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Adventure Module BL1-2: The Ruined Hamlet/Terror in the Gloaming
Publisher: Barrataria Games
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2014 22:58:21
A free adventure, and pretty good stuff.

I wish I got the cover art with the PDF download, but it was not included for some reason.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Module BL1-2: The Ruined Hamlet/Terror in the Gloaming
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Shiran's Pamesani Arena Map
Publisher: Columbia Games Inc.
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2014 22:49:56
A free map of a gladiator arena. Anyone can draw (or trace) a circle.

Not everyone can imagine the animal and gladiator cells below and beside the arena.

Five stars for a good game value.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shiran's Pamesani Arena Map
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A5 Maps
Publisher: Gold Piece Publications
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2014 22:44:28
Hey! Nice job!

I give this publication five stars because it has some very useable maps, and the price is whatever you want to pay.

I especially like the castle interior plan. Nice job.

This product is worth paying $1 and you will get your money's worth.

Go ahead and pay these guys a dollar. Worth it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A5 Maps
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City Supplement 1: Dweredell
Publisher: Dream Machine Productions
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2013 02:37:08
Dweredell is inexpensive and it is a fair value for the money.

I rate it at two stars because it has some good flavor text and does not cost much.

The city map is OK, but there is a major flaw that limits its usefulness: Encounter areas are marked on the maps with numbers.

This city map is the most important part of the publication. The numbers on the map render it useless as a game aid. This is a huge and glaring problem.

The publishers should revise this publication so it has two maps. One map should show encounter areas and/or areas of interest. The other map should show the city without notations.

An unmarked map is so elementary, so standard, so essential, so necessary, so obvious that one wonders why it did not occur to the authors.

Please fix it!

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
City Supplement 1: Dweredell
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Toys for the Sandbox 17: High Keep
Publisher: Occult Moon
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/17/2012 22:45:41
I bought High Keep as a test for the line. I wanted to know if it is worth my cash to purchase the entire line. An elven keep would make the best test of the imagination and quality because it is hard to screw up a tower.

I would say that the jury has returned a mixed result.

Good: This is a collection of excellent ideas. You are paying 99 cents for a great list of story ideas, rumors and the like. If you need ideas for your campaign, this is a good place to pick up story hooks for a buck. For the price, you could do worse than look here for your next plot twist.

Bad: This is not a map. There is no map. You will not find a map in this product even though it says it has a map in the product description. What you get is a small and crude picture of a tree with tiny buildings drawn on the branches. It is most definitely not a map. No map here. There isn't a map. A map is not to be found here. The product description is thin and no preview is provided for a very good reason: Because there is...no...map. Got it?

Overall, I rate this product at three stars because the price is fair. Yes, good ideas. Just don't purchase this product looking for a....(wait for it)...map.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Toys for the Sandbox 17: High Keep
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Castle Builder Volume 2: Manor Houses
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/19/2012 19:15:46
What I liked: This is a good work on the sort of small fortresses likely to be encountered by (or built by) player characters. There are excellent details about the cost of building and the like. There were maps of a manor house and an inn. The description of the manorhouse is likely to be extremely useful for anyone who wants to grab and run a local fortress. It could be dropped into a campaign and used in minutes.

What I didn't like: The maps are computer graphics with standard icons for furniture. A hand drawn map would have been much more compelling and useable. I am not in love with computers as a substitute for artwork.

Overall: This $1.99 price tag for this publiction is exactly right. I gave it a five star rating because it provides a product a DM could actually use. This product delivers exactly what is promised in the sales description.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Builder Volume 2: Manor Houses
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Castle Builder Volume 1: Strongholds
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/19/2012 19:10:36
What I liked: There's some good details here for anyone who wants to use castles in an RPG.

What I didn't like: The artwork is public domain and/or picked up off the internet. There are no diagrams of castles or fortified towers or anything. These were not promised in the sales text, but diagrams would seem to be standard in any how-to work on castles.

