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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by Petri W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/10/2018 03:08:13

Absolutely fantastic; this just might be my favorite WoD book of all time... and I've read a lot of them. Ties together metric oodles of metaplot theads in clever ways, contains tons of new twists, and in general is a joy to read. Surprisingly funny in places, too.

The only downside: this will be absolutely incomprehensible to anyone not at least somewhat familiar with Vampire: the Masquerade metaplot.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
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Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition
by Nathaniel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2018 13:23:51

This is a massive book, do not be fooled. You will be reading this for days and I love it. There is so much lore and hirtory in this book to get your setting right. The art inside really captures the feel of the world of darkness and tone for the entire Werewolf setting. This is my favorite book in my collection. I love this game and I love this setting. fantastic work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition
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Master of the Scaled
by Alain G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2018 07:30:40

This new rogue archetype is a straight-up adapatation of the Master of the Scaled prestige class from the previous edition.

Mechanically, it is a variant of the Arcane Trickster subclass from the PHB. In particular, it gains spells much faster than the Arcane Trickster (as fast as a paladin or ranger), thus reproducing the spell progression from the 3.5 prestige class. This seems slightly unbalanced, and perhaps a slower sneak attack progression (as in the original prestige class) would compensate. The Fast Talker class feature seems also very powerful in a social context, and I would limit it more (either recharging in a long rest or by forcing the expenditure of spell slots to activate it).

Otherwise, it works pretty well and fits the Scarred Lands mythos perfectly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Master of the Scaled
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Creator Reply:
Alain, Thank you very much for the thoughtful review. With regard to the spell progression, the Arcane Trickster is not Open Game Content, so when designing the subclass class I had to start from scratch. I looked at relative power levels compared with other sources within Scarred Lands, as well as within the SRD. The design philosophy here, when compared to other classes, was to make the Master of the Scaled comparable to the Wizard in the same fashion that the Paladin is comparable to the Cleric. I think that is most suitable to the lore. While the Master of the Scaled DOES gain access to spell levels a bit faster than PHB designed 1/3rd casters (which are not Open Game Content and cannot be used as direct design templates) I believe you will find the number of spells known to be comparable. This causes the player to have to be more tactical about spell choice as they are spreading less spells across more available slots. I think this as well as the truncated list of available spells for the subclass enforce a potent, but balanced mechanic. In terms of reducing the Sneak Attack die, I hadn't considered it. My gut reaction would be to leave it alone as altering the base class mechanic in such a way introduces a level of complexity that generally goes outside of the scope of subclass design. Both of these points I am willing to further examine based on "in the field" play feedback, and would encourage you and any other players or GMs using the class to start a thread on this topic in the product's discussion panel. With regard to the Fast Talker feature recharging on a short or long rest, I think you hit the nail on the head. I like the idea of spending spell slots for a little extra oomph, so I have altered the mechanic as follows: "Once you have used this feature you may not do so until you finish a long rest. You may expend a spell slot of 2nd level or higher to gain one additional use of this feature before completing a long rest, and may not do so again until you have completed a long rest." Thank you very much for your review and your feedback. It is INCREDIBLY valuable. Travis
Rangers of Ghelspad
by Alain G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2018 07:19:04

This presents three ranger subclasses. They all fit perfectly in the Scarred Lands settings, even though I would have preferred them to have generic names instead of being named after some of Ghelspad's rangers traditions (there is a disclaimer in the introduction stating that one doesn't need to be of one of these organization to follow these path, but still, I would have preferred it the other way around). That is a very minor detail and just a question of personal preference I guess.

