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Once Upon A Time In The Far West
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2013 00:00:00
Not a bad soundtrack overall. I definitely enjoy the whole "Far East meets Wild West" feel that Sam Billen has provided in each of these songs. My only beef is that I wish there were more tracks, especially for the price ($5.00 regular price, $1.99 sale price when I'd bought this album).

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Once Upon A Time In The Far West
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Stark City Soundtrack
Publisher: Fainting Goat Games
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/05/2013 18:06:56
A very solid soundtrack overall with a great variety of songs that covers a wide spectrum of moods and situations for a near-future setting. The only problem I really had with this collection is that the third track, "Geartown Trouble," ends a little abruptly. I don't know if I'm the only one who has experienced this problem, but thankfully, it alone wasn't enough for me to give this product a lower rating.

On the whole, then, good job, Mr. Woodrum! Keep up the good work.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stark City Soundtrack
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Floyd The Mailman
Publisher: A Terrible Idea
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2012 18:13:50
I can sum up my opinion of Floyd the Mailman in six words: I CAN’T HEAR THE DOGGONE NARRATOR! Seriously, either speak up or tone down the blasted music that's SUPPOSED TO BE in the background. Sure, I know the old saying “You get what you pay for,” but the poorly edited audio in this product takes that statement to a whole new level.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Floyd The Mailman
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Monsters of the Shattered World, episode 1: The Sea Devils
Publisher: Brent P. Newhall's Musaeum
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2012 18:09:23
I've purchased all five episodes of this first season, and quite frankly, I'm impressed with how this story has developed so far. I'll be careful not to spoil the narrative as it has evolved to this point, but if there's one thing I would love to say, it's this: Only five episodes in, and author/lead voice actor "Dr. Worldcrafter" Brent P. Newhall has already shown me some fine character development with the way he has portrayed the story's protagonist Andreas, who's not only proven to be a very dynamic character within the mere 24.2 minutes I've become familiar with him, but also a pretty likeable one. The guy's no "Gary Stu," that's for sure, considering his scholarly (One might even say "sheltered.") upbringing, but even so, there has been a good moment or two where he has proven his worth when the chips were down for him and his adventuring companions, all of whom have relatively distinct personalities of their own as well, even when considering the fact that the listener only hears the words of Andreas as he chronicles his adventures to his patron via the letters that Brent narrates. Of course, Quinn Conklin's editing and sound effects only add to the podcast's overall atmosphere, as does the podcast's theme song, "To The Ends" by Kevin Macleod. All in all, then, this podcast is superb, and in spite of my tardy review for it (My apologies, BTW, Mr. Newhall), I'm DEFINITELY looking forward to subsequent seasons of it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of the Shattered World, episode 1: The Sea Devils
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The Shadow Over Innsmouth Vol.1 (bundle)
Publisher: Darkling Harp
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2012 14:26:51
On the whole, this soundtrack is a very solid one for any Cthulhu-based survival horror RPG, what with how well each of these songs evokes a sense of mystery and, in some cases, dread. However, I do feel that there are times when these tracks tend to "blend in" with one another when played back to back and hence lose their distinction. It would help, therefore, for the second volume of this soundtrack to include at least one piece within it that has plenty of intensity and as such could be characteristic of some sort of struggle or chase scene involving some monster or other simply for the sake of breaking up the monotony between each of the songs and as such making the soundtrack sound and even feel more dynamic as a collective whole. It's this kind of variety that makes James Semple's work for Pelgrane Press so memorable, after all, and I honestly believe that if Tim Fatchen could somehow take a cue from him to a small extent while otherwise maintaining his own unique sound, I've no doubt that his Shadow Over Innsmouth series would fully encompass the full nature of H.P. Lovecraft's signature series. Otheriwse, yes, I would recommend this soundtrack so far to anyone who's curious enough to lend it an ear.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Shadow Over Innsmouth Vol.1 (bundle)
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Publisher Reply:
A review! Thank you Dustin Weber, it's great to get feedback especially when you're new on the block and trying to work out what should go where! And I thank you for the compliments; I like the music too! ;) I'm impressed by the Pelgrane Press music, too...high bar. But you have indeed put your finger on the gap. Yes, I did worry and wonder. Now I know! Yep, there needs to be at least some intense action in the whole Innsmouth series. Rest assured there will be a seriously action segment (they did, in the end, bomb and depth charge The Reef!), and it will be in what's intended to be the Part 2 bundle once its production is cleaned up. [Part 2 was supposed to follow Part 1 quickly, like a month after the first release, but I regret a whole lot of things went badly wrong--still are--and it's going to take till Christmas to finish production on the songs in it. I thought about releasing individually before completion of the whole Part 2 album but I loathe buying several things at full price and then having "Buy the Set cheaper!" suddenly appear--yes I know RPGNow has ways to provide for that but I'm still getting up to speed!]
