    Rotating Labyrinth
    by Clint B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2020 11:25:20

    This is fantastic! I know exactly how I am going to plug this into my campain. It is going to be awesome to walk through this with my PCs. Thank you for the work you put into this!!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Seven Dead Sinners
    by Devin E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2020 18:29:24

    While the premise is fairly decent, the execution leaves quite a bit to be desired. The artwork is... well, let's just say that if one of my daughters gave me one of these images I would happily hang it on the refrigerator and then throw it into the paper shredder once they had gone to bed. The grammar is acceptable, yet uninspired and bland. The whole thing could stand a complete rewrite by someone with at least a college-level education. While I commend the author on a valiant attempt at making a worthwhile download, it is nonetheless an attempt that falls drastically short of acceptability.



    Rating:
    [1 of 5 Stars!]
    Seven Dead Sinners
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    Sinner's Manor
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/05/2019 04:53:16

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This brief adventure module clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, leaving us with 17 pages of content. No SRD is included, which is odd.

    This module is a mansion-crawl and comes with player-friendly versions of the manor’s map, which note their grids, but no scale; the usual 5 x 5 feet would make it very cramped indeed. The module also contains paper-minis – both in full-color and as b/w-drawings. The b/w-drawings are vastly superior; while it shows that the author is no accomplished illustrator, they work. The garish full-color versions…don’t. Still, kudos for the inclusion of, in particular, the b/w-versions. The pdf comes with internal hyperlinks, which is helpful – character notices an item? One click, and you’re there

    This module is intended to be run with D&D 5e-rules, and is intended for a 1st level party as a deadly adventure; the module does have a section that walks the GM through some of the design decisions – and if your players think they’re smart, they will learn the hard way that, not only are the opponents all bosses, the module needs to be cleared in one day. I liked this decision – it prevents long rest-scumming.

    5 magic items are included; one would be a lesser healing item. Another is a mirror with limited daily uses of flesh to stone; another nets you Expertise (double proficiency bonus) in Stealth and Slight[sic! – the pdf gets that consistently wrong throughout] of Hand; there is a ring for a 1/day barbarian rage, and a gold-only locate object at will item. I liked none of these, and they would imho be serious overkill for first level; that being said, the useful items have curses that act as serious detriments. The items or curses are not as interesting as some in “A Blessing and a Curse”, and much to my chagrin, no removal conditions are included, but yeah. Okay. The pdf sports no read-aloud text, and formatting-wise, it should be noted that the pdf tends to use the proper skills and formatting in most, but not all cases (e.g. tools). Classes are, oddly enough, capitalized, and monster names are printed in italics throughout, which strikes me as a weird decision, as it can be kinda confusing.

    The following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.

    … .. .

    All right, only GMs around? Great!

    So, there’s this manor, ostensibly haunted or occupied – 7 grandchildren of Henri Sumner, each aligned with one of the deadly sins, used to throw parties. Something horrible happened, and ever since then, people have been disappearing there – including a team of adventurers. Davis O’Chuul hires the party to clear out the manor and provides some healing bulbs, aforementioned minor healing items. Oh boy, the party will need them.

    There is another thing you need to know: The rather lame “Seven Dead Sinners”-pdf of sin-themed undead? They are in this pdf as well. Only, they kinda aren’t – at least not in their nigh-useless original iteration. You see, where previously, they had next to no value due to their concepts (one undead for every one of the seven deadly sins) being tired and bland, there now is something that even jaded ole’ me can appreciate about them: They get proper 5e-stats. And I don’t mean sucky ones, but actually pretty tough cookie stats; all of these undead are essentially bosses, with some approaching even 100 hit points, with 95; these are offset by a pitiful AC of 7 and atrocious 5 ft. movement, granted, but you get the idea – if you’re not smart, you will die. Heck, you might still die when faced with the boss. The module is not playing when it states that it is deadly. Much to my pleasant surprise, I noticed no glitches in the statblocks or ability-formatting. Kudos for getting these right. So yeah, while I still maintain that the concept is boring (compared to all those delightful sin-themed monsters out there), the array of well-crafted, genuinely tough low-level stats? That’s a reason to download the pdf. It should be noted that there is implied incest going on between the undead representing lust and the one representing wrath, though only the GM needs to know about this.

