Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Monday, October 31, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition

Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition
Double shot today for my LAST #100DaysOfHalloween. Wow. It was nice and sunny and I was sitting on my patio when I wrote my first post in this series. Now it is cold, rainy, and gray outside. But this is exactly where I want to be. And today I saved something very special for last.

Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition

I have been a fan of Witch: Fated Souls and Elizabeth Chaipraditkul for a while now. I even got her to the foreword for my own The Green Witch for Swords & Wizardry book. 

So for this Halloween day, I give you Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition, Quickstart, AND the Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition, Kickstarter.

Quickstart

PDF. 36 pages. Full-color cover and interior art. 

Design & Development: Elizabeth Chaipraditkul & Steffie de Vaan

This quick start covers the basic rules of Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition and includes a quick adventure to play.

Like the 1st Edition, Witch: FS2 deals with people (Witches or "The Fated") who sell their souls for power in the modern world. The different sorts of "demons" these characters sell their souls to will determine what sorts of power they will get and how they interact with the world, or their "Fates". 

Pausing for a second I can see already improvements in gameplay, readability, and layout of this Quickstart over the original Witch: FS1. 

Characters now have nine abilities, not eight, and are grouped by Mind, Body, and Spirit with three sub-attributes each. These are all explained and how they are used in the QS.  Checks are also explained. The new mechanics are based on Elizabeth Chaipraditkul and Steffie de Vaan's other game Afterlife: Wandering Souls. This opens up a whole level of play if you have both games. But I am going to wait on that one. 

We have a section on magic and knowing Witch: FS1 there is going to be a lot more in Witch: FS2.

There is even some detail on advancement. So really, as far as characters go you have enough here to keep you busy until the Second Edition Kickstarter is done.  

Demons are covered in their own section and they are the most interesting and likely complicated thing in this game. Complicated that is in how to run them and interact with their Fated. 

The last half of the quickstart covers the included sample adventure, "The Devil Made Me Do It."

There are included NPCs, similar to the ones that appear in Witch: FS1 and using the same art; which is great for returning players helping them get acclimated to the new system. It is recommended you use these characters to aid you in learning the game. 

The Fated

If the full product is anything like this Quickstart then we are in for a treat!

Kickstarter

The Kickstarter for this game just launched today and it will likely be funded by the time you read this post.

You can read all the Kickstarter details on their campaign page, but for me, the proof is in the playing.  I liked Witch: Fated Souls First Edition, even if there were things I would have done differently (but hey, that is the nature of these things) and this new edition looks better.

There is an absolute ton to go along with this game and it looks fantastic. 


My Links to Witch: Fated Souls, First Edition


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween



Saturday, October 22, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Fane of the Witch King

Fane of the Witch King
I have spent all month long so far on "Witch Queen" adventures, I thought maybe a Witch King might be nice. Spoiler. There is still a Witch Queen here. 

Fane of the Witch King

Print and PDF. 68 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art.

So this one goes all the way back to the 3.x days from Necromancer Games. It is an adventure for 4 to 6 characters of 10th level and higher. 

The adventurers investigate the site of an ancient and evil city where the minions of the now-dead Witch King reside and plot his return. Among them is his former lover, the Witch Queen Kytara Bane.

"Witch" in both cases just means "evil spell-caster" but I can work with it. So this is a Necromancer Games product so expect there to be plenty of monsters to kill, deep forgotten dungeons and everything that made 1st Edition adventures so much fun. The NPCs are also great in a "how can we make something so evil" sort of way. The Witch King Osenkej for example was the product of a Balor father and Red Wyrm mother. Kytara Bane, his queen, was/is a Half-nymph/Half-demon. There is the Ghul Legion a band of dark elves and gnolls working for a group of evil Stone Giants and their Black Dragon leader Ghul Lacronus. All who they have to fight to get into the Black Fane and then to get out they have to face Kytara Bane herself.  Along the way they can also run into the Covenant of the Claw, they are a half-elf/half-dragon, a half-human/half-dragon and a half-gnoll/half-dragon.  Really giving those half-dragon template rules a workout.

Not to mention all the demons and undead running around including a demonic triceratops! This adventure is a meat grinder and the characters are assumed to be level 10. I think they need to be a little stronger.

The appendices are full. A new spell. New magic items including new artifacts. Five maps.

The locations are great, and that is what the adventure gives top billing, but for me, it is really about these NPCs.

Fane of the Witch King - Print


Use in War of the Witch Queens

Again, it is the NPCs here that interest me the most. The locations are fun but I can put those anywhere, or re-do them as I need. The NPCs are just too much not to use. The adventure is fun as it, but what if I add this twist for my world/campaign. Kytara Bane learning of the death of the Witch Queen decides to make her move.

It could be fun really. Certainly near the end of the campaign.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Friday, October 21, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: The Witch's Daughter- Adventure Module GSAM01

The Witch's Daughter - Adventure Module GSAM01
I have spent all month so far working with adventures from various systems, tonight I think I will try a systemless one tonight. 

The Witch's Daughter - Adventure Module GSAM01

PDF. 68 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art. 

This is a systemless adventure centered around a village where a witch was attacked and killed leaving her daughter behind. The adventure is a quasi-sandbox. There are 60 some-odd pages of backstory and details of the village, its people, and most importantly the NPCs.

There is a lot here to be honest, maybe more than needed for an adventure? This is more of a mini-setting. 

The strength of this adventure is the lack of stats. Why? I think by having go through the effort to stat ups the NPCs like Count Ducas Fellbane and the titular witch's daughter. For example, I might make Count Ducas a vampire. I know I shouldn't it would be so cliche, but I kinda want to do it to be honest. And the thing is. I can do this if I want. 

Again, like some of the other adventures I have reviewed this month I might use this one to shore up some of the others that are not as rich in background as this one is.  Yes. This adventure is perfectly fine on its own and it can be used anywhere.  But my time is limited on how many adventures I can run; 14th level is going to be the max level. 

