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Mundus Novit: The Changed World - Source Book
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2014 16:00:09
This is a warning to anyone who sees the "D&D/d20, 3.x/d20/OGL, d20 Modern" label for this product before they read the label saying that this setting is "System Agnostic": THE LATTER OF THESE TWO LABELS IS THE MORE ACCURATE ONE. My apologies for typing in all caps, but honestly, don't make the same mistake I did and expect there to be any new Basic or Advanced Classes, Occupations, Feats, Talent Trees, Weapons, or even monster or character stats here. This book is 100% "fluff," 0% "crunch," and thus has no such data in here.

Rather, all you'll be getting is one big backstory behind the setting that lasts for several pages before it FINALLY describes the "Trigger Event" of December 23, 2003, when everything changes. You also get background information for each of the different organizations within this reality and tips on how to incorporate the ideas in this book into your own campaign, but...I'm sorry. The world described here just feels very bland and generic compared to the realities depicted in such campaigns as Mythic Dream Studios' Dark Inheritance, Game Monkey Press's Valherjar: The Chosen Slain, Frughtlupes' Center Space, and Second World Simulations' The Second World, just to name a few. Heck, even Poor Gamer Press's The International Protection Agency had more flavor--and useful information, for that matter--than this book did, and that book was very sloppily organized, which is a flaw that this book thankfully doesn't have (even though bookmarks would have been a nice touch, I'll admit).

Overall, this was a waste of money on my part, and quite frankly, if I had the option of going back in time on the day I'd purchased this product, I would have waited until the price had dropped to, say, $1.99 tops. At $5.99 though, there are MUCH better campaigns and game supplements out there, be they d20 [Modern], system agnostic, or otherwise.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mundus Novit: The Changed World - Source Book
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City Guide 1 : Everyday Life
by Dra8er H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2013 06:04:50
Nice product. Great fluff for GMs that don't have the time to populate a city with businesses. It's got some interesting hooks and ideas to help you on the fly. A GM could also use this as a great starting point to get their own city up and running. Full of ideas and a decent price I'd recommend it to anyone looking to get their city going!!!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City Guide 1 : Everyday Life
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City Guide: Harbor Side Mess Hall
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2013 06:17:35
This is a description of a dockside restaurant, such as could be found in almost any port city, or even one on a large river. Its 18 pages long, and very detailed for what it is - all the doors and locks are described, for instance, along with a 2-page description of the available menu. There are twelve named NPCs, with full stats and well-rounded descriptions, covering the restaurant's permanent staff and a few regular entertainers. There are also generic stats and descriptions for a host of patrons and temporary hire staff (serving girls, errand boys, etc.)

If what you want is a detailed description of a restaurant where PCs can meet up, or arrange meetings with potential employers, or whatever, this is likely pretty useful. But there are a few down points. For one, there's no map, which is surprising giving the level of attention to everything else - although the layout of the building is at least described in the text. Although the layout is good, there are a number of typos throughout, and the description of the entertainment room is missing altogether (and replaced with a description of the women's toilet).

In addition, at the end of the day, it is just a restaurant. There are no dark secrets hiding here, although there's potentially some money to steal if you're that way inclined. The characters are well-written, and believable, and therefore great as background NPCs, but that's all they are - if you're looking for urban adventure and mystery, this may not be for you. There are a couple of suggested plot hooks at the end, but they're minimal (one is just 'rob the place'), and don't add much to the product. There's also relatively little fantasy feel to it, apart from the presence of a single dwarf, although that may make it easier to fit into cities in almost any campaign.

On the plus side, 18 pages isn't bad for the price, which nudges it up to 4 stars.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City Guide: Harbor Side Mess Hall
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Moon Elves
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/25/2012 06:27:26
This is a sourcebook describing a variant version of the standard d20 elf. (I'm not sure where the title comes from, incidentally, as they are never referred to as "moon elves" in the book, and they don't seem to have any obvious lunar connection). The intention, however, isn't for a minor race of elves in some obscure place, but as a replacement for the standard version - although there wouldn't be anything to stop you using it as the former, of course.

For the most part, these elves do follow the usual tropes, and they are instantly recognisable as elves - there's nothing dramatically weird or different here. However, there are changes to the usual version here and there. For example, they tend to be more lawful in nature, and they age at a different rate to the d20 default. So it's a distinct vision, but not a radical re-imagining.

Around a third of the book is taken up with a very detailed account of elven society, that covers just about anything you'd want to know concerning any culture. This really comes alive (although its not going to be very relevant to a dungeon-focussed campaign), and is both well thought out and thorough. It is accompanied by excerpts from the diary of a human compelled to live among elven society, that's rather better than most such fiction, and complements, rather than distracting from, the main text.

