Quick Find
 Categories
     Sister sites
     Information
    See our Quickstart Guide for information on how to get started.

    Having Problems?
    • FAQ - our Frequently Asked Questions page.
    • Device Help - assistance for viewing your purchases on a tablet device.
    • Contact us if none of these answer your questions.

    Affiliate System - Click here for information about how you can get money by referring people to !

    Our Latest Newsletter
    Product Reviews
    Privacy Policy
    How to Sell on
    Convention Support Program


    RSS Feed New Product RSS Feed
    Back
    Other comments left by this customer:
    You must be logged in to rate this
    Spectacular Settings #2: King Crab Brewhouse
    Publisher: Headless Hydra Press
    by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/27/2021 22:25:12

    The location of the title is a crumbled, weatherworn island castle that has been turned into a brewhouse and tavern. As it falls far enough offshore to escape the King’s justice, the King Crab is a haven for sailors, smugglers, adventurers, pirates, and other sundry ne’er-do-wells. The thing that immediately jumps out is the beautiful map, a calling card of all Headless Hydra releases.

    King Crab’s owner, Cuthbeart ‘Cutter’ MacAimish, the bald figure of the fantasic cover, is no mere brewer; he’s also a self-taught potion-maker who sells his concoctions to the tavern’s patrons. He’s an interesting individual. It would have been easy to simply make him a salty seadog or a seedy character, but instead MacAimish is a learned individual and a serial entrepreneur for whom the brewhouse represents just the latest in a string of ventures. He has the making of great recurring character due to his varied contacts. Half a dozen of MacAimish’s potions and brews are described here, including Tonic of the Oarsmen (basically an adrenal rush, used to help oarsmen push past their limits of endurance) to Grog of the Merfolk (enabling imbiders to breathe underwater and comprehend Aquan). Every concoction comes with an illustration.

    Additional utility comes in the form of ten tavern encounters, ranging from a captain who has lost his ship to mutiny and promises a treasure map to anyone willing to help take it back to a desperate skipper who pleads for assistance as his anchored ship has been taken over by zombies.

    There’s little doubt King Crab Brewery will see plenty of use, especially but not exclusively in sea-going campaigns, as a place where characters can seek adventure, schedule meets with shady individuals, sell or buy illicit goods, seek respite from the law, or find captains who can offer passage with no questions asked.

    The only real complaint is that there’s a blank half page (an eighth of the total space devoted to text in this pdf) that could have been put to great use adding additional encounters or more detail on those already exist, some sample patrons, or some mystery related to the island (rumors of buried treasure or dungeons under the tavern, a hostile undead that wanders the shore bemoaning its inability to return to the sea and takes out its anger on sailors, and sonon) - something to add additional value and help bring the location further to life.

    As it is, the product is good. I certainly recommend it, especially for gamemasters running a seafaring campaign. But like a slightly watered-down beer, it leaves you bemoaning the lack of stronger flavour.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Spectacular Settings #2: King Crab Brewhouse
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Fall of the Fell Hammer
    Publisher: EBC Publishing
    by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/21/2021 20:02:38

    Fall of the Fell Hammer, designed for 3rd level characters, is officially the first quest in the epic Death of Divinity: Wrath of the World campaign, but it can be played as a stand alone and I am reviewing it as such.

    The adventure bills itself as an adventure based on creatures and tales from Greek myth. It boasts an impressive cover of an ancient temple’s entrance that certainly makes you want to strap on your cuirass, grab you Xiphos sword, and venture forth is search of an epic adventure that the storytellers will pass on for generations to come.

    The background is certainly epic in scope. The Gods are angered that their temple on Mount Athos has been allowed to fall to ruin and occupation by swarms of goblins ascending from the depths. Zeus has let his anger be known and demands that his servants lead an expedition to reclaim the temple. To do that, the heroes must venture into the temple and a subterranean causeway connecting it to a fallen, goblin-infested dwarfhold below. Thankfully, the means of doing that exists: The Fell Hammer, designed for just this eventuality, is secured in Prometheus’ shrine within the temple. Activate it, cut off the flow of goblin reinforcements, clear the temple, and the characters emerge as heroes. The stuff of legends!

    The design, however, is far more modest and doesn’t quite live up to such lofty heights. That’s not to say Fall of the Fell Hammer a bad, because its certainly not. Fall of the Fell Hammer is a perfectly serviceable low-level adventure that has its high points, but sadly doesn’t really leverage the strength of Ancient Greek lore in any meaningful way. Nothing in the flavor text evokes the color of the setting, and goblins and orcs don’t scream the Greece of Hercules or the Trojan Wars to me (it would have been a different story had they been described as fallen, subterranean satyrs and the remnants of a warband transformed into boar-men for defiling a priestess of Dionysus)

    That said, if you ignore the paper-thin nod to Greek culture and religion and look at it through the lens of a standard high fantasy adventure, Fall of the Fell Hammer comes off much better.

    While much of the dungeon is fairly standard fare there are some highlights, including a pretty fun fight against giant spiders around a web-shrouded statue of Zeus, and the scene in which the characters destroy the bridge has the potential to be suitably epic, perhaps with desperate PCs fending off a horde of goblins crossing the bridge while also trying to activate the hammer. The one scene where Greek lore is leveraged also happens to one of the encounters that stands out. It involves a member of an ancient magic guild that worship Prometheus in his guise as the former Mycian god of magic, members of whom wear shadowy robes made from the tattered remnants of Prometheus’ cloak. Nice! Its not really explained what the wizard is doing there and how he is co-existing with the goblins, but still.

    Fall of the Fell Hammer is very easy to run as the authors have written it almost in tutorial mode, in many cases reminding GMs rolls to be made and how to adjudicate scenes, making it ideal for novice gamemasters. Stats are accurate, editing is decent with no glaring errors, and layout is serviceable. The adventure comes with maps that can be inserted into Roll20 for online play. And they’re good maps, a distinct highpoint for the adventure. Sadly, there’s no interior artwork to bring the adventure to visual life.