These are very solid subclasses from a mechanical perspective, and most abilities seem very well balanced and fit the themes very nicely. Among some of the things I have noticed:

  • Paralytic Strike seems quite overpowered since it doesn't seem to be limited other than by the fact that it "consumes" one attack. I would probably make it so each creature can only be affected once every 24 hours.
  • The bonus/malus tradeoff in Whirling Defense seems weird, as 5E generally uses disadvantage/advantage for this type of mechanics (similar to the barbarian reckless attack feature) Also, it is useless if the player doesn't fight with two weapons, which seems somewhat limiting (especially given that the Unarmored Defense feature leaves it open for the player to choose its weapon combination)
  • Dehydrating Retaliation also seems pretty overpowered, for the same reason as Paralytic Strike (no apparent limit)


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rangers of Ghelspad
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Creator Reply:
Alain, Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a thoughtful review on Rangers of Ghelspad! I appreciate the feedback and insight. With regard to the subclasses being named after the ranger traditions of Ghelspad, I felt that it was a nice, shorthand way to evoke the setting and feel of the Scarred Lands when selecting these subclasses. In terms of mechanical concerns. Paralytic Strike consumes an action, not an attack. It cannot be used with the extra attack feature, and requires the ranger to sacrifice a significant portion of action economy in order to potentially paralyze a target. Though it is infinitely repeatable, it is also easily defeated by saves each turn to escape, which grant advantage if the target is damaged. I feel these limitations, combined with the advanced level required to activate the feature don't bring things too far out of balance, considering the sacrifice made in terms of action economy and tactical follow up to use the feature. The whirling defense mechanics are based off of the parry feature seen in creatures such as the Knight and are definitely designed to encourage two weapon fighting but the exclusion of a shield as an option for the offhand was an unintentional oversight and has been rectified in the V1.1 update. Regarding the Dehydrating Retaliation feature, this too relies on action economy and a comparatively easy to beat saving throw (for the user's level) in order to make it manageable in terms of balance. It can only be used as a reaction which means the ranger must exercise relative caution in choosing actions. This feature becomes particularly nasty if aimed at low Constitution creatures or used on targets who have not been minding their hydration, but considering the prevalence of immunity to exhaustion among titanspawn, I feel that this is a feature that looks far more potent than it is. In a fight against other humanoids it is one hell of an advantage to be sure, but most humanoids of comparable CR will be able to resist that exhaustion at least 40% of the time. As always, I am open to feedback from the field. If anyone sees these features playing out in a different way at your table, particularly if they prove to be extremely dominant choices in your players' tactics, I would love to discuss it further in the comments section on this product. I am certainly open to making further tweaks should they prove necessary. Thanks, Travis
Blood & Ink: Tattoo Magic
by Alain G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2018 06:10:16

A very nice addition to magic tattoos in the Scarred Lands. The new bardic college is nicely done and seems to work very well mechanically, even though more description about who uses this tradition in the Scarred Lands would have been welcomed.

The new tattoos are straight-up conversions from tattoos from the old Relics & Rituals. Most of them work pretty well, even though the Belsameth's Servant could provide more details on how the transformation works from a practical perspective (hit points, ability scores, etc). A couple of them seem to be duplicate of tattoos found in the Scarred Lands Player's Guide (albeit with a different names and slightly different mechanics). A very interesting addition was the use of titan's blood as ink for magical tattoos.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood & Ink: Tattoo Magic
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Creator Reply:
Alain, Thank you VERY MUCH for taking the time out to review Blood & Ink. I would love to expand the lore regarding the College of Needles, and may look to doing so in a future update. I have been in the process of a deep dive into the setting's lore in preparation for the Scarred Lands: Myths and Matchmakers stream and have some exciting ideas. With regard to Belsameth's Servant, I have added some clarifying language to the tattoo's description directing users to the SRD to find the appropriate lycanthrope's stats and effects. The variants of those tattoos found in the Scarred Lands Players guide (such as the Tar Dragon Tattoo) are designed to reflect gaps in the lore left by the space limitations of the Player's Guide as well as give a few options to players who wish to customize their characters with tattoo magic. I'm glad to hear you liked the idea of titan's blood tattoo ink. It felt like a natural (if dangerous) extension of tattoo magic. Thanks, Travis
Tyna's Tattoos
by Alain G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2018 05:58:16

This provides some very nice ideas for magic tattoos. The comments from Tyna are a nice touch, though the font used is a little bit too small.

