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    The Halls of Arden Vul Complete
    Publisher: Expeditious Retreat Press
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 08/03/2020 17:48:08

    I bought this as soon as it was available. I loved this from the first time I read through it. Now that I have poured over it for many hours in preparation for my new campaign, making hundreds of handouts, etc... All I can say is, WOW!

    All the attention to the details for an 1,100 page product has blown my mind over and over again, from the different factions, their histories, the indvidual NPC histories, the histories of the new races, simply mind boggling all the thought and attention to detail that had to go into this. Even their approximately 200 write ups for books that you can find in Arden Vul adds depth to everything, the histories of The Halls, the history of Arden and Vul themselves, and so much more. Plus the nice boosts the players can gain from some of them, let alone finding additional clues relevant to the over all story that are The Halls.

    Then there is the mapping. So many maps, with so many encounter areas! The system they have come up with seems simple, and effective, but even so, with so many locations, you still will need to get familiar with the abbreviations to navigate these with any speed. However, I have yet to find an error, I have used their system to find the locations of each of the many factions, and to get an idea of the areas they control, because many of them control areas on more than 1 level. I have found no mistakes yet.

    So while I was intimidated with all the information contained in this, getting ready to run it, making the handouts, learning the material for the different factions and personalities, as well as the history for the world provided, I feel ready. I feel I will do all of this material justice. I by no mean have it all memorized, but I am now familiar enough with the content, that I feel I can find it when I need to. The book marked PDF helps a good bit with this too, but it is by no means done to the level of being an index, so further familiarity is definitely going to be of help to me, so presumably you as well.

    I also bought the POD hard covers, all 5 volumes. As is par for the course for my POD order history from drivethru, for soft covers as well as hard covers like these are, they look just like the images, and are of good paper and binding quality, so I expect them to hold up as well as other books I have ordered 5+ years ago.

    I know the price point on these is rather high, but it is great content, with obvious well thought out writing and design, and I in no way regret buying this. I have thought ever since my first read through, and now think even more strongly, that this is an instant classic. ERP did a great job on this, and deserve to be proud of it. I look forward to creating our own memories with my own group of 7 in these halls, starting in just a few hours.

    Great job, ERP.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Halls of Arden Vul Complete
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    Interface: Cybernetics in Clement Sector
    Publisher: Independence Games
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/11/2019 13:12:18

    I was expectring this to be better than anything Mongoose did, like their Cybernetics book for 1E. Which I recommend you buy instead of this. This will only be of use to you if you use the Clement Sector as your campaign, or you want a pre written career path in Cybernetics. The Cyberware they have in the book is good, and they do a fair amount for eyes, arms, head and legs, but for the torso they only offer medichines and Dermal Armor options. Thats it. Plus Mongoose made more offerings for all parts. The author uses some key words that indicate to me that he is familair with Transhumanism, and the Celement Sector has a world dedicated to Transhumanism, but this book falls seriosuly short of giving any such offerings you see in other Transhhumanist offerings, such as Eclipse Phase and Mindjammer. They need to give serious consideration to stepping up their game with this book.



    Rating:
    [2 of 5 Stars!]
    Interface:  Cybernetics in Clement Sector
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    Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin (Swords and Wizardry)
    Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/23/2018 20:43:53

    Well written, well organized, nicely laid out. Artwork doesn't always maesure up to what we see in Paizo or WOTC, but still pretty good. Cartgograpy is very nicely done in most instances. Only one map seemed less cleanly done than the rest. I was able to easily copy all the maps in my Adobe Reader to use in VTT platforms. Magic items are not very numerous. The monsters seem to be wel balanced for what the party should be capable of doing at the given level and recommended numbers. Interesting NPC's and locations. Info all the way from the background setting to the specific locations helpful but not overwhelming. This will be easy for me to adapt to my own setting. The adventuyre uses a lot of familoiar tropes and locations, but the author gave a good effort at making them still likely to be a unique experience for even the more seasoned GM's (32 years of solid gaming here) in at least some of the encounters. If the adventure summary sounds like something you would like, I strongly believe you will not be disappointed with what you get out of this.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin (Swords and Wizardry)
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    Creator Reply:
    Thank you for taking the time to review. I really appreciate it.
    Western Maps: Bank Map Pack
    Publisher: D20 Cartographer
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 07/18/2016 20:39:40