The next section covers elven items, both magical and mundane. There are a range of clothes described here, many of which are for flavour, rather than providing specific rules effects. Others, however, range from providing minor bonuses up to 5th level magical items. This is followed by some potions and a host of magical items of various kinds. Most are low to moderate level, but with some that are much higher. In general, there isn't a strong elven feel to them, beyond the descriptions, but they are fitted into the culture outlined in the first section.

The weapons and armour are rather more obviously elven, and there's a great section on magical arrows, with a number of examples. That's followed by even more magical items, presenting a wide range of different powers; many of these have a 'nature' theme, although the actual effects are quite broadly applicable. There are three unique magical artefacts (although one's essentially a joke) and three cursed items - something one rarely sees in these sorts of supplements.

The third section of the book deals with magic. There are many spells here, most of them between first and third level, although with a few stretching all the way up to ninth. Rangers and druids are best served here, since many spells have a natural theme, but there are also a number of sorcerer/wizard spells, related primarily to stealth and grace. There are ten clerical domains included, based around elven themes such as nature and beauty. On the whole, these are going to be more useful in wilderness or social/city based campaigns than down a typical dungeon. Some of the granted powers might even be a little overpowered for the latter.

The fourth and final chapter provides prestige classes. Presumably, they're intended only for elves, although, technically, the class requirements don't mention this. Foresters are a way for rangers and druids to specialise in stealth and sneak attacks, although they don't really provide anything else. The carouser is a party animal who specialises in social skills such as Diplomacy and Bluff, and therefore is obviously only going to work in certain campaigns. Nor is there any particular reason why they should be restricted to elves that I can see.

Noble warriors are more obviously combat oriented, but giving a mix of social and leadership abilities. Rather more directly useful in a fight are the sword-singers, with abilities related to rapid movement and enhanced damage. Similarly, rune-blades are warriors with some magical abilities bound into their swords - there are a range of different options for this one.

Spotters specialise in, well, Spot checks, with a few other vision-oriented abilities thrown again. Which can doubtless be useful, but is probably rather narrowly focussed for most tastes. Finally, there are masters-of-tongues, with abilities relating to subterfuge and infiltration; some of these are combat related, although they're probably more useful in an urban setting than elsewhere.

Most of the interior artwork is reasonable, although no more than that, but the cover, and the pictures used for the prestige classes are rather better. On the whole, the book is well written, and well laid out, although there's a fair bit of colour that may be a problem if you're intending to print it all out. At over 100 pages, it's also quite a hefty tome, and very good value for the price, causing me to nudge it up into the 5-star bracket.

If there's a downside, it's that this is not so useful for traditional D&D style games. To my mind, that's not a bad thing; this book, like the elves it described, focusses on social interaction and on agility and perception rather than brute force. Some of it, at least, is therefore going to be useful in any campaign with those themes, whether or not elves are a major focus. But it's probably wise to be aware of that.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Moon Elves
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100 Shops
by Petter T. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/09/2012 07:43:45
It was 100 Shops allright, but I found that it really failed in being any more than a list of professions. I mean, "mattress shop" , apart from the "Now I gotta stand in the tea-chest" - puns, would one find that in a medieval city?

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
100 Shops
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Hammer of the Dwarven Lords
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2012 11:10:36
Hammer of the Dwarven Lords is a sourcebook about dwarves, with a particular focus on alternate dwarven cultures. The first part of the book describes three such cultures, based loosely on Celtic, Viking, and Mongol themes, respectively. They are described in a fair amount of detail, with a lot of thought into the various features that really bring a culture alive. For example, there are sections on the various stages of life for each culture, as well as information on clothing, food, music, and so on, in addition to more obvious features such as warfare and government.

The fourth chapter covers a range of dwarven gods. Each is described in general terms, with a number of variant options, allowing them to be easily tailored to any campaign, and, as with the cultures, imbuing dwarven society with a real variety, rather than forcing it into a single mould.

The chapter on equipment describes some new weapons and armour specific to the cultures described earlier. It also includes eleven alchemical items and twenty two magic items. All of these, obviously, have a dwarven theme, but many would be more generally useful in a campaign and there is a good range of powers and effects here. Especially interesting in this chapter is a section on magically strong alcoholic beverages. These are effectively potions, but each has a nasty alcohol-related side-effect triggered if the imbiber fails a Fortitude save. It's an interesting and original idea for d20, reminiscent, perhaps, of the drinks in the old RQ Trollpak.

