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Angels, Daemons, and Beings Between
Publisher: Dragons Hoard Publishing
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/18/2013 17:34:14
Angels, Daemons, and Beings Between is a Patrons Supplement for the DCC RPG. So what, exactly, are patrons?

"Patrons are supernatural beings that are willing to bargain with mortals, trading magical power for service." "Patrons are supernatural beings meddling in the affairs of the world."
Simply put, patrons give the PCs a little extra "oomph!" for the cost of a price to be paid later. That could be in 5 minutes or 5 years. I like to think of them as the Lords of Law and Chaos from the Eternal Champions Series of books by Moorcock.

Now, on to the show :)

AD&BW gives you 13 unique patrons (one of which is actually "4 Maidens" but it works). They follow the same formats as the DCC RPG Corebook samples - description, Invoke Patron check results, Patron Taint (always makes me want to giggle like a dumb junior high student at a dirty word ;) Patron Spells, and Spellburn.

Each patron is well written. Scratch that, enjoyably written, to the point that I'd like the opportunity to use each one. I'll never find the time to use all of them, but the thought is there ;)

Daniel Bishop and Paul Wolfe are the writers. I've followed Daniel's work on other DCC RPG products as well as his excellent blog. Paul Wolfe's work is new to me, but if this is the type of work he does, I look forward to more.

The artists are David Fisher, Scott Ackerman and Daniel Bishop.

David's work first graced this blog with the Santa Claws Patron that he drew specifically for the Christmas DCC Contest. Well done!

Scott's work graces every page of this blog, as Scott generous donated the blog header you see. Simply an amazing artist.

I had no idea Daniel was also an artist. I'll have to shake him down for something on the blog. No idea what though ;)

Sean Connors as the lead brought an excellent team together and it shows throughout the book. About the best compliment I can give is that the book feels as if there was just one man behind the words and the art - it's a team that hit all of it's points.

I'm only halfway though it so far - six out of thirteen patrons down. Thankfully it's on my iPad so I can read it in bed before sleep. Actually, with these patrons, exposing them to my dreams may not be the best idea ;)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Angels, Daemons, and Beings Between
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Colonial Gothic: Rulebook Second Edition
Publisher: Rogue Games, Inc
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/16/2012 16:23:47
For a bit of background, I have my BA in History, with my concentrations in Early American History and The Middle Ages. You study what you enjoy, as it makes the hard work just a tad more enjoyable. So when I saw that the Colonial Gothic RPG had just released a a new edition of the rules (which I had missed the first time around) I had to take a peek.

I'm fairly impressed.

Under the hood it uses the same D12 system as Shadow, Sword & Spell. (I have SS&S and will have give it a second look at some point, as I have now found the system intriguing)

I like the alternate history that is shown. I like the idea that you can set a "dial" of sorts for the campaign's horror component - not all groups will be comfortable going "all in". I really like the flavor. I really like the adversary / creature design chapter. Heck, I'd love to do something similar for the OSR (I know of Raggi's Creature Generator, but it doesn't always fit my needs)

The big missing piece?

There's no short adventure to kick things off with. Believe it or not, although they often feel like throw aways, this little pieces often showcase how a game system works and make a good example of game design for the rule system. Coming from my OSR roots, I'm sure I could bang something together but I'm not sure it would good fit for the system.

I guess I'll need to track down an introductory adventure at some point.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Colonial Gothic: Rulebook Second Edition
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Ghoul Keep and the Ghoul Lands
Publisher: Small Niche Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/24/2012 18:59:19
Ghoul Keep and the Ghoul Lands isn't your typical fantasy setting. To my eyes, it feels like a darker Ravenloft.

Actually, darker might not be the right word. Grittier. It's a grittier Ravenloft.

I think it's obvious from the title that undead play a major role in this setting. They are the movers and the shakers. Humans are often the local rulers. Demihumans are extremely rare, and would only be part of adventuring parties - they would not usually intermingle with the locals. Which makes for an interesting quirk to the setting, as non-human PCs are definitely going to be sen as outcasts and not trusted by the locals.

Adventuring parties themselves need to be sponsored by, or comprised of nobles. Depending on their composition and on whose lands they are dungeon raiding, they have to give from 25% to 50% of their loot to their sponsors. As an aside, this isn't an economy based on coinage but barter, so you will often have the reverse of a normal gaming situation - instead of converting valuables to coin, the players will be seeking to convert coin into valuables. They can also get special writs of wealth issued in exchange for their new found loot (at a cost of course)

This is an extremely comprehensive setting, with nicely mapped out cities and towns, with each having enough to run a session or two in each based on the location descriptions. There are a lot of hooks to feed your players. This is very much a sandbox styled campaign setting, which is both its boon and it's curse.