Death by Cliché--Episode 1
Publisher: Final Redoubt Press
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2012 21:05:49
This review is for the entire story with the first three chapters available for download here at rpg.drivethrustuff.com and ALL TEN episodes available at author Robert J. Defendi's website, PlayTesting.net (http://playtesting.net/?cat=3). After all, completionists (myself included) will naturally be compelled to download all ten episodes of this podcast novel in order to know the entire story as it unfolds.

I know this story is labeled as a comedy of sorts, and believe me when I say that I did indeed get the premise of Death by Cliché, but even with that in mind and after having I’d downloaded and listened to all ten of this podcast novel’s episodes, which range in duration from 29:12 (Episode 2) to 1:18:03 (Episode 1, I still have to say that I wasn't all that crazy about it. The story had a pretty original premise in the beginning, I'll admit (a game designer who gets shot by a deranged fan a la the Beetles’ very own John Lennon, only to be transported to the crazed fan's tabletop RPG campaign in an “afterlife” of sorts), but it got a little cheesy for me at times. The near-end of Episode 9, for example, the chief protagonist, Damico, starts bickering with two of his party members and the chief antagonist on how to set up the dramatic scene where the Evil Overlord himself threatens to destroy the world right before the final battle ensues. Granted, I know the story is all about a game designer trapped inside an RPG dimension where the lines blur between the world he’s now living in and the real world gaming sessions that are supposedly controlling it, but for me, this cheesiness often got a little too much for me, and I would’ve preferred it if Mr. Defendi would’ve toned it down in certain places. Additionally, there were scenes that Defendi had written into the story (e.g., a random 20th-century housewife who greets the husband who she apparently hates with venomous henpecking) that more or less drew my attention away from the primary narrative itself and, to my ears, didn’t add all that much to the adventure at hand, if anything at all. However, if there was one solitary thing about Death by Cliché that didn’t sit well with me at all, it was the fact that Defendi did all the voice acting by himself, which made it hard for me to tell the difference between certain characters (most specifically Omar the half-elven fighter and Gorthander the dwarven cleric). Not only that, but Defendi had made some questionable voice acting choices at certain points in the story (i.e., the aforementioned scene involving Damico bickering with his two party members and the Evil Overlord over the final climactic scene) that made it hard for me to take it seriously. Next time, Robert, if you’re reading this, I advise you to hire a handful of fellow readers to read certain parts so that there’s less confusion between the characters for untrained ears.

All in all, even though I didn’t hate Death by Cliché , especially in terms of how it began, I still didn’t feel compelled to listen to it a second time after I was done with it the first. It’s not a bad podcast at all, like I’ve said before, especially in terms of the quality of recording quality. At the same time, however, I’d be lying if I was to say that I loved it. Maybe it was just my serious demeanor that had gotten in the way of my enjoying this product, but hey, if nothing else, at least all ten episodes of this audiobook are available for free, so if nothing else, at least Final Redoubt Press can say that.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Death by Cliché--Episode 1
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Gypsy
Publisher: Dreadfox Games
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2011 19:22:11
I chanced to buy this particular PDF—the very first published by the relatively brand new Dreadfox Games—just yesterday for full price at $4.99, and to be brutally honest, I probably could have done myself a favor and saved a couple bucks by instead waiting a few months, subscribing to their website, and taking advantage of that very subscription by using it to buy this document at a mere $2.99 along with whatever other supplements the company might have produced at that time for whatever discount prices that they, too, would have been marked down to. This holds especially true when considering that $4.99 is a little on the steep side, at least in my opinion, for a PDF that’s only thirteen pages long and that only eight of those pages are dedicated to actual content. To be fair, though, as I’ve said before, I blame only myself for making such a purchase in the first place and not fully researching my options beforehand, and to be fair, this supplement is still a rather impressive one, even though I still think that this, Dreadfox’s first PFRPG-compatible base class, can still be expanded on in a way that I hope Dreadfox will consider for future revisions, if there are to be any at all.