Overall: I gave the product a rating of three stars because it delivers some good ideas on the topic. At $4.99, it is somewhat overpriced for what you get.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Builder Volume 1: Strongholds
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0one's Blueprints: Meteora
Publisher: 0one Games
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2010 18:48:49
Another nice map from the kings of pdf gaming products.

Meteora is a very nice map. As soon as you look at it you'll start to plan out where it goes in your campaign.

At $1.95, how can you NOT buy this product?

I recommene Meteora as a nice map and a nice value. It stands out as a game setting even among 0one's other Blueprint products.

You won't regret buying this one.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: Meteora
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Kaidan: The Preview (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/29/2010 09:59:50
I was impressed with the preview. Apparently, this is the work of a writer and artist team that actually knows about Japan. There is a certain feel to Japanese folklore that I think has been at least partially captured here.

I especially love the map work. It looks like a workable Japanese setting with lots of potential for the march of armies, sea-borne adventures and (if nothing else) a fantasy Japan you might want to visit.

The interior art is good and the writing work is solid.

I thought that the substitution of Gaijinshima for Nagasaki as the port of entry for foreigners was a humorous touch.

If the product that follows this preview maintains the same level of creative and technical quality, this will be a nice product indeed. You'll want to download the preview just to look at the map.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kaidan: The Preview (PFRPG)
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Hand Drawn Maps, Volume 1
Publisher: The Fantasy Cartographic
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/15/2010 21:43:34
I am rating Hand Drawn Maps, Volume 1 at a solid three stars. It only costs $1.50, which gives you several interesting dungeon maps and one actually usable castle keep.

Liked: There is a three level map of a castle keep on a grid that could easily be a standard five foot per square scale. You get a courtyard and walls as well as a main Norman or Roman style keep interior. (There is no map showing the rooftops.) One of the dungeon maps is also attached to the keep, although there are no design elements other than the title that associate it with the keep above the dungeon. This map alone is worth three stars. The time it might save you on game night is worth the $1.50 price even if there were no other maps in the publication.

If you are one of those guys who cannot draw his own dungeon maps, the other maps in this product will probably be useful to you. I have a pencil, graph paper and ten minutes to spare, so these have no value to me. The dungeon maps are well-drawn for amateur artwork, and they all include grid overlays that could make them useful in some games.

There is also a color map of a larger castle roughly shaped like Chepstowe (but not of the same complicated design as that real castle). It is a slightly advaced motte and bailey style. Unfortunately, no grid overlay accompanies the map, so what you really have is a gamer quality hand-drawn picture that you might find in a low production value book about castles. Some people might like this sort of thing.

Disliked: Only one useable building or castle map in a product that could have been crammed with them. One wonders why pdf companies do not put more quality into these publications. They have nothing to lose and much to gain. This could be a company to watch, if they get their feet under them and bulk up the quality in their products. This one is three stars and I do not regret buying it.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hand Drawn Maps, Volume 1
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0one's Blueprints: The Abbey
Publisher: 0one Games
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/15/2010 21:29:33
This is definitly a five star product. The price to gaming value ratio is almost unbelievably high, even when compared to 0one's other excellent products in the Blueprints line.

What you get is six maps depicting the (ground floor only) interiors of six large abbey buildings. In addition, you get another 8.5 x 11 map that shows the whole abbey grounds. There are no wasted maps, such as depictions of natural cave squiggles or dungeons. That makes The Abbey a larger product than the other files in the Blueprints line, but at the same price.

Liked: For less than two bucks you get either the basis for a campaign (based in an isolated abbey that might be run by paladins, martial artists or the traditional medieval monks) or one excellent adventure location with lots of room for monsters to hide and horrible evil to lurk. Plenty of room, in other words, to kill stuff and hunt for treasure. You don't have to use the maps as a set. You could use each map as a distinct building....six distinct buildings. Not bad. Not bad at all!

Disliked: It seems logical...and even obvious...that the exterior views of the buildings should have been individual maps as well, allowing gamers to tape together an exterior map of the entire abbey on the same scale as the interior maps. Why this was not included is a mystery, since the maps are already there...just in 1/6 the size they ought to be. Perhaps a photocopier might blow them up to the correct scale...? This too-obvious feature should have been included. What was it going to cost? Pixels?