As I see it, native born adventurers become "part of the system", not just by necessity to be licensed to adventure but also because they undergo the Ritual of Cleansing, which marks them and allows them to roam freely at night without fear of the undead. So, if the party is okay with adventuring in undead lands and probably running missions for undead masters at some point, all is well. If they expect to be heroes in the traditional sense, I feel the setting is stacked against them. (they are seen by the populace as heroes, but I don't see their actions necessarily being directed to "heroic acts")

It's a shame, as I really like the setting itself. It has a huge amount of roleplay potential, I just wish there was some "fighting the evil powers from within". Sure, there are some adventure seeds as such, but most of the ones that would put the heroes against the powers that be assume they are outsiders that have found (or been kidnapped) the hidden realm. Which means if they are higher level, much of the setting would be a cake walk, or low level, and the nights would just get them killed.

Maybe I wish it had more of a Midnight "rebellious" undercurrent running with it.

Still, as the author himself states near the beginning: "The Ghoul Lands setting presented in this book may not be suitable for every group, campaign, or style of play. The Labyrinth Lord is encouraged to mine these pages for any NPCs, Factions, New Monsters, New Magic Items, or story ideas that can be ported over to his own game. In addition, the awesome maps of Ghoul Keep and the various settlements, towns, and cities of Makaar Mor provided by Tim Hartin of Paratime Design can be easily restocked and reused to better fit your game world. Enjoy!"

In my opinion, Ghoul Keep is certainly worth it for the sheer "lootability" of it's contents. It's parts are just that good.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ghoul Keep and the Ghoul Lands
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AL3: Through the Cotillion of Hours [DCC]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/02/2012 19:03:47
Through the Cotillion of Hours is a DCC RPG Adventure from Purple Ducks Games, and is the third in the Adventure Locations series.

Now, Through the Cotillion of Hours is not your normal adventure, either for the DCC RPG or pretty much any D&D type game (it should be noted that I think this would work well in ANY OSR game system, not just the DCC RPG). This is an adventure taking place in the realm of sleep, a dream world if you will. The players will have the opportunity to achieve something that they are questing for.

Since it is far from your usual adventure setting (and the adventure itself can kick off in the midst of another adventure) the usual rules don't necessarily follow. Time is the players' greatest foe, and it's passage is not always constant or consistant.

It is not a combat driven adventure (although players could certainly turn it into one). It's puzzle driven. Well, maybe not puzzle driven totally either. It requires thought. Not in the impossible "Lich Dungeon" manner either.

It's also a reusable adventure. If players fail in achieving their goal the first time, they may get summoned again at a later time. I like the whole concept, because it is not the normal adventure one would expect in any sense of the word.

The map is well done, and the inclusion of a unlabeled players map is always a boon for online groups. Purple Duck does a very good job with this as always.

Scott Ackerman does the art. Have I said enough great stuff about Scott's work (which also graces the header of this blog)? Much awesomeness. The piece I have above is one of Scott's works from the interior of the adventure. The cover is nice too, but this piece speaks more about the adventure than I can put into words.

If I were to make one suggestion, maybe the pieces could be put together again in the back of the adventure, for use a player aids or visuals. It's always shame when great art is seen only by one of the 5 or more people at the (virtual) gaming table. When I get a chance to run this, it will be with all the art saved and ready to be shown to the players when appropriate to set the mood and tone.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL3: Through the Cotillion of Hours [DCC]
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Giants in the Earth
Publisher: PinHammer Adventures
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/25/2012 20:06:23
Giants in the Earth is 7 (not just the 6 depicted on the cover page) Giant themed adventures for AD&D 1e / OSRIC that are written to kick off after the classic G series of adventures - which is why the numbering of the included adventures starts at "4" and not "1".

What can I say about them? They are all worthy successors of EGG classic Against the Giants series. RC Pinnell has really put together a nice series of adventures, which I believe were previously released as limited editions in print form.

The adventures themselves are well written but lethal. Not lethal in the James Raggi "Look! Your dead!" sort of way, but more like the "You're fighting giants. If you don't find a way to keep the odds in your favor, you will pay a big price!" type of lethal.

