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A Question of Honor: A Guidebook to Knights
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/22/2007 00:00:00
A Question of Honor: A Guidebook to Knights for D20 Fantasy (3.5 version) by Cameron Guill, Joshua Raynack and Ryan Rawls published by Alea Publishing Group. The product comes with the Question of Honor sourcebook (66 pages, 60 after covers and OGL), a small file listing all of the OGL content, and two full color maps. The layout is clean with a decorative border that may (or may not) be annoying when printed.

This is, as it promises, a guidebook to knights. It begins with a brief overview of knights and the contents, including an introduction to the new rules that are included including several small but clever tweaks to the combat system. This is followed by new uses for skills and many new feats both combat and non-combat. A new set of optional fighting styles and combat skills (which are purchased from points based on base attack bonus), such as high cut and counterattack, provide many options for those who wish to add to the complexity of combat.

Next are fourteen prestige classes: squires, troubadours and a multitude of knights. Knights of all types: historical knights (Hospitaller, Templar, Teutonic), fantasy knights (Dwarven Tor, Knight of the Dawn), and evil knights (Black Knight, Fallen Champion), something for everyone. The Squire class has very low entry requirements (can be taken after 4th level) and serves as a bridge to many of the other knightly class, nicely thematic.

Following is a selection of followers that a knight might need, animal handlers, soldiers, squires and more, each with a full statblocks and monthly upkeep cost. Then there is new armor, weapons and other items. The armor is interesting as it included pieces that can be added to other armor, but it does not fully explain how the penalties for combining pieces stack. Several new magic weapon and armor enhancements, which mostly seem a little over priced for their effect. Two new magic items, two new special metals, two artefact swords -one good, one evil- and a set of new spells round out this section. The authors seem less sure on magic than they are on anything else and these may need minor adjustments to fit into a campaign.

The product concludes with two appendices: The first, a setting, the Hill Lands of Terra, a place for knights to adventure complete with adventure seeds and maps. The second, includes two new knight-themed monsters and an NPC for the Hill Lands setting.

A Question of Honor is an interesting sourcebook, if you are planning on using knights in your campaign, you will find a wealth of material to adapt. The new combat rules are interesting, with the simple ones looking especially useful and there is much solid material here. However, most of the game information is very tied to a medieval European sort of setting which limits its easy adaptability.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Question of Honor: A Guidebook to Knights
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APG City Tiles
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2007 00:00:00
Quite a few crowded, prosperous, late Middle Ages buildings. Very uniform in appearance. Not a bad product...just not at all satisfying. At least it wasn't expensive.


LIKED: One home has a garden plot, though it's way too tiny.

DISLIKED: Large rooms overcrowded with furniture, including haphazard beds everywhere. Yet somehow, the concept of sitting on a bench seems alien to the inhabitants. Even the poorest of houses suggests a fairly prosperous inhabitant.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
APG City Tiles
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A Question of Loyalty: A Guidebook to Military Orders
by Mark A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2007 00:00:00
Excellent product. It accomplishes it's intended purpose perfectly.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Question of Loyalty: A Guidebook to Military Orders
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Character Theme: Crusader (3.5)
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/27/2006 00:00:00
Character options come in many different forms. There are the traditional skills, feat, prestige classes, and core classes that are seen in many different products. There are the lesser known and more controversial forms like the prestige race options from Oathbound and the guild options presented in Guildcraft and the Path of series of books. These options have a cost of pure experience do not involve spending of resources that the class system grants characters. Crusader shows another option that they call a subclass.

Crusader is a new PDF by Alea Publishing Group. They are one of the few companies that really has well defined niche and for them that is medieval like crusades. They have different books as well as paper figures all built around knight orders and chivalry. The PDF is six pages long so is small even for PDF standards. Despite the small size, the book has book marks. It has eighteen things book marked; I never see a ration of book marks to pages that is like three to one. That?s impressive and shows a well book marked item.