I think I might try starting this up for a couple of systems to see which ones feel the best.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Thursday, October 20, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Vengeance of a Burned Witch

Vengeance of a Burned Witch
Tonight we have a slightly different take on the "Witch comes back for Vengeance" adventure. But is it different enough from what we have seen all month?

Vengeance of a Burned Witch

PDF. 15 pages. Color cover and interior art. 

Or more properly, "Gregorius21778: Vengeance of a Burned Witch" with Gregorius21778 the label of Kai Pütz. 

This is a tight little investigation adventure. The premise is simple, the PCs will stumble onto this village of Hillsgreen Crossing where last year they burned a witch, Ginniver by name, and now her ghost is back.

It is billed as a Halloween adventure, so perfect for this time of year.

I could go over the plot, but we have seen this sort before here. Instead I want to talk about what makes this one good.  The idea is the PCs know nothing. Zip. Nada. If they want to know anything they have to go ask the mostly terrified villagers. They need to investigate, ask around, and piece the history and the present together. Plus they will need to figure out how to rid the village of this pesky witch.

Ginniver comes back not just as one, but two creatures. The first his her burned skeleton (which needs to be destroyed) and as a "Witch-Wraith" the ghost of a burned witch. 

So to destroy this witch you have to destroy her skeleton and destroy the contract she signed, gives her something of what I would call a Unique Kill in other games. 

Note we are warned up front that English is not the author's first language, but I did not find that to be an issue really. There is some canned text, but I use that only as a suggestion anyway. 

All in all there is a lot of fun packed into just 13 pages of content.

It is PWYW with a suggested price of $1.00. Following my guidelines (which I haven't all year,b but whatever) a $1.50 is better. I say to encourage more like this toss them $2.00. 

Use in War of the Witch Queens

I like this one. I don't think I would run as is for the War of the Witch Queens though. One reason, and this is the easy one, it relies on the PCs coming to this village. Yes yes I know I can put her anywhere and with any village, but my point is that for this particular campaign it is a bit too random. But that is the small reason.  The bigger reason is I have already lost track of the number of dead witches coming back for vengeance adventures I have.  What I will do is take the best ideas this one has and overlay it with one of the weaker adventures in my collection. Maybe weaker is the wrong word. I have a lot of bare-bones adventures and maybe this one is something that could help the others. 


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: The Dark Eye - Witch's Dance

The Dark Eye - Witch's Dance
Yesterday I reviewed The Dark Eye. Tonight I want to cover an adventure for it that I might want to make work for my War of the Witch Queens.

The Dark Eye - Witch's Dance

PDF and Print. 16 pages. Color cover and interior art.

This is actually a rather good adventure to introduce people to The Dark Eye game. 

Briefly, we have an evil warlock taking control of a small coven of witches. But one witch, Alevtia, refuses to submit. Luckily she finds the heroes. That's you all.

This is a detective story and wilderness adventure. So social skills are just as important as combat here. The characters will need to meet with the other members of the sisterhood to get all the details they need. But that also puts them in contact with the Warlock Codax, and he needs items from the heroes (hair, blood, saliva) to make his curses work.

There are plenty of interesting tables of rumors and various locations all throughout the area including a forest. There is even an ogre nearby (and stats for him) and "Predatory Mushrooms!" The adventure feel like a fairy tale. 

Of course, the goal is to stop the warlock. He doesn't have to be killed even, there is a potion to turn him into a toad for example.

It is perfect for a couple of afternoons and even better for new players.

Alevtia The Witch's Dance print

For My War of the Witch Queens

Well, you can set the village of Wireslhome anywhere. Well since I already have the characters popping all over the multiverse I'll even change the name to Westhafen.  But I would still keep it in the northern half of Aventuria, where witches are more common.

The plot here, a warlock taking over a coven, is nearly the same plot of the War of the Witch Queens writ on a local level.  One could even make parallels of what is happening here and to what is happing with the larger cosmos of witches. As above, so below.  Even our cover girl Alevtia's grandmother has just died. In parallel to the Witch Queen herself. 

For me, this adventure is to essentially tell my players what is going on but on a smaller scale.   

There are no stats for Alevtia, but I feel that NPC stats on page 148 of the Core book would be perfect.  In the adventure though, she is listed as part of the Sisterhood: Beauty of the Night or a Cat Witch (p. 146).  The art in the book is closer to 148, so that is what I'll use. I should point out that all the NPCs in the core do have a name attached to them, though in the case of the Toad Witch the description does not match the art.

She is listed in both the core and the adventure as "Inexperienced" so for my purposes that works as 1st level. 

So let's give her a go.  Described as an (Apparently) Simple Country girl (spoiler isn't simple or all that innocent), which would make her a good fit for the Pagan, Green, or even Classical traditions. I am more inclined to go Pagan. But she will get cantrips. This works well since my Pagan Witch book and my Warlock book are both for OSE. 

Alevtia
Alevtia

1st level Witch (Craft of the Wise tradition)
Human Female

Strength: 12
Intelligence: 15
Wisdom: 14
Dexterity: 12 
Constitution: 13
Charisma: 17

Saving Throws
Poison: (+1) 11
Wands: 14
Turn to Stone: 13
Breath Weapon: 16
Spells: 15

THAC0: 20
AC: 9[10]

Occult Powers
Familiar: Toad ("Kitty")

Spells
Cantrips: (5) Clean, Mend, Open, Palm, Spark
1st level: (1+2) Control Face, Glamour, Toad

Since I could not make up my mind whether she was a "Toad" witch or a "Cat" witch, I gave her a toad, as in the picture, but decided she treats her toad like it was a cat.

She could be a fun witch to come back to after she has gained some levels.

The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Review: The Dark Eye

The Dark Eye
I have known about this game for a while, both The Dark Eye and the original German Das Schwarze Auge. I always wanted to own the original German, having taken German in both high school and college, but not using a language for, well longer than I care to admit, you lose it. Das tut mir leid.

