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Monster Match
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/24/2011 18:52:32
An awesome little game. You take on the role of a classic monster, vampire, mummy, zombie, witch and more and fight other monsters/players.

The rules are very simple, so getting up and running is a snap. Taught to my kids and we were knocking each other senseless in no time. I like the simple experience rules/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Match
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ElfClash: Realm of Lanai Player's Guide
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/24/2007 00:00:00

Elves have always been a staple of fantasy. It seems that elves are so popular that there has always been the need for multiple races of them. They have been the high intelligent race that seems to be on the way out a lot of time and guiding the younger races to their own prime. Obviously, that is a heavy influence for books like Lord of the Rings. So, it really doe not surprise me to see a book titled Elfclash.

Elfclash is a pdf by Khan?s Press. They have a couple of other titles out that I have not seen. Elfclash is a player?s guide. It references a DM?s guide but that does not seem to be out yet. It is two hundred and twenty two pages in length. The zip files is a bit under five megs and the pdf is a bit over five megs. It is nicely book marked. But the only version they have is in full color with borders on the top and bottom and some of the pages have background. So while that makes it look good on the screen it is not a good pdf to print out.

The art in the book is not good. I found my self cringing at the art. I am not an art person and I rarely do comment on it. I found the people to be ill proportioned and they just did not look good. On the flip side the book has a good layout. There are pages made up to be written text on parchment and this are easy to read and recognize for what they are.

Elfclash is a few things all in one. It covers a new setting, has new races, classes, skills, feats, and magic system. This is a world that focuses on the elves. There is one dominant race of them, and they are hunted races of them. Overall the setting gave me a feeling of Midnight, but not really in a good way. It has the same feelings of the one mostly dominate race and the other races either just getting along or trying to rebel. It is not as hopeless as Midnight can seem. Another thing that really clinched these two settings being similar are the races and classes are a bit more powerful then standard D&D ones. In Midnight they did this well but Elf clash?s classes and races really do not seem balanced with each other.

One thing they did that I am not a fan of is add skills that help in combat. These are not like tumble which helps movement in combat, these are like Archery which actually gives one even greater bonuses when welding a weapon. This gives a +1 bonus per 4 ranks unless one happens to be of the Arcane class. They get +1 bonus per skill rank. The archery skill also does not list DCs for anything. So, I?m left with wondering what use as a skill this actually has. There are a few skills like this.

They have some interesting feats. There are some that are better if one is a certain class. For instance there is a feat called Charismatic. This allows a player to choose two skills based on charisma to get a +2 bonus. Bards and Paladins though get to pick four skills to get the +2 bonus. Cross class skills also become class skills, but I?m not sure if that applies to everyone who takes the feat or just the Bard and Paladin. They do have some interesting feats like Lightning Reaction that allows one to roll three d20 instead of one for initiative. It has three feats as a prerequisite. There are a lot of creative feats here and the writers were not afraid to take chances.

The setting is well written and an enjoyment to read. However, the rules mechanics seem to be a problem that will not be easy to fix. There are references here to the DM?s Guide of Elfclash so I am uncertain how some of the things work exactly. There are numerous new types of equipment as well.

Elfclash has a lot to offer but it also has its fair share of problems. I think they have a good start to something with this but there are more then a few areas that I think will give DMs problems especially those that care about balance.

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
ElfClash: Realm of Lanai Player's Guide
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Bandit's End
by Paul R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2006 00:00:00
I'd like to able to fill this box in without having to put anything in this comment box, alas I cannot- I apologise but I've not got a lot of free time and yet I want to rate the products.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bandit's End
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Fringe Races: Elves
by Mark G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/22/2006 00:00:00
?Fringe Races: Elves? is a 48 page pdf by Khan?s Press. This book is design to breakdown the traditional elf as portrayed in many d20 games and return it to a more traditional role. This is done be rewriting the race not as another type of humanoid but instead remaking them as fey.

