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There and Back Again: The Construction of Nostalgia in Advanced Adventures
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2011 04:29:45
Intriguing comparisons of visual theme and composition may be the most compelling reason to spend time with this project. Verbally, the author may have tried to address too broad a field, as he struggles at the same time either to treat each source with the depth it deserves or to cover all of the literature I might have expected to see. I wonder if he would have done better to choose a single interesting theoretical approach to 'nostalgia' and apply it with rigour.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
There and Back Again: The Construction of Nostalgia in Advanced Adventures
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Lands of Darkness #4: The Swamp of Timbermoor
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2011 15:06:15
My initial reaction was one of disappointment as I thought this would be more of an adventure but then I realized that misunderstanding was totally my own fault.

For what it is, this is a pretty good product. It's simply a collection of unrelated encounters that take place in a single geographical setting, in this case a swamp.

The encounters are simply but worth looking at. They provide a couple of very basic hooks to give you a reason to go in the swamp. One of them is that a local person hires the group to go retrieve a statue of a frog. Would have liked something a bit more original, but that's ok.

The one thing that is good AND bad about this product is that one of the 10 or so encounters that is included offers a quest that involves going to another encounter location and bringing something back so it's potentially more than just a combat encounter. I really like this idea of tying the encounters together with some roleplay interaction and some combat I don't need it to be one big adventure but smaller related bundles of encounters would have been fantastic. If they had done this for every encounter (or at least half of them so that each encounter was linked to another), I would gladly give this 4 stars. As it is, I kind of grudgingly give it 4 stars because even though they missed some opportunities, I think that pretty much any DM could grab one of these encounters and run it stock with zero prep and I appreciate that.

I also like that the encounters are scaled for you so you know what to place for each of the levels in the range. The maps were incredibly basic, in some cases, just a couple of lines on a grid. Had they unified the encounters a bit more, punched up the maps a bit and offered more than a cursory throw away hook, this could have gotten 5 stars.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lands of Darkness #4: The Swamp of Timbermoor
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1 on 1 Adventures #11: Unbound Adventures
by Connor T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2011 13:50:25
Thus far I've only played one GM-less adventure and it was a solo one. After rolling up the character and discovering what kind of settlement I was in and what kind of adventure I was getting my self into I set off into the trackless hills. Unfortunately my cleric's survival skills were lacking and after getting lost several times I made camp for the night only to have a goblin crush my skull. That may not seem like a grand adventure but I actually had a lot of fun. I'll definitely be trying this again next time though I hope to actually make it to the dungeon.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
1 on 1 Adventures #11: Unbound Adventures
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Malevolent & Benign (Pathfinder Edition)
by Chris F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2011 17:09:28
Malevolent & Benign joins the Book of Unremitting Horror and the AD&D 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual as one of my favorite monster books. there's a huge selection of original beasts, many of whom have a few useful or positive traits for clever adventurers to exploit. the huge assortment of magical plants found inside means you'll never run out of adventure ideas for a fantasy forest or jungle.
An amazing and fun Pathfinder product.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Malevolent & Benign (Pathfinder Edition)
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Seeds: Pulp
by Rob H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2011 01:21:19
Pretty good value; I'd buy from them again. There's a good mix of story ideas in here, although some of the names are goofy (even for a pulp series), so you'll be better off just thinking of them as jumping off points for your own characters. If they made a bundle with a whooole bunch of these 3-page dispatches, I'd buy it.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Seeds: Pulp
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Internet Arcana
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/15/2011 15:04:30
You can never have too many spells. Internet Arcana culled the best of the of OGC spells and put them one easy to use book. The format is for 3.0, but it would not take much at all to convert these to 3.5 or Pathfinder or even "downgrade" them to your favorite retro-clone. Not a "must have" but certainly a worthwhile purchase.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Internet Arcana
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Advanced Adventures #1: The Pod-Caverns of the Sinister Shroom
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/02/2011 19:10:18
The first of the Advanced Adventures line, from Expeditious Retreat Press, RPGNOW tells me that The Pod-Caverns of the Sinister Shroom was first made available on their site in 2006. So, it's been around for quite some time and if you're into OSR stuff, you probably already have a copy. But, new people are finding our corner of the gaming universe, everyday and even if you've been around for the past several years, maybe you've neglected to check this out.

If so, Fie! Fie I say! You've been depriving yourself of quite a treat.

Pod-Caverns is a dungeon adventure, three-levels large. To give you an idea of the size, there are 52 keyed areas. The main monster in the dungeon is the Sinister Shroom, of course, and if you're not familiar with these fellows, you can download a free copy of the excellent Monsters of Myth and get the skinny on Shrooms and their freaky Pod-men servants. They're evil, genius, magic-using mushroom-men. Mwa-ha-ha!

Mr. Finch has designed the dungeon to easily facilitate either a surface, or underground approach to the area. The module can be introduced in a more typical fashion, with the adventurers heading underground to check out the nefarious goings on, or the site can easily be placed as an expansion to an already existing dungeon, serving as an alternate route to, and obstacle in the way of, the surface-world. An underground river runs through the levels and will readily serve as transportation to the area, or as a means of travelling deeper underground, if the party entered the area from above.

There's some awesome adventure to be had in these three levels, with plenty of interesting places to explore, a nice mix of cool monsters, nasty traps and well-placed terrain hazards. There're also incidents of wonderful high weirdness, secrets to be discovered, odd things to play with, opportunities to make some friends and a well placed mix of level appropriate magic-items. The Shroom makes for a very cool opponent and if he manages to escape the adventurers, he has all the makings of the kind of recurring villain a DM dreams of.