Though I can very well nitpick Dreadfox’s Gypsy to death if I felt it necessary, I’d be lying through my teeth if I were to flat out speak ill of it, particularly when it comes to the document’s layout and formatting. Very rarely do e-book publishers publish their works in such a way so that the reader can view two pages side-by-side at 64.8% magnification and comfortably read the text on both pages (Charke Publishing is the only other RPG e-publisher that comes to mind for me in this respect.), but that is exactly what Dreadfox has managed to do here. This might be a minor trait to some e-book purchasers, but for me, being able to read two pages at once is a plus in that it helps cut down the time that I’d otherwise spend scrolling through the document to read whatever information I’d be trying to research in a given document. This is especially beneficial when it comes to documents that have few to no bookmarks, which unfortunately is the case with this supplement, even though it still has thumbnails. Finally, there’s the artwork, which includes an impressively rendered “leather-bound tome” cover along with a nice very fetching and stylish border on each page of content—including the final page, which contains the OGL/copyright information—that helps these pages pop and draw the reader’s attention to the words upon them. On a similar note, the gypsy sketch on page 7 is remarkably well-portioned and shaded, as is the full-color illustration of the gypsy on page 4 (which is, in fact, the same illustration from the cover), and both pictures do a fantastic job in further showcasing the very nature of the e-book in which they are featured. All in all, Dreadfox definitely receives my praise when it comes to the overall design of this final product.

However, the question remains as to whether or not the content stands up to the expectations that the design establishes. First off, how unique is this base class, and how well does it characterize the gypsy archetype that at least most of us become accustomed to? Well, to begin with, the Gypsy is essentially a hybrid between the Bard and the Sorcerer from the Pathfinder SRD, albeit that he/she is a divine rather than an arcane spellcaster and has specific background-appropriate class features that reflect upon his/her far-from-stationary lifestyle as well as his/her penchant for predicting and even altering the future. Such traits include Wanderlust, where he/she gains the Fleet feat for free at first level and is rewarded an additional five-foot base speed increase for every additional gypsy, bard, or rogue in his/her party (so long as he/she is wearing light armor at most and is carrying no more than a light load, of course); Premonition, which allows him/her to have query-related symbolic visions that may cause damage to him/her, should he/she fail his/her check while using this trait; Augury, which allows him/her to manipulate fate via unique, specifically designed tarot cards, the powers of which function like supernatural abilities rather than spells; and The Sight, which enhances his/her mundane senses by offering a +1 bonus to all Perception and Sense Motive checks the more this class feature is gained. However, the one class feature that most profoundly defines this base class is the Deck of Divination—a spell system that involves the Gypsy drawing his/her spells at random (and from any spell list at that) from a deck of cards and, if managed creatively, can be every bit as practical as it is illustrative of the randomness of the Gypsy’s powers. Not only that, but the provided option of using an actual deck of cards (preferably a tarot deck) only enhances the role-playing experience that much more, including whatever house rules a certain gaming group institutes concerning such occurrences as the drawing of upside-down cards. Plus, many of the Auguries, regular (levels 2 through 10) and Greater (levels 12 through 20) alike, have been given the names of actual tarot cards (e.g., Queen of Wands, Two of Cups, The Hanged Man, The Fool, Strength, The Emperor, The Tower, and Death), which further enhances the authenticity of this class’s origins and uniqueness. It’s just a shame, though, that the Dreadfox team couldn’t come up with even more Augury options based on the remaining tarot face (translation: Major Arcana) cards to both further expand this base class as well as enhance its thematic nature even further. Speaking of cards, this PDF even has a couple of pages that have full-color printouts that the player can use as pats of a template for his/her own Gypsy character’s Deck of Divination as well as an entire page that goes into detail about how to design his/her own DoD cards. In short, this supplement has just enough substance to complement its style, which is always something to commend when it comes to any kind of RPG supplement.