    Fall of the Fell Hammer certainly isn’t Homeric, but it’s a decent low-level adventure that gains extra kudos for the epic nature of its climactic scene. And, since its Pay What You Want (recommended price $2) its certainly worth a look.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Fall of the Fell Hammer
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Sandbox Adventures #2: The Last Stand Tavern
    Publisher: Headless Hydra Press
    by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/13/2021 18:34:04

    If you’re looking for a roadside inn to plug into your game, look no further than the aptly named Last Stand Tavern, the second release in Headless Hydra Press’ Sandbox Adventures Line.

    The Last Stand Tavern was built 200 years ago on the foundations of an ancient ruin famous for being the site of a heroic stand against an overwhelming enemy (a fantasy Alamo, essentially). Broken remains of the curtain wall where the defenders fought and died still stand, surrounding the inn. Right of the bat, author Shane Collins has painted the picture of roadside inn infinitely more interesting than most of its kind in fantasy roleplaying games.

    The tavern’s history isn’t just for background colour, though. Instead, it forms the basis for a brief sidetrek that occurs when the basement wall collapses (the result of an earthquake or masonry giving way due to age), revealing an ancient crypt beyond. PCs are tapped to investigate and come into conflict with a new monster known as a Frozen Phantom, the undead and thoroughly corrupted remains of an ice mage from ages past. This scene adds value and depth to the pdf.

    The bulk of the product’s contents, naturally, focuses on detailing the tavern and its employees. There’s a lot of great detail here. Menu and room rates are written up as if on parchment paper signage, which can be printed and hand-out to players. We get d10 things that can happen to liven up an evening of booze-soaked revelry, ranging from a shady merchant trying to sell a scroll at a bargain-basement price to (literally) bumping into a disguised fugitive. And, best of all, four NPCS - owner, bartender, cook, and stableboy - are fleshed-out. Each has a detailed (and interesting) background, a secret to be revealed, and listing of possessions.

    Production values are extremely high. The cover is haunting and evocative, and interior art is well done. The high resolution battlemaps (day, night, winter, and collapsed basement) are full colour and beautifully rendered, and we also get an equally attractive hexplorer map of the region that places the tavern in its context, along a road in a frontier region.

    The only quibble, and it's a minor one based soleyly on semantics, comes as a result of it label as a sandbox adventure. Given how brief the basement crypt is, that's a bit of a misnomer. As I said, a minor quibble.

    The Last Stand Tavern has a lot going for it, not the least of which is a cast of colorful characters. Its depth ensures you’ll want to make it more than just a place to pass through in your campaign, but a recurring character in its own right.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Sandbox Adventures #2: The Last Stand Tavern
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Brancalonia - Spaghetti Fantasy Setting Book ENG
    Publisher: Acheron Books
    by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/09/2021 10:15:42

    Brancalonia: Spaghetti Fantasy

    Billing itself as a spaghetti fantasy, Brancalonia is based on Italian tradition, folklore, history, landscape, fiction and pop culture. It’s a setting unlike any we’ve seen in the English-speaking gaming world. But its appeal does not lie in being a novelty. Rather, Brancalonia is noteworthy because it’s a superlative game setting. Full stop.

    You know how there are shining knights riding majestically through the lands? In Brancalonia, player characters aren’t them. Instead, PCs are ‘knaves’, members of a company (known as a ‘band’) of mercenaries, rogues, and rascals engaged in often questionable jobs across the remains of an ancient kingdom, now in ruins. Knaves are hired to do all sorts of jobs, generally illicit or dangerous, that no one else wants to do.

    Unlike in high fantasy, we don’t find demi-humans for players to choose from in Brancalonia. Instead, there are a range of unique races specific to the setting: Humans; Gifted, humans born with a magical blessing and who usually bear a visible mark of their exceptionality; Morgants, 7 foot tall giants famed for brawling and drinking; Sylvans, the remnants of a race of hominids with traits more feral than humans; Marionettes, artificial beings crafted from wood (think Pinocchio); and Malebranche, devils that turned away from Lucifuge to once again walk under the sun.

    We also find 12 subclasses, one per core class: Pagan (barbarian); Harlequin, masked comedian (bard); Miraculist, destined one day to be a saint (cleric), Benandante, follower of the Old Way charged with protecting people from devils and hags (druid); Swordfighter (fighter), Friar, who believes a good shepherd must kick the wolf to defend the flock (monk); Knight Errand, the offspring of a fallen noble family (paladin); Matador, who captures and trains beasts for circuses and pit fighting (ranger); Brigand (thief), Superstitionist, a witch (sorcerer), and Jinx, a mystic who casts curses (warlock). Each has their own distinct appeal, and all evoke the unique atmosphere of Brancalonia.

    Rounding out character generation is a list of new personalities and backgrounds, ranging from ambulant – those who travel from town to town peddling their wares or abilities – to fugitives and toughs, as well as new feats, 15 in all.

    Brancalonia is low magic game; level cap is set at 6th, after that progression slows to a crawl in keeping with the tropes of the genres it is based upon. It’s a game where barroom brawling, dive games, partying and drinking are as important as fighting monsters and devilish villains. This is built directly into the mechanics of the game, with new situational rules and an emphasis on the recuperation period between adventures – here called the Revelry phase – where Knaves carouse in their Company Den. Dens can be improved with the addition of such things as a distillery, forge, black market, cantina, or stable.

    The book also includes a small but excellent bestiary with a dozen creatures which, when one considers most foes that knaves will confront will be human or unique monsters created by circumstance, seems about right to get the game started. Among those featured in the bestiary are befana (hags from Italian lore), the beautiful but predator half-snake anguana, and the powerful Malacada, devils that can leave Inferno for short periods of time to wreak destruction. There’s also a range of human opponents, like cutthroats, duellists, slickers (‘street magicians), and Royal Bounty Hunters.