Even with this quibble I have no qualms in rating The Abbey at five stars. The Abbey gives me more than one night's worth of high-quality gaming, and a fine foundation for my own campaign ideas. 0one comes through again, reinforcing their position as the kings of pdf game value. You will not regret buying this product.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Abbey
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THRILLING TALES: Zeppelin Adventures
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/05/2010 16:40:59
OK - This is a good product and I would like to say some good things about how good its goodness is. I bought Zepplin Adventures for $1 during a crazy sale by Adamant Entertainment. I got a real bargain. This adventure includes useable plans of a ridgid airship (which is why I bought it). WIth that, you get an adventure fit for Indiana Jones. You get spies. You get action. You get a lost island with dinosaurs. You get a dessert topping! (OK - actually no dessert topping.). There is a lot more to this product than initially meets the eye. At $7.95 I would rate it at three stars and say that your 20 Modern money could be spent here. At $1 (yes, one dollar) I was immensely pleased and I would easily give it five stars.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES: Zeppelin Adventures
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Evocative City Sites: Bedlam Asylum (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/05/2010 16:12:50
I purchased Bedlam Asylum as part of the Evocative City Stites product bundle. Although they are all good, Bedlam Asylum is my favorite of the lot. For two bucks you get a reasonable quantity of adventure hooks and ideas along with stats for the asylum staff. One nice thing about this product is that there is not an either/or choice when it comes to maps. There are small maps for all levels of the asylum, including the grim basement area. There is ALSO a set of miniatures-sized maps for DM's who want to print them out and assemble them on the tabletop. Way too many PDF products make you choose between these options. Bedlam Asylum has both. The only (only, only) reason I might not give this product five stars is because the asylum is described in the first person by a narrator who has infiltrated and investigated it. This is cute, but it is not the way to fully describe an adventure locale. When the writer assumes the personna of a narrator, it is assumed that the narrator's information is incomplete. A game master needs to be a complete insider. This is a small quibble, because stats are provided and part of the point of this type of publication is to allow a game master to customize...to decide which dark rumors are true, and why. I strongly recommend this product...and I admit that maybe it does deserve that fifth star because it really is a good gaming value. So, there you go...five stars.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Evocative City Sites: Bedlam Asylum (PFRPG)
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Publisher Reply:
I wanted to thank Mark Shipley for taking the time to do a review of our product; Yippee 5/5 stars! Steve Russell Rite Publishing
The Lazy GM: Book of Brutes
Publisher: Creative Conclave
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2010 16:42:35
Ah! Here it is! After a long wait, the Book of Brutes arrives with gianty goodness for all. I like this product and I think that its current $9.99 price is a bargain. You get bears. You get ogres. You get ettins. You get minotaurs. As sort of a jolly addition to the mayhem, you also get the gleefully powerful athach in all his twisted forms. Just print them off, or highlight, copy and paste and you have yummy monsters to toss down on your gaming group. Any GM who understands how much time it takes to create unique advanced monsters in D20 gaming will instantly see the value in this product. The only criticism I have of this product is that we want more! Where are the fire, frost, hill, cloud and storm giants? We need The Lazy GM; Book of Giants, and we need it ASAP. Keep up the good work Creative Conclave!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Book of Brutes
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0one's Blueprints: The Ruined Town, Temple, Farms and Dungeon
Publisher: 0one Games
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2010 16:33:13
I consider The Ruined Town, Temple, Farms and Dungeon to be an unusually good value, even compared to other 0one products. For two bucks you get four encounters....temple, two farms and a Stonehenge-like holy site not mentioned in the title or depicted in the online sample. Good maps of cathedrals are hard to come by. This one is very good. I can see the megalithiic site coming in very handy in any campaign. Who doesn't need a ruined farmhouse from time to time? It is hard to praise these Blueprint products too highly, given their cost/adventure ratio. Buy this one. You will like it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Ruined Town, Temple, Farms and Dungeon
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