In short, I can’t really complain all that much about Dreadfox Games’s Gypsy. In fact, I’m actually quite happy to see such a high-quality PFRPG supplement available for sale, seeing at the base class it presents is every bit as fresh, fun, and innovative to play as the e-book itself is enjoyable to read. Reid Stewart and company have made a smart decision in making this their first offering to the PFRPG fan base and presenting it to us as a mere sample of what they are capable of as a publisher of RPG PDFs. The only gripe I have, then, really, is—as I’ve mentioned before—the price. Again, $4.99 is a little steep for a thirteen-page document with only eight pages dedicated to actual content, especially when compared to Headless Hydra Games’s PFRPG base class offering from October 20 of this year, The Clockworker, which is twenty pages long (nineteen of which have at least some bit of content on them, including the Clockworker’s spell list, new spells for the Clockworker base class, and information on the Clockworker’s drones and servitor), has bookmarks as well as thumbnails, and only cost $3.99 the last time I checked. I thus encourage Dreadfox to be more competitive with its pricing in the future to keep the competition on its toes. Otherwise, gang, great job!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gypsy
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Publisher Reply:
Hey Dustin, Thank you for your kind words and your feedback. We are listening. A note on Dreadfox Games monthly subscriptions: We release 1 product a month, on the 1st of every month. Subscriptions are $3.99. Subscribe anytime before the end of a month to get that month's product for $1.00 below store price. Cancel at your leisure and retain permanent access to your content. We value the security of your information enough to host through PayPal - be forewarned, however, that cancelling a PayPal subscription is a bit tedious (but very simple). If you liked the gypsy, you might like to check out our schedule (www.dreadfox.com) for a preview of upcoming products.
Ravan & Shaper
Publisher: Little Red Goblin Games
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/27/2011 23:00:30
This is actually a nice little supplement. It reminds me a bit of Rite Publishing’s “In the Company of Monsters” series, where the writer presents a new PC race for any given campaign that uses the Pathfinder system (particularly Rite’s very own Kaidan setting) as well as a racial paragon class that takes advantage of the new race’s inherent abilities (i.e., the Stonewarden class from In the Company of Gargoyles or the Hishoken class from In the Company of Tengu). The only thing here, however, is that instead of taking a pre-established mythological creature like a minotaur or a kappa and developing an inventive, race-specific 20-level base class around that creature, Little Red Goblin Games had the initiative and ingenuity to create a character race of their own--namely, the body-shifting, daylight-sensitive Ravan, whose oldest members are the mutated product of a magical experiment gone wrong that involved a bizarre, semi-living substance from the plane of shadow called “deep violet” that has since become part of the entire race’s biochemical makeup and the source of their strange and wondrous ability to sculpt their own bodies. In addition to the Ravan is their given racial paragon class that members of other races can also adopt, should they, too, become subjected to ingesting any given amount of deep violet. This class is called the [Spirit] Shaper—a stealthy melee combatant whose insight into the darkness within his/her own body not only makes him/her more resistant to illusions and negative energy and more competent in maneuvering through dark areas, but also (and more importantly) able to shape his/her own form to suit his/her current needs, from enhancing his/her senses and bolstering his/her running and jumping ability to secreting a slippery oil from his/her skin and growing such appendages as horns and arm spikes to secreting a slippery oil from his/her skin. Some shapers can even exude a crackling cold mist from their hands or forge a secondary personality to resist compulsions, increase his/her Bluff skill checks, and even cast first-level Wizard/Sorcerer spells twice per day. Thankfully, the mechanics described in this supplement prevent any player playing a Shaper from spamming this ability by only allowing said player a set number of shapes active at one time equal to ½ his/her Shaper level plus his/her Wisdom modifier. Also, shapes using the same body part (e.g., head, hands, arms, feet [and legs], and body) cannot be used at the same time as other shapes that use that same body part, and any polymorph spell or effect used on a shaper renders these shapes useless until he/she reverts to his/her “normal” form. Also, any “reserve” shapes a Shaper is allowed to adopt are determined by this/her racial class level, thus further ensuring a sense of balance for the class that maintains the class’s usefulness while also keeping it from being overpowered in respect to similar classes as the Ranger or Monk. Furthermore, a Shaper’s shapes are divided into initial shapes and shapes that are only accessible upon attaining level ten, when said Shaper gains the True Shaping class ability. In short, both the Ravan race and its racial paragon class, the Shaper, are pretty impressive, although I do have an issue with the way the writer(s) listed the Shaper’s shapes in a manner that is identical to the way the Shaper class features are written. It just makes the document a wee bit harder to read in that respect, and it doesn’t help that there aren’t any tables discussing these shapes, either, and telling the reader exactly what they are, what they do in a nutshell, which of the five body systems each shape is connected to, and when they become available to a given Shaper character. Otherwise, I very much enjoyed this supplement and would highly recommend it to any Pathfinder player looking for an odd yet unique race and base class to add to his/her game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ravan & Shaper
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Sentai Spectacular! The Ultimate Guide to Playing Sentai Superheroes!