    We are treated to an extensive 43-page gazetteer of Brancalonia (essentially the Italian peninsula) and its varied regions. We learn that the territories of Brancalonia and neighboring islands “are but minor possessions of the Empire of Altomagna, ceded to Queen Menalda of Catozza as a vassalic benefit a hundred years ago and never recovered, even after the dynastic line of the Catozzi was broken by intrigues, plots, and a dozen suitors.” With no one to claim the crown of Brancalonia, the Kingdom split into over a dozen independent regions which, in turn, are fragmented further into independent counties, duchies, baronies, municipalities and commercial leagues – a situation not dissimilar to medieval-renaissance Italy. And like Italy of that time, the people of Brancalonia can look back to a time in the distant past when the peninsula was the heart of a brilliant civilization, the ruins of which scatter the landscape as reminders of past glories. It’s a setting rich with intrigue, lore, and adventure potential.

    Also within these pages are seven adventures, designed to take Knaves to 6th level – essentially a full campaign. Each one offers different opportunities. All are whimsical, adventurous, and rollicking fun with tons of opportunity to roleplay and dive into action. There isn’t really a weak link among them.

    The writing is topnotch, full of charm and inspiration. Editing is flawless – you’d never know English was not the authors’ primary language. And visually, Brancalonia one of the most appealing rpg products I’ve seen in a long time, with stunning maps and artworks. it’s a pleasure both to read and look at.

    There are a lot of adjectives I can use to describe Brancalonia: endearing, fun-loving, exciting, innovative, colorful. All are accurate. But I’ll sum the setting up with one word: Spectacular.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Brancalonia - Spaghetti Fantasy Setting Book ENG
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Nothing but the Wind: A Call of Cthulhu Scenario
    Publisher: Chaosium
    by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/08/2021 21:12:21

    Nothing but the Wind is short, one-session, tale of frozen terror set in North America during the Dark Ages for Call of Cthulhu 7th edition.

    The players take the role of Vikings settlers on the continent (presumably along the shores of Newfoundland) where, its noted, relations between Norse newcomers and the Native population have been largely amicable. With an eye towards fostering continued warm relations, the player characters are tasked with investigating mysterious disappearances from nearby Native villages.

    The adventure begins with the party arriving by boat at Howling Rock, a village on the verge of extinction. Here, in true CoC fashion, they interact with some creepy people, and then over the course of a few tension-filled days go about investigating the village and nearby woods and ultimately slaying the beast(s) bedeviling the region.

    Author JP Stephens has crafted a fun, if decidedly deadly, adventure here. Player characters will know the culprit almost from the very beginning (players may in fact suspect it from the very get-go), and there is only so much plot you can fit into a handful of pages, but Stephens does an excellent job at creating a supernatural slow burn.

    With an eye towards quick play, Stephens has provided four well-designed pre-generated characters and offers suggested timeframes for each scene – you can sit down and run this adventure in less than two hours, which makes Nothing but the Wind ideal for conventions or pick-up games.

    The only drawback of this focus on instant playability is a lack of detail. The adventure certainly can be run as is (I did), but Keepers may want to invest some time in fleshing things out a bit. Another drawback is the pricetag: $4.99 is too steep for such a brief adventure, especially one without art.

    Relying more on mood than in-depth story, Nothing but the Wind may be short but packs a Cthulhu-sized punch with a number of scenes that have the potential to stick out well after the dice have stopped rolling.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Nothing but the Wind: A Call of Cthulhu Scenario
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    [ICONS]Improbable Tales: Helicarrier Heist
    Publisher: Fainting Goat Games
    by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/30/2021 09:16:49

    The helicarrier has been a part of Marvel comics lore since the 1960s (remember when it was held aloft by helicopter-like rotors?) but rose to new heights in the public consciousness since being gloriously re-imagined in 2012’s The Avengers. As author Mike Lafferty accurately points out, “Whirling turbines, tons of armed troops, and the constant peril of crashing to earth make a helicarrier an ideal setting for a superhero game.” It seems almost inevitable that someone set a superhero adventure aboard one. Fainting Goat Games is the first with this short scenario that can be played in an evening or two.

    It would have been easy to remake the now infamous scene from The Avengers where heroes have to fend off villains assaulting the vessel. Lafferty went another, more imaginative, and in the end, more rewarding route. He elected to have the heroes involved in a heist aboard a helicarrier, essentially a role reversal from the movie. In this adventure, the heroes are tasked by a government organization Bureau of Aberrations, Mutations, and the Fantastic (BAMF; any comic fan worth his salt gets the winking reference) with infiltrate the flying HQ of a super-science criminal organization to steal a dire world-ending device and escape without getting caught.

    The criminal organization? NEST (Network for the Expansion of Strategic Terrorism), clearly and cleverly modelled on COBRA from G.I. Joe with their Beetle Soldiers (grunts), Wasp Agents (elite troops with jetpacks), allied ninja-in-white (in this case, a woman named Snow Claw), and the masked NEST Leader who just coincidentally looks a lot like COBRA Commander. Its an homage, but a brilliant one.

    The object of the heist is the robot known as Unity, an Ultron pastiche, but a number of alternate McGuffins are offered, ranging from the classic ray-gun that induces volcanoes to erupt to a frozen-but-still-alive golden age hero.

    Want to get the action started quickly? The Helicarrier Heist has you covered by presenting a team of pre-generated characters based on public domain heroes: Green Turtle, Black Fury, Nightbird, and The Shield. All are well designed, and obviously useful beyond immediate application in this adventure. A cool addition are the sidebars detailing in brief the publishing history of each these Golden Age heroes; a nice touch.

    Lafferty packs the adventure with exciting possibilities. What happens if the PCs are captured? He offers suggestions. Want to recreate elements of that thrilling scene at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier? He offers suggestions. Want to run the adventure where the PCs are villains? Again, suggestions. Every angle is covered.