Crusader presents a sub class. A Sub class is something that is added onto an existing class. So, the class gets a little more powerful but does get a minus twenty percent experience penalty. If one happens to take a favored sub class the penalty is only minus 10 percent. The crusader which is the only subclass presented here is a favored subclass of the humans. In exchange the class gets a few bonuses over many levels. By twentieth level one with this subclass gets plus one base attack bonus, plus to the saves, some hit points extra skill points and class skills, as well as a few abilities. Despite getting all of that it does seem like it might not be enough for lagging a level or two or even more behind the other characters.

I like the idea of the subclass. It is a nice option that can be combined with ease to any regular class. Some classes line up better with the Crusader since it is a more melee and fighting oriented class. It is also religious in nature gaining some abilities that only work on creatures that are not of their religion. It is nice way to make a character a little more focused and defined as the idea of a crusader, someone who basically kills the enemies of his own religion. It defiantly has the potential of really having a campaign or at the least a series of adventures built around the idea.

I will be interested in seeing other subclasses. If I were to use it I would prefer to have similar options that can be offered to all characters instead of just this one that would only appeal to a limited number of player characters. As a DM though, it would make a great addition to use on many NPCs of the same religion or even fighting against each other. It is a nicely written and well organized PDF that I do recommend for anyone that has use of religious zealots in their game.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Character Theme: Crusader (3.5)
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APG City Tiles
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/02/2006 00:00:00
APG City Tiles

Props at the gaming table are a nice way to enhance play and with the prevalence of minis being used in the game these types of tile props can be very useful. Here we have printable tiles that are in black and white as well as color. One of the nice things on them being printable is one can write on them and print as much as they like. Of course printing especially in color can be expensive as these tiles are going to consume quite a bit of ink.

City Tiles is done by Alea Publishing Group. They have slowly been producing a nice range of PDF products for the d20 game. The book is in black and white and color so it can be printed either way. It is not that big only being nineteen pages long. Fifteen of those pages have a single full page tile on them and two of the pages have a pair of half page tiles on them.. The book has no book marks which are expected as the product is designed to be printed out and not used on a computer screen. The book does include some advice for printing it out. It suggests printing it out on card stock and even getting them laminated. That will make the tiles a lot more durable but also drives up the out of pocket cost to use these.

The tiles look good and are easy to use with a square grid on the maps. The book gives one stone roads on grass with straight roads, cross roads, and a tee intersection. There is a full page grid on plain grass and the rest of them are of buildings. The maps given are of inns, freeman?s homes, merchant homes, taverns, wealthy homes, and other basic places. The maps look good. It is easy to tell what the different items on the maps are and they are not cluttered with items.

While everything in it is good it does need more. The title is City Tiles and there is not a city in this product. The buildings are surrounded with grass and there is plenty of room in the buildings. There is no sense of the conservation of space and the claustrophobic nature of many old cities. Also, the buildings they give are just a small selection of what one would hope to find in a city. There needs to be stables, blacksmith shop, armory, general stores, temples, public baths, and other city exclusive buildings that one doe not find in most villages. This product though does work for someone wanting the buildings for a village and other smaller communities.

In the end the maps are well done and about what one finds in other similar products. I would not get this if I specifically wanted city tiles. However, for a few more buildings to add on to a collection of tiles or to just have a few buildings for a village or town this will work as well as any other tile product on the subject.



LIKED: Well done tiles

DISLIKED: Not really a city

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
APG City Tiles
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APG City Tiles
by Dan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2006 00:00:00
These are not city tiles. They are small village homes with very little variety. Not worth the purchase.


LIKED: Nothing.

DISLIKED: Very little variety. It claims to be city tiles but is really a collection of small village homes. I wouldn't advise purchasing this product.

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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Publisher Reply:
Our only reply to this review is that Dave Masucci is an employee of Eden Studios, another d20 publishing company.
APG City Tiles
by Derek K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/19/2006 00:00:00
"APG City Tiles" by the Alea Publishing Group (with accompanying text by Joshua Raynack) is something any DM with a printer can use to help with a specific campaign or game, or, when needed, can help with the spur-of-the-moment-and-completely-unplanned-for-bar-fight scenarios in a fantasy or medieval game.