Publisher: Skortched Urf' Studios
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/28/2011 16:23:07
Now this is more like it, Skortched Urf Studios. Thank you. Seriously, Chris A. Field, Mark Cathro, and company should create more fun, well-conceived, and well-presented sub-campaigns like this and less sloppily packaged grand-scale campaigns like Psi-Watch. Seriously, I bought Sentai Spectacular here a mere day after its initial release, and even after a single read-through, I found myself anxious to start up a gaming session centered around the rules presented here—something I haven’t been able to do with any campaign created by Skortched Urf that I’ve bought, save for Galaxy Command and maybe Department 7. Granted, even Sentai Spectacular has a few things about it that I can criticize, but on the whole, I’m impressed with what I’ve seen in this product.

For one thing, I like the idea of the Sentai Spectrum Ranger advanced class from December 2006 for the Department 7 setting converted into a base class that, to be honest, could use some tweaking, such as gaining 5+Int skill points per class level as per the original SSR advanced class as opposed to the proposed 3+Int skill points per level. Regardless, the class is still pretty well-balanced in comparison to the Powered Hero base class from Psi-Watch and Otherverse America v-1, particularly with so many unique, differentiated, and practical talent trees to choose from. I also like how a certain created Sentai Hero’s uniform color decides his/her role in the task force and consequently the talent trees, bonus class skills, bonus feats, and signature weapons and gadgets he/she either receives or may possess. However, it disappoints me greatly that certain Sentai Hero uniform colors either have had their roles altered from the original Sentai Spectrum Ranger supplement—which may actually be for the better rather than for worse, depending on how the GM or gamer sees things—or aren’t even presented at all. For example, D7: SSR describes Pink Sentai Rangers as being the “compassionate and sexy healers” of their task forces and Black Sentai Rangers being “expert death dealers” (i.e., the assassins of their task squadron) and giving them thematically fitting bonus feats and class skills on account of said roles while Sentai Spectacular assigns each color as being the ranged combat specialists and frontline fighters, respectively, for their team and gives them bonus feats and class skills based on these new roles. Also, the exclusion of possible Violet, Orange, Brown, and Gold Sentai Heroes is a big letdown in my book. After all, if they were recognized in D7: SSR, why not recognize them here, seeing as this is your primary Sentai adventure sourcebook?