The product is divided into 5 chapters the first being a discussion of elves in general, the second a selection of variant classes, the third a mix of elven abilities, the fourth having new spells and the final chapter possessing a number of animal companions and mounts.

Chapter 1 ? The chapter provides a brief discussion of the realms in which fey elves are said to live. It provides detail on forest realms, faerie mound realms, underwater realms, and cavernous realms the elves might live in. It discusses the system of government used by the elves and touches on the concepts of the seelie and unseelie courts. There are several new languages in this chapter such as beast, stone, water, and others which though purchased as languages act more like equivalent spell-like ability. I believe this is done to reinforce the fey elves? otherworldliness when compare to other races (only elves may learn these languages). Other aspects elven life such as travel, entertainment, relationships, religion and death are all detailed. There is no distinction made on these topic for the 4 elven races in this book, it is written as though the 4 are identical in these aspects.

The real crunch of this chapter lies in the discussion of the elven races. The author notes that,

??, you might feel that they are unbalanced when in groups with other races. However, the classes favored by the elves discourage wearing heavy armor, and elves in combat will likely be hit more frequently.?

Regardless, of this assertion by the author, the elves presented in this section are all more powerful by than a standard race and should carry a level adjustment. Just because a race favors a particular class doesn?t mean that a player will select those races.

Race Breakdown:

Light Elf ? possesses all the features of the elf in the PHB plus DR 5/cold iron, wild empathy and a fey type (meaning spells that affect humanoids are now useless).
Dark Elf ? The text clearly indicates they are not drow and more of antiheroes, but they still live underground are light sensitive and generally look like drow. They possess most of the features of the PHB elf, DR5/cold iron, darkvision, a frightful presences and light blindness.
Gray Elf ? a half-light, half-dark elf, possesses most the abilities of the elf in the MM, bonuses to Hide and Move Silently, DR 5/cold iron, wild empathy and light blindness.
Half-Elves ? actually another race and not human/elf hybrid. They are Small plus the elf from the PHB and DR 5/cold iron, wild empathy and bonuses to Move Silently and Hide.

Each race has a 4 favoured classes (one typical and access to the three introduced in this book).

Chapter 2 ? Introduces 3 variant classes for elven characters only. First is the elven forerunner (variant ranger) which has essentially the same abilities with some restrictions and new abilities (archery focus is a must, favoured enemies are lost) and instead the elven forerunner has an initiative bonus +1/5 levels, may add wisdom to initiative, and gains spell-like abilities drawn from the ranger list. The second class is the elven minstrel (variant bard) which loses bardic knowledge, and it its place gains additional bardic music effects and the two weapon fighting chain of feats. Lastly is the elven sorcerer (actually a druid variant) which loses the resistances of the druid (nature?s lure, venom immunity, et cetera) and gains the ability to sprout a tail for swimming or wings for flying a limited number of times a day.

Chapter 3 ? Bring back the notion that elves do not need to sleep and instead may mediate for 4 hours. During these meditations the elf is able to achieve a number of spell-like effects through the expenditure of experience. Access to one of these abilities becomes available to the elf at levels 5,10,15,20,? regardless of class. Next the concept of an elven masterwork item is introduced, which acts like a normal masterwork item except it grants double the benefit at double the cost. One of the more interesting, yet most likely unbalanced, items in this section is the elf-shot arrows. This is a collection of 5 specialty arrows that can be made with a Craft (alchemy) check. Three of the arrows carry spell-like effects (a love charm, confusion, paralysis) and a priced well under what making a magical arrow of this type would cost. The last are a disease arrow and a venom arrow that deals 1d6 Con/1d6 Con. Closing out this chapter are a collection of feats some are mundane like Dexterous Climber and others are quite cinematic like Piercing Shot (allowing you to potentially hit two opponents with one arrow). For the most part the feats look balanced though Elven Racial Proficiency is effectively Weapon Focus (x3 to x6) as it grants that bonus to all elven weapons.

