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The Imperial Age: Hell Hath No Fury
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2009 14:17:21
This adventure is broken down into simple chapters that do a good job of detailing the chapter's purpose while providing linkage to the next one. There is very little opportunity for combat, except in two places, but these can be avoided with good roleplaying and GMing. There is a whole section devoted to the cast and generic NPCs. There are no maps, as they are not really required although pictures of the cast would have been nice.

Overall this was a fair introductory adventure. If you and your group are combat monsters, avoid this. If you are more cerebral (read Holmesian) you'll have fun. This has linkage to the next adventure in the series, The Price of Immortality.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Imperial Age: Hell Hath No Fury
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The Imperial Age: London
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2009 14:05:24
I like Imperial Age London. While you could go on-line and find all of this information on your own, this product removes that tedious work and combines it all in one neat product.

The layout is simple and lacks much in the way of frills. The art is clipart from the period with a few black and white photos thrown in. The color maps are authentic maps of the day.

The flaws are few but substantial. The book lacks a proper index or table of contents, and the pages are not even numbered. I hope they make one available as a free pdf to those that bought it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Imperial Age: London
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Sewer Kings
Publisher: Victory RPG
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/13/2008 11:21:55
The Sewer Kings is an M&M superlink adventure written and produced by Fran Vaughan. She is also the creator of another M&M superlink product called Flying Solo. I bought both just after Flying Solo became available. I have played Sewer Kings.

Sewer Kings consists of a cover, 23 pages of adventure, plus license. The interior is a mix of black-n-white and full color text and art. No printer friendly version is included, but that can be adjusted with thru printer settings. I only printed pages 2-24. Chapter One consists of pages 2-7, Chapter Two pages 8-11, Chapter Three pages 11-15, Chapter Four pages 16-21, and the Villainous Appendix (containing 6 baddies) pages 22-24.

Layout includes a basic two-column format with some areas being highlighted in color. The text is easy to read with headings defined in bold type. In each chapter there are one or two abbreviated villain blocks. I did not care for these since their usage requires flipping back and forth; fortunately they are repeated for convenience in the appendix with background text. These were a bit garish as well and could use some refinement. The maps are very basic and the scale for each is inconsistent or missing altogether. The chapter headers are three-inch square block representing a sewer cover. I liked this even though it did take up space. The color artwork has been cobbled from various sources and is generally substandard. The GM will have to flip thru the material to find the various illustrations for each villain. In general the layout is functional, but it could be improved.

The writing was direct and clear, making it easy to run the adventure. Ms. Vaughan supplies a few extra notions along the way to increase the flavor of the adventure. Some include villainous interactions and tactics (as is appropriate) while others include providing player options to deal with the locations. This adventure is fairly linear. It is not designed to be run in one session, rather, it should be played as a series of minor background encounters thru-out your existing campaign storyline. Rushing this may damage the adventure’s basic timeline. Ms. Vaughan provides numerous fair and logical roadblocks to keep PCs from following up on, and interfering with, the activities of the Sewer Kings in each chapter. This adventure is not designed for powerful PCs with cosmic powers. Street-level, super-powered vigilantes that often traipse the city’s underside (and sewers) may find it more enjoyable.

Regarding the game mechanics and NPC write-ups, I do not play M&M, even though I do own the rulebook and numerous accessories. I play Champions, and I found the NPCs easy enough to convert for my game. The villains are an interesting hodge-podge of powers, some clearly stronger than the others in certain situations. I ran this with only two PCs for chapters 1-3. Chapter 4 required the support of an NPC hero.

