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Adventurers Journal 1: Stone Orcs (Legend)
by Samuel B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/01/2014 15:20:21
For the price this is a nice little rpg item, which was made better after I made some initial comments to Anthony. He rectified a few problems and made some descriptions clearer immediately after I told him about them.

There are a few things however that I feel could still have been improved on. The picture does not 100% tally to the descriptive text. I would rather get more pages - between 6 and 8 maybe - in order to gain more information. The 1$ price is great but some backgrounds, professions, racial magical spells and family life details would be good.

I'd also recommend the use of sub-headings within the massive block of text on the first main page, it's a bit daunting as it currently is.

Having said all of that I think this is a very worthy effort, but one which can probably be enhanced with very little effort!

I give the item a 6/10, in part due to the great response from Anthony with regards making changes to the item.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurers Journal 1: Stone Orcs (Legend)
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VonAnstee's Library (Contagion)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/16/2014 11:16:00
It's a bit off-putting when the first sentence misses out two quite vital words, but persevere and it improves considerably; the content is worth it. For this work tells the story of a vast hidden store of arcane and esoteric knowledge... a character with an interest in such matters may have heard rumours of it, they may even have acquired the password to gain entry - or think that they do, it is changed frequently so they may be out of date!

We meet its owner, and his full stats are presented should the party meet him. There's also quite a bit about what is in the library and why Von Anstee accumulated it, which could prove interesting if only you can get in.

Then there's some other useful stuff. Characters who like books and finding things out might like to try one of the new occupations: book buyer, collector, researcher or tome thief. Even if you don't fancy these occupations yourself, their skills might make them useful hirelings when you are after a particular volume or piece of knowledge. There are some useful feats for people interested in scholarly research (although Speed Read is quite a good one if you are a reviewer too!). There are a few new monsters/creatures as well, suited to the mountains where the library is situated. (No precise location is given, think one of the more mountainous and wooded areas of the United States, the sort of place you might visit a national park or go hunting in.)

Finally. just in case the mere thought of a vast store of knowledge doesn't get you headed in the right direction, there are a couple of adventure ideas to start the action rolling.

A nice useful adjunct to a game where knowledge can be vital.... and once that could, with a few rule mechanical amendments, be used in any game system where knowledge can be the route to power, or to survival.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
VonAnstee's Library (Contagion)
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Inhabitants of the Dark: Savage Drow (Legend)
by Thomas W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2013 19:56:58
First off, the author, Mr. Uyl fixed a slight issue I had with the pdf in under an hour. That shows how great this company is and I think that should be noted since it reflects on the care he has for his work and its buyers. The product itself is very well put together. It adds a classic fantasy race with a twist to Legend (or as I will use it, RQ6). The race is close enough to standard Drow/Dark Elves to enable the basics to be used for them while different enough to fit as a separate group within their society. The two creatures fit the tone and the equipment and spells add to the new race. If this is the first in a series of Dark Inhabitants, I look forward to more. That it is for Legend (with a version for Pathfinder available too) is great. A five Star buy.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Inhabitants of the Dark: Savage Drow (Legend)
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Undead Evolution Series: Skeletons and Zombies Combo Pack (PFRPG)
by Mikael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2013 05:04:55
Very basic layout on par with the unispired ideas presented in this product. Interesting idea but better executed elsewhere.
Not much else to say about this substandard product.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Undead Evolution Series: Skeletons and Zombies Combo Pack (PFRPG)
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Inhabitants of the Woods: Elves (Legend)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/08/2013 11:07:26
The product, Solace Games's first for the Legend RPG, is a collection of fascinating ideas and resources that will come in useful when including woodland adventures or indeed elves in your campaign.

First up are some general rules for use in forests. Things like line of sight, survival in a forest environment, perception, stealth and tracking are covered, with separate notes distingusihing between lightly and heavily wooded areas - as anyone who's spent much time in the woods can attest, how dense a woodland is can influence things like how far you can see and how well you can track.

We then meet - in considerable detail - three sub-types of elf. These are grass elves, savage elves and tree elves. The tree elves are the commonly-held ideal of rather wild and reclusive beings who live deep in woodland, whilst the grass elves prefer open plains and lightly-wooded areas, moving into deeper forests only when threatened... and being said to burrow underground rather than live up a tree! Savage elves are actually as civilised as anyone else, although more inclined to be militant and given to such heresies as chopping down trees to build their homes! Each of the three elf types is described in sufficient detail, including game mechanics, to run one as a player-character or to make a tribe of that type a major influence in your game world with potent NPCs easy to design.

Next is a section on equipment, armour and weapons, providing some interesting items made and used by elves. Watch out for elven bows: sought-after by many archers whatever their heritage! There are also some spells and then extensive details of new cults and factions popular amongst elves. Perhaps you will be seranaded by a member of the Grass Singers, counted amongst the most cultured and peaceful members of the community. Or you may run foul of the Nature's Wardens, tree elves who enforce firm environmental standards, or meet the sorcerous tree elves of the Order of the Tree who believe that magic and forests are inextricably intertwined... and there are several other groups as well.