The Dark Eye always attracted me as a sort of darker fantasy RPG.  A game where Mirkwood is replaced by the Black Forest.  

I picked the 2nd Printing of the English edition at my local game auction.  I grabbed the core rules and a bunch of add-ons that I suspect came from Kickstarter. There is a lot and it all looks so good. There is even a basic QuickStart.

The Dark Eye - Core Rules

Hardcover & PDF. 414 pages. Full-color cover and interior art (and all of it is gorgeous).

For the purposes of this review, I am considering both my hardcover version and the PDF from DriveThruRPG.

There is so much about this book and game that I love. Before I go into my deep dive I want to say that this game is wonderfully crunchy; this is not a rules-light game. BUT, and I can't stress this enough, it works so well here.  This easily could have come across as an artifact of the mid-80s with some early 2000s notions added on, but it doesn't. It actually all holds together rather well. I can well imagine that this is what D&D would have been like if instead of the wilds of Wisconsin it grew up in the wilds of Germany.  In both cases, the beer and brats would have been good. The adventuring world, Aventuria (and I will be discussing that more), is a dark place but the characters seem lighter for it. It is a nice antidote for the "Grimdark" worlds where the characters are equally grim. 

Chapter 1: Introduction 

This chapter gives us the basics of the game including what an RPGs are. We also get some background on the adventuring land of Aventuria including the lands of Middenrealm and surrounding lands. There is a nice map too. We get a brief on all the gods and demigods and even the five major dragons of the world. 

Chapter 2: Basic Rules

Covers what it says, basic rules. The game mostly uses d6s and d20s. There are eight attributes; Courage (Cou), Sagacity (Sag), Intuition (Int), Charisma (Cha), Dexterity (Dex), Agility (Agl), Constitution (Con), and Strength (Con). Remember I said it was wonderfully crunchy. Attribute checks are rolled on a 1d20, rolling under their score. Pretty easy. There are modifiers to these rolls as to be expected. A roll of "1" is a success and "20" is a botch.  If a modifier ever brings an attribute below "1" then it can't be attempted. This chapter also covers the basic of Skill checks and combat. 

There are also various Conditions, like confusion, pain, paralysis and so on that also modify various rolls and even combat and movement. 

I think this great to have all of this up front since it helps with the Character Creation section next.

Chapter 3: Hero Creation

This chapter details character creation. There are 15 steps outlined. Sounds like a lot, but character creation is quite detailed. It is a 4-page character sheet after all. There are many human cultures that provide some roleplaying differences and some mechanical ones. Additionally, there are Elven and Dwarven cultures too. By Step 5 we are getting to allocating points to our Attributes. Going pretty fast so far. This is a point-buy system and like many modern RPGs you can set caps on attributes and the total number of points.  You can choose a Profession (detailed in Chapter 6), as well as choosing Advantages and Disadvantages. You can then modify abilities, calculate combat techniques, choose any special abilities, calculate your derived characteristics, buy equipment, choose your starting age and name. 

There are some sample characters given and some details of how they were made. With all these cultures, professions, advantages, and disadvantages you can make a wide variety of characters. 

I created one for a Character Creation Challenge last year, the process was long but really fun.

Chapter 4: Races

This gets into detail on the races available to us. In addition to the Humans, Elves and Dwarves we have met there are also Half-Elves (who use elf or human culture).

Chapter 5: Cultures

Cultures are the more important aspect of your character's background. So there is more on culture than on race. The cultures are highly detailed and have some Earth analogues, but not exact copies which is nice. 

Toad Witch
Chapter 6: Professions

These are the "classes" of The Dark Eye. And there are a lot of them here. They are divided into three types, Mundane, Magical, and Blessed.

Mundanes include Bard, Courtier, Gladiator, Guard, Healer, Hunter, Knight, Mercenary, Merchant, Performer, Rogue, Sailor, Spy, Tribal Warrior, and Warrior. 

Magical professions are: Spellweaver, Wyldrunner, Cat Witch, Raven Witch, Toad Witch (three witches!), Black Mage, Gray Mage, Guildless Mage, and White Mage.

Blessed professions are your cleric and religious types. They are: Blessed One of Boron, Blessed One of Hesinde, Blessed One of Peraine, Blessed One of Phex, Blessed One of Praios, and Blessed One of Rondra. Or, the various gods of the land, but not all of them.

Chapter 7: Advantages and Disadvantages

This covers the same lists found in character creation, but much more detail.

I am a huge fan of Advantages and Disadvantages. We used them all the time in Unisystem and became a great mechanic. I would love to see them ported over to D&D in someway.  But I guess modern D&D has feats, so there is that. These are great here and hit all the ones I expect to see.

Chapter 8: Skills and Chapter 9: Combat

Both chapter deal with how to run skills, non-combat, and combat respectively.  Chapter 8, like Chapter 7, provide more detail than what was presented in Character Creation, Chapter 3.

Chapter 10: Magic

My favorite part of any fantasy RPG is Magic. This one is no exception. In the Dark Eye we have two basic methods of controlling arcane power, Spellcasting and Rituals. 

Now various spell-casting checks rely on different combinations of attributes, so no one mage is going to be great at everything unless all their attribute are high. Point-buy mostly assures this won't happen. Magic is a highly detailed affair, as to be expected. So one magic-using class is certainly not like the other. 

There are rules for traditions, artifacts, illusions. Just tons of details here. It is certainly one of the most robust magic systems I have seen in a while. Even elves have a complete different set of magics. 

And of course, there are spell listings. 

Chapter 11: Works of the Gods

This is similar to the Magic chapter, but for the Blessed Ones.  The magic here has different mechanics as to be expected really. While the "Spells" are largely similar format (for ease of reading) they feel very different.

Chapter 12: Detailed Rules

Covers all sorts of other rules. Healing, disease, poisons, heat and cold, and gaining experience. Also how Arcane Energy and Karma are replenished. 

