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Wicked Fantasy Factory #1: Rumble in the Wizard's Tower $6.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Wicked Fantasy Factory #1: Rumble in the Wizard\'s Tower
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Wicked Fantasy Factory #1: Rumble in the Wizard's Tower
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Bram N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2007 12:15:57
Absolutly amazing. Will keep buying from these guys

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wicked Fantasy Factory #1: Rumble in the Wizard's Tower
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/24/2007 00:00:00
Wicked Fantasy Factory #1: Rumble in the Wizard's Tower is a d20 Fantasy adventure published by Goodman Games. The zipped file is almost twelve megabytes in size, and contains a single PDF (as well as an interface for Mac operating systems). The PDF is thirty-six pages long, including a front and back cover, two pages of maps, a page for the credits, and one page with both ads and the OGL. The PDF has full bookmarks.

Rumble in the Wizard's Tower has a fairly generous amount of artwork. The two covers are both presented in luxurious full color, with the effect that both covers appear to have been splattered with blood. Likewise, the two maps of the tower receive the same color treatment, and have markings on them denoting what kind of encounter you can expect in each area. The rest of the product is in black and white, with a picture showing up every several pages. Page borders are along the bottom of each page, and alternate on the left and right sides of pages as well. There is no printer-friendly version, so printing this out might take a toll on your printer.

As the first in the Wicked Fantasy Factory line of adventures, this isn't so much d20 Fantasy as it is d20 Fantasy Xtreme. For those who don't know, Wicked Fantasy Factory adventures are made to appeal to people who like games in the style of God of War, where you decimate everything you meet, performing killer finishing moves, annihilating bosses, and collecting phat lewt. This adventure presents quite a few new rules for all of that and more.

After presenting the adventure background, the product moves right on to the good stuff. It gives rules for your character developing a finishing move (which can possibly finish off an enemy in a single blow, but if it fails, means you wasted a round), rules on fighting mooks (so you can mow through them like grass), and boss encounters (these are the guys who never go down easy). It also introduces the E-Z stat blocks. E-Z stat blocks only have the simplest information, basically the attack and defense stats, and are given for minor characters. Of course, full stat blocks are given too, but you likely won't need to know a mook???s Charisma, right?

The adventure itself is fairly simple. The evil wizard Valdeez is in his tower, preparing to unleash a war effort on nearby countries, having already kidnapped a princess. The PCs, for whatever reason (several adventure hooks are given) need to kick in the door and kick some serious butt to put a stop to Valdeez's evil ambitions. Oh, and don't worry too much about rescuing the princess either, she???s gone to the dark side.

To spice things up, Valdeez has captured an outsider known as a ternion (no stats are given), which has power over time. Periodically throughout the adventure, the ternion will affect time for either the PCs or their foes, sending them into what is essentially bullet time, which gives them a variety of bonuses. At the end of the adventure, the PCs gain the ability to permanently call on this (though only once a week), ensuring your characters will be able to use it over and over.

The adventure itself doesn't pull any punches either. Despite the fact that your characters are first level, you???ll be facing everything from a ghost to a hydra in this adventure, to say nothing of the hordes of mooks that stand between you and the big bad evil guy at the end. Even though this is a kick butt and take names adventure, smart players will figure out how to avoid the toughest challenges. And of course, as with all WFF adventures, there's an instance of phat lewt here; a treasure thats worth the same amount as all the rest of the treasure in the adventure combined.

All in all, Rumble in the Wizard's Tower is a seriously bad@$$ adventure, setting the bar high for what we can expect from Wicked Fantasy Factory. The new rules are simple, but add serious flavor for groups that want to play through their adventures like an Xbox game. And even if you don't want to use the new rules here, the adventure still stands on its own perfectly well. There's really no way you won't find something useful, to say nothing of fun, in Rumble in the Wizard???s Tower.



LIKED: The new rules for finishing moves, fighting mooks, bosses, phat loot, and ternion time all take this adventure to a new level. The tagline says to make the dungeons sorry that they ever met you, and this adventure delivers! There's also five new magic items and two new monsters here, to boot. And of course, that's not even taking into account that the adventure by itself is notably awesome.