Chapter 4 ? Introduces nine new spells primarily for bards, druids and rangers. The spells themselves are thematic and seem appropriate for their level and yet somewhat derivative. For instance, the spell forest armor is essentially a Drd/Rgr version of mage armour, Bow of Arrows is greater magic weapon for a bow (creating magical arrows), and storm shield is a electricity variant of fire shield. Again there nothing wrong with this but it just doesn?t seem to break any new ground.

Chapter 5 ? Introduces animal companions and mounts favoured by the elven fey. These include Faerie Horses, Faerie Ponies, Faerie Hounds, Reindeer, and Flying Reindeer. Yes, Flying Reindeer.

That said the mechanics on the monster stats are solid except for the Flying Reindeer which seem to have an unlisted cold subtype.

The creatures themselves differ only from their mundane variety because of their enhanced intelligence and because they are magical beasts. This may present a problem from GMs, because they are not animals and don?t have animal intelligence so technically they should be considered cohorts instead of animal companions.



LIKED: Clear OGC declaration
Interesting selection of feats.
Elf-shot is an interesting mechanic
Two versions (Print and Screen)

DISLIKED: There are balance issues with the races and classes as written.
Spells don?t break any new ground
Animal companions don?t? really break any new ground.
There is not enough societal information to truly run four unique elven races here.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fringe Races: Elves
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NIGHT TERRORS: Alien Parasite
by Derek H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/30/2005 00:00:00
The night terrors are a species of arthropods that have an enormous array of potential abilities. The are parasites that control the host, but they are much more than that. Each takes a class and for each level taken, assume a new ability and flaw (both of which tie into their alien mindset or insectoid-ness). They have 34 positive powers and 8 flaws (some of both can be taken multiple times). Many of the powers are not useful within a host, but that doesn't matter since most of a hive travels in their base (or altered) form. But that doesn't mean the parasites that are currently in hosts are minor to the hive- they are the bait and the spys. They are meant to be a major power, if not the major enemy, in a setting and in this, they fullfill the needs for that in terms of power.

I can not suggest this pdf strongly enough if you want a new hive dwelling monster. It should be easy to convert to d20 Modern and Future for use in those games as well.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NIGHT TERRORS: Alien Parasite
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Bandit's End
by Erskin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2005 00:00:00
A simple adventure for low level characters. Nothing too complex, but nice enough. Nothing fancy, nothing eye-poping or amazing, but a sloid little advenure all the same. Perfect if you are feeling too lazy or simply don't have time to get something together.

LIKED: Price. Clear layout.

DISLIKED: Plot was a little simplistic. Artwork was a little weak.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Bandit's End
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Bandit's End
by Arjen S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/18/2005 00:00:00
This adventure is great if you are new to D&D and want to start not too wild.

LIKED: Accessible for new players.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Tomb
by John G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2005 00:00:00
Nothing a good game master couldn't slap together in half an hour.

QUALITY: Poor

VALUE: Ripped Off


Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Tomb
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Bandit's End
by Fred D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2005 00:00:00
The story behind the adventure is fairly simple and doesn't pretend to be particularly original. For my purpose (introducing young players to FRPGs) that borders on the desirable. Adjusting the story to fit into a world is easy.

The suggested treasures seem somewhat high; I've never expected the average kobold to have anything to speak of beyond a spear. The number of kobolds certainly justifies some treasure to low-level adventurers, though. The experience is what's most valuable to 1st-level characters.


LIKED: This is a staightforward adventure suitable for young players with 1st-level characters (what I was looking for).

DISLIKED: The artwork was not professional (but that's not a biggie for me, so long as the price is low).

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bandit's End
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Fringe Campaigns: Soul Harvest
by Jeremy S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2005 00:00:00
This is a very well thought-out book on what would happen if the fiends (demons, devils) had conquered a campaign world. It is really neat, and something that I had played in previous campaigns. I wish that the GM had this book then, as it would have enhanced an already fun campaign. Now you have something to do if you want your campaign to go to Hell. You can have it go to your campaign, instead.

