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Stock Art: Greenfeeder
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2012 17:00:54
Every now and then you find an image that inspires a thought instantly, and an hour later you finally look up from the keyboard, realize you've just typed an entire short story, have designed the opening to what could be an amazing tale, and it all started with a random picture that is available for you to buy...yeah, that was the Greenfeeder. An absolutely amazing picture with so much to tell the longer you look at it. Gary Dupois has quickly earned himself a spot on a short list of artists I search for, as he never fails to impress me with his pieces.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Greenfeeder
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Crimson Caves
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2012 06:08:32
This pdf is 34 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving us with a total of 28 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This being an adventure-review, the following text contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

All right, still here? The module is essentially a straight-forward dungeon-exploration that pits neophyte adventurers through the trials of hematite-studded caves inhabited by a local goblin threat and it starts off with a simple goblin-cleaning exercise, but turns harder fast - it turns out that the middle levels are inhabited by hobgoblins - who belong to the vanquished army of the aging hobgoblin warlord Bargra - highlights here contain a swarm of deadly animated cutlery, an alchemist's lab that may see the PCs blow themselves up, the square-down with the magus Bargra and a potential for negotiation with a Barghest.

The third and final level sees the dungeon turn deadly - here, the ancient, 4-armed Mudra have turned into skeletons and A LOT of them await - hopefully the PCs act smart here. The secret boss, though, would be a unique quicksilver skeletal champion barbarian that makes for a deadly foe indeed, but also guards the legendary blade Mercurial, an intelligent, mutable blade of quicksilver that makes for a fitting reward for the dungeon. Mercurial comes with a beautiful full-color artwork. The pdf also provides the "Awaken the Dead I"-spell as well as the smoke-bomb propelling spell "Ball of Smoke" (though I don't get why this cantrip is not available in some form to the alchemist).

The modules closes with lists of available experience and treasure by rooms, making navigation etc. easy for the DM.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good. Layout adheres to PDG's rather printer-friendly 2-column b/w/purple standard and the pdf comes with extensive bookmarks. The mostly b/w-artworks are not particularly beautiful and in fact not ones I'd show to my players, exceptions being the blade Mercurial and the holy symbol featured (though we know that from the stellar "Gods of Porphyra"). The map of the complex is nice b/w and made by the specialists of 0onegames. However, we get no player-friendly version of the map, which sucks: PDG's DCC-modules all come with number-less player-friendly maps and I don't understand the omission, especially when 0one is known for the layers with which one can customize their maps.

This module presents us with an old-school dungeon-crawl and it succeeds in its endeavor to create a module that feels like a dungeon of yore, including the sense of wonder and classic dangers one would expect. However, this dungeon has also inherited a couple of problems from this adherence to the formula: Essentially, apart from some nice ideas interspersed herein, I had a rather distinct been there, done that-feeling while reading this pdf. While thankfully alert/perceptions etc. are covered in the respective room descriptions, no organized defense of the complex is covered. Also, the pdf mentions a crude map of the final catacombs, but provides no such handout. That being said, the final, undead-infested part of the dungeon rocks and provides some cool and deadly tactics. The problem is simple, really - Run Amok Games' modules for example, cost as much and provide better cartography and artworks and often provide more content. Frog God Games and TPK Games provide the universally superior modules for the same price-point.

That leaves me in a tight spot - I did like some ideas of the Crimson Caves, but the module can't really stand up to its competitors, especially (and ironically) regarding e.g. cartography (c.f. Run Amok Games). A direct (albeit slightly more expensive, but also much longer) old-schoolish introductory module would be RSP's "Shadowed Keep of the Borderlands", which, again, unfortunately is better than this module. There's nothing wrong here. But still, I can't really find a valid reason why you absolutely have to own this. In fact, I'd rather recommend you invest your money in the two DCC-modules released by PDG so far - you get 2 modules for almost the same price and while you have to do conversions, they are the better modules. My final verdict will be 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Crimson Caves
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Fehr's Ethnology: Ith'n Ya'roo [PFRPG]
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/27/2012 11:32:06
Fehr’s Ethnology: Ith’n Ya’roo, a new playable species. The Ith’n Ya’roo are a yeti-like humanoids that embrace and extol the primitive, using bone and hide in their arctic home. Beyond the race itself, there is support for them in the form of feats, traits, new spells and rules for using bone weapons and armor. Ith’n Ya’roo are interesting but not the sort of being that is likely to be widespread but if you want a different kind of encounter for the arctic wastes, this may be just what you are looking for.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fehr's Ethnology: Ith'n Ya'roo [PFRPG]
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Stock Art: Half-Ogre Dragonslayer
by Jonathan J. R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2012 20:25:23
Each of the versions of this stock art are spectacular. The colors are vibrant. The grayscale has great depth. The inks have thick, vivid outlines. This is a gorgeous piece of stock art with amazing rendering.