The maps are very well done, and I'm half tempted to reuse them for lower level dungeons, as I sincerely doubt I'll be getting my party up to giant killing level any time soon. Pregens are included, which makes any of these adventures a fine convention module, but I do find some of RC's party formation comments amusing - apparently he does not much like Unearthed Arcana, which is a shame, as it's the next AD&D 1e reprint to in the hopper. Some examples from the various enclosed adventures:

"The DM should not include classes found in the UA manual unless he personally sanctions their inclusion in the game system."

"The addition of a druid or bard may be of great assistance, but a thief or monk is not recommended, nor are assassins and/or UA classes or combos."

"Unearthed Arcana characters/races should only be included if you are satisfied that such do not overpower the other characters, nor the encounter."

Sorry, I just found it amusing that notes like these were in the beginning of 3 of the 7 adventures. That might be my only issue with these adventures, is that they are written with the assumption that certain classes and / or races will be present or shouldn't be present.

"A thief will not find anything of interest in this encounter, nor will a monk; a druid and bard (no higher than bard 1) would be more helpful to the group than the thief and/or monk."

Adventuring parties aren't generally created to conform to a future adventure's class requirements. In truth, it's not that these instructions are necessarily true - there is more to being a thief or a monk than thieving skills (and I'm still amazed that we used these classes as combat monkeys back in the day in my groups - but it just shows you can).

Again, these are minor issues. For $6.50 you get 7 giant themed adventures that will challenge any party that is hovering around their AD&D name levels. Are they a homage to the classic G1-3? Certainly, and they do it well. Now, if you ran G1-3, then G4-9 plus the added adventure your party may never want to hear about any giants thereafter, but that's a decent risk to take ;)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Giants in the Earth
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #72: Beyond the Black Gate
Publisher: Goodman Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/14/2012 21:36:11
If you've read my blog previously, you'll know how much I really enjoy Goodman Games' DCC line of adventures. The art is always awesome and the maps themselves are works of art. Have Harley Stroh write the adventure and it will probably be love at first sight.

Spoiler Alert! There will be spoilers in the review below! Fair Warning!

Case in point - Beyond the Black Gate. Harley pulls off the start of the adventure in a manner I usually avoid - with a shipwreck. This means, of course, you need to get your party on a boat going somewhere - somewhere they won't actually get to. Harley's writing skill pulls it off, or at least makes the whole situation exciting enough that I'll jump through hoops to get my party there.

There are some very nice roleplaying encounters (which is fairly rare in DCC RPG adventures) dispersed throughout the adventure. Each of these encounters have motivations and twists that will be a blast to run as a GM. The players may not appreciate all the twists as they happen, but they'll enjoy the ride none the less. Mendax - even if I never get a chance to run Beyond the Black Gate, this character will be making an appearance - somewhere, somehow.

The story behind the adventure and the ways it may play out are extremely well put together, and the climax isn't the end. PCs may win the day and die in the evening if they aren't careful, but such is the way of the DCC RPG.

As someone else mentioned - this is a potentially lethal adventure. That is a hallmark of the DCC RPG - I can't knock it for following it's nature.

Included is a new patron - The Horned King, along with accompanying Patron Taint and Patron spell. You get a lot for what you spend with this adventure.

End Spolier Alert!

As for the maps (one of my favorite things about the DCC RPG Adventures) you get three full page adventures. I'm going to throw out a suggestion ere, but with a lot of RPG playing / sessions being run online, a VTT / G+ Hangout Player's version of the maps without the room numbers would be nice. The shame of all the DCC Adventures is that only the GM gets to see them. Player's maps w/o the locations labeled would be an awesome addition to an adventure like this.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #72: Beyond the Black Gate
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Tangents #1: The Barrow Mound
Publisher: D3 Adventures
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/20/2012 17:38:17
I've noticed a recent spike in "generic" adventures and such recently. Maybe its the success (and frequent releases) of the Toys For the Sandbox series, but there is certainly a market for such. For one thing, you don't have to worry about abiding to the OGL or another license. For another, you aren't pinning yourself to a specific ruleset. LL, S&W, ACKS, RQ, Legend, the list goes on. Possibly just as important, you aren't locking yourself into a specific level or power range. Generic might just as well mean "flexible" in these cases.