    Two things. The frontal view in the PDF needs to be available in the VTT version. Second, they cartographer needs to get busy making more maps! I need a livery/stable, a blacksmith, Assayers office, a variety of forts, train station, and a bunch more!



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Western Maps: Bank Map Pack
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    30 Things Can Happen
    Publisher: Creative Mountain Games
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 04/04/2012 14:31:11

    This is the kind of product I love, tables that help me add elements to my games I would never think of on my own. Plus the author chose a nice selection of "open" art that almost always fits the section of tables it is inserted into, and the others are at least close. If you like to present opportunities to role play you will really like these tables, because most of these descriptions can drag an inquiring mind into a role play encounter that could be ran serious or even humorous. They can also easily turn into hooks for an off the cuff adventure scenario, or do some pre planning to turn them into planted hooks. If you love using tables to help inspire you, break those mental blocks, or to take even you as the GM in directions you don't know where they go, this is a PDF for you. Plus it gives your D30 purpose! Or if you don't own a D30 you can use the D6 and D10 method, which is made even easier because each Table is broken down into 3 sub tables of 10 items each. So roll the D6 to determine which of the 3 sub tables, then the D10 to get the specific result. I really feel you can't go wrong with this if you like using tables in the first place, and if you have never used tables before, this has a great chance of turning you into a fan of such products.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    30 Things Can Happen
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    Summer Tavern Special
    Publisher: Generic Universe Publishing
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 07/23/2009 02:03:36

    I am very glad to see a compilation of these start to appear, hopefully this means a POD versions is coming soon. The good thing about this compilation is it cuts down the overall page count by giving the SPARKS info only one time. If you already own some of these take note of the little blurb to e-mail GU about getting a coupon of some kind.

    For those of you who have yet to check these out, check the individual products for my reviews.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Summer Tavern Special
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    Level Up #1
    Publisher: Goodman Games
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/22/2009 16:24:19

    Wow! Talk about a lot of gaming goodness crammed into a small package for your money! Maps, rituals, an adventure, powers, new creatures, its all here! Nice layout and presentation, good size print text for easy reading. Definitely worth checking out, and I bet you will continue to return for more! I got mine at my LGS for $2, and used the coupon code inside to get this PDF for free. Definitely the best deal I have seen in a long time! I'm certainly looking forward to seeing more!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Level Up #1
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    The Black Ape
    Publisher: Generic Universe Publishing
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/22/2009 16:16:59

    You approach a tavern sign, with the painting of the head of a black ape on it. Your probably thinking, "Well, here is another tavern like the hundreds of others." Then you enter. Its not a tavern like the hundreds of others. In fact, you may feel like you have been transported to another part of the world, or maybe another world entirely. You could stay, and keep coming back, to enjoy the truly exotic foods and drinks available here, and other possible pleasures. Or you could get nosy and find out things you may regret finding out, or maybe lead to an exotic adventure of a lifetime! As usual for the products of this line, you get another "unique" location with unusual NPC's leading to several unexpected possibilities, friendships, and enemies. The only thing I would wish for is a developed menu of exotic foods to fit this place. Many are suggested, but a formal menu that I could print out with a "Todays Prices" column for me to fill in after printing it out would be a nice bonus. Plus a section in which I can add "Todays Specials" so I can add other exotic elements unique to my campaign, like my Halfling Stew or Kobold Pie. Definitely a Tavern with a surprise flavor to it.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    The Black Ape
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    The Lord's Kennel
    Publisher: Generic Universe Publishing
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/22/2009 16:05:14