It would be a pleasure to use this. My only qualm is the price. $3 seems a bit high. I'd pay that for a few of these in a bundle but not for a single one. I'm sure it could cost a lot more for an individual to privately have a creature drawn. But, this is a company that does this as its business and one would imagine they have streamlined it enough to minimize costs.

For me...it is fantastic but not something I'd pay $3 for. To someone else, that price point could be a bargain.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Half-Ogre Dragonslayer
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Fehr's Ethnology: Avoodim [PFRPG]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2012 02:46:23
This installment of the Fehr's Ethnology-series is 9 pages long, ~ 1/3 of a page editorial, 2 pages advertisement/SRD, leaving us with 6 2/3 pages of content, so let's check out these Avoodim!

So what are the Avoodim? Essentially, they are a race cast down from heaven - having failed at becoming archons, they in their shame didn't try again and hence have been sent down to earth, looking for a way, a purpose, a chance for redemption. Avoodim get 4 Con, -2 Dex and Cha, are native outsiders, get darkvision, celestial resistances, 2 to craft and 1 to atk against chaotic and evil outsiders, the option to use doom on foes as well as a racial susceptibility to bouts of melancholia and despair. The racial write-up comes with full age, height and weight tables.

The race gets 6 balanced race traits, including one that makes it possible to create truly fallen, corrupt Avoodim and one that lets you issue the battlecry of heavens to buff your allies via virtue 1/day. Among the alternate racial traits (a total of which we get 6), we get a lock gaze as a spell-like ability, a minor spell resistance and improved speed when charging into the fray. We also get 4 different racial feats. One deserves special mention: "Steel my Soul" lets you 1/day not have to roll a crit confirmation, but only at the DM's approval and also provides rerolls vs. fear and despair effects. Without the DM-caveat, I'd consider this feat terribly broken and while I can see it work, I feel it also potentially entails discussion between DM and players. Design-wise, it's not as great a choice - I would have loved to see this feat work somehow without placing responsibility in the DM's hand.
The pdf also covers the take of the Avoodim on all Paizo-classes and the Rook and 7 favored class options and provides us with a sample Cleric 1 Avoodim character.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I did not notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard and the full color artwork is nice indeed. The pdf comes fully bookmarked. This pdf has a whopping, extremely cool fluff, perhaps the best fluff of the series so far. Balance-wise, I don't have anything to complain about the race and the new options do make sense, with the background feeling organic and nice. That being said, when compared to its direct predecessors, this race feels slightly less original and cool - further abilities to represent the Purpose and Pain, perhaps additional feats or traits would have gone a long way to making this one stand out more and lend more credence to the unique perspective of the Avoodim. Add to that the one minor feat-problem I mentioned and my final verdict will clock in at a solid 3.5 stars, round up to 4 due to the low price and cool basic concept.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fehr's Ethnology: Avoodim [PFRPG]
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AL 2: Sepulcher of the Mountain God [DCC]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2012 16:52:51
This module is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, while SRD and editorial combine to take up about 1 page, leaving approximately 11 pages of content, so let's check out PDG's second Adventure locale-sidetrek adventure for DCC!

This being an adventure module, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential player might wish to jump to the conclusion!

All right, still here? This pdf has the PCs venture into the halls that of a primitive tribe to reclaim a sacred skull and a magic club, making this module potentially a viable option for usage in a Sword & Sorcery-style setting. The exploration immediately kicks off with an exploration of the vanquished tribe's undead-infested tombs (including meticulously-detailed treasures) to the option to get blessed by the local mountain god and thus pass the deadly stone guardians - and potentially be goaded into a divine quest to vanquish the mountain god's foes or suffer a luck-draining curse.

In order to succeed, the PCs will have to venture into the depths of the mountain and destroy legions of small, humanoid crayfish-like jumping mites as well as brave the mud demons of Gelihedres and cultists serving the dark god to stop the mastermind of the cult from summoning an avatar of his dark god into the body of a dead young giant. The pdf also comes with 2 pages of DM-maps (with keys) and high-res jpegs both with and without keys for the two levels of the dungeon.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard and the pdf comes with some ok artworks as well as bookmarks. This easily inserted module is a nice savage little dungeon centered on the conflict between two gods/spirits that have lost a lot of power (judging from the fledgling avatar's stats). This module is nice, but it lacks the compelling weirdness of its predecessor - it's a good module and it offers some nice experiences for your PCs and genuinely creepy moments and makes good use of the system, but in the end, it just didn't grip me as much as the sojourn into the dancing horror's complex. Thus, my final verdict will clock in at 1 star less than that module, resulting in a verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
AL 2: Sepulcher of the Mountain God [DCC]
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[Icons] Heroic Moments: The Possession of Dr. Diamond
by Joseph B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2012 14:09:20
I greatly enjoyed the earlier Heroic Moments for 4C FASERIP and found them useful in my own ICONS games. I'm thrilled that Purple Duck Games will be publishing Heroic Moments for the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game now.

