DriveThruRPG.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left by this customer:
Modern Warehouse
Publisher: DramaScape
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/02/2012 14:53:16
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=28602.

Modern Warehouse depicts a small warehouse within what appears to be an urban landscape (suggested by the lack of vegetation). The warehouse includes the building itself and the surrounding yard with no shortage of goods piled high on the shelves and various things in the yard. The depiction goes into further detail by including a loading and unloading dock with the warehouse being raised (depicted by the stairs leading to the doors). This is a great representation of a modern warehouse considering loading truck are always lower than the loading dock. This is not a large warehouse and would only support small trucks, but the generic design means you can easily store anything imaginable, luring the PCs within.

The warehouse is compact, great for an urban landscape. However, being inside warehouses and comparing this one isn’t exactly the same. Most warehouses are fairly packed inside using as much space as possible to rows of shelves or stacks of crates. Additionally, the office is much bigger than I would expect to see within a warehouse. While these are obviously details that can further enhance the warehouse, they are by no means show-stoppers to its use nor do they prevent you from creating memorable encounters.

OVERALL

Maps such as this are generally hard to come by. Not many publishers design modern maps and those that do seem to really capture the look and feel of what a modern encounter map would look like. It’s much different than fantasy maps as so many more details can exist due to modern technology and conveniences. The Modern Warehouse follows suit and definitely does not let down. The warehouse is full of goods and the yard has all the markings you would expect to see such as lanes for loading and unloading, areas marked off to be kept clear, and even a forklift ready to be operated. This would make a great place to house a weapons cache!

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 7 out of 10
Modern Warehouse is a well put-together battlemap. The warehouse looks great and its yard has no shortage of detail. The only issue I see is the amount of open space within the warehouse, which you would mostly likely not see in an actual warehouse. More shelves could be added and the office can definitely be made smaller. What’s there looks fantastic, but a few tweaks can be made to clean-up some of that open space. Additionally, I’m not sure where the employees would park as the warehouse’s yard doesn’t show any parking spaces.

Visual Appeal: 10 out of 10
Modern Warehouse is all about details. If you removed all the detail, you would have a boring empty shell. Instead, much attention has been paid to how the different aspects of the battlemap are depicted such as the groupings of boxes on the different shelves, the crates in the corner, the lines painted on the floor, the lanes painted in the yard, and a bunch more. This is one of those battlemaps where the shell does nothing without all those added details, creating an excellent looking map.

Desire to Use: 10 out of 10
One thing about this map that truly stands out is that it’s not empty. Some modern battlemaps you find depict the building, surrounding areas, and walls, but they neglect to fill that building with all the meaningful items you would find. In other words, you can print this map, slap it down on the table, and it’s ready for a firefight (or whatever you want to use it for). This warehouse can be virtually anything and could make a great scene in a modern action game pinning the characters against a heavily armed band of criminals.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Modern Warehouse is definitely a good map. It has little things that could be tweaked to make it more realistic according to what a real-life warehouse looks like, but otherwise it’s still completely usable as-is and offers a great modern building to add to your urban environment.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Warehouse
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Duergar of the Obsidian Citadel
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/29/2012 14:58:08
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=28458.

Duergar of the Obsidian Citadel is a well-crafted product that presents the duergar’s society, environs, favored professions, lairs, and battle tactics, as well as new feats, new spells, new class features, and NPC archetypes in an easy-to-read, well formatted design. The product does a great job of putting together an in-depth yet broad look at the race of the duergar. Although there are several pages of information detailing the duergar and the Obsidian Citadel, the product still leaves the GM with room to incorporate it into any home game.

OVERALL

Wonderful product for both players and GMs! It is well organized and well crafted. The graphics are very well placed and pertinent to the material. The descriptive writing is superb. The Pathfinder system rules adhered to and explained in relation to the duergar’s special features. The new class features are clearly written and incorporate a set of racially designed rules – the Sunder specialist for the fighter, the minor talents for rogues, and the two new focused arcane schools for the wizard.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
The artwork is appropriate, the editing is well done, the layout is easy to read, and the product is generally very cleanly designed and written. The product is well organized which allows the content to flow from topic to topic.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Duergar of the Obsidian Citadel is balanced – nothing is overpowered or underpowered, has great depth yet easily incorporated into any game, is multi-purposed usable by both players and GMs and is cohesive in its use of the rules.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
This product is one of the best of its types. It gives gamers everything they need to incorporate its usage in any game with having to tweak any of it, yet it also gives gamers enough latitude that they can tweak it if they want to.

Overall: 10 out of 10
Great product in its publication quality, adherence to and use of the Pathfinder mechanic, and the worth of the product to gamers. If all of Raging Swan Press’s Tribes products are like this, I would not hesitate to pick up more.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Duergar of the Obsidian Citadel
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Fading Suns Player's Guide (Revised Edition)
Publisher: FASA
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/26/2012 15:00:53
The following is a review of the Revised Edition of Fading Suns and will highlight the differences between this edition and the 2nd Edition. A review of the 2nd Edition can be found at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=12829.

The following review covering the Revised Edition of Fading Suns was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=28312.