The design of the various challenges delighted my DM sensibilities and I think that the module would prove fun as all hell to run or play. Adept players will find the module challenging and have ample opportunity to display their skills. Neophytes might find themselves in a little over their heads, but still, I wouldn't hesitate to throw babes into these particular woods. They'll learn a few tricks and this is the kind of adventure that is just too good for the gamer soul to miss.

The maps are nicely done, in old school standard black & white and so detailed as to help in explicating the descriptive text for some of the more involved terrain features. There is no scale given, but I'm assuming the standard 1 square = 10', though I suspect the author left this a little nebulous on purpose.

The overall atmosphere of the dungeon is pleasantly eerie, with some welcome touches of horror and that aforementioned weirdness, which Mr. Finch does so well! It evoked the kind of mood that I associate with the creepier sort of fairy-tale.

The Pod-Caverns of the Sinister Shroom hits all the right notes and plays them sweetly, indeed. Buy it! Buy it Now! Then Run It and let us know how it went!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Adventures #1: The Pod-Caverns of the Sinister Shroom
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World of Nevermore (True20)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/24/2011 21:18:10
Ever wonder what the lands of dream are like? Wonder no more with this world guide book, World of Nevermore. Filled cover to cover with a fantastic world where dreams live. A perfect world for someone with True20 and desire to do something very different. Take your characters (and players) out of their reality and into this one. The book reads like one part Lovecraft's dreamlands, one part Shakespeare's land of the fae and one part Ravenloft.
Plenty of new rules for characters including roles, feats and powers. Plenty of new monsters and 200 pages worth of world to play with them. Really fun stuff here.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of Nevermore (True20)
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World Building Library:The Life of Charlemagne
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2010 23:42:08
Contents seem reasonably well known. Multiple typos are a bit of a let-down.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
World Building Library:The Life of Charlemagne
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Advanced Player's Guide
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2010 23:02:42
Some very deft alternatives, even now, to races, classes and options not covered in the first releases for 4th Edition.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Player's Guide
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Advanced Adventures #15: Stonesky Delve
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/01/2010 13:27:14
Advanced Adventures 15 - Stonesky Delve is an OSRIC adventure of exploration, deep cave delving and unlocking ancient dwarven secrets. The adventure was run as a tournament adventure at GenCon Indy 2010, as presented in this format, although it can easily be run as a standard adventure without the need for tournament time-keeping or scoring. In this adventure the PCs are asked to explore a recently opened and uncovered region of the dwarven lands on the slopes of Stonesky Mountain, where they will need to spelunk down into dark, watery and dangerous caves to explore, navigate and map these parts of the dwarven religious lands. In the process, they naturally stumble on things not bargained for, as dwarven history comes to life in the deepest caverns. Stonesky Delve is suitable for 4th to 7th level characters.

The one thing that immediately impressed me with in this adventure was the level of detail and realism. The cavern exploration is done wonderfully well, with full three-dimensional details and realism in the sense that there are critters and monsters where they should be. The exploration is very detailed, and characters will get a real sense of wonder as they pass through the caves. The adventure structure and layout is very logical, with a lot of thought going into design and placement of each encounter area or cavern room. As the exploration continues, they characters uncover ancient and sacred locations within their exploration, and here I felt the exposition was a little weak despite the creative design and verisimilitude of the exploration remaining top notch throughout. While I can expect that an exploration of some caverns is just that, if some additional story elements are added, it would've been nice to seem them become tantamount to the exploration itself rather than just another part of it. In the same vein, while the exploration is required to take place over a few days, why not add a sense of haste to the overall adventure rather than the somewhat artificial adventure background requirement? Perhaps this is all an artifact of the tournament nature of the adventure - who can explore the furthest in the least amount of time. Nevertheless, this is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure that can be real fun, with good and exciting combat encounters, lots of atmosphere, and an adventure that can have equal amount of terror and excitement for the players and characters passing through it. Good product.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Adventures #15: Stonesky Delve
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Sorcery & Super Science!
by Timothy K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/19/2010 15:37:04
I haven't read all of it, but I downloaded blue men and shortly thereafter purchased this. I like the dice mechanic, and it seems to be an exciting take on the genre. Good job ERP!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sorcery & Super Science!
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A Magical Medieval Society: City Guide
by William G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2010 06:57:20
As with all of the Magical Society series, a little old in style and layout, but without peer in content and value.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Magical Medieval Society: City Guide
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A Magical Society: Silk Road
by William G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2010 06:56:28
As with all of the Magical Society series, a little old in style and layout, but without peer in content and value. Highly recommended if you want to create your own trading tables with realistic/sensible reasoning behind it...and have a good idea of how and why...this is YOUR resource.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Magical Society: Silk Road
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A Magical Society: Beast Builder
by Jeff X. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2010 08:00:58
As a DM I found this book to be incredibly useful. The book's goal is to provide you with all the tools needed to not just build your own monsters but to build them well. It succeeds in this goal marvelously. If you want to build monsters for 3.5 that work well in the system you couldn't ask for a better resource. However, one of the great things about the book is that while there is a lot of math and statistics it doesn't ignore idea, inspiration or flavor. It has a great chapter devoted to monster ecology and discussion on how to elevate monster building to be part of world building.

Another great aspect of the book is all that math and statistics. Reading this book won't just help you make good monsters it will also give you a great understanding of the monsters you already have access to. After reading A Magical Society: Beast Builder, I feel confident that combats I run in future game sessions are going to be better for it; whether I use my own creation or something right out of the the SRD.

Finally, an important thing to note about the book: except for the Open Game License, the logos, the art, the book's name, the company's name and the name of the contributors' who made it the whole thing is open game content.

A great product that I'm very happy to own.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Magical Society: Beast Builder
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