Chapter six deals with magic, and includes nearly fifty new spells, running the gamut from first to ninth level, including many that would be useful in any campaign. In addition, there are two new cleric domains for the gods described in chapter four, and a section on creating magic tattoos.

Chapter seven provides a number of feats for use in wrestling matches, bringing something of a WWF feel to the game (and, again, not just useful for dwarves). The final chapter provides two NPC classes and six prestige classes, all of which seem well thought out and that cover a good variety of different themes. All have a clear dwarven flavour, bringing different aspects to the fore.

The book is well laid out, with mediocre to good artwork. Aside from the cover, it's all line artwork, and easy to print. I didn't spot any problems with proof-reading or editing. All in all, its an excellent book, and, for 86 pages, a bargain at $4. If your campaign has dwarves in it (or even if it doesn't - a lot here is more broadly applicable) and you're looking to give them some more detail, flavour, or magic, I highly recommend this book.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hammer of the Dwarven Lords
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Interesting Interactions: Zombies
by john b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2012 13:05:55
was worth the money and very creative. Even a master DM needs some new words sometimes. I mean really how many times can you say Braiins Braiins, ect. hehe.
thanks

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Interesting Interactions: Zombies
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100 Sickening Symptoms
by Margaret E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2012 13:37:50
I read this list and my first thought afterwards was "what if somebody had ALL of these symptoms?" Not a pretty thought. As someone who has worked for years in the medical field, this list would appear to include just about every part/system of the body. I think it's an excellent list.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
100 Sickening Symptoms
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100 Alien Flea Market Goods
by James D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2012 21:30:08
As someone who has bought several Dark Quest products in the past(namely Pouch and Bag Contents, Arcane Book Subjects, and Treasure Chest contents) I was expecting something a little more tailored to the situation. Dark Quest is known for it's sense of humor and genre awareness. This contained neither. Aside from a couple Specific entries, most things here could be found at any flea market. All it really does is lead questions like "What exactly does a martian coal bucket look like, anyway?"

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
100 Alien Flea Market Goods
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Land and Home Guide
by John O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2012 17:54:17
This was a steal for $1.50 and I have already used it multiple times as a reference guide. Well written and resourceful.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Land and Home Guide
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100 Potent Drinks
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/05/2012 16:16:51
At less than a penny per entry, this table of 100 alcoholic beverages—a mixture of real-world and fantasy varieties—could come in handy when PCs want to know what’s on the menu.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
100 Potent Drinks
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CAULDRON SUPPLIER'S GUIDEBOOK, VOL. 1 (Generic/Universal)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/11/2012 20:14:13
It's not quite the greatest product. Of the 7 pages, only 4 have useful information.
It does read like an old medieval herbal, only with magical ingredients, which is nice. But I am not 100% convinced that an imaginative GM could not come up with all these and more on their own. Granted it is under a buck, I think it might be a better value at half the price.
I would have liked to have seen more.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
CAULDRON SUPPLIER'S GUIDEBOOK, VOL. 1 (Generic/Universal)
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Dweomercraft: Lich
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/08/2012 21:53:24
Liches are the ultimate bad guy in D&D. All the liches we know, we know by name. Dweomercraft: Lich helps you create those monsters and make them into some more; villains.
At 106 pages (plus additional maps and files) this book is filled with everything you would suspect. There is a chapter on what a Lich is and how to create them. There are discussions on how the different races approach lichdom. Lots of lich-related knowledge is also presented with appropriate DCs. There are plenty of new skills, feats, spells and monsters. Additionally we have undead familiars; for undead wizards natch, and Lich prestige classes. Sure to scare your characters to death.
Most importantly there are Lich NPCs. Something that no book should be without.
I can't help but to compare favorably to the old "Blueprint for a Lich" Dragon article. It would mesh nicely with this book. I also comapre it to the old Mayfair "Lichlords", which this present book is better.

A properly played Lich should be able to stand up to an entire party of characters.
A properly played Lich out of this book should be able to wipe them out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dweomercraft: Lich
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Cultic Fervor: Revcora
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2011 09:44:02
Four pages of description for the cult of a chaotic goddess of prostitution. It's reasonably well done, and not bad for $1, although you will need to do some further work to use it fully in a campaign - whether as an adversary or a bit of local colour for a decadent society.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cultic Fervor: Revcora
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100 Whispered Insults About The Adventurers
by Kevin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/06/2011 17:52:18
There is some great stuff here. And there are a few that miss the mark. But overall a well done product. Have some fun with your NPC's and smarter monsters, have them hurl some insults along with the damage.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
100 Whispered Insults About The Adventurers
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