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Other comments left for this publisher:
Oracle of Orcas
by David H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2009 00:35:22
This is a great side quest. It's easily ran and played as part of a larger campaign or indeed as a one shot module. Kudos to Alea Publishing for bringing us this.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Oracle of Orcas
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Oracle of Orcas
by Nathan O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2009 18:12:05
This is a great quiet start for 4ed d&d so have fun with it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Feudal Characters: Noble
by Derek S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2009 12:25:33
This is a good but not great way of doing a noble multi-class only class. By making noble a class you dabble in, any character class can be a noble. This is a great design goal but the implementation is unfortunately lacking. Weapon based characters are much better represented than implement based characters. The level of disparity in power a Noble Fighter would have over a Noble Cleric for instance is a bit jarring and detracts from what would otherwise be an excellent product. Also, the non-weapon powers don't have the implement keyword although adding that as a houserule is easy enough to do. The Paragon Path and the DM Noble templates are very good.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Feudal Characters: Noble
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APG Paper Figures: Military Orders ($1.00)
by Peter S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2009 10:22:34
Absolutely bautiful cardstock Knights. Several different figures provided. Some are also provided with several copies of the same figure. They use the inverted T version which I personally prefer as I am able to glue the base to a 1" square foamcore board which works well with cardstock terrain.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
APG Paper Figures: Military Orders ($1.00)
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APG Paper Figures: Gladiators ($1.00)
by Peter S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2009 10:18:03
For the Price, these are absolutely beautiful card stock miniatures when printed out. There are also several figures provided with the set and several copies of each figure. The only dissappointment I had was that they are only provided in the 3 sided versions and I prefer the inverted T that I can glue to a foamcore board base.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
APG Paper Figures: Gladiators ($1.00)
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APG City Tiles
by Christopher H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2009 01:45:31
Printable dungeon tiles are almost a dime a dozen these days, but good urban and village tiles remain semi-scarce. Alea's City Tiles plugs a hole in the existing printable tiles market. This product, well worth the $4 price tag, offers an interesting and useful variety of village buildings, along with a grassy lawn (reproduce it as often as you'd like to make larger meadows) and four different street tiles. While I like this product a lot, I have to admit that although the various buildings' layouts differ, their "look and feel" doesn't. I didn't realize that fantasy/medieval freemen lived in premanufactured tract housing where all the walls, floors, tables, chairs, etc. looked exactly the same. :-)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
APG City Tiles
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Wandering Magister
by Christopher H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2009 00:01:38
This free preview of Alea's Feudal Lords campaign setting does a good job of sparking interest in the overall setting. Based on this preview, next time I consider a new 4e campaign, I will definitely give Feudal Lords a look.

The wandering magister paragon path presented here integrates tightly with the Feudal Lords storyline, but by "reskinning" the fluff a little, you can easily use the paragon path in a different setting. I love the way that Alea has incorporated the brand-new sorcerer mechanics into the paragon path, with innovative uses for wild magic.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wandering Magister
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Adventurer's Guide to Cthonia
by Andrew C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2009 23:17:30
I have been eagerly awaiting the Adventurer's Guide to Cthonia since I picked up the stand-alone Noble Multiclass last fall, and does it ever deliver! Both of the new Multiclass-Only classes are wonderful additions. The Noble is all about enforcing your authority over your enemy, while the Possessed's Daily Metamorphosis powers are unsettling and way cool. And that's before the Paragon Paths, Epic Destinies, Professions (which work like regional backgrounds) of every conceivable kind, and Feats. Oh, the feats. My favorite of the new feats are the Fatigue feats, which let you expend some of your energy to perform spectacular, well, feats. The Equipment chapter is hit or miss for me, but there's enough other things in here that it simply doesn't matter. Oh, and the simple system for how long it takes to find a buyer for magic items is a great addition.