DISLIKED: The lack of a printer-friendly version can be a hassle if you want to print this out.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wicked Fantasy Factory #1: Rumble in the Wizard's Tower
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/17/2007 00:00:00
Wicked Fantasy Factory: Rumble in the Wizard's Tower is a 36 page d20 fantasy pdf adventure for characters of level 1 to 3. This adventure is the first product in a new series of adventures by Goodman Games produced in cooperation with Wicked Fantasy Factory. Each adventure in the series is for those that want their adventures to be 'things of legend' or just 'wicked sick' and each features new rules and a more bloody, yet cinematic, outlook on the fantasy adventure. This adventure sees the player characters assault the tower of a warlord bent on overthrowing the kingdom, and they must face not only the challenges of the warlord's minions, but also the remnants of the magical effects left over from the wizard who once lived in the tower.

This adventure comes as a single, extremely well-presented pdf file. The pdf contains a full set of bookmarks, a fantastic cover, and grim-and-gritty interior art, bordering and layout that suit the mood and flavor of the product. The maps are fantastic, detailed and clear, and are helpful to the DM in indicating relative positions of any enemies within a particular area. The covers and maps are arranged at the front of the pdf, with the main product body following on from that. Handouts and new monsters and magical items are included in the appendix. Editing, writing and mechanics are excellent, and where the adventure says it will provide more cinematic scenes and descriptions this is strongly supported by some quality writing and vivid detail. In general, a top quality presentation that suits the flavor and atmosphere of the product very well.

The adventure takes place almost entirely in Morrick Tower, although depending on which of the plot hooks are used, there can be some roleplaying in the city before that. Because this adventure is intended to be something of legend, there are some optional rules that one can use to make the adventure more 'bloody' or just more cinematic. These include rules for handling mooks or minor enemies, so-called finishing moves which allow you to finish off an enemy in spectacular fashion, and additional mechanics for making those final BBEGs that much more difficult. Admittedly these additions will not be for everyone, but in the spirit of the adventure and the style of the adventure, they can be a lot of fun. That said, this adventure can be run equally well without these options, and given the quality of the adventure, it will be as enjoyable and even equally spectacular.

By its basic nature this is a single location, dungeon crawl style adventure, but I think it offers more than enough other aspects to the adventure that make it much more than that. There is a really great story-line and background with some really interesting ideas, some very exciting encounters, challenges that almost require characters to think out of the box, and some description and detail that's excellent. Players and DMs will not be disappointed by this adventure, and those wishing for more cinematic encounters and spectacular battles will find this adventure right up their alley. The adventure is intended for 2nd level characters, although large parties of 1st level characters (6 to 8 characters) or 3rd level characters will also find this challenging. Scaling information is provided, but given the length of the adventure and the nature of the combat encounters, even large parties of 1st level characters will struggle unless they employ excellent tactics and think about their actions.

The combination of facing the warlord's minions and the remnants of the tower's magical effects mean that most character classes will get a chance to shine. Traps, puzzles, and combat all blend in well in this adventure, and there's good opportunity for roleplaying. At times, though, the adventure feels a bit scripted and could've used a bit more of a dynamic approach. It's what one could call a 'movie-style' approach to gaming in the sense that when you look at a film the scenes are often incredibly spectacular, but when you think about it you realise that there's a very detailed script behind it. Player characters might not notice it, but as a DM you can see the adventure being carefully scripted towards certain conclusions and certain outcomes. There's certainly nothing wrong with this approach as the results will be entirely fantastic and cinematic, but it can feel linear at times.

During the course of the adventure the characters will face a large number of interesting challenges. They will need to unravel the warlord's plot, contend with both the mundane and the fantastical, and deal with many eclectic challenges. The final encounter should be a thoroughly memorable affair. This adventure succeeds very well at stating its intent and then delivering exactly what it says it will. It may not be for everyone, but I think most players and DMs will be surprised by how good this adventure is despite perhaps not finding the adventure blurb to be to their liking. This is a great dungeon crawl and adventure, extra options used or not, and a fantastic start to a series that has lots of potential.


LIKED: Rumble in the Wizard's Tower is an excellent and fun adventure that plays to the cinematic approach to gaming - dungeon crawling at its best. The descriptions and details are vivid and spring to life, the adventure is fast paced and exciting, the encounters challenging and require thinking out of the box, and the story and premise very entertaining. Even if you wouldn't normally go for this style of adventure, I think many will be surprised by what they find inside its pages. Excellent presentation, in particular the art and maps.