Also included in Sentai Spectacular are rules explaining the nature of Mecha-Kaiju—the giant fighting machines that Power Rangers fans know as “Megazords.” According to these rules, which materialize underneath the Mecha-Kaiju talent tree and the three subsequent red boxes of supplementary text following it (pages 12, 14, 1nd 19), Mecha-Kaiju are more like extensions of the Sentai Heroes who pilot them rather than full-fledged mechs themselves, hence the simplicity of the rules that describe them and their utilization in the campaign. It’s too bad that Chris chose to avoid the whole theme of five regular Mecha-Kaiji fusing together to create a single giant robot to take on enemy Kaiju, however, even though the explanation he gives on page 19 does make perfect sense, regardless of whatever loophole gamers can discover or devise to work around the idea of lone hero controlling the action. In addition is a short and sweet section of rules on page 25 pertaining to Sentai cybernetics in conjunction to the Sentai Bio-Cyborg feat as well as a section of rules on page 26 dedicated to Sentai Sorcery in conjunction to the feat of the same name. Other things I liked about this book are the Lunar PC race, which is one of the most thematically original and intriguing PC races I’ve seen in any Skortched Urf product and comes complete with its own racial feats and starting occupations; rules for playing child Sentai Heroes, both age-shifting and unnaturally aged; a rather extensive list and table selection describing Sentai-themed weapons, armor, vehicles (minus, of course, Mecha-Kaiju), and gadgets; and even the rules discussing Sentai Code, Sentai mentors and patrons, and even Sentai Hero diversity and Mecha-Kaiju/enemy monster names. Finally, as with most other Skortched Urf products, there are notes laden here, there, and everywhere—primarily on page 2, right smack dab after the cover page—describing how other Skortched Urf products could come into play to spice up a GM’s Sentai campaign, such as the talent trees from Tactical Upgrade 2107, the Wiccae class initially meant for the Otherverse America setting, or the Synthetic Heroes rulebook for creating a robot major domo a la Alpha-5 from Power Rangers. Of course, I’d definitely recommend the Department 7: Sentai Spectrum Ranger any day of the week for the sake of understanding and appreciating the overall nature of this campaign. Oh, and then there’s the artwork, which—though it’s usually a mixed bag in most Skortched Urf products, particularly those of the Otherverse Games line—is actually quite good on the whole here. Aside from the picture of the Violet Sentai Hero on page 9, which is the exact same picture used on the cover of the D7: SSR advanced class supplement, all of the artwork here is original, well-drawn, and fits this sourcebook’s whole Japanese comic book theme splendidly. Even the crudest of drawings can’t detract form the overall artistic merit presented here, thus elevating this book’s presentation quite a bit.

Now we get to the things that I think could have been corrected in this sourcebook, which aren’t too many at all, thankfully, but still could have been touched up on. For instance, aside from the aforementioned lack of skill points per level for the Sentai Hero base class and exclusion of the Violet, Orange, Brown, and Gold Sentai Hero types originally introduced in Department 7: Sentai Spectrum Ranger, there is the one thing that bugs me about Chris A. Field’s work, and that is his written grammar. Call me a “grammar Nazi” all you want, but just like so many other RPG supplements I’ve read from him, he has an issue of not correcting his grammatical errors, and as such, his work is frequently peppered with absent punctuation, repeated words, and misspellings, all of which hurt his work by detracting from their professionalism. In the case of Senate Spectacular, such examples include the first paragraph describing the “Lunar Princess Talent Tree” (“Fabulous crystal palaces hidden on the far side of Earth’s moon are home to an ancient and ancient race of humanity.”), the description of the Senate Ninja Suit (“Most Ninja Suits include a long and flowing scarf or short cloak, that their wearer uses to distract enemies.”), the paragraph discussing the Senate Heroes’ possible HQ servant (“If the players want to blast the little freak to atoms (but can’t because that wouldn’t be in character for true Senate Heroes), you’ve done your job”), and the first paragraph under the heading “Minions Take Many Forms” in the final chapter (“After a few episodes of a Senate show, the heroes are all old hands at taking down the villain’s thugs- your players should be equally proficient.”).Note that each of these entries has been reprinted here in this review as-is for the sake of proving this point. Another annoyance is the stretching of certain tables, most notably those on pages 36 and 37, which thus makes the text within these tables that much more difficult to read. Likewise, this is more of a nitpick than anything else, but the final chapter in this sourcebook—which describes the monsters used in Senate settings—could have used some examples of the kinds of Senate Minions (Think “Putty Patrollers.”) the Senate Heroes are guaranteed to come across. Granted, the Senate Minion template provided is clue enough for any GM worth his salt to design the prototypical Senate Minion for his villain(s), but for the sake of consistency, seeing as Chris has already provided four samples of Kailua at the very end of this chapter, the least he could have done was provide at least one example of a Senate Minion built upon, say, one of the sample PC races provided in some of his earlier Other verse Games supplements (i.e., the Clovers from Cruel Evolution or the Living Dolls, Daughters of Stone, Crow Folk, Mountain Ghost, and even Mustard Men and R-Raiders from D20 Decade: The 1980s) to illustrate how the template works. The same could have been done for this chapter’s Kailua template as well, as such is the way most other d20 3.5, d20 Modern, and Pathfinder supplements operate whenever they feature a creature template to be used in whatever campaign they’re designed for.