Chapter 13: Bestiary

Usually, my next favorite chapter after Magic and this one is great.  We get all sorts of demons, elementals, animals, and familiars listed here. Obviously room for much more. The monsters are built like characters, so have similar statblocks.

Chapter 14: Equipment

All the gear your characters will need.

Chapter 15: Game Tips

Both tips for the Players and the GMs. Kudos to them showing apples as the game snack.

Appendix

This includes a checklist for optional rules (with page numbers), common abbreviations, and tables.

There is just SO MUCH with this game.

The Dark Eye RPG

I am overjoyed AND overwhelmed with all the options.  I can easily see why this game is so popular here and in Germany.  It is a game I would love to do more with. There is just so much material to be had, both to buy and for free. There is even a Community Content section for fan-produced works.

I could spend another year with it and still be finding something new. My only regret is not having anyone I can play this one with.  

Well. I suppose I will mine it for ideas.

This game will not be everyone's cup of tea, but it will be the perfect game out there for some groups.

100 Days of Halloween: The Priest, the Witch, and the Lost Temple: An Adventure

The Priest, the Witch, and the Lost Temple: An Adventure
Tonight we have a DMsGuild adventure for 5e. It has a lot great things going for it for my ongoing campaign so let's see what it can do for me.

The Priest, the Witch, and the Lost Temple: An Adventure

PDF. 40 pages. Full-color cover and interior art. 

This adventure is for characters levels 2 to 3. This fits the archetype of the "strange newcomers who MUST be witches" deal. Our two "witches", Ashali and Lathna, one a Red Wizard of Thay and the other her apprentice and lover, are not really witches, but everyone around them is treating them as such.  Quick aside, I wrote a one-shot years ago when I first wanted to run something in the Realms about an underground of would-be good Red Wizards trying to escape Thay. They had help from a group in Aglarond. This ties in so perfectly to that adventure I might dust it off as an opening.

The focus of the adventure is to investigate the witches and find out they are mostly harmless but discover a bigger evil along the way. It works for me.  It is a nice little adventure I can fit in nearly anywhere If I want. Though I do have some specific ideas. And let's be honest, who DOESN'T like stopping a bunch of undead? 

There are some new magic items and new NPCs (featured for the adventure). The art is from DMsGuild so it is good, but the layout is something the author did and it looks good. So really a good-looking adventure.

The town of Whitehaven is just detailed enough to make it usable and enough detail left out to make it flexible. I really appreciate that bit. And much like the Villiage of Hommlet for Greyhawk, this would make for a good base of operations for low-level characters.  I get why the adventure is for the 2nd to 3rd level, but I wonder if a bit of work could make it more suited to 1st to 3rd level for a true starting feel.  You are far enough away from the Sword Coast to make it feel like a different world but still close enough to know where you are. If that makes sense. 

Kudos to the author for taking a chance on a "good" or at least redeemed Red Wizard. 

Is this a perfect adventure? No, but it is perfect for what I need it for.

For My War of the Witch Queens

There is so much here that fits right in, even if the witches themselves are not really witches. The "Whitehaven" of this adventure is a perfect stand-in for my own "West Haven."  Indeed, much as I used "Haven" from Krynn as the alternate universe of West Haven in my world, the character will find themselves later in "Whitehaven" in the Realms and "Winterhaven" in the Nentir Vale.

Ashali and Lathna also fit in perfectly as a Red Wizard and her maid turned lover and apprentice that they are almost exactly like the characters I made (no plagiarism here, I never published mine!) so close in fact that I will drop the location I had them in (in Rashmeen) and instead have them here. 

For a stronger link I might have them mention they knew the Witch Queen (but don't yet know she is dead).

So yeah, this one will work great for me.

The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Monday, October 17, 2022

Monstrous Mondays: Demons

I have spent the past year or so going through all the various D&D monster books. Seeing what makes them work well and what doesn't. My homage, as it is, to the book that introduced me to D&D in the beginning.

Today I want to cover some of my favorite creatures to use (and pit players against) demons.

Demon books in D&D

Demons, as D&D describes them, are Chaotic and Evil. But more than that they are of unrepentant evil. You never hear of demons becoming good, ever. So rare that when it does happen, it becomes a thing of legend

It also means that the only appropriate way to deal with a demon is to send it screaming back to the Abyss from where it came. 

So if 2nd Ed AD&D was the golden age of Settings. Then 3rd and 4th Ed D&D was the golden age of fluff and story.  Here I have some books about Demons and the Abyss with details that are still in use in 5th Edition today.

Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (3.5)

Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (D&D 3.5)

PDF and hardcover. 162 pages. Color covers and interior art.

Published in 2006 this product had three aims. First, update all the various demons to the 3.5 D&D rules. Second, introduce new rules about the Abyss and new demons. Finally to provide a more "PG" sort of book rather than the "R" rated Book of Vile Darkness. This book expands on everything we know so far. Indeed for a chaotic race, the power structure of the Abyss has been in place since the introduction of Eldritch Wizardry 30 years prior.

This book gives us the notion, likely introduced in the 2nd E and I may have missed it, that demons are spawned from the Abyss itself, which may also be alive. 

Chapter 1: Demonic Lore 

This covers what is currently known about demons and the Abyss. It also introduces a new source of demonic knowledge, the Black Scrolls of Ahm. We get a bit on demonic physiology, in this case, a dretch, though it is also noted this can vary from demon to demon. A bit on the nature of death in demons. Demonic roles and possession. 

Chapter 2: Demons

Ah. Now I was one of the first ones to complain about the bowdlerization of Demons into Tanar'ri during the AD&D 2nd days. D&D 3rd Edition kept them, but also kept demons. Here is the payoff for them doing that. Tanar'ri are but one of three (in this book) types of demons. Green Ronin began this with their demon books early one and I even did it back at the end of my 2nd Ed days.  It is a natural and logical assumption in my mind. And one I am glad to see here.  The two new types are Loumara subtype (a new type of demon) and the Obyrith (an ancient, primeval type of demon). Each has different traits. So now demons are listed as something like "Always CE Medium outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar, tanar'ri)" or similar. There are still chaotic evil monsters in the abyss that are not any of the three demon sub-types.   