The Barrow Mound is certainly "generic fantasy". It is systemless. It can work in just about any fantasy type system, and I think would make a sweet little DCC RPG adventure with some work. This is the point where we talk about The Barrow Mound's strength and weakness if you will. It isn't read and drop into play. It has a deep backstory. Deep enough that it should be reflected in the region's history. Which means this is more of a read, revise, tweak and plant sort of adventure. Actually, some of the encounters require fleshing out to tweak to the party you have, so there is prep needed before running this adventure in any case.

The strength of this is that your players will appreciate the depth of the story. Heck, the adventure even ends with a number stories seeds that can build of this one. There is a lot packed into 8 pages of adventure. I just don't see it as drop an play like the adventure states. It's good though. There's almost enough ideas here to flesh out the history of a corner of a sandbox, and isn't that what it's all about, great ideas? The Barrow Mound succeeds in providing the GM with some great ideas.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tangents #1: The Barrow Mound
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Fistful of Fantasy: 01
Publisher: Postmortem Studios
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/19/2012 09:01:44
Do you remember the Hook, Line and Sinker series from Knights of the Dinner Table? A Fistful of Fantasy is basically that, but with a higher standard of writing.

It's not a unique way to present plots with options - Toys for the Sandbox does something similar, but it is effective.

So, what do you get for your 69 cents?

You get 5 plot hooks or Legends, presented as a small piece of fiction that the players may overhear or have fed to them when appropriate. This is followed by The Truth behind the Legend - what actually happened. You are then presented 2 to 3 Stories. These are the seeds for the GM to work out further for the players to explore. Similar to TftSB, you don't need to waste Stories that you don't use immediately. There's enough here to use for inspiration later.

Each of these 5 plot hooks takes up a page, including a decent piece of art on each. Well, done James. I'll be looking forward to more in the series

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fistful of Fantasy: 01
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #71: The 13th Skull
Publisher: Goodman Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/15/2012 17:33:38
The 13th Skull is a mixed bag, almost quite literally, as it is two adventures in one package. The first, the 13th Skull, is pretty much a 4th level rescue mission.

The quick backstory is one of the Duke's ancestor's promised the daughter of one of his 13 generation of decedents (and 12 sons of earlier decedents to a devil for power and immortal life - the fool! ;) The daughter gets kidnapped in front of the PCs, the Duke offers a fortune for her safe return and the game is afoot!

The adventure itself is good, but doesn't rise to the level of Goodman's previous releases in the DCC RPG line of adventures. The art still rocks, the maps are awesome, but the adventure itself? Maybe it's the short length - 9 pages plus map less the rocking art. Maybe its the fact that even success will likely result in the death of the hostage (I know it's DCC and it's dark by nature - but when the designer states only one playtest group managed to rescue the princess, I think there might need to be a tweak or two.) It looks like it should play well until the end - so tweak the final battle is my suggestion.

Further in it's favor, the adventure does leave itself a few hooks for further adventures at the end.

Now, on to the second part of the bag: The Balance Blade, a 2nd level adventure. This one is a head scratcher for me.

First, it is stated it is better played as a one-shot, as it concludes with intra-party combat. This effectively means it isn't much use in an on going campaign, which is where I assume the vast majority of DCC RPG gameplay takes place.

Second, it requires mixed alignments to pass through certain areas. Which means it makes it even harder to try to edit this at home into something that will work in a campaign.

Third, it requires props - index cards and colored stickers. I understand why the props are needed, but it makes online play a bit awkward.

It might make a fine one-shot for a con or gameday, but except for the fairly linear map it's going to take some work to fit this into a campaign.

So, one good adventure and one less good adventure, for the price of one adventure.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #71: The 13th Skull
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #70: Jewels of the Carnifex
Publisher: Goodman Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/29/2012 11:01:23
If only other RPGs had this much support shortly after release. Actually, let me rephrase that slightly, if only other RPGs had this much quality support shortly after release. Everything I've seen release for the DCC RPG has been very good or better. Jewels of the Carnifex is no exception - it's damn good.

The background material for the Jewels of the Carnifex is awesome. There are seeds here to use in designing your own adventures if you are so inclined. Harley Stroh has done another fine job.

Something that struck me (but I'm sure I've seen it before in previous DCC RPG adventures from Goodman) is the rumors table. The roll is by player, not by PC - so there is an assumption here that players may be bringing more that one PC into the group. I know we often played with 2 PCs per player in my early AD&D days, as it was hard to fill a full group. I'm not sure if that is the intention here, but for the most part I've preferred 1 PC per player (plus henchmen). As a DM it's easier to follow who is doing what, and as a player it allows one to put a bit more focus on the roleplaying side of things. It's a minor thing, but something that struck me.

