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Harvesters
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/08/2010 17:26:55
Harvesters does a lot of stuff well. It has full-playability and simplicity, coupled with a simple, Redwall-esque setting. You can play it with any group you wanted to, though its simplicity and style markets itself towards children.

It doesn't have loads and loads of stuff to make it bulky (think about game systems which go to 400 pages and detail the exact effects of a Cobra Venom Poisoned Spike Trap (Lesser), which means that while it's easier to use, it's also harder to run, but if you want a game to play with a younger audience without outright alienating older audiences (assuming, of course, they're open-minded enough to take the thought of playing as talking animals seriously), Harvesters is a one-stop shop.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Harvesters
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Castles & Crusades Where Cool Waters Run
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2010 12:15:09
Castles and Crusades - Where Cool Water Runs is a short stand-along encounter from Troll Lord Games for the Castles and Crusades gaming system. This encounter is suitable for 3 to 5 characters of levels 4 to 7, and sees the characters being hunted by several cunning and deadly creatures as the PCs inadvertently approach their nest. As one would expect, the encounter takes place in a single setting - in this instance a refreshing glade through which a gentle stream runs. The presentation of this product is top notch, sticking to the format maintained throughout all Troll Lord Games' products. My only quibble here is the lack of a scale on the map provided. This encounter can be used in any campaign setting, and very useful and interesting adaptations are included in the 6 page product for Troll Lord Games' own world of Aihrde.

The encounter is a fairly simple one but very well detailed to make sure that CKs will know exactly what to do with which creature and when. I thought the tactics of the creatures involved, a new creature called the charon fiend, were very good, suiting both the nature of the encounter and the details of the creatures themselves. Often the best encounters are those that use the terrain well, and some elements of that are present here. The tactics will give the PCs some thought, and make for an entertaining encounter where the PCs won't know where the threats are coming from. The charon fiends themselves are probably the best part of the product as a whole - I liked their flavor, their description and their mechanical details. I think these creatures can be both terrifying and dangerous at the same time, particularly if used with the tactics described in the encounter. One weakness of the encounter, and really with a lot of products of this nature, is that the encounter is by and large telegraphed. If the CK starts reading blocked text in a seemingly innocuous clearing, there's little doubt the PCs and the players will expect something. It would've been useful if the encounter had been scripted to not be so obvious, or at least given the characters a non-mundane reason for stopping in the clearing and hence triggering the encounter. Overall, though, a very clean and neat product with some uniqueness in the new creature involved and some decent encounter design.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Where Cool Waters Run
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Castles & Crusades Where Cool Waters Run
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2010 17:32:16
A random encounter with a new creature, not particularly water-related, vividly written and (credit where credit's due) cleanly edited. I found the creature's name a little distracting, but otherwise it's a fine addition.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook (4th)
by Robert A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2010 00:21:36
This is a really great system for someone that loves 3rd edition but wants something a lot simpler and easier to manage. It's also really easy to house-rule, and I think I'm going to start running this game over any other rules system from now on (and that's a big deal, because I was really sold on Pathfinder up until now). The game is just way too easy to run and understand for new and younger players, and you don't need a 600 page rulebook to play it. If you love "crunch," this probably isn't the game for you, but I don't see why you still wouldn't love playing it. Classic fantasy roleplaying at its finest!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook (4th)
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Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure
by Robert A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2010 00:19:12
I love Castles & Crusades! It's a really great rules system, and this book doesn't disappoint. The book is extremely well-organized and easy to read, and you can tell the author put a lot of thought into the rules. The treasure tables are quite simply some of the easiest to understand that I've ever seen. There's enough art to keep the book looking beautiful, but not so much that the pages seem cluttered. Great job, Troll Lords!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure
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Castles & Crusades The Umbrage Saga
by Eric P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2010 21:26:41
This is a solid old-school campaign, with interconnected adventures and a sandbox adventuring area and mini setting introducing players to the world to Aihrde. It really has incredible depth, tone, and material for months of gaming. An excellent product. I now also own the boxed set.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades The Umbrage Saga
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Harvesters
by Andrew B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/08/2010 12:30:01
In Harvesters, players take on the roles of anthropomorphic animals who go on D&D-like adventures. It's basically Redwall meets Dungeons and Dragons. The game uses a slightly paired-down version of the Castles & Crusades rules system. It is intended to appeal to children ages 6 and up, although there's nothing here that would keep adults from enjoying it. The first half of the book contains the rules. The second half is an adventure.