Among the Loumara we have: Dybbuk, Ekolid, and Guecubu. For the Obyriths we have the Sibriex. There are more Obyrith lords coming up.

Chapter 3: Demon Lords

Here we have names going all the way back to the beginning, but all updated. The art for Demogorgon reminds me of the cover of Eldritch Wizardry. There are plenty of old favorites here. As well as plenty of new and somewhat revised ones. There are Obyrith lords like Dagon, Obox-ob, Pale Night, and Pazuzu. Dagon has had an interesting history in D&D due to the god, devil, and Lovecraftian creature that all share the same name. This Dagon tries to, and largely succeeds in, uniting all three into one horrible creature. 

Chapter 4: Trafficking with Demons

Deals with demonic followers, both human and demon. It's 3.x so there are feats to be had here! There are also new spells and uses for skills. We are introduced to the Black Cult of Ahm and their lore including the various scrolls of Ahm. There is the Abyssal Mundus, the Black Writings, and the Rubric of Tulket nor Ahm. There is also the Transcriptions of Ergon, rumored to be an apprentice to Tulket nor Ahm.

Chapter 5: Into the Abyss

I mentioned this was a golden age of story and fluff, this chapter is a good example. We get a brief history of the Abyss, the various demon types, and of course The Blood War. We also get details on various Abyssal layers and areas. We get Graz'zt capital of Zeltar which exists on three layers simultaneously. The infamous Demonweb, Orcus' layer of Thanatos, and many more.

Appendix I covers all the lords of the Abyss, their titles, areas of concern, and their layers.  Appendix II covers the known named layers of the Abyss and their rulers. Appendix III covers demonic monsters from other 3.x books. 

Even if you are not playing 3.x or any system similar to it, this is still a great book on demons.

The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos (4e)
The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos (4e)

PDF and hardcover. 162 pages. Color covers and interior art.

This book also expands on demonic lore. This time for 4e. Though this book also expands on various chaotic and elemental forces. Making the connections between the Abyss and elemental chaos stronger. 

 This is divided in five chapters. 

Chapter 1: Chaos Incarnate

This chapter covers the nature of the Elemental Chaos of the Astral Plane. You can see the start here of why Wizards of the Coast is setting Spelljamer in the Astral and not Wildspace. It makes sense. This deals with the nature of chaos, traveling in it, and features of the plane including hazards and various skill challenges. 

For warlocks, there are even three new Patrons. And "new" cults like the Cult of the Elder Elemental Eye. And "new" artifacts like the Crystal of Ebon Flame.

Chapter 2: Races of Chaos

This covers Archons, Djinn, Efreets, Genasi, Giants and Titans, Githzerai, Slaad, and brief entries on others like Dao, Dwarves, and Primoridals. No stats, all background information.

Chapter 3:  Elemental Locales

Various important locales in the Elemental Chaos. These include The Brazen Bazaar, Canaughlin Bog, Gloamnull the City of Rain, Irdoc Morda, the Pillars of Creation, The Riverweb, the Glittering Mine (with encounters), and The Body Luminous (with adventure). Save for the last two there is only minor game-related details. So use in any game would work.

Chapter 4: Into the Abyss

Same title as Chapter 5 of Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss this covers similar ground.  Travel and hazards of the Abyss, the so-called "bottom" of the infinite elemental chaos. We get a listing fo demons from other 4e books and ideas for adventures and skill challenges.

Some demonic locations are given and these are for the most part different than what we have had before.

Chapter 5: Creatures of Chaos

Now, this is the reason I pulled this one out for today. We get new oozes, new archons, and of course new demons. There are mostly elemental creatures here and chaotic ones like Slaad who are largely chaotic evil here. There are some unique creatures as well including Ygorl the Lord of Entropy.

Demonomicon (4e)
Demonomicon (4e)

PDF and hardcover. 160 pages. Color covers and interior art.

Easily one of my favorite D&D 4e books. This one presages the 5e books with excerpts from the infamous Demonomicon of Iggwilv. 

This one has three chapters, but each one is packed.

Chapter 1: Demonic Lore

Here get the introduction to the Demonomicon of Iggwilv, its history and its special features.  We learn the first of six volumes titled the Demonomicon of Iggwilv was based on an earlier work, the Tome of Zyx.  What follows is said to be from these tomes.

We go back to the birth of the Abyss with the Obyriths coming into this universe from their dying one. Here Tharizdun planted the "Seed of Evil" into the Astral Sea and from it, a tear in reality opened creating the Abyss.  Here we learn that an ancient Primordial came to the Abyss to become one of the first Demons, he became known as Demogorgon. Here Dagon, an Obyrith, challenged Demogorgon for control while Obox-ob claimed the seed and became the first Demon Prince.

Here in this Dawn Time, the Cult of Elemental Evil was formed. Demons rose, Angels fell and soon even Tharizdun fell and was chained. Here we get the start of the Blood War.

Much like the Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss we get some details on Fiendish physiology. Most notable is how demons adapt to their environments by changing their physiology. We cover topics of demonic possession, demonic ascension, lords, cults, summoning demons (with one reused bit of art), and legions. There are legions for every demon lord but only a few are detailed here. 

Quite a bit of material here that feels like an expansion of the material that came before it.

Likewise, there is some reused art, but it is good art so I can't complain.

Graz'zt and Iggwilv

Chapter 2: The Abyss

This one covers the nature of the Abyss, expanding on what the Elemental Chaos book covered. Many layers are also covered, most getting a few pages of content. Graz'zt layer of Azzagrat gets some detail. While some of this is familiar to readers of Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss it also provides new details and different information. This is true for some other layers as well. 