    The manor provides quite a few nice details – but I couldn’t help but notice that there is a good chance that the party will run into potentially more than one of these bosses at once. Since the map sports no scale, and since it can be rather cramped, this can easily result in the party being trapped. Sure, this is a horror-module, but yeah – a GM might wish to be careful with the undead. Anyhow, my main gripe with the presentation of the module is two-fold – the rules-relevant components tend to blend in with the text describing the places, making quick information-parsing tough…and then there is the fact that I can generate a more interesting manor in 30 minutes with Zzarchov Kowolski’s “The Price of Evil.”

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting is very good on a rules-language level; on a formal level, I noticed a few more hiccups. Layout adheres to Mind Weave RPG’s two-column b/w-standard with golden headers, and the artworks presented for the undead are charming b/w hand-drawn pieces; if you can appreciate the cover-art, you can also like these. I liked the inclusion of internal hyperlinks and paper-minis, and the player-friendly maps would have been nice, had they a) more details (e.g. tables etc.) and b) a scale. The pdf, unfortunately, sports no bookmarks, making navigation a pain – not cool. The pdf comes with an archive of the images for Roll20 etc.

    James Eck’s Sinners’ Manor is interesting in many ways; the module plays better than it reads; the manor may be barebones, but much to my absolute surprise, the focus on extremely tough boss monsters that often may be tackled in safer means by smart parties rendered this much more compelling that it honestly has any right to be; it’s a perfect example of good creature design elevating a per se painfully mediocre concept underlying them. Indeed, I think that the 5e-stats of creatures I considered to be super-boring in their system neutral iterations actually make for the main draw of this one. The manor may not be the most interesting out there, but all in all, you can do worse – for PWYW, this might well be worth checking out, particularly if you want some sin-themed low-level bosses to scavenge. As such, my final verdict for this pdf, in spite of its shortcomings, will be 2.5 stars, rounded up due to its PWYW status. I still think that Zzarchov Kowolski’s “The Price of Evil” is the better choice, though – while it has no 5e stats, if you’re even remotely interested in making a compelling mansion-crawl, you can’t do better than that one – add in hazards and critters, it’ll deliver a stand-out mansion-crawling experience.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Sinner's Manor
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    Seven Dead Sinners
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/11/2019 08:38:57

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This pdf clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, ½ a page blank, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    The premise of this pdf is simple – one undead for every one of the 7 deadly sins, each coming with a full-color artwork (not exactly aesthetically-pleasing). The presentation of the undead is system neutral, so no stats are included. Bible-quotes are provided for each of them. Acedai are incredibly bloated undead, surrounded by putrid stench and buzzing flies. The undead can also attack with belches and flatulence. Okay. Avarit are embodiments of greed and thus take on semi-draconic traits. They are unable to move far from their hoard.

    Gula attempt to eat everything. Invid are envious and are very stealthy, gathering items in their stash…which is kinda close to greed and imho misses the mark, reducing envy to material possessions. Irat are a bit like revenants, driven by revenge, but are not released after achieving revenge, instead brooding until disturbed. Luxria carry diseases and, having been tainted by undead, can’t, ironically, fulfill their desires sans basically rape. Magnus reduce the concept of pride to basically a disappointed narcissism.

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting are per se good. Layout adheres to a two-column b/w-standard, and the full color artworks…exist. Not a fan. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

    James Eck’s sin-themed undead are, pardon my French, lame. They are obvious and reductive takes on the seven deadly sins, often missing the mark profoundly. They take the most obvious routes, and I’ve seen all themes herein done infinitely better. The one saving grace here would be that this is PWYW, but considering how lame everything here is, how uninspired and dull, I will not round up from my final verdict of 1.5 stars. Unless you are utterly broke, get another pdf.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [1 of 5 Stars!]
    Seven Dead Sinners
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    A Blessing and a Curse
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/08/2019 14:18:42

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This little pdf clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    The concept of this pdf is simple: Players want goodies, and yet, items, nay, magic, should have a price to pay for it. The system proposed herein is simple – you roll 1d20 three times and check the table: Column one features 20 benefits, column two 20 drawbacks, and column three presents removal conditions.