After a brief hiatus, Fading Suns comes back to life in the form of a Revised Edition (as opposed to a 3rd Edition) and within the hands of the renewed FASA (bringing all titles from RedBrick over to FASA). But this is not a simple tweaking of the core mechanics or a repair of any errata, this is an actual revision that remains backwards compatible (with a few minor adjustments) while cleaning up those core mechanics. Fading Suns already has a rich history and an in-depth setting that has seen a fair amount of life. The core aspects of the setting have not been changed, rather they have been expanded and the timeline has been moved ahead ever so slightly. The result is a beautiful update to a fantastic game with an even more fantastic setting.

OVERALL

The Revised Edition of Fading Suns is absolutely brilliant! The writers obviously did a thorough scrubbing of the entire game and probably did so with the backing of the Fading Suns community. As such, they have removed all the clunky mechanics, cleaned-up the available options, streamlined character design, and made combat quicker by once again removing clunky mechanics. Additionally, the Player’s Guide sticks to the core aspects of Fading Suns and definitely does the game and the setting justice.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
The Player’s Guide is a beautiful black-and-white book. Most, if not all, of the original art has been retained (because it was good artwork to begin with) along with some new ones added. However, it’s the general layout and formatting that have seen a significant overhaul (in addition to the smaller form factor) with improvements to general layout, ease of referencing, ease of reading, and the flow of the content. It could benefit from additional illustrations depicting the character equipment available, but otherwise the book is a fantastic read.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
This rating is in regards to the cleaned-up mechanics of the Revised Edition over the 2nd Edition. Some of the mechanics from the 2nd Edition were a bit bloated and sometimes a little confusing. In addition, the combat system was extremely bloated and needed a lot of TLC. This has all been fixed and the system is definitely trim and should play a lot faster than previous renditions allowing you to focus more on the storyline and less on the lengthy combat and deciphering dice rolls.

Desire to Play: 10 out of 10
The best part about this Revised Edition is that its still the same game as before and GMs and Players can optionally add some of the advanced material back in without breaking the system. Being backwards compatible with only minor changes makes for a truly excellent game-play environment as all your old supplements and adventures are still valid. Yes some of skill names have changed and the Spirit characteristics have been cleaned-up, but none of this is so different from before that the two are not compatible. I think fans of Fading Suns are truly going to enjoy this Revised Edition.

Overall: 10 out of 10
A definite homerun for Fading Suns fans and FASA. The writers appear to have gone through the old content with a fine-toothed comb, listened to their fan base, and sat back to think how can they truly make the game better without making the old material obsolete. The result is the Revised Edition and although the core rulebook has been divided into a Player’s Guide and Game Master’s Guide, there are WAY more options here than before and player’s may be in awe of how much more they can do with this one core rulebook compared to before. This is a definite revision that was necessary to keep a great game existing by supporting their current fan base and reaching out to a new one.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fading Suns Player's Guide (Revised Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Old Cemetery
Publisher: DramaScape
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2012 09:34:01
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=28400.

The Old Cemetery is possibly the creepiest cemetery I’ve ever seen. This is not the site of religious sorrow or continued respect for the dead, it is a place of horror embraced by the restless dead. Everything about this map screams bad news to anyone that dare enter. It is the perfect addition to your Halloween collection!

The Old Cemetery features a fenced-in cemetery weathered by many years. There is a collection of many burial plots with weathered headstones and small tombs, all decorated by creepy statues and uninviting fence. The grass shows true neglect and the entire scene looks like it’s straight from a horror movie. As an added bonus, a small collection of horror paper miniatures are included, ready to populate this true death trap. To entice adventure, the largest tomb stands prominently in the center of the map with a keystone path leading to its door. What lies within? This single piece is the perfect motivator for bringing your adventure into this obviously horrific cemetery.

OVERALL

The Old Cemetery could easily become wildly popular with those running horror adventures on Halloween. Everything about it portrays fear and you may be hard-pressed to convince the PCs to actually enter. It just has that look that says “You don’t want to be here.” I would love to see more maps in this style.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
The Old Cemetery is very square and thus cuts easily across multiple pages. The grid is lined up extremely well along the outer fence and the inclusion of the paper miniatures makes this a truly valuable find.

Visual Appeal: 10 out of 10
The textures of the grounds stand-out significantly, embracing that appearance of horror and desperation (should you venture inside). The features of the cemetery have been mixed between headstones, statues, small tombs, and other bits-and-pieces making the overall map very appealing and totally cool to look at. There is so much attention paid to detail that even the highlighting and shadows make every little detail really stand-out.

Desire to Use: 10 out of 10
If you’re looking for a great horror encounter location, this is a perfect option. However, The Old Cemetery doesn’t have to be limited to horror as it can easily be used for the zombie apocalypse, within fantasy adventures, or even as a prominent feature of an historical location. But when all is said and done, it really carries an air of horror and makes a great location for that style of encounter.

Overall: 10 out of 10
The Old Cemetery is an excellent map and a definite must have for anyone running an outdoors adventure in a horror setting or simply need to create a horrific atmosphere. The best part is that the horrific aspects of the map are not simply because it is a cemetery, but rather it’s because the design, chosen textures, weathering, and shadows that make it feel like a place of horror.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Old Cemetery
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadow Planes & Pocket Worlds (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/23/2012 20:13:24
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=28065.

This supplement to the wildly popular Dark Roads and Golden Hells takes the sometimes confusing and completely amorphous concept of the planes in RPGs and provides more interesting and exciting planes and monsters to encounter while taking a wild planar journey.

