D20 Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet is a short product from LPJ Design. The PDF is just over 600 kilobytes in size, and is twelve pages in length, including a page for the OGL. No bookmarks are given.
The first page of the product is done on a tan background, as though it were on parchment, and has an outlined picture of two lovers (presumably Romeo and Juliet themselves) embracing. All of the subsequent pages have borders of this color along the top and bottom. No printer-friendly version of the book is presented.
The book opens with an introduction talking about the themes and history of the play. After a short cast listing, almost half of the book is then spent recapping the plot of each act. While I can see why this was done, this overview of the play should have been much briefer than it was; synopses of this play can be found any of a thousand places, so making half of the book into one seems wasteful.
After this, coverage is given to a few items from the play (such as Tybalt's sword) before it moves on to stat blocks for the cast. Each such character has three stat blocks given, each two levels higher than the preceding one so that this can be used at varying levels. All of these are low-level, however, with only one character being 10th level. Unfortunately, all of these stat blocks are riddled with errors. From incorrect Challenge Ratings to incorrect hit points, these don't seem to have been edited at all, and are presented quite poorly.
The book ends with three story seeds that can be used to make a game out of the play. The first one suggests running the play as written, with the PCs being unnamed supporting characters. The second, and best, idea is that the seemingly-benevolent Friar is actually a villain manipulating things behind the scenes, and only the PCs can stop him. The last idea is to just use the play as a backdrop, with the PCs playing in the war between the two families.
When all is said and done, this product doesn't live up to its potential. Instead of wasting space recapping the play, it should have gone right into character stats and flavor text describing each character's role in the events. The mechanics should have been edited much more than they were. Finally, more should have been written on how the PCs can get involved. Like the play, D20 Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet is a tragedy.
<b>LIKED</b>: The second story idea, which reintroduces an established character as a secret villain, was very well done.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: It seemed somewhat wasteful to have this product spend half its pages recounting the play. Also, the character stat blocks were riddled with errors.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Disappointing<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Disappointed<br>
[2 of 5 Stars!]