    To give you examples, among the benefits, we have “Protection from Evil – The wearer is protected from the effects of evil.”, but also e.g. “Time Slowing – The wearer perceives things as happening more slowly, allowing him more time to react and make decisions. The wearer may or may not have increased speed to match the change in time perception.” Or what about passing through walls and floors at will? In short, the benefits are classics, and some of these are interesting, whereas others boil down to spell-in-a-can effects.

    The detriments are more interesting for the most part; evil being attracted to the user as one less intriguing example. But paralyzed limbs, uncontrollable squawking, the requirement to crawl on all fours? There are several rather nice ones here, once again often, but not always, being relatively easy to translate to most D&D-adjacent games.

    The most interesting of the three columns, though, would e the removal conditions – items that need to be taken off by fae, that only can be removed by full body immersion, that require being enclosed in mud to be taken off? These are genuinely awesome and creative, and indeed, constitute the main draw of this pdf as far as I’m concerned. The supplement also walks you through a couple of considerations before portraying 6 sample items – that illustrate this design philosophy: Spectral rings net both silence and invisibility, but the wearer can’t interact with the real world and must be defeated before it can be removed. The trespasser’s mask lets you pass through walls, but prevents you from breathing AND requires that you return to the place where you were when you put it on to take it off. There are several such unique items here, and I very much enjoy the philosophy at work here.

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches, though it should be noted that the pdf uses bolding for item, drawback, removal means and benefits of the items. Layout adheres to a no-frills two-column b/w-standard, with yellowish-golden headers. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

    James Eck’s little pdf started off weak for me – the benefits, in many ways, felt too conservative for me, courtesy of being system neutral. In a way, this is easily adapted, sure, but chances are good that the benefits already exist in your system of choice. To a degree, this extends to the drawbacks as well – this really shouldn’t have been system neutral as presented. The standard entries are boring, and the creative ones? They’d require serious rules-fu to convert to your game. That being said, the system also presents the cool removal conditions, which generally tend to work super-well and enhance roleplaying. They highlight what benefits and drawbacks should have focused on as well – specific, roleplaying conductive tricks that feel distinct and magical. It also mirrors in many ways how I, as a person, like my magic items to behave and work. That being said, the pdf could also have used a higher price point and more meat on its bones – as presented, it can best be thought of as a kind of design philosophy guideline for magic items – it’s a good one, but the system neutral nature, paired with the pretty conservative sample effects, ultimately render this less compelling than it could have easily been. However, the low and fair asking price of $0.99? Totally worth it. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, as befitting of a mixed bag, slightly on the positive side. I’ll round up due to in dubio pro reo.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    A Blessing and a Curse
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    Who Would Just Leave This Stuff?
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2019 08:41:37

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This generator clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, ½ a page editorial, leaving us with 17.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    The generator is simple in its function – you first determine a furnishing item that best represents the container being searched. Then, you determine how exotic/magical the material should be on a range from 0 to 100 – 0 means mundane, 100 means all components are magical, exotic, rare, etc.. Then, you roll a 1d100 and add the number chosen and check the respective table. Each of the subtables provides descriptions, tables and an example – they also specify a suggested sample number of items that should be inside. 7 different tables are provided for various tables, and lucky adventurers may well find a raw hydra head or a flame butterfly…or, well, just charcoal and notepaper.

    Regarding storage furniture, we have 7 different tables as well, and 3 different hidden cache tables have been included. There even is a final table for stuff below the floor. The respective tables for the containers could imho have been a bit longer, but this is me complaining at a high level. This is not where the pdf ends, though. All those curious items, like the everash pipe or fire ant eggs? They receive proper descriptions. A magic coin for illusory prestidigitation tricks? A coin that eats other cons? Gorgon blood rouge? There are plenty of really curious and genuinely interesting ideas here, including unicorn milk, vampire blood, etc. – even containers get some descriptions here. Very enjoyable, and certainly a nice addition for the dressing library of the enterprising GM.