Kobold Press has hit a real home run with their view of the planes and how they operate. Shadow Planes Pocket Worlds feels like a solid supplement rather than something that was just tacked on because there was extra material just lying around. Even without the benefit of Dark Roads and Golden Hells, this book still works well as a standalone, product for extra-planar information.

OVERALL

If you are planning on running a game that involves planar travel then this series is for you. This supplement does not go as far as its predecessor to explain how the planes work, but that isn’t the purpose. The two new locations alone make this a product worth buying; add in the rest of the crunchy information makes Shadow Planes Pocket Worlds even more appetizing.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
The cover is branded correctly, complementing its older sibling very well. The layout of this book is spot on, rather than trying to fix what wasn’t broken, the folks at Kobold Press stuck with a winner. The page borders still look great and they are just what the Dr. ordered for a product dealing with the planes. The interior art is well done in black and white; there were a few “white spaces” that would have been great for art, but that is minor. The fonts are the right size and easy to read, this book looks great!

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
The diseases and poisons were handled well. Rather than just a charted entry for each poison, there is a brief description, not just a collection of numbers. The templates are reasonable and don’t feel overpowered. Putting a template to an imaginary friend was innovative, but I should realize that Kobold Press has shown a willingness to go there and make it work when they get there. The magic items were interesting, without adding additional burdens to the GM or the player.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
If you are not running a game that involves the planes, then this product loses some value. Even a product as well thought out and as well presented as this one diminishes if not used in the context for which it was intended. If you are even hinting at any type of extra planar activity in your game, then there is something here you can use. The poisons and diseases lose a bit of their flavor in the same way the entire product does if not handled correctly.

Overall: 9 out of 10
This is a tight, tight product! The layout and editing are spot on; the content is top notch. There was a little too much white space on a few pages that could have been filled with art or even designer notes or suggestions on how to run a better planar game. For many of you, this might seem like I’m asking for and expecting way too much, but when you do things as well as Kobold Press does, expecting more is the only way they will maintain their high standards or strive to top themselves. This is a product that should spend no time in the shadows or be kept in anyone’s back pocket.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow Planes & Pocket Worlds (Pathfinder RPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

City Ruins
Publisher: DramaScape
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/22/2012 16:03:23
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=28271.

City Ruins depicts a very urban area (factory or warehouse district, crowded urban design) after some type of disaster struck, natural or unnatural. This is not a post-apocalyptic style of ruins, but rather a city block after something caused a good amount of destruction to the buildings and surrounding environment. There is much debris about and one of the buildings appears to be a multi-story structure that has collapsed near the middle.

The city block appears to be centered on a side street or at least something that dead ends into some type of industrial yard. The colors are extremely muted and the street ends quite oddly at a building, in addition to the ground textures ending oddly near that building. Some of the map elements are a little awkward such as down telephone poles with no cables strewn about. In addition, the map doesn’t just end on the city block allowing your creative mind to keep the city depiction going as you please. The whole thing truly captures that “urban jungle” feel and what could potentially happen in the wake of a disaster.

OVERALL

City Ruins is a pretty good battlemap. Using the Virtual Tabletop image as a guide helps to maneuver visually throughout the different pieces of the battlemap within the PDF to bring the whole thing to life. The buildings in this ruined part of the city are fairly big so having a guide such as that is quite valuable (granted that’s not what it’s for, but it definitely comes in handy). The battlemap has a lot of greys and an almost excessive use of muted colors. However, the road ending in such an awkward way in front of a random building does not increase the appeal of the map, but if used as a post-apocalyptic scene, it could make sense. The cover illustration depicts a wall (I believe) at the end of that road, but this is very difficult to discern from the map and still doesn’t feel quite right.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Maps with buildings this size can be tricky to cut from page to page without losing too much visibility of what the building is. DramaScape does a good job of laying out the map across multiple pages and keeps them in a nice order. However, the map could benefit from some loose elements to shape the scene better, although not at all a requirement. It should be noted that the map comes in square-, hex-, and no-grid layouts.

Visual Appeal: 6 out of 10
Yes this is an urban depiction and yes it has lots of urban coloring. However, the lack of contrast between the different textures makes the map difficult to discern. When you look at the greys between the rooftops, alleys, sidewalks, road, and industrial yard, it’s almost too much grey and not enough other colors (even to use black or a much lighter grey). In addition, a structure with the multi-story collapsed building, I would expect to see a lot more debris than is depicted. On the other side, the muted colors do a great job of depicting the ruins and the dismal atmosphere after disaster and could work extremely well in a post-apocalyptic environment. But with that type of environment, I would expect to see a lot of overgrown buildings in addition to the destruction (again not required because it’s not actually a post-apocalyptic map).

Desire to Use: 9 out of 10
Yes I did not give a glowing rating for visual appeal, but the use of this niche map could be quite extraordinary. When I look at it, I see a great stomping ground for some type of street gang or the sparks of a zombie apocalypse. The map just has a “panicked” appeal to it that says something really bad has happened and this area suffered, but what’s lurking within these buildings and around those corners? You could also make it the scene of horror as if something supernatural has come upon the city and has destroyed it or caused the natural disaster that destroyed it. Either way, this is a great place for an urban fight.