    It’s clear Lafferty is passionate about comic books. Its evident in the joyful way he writes and in the many Easter eggs keen-eyed readers will find throughout their adventure (the heroes’ contact, by way of example, is Colonel Steven Romita, honoring legendary father and son comic artists John Romita Sr. and Jr., and of course BAMF is the sound effect that accompanies Nightcrawler’s teleportation). Helicarrier Heist is as much fun to read as it is to play. The artwork throughout shows a similar level of passion and skill. Fantastic maps of the helicarrier’s varied levels are provided, including player friendly ones (courtesy of BAMF) that show general layout but without detail, vital tools that allow characters to plan their insertion – a trope of the heist genre - before the action begins. Because once the action begins, it’s really on – the thrills come fast and furious, culminating in a no-holds-barred showdown on the flight deck.

    An action-heist superhero adventure, the Helicarrier Heist is a thrilling and unique experience, an extremely worthy love letter to The Avengers. You won’t spend a better three hours at the gaming table.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    [ICONS]Improbable Tales: Helicarrier Heist
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    In The Land Of The Dead God
    Publisher: Seedling Games
    by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/13/2021 08:11:19

    With dino-chases, unscrupolus characters, ancient ruins to explore, and a dynamic setting, this adventure is as refershing as a spring in the Chihuahuan Desert.

    The setting for the aptly named In the Land of the Dead God is the Tuje Wasteland, whose many ruins are the remnants of a once-thriving civilization was destroyed by cataclysm that saw cities reduced to rubble and the landscape to barren wastes. While we don’t get much information on the area – nor do we need it for the purposes of this adventure – what we do get hints at something pretty special. Organizations such as the Eternal Scroll finance expeditions into the ruins to retrieve magic of the past. Feathered dinosaurs have been domesticated as mounts. The Golden Claw, a notorious guild of merchants, leverages any means for wealth. One hopes this setting will be explored further in the future (incidentally, the author freely offers copious details on the Tuje Wasteland online).

    In the Land of the Dead God begins with the PCs crossing the wasteland, headed for the market town of Yehyede-hogo – several hooks offer potential reasons why - when they are attacked by an enormous flying lizard the size of a giraffe, a Hatzegopteryx (a dinosaur that was once very real in our world).

    Part 2 takes place in Yehyede-hogo, which has been carved into the rock walls of a canyon. This settlement drips with character; two thumbs up for originality. This section is somewhat freeform, with characters having the opportunity to explore a bit before being hired to take on a mission: a gnome treasure hunter, Pidan, who has gone missing on an expedition funded by the Golden Claw, and he has friends who want him brought back safely. They’ll likely also meet the villain of the piece, the leader of the Golden Claw, Ziria, who comes across as a narrow-eyed, Clint Eastwood character – cold, deadly, cunning. Indeed, author Sanae Rosen has a knack for creating fully realised characters.

    The characters then travel by dinosaur back to the site where Pidon disappeared. There, they explore a ruined building, discover a mysterious crystal of immense power (a McGuffin for future adventure, perhaps), and face off against a pack of deadly raptors, as dangerous as those from Jurassic Park but accurately depicted as feathered.

    That all is not as it seems is revealed during the return to civilization, when the party is attacked by the Golden Claw and an exciting chase – facilitated by additional mounted combat rules - atop dinosaurs ensues. This scene is a suitable climax for the adventure.

    Visually, In the Land of the Dead God is very attractive. A beautiful and evocative cover hints at the adventure being something of a neo-western dressed in fantasy clothes, and interior art – a mixture of black and white line art and color illustrations – maintains the high standards throughout. Handouts and half a dozen excellent maps help to bring the adventure to life and to ease the burden of the harried gamemaster.

    One also finds a useful appendix of additional shops, should the PCs linger browsing in the market, and a couple of new monsters in the form of the aforementioned Hatzegopteryx and the region’s ubiquitous riding dinosaur.

    In the Land of the Dead God packs the dramatic punch of a true western, with a solid story, a swaggering bad guy, and a barren frontier where survival comes before right and wrong. Best of all, the adventure moves along at a brisk pace - there’s nary a slowpoke moment in this exciting yarn.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    In The Land Of The Dead God
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    In The Land Of The Dead God - Iconic Edition
    Publisher: Seedling Games
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/12/2021 21:01:24

    The setting for the aptly named In the Land of the Dead God is the Tuje Wasteland, whose many ruins are the remnants of a once-thriving civilization was destroyed by cataclysm that saw cities reduced to rubble and the landscape to barren wastes. While we don’t get much information on the area – nor do we need it for the purposes of this adventure – what we do get hints at something pretty special. Organizations such as the Eternal Scroll finance expeditions into the ruins to retrieve magic of the past. Feathered dinosaurs have been domesticated as mounts. The Golden Claw, a notorious guild of merchants who leverage any means for wealth. One hopes this setting will be explored further in the future (incidentally, the author freely offers copious details on the Tuje Wasteland online).

    In the Land of the Dead God begins with the PCs crossing the wasteland, headed for the market town of Yehyede-hogo – several hooks offer potential reasons why - when they are attacked by an enormous flying lizard the size of a giraffe, a Hatzegopteryx (a dinosaur that was once very real in our world).

    Part 2 takes place in Yehyede-hogo, which has been carved into the rock walls of a canyon. This settlement drips with character; two thumbs up for originality. This section is somewhat freeform, with characters having the opportunity to explore a bit before being hired to take on a mission: a gnome treasure hunter, Pidan, who has gone missing on an expedition funded by the Golden Claw, and he has friends who want him brought back safely. They’ll likely also meet the villain of the piece, the leader of the Golden Claw, Ziria, who comes across as a narrow-eyed, Clint Eastwood character – cold, deadly, cunning. Indeed, author Sanae Rosen has a knack for creating fully realised characters.