Overall, though, I can’t complain. Senate Spectacular is one heck of a sourcebook and is chock full of content that would make for the perfect Senate campaign, Power Rangers or otherwise. This is coming from a guy who has collected nearly all of the Other verse Games settings that Scorched Urfa Studios has presented, from Psi-Watch, Department 7, and Otherverse America v-1 to Cruel Evolution and D20 Decade: The 1980s and even Black Tokyo, so I’m very well familiar with the kind of material that this publisher is capable of producing. However, none of those campaigns, regardless of how good or bad they may have been in my eyes, have inspired me in the same sense as this one has. Even with its flaws intact, Sentai Spectacular has proven its value to me in one solitary reading and has convinced me of good a job Chris Field can do when he has his head on straight. Such is why I’m rating this book as high as I am because in all due honesty, if I wasn’t this impressed, I probably wouldn’t have even bothered to write this review in the first place.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sentai Spectacular! The Ultimate Guide to Playing Sentai Superheroes!
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The Mom Player Class
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/08/2010 09:17:27
This isn't a bad product in the least in that it suits the whole Mother's Day theme well and presents the Mom class in a manner that it short, sweet, and to the point. The only things that are missing are Starting Wealth and all the fluff about Adventures, Characteristics, Alignment, Races, et cetera. However, considering that this class was not intentionally made as a full-blown PC class and was made to be more of a tribute to mothers everywhere (especially gamers' mothers and mothers who are gamers themselves), this makes very little--if, in fact, any--difference whatsoever. Even so, in a way that might seem strange to some people, I can actually see how a Game Master can tweak the features of this class so that it can be fully functional in an actual d20 (or even Pathfinder) campaign. Nice job, Bards & Sages! This was a great idea for Mother's Day 2010.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mom Player Class
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Fantasy Hero Classes: The Wrestler
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2010 23:49:17
Overall, this PC class for the d20 Fantasy system really isn't all that bad--a little basic, perhaps, but at least I can see where author David Woodrum was going. To summarize, the Wrestler is a stronger, more durable, more specialized version of the default OGL Monk with a Class Initiative Bonus at every odd level after 1st (and at 20th level), a Bonus Feat at every even level, and proficiency with only simple melee weapons and light armor. However, I think this class would have been more useful if Woodrum had gone into detail and listed which feats were available to the Wrestler as Bonus Feats as well as introduce fitting original Bonus Feats for him/her. Off the top of my head, Submission Master, Death From Above/Aerial Assault, Cheap Shot, Hard Knocks, and Shake It Off all seem like plausible candidates. Secondly, how about Signature Move and Finisher as class features to make the class look less generic? Also, the Unarmed Damage for large wrestlers seems a wee bit overpowered in comparison to medium and small wrestlers, especially considering how much stronger large-sized PCs are in comparison. I also would have liked to see a moves list and a Maneuver Performance System similar to the fighting system presented in Wizards of the Coast's own Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords.

All in all, Fantasy Hero Classes: The Wrestler isn't a bad PDF at all, although the PC class it features could have been fleshed out more.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Hero Classes: The Wrestler
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Simply Classes: The Foodamancer
Publisher: Mad Scotsman Games
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2010 23:18:48
This probably isn't the most descriptive review I could write for this product, but in a nutshell, the PC core class introduced here is actually a pretty inventive and deceptively useful one, despite seeming like a glorified "gag" class on the surface. However, even though the Foodamancer works well on its own merits in any given d20 Fantasy/Pathfinder campaign, the class works best when supplemented with the spells from the "Let Them Eat Cake," "Have Some Pie," and "Spells of Inebriation" supplements from Healing Fireball's "The Sages Must Be Crazy" series. All in all, then, I quite liked this PDF.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Simply Classes: The Foodamancer
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Dryden: Hero or Horror
Publisher: Ancient Awakenings Publications
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2010 23:03:50
Okay, this review is four months overdue, so I might as well do it now before I completely forget.