Overall: 8 out of 10
The City Ruins battlemap can be a great place to house a cinematic urban battle with no shortage of open space to hide in and no shortage of debris to hurl at your enemy. The coloring makes it a bit tricky on the eyes but it definitely holds a sense of despair. Regardless of what the disaster was, this part of the city did not hold-up well.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City Ruins
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Renaissance Deluxe
Publisher: Cakebread & Walton
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/18/2012 16:19:29
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=27914.

Renaissance Deluxe is the extended version of the Renaissance SRD and is the latest addition to the d100 family that includes RuneQuest, Legend, OpenQuest, and Basic Roleplaying. In regards to those systems, it was built off the OpenQuest system and resembles a mash-up of OpenQuest and RuneQuest or Legend. To me, it seems like a simpler version of Legend or a more intuitive version of OpenQuest (essentially it lies somewhere in the middle). Renaissance is designed for black powder (fantasy) settings and nominally set in the early modern period of Earth’s history (which includes the Renaissance era).

Renaissance is a roll-under d100 system where the majority of dice rolls are made against a list of common and advanced skills formed by either adding two base characteristics or by doubling a single characteristic. Each character then receives a number of skill points to improve those skills and thus create their own character archetype. Each character is defined by a social class, profession, and faction. Social classes are a character’s background that defines what professions are available. Professions define what a character did BEFORE they became an adventurer. Factions define what the character’s believe in the most. All of this defines a character’s background and beliefs but does not hamper their ability to advance and become whatever they want. Obviously they don’t get the inherent bonuses for social class and profession, but characters are never limited by a given character class or archetype. This is the same method as the aforementioned d100 systems.

According to Cakebread & Walton, Renaissance Deluxe has expanded content in Factions, Equipment, Alchemy, Witchcraft, and Bestiary. The Sanity and GM chapters are new plus quick rules are included for combat and naval combat.

OVERALL

I hate to say this because it sounds biased, but this is by far my favorite implementation of the d100 systems that include OpenQuest and Legend. For as much as I like both of those systems, Renaissance removes the things I don’t like about those systems. It removes some of the combat complications of Legend while adding more options compared to OpenQuest. The only drawback I see is that it’s tied too heavily to Clockwork & Chivalry in terms of only offering Alchemy and Witchcraft along with equipment that is tied heavily to to early modern Earth. While this is a slight drawback, it does mean that other settings will require new mechanics/options in those areas (although remember that Renaissance is designed to recreate the early modern era with a fantasy twist). However, due to its inherent compatibility with OpenQuest, RuneQuest, and Legend, you can easily pull from any number of already available sourcebooks and core setting guides for that information.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
I applaud Cakebread & Walton with their continued improvements to their publication quality from their beginnings with the 1st edition of Clockwork & Chivalry up to Renaissance Deluxe and beyond. There are some very little things in regards to cleaning up the formatting, but they’re completely minor and by no means interfere with the content. However, this is just a sidebar to what is truly awesome about Renaissance Deluxe. Early Modern and Black Powder Fantasy artwork is something you do not come across very often. Following with the style of artwork found in Clockwork & Chivalry, Renaissance Deluxe has an excellent collection of rustic feeling artwork depicting Early Modern times and the technology within the core mechanics. While you may not think that means much, Black Powder Fantasy and the Early Modern period is somewhat rare in role-playing games and you don’t see a lot of period-appropriate artwork.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
This may sound a little biased, but the Renaissance system removes all the mechanics I find to be bulky in Legend (RuneQuest II) while avoiding the overly simple implementations from OpenQuest. It is an excellent implementation of the d100 mechanics that harken back almost 35 years. Yes it is tied directly to the era it’s meant to represent, but it can easily be modified for similar eras or other interesting settings due to the strength of the core mechanics.

Desire to Play: 8 out of 10
If you are looking for black powder or historical fantasy set in the early modern period, then Renaissance is the perfect fit. However, it does have a slight drawback in that those themes are integral to the system and are difficult to avoid. If you want to change the flavor to match a slightly different theme, there are lots of bits and pieces that need to be adjusted. In addition, I hate to say it, but I find the d100 mechanics in Renaissance, compared to its counterparts, to be much more favorable for quicker game play and more flexibility (depending on which one you’re comparing it to). Renaissance’s familiarity due to its core mechanics predecessors can make for some quick starting games as you don’t really need to learn a lot of new mechanics.

Overall: 9 out of 10
I definitely recommend the Renaissance d100 system as an excellent comparison to its predecessors. I also definitely recommend it for those wanting a game set in a black powder setting. These are two things that Renaissance Deluxe does very, very well and it’s worth taking a look at if you’re shopping for a new game system.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Renaissance Deluxe
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Crypts
Publisher: DramaScape
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2012 14:22:50
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=28036.

The Crypts is actually a collection of three different crypt maps, all with a horrific fantasy appeal. The first map is a set up like a maze with one of the rooms given over to a collection of sarcophagi. The second map is a dungeon-like room, completely open and filled with pillars to hold up the ceiling. Any number of nasty villains could call this home. The third map is another dungeon-like room with a center containing a flow of lava and one side has a large opening beneath a bridge. This particular map reminds me of a cult hideout from a pulp thriller.