My biggest concern (and the reason why I didn't give a 5 stars rating), is that the description of the effects themselves, while generally understandable, don't always follow the 5E format and jargon. This causes confusion in some cases, such as for the Aegis Tattoo (where it is not described which condition can trigger the reaction). Tattoos that have prerequisites should probably necessitate attunement, as this is the way 5E deals with prerequisites for magic items. In other cases, the tone is very direct and abrupt, and doesn't give a 5E feeling (such as the Mark of Protection, in which there is a sentence without subject, or most of the cursed tattoos, that use "the wearer" instead of "you", or the use of the abbreviation "mins" instead of "minutes"). This gives the feeling of a draft rather than a finished product.

Mechanically, most of the effects herein are interesting and balanced, and fit very well within the Scarred Lands mythos. A few seem to be overpowered (effects that grant advantage on attack rolls should probably last for 1 minute) but these are rather rare.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tyna's Tattoos
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Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition
by Philip H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2018 03:34:41

I've been a fan of everything related to the World of Darkness since I opened a second hand copy of Werewolf the Apocalypse second edition and I've never looked back since. Werewolf the Apocalypse 20th anniversary edition is everything I could have asked for. From much more in-depth detail of the tribes to the welcome addition of a short preview of changing breeds... This book provides everything a budding werewolf could need to begin!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition
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Exalted 3rd Edition
by Phillip M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2018 07:44:42

I've been playing Exalted since the early months of first edition and this is, by far, the best edition yet. Yes, there's quite a bit of crunch, but with that crunch comes a great deal more clarity, far more functional and less ambiguous rules, and a ridiculous amount of additional content for Solar characters. I've been Running a third edition game since before it's release thanks to backer PDFs and I've never once looked back at prior editions and longed for something in the mechanics to return. Systems like combat seem daunting at first, but once you've got a few fights under you belt and the players have a hand on their characters, even the biggest throwdowns move at a pace far faster than any prior edition.

The book itself is a thing of beauty, the edition strikes an excellent balance between the mystery of the first edition and the specificity of the second, the expanded setting adds a ton of new variety, battlegroups are the best system I've ever encountered to deal with mobs of "lesser" enemies, and even the much reviled craft system is a ton of fun when you take the time to properly get to know and impliment it.

The one weakness is, of course, the current lack of content, but the new development team have been hard at work to turn that around and I couldn't be happier.

This is the best edition of the best RPG ever.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
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Encounters in the Calastian Hegemony Volume 1
by Eric R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2018 17:45:13

Very detailed and lovely. Looks very user friendly.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Encounters in the Calastian Hegemony Volume 1
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C20 Book of Freeholds
by Chazz K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2018 07:06:06

I took a lot of inspiration from this book and I'm very excited about some of the things it hints at for the future of the C20 line. For the full review, see our review episode: http://thestorytold.libsyn.com/episode-9



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
C20 Book of Freeholds
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C20 Kithbook: Boggans
by Chazz K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2018 07:04:03

Short version, I love this book and think it recaptures the glamour of Changeling the Dreaming. For the long version, check out our review episode: http://thestorytold.libsyn.com/episode-9



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
C20 Kithbook: Boggans
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W20 Cookbook
by Darryl J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2018 03:44:47

Did not understand the usefulness of this book. Guess it's a "fun" product, but never going to crack this open again.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
W20 Cookbook
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C20 Anthology of Dreams
by BOHDAN-OREST H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2018 13:52:28

If you need inspiration for your changeling game, or just want to read some quality stories that take place in the world of changling, then I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it very much.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
C20 Anthology of Dreams
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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by Mr A G C. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2018 05:27:46

This book is brilliant lets you fall in love with the vampire all over again epecially if your an older fan of the game like myself, but would be ideal for new players to get in touch with the feel of the vampire world of darkness setting. Found myself picking up old by Night books as i read it, to remind myself of certain characters. Art is excellent and its jam packed with ideas you could use in any game. BUY EEET NOW!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
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Wr20 Handbook for the Recently Deceased
by Shannon H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2018 11:54:42

Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition is one of the best core books for the World of Darkness bar none. To say that it brought Wraith into the 21st Century in style would be a gross understatement, and for Onyx Path Publishing, the book is a triumph of literary accomplishment as well as updating the game and streamlining it while keeping the parts of it that absolutely needed to be held close.