There are also minor realms and Abyssal portals, delves, and temples. Some with encounter information.

Chapter 3: Demons

There are 45 new abyssal monsters here which are mostly demons (Tanar'ri and Obyrith) and a few Demon Lords not covered in the Monster Manuals.

If you are playing 4e and dealing with demons (which many of the adventures do) then this is really a must-have book.  If you like the history of demons in D&D then this is also a must-have.

--

All three add to the sum total knowledge of demons in D&D. Having the PDFs I am tempted to print out the fluff sections and add them to a guide of demons I have had since the 2nd Edition days.

Maybe D&D is about demons after all?

100 Days of Halloween: Tomb of the Witch Queen

Tomb of the Witch Queen (5e)

I obviously had to buy this one as well. Though if you have been following me all week you know we have gone to many tombs of many witch queens.

This one has the unenviable task of following up on all of those. 

As always I will be following my rules for these reviews.

Tomb of the Witch Queen (5e)

PDF. 13 pages. Color cover and interior art. 

Truthfully it is not fair to compare this one to ones done by professional teams with Kickstarter money. This is just one guy, Jon Paget, doing things on his own.  The adventure is for 5e and claims to be for characters 1st to 12th level. Ok.

We start this one like so many of the other witch queen tomb adventures. The PCs hear of about the tomb and the riches within. Officials have gone to seek it out but never returned. So it decided that expendable experts are needed. That's the PCs. 

The adventure can be scaled to three different levels Low (levels 1-4), Mid (levels 4-8), and High (9-12). The adventure is divided into four separate "layers." Each follows the last and increases in difficulty. Until you reach the tomb of Sassaya herself.

I can see this being a good Convention style game when people could bring their own characters. 

But I am not sure if even this idea overcomes some of the shortcomings of this adventure. The adventure is as linear as it can get. While I am ok ignoring this in some older adventures, this is a 5e one published in 2021. The rewards at the end are uninspired. Sure there is a table to scale the rewards, but this sort of thing comes right out of the DMG of many editions. I don't need an adventure for that. Give me some new magic or something interesting. NOW there are some here. There is a d12 table of interesting additional rewards. THAT should have been the model for the main rewards. Again I have said it many times, if I am going to plunder a witch's tomb I better find some cool spell books.

I mentioned the adventure was linear. Well it is so much so that there are no proper maps. The Labyrinth, Level (or Layer previous) 3 has a kind of a flow-charty color-coded thing that the author obviously is proud of AND it is a neat idea in theory. I am not sure how it acts in practice though. Maybe I am getting hung up on the word "Labyrinth". This piece does look like it scales well. 

The list price is just under $5. Even by my revised guidelines of 25 cents a page for content (this has 10 pages of content for 13 overall pages) that only gets us to $2.50. There is not much in the way of art; no imagery of what the characters might see for example. Only one newish monster with a stat block. Mostly skill checks really. If it had been at or under $2.50 I could have merited giving it another star.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween



Sunday, October 16, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Sepulcher of the Sorceress-Queen

Sepulcher of the Sorceress-Queen
Robert E. Howard casts a long shadow over Fantasy Role Playing in general and D&D in particular.  This is best seen in two different near clones, Adventurer Conqueror King and Hyperborea. So when ACKS did an adventure that was an homage to Taramis, well I had to check it out.

Sepulcher of the Sorceress-Queen

Print and PDF. 56 pages. Color cover and interior layout art with black & white art.

For Character levels 7th to 9th.

Ok. So another tomb with a sleeping undead witch. It is a powerful trope. This one features the Sorceress-Queen Semiramis of Zahar who has been dead, but sleeping, for 1000 years. She had been betrayed by a former lover (and having killed her first 100 lovers she should have seen this one coming) and is now waiting for her chance to rise and rule again.

The adventure is part of a loosely connected series but it is mentioned that it can be used as a stand-alone adventure and placed anywhere. 

The adventure involves going into her tomb, stopping her from rising, and maybe make off with some treasure. The tomb is full of undead horrors and other dangers. To make things more interesting there is a group of lizardmen in the tomb trying to do the same thing as the characters. 

It then becomes a race against time, times 2. Get to the queen before she gains her full power and get to the treasures before the lizard men do. 

The adventure gives us a bunch on new magic items, a new spell, and five new (ish) monsters. The adventure itself is cut from familiar cloth but the map is quite good and great for groups that like to explore old tombs.

Use with my War of the Witch Queens

For this campaign, this adventure covers more than just familiar territory. This will be the third or fourth "tomb of a long dead witch coming back to life" they have seen if I stay on current plans. So...what am I to do?

Well. I do love the map here and the tomb itself is an interesting place. Maybe...I can merge this with my other Howard/Hyperborea-influenced adventure The Lost Caverns of Acheron.  I mentioned all the pluses that using this adventure gives me when I reviewed the V series from BRW Games. There is one thing I failed to mention though. I have already taken my players through module S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. Once they get to that spherical room they will remember they have been here already.

I could use this as a base and bring notes from The Lost Caverns of Acheron. I certainly do not need to run both adventures no matter how fun they are. But I also really love the idea of using Xaltana.

Do I go with Xaltana or Semiramis? 

I thought maybe the unnamed Witch-Queen of Yithorium from Hyperborea might be a good substitute. Both come from the same sources. Semiramis has a name, the Witch-Queen does not (even though I named her Miriam). Semiramis is a Zaharian Sorcerer which reads a lot like a warlock or a witch and has a strong Howard/CAS vibe. Same with our Witch-Queen of Yithorium. 

Yithorium is surrounded by the Zakath desert. Zahar is now described as a desolate wasteland like a desert. Ok, that's a stretch but you see where I am going here. 

Why mix or merge them at all? Simple I want to get as much of all the great material out there I can for this adventure campaign and knowing full well I can never run everything. Also by picking and choosing different OSR systems, publishers, and products, I am naturally going to get similar results; we all draw from the same wells. 