Starting with the first map, this one is similar to The Ossuary map with a collection of sarcophagi, what appears to be the ossuary built into the extreme walls, two bone pits in the room with all those sarcophagi and a couple of statues that look like they guard the room. While I’m not thrilled about the stairs (they don’t feel convincing due to the lack of shadowing), the whole map is exquisitely creepy and just feels like it belongs in a horror adventure.

The second map is open and simple, with any number of possible uses. There are a few skeletons including one crushed by a fallen pillar, a nice added touch, but otherwise the room is mostly empty (aside from the puddle and the pillars). This is not a bad thing as it is large enough to be used for a wide variety of purposes. The overall stone design of this room makes it good for dungeons or underground lairs.

The third map is cool in concept but I’m not thrilled with the execution. The floor texture is very blurry and I have a hard time connecting a floor that looks severely cracked and weathered with a bunch of pillars that look as though they haven’t weathered at all. I think the texture is supposed to represent the cracking of the floor due to the lava, but the lava flow is very isolated to a center “stream.” The map is still very cool and can definitely be used for a number of things. It definitely gives off a vibe of chaos in a room that could house any number of villains.

OVERALL

The Crypts is a good collection of battlemaps. One major strong point is that it contains three different crypts with a variety of uses. In fact, if you look at the whole collection, they can easily be used outside of the standard fantasy or horror settings to include pulp fantasy, gothic sci-fi, and a lot more.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
The three crypt maps contained within The Crypts are all rectangular and subsequently cut very well to fit within the different pages. The third map, with the bridges, even contains a set of closed bridges to layer on top of the open ones found in the actual map. As always, the maps come in both square and hex grids.

Visual Appeal: 8 out of 10
The stone textures used throughout all three maps are superb. The floor on the third map is a bit tricky to discern, but that could easily be part of its appeal. The walls are well-done and properly shadowed and all the little extras, like the skeletons, have been rendered wonderfully. However, the stairs are not very convincing as stairs, maybe more like a ramp. It may also help if they stood out a little more.

Desire to Use: 10 out of 10
From a utility stand-point, these are a great collection of maps to use for dark, crypt or dungeon-like situations. They just look terrifying! One very valuable thing to consider is that these maps are generic enough to cover many types of use and house any number of lurking beasties.

Overall: 9 out of 10
It can often be difficult to find maps that are more horrific in their design than just fantasy or dungeon. DramaScape has done a good job of presenting another map (three of them in fact) that carry that darker side of gaming and truly bring out the horror that could be inherent to any questing situation. After all, if you want the mood to be dark and terrifying, you should have a map that matches it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Crypts
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

In The Company of Lurkers (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/11/2012 14:05:19
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=27578.

Rite Publishing’s In the Company of Lurkers by Steven Russell and crew for use in the Pathfinder system brings to the table a fully developed character race concept that began some years ago with the Bastards and Bloodlines supplement by Owen K.C. Stephens. Lurkers are a combination of gnomes and cloakers.

This is a very good product. There are descriptions for three different sects of lurkers, the racial traits and appearances of the race, the race’s society, racial traits and alternative racial traits, favored class options, racial feats, and three archetypes.

OVERALL

Very good product for both players and GMs. It gives the GM a new race of spies and assassins to throw at the PCs and it gives the PCs a new race to play. This is a product that anyone who likes gnomes will either love or hate. It detracts from the pure-blooded gnome but it adds so much more than what it takes away. If you like odd combinations – half breeds – you will like this race.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Very good descriptions and some good artwork to support them. It is 12 pages of really good material. There are some typos – words omitted or misspelled and some missing spacing – but they do not take away from the playability of this product, they just hamper the readability slightly. Also, the product is written in the 1st person perspective of a lurker. Some of the text is quite well written and some of it is very simplistic – like there were two hands doing the writing. Whether this was intentional or not I do not know but it is noticeable in the reading.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10
The product sticks very solidly to the Pathfinder game mechanics. The only issue I have is the favored classes section – I think the lurkers are short changed a slight bit in some of them. For example, in the Ranger favored class, the lurker adds 1/3 dodge bonus to the AC against the favored enemies. At low levels this amount is negligible. This system of favored class benefits is given as an option instead of adding a skill or hit point as favored classes normally do. Additionally, this race could be very easily adapted into any campaign.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
Absolutely great value added to the game with In the Company of Lurkers. Players and GMs alike are going to want this product. This product will make players want to play a gnome-like character or a stealthy character just to try out this new race and the new archetypes.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Very good product. Gamers of all types will want it, especially those that like unusual races. The production quality, game mechanics, and value added to the game in general are very good and will make for a great addition to a gamer’s collection.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Lurkers (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

#30 Battle Standards (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/08/2012 14:48:53
The following review was originally published at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=27566.

Rite Publishing’s 30 Battle Standards by Steven Russell’s crew for use in the Pathfinder system brings to the table a slew of different types of battle standards. There are the general banners, cavalry guidons, garrison flags, infantry guidons, pennons, sashimono, and vexillium in addition to new equipment related to the battle standards, a new feat, and an NPC. This is a product designed for paladins and cavaliers in Western settings and Samurais and ronin in Eastern settings.

This is a great product. The artwork is spectacular and the descriptions of the different types of standards give the player and GM alike fantastic information on how to use them in the game. Additionally, the game mechanic used is an aura enchantment giving the legendary “magical” feel that warriors felt in days gone by when they saw the standard for their units in the vanguard.