Jewels of the Carnifex is an adventure of twists and turns, and no greater one than in the last encounter. PCs can do very well for themselves, but as always, not everything is as it seems. Harley really has done a great job with this adventure. I can't praise him enough.

Even the wrap up after the adventure isn't neatly tied up with a bow as it often is in other adventures. There is much more here than meets the eye.

Crap - I'm sounding very cryptic, but this adventure is not as straight forward as it seems on the surface. As such, it should be a blast to run (and play in)

The maps are, as always, excellent. I'm going to sound like a broken record - "Joseph, start offering prints of these maps damnit!"

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #70: Jewels of the Carnifex
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Stars Without Number: Core Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/26/2012 16:34:58
I have to make a confession - When stars Without Numbers was first released, it didn't excite me. Not because it wasn't a good system, but because I really wasn't yearning for a good sci-fi game. So I gave it a quick look and it went back to sit on my virtual bookshelf.

Why then am I currently reading Stars Without Numbers: Core Edition when the free edition is sitting on my hard drive? It isn't just the cover (which is striking).

I'm interested in the society generation tables. (well, and the mech and robot stuff - with a little work SWN:Core and Labyrinth Lord would make for a coherent and balanced alternative to Rifts).

I was expecting something along the lines of the classic Traveller system generation. What I got was more like Microscope. I think I like the system in SWN: CE better than either of these choices. Given a few minutes, you could get some unique world backstory for just about any game system. Heck, I'd borrow this for my next fantasy campaign. Maybe the publishers could publish this section on its own - it is that good.

There really is enough here to cover all the world and government types your might want in your game, with tables that cover just about every aspect of the societies. If you were to crib this for a fantasy campaign building session, each "world" would be a country, and you'd have to smooth out some of the inconsistencies between countries in the same geographical area, but with the world building tool you are given really could build a world.

As for SWN in general - I really like the class system. Comfortable enough for me as an AD&D grognard to feel right at home while still keeping the system fresh and effectively gear to sci-fi. I do so want to make a Rifts like mashup tho' ;)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Core Edition
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #69: The Emerald Enchanter
Publisher: Goodman Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/08/2012 18:22:18
The Emerald Enchanter is the 2nd adventure released in the DCC RPG Line of adventures for 2nd level characters after Purple Duck Games' release of Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror. If you are a referee that prefers to use prewritten adventures in your gaming, the DCC RPG is has the strong beginnings of a varied assortment to choose from.

The Emerald Enchanter isn't just the name of the adventure, it's also the hook that draws the players in - townsfolk have gone missing, and the Emerald Enchanter is the likely culprit.

I must say I'm really digging the adversaries in this adventure. The grunts have a nice twist to them. The more specialized adversaries? Awesome twists to them. I will never look at mosaic artwork the same way again. Ever ;)

The ability to work potential replacement characters into the adventure is in itself a great thing, especially with the potential lethality of the DCC system. I'm glad to see the author placed some replacements if needed.

The challenges are great, but so are the rewards. I think it is a pretty well balanced adventure, both in the challenge department and in the goodies the PCs might acquire. I think having a Wizard or an Elf in the party is pretty much needed for the party to succeed but I could be wrong. It's a shame I won't get a chance to run this until sometime in the future. My PCs are still 1st level.

The artwork is, as always, many layers of awesome. I'll say it again: Goodman, start selling art prints!

Oh, and the PDF is bookmarked as always. Nice job.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #69: The Emerald Enchanter
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Attack of the Frawgs
Publisher: Thick Skull Adventures
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/06/2012 13:31:16
It appears like Joseph Goodman found his lightning in a bottle with the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. Not only is the core rulebook a tome of much awesomeness, but the adventures from both Goodman Games and the Third Part Publishers have been strong right out of the starting box. Attack of the Frawgs from Thick Skull Adventures is no exception.

Surprisingly, this is no dungeon crawl. It is man versus beasts in the Wilds around Dead Goblin Lake. Yep, Attack of the Frawgs is primarily an outdoor, or dare I say it, wilderness adventure. I had assumed both by nature of the name - Dungeon Crawl Classics - and the first few adventures from Goodman Games that dungeons were going to be the be all. Thankfully, they are not. There is a place for wilderness adventures in the DCC realm of adventures, but they are plotted out similarly to dungeon adventures in the DCC system. I suppose this makes sense, as experience is earned by "encounter", not by enemies felled or gold found.