Everything you need for a quick pickup game of ICONS with minimal GM prep is included - setup, locations and villains. Very impressive artwork for Dr. Diamond by Brian Brinlee too.

I've featured this on my ICONS blog as well where I talk about all things ICONS: http://justaddheroes.blogspot.com/2012/08/new-icons-publishe-
r-purple-duck-games.html


Looking forward to seeing more!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[Icons] Heroic Moments: The Possession of Dr. Diamond
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AL 2: Sepulcher of the Mountain God [DCC]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/20/2012 07:08:07
This adventure, despite forming part of the 'funnel' by which a mob of first-level characters is winnowed down to a manageable party, is epic in scope, pitting law against chaos as mere mortals are caught up in a strife between two gods! It starts with a Background, which sets the scene and is intended mostly for the GM's eyes - some may be presented as more general scene-setting and history if so desired - and this is followed by notes for the GM on how to get the characters involved. These are both varied and detailed, giving you a good few options to get the characters to the dungeon itself... although you will need to create any surroundings or adventures on the way there for yourself, if you want to do anything than jump straight in.

The dungeon itself - spread over two levels and with a nice mix of natural and man-made features - is well-described and populated with all manner of interesting things to discover and interesting creatures to fight. There is a slight tendency to have but a single way to proceed, which may not be obvious and with little hint given as to how characters are supposed to figure out what they ought to do, although leeway is given in a note to the effect that any other innovate use of magic might work (i.e. if the GM reckons it might!).

A neat touch is that the characters will be deep into the dungeon before one of the deities involved, in a fit of petulance at being disturbed, bestows both a curse and a quest on the hapless adventurers, this providing the impetus for the second part of the exploration, that of the lower level. This makes for an interesting dynamic, much more than "Here's a dungeon, explore it!"

Overall, this is a nicely-done adventure, well-resourced and pretty much ready to run. I spotted all of one spelling mistake and a tendency to select randomly whether to refer to a Judge, a GM or a DM; but these are minor quibbles and do not spoil the enjoyment of a well-constructed dungeon crawl. Now, where can I find some players...?

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL 2: Sepulcher of the Mountain God [DCC]
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/15/2012 06:55:51
Designed to work equally well as a location stumbled upon when exploring or somewhere sought out on purpose, the book begins by giving the background to how the place came to be (an intriguing tale starting with chaos-worshipping cultists and continuing with a meddling mage...), provides a few hints that could be developed into plot hooks if you want to have the characters hear about it before they arrive, and then launches into a room-by-room description.

The whole flavour of a Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG game is well-maintained, with traps a-plenty and some interesting stuff to find (even if you have to figure out how to use it). It appears quite generous in magic items, albeit most are 'one-shot' devices, but that makes logical sense once you figure out what's been happening there... and there are some novel (quite scary) monsters, too.

The adventure is well-resourced, with a blank players' map as well as the regular one, both provided in the book and as separate JPG images that you can download. The actual descriptions are clear, with relevant monster stats and notes on how they will behave in combat just where you need them.

This is very much a 'dungeon crawl' and a very good one in the classic form... (oops, typed that, then read it back!). It provides challenge in combat, resource management and figuring out what's happening, but characters who like talking will have to talk to each other! An enjoyable session should result.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2012 06:37:00
This adventure for the DCC-ruleset is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover and the total of editorial and SRD make up about 1/2 a page, resulting in a total content of 9 1/2 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential player may wish to jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right! First of all, the module comes with DM-maps and player-friendly maps you can cut up and hand out to your players - kudos for that! The module consists essentially of a mini-dungeon that can be inserted into a dungeon of your own devise, coming with an eastern and western entrance. The pdf is truly in line with DCC's core concepts of unpredictable magic and potential drawbacks - the treasure awarded is mostly single use or fragile. Fragile? Yes, for one treasure is actually a balloon containing a breath of life! Now that's a cool idea! Once, these halls were the halls of a dread cult and the weird boneless leech-rats are but one of the things to come in these halls. Also rather nice and seldom seen - excavating parts of the complex is also part of the module and turns out to be rather dangerous!