OVERALL

Wonderful product for both players and GMs. It will enhance those moments when the PCs get themselves in a situation where having their own standard will be a benefit, where they are serving under a standard, or where they encounter large scale fighting where the GM can use the standards against the PCs.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
Great descriptions and the artwork just makes it even better. It is 13 pages of fabulous material. There are a few minor typos – a word or two was omitted or misspelled – but that does not take away from this product in any way.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Each standard has a descriptive text and some of them have a table where all of the different effects are listed for the standard that has levels to it. Each of the magical auras associated with the standards are easy to use with very typical effects from the Pathfinder system of magic.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
Absolutely great value-add to the game with #30 Battle Standards. Players and GMs alike are going to want it. The original design is for paladins, cavaliers, samurais, and ronins, but I can see its application to other character classes as well if the GM is planning on a large scale war for his/her players to encounter.

Overall: 10 out of 10
Wonderful product. Gamers of all types will want this product, especially those that like the extra effects the standards bring. The production quality, game mechanics, and value added to the game in general are superb.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Battle Standards (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

New Paths: Expanded Shaman (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/01/2012 15:16:16
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=26985.

The Expanded Shaman builds on the shaman class that Kobold Press introduced in Kobold Quarterly #21. While the shaman has many things in common with its druidic cousins, they are two distinct classes that will help any adventuring party get their green on!

OVERALL

Who doesn’t like new character classes? The Expanded Shaman brings us a character class that has appeared in most editions of most fantasy RPGS in one form or another. This 16 page Pathfinder supplement has just the right amount of information to really make the Shaman feel like a fully formed and well thought out character class.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
I really loved the cover of this product; Christophe Swal really captured the spirit of the shaman. The green title area with the yellow writing feels right. The addition of the green tree top and the standing stones below it reflect the multifaceted nature of the druid. The plant inspired light grey page border on the left is classy and really enhances the impact of the page. The shaman squatting on the rock looks just wild enough to be mysterious, but just wise enough to seek advice from. The inclusion of the iconic shaman staff festooned with fetishes didn’t seem forced.

The interior color art maintained the feel that the cover gives the reader. My only disappointment, art wise, was the black and white owl used on page 9. If it had been done in color this would have been 10 out of 10. The books layout is standard for Pathfinder support materials and it works. The base class description was a good call. I have seen several publishers produce a product like this and not include the base class description. Seems like a no brainer, unless you are trying to make people spend more money and buy two of your products. I applaud Kobold Press for not trying to stick it to us! The Inclusion of the useful Spirit Guide and Wildshape sheets is really useful for both player and GM. I have seen players who have sworn off playing characters who shapeshift because it is so difficult to track your shifted stats. This isn’t the first time someone has developed a sheet to track these items, but I’m glad it was included.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Because this is considered a base class, I think the mechanics are much easier to deal with than they would be if this was a prestige class. The class is well-made and has some interesting abilities that will satisfy a player who wants to change things up a bit without getting freaky. The shaman’s ability to cast any spell they know is balanced out by their limited amount of spells. This is a simple mechanic that makes things a bit more interesting. The use of the druid spell list was the right call. As a player I do find it hard, when I have so many spells to cast, to be able to quickly pick the best spell for the task at hand.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
Shamans are an interesting class that can add to most parties. I would not classify them as specialists but more in the utility category. From a GMs stand point there are some minor aspects of this class that will cause some extra work, but if you are in tune with your players it shouldn’t be an issue. The inclusion of the base class and the extra “tracking” sheets for a character sheet/portfolio make this worth $3.99 USD. Add feats, Archetypes and new spells and this is a good financial value as well. This is a Pathfinder product and it is focused for that setting. This product would have been perfect if some general non-Pathfinder shaman information had been included as well as a bit of information on specific places in the universe where shamans might be found.

Overall: 9 out of 10
When I received my review copy of this product I really looked at it as a straight forward character class supplement. As I started to delve into it, I could see that it was a straight forward character class supplement; that happens to be done really well. I was disappointed that shaman personality traits based on spirit totems were not introduced. I would have enjoyed seeing the requirement for shamans to have a few taboos to maintain their powers. Kobold Press has done a great job of summoning the shaman as a character class for Pathfinder.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
New Paths: Expanded Shaman (Pathfinder RPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

101 Not So Random Encounters: Urban (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/24/2012 14:07:35
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=27357.

Steven D. Russell gives GMs 101 “bad guys” from the organization known as the Fold of Mother’s Pride – a member in the criminal cartel made up of mostly monsters – to throw at the adventurers. 101 Not So Random Encounters: Urban is intended for GM use in Rite Publishing’s City of Questhaven for the Pathfinder system. It can be adapted for other use as well with a little bit of work.

The city is always scary and now it has gotten nastier. 101 Not So Random Encounters: Urban gives the GM more creative flexibility and more encounters freak out players with the city’s criminal underworld organization known as Mother’s Pride. Theencounters range from CR 23 to CR 1/2 with the ability to scale all of them upwards two more levels and some of them downwards two levels. There is some artwork within the product – some of it is good, some of it is okay.