LIKED: Who doesn't like a grim, dark setting? This has the elements that I like about Dark Sun and puts them in any other setting.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fringe Campaigns: Soul Harvest
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The Tempest #1
by Jason C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2004 00:00:00
I was honestly not that impressed with the organization of this e-zine. It didn't take advantage of the format of PDFs to make articles printable separately and clearly, or of the many layout features that PDFs can have to make them more usuable. The fiction was unimpressive.

The game material was pretty fair, and I'm interested in seeing more from these authors. There's potential here, it just needs a lot more editing work and fleshing out.

LIKED: Good ideas underneath, I like the idea of an e-zine being published alongside a setting, to explore sidebars and options.

DISLIKED: Layout, fiction, features, editing.

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Tempest #1
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The Tempest #1
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/19/2004 00:00:00
Pretty good. Well thought out game mechanics but the overall contents are let down by the inclusion of the obligatory fiction that all 'zine publishers seem to think is so neat.

Definately worth it if you can get it at a discount but it seems that we're not going to see anymore of them as it has been several months now between issues.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fringe Fauna
by Orval M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2004 00:00:00
Ths excellent work is just what you need for those players who have read every monster in the monster manual and other supplements. Remeber a DM's motto is "Always keep them guessing!"

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fringe Fauna
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Fringe Fauna
by Jeff V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2004 00:00:00
As the description says Fringe Fauna consists of new animals. This is an important point - there are NO MONSTERS in this product. It's all animals, so be aware of this before you purchase this product or you may be disappointed.

The product contains 59 animals of various sorts. None of these are native earth animals so you won't find stats for chickens, squirrels or panda bears here ;)

There are no new feats, rules, classes or other goodies. There is a small 2 page section of appendixes which gives suggestions for which of the new animals to use as familiars, mounts and companions and what environs they would be encountered in.

Personally I found just a few of the animals seemed interesting and unique to me - the Angelfly (a little fly attracted to treasure), the Phoenix Owl (a desert dwelling breed of owl that incubates it's eggs in the hot sands), and the Stirik (a large flightless bird that could be used as a mount in chocobo fashion)

There are some new pack and riding creatures that you could throw into your campaign for something the players have never seen before and a few different fish and lizards to use for flavor.

Unfortunately most simply did not pique my interest or seemed downright dumb or were silly variations on existing animals (an ant/rat combo, a dolphin/shark mix, a four legged duck called a Dlurk, the Scentopede which is a snake that just happens to look like a centipede, the sea rhino, a flying ape, the list goes on and on). There are too many creatures that I just really feel there is no need for...

Take for instance the Cydiir - it reads "The Cydiir resemble giant badgers with the coloration and attitude to match"... so what makes this an interesting creature? Why not just give me a giant badger and be done with it? Calling it a Cydiir doesn't make it any more menacing or interesting (and frankly I think the name seems a bit dumb & uninspired, as though it was generated by a random program)

The book has a lot of white space and the descriptions of the creatures are a bit on the short side. Basically there is just enough info to run the creature in an encounter with a little bit of the beasties ecology thrown in so you can decide how it fits into your world.

Like any "monstrous manual" your mileage may vary and you will find critters that you think are interesting and those you discard as useless. To me compared to other products available on RPGNow this one should be priced in the $5.00 range.

Final Rating - I really wanted to like Fringe Fauna more and I hate to be the first reviewer and provide such a low score. There's nothing technically wrong with the book, it just doesn't grab me personally like this kind of book should. The names, illustrations and descriptions were all "acceptable", but seem thrown together. Nothing here really made me want to include the creatures in my adventures. A lot of it just felt like filler to me. Be sure to check the demo, read other reviews and the product description to decide if this book will benefit your campaign. :)

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fringe Campaigns: Soul Harvest
by Rodney T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2004 00:00:00
Overall, this book is well written. Being a fan of the macabre, it's nice to see someone handle the "darker" aspects of fantasy without the urge to sugar coat them.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fringe Campaigns: Soul Harvest
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