I played this game with my two children; boys ages 10 and 7. They both have some experience with RPGs, having played a handful of games with me before. The bottom line is that my boys had a great time. We were up past midnight playing and Harvesters was the very first thing that my 10 year old son talked about the next morning.

I'll start with the adventure, which is really the meat of this product. The plot focuses on the mystery of a group of missing animals, who've disappeared while bringing in the all important fall harvest. The players explore the countryside, following clues to find the lost harvesters. The book details an area with lots of things for the players to encounter and explore. If the players pick up on the clues, they can go from point A to point B, skipping a lot of the superfluous regions. Alternately, they can wander around, meeting hostile snakes, a noble skunk, and other interesting creatures. With all the detail about the town of Wheat Hollow and the surrounding regions, Harvesters has the makings of an interesting little Campaign Setting. I really enjoyed what is here and I'd like to see more.

Also, I have to mention that my kids got right into the adventure setting. My 7 year-old was playing a River Otter Knight named Sir Otter. His first order of business was visiting the locale colony of River Otters, helping them fish for a while and collecting a few fish of his own to take along on the adventure (he carefully wrote “3 fish” on his character sheet). He also used his swimming ability to his advantage during the adventure. I think both kids got into the role of their specific animals.

My older son grabbed on to the plot right away. He picked up on the clues presented in the adventure and came to the right conclusion about what happened to the harvesters. He was very excited to find evidence of a wolverine's involvement (his Badger Cleric's natural enemy!) and spent the whole adventure looking around every corner for wolverines. I think this adventure is perfect for kids and mine are very eager to finish it.

The rules are pretty much copied right from the Castles and Crusades Player's Handbook, only paired-down to cover a smaller range of levels. I'm a fan of C&C and its simplicity lends itself well to a game for children. There were a couple of places, though, where the rules relied too much on the C&C books. For example, Harvesters only describes spells very briefly, forcing me to crack open my Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook to find out the distance, duration, and specific effects of various spells. The product blurb claims that Harvesters contains “all the rules you need to get started”, but a GM is on his own for all but the most basic spell info.

In other places, the rules are complete but not distinct enough for my tastes. I would have really liked to see some elements unique to Harvesters. I was expecting to see clever animal-themed spells, equipment, and classes. Instead, we get the typical D&D tropes of fighters, wizards, chainmail, etc. Don't get me wrong, I LIKE those things, but it would have been nice if the game put a more distinct spin on them and made them its own. Harvesters, while certainly very playable, doesn't feel as complete as it should. It's good, but I want it to stand truly on its own and be great.

I give Harvesters 4 stars. If the idea of playing a Redwall-inspired D&D game appeals to you, or you're looking for an RPG that you can play with your kids, give Harvesters a try.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Harvesters
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Castles & Crusades U1 Shadows of the Halfling Hall
by Katrina R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/14/2010 07:49:41
A nice, relatively straightforward, low level adventure that is perfect for when you mostly want to bash skeletons in with an ax.