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language (what little there is) level. Layout adheres to a no-frills two-column b/w-standard with yellow headers. The pdf sports nice, hand-drawn b/w-drawings as artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

    I really enjoyed James Eck’s small generator. While the individual tables could have used a few more entries, the sheer wealth of fantastic oddities to be found is rather cool, and can add some neat magic to the game. All in all, I consider this to be a nice addition to the game, and well worth owning for the low price of 2 bucks. That being said, while flavorful and fun, it falls slightly short of true excellence due to the relative brevity of the individual tables. A bit more differentiation could have made this a true gem indeed. Taking this into account, my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded down – worth getting if the concepts above seemed interesting to you.

    Endzeitgeist out..



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Who Would Just Leave This Stuff?
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    The Festival of the Migrant
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/29/2019 07:29:16

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This set-piece/encounter-area clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    The festival of the migrant is an elven celebration, which is held at the border of elven lands to celebrate the migration of animals, being held for 3 weeks in the spring. A total of 9 sample NPCs are provided for the festival, all of which come in a fluff-only presentation. The nomenclature for them refers plants and plant-like things, with Princess Everbough being probably the least impressive example here. 3 hooks are provided.

    The pdf then proceeds to provide a variety of minigames, the first of which is collecting butterflies in a butterfly tent. Unfortunately, the rules here are a bit odd, as butterflies are “tagged”, and e.g. the innermost ring having 5d6b3….B3, btw.? That means “best 3.” Odd here: Butterfly AC can scale up to a pretty massive AC 22, but yeah, success-determination could be clearer here.

    The second event, “pluck or be plucked” has the PCs face off against a giant goose, with the goal to remove false, colored feathers from the goose’s tail. The giant goose comes with stats that sport quite a few glitches: Incorrect HD and attack values, which is a pity, since their ability to emit e.g. a frightening honk, and the ability to fling targets into the air, is pretty cool. The latter should have imho a means to resist via Strength saves as well as the default Dex-save, but I digress.

    The Last frost has the contestants in flower costumes, collecting water from the mists via their outstretched leaves; there are checks to guess the next onset of the cold snap, for said snap will freeze anyone who has the arms outstretched; a Dexterity save allows for the quick closing of arms.

    After this, we also have a caribou race spanning 10 miles, cross country. This may be the mechanically most complex of the mini-games, as it’s supported by 6 (!!) sample feats that can provide benefits for certain stretches of the races. One of them Noble Equestarian, gets wrong how 5e usually handles key ability score substitution – it’s not per se unsuable, but it’s not elegant either. All in all, these feats are very specific and not something that PCs are likely to want to take. They are, essentially, included to allow for customization of the challenge 1 caribou rider statblocks, which, alas, does have a few rough spots as well. (Same goes for the caribou stats, just fyi.) On the plus side, we do get names, stat-adjustments, races and feats noted for the contestants, including popularity ratings and their odds for victory. This mini-game would be much more interesting, if it did a better job listing the miles and respective challenges – as written, it is a cool baseline, but requires some GM-work to make for fun player-participation.

    The final game herein would be Stone Path. The game is usually played with 4 players, each of whom receives 40 stones, in sets of 10 of a color, marked with the numbers 1 – 10. The stones are mixed, face down. Players take turns looking at the stones in secret, one per turn, and decide on whether to put it back or keep it. Kept stones are hidden from sight. The first stone of a given color taken is put on that player’s path, touching the screen that shields their kept stones from sight. Subsequent stones of that color, if kept, must count up or down monotonically. For example, if you draw a yellow 5, and then a yellow 7, any future yellow stones you unearth must be greater than 7. Stones that cannot be added may be kept, but are added to the dump pile and count as negative points, which is a nice way to make have hindering others have a cost. Paths of more than two stones yield points equal to their length; one-or-two-stone paths do net negative points. The game is further complicated by two special markers: Having a couple of butterflies is a risk, as they can enhance bonuses or penalties; there are stones with three-looped elven knots, which, when shown to the other players, allow you to draw an additional stone. A handy table helps scoring, and the final page contains the sample stones as an easy print out.