    This is far more interesting than I initially thought it would be. I thought, "A dog kennel? How can that be interesting?" Well you find out! For one, it is a "Lords" kennel, so can be used as a vehicle to get PC's involved with the local nobility. They also have several other interesting hooks that can lead into fighting bandits and the like, as well as several other things I do not want to give spoilers for. So bottom line, this was not the boring dog kennel I feared it was going to be, it gave me at least 5 adventure hooks I think we would have a lot of fun playing out, with the potential of generating many more through play. So this product continues to be as enjoyable as the rest of the line, despite having such a boring face to it. Not to mention be a source of some interesting dogs for Rangers, Druids, and any other PC interested in having trained hunting/war dogs.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Lord's Kennel
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    Siarl's Herbs and Elixirs
    Publisher: Generic Universe Publishing
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/22/2009 15:56:23

    Out of all of these I think this is my favorite. Siarl is the classic enigmatic NPC with some big secrets that players may or may not ever find out. At the very least Siarl is a good person to go to for basic herbal supplies and elxirs that can help keep your PC's alive. Siarl is so much more though, so you may want to drop heavy hints to get your PC's to get to know Siarl even better.

    Siarl could be the party sponsor and even mentor, He is definitely a good person to make a friend and ally of, and the GM can definitely use him to create many adventure hooks and even use Siarl to save the party if its ever needed. The best part is he will be part of the "story", the PC's world, so if you ever do need someone who can save the parties butt, Siarl can be it, and it will make sense for a friend to come and save them.

    Several of the "hooks" provided will also make for some unique gaming experiences as well. So I really like this one because I see it becoming a central location and NPC to many of my future games, as well as a great way to introduce a wide range of hooks for my players.

    Siarl could also become an enemy of the PC's, but it definitely will not be a good day for them if he does.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Siarl's Herbs and Elixirs
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    Kagen's Books and Knowledge
    Publisher: Generic Universe Publishing
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/22/2009 15:44:12

    I am really enjoying the whole series, and this product is a prime example of why. You get a mapped layout of this establishment, and rather unique character background for Kagen, and several potential plot hooks. From simple to city shaking. One thing I would like to see is a library creation system. Maybe as a separate product? I have also suggested to the publisher/writer to eliminate the first 6 pages of his system info and just have that as a separate and free DL. Or just tell them to get it from Giors Glassworks, which is also free. As it is I think it gives an impression of padding the page count. If you end up liking these products like I do, and buying all of them, it just becomes a waste of repeated space, and a little bit of an extra pain when I print them out because I have to go into my printer settings and tell it to print page 7 to 12.

    So if your looking for a nice little bookstore, where PC's can go to do some research, or have research done for them, even the scrying kind, I think buyers will be as pleased with this product as I am.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Kagen's Books and Knowledge
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    Gior's Glassworks
    Publisher: Generic Universe Publishing
    by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/08/2009 19:49:10

    I agree with the previous reviewer. I also like the "system" the author came up with to help me easily determine skill levels within the context of my own games. I think an experienced GM will have no problems assigning attributes and levels based on the descriptions given and the needs of their particular scenarios in which they may use this resource.

    I snatched up this PDF due to recognizing the writer as the writer of work done for Necromancer Games, my favorite being Morrick Mansion. The authors attention to detail gives this PDF the same flavor and inspiration I found in his old module and look forward to checking out the other products his new company is offering.

    I do hope he gets some better art work, though. The half elven woman in particular is pretty poorly done with the shading making her look more like a diseased individual than anything else.

    I do like the map, including the "rough" look of it. I like things like this to look hand drawn, and its a style I hope he stays with in his other products.

    I would have liked for this to have gone into more detail about the glassblowing, because I think such details offer GM's more ideas for "jobs" for PC's to go on. However the details that are mentioned are accurate enough and can give thoughtful GM's a few adventure hooks.

    Nicely done, and I will be checking out the other products.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Gior's Glassworks
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