Saturday, April 9, 2011

Reviews at DriveThru

Working on cleaning up some of my "to be reviewed" files on my flash drive.

Trollops Of Destiny
At $1.19 I was not expecting a lot. I did get a book of 7 NPCs that I could use in any fantasy/historical style game. With a bit of work I could use them in almost any game, so the utility seems to be pretty high. But the issue I have this (one of them anyway) is there is not really enough information here. There are background sketches and motivations. There is an idea of how each character compares to the commoners of the time (intelligence, skills, wealth) and presented in a way to aid conversions into any system. There are also some adventure hooks and use ideas.

But there are some issues I have with it. First the art, that is there, is not really related to the text. Some art of the women in question would be nice. And "Trollops". Really? Why not just women or Femme Fatales but Trollops? And I am not sure what the whole "Destiny" thing is about. I know these are supposed to be archetypes, but they are very close to being stereotypes.

At the end of the day, it's nine pages for under a buck and a quarter. I would have rather paid more and gotten more I think.
3 out of 5 stars

Dudes of Legend (Full Version)
Be Epic.

Semi-serious, but very much tongue-in-cheek, this started out as an joke that people really loved. Is it irony to use it seriously in a game or self-referential humor? Sometime to break through the cliche is to embrace it.

It is the source book on how we wish the guys at White Wolf really were.

Every White Wolf player cliche of the 90s and on is here, and not just presented, but embraced and loving brought to us as if it were the only True Way to play. What is so funny here is that the stats for everything seem rock solid. They really put some care and attention to this.

White Wolf's April Fools jokes are usually pretty good and this one is no exception.

Grab your katana, trenchcoat and this book and be the Epic Awesome Legend you are.
5 out of 5 Stars

Player Races: Dragon Men
Misfit Studios gives us another fantasy race for Savage Worlds. This time we have Dragonmen, humanoid dragons. The document is not large, but does exactly what it needs to do. Description of the race, point values as a race and ways to use them in your game.

Good product for the price.
5 out of 5 Stars

Forgotten Foes Clip Art 1
Forgotten Foes Clip Art 3
Forgotten Foes Clip Art 4
12-14 excellent pieces of art to use as monster or character art or use in your own products with included license. All are black and white, but have a feel about them like you are reading a high-end bestiary. What would be nice if someone came up with stats for these for their own games. These are more inline with the classic monster books of the 1980s. The quality is great and the monsters/characters are good fantasy fare.
Includes a PDF for easy viewing.
4 to 5 out of 5 Stars

The Northland Saga Part 1 - Veangeance of the Long Serpent, Swords and Wizardry Edition
The Northland Saga Part 1 - Veangeance of the Long Serpent, Pathfinder Edition
I picked this up because I am playing in a Pathfinder game called "The Northlands Group" (unrelated). I am glad I did since this is a very interesting little adventure for low-mid level characters. Combining different cultures (Eskimo, Viking/Norse and others) and working on the "Lot's of planets have a north" theory, this adventure can be easily dropped into any campaign world. Brought to us by Frog God Games, which is what was Necromancer Games, it has the same high quality layout and writing you would expect from Necromancer.

This adventure comes in both Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry versions, but I did not see any loss of fidelity from one version or the other, just the mechanics have changed. The Pathfinder version is longer by 4 pages, but that is entirely due to stat blocks. It would be interesting to me anyway to hear how the playtests for the different versions went. Is there that much of a difference in playability. In any case this adventure is a very good example of how the game design can change in 3+ decades, but game play is still what matters.