The namegiving dancing horror, though, would be one cool critter, coming with the abilities to extract skeletons from its victims, displace voices and worst of all - it leaves its victims alive when doing so! And then there's the hoardling, an undead abomination resembling a snake/centipede-being somewhat resembling an Ophidius. Have I mentioned the tin soldiers and the intelligent blade the PCs can find?
The pdf comes also with high-res jpegs of the dungeon-map.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column standard and the artworks and full-color cartography are nice for the very low asking price. The pdf also comes with extensive bookmarks, which is nice to see indeed.

This module provides us with a nice sidetrek-dungeon to insert in you DCC-campaign and indeed, with some minor work and experience with 2nd or 1st edition modules, could be converted into other rulesets rather easily - why? Because the central selling point of this module, at least for me, lies in the eerie, unpredictable and wondrous atmosphere it evokes via so beautifully-disturbing things as the creatures and e.g. magical barnacle-growths. This module feels rather fresh in its ideas and even though it is a free-form dungeon, provides us with options to easily insert it and add a nice little boss-fight. What could one want more, especially at the very fair asking price? Not much, and since I lack any true gripes, I'll thus settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform due to the low price.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stock Art: Forlarren Sorceress
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/26/2012 13:06:40
Purple Duck comes through again. I was working on a new project and thinking I would love to have A Forlarren in it but I don't have any art. This comes along and not only is it good, it is also casting a spell! How perfect is that? Well, for me it is perfect.
3 bucks gets you a full color image, a greyscale and line art along with an easy to read license.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Forlarren Sorceress
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Stock Art: Magical Cat
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/26/2012 12:54:39
Magic cat, evil cat. Doesn't matter this little beastie is mine now and I can't wait to use it.
I like the artwork from Purple Duck and this one is one of my faves.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Magical Cat
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Stock Art: Evil Tree
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/26/2012 12:53:46
Ever since I was little I have found old trees to be scary things. Plus it didn't help watching a bunch of movies about evil trees that come to life to kill people. So when I make my own games they always have some sort of evil tree monster in them. This art could not have been more appropriate for me even if I had hired them to do it myself. It's a nice creepy tree and I can't wait to use it somewhere.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Evil Tree
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/26/2012 06:40:06
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/07/26/tabletop-review-bone-ho-
ard-of-the-dancing-horror-dungeon-crawl-classics/

Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror is the first release from newcomer Purple Duck games. It uses the Dungeon Crawl Classics ruleset which makes me happy as I’m a big fan of the system. The truth is, though, that I picked up the adventure sheerly because of its title, because it is awesome. Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror is for 2nd level characters, but unfortunately, it doesn’t state how many PCs it is made for. That’s a small, minor issue though, as reading through the adventure will let a Judge/GM/Keeper/Storyteller know if there’s enough here to challenge his or her players.

Like most Dungeon Crawl Classic adventures, Bone Hoard is a straight up hack and slash affair. This means you’ll be going from room to room killing things dead without too much of a plot or storyline. I was really happy to see that the Judge is given a good amount of background and back story so that he can understand why this particular dungeon is there, the raison d’etre of the two possible main antagonists and the history of the locale. I love having that sort of information, which sadly several DCC adventures (including some by Goodman Games, creators of the DCC system) tend to leave out. Judges can feel free to flesh out the story of Bone Hoard as much or as little as they want, depending on how much impetus the PCs need to go skulking around in a long-forgotten death trap.

There aren’t a lot of monsters in Bone Hoard. It mainly consists of some creepy rat-like creatures, some odd spider thingies, and some six inch high automatons. Instead the adventure relies more on mood and the Judge’s ability to set the tone of this abandoned locale. I like that this adventure was combat-lite compared to a lot of other DCC adventures as it made the climactic battle against the Dancing Horror all the more dramatic and impressive. I have to admit, the Dancing Horror is perhaps the creepiest antagonist I’ve yet encountered in a DCC adventure and it almost feels like it was ripped out of the Call of Cthulhu system. I loved its attacks and the horrible things it could do to the PCs. You probably won’t get a TPK (Total Party Kill) situation from it, but this battle will be one the PCs remember for a long time afterward. Even better, there is one more potential surprise here for players: an intelligent magic sword.

All in all, Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror is not only a nice short adventure that can be played in a single session by you and your friends, it’s a very well done affair that has me looking forward to whatever Purple Duck Games next release is. At only $2.75, this adventure won’t break your wallet and it’s one of the more balanced adventures for the Dungeon Crawl Classics line. If you are a fan of the system, definitely consider picking this up for your game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by Brian B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2012 15:27:53
Not bad, a reasonable dungeon. Nothing special, but it works for low level characters. I'd recommend it for new GM's/Players

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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