The adventure itself looks to be a fun one. I like the idea of townsfolk rising up to protect their own against evil invading their lands and lively hood. I'm also pleasantly pleased with how well the wilderness adventure appears to plot out. I'm very tempted to run this in tomorrow night's game with my party of newly levels 1st level PCs. (edit - ran it and it was a blast)

The cover art is great, the interior art is fine and the maps are very serviceable. The maps aren't like those in the various DCC Adventures from Goodman Games, but they are easy on the eyes and following them is a breeze.

Attack of the Frawgs is an excellent addition to the DCC assortment of adventures.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Attack of the Frawgs
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Leagues of Adventure - Core Rules
Publisher: Triple Ace Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/06/2012 12:17:00
I really do like the Ubiquity RPG system. I think it accomplishes much of what Savage Worlds can accomplish without a lot of the system weight that get's attached. Lets call Ubiquity my favorite system that I've yet to play.

Leagues of Adventure is the latest game to use the Ubiquity RPG Engine. Notice I said "game", not sourcebook. Unlike Savage Worlds, which has a core rules set and source books that feed off that, games that use the Ubiquity system are just that - stand alone games.

That can be both good and bad. It's great if you want to pick up a single set of rules and run with it all in one package. Not so great if you are getting the same core rules restated for each genre that you pick up. It is, admittedly, a small quibble, as the Ubiquity core rules are much lighter than those that constitute Savage Worlds.

Leagues of Adventures covers the late Victorian Age. It is not an era I have much experience with, either in fiction or gaming - Sherlock Holmes is about as close as I usually come. Thankfully, LoA comes with extensive write ups of time lines, important historical personalities and world leaders that enable even a Victorian Novice like myself enough pieces to drop in front of the players to make it sound legit. Very well done and extremely well researched. I enjoyed this section as both a gamer and a former history major ;)

Of course, as fun as the historical Victorian is, Leagues of Adventure takes things just a little bit further:

In Leagues of Adventure the boundaries of science are being pushed far beyond their historical limits. While hardly commonplace, mole machines, airships, and even time-traveling machines do exist. Some are already in the hands of governments and Leagues, while others remain the personal property of their slightly mad inventors.

Therein lies the hook of LoA - it's Jules Verne and than some. Our history and just a tad more. Victorian with pulp. I like it.

Would I run this before Hollow Earth Expedition? I don't know? I'm definitely more grounded personally in the Pulp Era of the 30's, but League of Adventures certainly gives the tools to allow one to bridge the gap.

Did I mention the extensive bookmarking of the PDF? Very well done.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Leagues of Adventure - Core Rules
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The Manor, Issue #2
Publisher: GM Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/06/2012 08:29:22
For those of you following at home, the short adventure included in Issue #1 of the Manor is what I used to kick off my sandboxie ACKS campaign about 2 months ago. In a week my party should be arriving at their destination, and I already see that I'll be using the latest issue of the Manor when they do.

Hugo's Healing Potions will most assuredly get used in my current campaign, maybe as soon as next week. I love the personalities that are presented, and the table of random customers / events can easily be used elsewhere (much like the Toys For the Sandbox series). When one article has multiple uses, you know it's damn good.

Smuggler's Inn has a unique hook. The setting local is unique too, and might require planning ahead to get the players there, but that's rarely a problem. Very interesting personalities here too, as well as a list of new magic items, one of which I think I have a player who would kill to get their hands on it. I may yoke that for a party quest at some point.

Strange Things You May Find Under the Cot is a random list of what you may find under the bed your are sleeping in in an Inn. Some of these "things" can turn into adventure seed in and of themselves.

Poetry Slam: Orc appears on the inside back cover, not the regular PDF. Let me explain. Tim has provided both a regular PDF version, and a "print out double sided and fold and staple" version, in case you want a physical version to love and to hold. The Orc poetry appears on the PDF for the cover, inside rear. Hope that's clearer now.

So far Tim is batting 2 for 2. Very impressive. (and I knew I recognized Matt Jackson's map work)

Almost forgot, the Manor is systemless, so it is easy to use with any Fantasy RPG system you are looking to use.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Manor, Issue #2
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