So in my campaign, the Sorceress-Queen Semiramis of Zahar and the Witch-Queen of Yithorium become the same person. 

Semiramis

Maybe I'll keep Miriam around as the descendant of Semiramis. She is every bit as evil as her forebearer. Maybe Miriam leads them to the tomb in order to gain her ancestor's power but ends up getting possessed in the process.  I do like this idea.

Use with my Second Campaign

My original idea for this was to run it mostly as is for my Second Campaign. I'll have to see how that one develops when the characters get to the right levels.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Friday, October 14, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Adventure Module V3 - Toil and Trouble (and the V Series)

Adventure Module V3 - Toil and Trouble
One of the things I wanted most for my War of the Witch Queens campaign was to involve as many editions of D&D and Clones as I could. I wanted it to be a nice sampling of the entire OSR movement.  The second thing I wanted was to have the characters visit all sorts of different worlds.  So tonight we are headed back to Oerth/Greyhawk or some facsimile of it for the next round of adventures.

Tonight I am going to cover the "V Series" of modules by Joseph Bloch and BRW Games. While I will review all three it is likely that only the last one, Adventure Module V3 - Toil and Trouble, will be used in my campaign.  The reasons will be rather obvious.

This is, essentially from my point of view, an alternate reality Oerth. This is good since the game they are designed for is Adventures Dark and Deep RPG which is an alternate reality AD&D 2nd Edition. Though can easily be used with AD&D 1, 2, Basic D&D, or any clone.

They are low-level enough that they can be easily used with just about any form of D&D including 5e.

Each module is done in what I would call the middle phase of modules or ones from the early 80s. Not quite the rough around the edges of the earliest ones from the 1970s nor the more polished Dragonlance/Ravenlofts of the near mid 80s. No, these are solid 1982-1983 in feel and form.

Adventure Module V1 - The Hamlet of Volage
Adventure Module V1 - The Hamlet of Volage

PDF. 13 pages (+ covers). Color cover, black & white interior art.
Designed for 4 to 6 characters of 1st to 3rd level.

This is where we get our "V" in the V series; the Hamlet of Volage (not to be confused with the Village of Hommlet a few miles over). This adventure introduces the players (and characters) to Volage which in the middle of a battleground between two warring covens of witches. The Cloven Hoof Coven (Diabolic) and the Dark Star Coven (Demonic).  

Though the adventure does not start that big. It begins rather with a rivalry between local families and accusations of witchcraft. 

Much like the adventures this is an homage too, we get a nice selection of memorable NPCs. Tables of rumors (some true, some false) and a village.

In this first adventure, you have to deal with the witches (here a subclass of Cleric) of the Cloven Hoof coven. Their patron is Dispater. Nice, great choice. Though there is a note that if you have BRW Games product Darker Paths 2 - The Witch you can use that for these NPCs. 

There are some new spells and two new magic items.

It feels like it can be played in an afternoon or longer setting, maybe 6 hours. Faster if the PCs figure out what is going on. 

Adventure Module V2 - Red in Tooth and Claw
Adventure Module V2 - Red in Tooth and Claw

PDF. 12 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art.
Designed for 4 to 6 characters of 2nd to 3rd level.

This one takes place six months after the first adventure in the series. Following the pattern laid down at the time of the earliest adventures this one now includes some hex-crawling with some random encounters. These are encountered before the party returns to Volage. Indeed this module is very explicitly a hex crawl to investigate the area around the Hamlet of Volage.  So there is no true purpose or "victory condition" nor should there be. The purpose is the exploration of the surrounding area. Though there is the threat of the Dark Star Coven. Details have to be uncovered before the next adventure can take place.  There is a nice little teaser about the "Queen of Witches."

I will admit I not 100% sure why it has to be 6 months later except to allow a season to pass. 

The most fun here are the werewolves in the woods. 

Adventure Module V3 - Toil and Trouble
Adventure Module V3 - Toil and Trouble

PDF and softcover book. 20 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art.
Designed for 4 to 6 characters of 3rd to 5th level.

For this one I have both the PDF and softcover versions. Also, we are given our first real and proper introduction to the "Witch Queen" none other than Natasha.  It has everything a good adventure should have. Plots and intrigue, a ruined tower, cultists, caves, giant bugs, new monsters and new spells.

In this one, you have to stop the Dark Star coven dedicated to Natasha. 

Again the witches of Natasha are presented as clerics or you can use the BRW Witch class.

I also admit I find the modules colored in Red, Blue, and Green to be very esthetically pleasing. 

Use with my War of the Witch Queens

Given the events here I think I would combine this all into one "Super-module." They can be easily combined and it would work well.  For me I would need to decide if I needed another Iggwilv stand-in or not. I love that the first adventure uses Dispater. In my own games there is something of an open war between Dispater and Orcus. I could convert these Natashian witches into Mara or Demonic witches following Orcus. I would need to up the undead, but that is never a bad idea. Of course, I bought these BECAUSE they featured Natasha/Iggwilv. I could insert a Witch Queen as a proxy for Orcus, much like Natasha is an intermediary for the demons worshiped by the Dark Star Coven.

Ok...so this adventure is located in the Vesve Forest, sorry the Sesve Forest. That is near the Yatil MountainsYahdel Mountains where part of the third adventure takes place.  Hmm.

Ok here is what I am doing. Everything is largely the same, but I am swapping out Natasha for Xaltana, the Vampire Witch Queen. She combines elements of Iggwilv and Drelzna. Though I currently have her as a Hyperborean Witch Queen. Well, that is not a problem since I still have The Witch-Queen of Yithorium and Methyn Sarr and they are too busy fighting each other to worry about others.

Xaltana is a dead/undead Witch Queen. When the High Witch Queen is murdered she stirs enough to be able to gather followers again. She is this Oerth's Natasha (see note about an alternate reality) instead of Graz'zt/Grash’t as her paramour it will be Orcus.