One of my biggest complaints with the Adventurer's Guide is with Chapter Eight, the Commands. There are simply not enough of them, I must have more! They're one of the best innovations in the book, in my opinion, and while there are enough for proof of concept, there's just not enough of them to illustrate the potential depth of the mechanics. Similarly, Chapter Four, Feudal Obligations, provides an appealing first bite but then leaves me hanging, hungry for a fuller exploration of the idea that's just not provided in this product. Here's hoping that Alea Publishing Group gets the chance to revisit these great ideas in future products.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurer's Guide to Cthonia
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Adventurer's Guide to Cthonia
by Jamie P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2009 12:22:46
Wow...where to start? First off let me say DO NOT be disuaded by the price....there is a LOT of material here and if you just want the capsule review here it is. Buy it- 4 out of 5 stars- some really well done crunch and fluff with just some minor nagging execution issues. Now for those who are staying along for the ride, please keep reading.

The Guide to Cthonia features art that enhances the feeling of the setting which I'm going to label Birthright meets Points of Light. This is pseudo-medieval western european done well -with suspicious peasants who trust the 'miracles' of divinie magic but persecute the 'godless warlocks' who practice arcane magicks.

There are sections on incorporating the various classes and races into this rich world. Among these is the new noble class which I found IMMENSELY entertaining. There are new paragon paths and epic destinies which show a decent command of 4th edition structure. There are some minor balance/technical issues with these sections but that seems to be par for the course for 3rd party publishers and I don't count it too heavily against the Alea group.

There is a highly useful character background section and those who have been lamenting the lack of role-playing fodder in 4th edition will gobble this chapter up.

There are feats, an almanac, a new pantheon, and more! Like I said, I don't want to reveal all the tricks APG has up their sleeves but this is a very solid product and I for one WILL be buying the next in the series.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Studio Companion: Dinosaurs
by Walter W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2009 05:40:53
Most of these images already are freely available on the Wikipedia commons, where they were shared with the intention of being freely used by other users. While the authors cite the illustrator, is she being compensated for her work? They're great illustrations -- you'll rarely find better. But I have penalize the company for selling what already is being given away for free.

Here's the wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Approved_dinosaur_imag-
es

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Studio Companion: Dinosaurs
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Publisher Reply:
The images are in the public domain and are free to use in any venture. While, like many PD images, these too one might find them elsewhere. The price reflects a number of valid points: we took the time to gather the images in one collection for those without the knowledge to access them; the original images are in .PNG form which we transferred each image into .JPG format, and finally, all of the original images were less than 30 .dpi. While this might prove fine for a web image, but if a customer wanted to print out the product or if a publisher wanted to make a print product with the original images, they would not suffice. We accomplished this by increase the .dpi to 300, the standard for print product images. While these points are moot for someone with the knowledge to accomplish this, in my experience I found that many small publishers do not have access to such knowledge or the time to devote to such endeavors when they can pay a small fee for this process. We do not make money on this, or any Studio Companion product, to justify the effort. But, since I have the means and the hope to rise the quality of other publishers' products to increase consumer confidence on the whole, then I find that we are justified. It is less than 20 cents per image the consumer is paying for this product for the service we provide distributing these images in a better publishing format.
Studio Companion: Mysterious Places
by Frank B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2009 13:12:23
Not what I was hoping for in terms of clarity and detail. These are somewhat Impressionistic pieces that look best at 25% or 50% scale. I can see some use for some of them, but some are just too blurry and Impressionistic for my taste. On the plus side, the colors are rich and evocative, and the sense of place and treatment of subject matter is pleasant.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Studio Companion: Mysterious Places
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Medieval Landscapes: Peasant House
by Ulises T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2009 18:21:18
This is a fantastic little guide to the life of peasants in any medieval setting. I wish AGP would publish more books in this series; the work they did in this one is impeccable.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Medieval Landscapes: Peasant House
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks - I hardly respond to reviews, but I do like to add that we will continue this line as soon as our Feudal Lords Adventurer's Guide is complete. We plan to explore every aspect of the medieval world. I know it is long overdue, but we have a very, very small staff. Thanks and continue to enjoy. Happy Gaming.
APG Paper Figures: Gladiators ($1.00)
by Dennis S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/07/2009 00:44:36
Just downloaded this product. So far I'm impressed. Still waiting for construction information, but have been there done that before, so I should be able to survive.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
APG Paper Figures: Gladiators ($1.00)
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Feudal Characters: Noble
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/13/2008 10:15:30
There are a number of significant changes between the new 4e GSL system and the OGL rules, one of the more notable ones being the class system and the associated system of powers. Under the OGL system, designing a class wasn't a particularly cumbersome task, as long as you could create an interesting and viable class with 20 levels and provide the associated spells, abilities and feats for the class as required. Under the new 4e GSL rules, designing a class takes more time and effort simply because you need to provide enough powers and feats for the class, including associated material like builds, class specific abilities and the like.