Designed as part of Frog Gods new Northlands campaign setting it shows a lot of promise and certainly will be something I am going to want to pick up and use.
5 out of 5 Stars

Undefeatable: The Collected Feats Sourcebook (PFRPG)
The collected volumes of Undefeatable for d20/Pathfinder. 90+ pages of feats for all sorts of characters and situations.
A good resource to have. Nothing jumped out at me as particularly broken or munchkin, and I read many feats that were of the very useful sort. Some do seem to blur the line a bit between 3.x feat and 4e powers, but that is not a big deal to me.
4 out of 5 Stars

[PFRPG] Moon's Folly
I love little towns with a lot of mystery. I love weird, freaky cults and weird, freaky goings on. And I love material that I can use in any setting, especially my own.
So I snatched up Moon's Folly in a hurry.
So take a town, plant it near a pre-historic megalithic structure. Fill it full of humans, elves, fey and lycanthropes and all peacefully worshiping the Moon Goddess, add your PCs and I am sure something is going to happen. But in case you are at a loss for ideas, there are plenty in this book. Did I mention that there some lumberers wanting to cut down the forest for profit? Yeah they are there too.

Reminds me a bit of the Village of Hommlet, if Hommlet was in the Scottish Highlands surrounded by dryads.
There are plenty of other secrets and plenty of NPCs to keep a Game Master occupied.

The one thing it is missing though is some sort of threat the Characters can solve the old-fashioned way, with sense violence. Not a requirement mind you, but players do enjoy a good combat session. The Keep had the Caves of Chaos, Hommlet had the Temple of Elemental Evil and Moon's Folly could do with something similar.

All in all, an enjoyable work and a great starting place for a group of new adventurers.
4 out of 5 Stars

Tobyart 006
Tobyart 007
Tobyart 008
Tobyart 009
Tobyart 010
Good line art to use as a character portrait, stock image or even for your own publications.
The license is included and easy to understand
5 out of 5 Stars

Bill Coffin's Septimus
Bill Coffin's Magnum Opus Septimus is yours for the asking.
Using the D6 system you can now play in this far future setting of a dying empire and a huge Dyson's Sphere.

This book is the ultimate in expression of the D6 system. Everything you need to play for years is here. Like the characters, there is so much to uncover here that it would take a group years to run out of ideas. If you area fan of Dune, Foundation or of the D6 system, then this really is a must have.
4 out of 5 Stars

Arcane Flavor
Need more background for your wizards or a cool place for them visit? Then this is the book for you. Living in a world full of magic should make for some magical lands and people, Arcane Flavor present five such cultures. Easily added to any campaign world. Each city, culture or locale also comes with new powers, spells, feats or rituals that are common to that region (and no where else!)
Cailleath is a fey city like no other. It's people are a strange assortment for any world and getting stranger all the time! It is a magic cosmopolitan filled with wonders not possible anywhere else in the world, or worlds, given it's nature.
The Valok are nomadic peoples with their own stories and songs and these contain power.
The Merry-Bedlam Company stretches this idea even further with a large extended theater family whose original race is no longer clear.
Karxal is a arid nightmare of a land, all the more reason to find arcanists devoted to beauty.
And finally to strike fear into hearts of power mad wizards everywhere are The Ternion.

The product has good layout and everything is very clear to read. The art is also good.

The rules are 4th Edition, but there is enough background here that it would be good for any game.
5 out of 5 Stars

Smallville High School Yearbook
An excellent source book to use with Smallville focused on the what really is the core concept of the show; Clark in High School. As expected the layout and art is top notch, this is a fantastic looking book. I love the whole "Yearbook" motif, very clever.

In you play Smallville, then this is a must have.
If you play any other game based in or around a High School then this is also a great resource to have on hand for character development. I loved the idea of the cliques and think I see a bit of the "Leverage" design philosophy in this game as well. In the end it makes for a much cool game.

Very much worth the download.
5 out of 5 Stars

[PFRPG] The Genius Guide to Fire Magic
Every group has one. I have had several. That wizard that is a complete pyro. It makes sense, fire causes a lot of damage, cleans up dungeons and the preferred weapon against most undead. Now the Super Genius' have given us this useful tome.

Tons of fire magic (including a new one, Steam) and ways to use your fire based spells and spellcasters. I got this one for my sun and his "Fire Wizard" so I am going to be getting a lot of use out of this one.
5 out of 5 Stars


LoneIslander said...

Sounds like some pretty good deals.

BlUsKrEEm said...

Septimus is an amazing product. It really surprises me at how little press it seems to get.