DISLIKED: The adventure might not be for everyone, and it can feel very scripted and linear at times. Given the cinematic and large battles that abound, some large maps or battlemaps would've been really useful. This adventure can be very tough, although the difficulty is offset by the optional rules that the adventure incorporates. Those opting not to use them will probably need to ensure that their PCs are up to the task. The finishing moves mechanics could've used a little more polish.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wicked Fantasy Factory #1: Rumble in the Wizard's Tower
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/16/2007 00:00:00
False Advertising bugs me to no end. It is so disappointing to go see a movie that promises wall to wall thrills when there are only two real action scenes in the whole movies. Likewise, when a book?s back cover promises an engrossing story and delivers something fit for a Dr. Seuss novel, I demand payment from someone.

So I ask with all due respect from Goodman Games for them to accept my apology for my initial impression of Rumble in the Wizard?s Tower, the first entry of Goodman Games new series of adventures, Wicked Fantasy Factory. And by first impression, I mean the sarcastic grunt I let out when reading the item?s descriptions to offer a drop down, over the top adventure experience. After all, I had a right to be doubtful, this is the company that says that the NPCs in their DungeonCrawl series are all suppose to be killed but yet they are not.

Boy was I wrong.

Though it may not be a masterpiece, Rumble in the Wizard?s Tower is very diverse book from the Dungeoncrawls that you may be used to. The adventure takes place inside of wizard?s tower now bellowing to an evil wizard whom murdered his father (also evil) and plans on unleashing his army and new extraplanar time controlling monster. The adventure has a lengthy setup and borders closely on introducing too much non your campaign politics to a game, but, luckily, contains enough generic components that you can squeeze it into your campaign and eliminate some of the heavier political intrigue that may not fit in with the ongoing political intrigue of your current campaign.

The rest of the 36 page PDF takes many chances to divert from your usual adventure. Because the tower once belonged to another wizard, there are plenty of weird planar oddities throughout the castle alongside the pretty bland guards. The book?s shining moments are when it introduces new mechanics such as timestop encounters and finishing moves.

Rumble is more than just simple new tricks. The tactics sections for the encounters do a nice job of offering combat and non combat ways of handling encounters. The final combat at the end provides special advice for the DM to insure that the battle is a true climax.

For those whom doubted there was a real cartographer working at Goodman, get ready to eat crow. The first pages of the book has some of the richest and detailed maps I have seen in a book. They are the only color portion of the PDF and really add some flavor to separate the Wicked Factory series even further. Unfortunately, they can not be used in game without heavy manipulation because of all the DM notes on them. This is such a bummer considering Goodman?s typical blueprints would have done just as nicely if the maps were unusable for a campaign or PC handout.

For the DM
This adventure is not geared towards one particular type of party. Though it?s a dungeoncrawl, you find advice throughout about how to scale down or up things. This type of adventure writing creates adventures that everyone can use. Certain things can be done to bring out more of the mystery elements or background can be given to enforce the political implications. The actual combat tactics are not too invasive and do not try to detail every step of the combat.

The Iron Word
Rumble in the Wizard?s Tower delivers everything that its marketing text says it does. It is fun, over the top (without being comic booky) strong adventuring that any party should enjoy.



LIKED: - most of the mechanics are strong adventure elements that do not break the game
- this adventure contains a lot of different components, despite the overarching dungeoncrawl

- the temporal creature is a good mechanic to balance out an encounter that is going too good or not good enough.

- the description writing is excellent, always recreating the mood of the tower. Rumble handles similar descriptions by using rereference points throughout.

DISLIKED: - the finishing move promise fell flat for me. More time should have been given to make this a mechanic or this should have been left out. The whole section essentially says, during the final blow for an enemy describe the maneuver

- the political portion of the adventure may not be generic enough for some campaigns

- Sometimes the adventure feels too linear and lengthy

- A bit too much combat for the traditional campaign. I found myself deleting as many creatures as encounters as I do in the combat heavy Dungeon Crawls. Though it should be said that they give you non-combat ways of avoiding or escaping some of the creatures.

- All that beautiful art is useless to the DM if there is no nonmarked up map.
(edit- talked to Goodman games and they say that we may get one in a couple months)


QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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