OVERALL

101 Not So Random Encounters: Urban brings gamers a vast array of new options to astonish even the most jaded of players with unique encounters. It gives the GM creative vigor, and it’ll give the players something to talk about for a long time. The big issue with this product is its lack of complete statistics for all of the entries and there isn’t artwork to go with each encountered creature. Unfortunately, this product does not give a very detailed description of Mother’s Pride in the introduction.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 8 out of 10
The order of the content flows beautifully from the head of the Mother’s Pride down to the latest “youngling” that has been taken into the criminal organization’s membership. However, the lack of artwork within every monster entry is a deterrent to this product. Also, some entries are not as detailed as others; consequently, you will have to have the Pathfinder Bestiaries in order to look up statistics for most of the creatures (about 70 – 80%) used in the product.

Mechanics: 8 out of 10
The mechanics listed are typically the standard statistics from the Bestiaries or if they have been adjusted, it is because of the scaling of the creature, up or down.

Value Add: 8 out of 10
The aim of this product is GMs and those players who plan on becoming GMs. If Steven Russell had given players an extra section with more information specific to the criminal cartel system in Questhaven, the product would have the ability to be expanded by the GM if needed.

Overall: 8 out of 10
If there was more artwork and all of the statistics were given for all of the creatures, this product would have been rated much higher. One of the good things is the ability to scale the encounters up, and in some cases down, so that the GM can adapt them to the needs of the game. The other really good thing is that all of the members of the organization are listed and there is flavor text (individual personality and hangouts) for each of them.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
101 Not So Random Encounters: Urban (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Control Room
Publisher: DramaScape
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/21/2012 15:34:22
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=27024.

Control Room features a modern or sci-fi octagonal room with several sets of computer work stations and a central “command” stand in the center of the room. The entire room is enclosed in a bunker-like structure and the computer work stations are all very detailed including different sets of computer screens.

OVERALL

The Control Room battlemap is good, but I can’t see it being used for any sci-fi games. It has a very 1970s or 1980s feel to it and the computer work stations are not aligned against the wall like you would picture in Star Trek. As is, it could make a great pillar for a Cold War game or as a base for the threat of nuclear fallout, but the arrangement doesn’t lend itself well to sci-fi.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
The Control Room battlemap is laid out exceptionally well. The map is cut in a very favorable way considering its layout across multiple pages. More importantly, the square grid is aligned to the center portion of the floor where it drops a few steps from the main floor. This is a very critical alignment as anything else would look extremely awkward.

Visual Appeal: 7 out of 10
The visual appeal for the Control Room is influenced by a number of things. On the positive side, it has a lot of detail on the computer work stations including actual monitor displays for each computer, and a series of smaller monitors and keypads to go along with it. The textures throughout are very smooth and the walls of the bunker look fantastic (as they are all decorated in a military/sci-fi fashion). However, from an overview standpoint, the Control Room looks very awkward. The inner work stations look like they’re partially floating over the drop floor (this is most likely due to how they are designed from a 3D standpoint, but doesn’t always translate well to 2D) and the outer work stations are not aligned to the wall.

In addition, the Control Room does not look sci-fi or modern; it looks more like a military bunker during the cold war. The computer stations do not look or feel modern (or sci-fi) and the arrangement is quite scattered. If I were to visualize something modern or sci-fi, I would picture large banks of computer stations against every wall where there are no breaks between the stations and everything is actually mounted to the wall (think of a modern-day cubicle). Then surrounding the drop floor I would picture a railing with possible stand-up terminals along that railing perimeter. If it were sci-fi, I would also expect to see a number of large monitors around the entire room depicting multiple scenes.

Desire to Use: 7 out of 10
If you are running a military or political focused campaign during the 1970s or 1980s, maybe focusing on the Cold War or the looming threat of nuclear weapons, this is an awesome bunker to house your top officials (maybe even your President). If you’re running a modern game, it could be a more mobile control room or something tucked deep under the ground that has been there for decades with equipment that is nothing but reliable. However, for a sci-fi game, it may not fit the bill. This control room has more of a “retro” appeal.

Overall: 8 out of 10
The Control Room battlemap is a good map for its design. It can serve many purposes and its generic design provides a lot of flexibility when defining that purpose. The battlemap has a lot of detail and finding good maps for modern and sci-fi campaigns can often prove difficult as most battlemaps are designed for fantasy use.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Control Room
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Unspeakable Oath 20
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/18/2012 18:10:35
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=26974.

Issue #20 of The Unspeakable Oath magazine is much like its ancestors. The magazine is dedicated to multiple aspects of Cthulhu Mythos roleplaying with this issue only containing Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green material (made for Call of Cthulhu, for now). A lot of the same great content you expect from issue to issue is here including short scenarios, full investigations, adventure hooks, and items to spark multiple scenarios. The pillar article for issue #20 is a piece discussing Assassins and their roots in the historical Middle East.

OVERALL

If you are looking for a great collection of Cthulhu Mythos roleplaying content for a great price, there’s little need to look any further than The Unspeakable Oath; especially if you’re a Keeper or are looking to run something completely new. There is lots of information here and investigation opportunity at such a great price that there’s very little reason to not pick up each issue, if only to read the scenarios and add to your own Cthulhu lore.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
As always, The Unspeakable Oath 20 is a wonderful looking book. The overall layout is kept simple and unlike some previous issues, the space is used very well providing a high amount of value for what you’re purchasing. There is no shortage of great art and some of the illustrations invoke a great amount of inspiration in and of themselves where the attached content only serves to enhance the visual aid. While I would like to say that I expect as much from Arc Dream Publishing, it’s proper to say that they did an excellent job of assembling issue #20.