Easy-to-understand printing instructions make up the first page, and a brief description of medieval city structure makes up the second before diving into the city tiles themselves. (The writing is professional and easy-to-read; writer Raynack includes enough information to help DMs use this product in their own fantasy or medieval games without talking or writing down to them.) Seventeen pages of city tiles are presented here, and they include everything from a tavern or inn, a field of grass, city streets and even an eating hall. The cartography is clean and their functionality is self-evident. While these tiles are all quite generic, they would be easy to puzzle-piece together to create a dynamic playing area for your players' minis.

There are two different .pdf versions of this supplement - one is in color, the other is a grayscale black-and-white version. The grayscale version is identical to the full-color version minus the color, so if you're looking to save a little color ink, you?ll not miss out on any details.

Suggestions are provided at the beginning of this supplement regarding not just printing of the tiles, but how to make them a bit more durable (foamboard is suggested as a base) as well.

While there?s certainly absolutely nothing wrong with using wet-erase markers on a battle-mat, especially in a pinch, this is a solid product that deserves to be seen and used by DMs.

LIKED: At $5.00, this product is quite the bargain. These tiles can be used over and over again, and you'll more than get your money's worth. The cartography is clean and neat, and most of your town-building needs can be met with this supplement.

DISLIKED: There's very little not to like about this product!

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied

[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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APG City Tiles
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2006 00:00:00
APG City Tiles is a 19 page pdf product featuring a number of map tiles for building a city block. The aim of the product is to allow GMs to easily construct a city block consisting of merchant and freeman homes, inns, taverns, streets and others using well put together maps that can be printed and placed straight onto a gaming table. Alea Publishing Group (APG) are not new to the 2D tile/map market and have produced several other lines of products, including paper tiles and figures for different gaming genres.

This product comes as both a full-colour screen version and a greyscale printer-friendly version. The latter allows you the saving on colour ink, although contains exactly the same product as the screen version. Some of the details in the printer friendly version go missing or are hard to distinguish, so to gain the most benefit from the product, printing the colour tiles is recommended. In addition to the seventeen map tiles presented in the product, Alea Publishing have also included an brief overview on medieval life and buildings, information that can enhance the flavor of the game. Layout and presentation is very good, and from a presentation point of view this product should not disappoint.

The main body of the product contains the seventeen map tiles that can be used to construct a city block or just used as is for an individual building. Each map tiles is 300 dpi, making for easy printing with good quality at the same time. Tiles include a grass base, common inn, freemans' homes, merchants' homes, common tavern, eating hall, and a small collection of streets. Most of the homes have upstairs and downstairs portions, and contain the minimum level of detail so that DMs are not restricted by the contents of the maps. Typical features included beds, barrels, tables, chairs and fireplaces.

The quality of the maps is good, although the variety could've been increased a little bit. All tables and other furnishings, for example, look the same and use the same map components. A little variety here would've made a city block more unique rather than a conformal collection. Layout and design of the contents of the maps makes sense, and there are more than enough rooms to use for a variety of different purposes. The streets are a little disappointing in that there are too few to construct something realistic or even logical. A few more different types of streets and general variety on the interior decorations would've made this product much better. Overall, though, the maps are good, very useful, and would make a good addition to any GMs arsenal of props to enhance gaming at the table.


LIKED: Good quality maps with high utility value. Some additional added value in useful information regarding medieval lifestyles and buildings.

DISLIKED: Variety is lacking in places and features are often repetitive. Could've done with a few additional street designs, and more variety in the structure and furnishing of the houses and buildings.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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APG City Tiles
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/26/2006 00:00:00
About 12 months ago I had this wild idea.

I bought about a ton of those build it yourself print outs with the intention that I was going to construct a massive 3-D city for my players. After toiling with an exacto knife, several skin breaking cuts and 100s of dollars in ink costs, I realized that this was not for me. Apparently Alea Publishing realized that it was not for a lot of people when it created AGP City Tiles, a 20 pg PDF containing

AGP City Tiles provides 22 images that can combine to perform as elaborate a hamlet, thorp, city or village as you wish. There are enough varieties of homes and land to construct fairly expansive communities, if you like communities without shops and smiths. My guess is that these buildings will possibly be in a future expansion of the product, but I was hoping to create a complete village right out of the box.