When I first saw Alea Publishing's Feudal Characters: Noble, I'll admit I wasn’t sure what to expect. A 'noble' as such is not really a class, at least not within the classes and their roles as defined in the GSL system. On the other hand, given the very much perceived weaknesses of the GSL's social system, I was intrigued to see what Alea Publishing would offer for an inherently social class. Most powers, barring sometimes the utility powers, are largely associated with combat, so the combination of a social class by definition and 'combat' powers would be interesting. Having seen what Alea Publishing have done, I was pleasantly surprised by the approach, creativity and neatness of what they'd done with the class.

Feudal Characters: Noble is a 16 page pdf product that presents a new class for the Feudal Lands campaign setting from Alea Publishing Group. This product is one of the first Feudal Lands products for the 4e GSL system, although several products have been produced for the campaign setting under the OGL rules (which I believe are to be updated to 4e GSL rules). This product is excellently presented, with a high standard of writing, layout, editing and general style of presentation. Some good illustrations are provided by Denise Garner, and the product includes a excellent cover, useful bookmarks and an attractive bordering to the pages in the layout. Overall, the product has a bit of eye-candy associated with it, and is done to a professional quality standard.

The noble class as a concept is fairly self-explanatory - a character born into or bestowed nobility and likely with that associated land, titles and other benefits of the status. The class itself is implemented as a multiclass rather than a base class, and I think that's a neat way of using the GSL multiclassing system. After all, nobles are not associated with any particular class, but the benefits of nobility can be obtained via a noble multiclass. In this way, more powerful nobles or lesser nobles can have varying degrees of multiclass powers, further providing a good solution to how to mechanically implement the noble class. I think this is an elegant choice, and whatever your thoughts on GSL multiclassing, I think this is an instance where it works really well.

Barring providing the multiclass noble feat for access to the noble's powers, the majority of the product, as one would really expect, is a long list of various daily, encounter and utility powers. Power cards are usefully provided at the end of the product for all the noble's powers. The powers are all based on a new power source, the bloodline power source, and a fair number of the noble's powers deal psychic damage. The powers themselves contain a fair mix of different flavors and descriptions, although the majority of them are unfortunately very combat focused. Some of the utility powers are focused on skill challenges, which I thought was a useful way of building the social aspects of the class.

Of the combat powers most seemed fairly balanced, although if you've read all the powers in the core books, the majority of the noble's powers are similar abilities in a different guise. Powers are based on such aspects of the noble's stature such as speech, commanding presence and the like, much like one would expect. In a way, and likely a good way, the noble's combat powers are very similar to those a knight would have. As always, roleplaying goes a long way in developing these powers for a specific character or noble concept. The latter half of the product includes a noble template as well as a new monster, the typical human knight. It's a rather odd, but descriptive name for a monster, but useful nonetheless.

Overall, I think this is a class where the approach taken as a multiclass pays of, and illustrates a good way of using the GSL multiclassing system. The powers themselves are mostly good, though perhaps a bit repetitive, but I'd hoped to see more playing with the social aspects of what the noble class entails. Nevertheless, I think the few social utility powers, the training provided to nobles in social skills, and general roleplaying will make this a multiclass that can work well in game. Alea Publishing Group have provided a clever approach to creating new concepts and classes by using the multiclass system. A good, strong product, with clever design and a very usable class.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Feudal Characters: Noble
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Feudal Characters: Noble
by David H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2008 02:37:05
I have to agree with Robert. This is by far one of the best third party classes I have found. It's well balanced without being weak and it adds some flavor into your games. This is definitely a buy! Especially if you want them to be able to afford to keep making these :)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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