Likes:
Overall, I liked this scenario, especially chapter 3. It was simple and easy to run. It can be run as episodic side-treks for just a few PCs at a time, easily inserted into the background of an existing campaign. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Dislikes:
The maps and the artwork were weak, and the layout could have been improved with the villains’ stats only appearing in the appendix. I ended up searching for better images on-line. The price is a bit steep.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Sewer Kings
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Publisher Reply:
Sewer Kings was shall I say interesting to work on. It was a thought about adventure that was run during a M&M session and my father decided to try and publish it. Now not to put my father down but Sewer Kings was better suited for just when him, his friends, and I play, but not for published use. But since my dad's passing I'm having to take VRPG and trying to produce products without his help. Unlike many companies that I know of I'd like to put the customers first. The reviews are important for production. There is one product in the works right now but it's release is unknown at this time. So I thank you for reviewing this product and I will take it into account for the next product. S. Vaughan Victory RPG
Generic Locales - Devil's Mouth
Publisher: Eilfin Publishing
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2008 17:41:57
This is a very simple product. It describes in limited detail a small community set aside a volcano. It isn't a bad little 2 page product, but it isn't great either. The cover image is the only map of this impoverished little town. No buildings are detailed or assigned to the "cover map". With a little work this could have been an interesting locale. I only recommend this if you are good at embellishment. It can make a nice sidetrek place to visit. It is not an adventure as written. But can you beat the price?

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Generic Locales - Devil's Mouth
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0one's Blueprints: The Great City, The Saltshacks
Publisher: 0one Games
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2008 17:32:00
I always recommend 0one's Blueprints. They are all great! Now the Great City is being turned into a full color campaign setting coming out in September. All of the maps that relate to the Great City will be useful for player handouts.

The "Saltshacks" is a useful tool for developing a city area/community built on boats. Many a good dock chase could take place here. Remember, this is only a specific (and perhaps limited) portion of a city.

This is a product of related maps with a few suggestions on how to use it. The maps are waiting for you to fill in the details and provide them purpose. Of course, you don't need to render the maps! The maps are rendered in "old school" blue line style. Options are also available.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Great City, The Saltshacks
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0one's Blueprints: The Ruined Town, The Lone Orc Sighting Tower
Publisher: 0one Games
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2008 12:42:39
I really hate writing reviews for this series of 0one's Blueprints because I never have anything new to note. The settings for the maps change but the quality of the product and its utility remains the same as always.... EXCELLENT! I have bought every map in this series and have enjoyed them all. In fact, many of my best adventures originated from the 3-5 adventure seeds within them.

The Lone Orc Sighting Tower is part of the Ruined Town series. It provides a nice square-shaped keep that is in major disrepair.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Ruined Town, The Lone Orc Sighting Tower
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Shaman's Stockart Fantasy Figures 3
Publisher: Shaman's Stock Art
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2008 12:31:43
This product comes with 6 illustrated fantasy characters without backgrounds - each done in black-and-white and in color. The first is either a White human female child, or a gnome or halfling, the second is a ruddy skinned, human female mage welding her staff, the third us a big-earred female elven druid, the fourth is a youthful, androgynous halfling or gnomish minstrel with a lute, the fifth is another big-earred, female elf that is scantily clad, and the sixth appears to be a middle-aged traveling human, White male mage.

These images have many uses, and are a great help to the non-artistic player/GM. The art is very good and the poses are dynamic and clear. They can be easily adjusted, color-wise, using most art programs.

The price may seem a bit steep to some for only six pics, but I found them intriguing and inspiring. So I went and bought set two, as well. I would have bought set one if the preview was working.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shaman's Stockart Fantasy Figures 3
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Shaman's Stockart Fantasy Figures 2
Publisher: Shaman's Stock Art
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2008 12:20:02
This product comes with 6 illustrated fantasy characters without backgrounds - each done in black-and-white and in color. The first is a human, caucasian female sword and axe bearing barbarian, the second is perhaps a falchion welding assassin/guard, the third (my favorite) is a blond dwarven male warrior, the fourth is a human, Black male paladin/knight (he looks fantastic!), the fifth is a female wood elf holding her sword, and the sixth is a long-haired human male warrior welding a sword and kite shield.

These images have many uses, and are a great help to the non-artistic player/GM. The art is very good and the poses are dynamic and clear. They can be easily adjusted, color-wise, using most art programs.