    The characters then travel by dinosaur back to the site where Pidon disappeared. There, they explore a ruined building, discover a mysterious crystal of immense power (a McGuffin for future adventure, perhaps), and face off against a pack of deadly raptors, as dangerous as those from Jurassic Park but accurately depicted as feathered.

    That all is not as it seems is revealed during the return to civilization, when the party is attacked by the Golden Claw and an exciting chase – facilitated by additional mounted combat rules - atop dinosaurs ensues. This scene is a suitable climax for the adventure.

    Visually, In the Land of the Dead God is very attractive. A beautiful and evocative cover hints at the adventure being something of a neo-western dressed in fantasy clothes, and interior art – a mixture of black and white line art and color illustrations – maintains the high standards throughout. Handouts and half a dozen excellent maps help to bring the adventure to life and to ease the burden of the harried gamemaster.

    One also finds a useful appendix of additional shops, should the PCs linger browsing in the market, and a couple of new monsters in the form of the aforementioned Hatzegopteryx and the region’s ubiquitous riding dinosaur.

    In the Land of the Dead God packs the dramatic punch of a true western, with a solid story, a swaggering bad guy, and a barren frontier where survival comes before right and wrong. Best of all, the adventure moves along at a brisk pace - there’s nary a slowpoke moment in this exciting yarn.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    In The Land Of The Dead God - Iconic Edition
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    [M&M3e] Youniversal Monsters Omnibus
    Publisher: Fainting Goat Games
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/08/2021 20:18:49

    Creature-features meet superheroics.

    The Youniversal Monster Omnibus (a cool nod at Universal Studios, responsible for most of cinema’s classic movie monsters) is a collection of Fainting Goat Games’ pdf series containing portrayals of eight legendary monsters. Each one comes fully fleshed out, with stats (ranging from PL9 to PL14), with detailed personalities and adventure seeds that, in many cases, presents the creature in refreshing new light.

    *Dracula, of course, needs no introduction. As one would expect, he’s presented here as a PL14 upper-tier monster, a threat worthy of even mighty superheroes.

    *Mummies are a classic horror monster, shambling undead shrouded in funerary wrappings and animated by ancient magic. You could use them as mindless foes, sure, but a far better option for terrorising your costumed heroes is to make the mummy a powerful and intelligent sorcerer-priest or pharaoh hailing from a civilization long buried under the sands of Egypt. The adventure ideas provide plenty of inspiration for doing just that in a four-coloured supers world.

    *As fans of Hammer Horror flicks know, Victor Frankenstein created not one but two golems from reanimated dead flesh. But Hammer got it wrong; ‘Adam’ (Frankenstein’s Monster) and ‘Eve’ (The Bride of Frankenstein) are not just immensely strong, but also highly intelligent.

    *Werewolves are the living manifestation of the savagery, the bestial nature, that lies within all of us. As such, they’re great villains or tragic heroes (look no further than the classic comic series Werewolf by Night).

    *The Gill Creature is the classic Creature from the Black Lagoon of B-movie cinema, an aquatic man-beast – a mutant human or a lost evolutionary link from when ancient humanity left the ocean to become land-dwelling creatures. In a cool twist, the adventure ideas posit that the Gill Creature is highly intelligent; one sees the man-beast capturing nuclear weapons from submarines with an eye towards detonating them an unleashing a Kaiiju.

    *The Abominable Snowman – more appropriately known as the Yeti – is the legendary cryptid hominid of the Himalayas. In the West, the Abominable Snowman is thought of as little more than a beast. In the East, however, they are often attributed with mystic abilities and considered defenders of sacred places. That’s the tact YOUniversal Monsters endorses.

    *One wouldn’t immediately associated Jack Frost and Krampus as classic movie monsters, but they are staples of folklore and fit in nicely among this cast of threats. Jack Frost is the living spirit of winter and has a reputation as both a sinister prankster (representing the cruelness of the season) and a mischievous protector of children. Krampus is another holiday-themed monster, but unlike Jack Frost there are no redeeming qualities about this fiend; he mercilessly hunts down children on the naughty list, stuff them in his sack and later devours them for Christmas dinner. Yikes! If that as a modus operandi, your heroes don’t want to punch Krampus in the face, they’re not worthy of the name.

    Author Jacob Blackmon’s writing is evocative, thoughtful, and entertaining, proving that monsters – even dead ones – don’t have to be lifeless. He clearly put a lot of thought into the adventure seeds (better described as adventure outlines, as they are several paragraphs in length), which often play against expectations and elevate the monsters to new heights. Blackmon shows intimate awareness with mechanics as well, as the stats are top notch.

    Entries are brought to life in breathtaking artwork, all save Dracula by Blackmon himself (the Prince of Vampires, for those keeping score, was illustrated by Dionysis Jones)

    If you want to liven your superhero game with supernatural villains and desiccated corpses or launch a campaign of grim monster hunters combating ancient evils, Youniversal Monsters Omnibus is a must buy.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    [M&M3e] Youniversal Monsters Omnibus
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Sandbox Adventures #3: Hunted on the Snow Barrens
    Publisher: Headless Hydra Press
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/04/2021 21:33:15

    Hunted on the Snow Barrens is a 12-page, 5E module for 5th level characters written by Shane Collins for Headless Hydra Press’ Sandbox Adventures line.

    A remote village in the desolate north has been plagued by animal attacks, driven to madness by an ancient god that lies dormant – but stirring - beneath the ice. The PCs are asked to put an end to the ruthless assault, inadvertently placing themselves into the middle of a personal animus between a paranoid, schizophrenic druid (who happens to be trying to revive the ancient god, Zovlidar) and a village headman with secrets of her own.