All in all, if elves and their traditions are to play a role in your game, this is worth a look to gain new insight and ideas into what elves do and believe.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Inhabitants of the Woods: Elves (Legend)
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Arkham Case Files: Deep Morgue
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/07/2012 07:52:15
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/11/07/tabletop-review-arkham--
case-files-deep-morgue-call-of-cthulhu/

Call of Cthulhu may have a very easy system to learn and play, but it’s not the easiest system to write for. Things like Pagan Publishing’s Bumps in the Night and Modiphius’s Achtung! Cthulhu left something to be desired. Even things published directly by Chaosium can be less than impressive. Just look at Ghosts in the House.

Now this doesn’t mean that all third party Call of Cthulhu publishers do a bad job with the license. Goodman Games’ Age of Cthulhu adventures are always top notch. Arc Dream’s The Unspeakable Oath magazine is a lot of fun (when it comes out). Hebanon Games puts out some great adventures and of course there is always Cubicle 7′s Cthulhu Britannica line.

I bring all this up because today I’m looking at a newcomer to the Call of Cthulhu system: Solace Games and their first adventure, Arkham Case Files: Deep Morgue. The name implies that this is the first in a series of adventures. Unfortunately, while the adventure uses the mechanics behind the Call of Cthulhu system nicely, the adventure itself is an example of what happens when you don’t have some pretty intense Lovecraft fans vetting out what gets published. The end result is something more Resident Evil than you would expect (or want) from a Call of Cthulhu adventure . By that I mean it’s very combat oriented and there’s not a lot of investigating. This will turn out a lot of long time Call of Cthulhu fans, as will the VERY different take on Deep Ones that will have most that get this adventure scratching their head and wondering if anyone at Solace Games has ever read The Shadow Over Innsmouth. The take on Deep Ones is more a mix of a Wight (anything killed by it rises as a weird waterlogged undead creature) and an Eveil Larry Talbot as its main impetus is to try and be turned human. As I’ve said, Deep Morgue really feels like the team behind it have never read anything by Lovecraft or his contemporaries and it’s a little bit insulting in that regard. If you’re a purist you’ll want to stay well away from this adventure.

Now that said, if you’re looking for something that feels more like a survival horror video game, Deep Morgue isn’t a bad adventure and well worth the two dollar price. Sure there are still some problems, like a lack of motivation for the primary antagonist other than the “I want to be human again” thing which doesn’t hold water, or the fact the adventure expects the Keeper to make up a plot hook as to why the adventurers are in this little backwater town, but those are things that a good Keeper can fix and/or fill in. The adventure is well laid out and the setting of a morgue filled with zombies is creepy, if not cliché. The maps are really, REALLY terrible, but the artwork is incredibly good for a budget indie piece. I’m not sure how one can be so good why the other is nothing more than badly scratched out lines on a page. Next time I hope they get the interior artist to do the maps as what’s here just wouldn’t cut it for anything professionally published.

The story is pretty cut and dry. The Investigators are in the small town of Newburyport for whatever reason when they get a mysterious phone call from an anonymous stranger telling them to go to investigate the town morgue as strange goings-on are afoot. The problem with this is twofold. The first is that somehow the Investigators are “known” figures, which rarely ever happens in a Call of Cthulhu campaign. This isn’t Ghostbusters after all. The second is that although the adventure doesn’t specifically list a time period, it would have to be in the 1990s or modern era as how else is a person going to get a random call from a mysterious stranger (plus one NPC has computer use as a skill, so that kind of defines the era even if the adventure doesn’t specifically list the time period, which is sloppy). Maybe in the 1920s if someone calls a hotel room, but that’s just going to stretch believability even further as how would someone know who they are, what room they are in and that they have ties to anything supernatural or occultish? There’s no Keeper’s section to give the person running the adventure any background knowledge so they are just as much in the dark as the players. This is another one of those things where you have to wonder if they people at Solace have ever played Call of Cthulhu are aren’t thinking of something like Chill because this just doesn’t fit the game setting at all. Thankfully this can easily be reworked by a quality Keeper for a more ominous feel as well as one where the players don’t have some weird reputation.

From there the players go to the morgue and fight a lot of monsters. There are ten zombies, one Deep One and one “cultist” in this small adventure. For a game that emphasizes hack and slash, that’s not so bad. For Call of Cthulhu? That’s an insane amount of monsters to have to deal with and all but guarantees a TPK for most troupes that play through this. Ouch. Again, Solace wrote this for a survival horror audience and combat oriented characters, but the former isn’t what people look for (or want) in a Call of Cthulhu adventure and the latter doesn’t happen that often because character tend to be middle aged librarians or door to door salesman instead of Chris Redfield or Lara Croft.

Overall, I’m going to be VERY KIND here and give this a thumb’s in the middle. For the first CoC offering by a very small indie startup company, this isn’t horrible. The art is good, the premise of the adventure is sound and the layout is well done. The scripting of the adventure is pretty terrible though, as are both the feel and tone. A little more mystery, a little less hack and slash. A little more storytelling, a little less forcing the Keeper to fill in the blanks. Most of all, a little more thought regarding why people play Call of Cthulhu and the type of adventures they actually play the system for. If Solace Games can keep all of that in mind, their second CoC offering should be a LOT better than their first. There’s promise here, but not a lot of follow through.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Arkham Case Files: Deep Morgue
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