The artwork itself is very colorful and realistic. The outside grass looks very plush with sparks of dirt patches to add to the realism. The interiors were as detailed but many of the objects felt repetitive as one house or building seemed to run into another. I could not feel much of a difference between some of them. The tables also have food on them which from a descriptive point of view can be a minor annoyance when you are describing a room that is suppose to be unoccupied.

For the Dungeon Master

I like the marketing idea of producing an entire city worth of tiles all within the same product and having them all included in an inexpensive PDF will be very beneficial. Creative DMs will enjoy the budget and construction information discussed at the beginning of the maps.

The Iron Word

I like having everything you need for a village in one easy PDF and the artwork is a notch above other attempts at doing this. There are some mild annoyances (no smiths or shops, lack of furniture variety) but those seem really minor when considering this is one of the best types of this product. The major problem though, is the lack of a complete map or examples of complete maps for those of us whom are less imaginative.



LIKED: - great artwork
- imagination is only boundary
- black and white and color copies
- easy on the printer

DISLIKED: - some of the interiors don't have a ton of detail
- no complete maps so you got to have a good imagination

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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APG Mutations
by Jim F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2006 00:00:00
It did it's job, outlining Mutations for D20 and proved helpful for a short post nuke adventure.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
APG Mutations
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APG Paper Figures: Military Orders ($1.00)
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/30/2006 00:00:00
APG Paper Figures Military Orders

Figures and miniatures seem to be important pieces to the d20 game. It can help the game get a more tactical feel for large combats and help the players visualize the scene for interesting and bold maneuvers. In the age of miniatures and paper figures though, the cost can get expensive and the items need to look cool.

This collection of Paper Knights actually makes complete sense for Alea. They have devoted themselves to products that deal with knights, their codes, their orders, and everything one might want about knights. They do a good job and have really defined themselves well in this niche.

Paper Figures Military Orders comes in a zip file a little over five megs. The file itself is a little over seven megs. One little detail that I like that I do not see in this type of items is book marks. They book marked the figures. This is not a product that really needs book marks but I prefer to see them then to not.

The PDF is not that big only about ten pages. They amount of figures per page is a little lower then I usually see. For the first few pages they only have four figures per page, but the final page does have twelve on it. But I am getting ahead of myself. They have a nice table of contents and possible the most important detail is they have instructions for keeping the paper figures in decent shape. The paper figures themselves look great. I believe they are pictures of actual painted miniatures. These are the type of figures that makes on want to start a Crusade. Most of the figures are human but there is some dwarf, half elf, and halfling ones as well. There are a few different types of knights as well like the Teutonic, Templar, and Hospitaller.

Another great little detail is they have the pictures linked to the web. By clicking on the picture it takes you to the Pegeso Model website where you can browse and actually purchase the miniatures of these figures.

These are very nice looking paper figures. There just are not a lot of them here. If one has the need for knights though, I have not seen any paper figures better.


QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
APG Paper Figures: Military Orders ($1.00)
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The Whisper of Horses
by Dave M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2006 00:00:00
Nice scenario. The added extras are lovely additions as well :D

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Whisper of Horses
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Poor Gamer's Almanac (January 2005)
by Dave M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2006 00:00:00
As always, a handy little e-zine. Worth the purchase even if you can't immediatelt find something of use.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Poor Gamer's Almanac (January 2005)
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Poor Gamer's Almanac (March 2005)
by Dave M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2006 00:00:00
As always, a handy little e-zine. Worth the purchase even if you can't immediatelt find something of use.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Poor Gamer's Almanac (March 2005)
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Poor Gamer's Almanac (May 2005)
by Dave M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2006 00:00:00
As always, a handy little e-zine. Worth the purchase even if you can't immediatelt find something of use.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Poor Gamer's Almanac (May 2005)
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