    While the core of the adventure will ultimately take place within an ice cavern complex, Hunted on the Snow Barrens is far from a simple straight forward cave-delve, nor is it a linear in design. The first portion sees the party travel through the wilderness (brought to life with a fantastic, full colour hexplotation map) made dangerous by raging beasts and the ever-present threat of blizzards. Excellent blizzard progress mechanics make winter storms a genuine threat, rather than a mere nuisance. Glimpses of monsters through the driving snow, menacing footprints and fresh kills, and bone-jarring cold that’s as much a predatory as any Arctic wolf – if run aptly, the journey comes across as grim and deadly.

    The ice cave, where the balance of the adventure takes place, is a well-designed eight room complex with an engaging mix of terrain challenges combats. It’s thoughtful and has excellent internal consistency. The climax of the adventure brings the simmering hatred between the druid and the village headman to boil, opening up the opportunity for interesting roleplaying as the PCs are forced to make a difficult choice that may test their morals.

    In addition to the five pages of actual adventure, Hunted on the Snow Barrens includes two new magic items (frost fang and cloak of eternal summer); the northern owl bear, a new monster that blends owl bear with polar bear (and which will likely splatter the white snow with PCs’ blood if their not cautious); and stats for all monsters found within the adventure, so there’s no need to flip through other books.

    Production values are top-notch. Its beautifully illustrated, layout is professional and user-friendly, and maps - including three high resolution battlemaps of the ice cavern (day, night, labeled) – are stunning.

    Hunted on the Snow Barrens hits all the beats of a great D&D dungeon crawl —a fight atop a rickety rope bridge spanning a steam-filled crevasse, pulling a magic blade from the ice, a chanting ritual to a fell deity – but also has an interest in characterization and atmosphere that separates it from the pack. It’s obvious Shane Collins was having terrific fun with Arctic genre staples.

    Easy to plug into any northern campaign, Hunted on the Snow Barrens is as refreshing as a flicker of warmth in a cold, cold world.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Sandbox Adventures #3: Hunted on the Snow Barrens
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    The Warlock Returns Issue #01
    Publisher: Arion Games
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/01/2021 09:31:47

    From 1984 to 1986, Penguin Books and Games Workshop published 13 issues of Warlock, a magazine devoted to the Fighting Fantasy Books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. Warlock Returns is the spiritual successor of that long-gone publication, a quarterly devoted to Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG. The Fighting Fantasy Books were a cherished party of my childhood, so I was eager to see if Warlock Returns lived up to my nostalgia-fuelled expectations.

    Warlock #1 contains:

    Denizens of the Pit: The inaugural edition of this regular bestiary column details the three races of chaos dragons. Legend holds that when Death walked the lands and breathed chaos into hidden places slumbering dragons were affected, transforming them into the various species of chaos dragons – the bilious Yellow Dragon, sinewy Orange Dragon, and the corrosive Purple Dragon, all of them warped by hideous mutation (roll on a chart; results ranging from tentacles to a breath of sulphur). Each entry hints at adventure by providing colorful lore regarding where these loathsome beasts have spread their foul influence. I love the originality of this article. Jungle Mania: short, one-page article that offers equipment for use in preparing for expeditions into the wilder parts of Titan, including mosquito netting, mosquito repellant, machete (as a short sword, but +1 damage vs. plants and -1 damage against all others; clever) and blowguns. Sizing Up Monsters: practical, well-considered advice for measuring adversary power levels to ensure balanced and enjoyable adventures. Great advice (especially for new Directors) offered in a really fun style. Welcome to Arion is an eight-page adventure. Essentially, a playful god of mischief (think Mr. Myxlpyx from DC Comics) has decided the city of Arion is too orderly, too boring. To spice things up, he has placed a curse upon the city’s residents. Characters have to race around the city, solving a variety of riddles, in order to satisfy the god’s playful impulses and free Arion of the dark magic that has shrouded it. It’s a decent enough piece, and certainly boasts a unique set-up, though it really begs to have been fleshed out further. Suggested Reading Material: What happens when a room description mentions a bookcase filled with exotic tomes and one of the players has the nerve to inquire about their contests? This article rides to the rescue, with 20 sample books. Very useful, and perhaps leading to new adventures.
    Notes and Letters from Arion provides 20 scripts that can be found on corpses, while picking pockets, or in a writing desk. They can used to add colour or inspire adventure; either way, they’re valuable. Another useful resource for Directors. Authentic Chinese weapons, ranging from the Jian (a double-bladed sword) and fearsome Fue (wicked polearms, their blades decorated with mythic monsters) to the Shengbiao (a dart affixed to a long rope) and the famous dao (short sword). Accurate and balanced, this is an outstanding article. In their Element, a map with brief room descriptions for an elemental-themed dungeon. Great inspiration for an adventure if the GM is willing to put some elbow grease into it. The map is pretty ingenious as it incorporates into its design symbols for the four elements, as well as the metals copper, silver, gold and platinum. The Legend of Gareus, a comic strip featuring the cowardly anti-hero Gareus. The art is good, and there are a few chuckles to be had here. Torra, a planet for Stellar Adventures. Ash and wind blow across great expanses of barren, inhospitable desert between the handful of domed cities. Residents of these cities are little more than prisoners; for most, travel between districts, let alone between cities, is severely restricted, and venturing off-world is virtually unheard of. The privileged wealthy classes maintain control through jackbooted law enforcement. The pressure being placed upon the lower classes is slowly building to a boil, and rebellion is a distinct possibility. The article forms the foundation of something interesting -uncaring oligarchs oppressing the masses in the cities and Mad Max-like nomads wandering the wastes between - just awaiting development by a Director and his players. It should be noted, however, that the setting isn’t complete; Warlock #2 includes factions on planet, necessary to providing a holistic view of the planet and its adventuring potential.
    *Rounding out the zine is a well-designed character sheet

    With well-written articles (several of them rules agnostic, making them useful in any fantasy rpg) and solid artwork, Warlock #1 more than lived up to my expectations. It’s a fine publication, a must for AFF Directors and of interest to gamers of other fantasy systems as well.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Warlock Returns Issue #01
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    [ICONS]Improbable Tales: Against the Sky Pirates!
    Publisher: Fainting Goat Games
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/29/2020 17:44:33

    Everyone loves jetpacks, right? And, with that given, what could be cooler than pirates wearing jetpacks? That’s the central conceit of the Against the Sky Pirates, an ICONS adventure by Fainting Goat Games.