Handbook for the Recently Deceased, however, affords both the player and the storyteller a succinct, capsulized glimpse at Wraith: the Oblivion that keeps the would-be storyteller who is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to throw his or her players across the Shroud from cutting deep into their printer’s ink reserves and spitting out chapters to serve as the building blocks for what they can expect from the game.

Part One: Playing the Recently Deceased covers the basic concepts-at-work for wraiths who may not have a clue on how the game works, or how to get started with character generation. The idea that you’re not only dead, but that you most probably died horrifically is something that has always been a cornerstone in Wraith: the Oblivion, regardless of Edition, and the 20th Anniversary Edition is, of course, no exception. You must come up with that story. You must figure out why you came across the Shroud from the Skinlands, and you must find a way to rationalize it so that you don’t immediately become a spectre, or an obolus in another wraith’s coin purse. Fetters are discussed. Passions are discussed. Where you are in the Underworld and definitions explaining what the basic lines of demarcation in the Underworld are, are discussed. You’ll understand the basic concepts behind the Hierarchy, Renegades, Heretic Cults and, to a degree, the Guilds.

This is a concept guide... not a how-to guide. If you’re looking for a how-to guide, you’ll need to purchase a copy of the core rules, which will provide you with instructions on how to generate a ghost character from scratch.

This book, however, is going to serve as a “taste-test,” so that you can decide if this is something that you want to invest your free time and imagination in.

Part Two: The New Shadow touches on a new concept to Wraith: the Oblivion; Shadowguiding. In past editions of the game, a character created two separate characters: their wraith PC and then the dark reflection of that PC, the Shadow. Now, with Shadowguiding and depending on how the storyteller wants to approach and handle it, once this process is complete, another player serves as the Shadowguide... which means you all trade off Shadows to each other. When the time comes for the Shadow to take action, speak, or plot against a wraith PC, the Shadowguide does the dirty work.

It is an EXCEPTIONALLY COOL idea that adds multiple new dimensions to a Wraith: the Oblivion Chronicle.

The basic concepts of what a Shadow is, Thorns – which are, effectively, Shadow-based powers above and beyond those already possessed by a wraith, Dark Passions, how and why the Shadow will talk to a wraith, when it will talk to a wraith, and what happens during a Harrowing are all explained. Again, systems for these things are in the core rulebook. Advice on how players can and should interact with one another while using each others’ Shadows against each other are discussed – and this is necessary, as too much can be given away, and there should be some secrets among players and their characters and their characters’ motivations.

Part Three: Storytelling for the Recently Deceased is for... well... storytellers looking to take up the scythe and lantern and get moving with a few games or, if you’d rather, a full-fledged Chronicle in Wraith: the Oblivion.

How to get the story started is explained, how you might move a group of ghosts together into a Circle is explained (although the ghosts becoming a functional family unit is completely up to them), ideas on how to handle PCs that want to experiment with Rising are covered, and how you may want to proceed with your first couple of Harrowings and Passion/Fetter Conflicts were, for me, the highlight here... if for no other reason than I’d never thought about Fetter or Passion conflicts among my players.

There are blurbs that give really rudimentary storyteller ideas – seeds, if you will – to help jumpstart something much, much larger for the Hierarchy, the Renegades, the Heretic Cults, advice on NPC creation, Antagonist creation, and advice on how to handle one-on-one player-to-storyteller interaction are all provided... and they’re provided by Rich “The Dead Guy” Dansky, who in a lot of ways – at least to many of us who have been with Wraith: the Oblivion since the beginning – is the consummate authority on any and all things dealing with the Shadowlands of the World of Darkness.

That’s not to say he’s always right or that his ideas are better than any you will ever come up with for the game ever, but suffice to say that if you follow his outlines and heed his suggestions and use the Handbook for the Recently Deceased as your primer for a Wraith game, you’re going to have one hell of a Chronicle cooking when it’s all said and done.

If you’ve bought Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition and you have not purchased this primer for yourself if you’re new to the Wraith system, or for your players, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.

While Handbook for the Recently Deceased is not absolutely necessary to play Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition, I personally cannot recommend it highly enough.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wr20 Handbook for the Recently Deceased
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