Mechanics: 7 out of 10
Truly the only mechanical piece in The Unspeakable Oath 20 is The Assassins article. There’s a lot of history delving into the historical past of assassins and their roots, but it also contains a lot of content that I failed to connect to Cthulhu Mythos roleplaying. There’s a lot of build-up and a lot of explanation, but more connection to in-game use would be preferred (and provide those connections directly next to where the content appears). However, near the end of the piece there are a handful of in-game uses for what is found, but a lot of the history seems lost in regards to those mechanics. That doesn’t mean the content is bad or not useful, it just means that connecting it to in-game use may prove difficult. It borders on information overload.

Storyline: 10 out of 10
The Unspeakable Oath 20 has two full scenarios: She Just Couldn’t Stay Away for Call of Cthulhu and Let’s Learn Aklo! for Delta Green. Both scenarios have excellent storylines with plots that are filled with suspense and situations that may fry your investigators brain. They are both written in an easy to follow fashion with no shortage of interesting points throughout. Plenty of sanity losing opportunities and I will not go further to avoid spoiling anything.

Value Add: 8 out of 10
There’s a lot of meat within The Unspeakable Oath for how much you pay. This issue has lots of Keeper information while The Assassins can be a great piece for players to get involved with along with the regular series of reviews for everyone’s reference. Although if you are a player, I’d advise keeping your eyes away from the scenario content to avoid ruining your experience. There’s just too much sanity-crushing information here that you wouldn’t want your investigator to become immediately insane.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Another excellent entry into The Unspeakable Oath library. There are plenty of great scenario opportunities and by incorporating The Assassins material into your games, you may find unexpected directions and lots of new opportunities for excitement using content you weren’t expecting (because the Cthulhu Mythos hasn’t dealt with this type of thing before).

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Unspeakable Oath 20
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Adventure Quarterly #2 (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/17/2012 14:56:26
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=26927.

Rite Publishing’s Adventure Quarterly #2 is turning into the Dungeon type magazine to Open Design’s Kobold Quarterly’s Dragon type magazine, and it works! This Magazine is dedicated to adventures, not character classes, or character modifications, or tons of cool and interesting gear; its focus is on really well-thought out adventures. There is some cool gear, creatures and races but they are all part of the adventures. Rite Publishing might be considered a micro publisher but they are doing big things. Adventure Quarterly is a well-done, tight product that has focus and manages to bring some old school feeling adventures for characters at varying levels.

OVERALL

Adventure Quarterly is good looking; not sexy but really clean with an almost minimalist approach. The three adventures are solid and interesting and the supporting articles are relevant to the product. The adventures are great as a standalone or as seeds for some really cool campaign ideas.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 8 out of 10
This publication fully embraces the concept of less being more. Rite Publishing was smart to stick to their fundamental layout and page borders. The focus of this product is the information. The gargoyle on the cover is well-done but it looks more mechanical metal, than stone. The pattern surrounding the picture is a bit wild, but it sticks to the magazine’s brand. The landscape behind the gargoyle seems a bit disconnected. The compass behind the “A” in Adventure Quarterly works on two levels: it looks good and is a subtle reminder that this is a Pathfinder product, without stealing the Pathfinder compass. The font used in the heading lost some readability in the smaller sizes. The map for the Ruins Perilous is well-done, but still has that old school “I drew this on graph paper” feel. I would liked to have seen some portions of the maps cut away and placed in the adventure near the room descriptions for ease of use for the GM while running the adventure. Rite switched between public art and stock or original art and the mixture left me feeling disoriented. Some of the art is better than others but there is not enough cohesion.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
This product has really found the sweet spot in providing balanced adventures for characters from all levels. Part of the reason these mechanics work so well is the caveats that the designers include about the adventures and what the GM can expect. Most of the creatures used in the adventures can be found in Pathfinder supplements, but the stats for those creatures are included in the adventures. Things start to get complicated when you get to the higher level adventure, but that is to be expected.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
The only reason I didn’t give this a 10 is because this product is really focused on the GM. There is value for players, but not much. For a GM this is 10 out of 10. The adventures are well-written and easy to understand and follow; the addition of good, extensive background information for each adventure provides good campaign ideas. All of the information needed to run the adventures is included and there was real thought put into each one. The Dungeon Dressing segment is full of those little extras that make dungeons feel alive without burdening the GM. Simply roll % and you are good to go, don’t like the result, just re-roll. I enjoyed the inclusion of some pre-generated characters to go with the low level adventure. What a great way to dive right into a single game session. I would liked to have seen pictures of the pre-gens just to give the player a better idea of who/what they are playing.

Overall: 9 out of 10
This magazine took me back to the good old days when I could go into a book store and purchase some really well-done adventures for a reasonable price. I think putting this out quarterly is a great idea and it gives the folks at Rite Publishing enough time produce quality products rather than just throwing whatever they can out there to meet a deadline. Rite is headed in the right direction and as they grow I can see their ability to maintain cohesive art themes in their products growing with them. The mixture of the old school feel with the young Pathfinder system is really cool. By following the KISS method, Rite Publishing has done something quite professional.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Quarterly #2 (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 76 to 90 (of 230 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates