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Swords of Almuric: Classic D&D Edition
Publisher: Red Ram Studios
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/31/2013 19:21:40
A table-top adaptation of Robert E. Howard's world of Almuric as represented in the novel of the same name, Swords of Almuric is faithful to the source material but at the cost of being somewhat anemic. Still, the PDF is a good value for the asking price of $5.99 (US). I only ran into one hitch. It's kind of a big one, unfortunately.

The PDF would only render correctly in Adobe Reader on my Mac. It would not correctly display in any of the native PDF readers on my Mac (Safari, Preview) or in any of the other three third-party PDF readers that I tried (Firefox, PDFView, or Skim). In all of these viewers on my Mac, large portions of the file's text appeared as corrupted, garbled, nonsense and artwork displayed incorrectly, obscuring text in many instances. In Adobe Reader, though? Fine.

So, if you own a Mac and download this file, try installing Acrobat Reader before you pull all of your hair out. If, for whatever reason, you're averse to installing Adobe software on your Mac, you might want to skip Swords of Almuric until this issue has been addressed (RPGNow has been made aware of it).

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Swords of Almuric: Classic D&D Edition
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Trial of the Underkeep
Publisher: Unknown Tome
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/03/2012 13:23:24
This gem of an adventure has a real "old school" feel (in terms of ambiance, it really reminds me of the adventure at the back of the old Palladium Fantasy 1e RPG), but boasts some of the best production values I've ever seen in an adventure module. The artwork is especially noteworthy - it's absolutely gorgeous (quite possibly the best I've ever seen in an RPG book).

Despite some minor editing gaffes, the adventure is made of pure win. The book is laid out to actually be used at the table (this necessitates repeating some stat blocks, but this also minimizes page flipping), the author makes expert use of skill challenges, and encounters are almost exclusively solos (designed to keep the adventure moving along at a fast pace by ensuring that combats don't drag on forever).

I don't play 4e anymore, but I am absolutely satisfied with my purchase of Trial of the Underkeep.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Trial of the Underkeep
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Blackmarsh
Publisher: Bat in the Attic Games
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2011 21:22:52
An excellent and largely system-free setting that can easily serve as the jumping off point for a campaign in any system (though the tiny bit of system information included is geared toward D&D). It's also 100% OGC - all of the text, the maps - everything. This means that if you want to alter the document and host it on the web for your friends to download, you can legally do so. This makes it an even more attractive option for a campaign starter, in my opinion, as it makes getting all of your players 'into' the setting much easier and it encourages you to customize it to your taste (frex, I personally re-wrote large swaths of Blackmarsh to better reflect the implied setting of my own favored rule set). Overall, an excellent product!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blackmarsh
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Random Esoteric Creature Generator for Classic Fantasy Role-Playing Games and their Modern Simulacra
Publisher: Goodman Games
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2009 15:37:34
My only real complaint is that the product was very obviously designed for use with D&D (as evidenced by the dicussion of monsters in terms of Armor Class, Hit Dice, Alignment, Character Levels, etc) and then sold as a supplement for use with any system. I'm using it with Original D&D (1974) so this isn't much of an issue for me — but had I purchased it for use with a non D&D-derived fantasy system (e.g., Ars Magica, GURPS, etc) I would've felt like I overpaid at the list price $7.99 (US).

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Random Esoteric Creature Generator for Classic Fantasy Role-Playing Games and their Modern Simulacra
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Delving Deeper - Skill Systems (Labyrinth Lord)
Publisher: Brave Halfling Publishing
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2009 15:24:11
Three functional bare-bones skill system alternatives for Labyrinth Lord or older editons of D&D, priced to move at $0.75 (US). An excellent addition to any house rules folder!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delving Deeper - Skill Systems (Labyrinth Lord)
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Vyllage-on-the-Cheep Fantasy Heroes Cardstock Figures
Publisher: Microtactix
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2009 22:48:09
Middle of the road paper minis, these fantasy heroes are value priced and functional, though not particularly pretty. The black and white line art isn't horrid by any means, but it does fall a bit short of current standards for cardstock or PDF minis (most of which are now made available in full color). Still, for the price I can't quibble much, and the minis do have a certain 'old school' charm about them.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vyllage-on-the-Cheep Fantasy Heroes Cardstock Figures
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Beasts of Legend Cardstock Figures
Publisher: Microtactix
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2009 22:47:09
Middle of the road paper minis, the Beasts of Legend pack is value priced and functional, though not particularly pretty. The black and white line art isn't horrid by any means, but it does fall a bit short of current standards for cardstock or PDF minis (most of which are now made available in full color). Still, for the price I can't quibble much, and the minis do have a certain 'old school' charm about them.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Beasts of Legend Cardstock Figures
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Orbis Mundi
Publisher: Phalanx Games Design
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2009 22:40:41
An excellent and useful historical supplement written specifically with Medieval gaming in mind. Although it's not an exhaustive look at Medieval Europe, it does far surpass most gaming supplements dedicated to the subject.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Orbis Mundi
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Pie Shop
Publisher: Corone Design
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2009 22:26:48
A game in which the PCs are serial killers. Yes, really. Overall, Pie Shop is a mediocre roleplaying game, though it's an above average bit of witty satire that jabs fun at consumerism, society, and the roleplaying hobby. Buy it for these reasons. Steer clear of it if you're looking for mechanical innovation, a complete set of rules (it lacks clear rules for creating NPCs or animals), or a game to play with the children.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Pie Shop
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review, Fair points, however... Pie Shop was designed primarily as satire so I'm glad you enjoyed that aspect. The system is designed just to be playable not some impressive set of mechanics, although I believe combat is actually quite innovative (I've certainly not seen it anywhere else). I don't write or play games for the sake of interesting rules, rules just allow you to tell story which is the important part, so if rules are your thing I'd agree, try something else. It is a fair point there is no specific NPC section (I will have to address that if I do another edition) although that should be easy to extrapolate. I'm unclear why some system for creating animal npcs is required in such a game though. In general my intention with this game was not to make a game you can play long term. You'd have to be more twisted than me to actually do that. :-) Pie Shop is designed to offer people who think these sort of character are 'cool' the chance to play them in all their horror, to point out that evil is not about wearing black and looking cool but something truly nasty.
Template: Gold
Publisher: Sade
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2009 22:17:33
A stunning, high resolution, cover template with no formal license past 'purchase and print'. Definitely worth a look, whether you're putting together a house rules document for personal use or a small press publication. A real steal at $1.00!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Template: Gold
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you, i'm really glad you like it :) My prices are allways friendly :) Thank you for the feedback!
Rogue Pack
Publisher: Kimagu
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2009 22:16:22
Stunning artwork in multiple formats (color + black and white) for easy use with no formal license past 'purchase and print'. Also, much less expensive than comparable products of lesser quality currently available on RPGNow. Definitely worth a look, whether you're putting together a house rules document for personal use or a small press publication.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Pack
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Mage Pack
Publisher: Kimagu
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2009 22:16:08
Stunning artwork in multiple formats (color + black and white) for easy use with no formal license past 'purchase and print'. Also, much less expensive than comparable products of lesser quality currently available on RPGNow. Definitely worth a look, whether you're putting together a house rules document for personal use or a small press publication.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage Pack
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Undead pack
Publisher: Kimagu
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2009 22:15:39
Stunning artwork in multiple formats (color + black and white) for easy use with no formal license past 'purchase and print'. Also, much less expensive than comparable products of lesser quality currently available on RPGNow. Definitely worth a look, whether you're putting together a house rules document for personal use or a small press publication.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Undead pack
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Labyrinth of Oversoul
Publisher: Emerald Press
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/12/2008 22:11:32
The writing here is good, though the overall product suffers as a result of poor layout, with two books (one landscape format, the other portrait format) being shoe-horned into a single PDF. The cover of the former book is in full color, while the latter is not. Text boxes throughout both books are in full color for no obvious reason. There is lots of unused white space and distorted artwork (i.e., artwork that was poorly resized to fit the format of the respective book). Ultimately, this product is a great example of getting what you pay for with regard to layout, which is a shame because the written content itself is actually quite good.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Labyrinth of Oversoul
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Castles & Crusades Aihrde Fantasy Campaign Setting
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by James H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/12/2008 17:57:57
Though full of embarassingly purple prose (with many cringe-inducing passages) as well as a troublesome number of spelling errors, After Winter's Dark is not as bad as one might imagine it to be at first glance. Most importantly, the product fills a niche that few campaign settings do in this day and age -- that of the Third-Party Vanilla Fantasy Setting. Bear with me. . .

I looked at dozens of other third-party fantasy setting products over the past three weeks and this is the ONLY one I could find that didn't attempt to introduce some new race, new magic system, or new take on demi-human races that ran contrary to the core rules of the Dungeons & Dragons. I can use this setting, as-is, with ANY edition of Dungeons & Dragons (for the record, I do not play Castles & Crusdaes, though this isn't an issue as Aihrde is refreshingly devoid of mechanics).

While the aforementioned purple prose can certainly make reading this product difficult at times, it is a good system-neutral setting that is 100% vanilla in nature. For those of us who just want basic, old school, High Fantasy without new 'twists' or otherwise intrusive details that run contrary to system assumptions made in D&D, Aihrde is a winner.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Aihrde Fantasy Campaign Setting
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