The price may seem a bit steep to some for only six pics, but I found them intriguing and inspiring. So I went and bought set three, too. I would have bought set one if the preview was working.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shaman's Stockart Fantasy Figures 2
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Cartophile No. 7
Publisher: SkeletonKey Games
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2008 12:01:27
This 8 page product is great. I like it more than the first seven because the final page is a beautiful and complete map/mini-dungeon. It alone is worth the $3 price tag.

Page one is a cover page, and pages 2 thru 7 are sections/tiles set to print out for minature usage. I don't use minatures, I just like maps. So far this is the best and most beautiful map in the series.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cartophile No. 7
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Time Bomb
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2008 11:47:10
Time Bomb is a 32 page M&M adventure, but (with a little effort) can be used in any superhero RPG that has a four-color flavor. The basic premise is clearly stated in the product blurb. The scenario (pages 3-19) is broken down into four episodes and is accompanied by three appendices (pages 20-32). The artwork/clipart has been used in several other products and is generally sufficient, though unremarkable, for illustrating the NPCs. No maps are provided for this scenario.

In Episode One (pages 6-8), a PC (or NPC ally) is singled out for termination by a group of supers from the future. It is suggested that these foes (mostly heroes, mixed with a few villains) come from your own campaign. If this is not an option, an alternative “Hit Squad” is provided in Appendix One (pages 20-25). Five of the six members are illustrated (see notes on Appendix Two). This brief attack/encounter from the future could offer great PC-NPC interaction, drama, campaign-plot advancement, and character growth if desired. This is why your own “Hit Squad” is a better option. Yes, this episode can require the most work on the GM’s part.

Episode Two (pages 9-13) is the investigative portion of the adventure. It also requires the heroes to decide what to do about the targeted PC (or NPC ally). The scenario provides good options to keep the PC hero from simply sitting out the remainder of the adventure. There is a small, obligatory battle near the end for those who prefer fighting to investigating. An NPC hero from two decades past is also presented. He could be useful for your own campaign’s back story later on.

In Episode Three (pages 14-15) the heroes fight a crucial battle that is broadcast worldwide. This can have major repercussions to your campaign if it goes wrong.

In Episode Four and the Epilogue (pages 16-18) the heroes track down the master villain in his lair. Here is a battle of fists and ideology (a great dramatic moment for a talkative PC).

Answers to potential plot complications can be found on page 19.

Appendix Two (pages 26-30) offer up info and stats of the master villain and his five allies. Only the master villain receives an illustration! He dresses in jeans and a leather jacket… hmm? Was that necessary?

Appendix Three (pages 31-32) provide game mechanics for the supporting cast: a few extra opponents and the secret service agents.

Evaluation: The story is solid and easily playable. I ran it over the course of three 4-hour sessions, and my players and I enjoyed it (especially, the peek into their potential futures). They also enjoyed getting national recognition due to their televised heroics. My prep time was minimal. The scenario has no maps, but they are not really required; I found maps in other gaming products that sufficed. Having no artwork for the villains is my major complaint! Why illustrate a throw away “Hit Squad” the GM might use, but not the actual villains the PCs will encounter? This is a visual (four-color) genre after all.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Time Bomb
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0one's Blueprints: The Pirate Island
Publisher: 0one Games
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2007 00:00:00
Another triumph for 0one's Blueprints! To take real advantage of this one you'll need 0one's Blueprints' pirate ship as well. It's seen stationed at the port.

I really love these products. These are good, and inexpensive maps. Since the pirate trilogy at the box office came out and a certain swashbuckling adventure path finished, I've wanted a product just like this that I could tailor.

My only negative comment is slight: The island's beach area could have been gray-scaled (sand) to better define its borders.

Buy it!

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Pirate Island
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0one's Colorprints #3: The Burning Temple
Publisher: 0one Games
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2007 00:00:00
This product is similar to the Blueprint series except that the art is in color. There are 4 maps inside each comes in color or greyscale. You can modify the maps slightly by adding or removing features like furniture or grid, etc. This products maps include an area map (volcano and path to temple) and the temple maps (dungeon, gorund, and second floor).