    The pdf also contains prize support, which ranks from the mundane to the magical, sporting 18 magic wondrous items: There would be a wand that creates heatless sparkles, a wand to dry folks instantly (how does it affect liquid creatures?), and item that makes ice, a key finder…you get the idea. Basically, many of the magic items here duplicate in some way the functionality of modern-day tech, which is something you may or may not enjoy. The blinder shield is definitely aOP and should probably have recharges of uses based on rest intervals; it’s definitely not on common scarcity level. (DC 15 Dex save of be blinded for one minute, with massive range, no subsequent saves to shake off blindness.) On a more nitpicky side of things, spell-references are not properly italicized, skill references not properly formatted. All in all, not a fan of these items.

    The pdf concludes with stats for the goose-rider NPC guards of the festival. You guessed it, their statblocks sport glitches. It should be noted, though, that a nice, hand-drawn map in full-color, with scale, is provided.

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting are okay on a formal level. On a rules-language level, there are quite a few hiccups that negatively impact the integrity of a couple of the rules within. Layout adheres to a two-column b/w-standard with golden headers. The full-color artworks presented are…there. The pdf has no bookmarks, but the handout-stones and the inclusion of the full-color festival map are a nice plus.

    I liked James Eck’s migrant festival. It has a benevolent, family-friendly touch, is creative and offers some cool ideas for mini-games. At the same time, the rules-chassis provided for a couple of the entries would have benefited from first establishing how success is measured, increased precision in stats and an easier to grasp presentation overall. While this will probably not overexert anyone’s mental faculties to understand how it all works, it still is a bit clunky in its didactics and presentation. All in all, I consider this to be a flawed offering that you can mine some fun from, but considering that this is pay what you want, my final verdict will still clock in at 3 stars.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    The Festival of the Migrant
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    Cult of the Sleeping God
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/01/2019 15:00:36

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This brief pdf clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    This little pdf provides the sketches of the village of Belfry Hollow, characterized by the eponymous belfry atop a massive hill within the darkened woods. The village comes with a nice, hand-drawn full-color map that includes scale and squares for reference, but which is only presented in a half-page size, which makes printing it out slightly less convenient than it should be.

    The material is intended to work as a kind of 1-session mini-module for 4 level 1 characters, though DCs and the like are sparse. While two brief tables for gathering information are provided, the remainder of the module is remarkably bereft of DCs regarding environmental factors. The pdf wastes a bit of space on a 10-level NPC poisoner class, which is not particularly well-designed or interesting – or functional, as the key ability, making poisonous concoctions, is wholly bereft of any guidance regarding DCs and the like. I strongly suggest replacing this one.

    The module per se is a pretty straight-forward cult-investigation, with a solid b/w-dungeon map added; unfortunately, maps for said complex once more only come in pretty “small” versions, which makes VTT or printout-use difficult. Speaking of which: The lack of keyed locales, while something I applaud for player-friendly maps, also means that the GM will have to do some improvising. While the structure of the simple investigation is surprisingly sound, the complex, bereft of environmental features and dangers/hazards etc. thus means that you’ll have to do some serious work. Suffice to say, there is no read-aloud text included.

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting are okay on a formal level, less impressive on a rules language level. Layout adheres to a two-column b/w-standard with golden headers, and the hand-drawn b/w-artworks are charming; same goes for the maps, though their direct usefulness in the pdf is somewhat compromised by how they have been jammed onto half pages. The pdf has no bookmarks.

    I don’t want to bash on James Eck’s little adventure sketch here. This is not bad, and for a PWYW-file, certainly something you can take a look at. However, I don’t think it does a particularly good job at its intended angle, particularly when compared to raging Swan press’ absolutely phenomenal “Against the Cult of the Bat God”, which is the superior take on the trope in every conceivable way. This may not be bad, but I am also left in a state where I genuinely can’t picture any scenario wherein this would be something I’d run. It lacks a distinct angle, has an inconvenient amount of fleshing out left for the GM to do, and I can improvise more complex investigations on the fly. As such, my final verdict can’t exceed 2.5 stars, rounded down.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [2 of 5 Stars!]
    Cult of the Sleeping God
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    Creator Reply:
    Thank you for the review! Very useful feedback for a developer starting out.
    Rotating Labyrinth
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/26/2019 04:02:09

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This supplement clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    EDIT: So, since I downloaded this pdf, there has been a 5e-version added. The review has been amended to include notes on the 5e-version as well.