    It’s clear the designers (Mike Lafferty, Jason Tondro, Bryanna Hitchcock) are fans of comics, not just from their obvious passion for the subject but also from the Easter eggs keen-eyed readers will find throughout their adventure (the heroes’ contact, by way of example, is Colonel Steven Romita, honoring legendary father and son comic artists John Romita Sr. and Jr.). Their text is fun and lively, written in a casual style that makes it easy and enjoyable to read the adventure.

    This in an adventure in three scenes. The premise is simple: a gang of modern-day buccaneers, the jetpack wearing Sky Pirates, need to be brought to justice, and our eagle-scout-evil-fighters are tapped with the task. A tip that suggests the thieves will next be targeting a swanky outdoor fundraising event sees the characters going undercover as wait staff. The resulting fight likely leads to an exciting aerial chase (cause, what’s cooler than strapping on a jetpack and throwing punches midflight?) that culminates aboard the pirates’ plane. The adventure does an excellent job of suggesting ways of raising the drama and enriching the scene while flying and fighting through the city. In Scene Two, the heroes infiltrate the pirates’ Aerie, an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of the city. The final (optional) scene sees the heroes infiltrating or attacking (the choice is theirs) the Sky Pirates’ island headquarters.

    The majority of the villainy are jetpack bearing Sky Pirates and their leadership, Captain Bloodhawk (a former spec ops soldier who chews scenery and channels the pirates of yore with a full-on beard, cutlass and hook hand, naturally) and the gunslinging Commander Kraken. That said, other villains appear to spice up the proceedings, including Doctor Radium, a criminal mastermind since the 1880s that uses Martian technology from the 1898 Martian invasion of Earth (as seen in War of the Worlds), and The Well-Read Baron, a Batman-style themed villain - and potential unlikely ally for the PCs – with a raffish green who steals literary-related treasures (the writers recommend he be played like a cross between Catwoman and Diane Chambers of Cheers).

    The designers have also seen fit to include a full roster of sample PCs: the bowman Ballistic, the armour-wearing playboy-genius-industrialist Blue Knight, heroes-in-miniature Hornet and Shrinker, patriotic super-solder The Veteran, and former Russan spy Red Shadow. Clearly pastiches of the Avengers, they are nonetheless well-designed with interesting backgrounds.

    The appendix includes a very useful sky pirate generator (name, nickname, signature weapon, accent, catch phrase, etc.) allowing you to quickly roll up an individual on the fly. And what if the heroes are somehow captured by Dr. Radium? Where does the villain take them? Roll up a headquarters using a random generator. It’s a neat touch that helps harried GMs, and of course is a resource that can be used over and over again.

    The artwork is overwhelmingly excellent, from the evocative cover to the character portraits. Maps have been provided for every scene (the casino garden party, and the Sky Pirate’s jet and island fortress) and all are excellently rendered. Another nod to the designers’ love of comic books is found at the end of the adventure in the form of a cartoon like the old Twinkie ads found in Marvel comics of the 70s and early 80s.

    Against the Sky Pirates is a near perfect superhero adventure, with exciting set-piece scenes, cool villains, and plenty of colour. I can sum of Against the Sky Pirates in one word: Excelsior!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    [ICONS]Improbable Tales: Against the Sky Pirates!
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Delve - Second Edition
    Publisher: FeralGamersInc
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/20/2020 09:28:27

    You awaken on a beach surrounded by the debris from a wrecked ship, exhausted and with little more than the shirts on your back. Welcome to the island of Cragbarren. Welcome to Delve 2e.

    As the game’s title suggests, dungeon-crawling plays a prominent part in the game. But there’s a very real reason for it in Delve: the players are on a resource-poor island, and indeed start with nothing save that which they were washed ashore with, so dungeon-crawling is about acquiring means of survival and betterment. The theme of the game is survival and exploration, so the setting leans toward a gritty and dark tone.

    Mechanically, Delve2e is more sophisticated that AD&D but less complex than 3e, with a system that’s almost a love child between AD&D and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I like both games, so I found the system appealing.

    Character generation is somewhat narrative in that part of it unfolds during initial gameplay. After selecting race and class, followed by determining ability scores and skills through a point-buy system, characters find themselves in media res on a ship breaking apart in the surf off a dangerous island. Why where they aboard ship? Decide now. As for trappings, they only have a few randomly items in their pockets upon washing ashore and that which can be salvaged from a shipwreck. It’s a fun way to begin.

    Delve 2e boasts a number of refreshing and noteworthy mechanics. Armour, for example, not only grants an AC bonus but also has its own hit points that can soak the damage. Eventually, armour will be degraded and eventually become useless. Ominously, with the lack of smiths on Cragbarren, armour is hard to come by.

    Also adding to the gritty feel is a random timer mechanic used to determine when a light source – candle, torch, or lantern - goes out, and as a result PCs will never know exactly when they will be left in the dark. That adds to the drama and challenge of dungeon-crawling. Nice!

    Bartering plays an important role in the game. As there is no civilzation to speak of, coins have little value on Cragbarren, save as a source of metal. Instead, objects have a barter index score based on how useful it is for survivors. Fuel and food, for example, are far more valuable than even the rarest gemstone. For the same reason, crafting and tinkering is more important in Delve 2e than in most FRPGs.

    Cragbarren is a compelling setting: a rugged island at the edge of a sea lane used by sailors to avoid a frightening Eldritch Mist. Save for a village of shipwreck survivors, Wreck Haven, the island has no civilization to speak of. What it does have is lots of monsters, ruins, and a compelling backstory that can be uncovered through exploration.