That being said, there is enough detail laid out in the town and surrounding areas, including NPCs, that a campaign or a series of adventures could be built around the town and the people living there.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades U1 Shadows of the Halfling Hall
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Tainted Lands
by Timothy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2010 12:21:10
Tries to be "Ravenloft, but darker" and fails. Interesting use of the Castles and Crusades core mechanic and could be made to work with Ravenloft for the C&C fan. If you like dark fantasy horror and are curious about C&C then this is your game. Otherwise I was a bit disappointed in it.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tainted Lands
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Castles & Crusades 2010 Primer & Quick Start
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2010 22:51:29
A nice little quick-start. Does what it sets out to (introduce the Castles & Crusades RPG in a free format), and includes both the game basics and a short adventure. A couple of editing tics are annoying but not deal-breakers.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades 2010 Primer & Quick Start
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Harvesters
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/26/2010 10:31:32
Troll Lord Games has released Harvesters, their RPG with rabbits, squirrels and other furry critters in PDF format. So, what do you get for your hard earned bucks?

You get a nicely written version of the Castles & Crusades rules that are aren't going to overwhelm your kids, yet should still maintain the interests of the parents. We get most of the C&C classes represented in the rules, and advancement thru level 6. If your campaign was going to go beyond that, you'd need to reach over and flip thru the Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook.

The 66 page book includes character races, classes, spells, equipment, core rules, adversaries and even an adventure and campaign world. A lot crammed into a small number of pages.

Is it worth the price tag? If you have young kids that are interested in Role Playing Games, this might be a very good entry vehicle, especially if the GM/DM/CK is already familiar with 3.5e or any of the clones of the older D&D games (including Harvesters' direct parent, Castles and Crusades). It might even play well as a short term diversion for more adult oriented gaming groups.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Harvesters
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Harvesters
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/25/2010 10:30:30
Harvesters is billed as an RPG for all ages, and they recommend players be six or over. After my 7 year old daughter went decidedly nuts over the hard copy I had in my bag, I'd have to say the folks at Troll Lord Games are on to something.

Based on the Castles & Crusaders system, which runs on the Siege Engine, which is based on the OGL - Harvesters is firmly grounded in a long line of RPG wisdom. You could look at this game as a boiled down version of D&D 3.5. It's got all the basics, but framed in the point of view of small woodland creatures and simplified to the point where kids will be able to participate.

Harvesters includes everything you'll need to run a game in the world of Wheat Hollow. There's enough to create a number of different characters based on class/race (with races like Squirrel and Otter). The Castle Keeper (C&C speak for GM) has at their hands a number of monsters, bad guys and NPCs as well as a complete adventure in this book. Also contained within are a number of full color maps and a nice character sheet.

While they do bill this as a game for the whole family, an adult or older child will need to interpret rules for the younger set.

Overall the book is well written and well organized. Most of the artwork is good but some leaves a bit to be desired. The maps are nice, use a hex grid to display 15' areas but print out to small for the use of miniatures, if that's your thing. Lastly, the book at it's current price strikes me as a little pricey for a 66 page PDF. Still, this reads easy, has my 7 year old very excited to try out her first RPG and would be easy for an experienced RPG player/GM to pickup and run in an evening. Someone new to RPGs wouldn't be intimated by this and could be running after a day or two of reading.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades 2010 Primer & Quick Start
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/24/2010 19:17:33
This was Troll Lord Games Free RPG for 2010. If you haven't tried C&C yet, this is an easy way to check it out. If you have played C&C, this is an easy way to show your friends. Does what it sets out to do... intro the C&C rules.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades 2010 Primer & Quick Start
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Castles & Crusades U1 Shadows of the Halfling Hall
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/07/2010 03:22:13
The Mayor went up to feast at Willic Brambletoe's hall, then the Reeve went to see what happened to the Mayor - and none of them ever came back .. A nicely detailed village setting around an introductory short dungeon bash with a couple of interesting new monsters, plus an optional extended encounter. I received a copy of this adventure through the Gamers Helping Haiti bundle.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades U1 Shadows of the Halfling Hall
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Castles & Crusades Quick Start Rules
by Matthew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2010 22:40:03
This product is what D&D should be. It basically makes 3.5 D&D alot easier.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Quick Start Rules
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