    So, what is this? This could be used as a stand-alone dungeon-level, or as a slot-in to be included in another dungeon. The dungeon’s peculiarities include three items (that lack price/cost to create/etc.) that can help navigate the dungeon. In 5e, these lack scarcity-ratings. Similarly, there are a couple of items that don’t allow for bypassing, which can be a bit frustrating: E.g. a door may not, not even with a superb check and magic, be picked.

    As written, the pdf contains two statblocks, both of which contain serious errors in formatting, ability notation and statblock math; neither of them are truly required to make use of this environment, and I’d strongly suggest replacing them with other critters of your choosing. The 5e-version of the monsters are better than the 3.X-ones, but they also aren’t perfect. Note that the central adversary within has an ability that has a shroud of darkness that grows, but fails to specify a maximum range; a similar ability would benefit inclusion among the replacement monsters chosen for the boss.

    Why bother? Because, in spite of quite a few errors and misnamed components, “Reflex checks” etc., the general premise of the dungeon is cool: You see, 4 of the pages of this pdf are devoted to the hand-drawn map of the complex, and on this complex, circles are noted in different sizes, some of which may overlap. The movements can be randomized, and ultimately, this generates a puzzle that challenges the map-making skills of the PCs as much as their spatial and cognitive reasoning. The rotating labyrinth also includes stone slabs and is an honestly cool, old-school challenge that demands smarts from the players. The instructions to assemble the dungeon-prop for the GM are also tight and well-wrought…though, as a final nitpick, the map has no scale noted, which makes judging distances harder than it should be.

    The pdf even includes a failed attempt at mapping the complex, as a possible adventure hook or prop for the PCs to find.

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting are okay on a formal level, and less impressive on a rules-language level. Layout adheres to a two-column b/w-standard with golden headers, and the hand-drawn b/w-artworks are better than the full-color pieces in the newer offerings by Mind Weave RPG. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn’t necessarily need them at this length.

    I should hate James Eck’s rotating labyrinth, I really should. It has the small guffaws and glitches in rules-syntax that tend to infuriate me at least a bit; particularly considering the abilities of the BBEG inside, which seriously should be replaced. Were I to rate this pdf only regarding those components, this’d be a 2-star file. That being said, the flaws and imprecision do not compromise what the essence of this pdf, namely the labyrinth itself. It works, and constitutes a cool and fun offering, particularly considering that the pdf costs a whopping $0.99. And honestly, I do think it’s worth this fair and low price. As a set-piece to add some cerebral activity and challenge into otherwise grindy dungeons, this certainly does its job rather well. The 5e-version is slightly stronger than the original version, but by enough to warrant a different rating. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up, with the caveat that this verdict only applies if you want to make this dungeon-concept your own, if you add your own critters, context, etc. Running this as is, is less awesome than it deserves to be.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Rotating Labyrinth
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    Creator Reply:
    Thanks for the honest review. You've pointed out a lot of opportunities to improve and particularly informative that you prefer the hand-drawn art. I will definitely be returning to this feedback during future module development.
    Rotating Labyrinth
    by Geoff M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2018 18:59:10

    The Rotating Labyrinth has very quickly become a staple one-shot for me. Although it can be incorporated into a fully fledged world, being able to just drop the players at the entrance to the cave with a little motivation and let them run is really fun for everyone. My players loved it and were shocked, and I know others will want to play it again and with others who have no idea what is about to happen. The look of surprise is priceless, when they back track and expect a familiar place but are greeted with new sights. This adventure module/map is well worth it.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Rotating Labyrinth
    by Cameron S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2018 11:12:08

    The Rotating Labyrinth is an excellent dungeon to run for oneshots, or even as part of a larger campaign. It requires preparation from the party, who should be expecting to enter the dungeon, and a plan from the Gamemaster. Its an exciting and infuriating experience all in one.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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