Basically, I bought this product back in December '09 on a whim for a mere $0.10, and quite frankly, I found it to be worth every penny and then some. In a nutshell, this document introduces a new PC race for the d20 Fantasy and Modern systems--one whose background can be altered to fit any setting, from classic fantasy to modern sci-fi to far future space opera, and boast unique abilities to boot. Whether you choose the Dryden to be a long-forgotten fertility spirit of the dark forest, the product of a biogenetic experiment gone awry, or a bizarre and disturbing alien species from the distant stars is up to you. However, no matter what the origin, the basic nature of the Dryden as a hedonistic hermaphrodite born to breed with any sentient species it wants is unmistakable. Needless to say, this race is not at all suited for gamers age 17 or under or for gamers who are sensitive to sexually themed elements in RPGs. On the other hand, gamers 18 and up who have a strong stomach for this kind of content will be happy to discover how far John Bowden went to define the Dryden’s place in any OGL setting, from giving it its own d20 Modern Racial Class (including Talent Trees) and describing each of its three forms (Natural, Hybrid, and Tangle) to delicately yet succinctly describing its mating habits. The document also gives examples of how to use this race in d20 Fantasy, d20 Modern, and d20 future settings and even gives a sample story for each genre. The d20 Modern even goes as far as to offer a venue where an adventure could take place. Furthermore, even though Bowden gives a clear warning on page 2 about the content in this PDF, I also give him credit on presenting said content in a mature, sensible fashion and discussing the Dryden’s sexual nature in an upfront, straightforward fashion without milking the race’s hedonism for all it’s worth and turning the document into a glorified porno. I will admit, however, that even I was turned off by the artwork from the Wide version of the document, from the nude Dryden women in the border and on page 13, the Dryden baby scene on page 14, and such. Thankfully, the artwork from the Print version of the PDF was tamer, so at least the reader can have an option between which of the two formats he or she wants to look at, depending on his or her level of intestinal fortitude.

In short, Dryden: Hero of Horror is worth checking out, especially if you’re fortunate enough to be able to buy it at the price I did. I don’t necessarily recommend it for gamers under the age of 18, however, even with author John Bowden adamantly warning the reader of its content. Then again, if you’re 18 or older and have a both an open mind and a strong stomach for a new, flexible PC race for your fantasy or sci-fi campaign that has a distinct flavor in more ways than one, then feel free to drop the dime and download this file. It’s actually pretty useful.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dryden: Hero or Horror
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Free20: Troublemaker
Publisher: Skortched Urf' Studios
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2010 13:48:56
Though meant primarily for the Otherverse America setting, this template is actually pretty adaptable to any d20 Modern or d20 Fantasy setting, and that includes any game using the Pathfinder RPG system. Heck, I've been using this template in my own d20 Modern campaign as a race in and of itself, and there are plenty of times when its unique characteristics (e.g., Quick Reflexes, Combat Crush, and Totally Fearless...Kinda) come in handy. Even the drawbacks gave the Troublemaker template a very distinctive flavor that makes it stand out personality wise from a lot of other races. All in all, I'm impressed with this work and would definitely recommend it to future purchasers.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Free20: Troublemaker
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Free20: Three-Way
Publisher: Skortched Urf' Studios
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2010 13:36:31
I'm actually pretty impressed with this little PDF. Chris Field really goes into detail to describe this race from appearence to culture and even talking about its reproduction cycle. Also, the very idea of the Trius is very unique--a race of nearly human aliens with the psionic ability to replicate itself--and the traits Chris has given it are pretty fitting for a Dreamscarred Press OGL game or a game using the more modern Pathfinder RPG system. Not only that, but they're also surprisingly well-balanced. In short, this document is five pages worth downloading.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Free20: Three-Way
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