    Delve 2e clearly emphasizes low-level play focused on survival, and yet Delve 2e’s greatest weakness is the lack of fully fleshed-out introductory adventure to get one started and assist gamemasters in evoking the theme of the game and its rules. And there was a perfect opportunity to do just that, as shipwrecked characters have to find their way off the beach through a series of caves. Instead, the game presents the journey through the cave complex as a prose tutorial for gamemasters. Its a missed opportunity. Curiously, there is a short adventure in the tome, The City of Stench, but it’s a high-level, campaign capping piece. The lack of introductory scenario is not a gamebreaker by any stretch, and resources are available from the publisher to overcome this challenge, but it is something of an oversight.

    In a similar vein, while the bestiary is pretty complete with several dozen monsters, you’ll note that monsters suitable for low-level characters are under-represented. You can make do with what’s there, and certainly the system is easy enough to allow a gamemaster to whip up his own challenges, but again it appears as something of an oversight.

    Formatting and layout are well done, and the artwork employed is consistently nice. Delve 2e is a professional-appearing, visually appealing product. Unfortunately, editing is lacking in some areas, and some rule subsets – notably armour degradation through combat – needs to be clearer.

    All in all, FeralGamersInc. delivers with Delve2e an enjoyable game that’s full of imaginative ideas and gaming potential. There’s much about the game that I genuinely enjoyed. It feels fresh, with a rule system boasting pared down magic and mechanics to make a survival story practical and a setting that begs for adventure.

    If you want to play a fantasy game where survival comes before the heroics, Delve 2e may well be for you.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Delve  - Second Edition
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    The Helm of Radiance - Adventure for 5E
    Publisher: Earl of Fife Games
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 08/04/2020 21:10:35

    The Cavern of Whispers is said to be haunted by malevolent, restless souls that jealously guard an artifact known as the Helm of Radiance. Many have dared to brave the cave in the hopes of riches and power, none has succeeded. Will your PCs succeed where others have failed? Find out in this six-page, 5e sidetrek/expanded encounter for 1st and 2nd level from Earl of Fife Games.

    I can’t give much away without spoiling the adventure’s central twist, but it’s imaginative, fun, and gets huge kudos for playing against expectations. Also, of note, one can overcome the final challenge in a number of ways, perhaps excluding combat – a nice change of pace.

    While a couple of head scratching plot points need addressing by the GM, they are easy enough to correct and don’t detract from the overall experience.

    The Helm of Radiance may not suit the tastes of those who like gritty or grim gaming, but younger players in particular should enjoy the experience.

    Editing and formatting are very good and the pdf sports nice full-color artwork.

    Cody Leigh has delivered a rather enjoyable side trek that serves as a change of pace. It demonstrates a grasp of 5e rules, some interesting twists, and is inexpensive. Worth looking at for an hour or so of gaming.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    The Helm of Radiance - Adventure for 5E
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Slaves to Fate - Adventure for Symbaroum
    Publisher: Free League Publishing
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/20/2020 10:57:07

    Slaves to Fate is a 14-page adventure for Symbaroum that can be used as a stand-alone scenario or, more ideally, as the prelude to the Forever Winter saga.

    In Slaves to Fate players find themselves at the center of a dire prophesy that leads to a frozen apocalypse known as the Forever Winter. Its also a dark and unforgiving adventure set in a dark and unforgiving setting, which by the way is part of its considerable appeal.

    As the module begins, the PCs are slaves of a logging expedition intending to harvest lumber from the Everdark, a strange and horrifying forest. We’re quickly introduced to a new starvation rule which sets the tone for the adventure to follow; players will instantly realize they are in for a test of survival. While many other adventures have begun with PCs as slaves, its handled far better here than in most as players are given wide latitude in how they want to plot their escape. Its also dramatic: just as they begin to affect their escape the camp is set upon by beastmen that savagely rip everyone to bloody pieces. The newly-freed slaves must dive deeper into the forests if they wish to survive. Love that opening scene!

    One of escapees—either a player character or NPC—is secretly an agent of a cult dedicated to bringing on the Forever Winter. This individual, known as the betrayer, secretly guides to party to a shrine deep in the forests where the ancient prophesy will be realized. There’s a wonderful opportunity for roleplaying here for a player who secretly takes this role, and because he is being controlled by a magical amulet which releases its hold once the Forever Winter is unleashed the character can continue forth in the campaign as a standard PC.

    Here we’re also introduced to the Corruption rule, which tracks party members as they slowly fall under the sway of the amulet and become vassals in its ploy. Rolls are made but players shouldn’t know for what, which may cause paranoia among players. Adding to the paranoia is the sense that nature itself is against them: trees seek to entomb them, wolves attack, and redcaps (fey of the forest) shadow their moves.

    The adventure culminates as the Forever Winter is unleashed. PCs are helpless to stop it; like the coming of seasons it is inevitable. Players may well feel a sense of doom and failure, but there is also the promise of a thrilling saga to come.

    Layout is solid, with beautiful artwork bringing the adventure to life in all is dark glory. There are some editing and spelling mistakes, but they’re minor an easily overlooked for the strong storyline.

    The best thing about this adventure? The grim mood, reminiscent of dark folklore, and the sense that one’s existence hangs on a razor-thin edge. Huge kudos for the atmosphere.

    As a stand-alone adventure Slaves to Fate is a very good outing, but it truly comes into its own as the launch of an epic campaign.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Slaves to Fate - Adventure for Symbaroum
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Creator Reply:
    Thanks so much for your review. We've went through the document and done another editing pass. We've caught several things that we overlooked. Hopefully this will make the document a solid 5/5 :) -- Jason
    Displaying 1 to 15 (of 16 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  [Next >>] 
    Back
    0 items