This is a good product and deserves a color laser printer to maximize enjoyment.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Colorprints #3: The Burning Temple
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0one's Blueprints: Pirate Ship
Publisher: 0one Games
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2007 00:00:00
I liked this pdf. Heck, I like all their pdfs.

However, this product should have been done as one of the newer full colorprints. Added detail would have been nice since PCs could call this ship home for an extended period. An isometric view should have been included.

A note on the ships classification would have been nice as well, such as caravel, etc. I'm not a sailor, I just pretend to be.

If you are jonesing over any recent pirate movie or adventure path, this is a nice addition that can be prented and handed out to all mates on board.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Pirate Ship
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Adventure Block: Worm in the Earth
Publisher: Skortched Urf' Studios
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2007 00:00:00
This product consists of 5 pages: Page 1 is a nice full color cover; pages 2-4 are 3 pages of content with one map (2? x 2?) and a black & white illustration repeated from the color cover art. It takes up half of the fourth page; and lastly, page 5 is the standard OGL notice.

The three content pages: take out the map and the interior art and you really get two pages of text. One full page of text is devoted to the stats of an advanced purple worm with a few added optional rules. The other content page is basically a single room (or cavern tunnel) encounter. No treasure is offered, just advice for enhancing play.

This is not a bad product, but it is ONLY ONE ENCOUNTER. I liked it but still felt hungry for more after reading it. If you like WoTC?s new detailed, room encounter format then this should appeal to you. This may work well for an end of adventure final encounter piece, just added treasure.

In hindsight, I wouldn?t have invested in it.


LIKED: The cover graphics!

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Ripped Off


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Block: Worm in the Earth
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #38: Escape from the Forest of Lanterns
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2007 00:00:00
First, I?ll assume that some of you have purchased and read one of the Dungeon Crawl Classics beforehand. This adventure is a bit of a departure in theme from most of these great products. Your PCs must deal with a ?Shrek-esque? story setting ? the Forest of Lanterns. It?s a good change of pace. Forewarn your players of this or you may lose some of the flavor.

The scenario is broken down in two parts. The first is the trip in and around the Forest of Lanterns. While I enjoyed this section the most, I found that it was mostly made of numerous encounters that just added to the flavor of the setting but did little to promote a purposeful, flowing story, so this may a plus for some and a minus for others. If you just want to bash trolls and treants, you should be happy. If not, prune some of the encounters; reading the entire adventure beforehand is a must.

The second part deals with the ?Hanzel & Gretel-esque? candy cottage. Inside are the central antagonist and her flunkies. This is a pretty standard dungeon crawl, and seemed to have less imagination invested in its creation. Have some various candies on hand for this part; gingerbread would be nice, too.

The maps and art were useful and standard for these products.

My group played this in two nights (about 8 hours all together). It is an adventure for 7-9 level PCs, but I think scaling the number of monsters encountered down makes it more enjoyable for a lower leveled group (say 5-7 levels). The central antagonist seemed a bit weak for the recommended levels. The writing was clear, and the story fun, although I did find the central antagonist?s and the PCs? motivation to be a bit understated. My PCs ended up talking to her and worked out a compromise (after they severely damaged her home and hench-monsters). Based on my perception of the theme, common violence seemed to be an inappropriate answer to some encounters. Unfortunately, some of the treasure would have been hard to liberate otherwise.

My recommendation is to watch the Skrek movies and then play. I had the scores for Skrek 1 & 2 playing to keep the desired mood flowing. Play up on those bedtime stories and ham it up. Encourage the players to do the same. Think outside the dungeon!

A final note: this is not a "silly, waste of time" adventure. It is a fun diversion from the typical scenario. If your group is strictly a hardcore "adventure path" sort, you might want to give this a pass.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #38: Escape from the Forest of Lanterns
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