Xaltana

This all gives me:

  • A chance to use Xaltana and a reworked Lost Caverns of Acheron later on.
  • A chance to play out my rivalry between Dispater and Orcus, something I will detail later.
  • Frees up Iggwilv/Natasha to do other things. 
  • Helps differentiate Xaltana from Darlessa another Vampire Witch Queen. 
  • Gives me an excuse to add more demonic powers to Xaltana.

Given this is going to be an "Alternate Universe" I might even make Adventures Dark and Deep characters for my group that are the alternates of their OSE characters. Not too difficult really. The purpose would be to make the players also feel a bit out of sorts. The rules are close enough to use for this and yet different enough. 



The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween



Thursday, October 13, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Dungeon Crawl Classics Witch Queen Adventures

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Saga of the Witch Queen
Up first is an update and an important one at that. It was while I was reviewing this adventure in 2015 that I thought that the War of the Witch Queens came to me. I figure I should revisit it now.

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Saga of the Witch Queen

PDF from DriveThruRPG. 84 pages. Monochrome cover and black & white interior art.

This is a meaty module.  84 pages, covers, maps, and OGL still leave a lot of pages for content.

First off, if you are not familiar with Dungeon Crawl Classics modules they are meant to emulate a certain feel of early 80s play.  They went on to create the game Dungeon Crawl Classics, but the adventures are still largely OSR compatible. Actually, I didn't see a single thing in this adventure that screamed ts should be used for one system or the other, though on the cover they claim "1e." That is good enough.

This adventure is actually 3 adventures in one.  Legacy of the Savage Kings, The Lost Passage of the Drow, and War of the Witch Queen (which I will discuss later).  Each one is a different part of the Witch Queen's plan.

Reading through this adventure is one part excitement for the new and one part excitement for the nostalgia.  For the new, I wanted to learn more about Kyleth (the eponymous Witch Queen and not to be confused with Keyleth) and the tome Ars Maleficus.  The nostalgia comes from many little easter eggs throughout the pages that call back to adventures of the TSR days.  I am convinced the Mad Hermit here is the same as the one in the Keep on the Borderland for example.  There are also hints of influences from Vault of the Drow, Ravenloft, and even the rest of the GDQ series.  In fact, the second adventure, "The Lost Passage of the Drow" could be slotted into the D series and no one would be the wiser.   Replace Baba Yazoth with the proper Baba Yaga and have one of the many adventures she features in as a side trek.

There are a number of named characters that would work well as witches, Maeve, Baba Yazoth, and of course Kyleth herself.   While using the title of "Witch Queen" Kyleth is only an 8th-level Magic-user.  Make her a 9th or 10th-level witch and then you have something really scary.

Does it work with The Witch? Yes, absolutely.  There is a number of great items and story points in this adventure for any witch character.  In fact, I would say that any good witch would want to see Kyleth taken out on general principle.  Plus there are a number of encounters and NPCs that would benefit from the rules in the Witch.  Night Hags get more spell-casting powers for example and the medusa can also have some levels of the witch class.

Of course, there is the issue of Kyleth being one of The Thirteen. The Thirteen most evil wizards, witches, and necromancers in the world.  She was the newest member, who are the other 12, and what are their plans?  Is anyone up for an adventure against the Legion of Doom?  I might have to come back to this idea. I can see witches, vivamancers, blood mages, evil wizards, and necromancers as part of this evil cabal. Each provides something different.


About the physical book. The book is 80 pages and printed on very heavy paper.  It is softcover, but the binding looks good. With the heavy paper and glossy cover, I expect this to hold up to wear and tear.  The cover is bound on, so no taking it off to use as a GM screen with maps.  I am glad I have this as a PDF too to print out the maps and the handouts.  I am really, really happy with this module.

UPDATE: Of course, I took this idea and ran with it making Kyleth one of the many Witch Queens that is gathering at the Tredecim. Kyleth was my first choice as the murderess of the Witch Queen, but I quickly dropped that idea. If Kyleth had kill the High Queen then her ambitions would be greater. No Kyleth is an opportunist. She sees the tide turning and decides now is her time to strike. 

Dungeon Crawl Classics #17.5: War of the Witch Queen
Dungeon Crawl Classics #17.5: War of the Witch Queen

PDF. 28 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art. 

This is the precursor to the larger Saga of the Witch Queen. I grabbed it to have a complete collection and to see if there were any differences between this and the newer version. I would still love to get my hands on a printed copy.

This adventure is designed for D&D 3.5/d20 OGC.  This means converting it to Pathfinder is really a non-issue. More to the point we can convert Kyleth from an 8th-level Sorcer to an 8th-level witch.

The main differences here between this adventure and the counterpart Saga adventure, War of the Witch Queen is that this is for D&D 3.5e and Saga is for AD&D 1e. They are the same adventures with very minor tweaks.  

Both send the PCs on a quest to stop and kill Kyleth the self-styled Witch Queen. It is a straightforward dungeon crawl. This is not a weakness, but rather its strength. 

The obvious question is do you need this one if you have Saga of the Witch Queen? I say yes since the systems are different (but can be converted). 

Lady Kyleth the Witch Queen


Use in War of the Witch Queens

Well...yeah. In fact, many of the reasons I wanted to do a War of the Witch Queens can be found here. The other obviously was my love for all these witches.

Kyleth is fun because she can be so unapologetically evil. Even if I was not doing this campaign she would be a great reoccurring antagonist.

Lady Kyleth Witch Queen



The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween



Wednesday, October 12, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc

The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc

Another witch Queen tonight and this time she comes in Pathfinder 1e and D&D 5e versions.  So let's jump right in.

The Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc

For Pathfinder 1st Edition and D&D 5th Edition.

This adventure series was Kickstarted back in 2020.  I am grabbing the versions found on DriveThruRPG. It looks like the PDFs were sent out as soon as the Kickstarter finished from what I can tell.

I will be reviewing both versions and pointing out where the differences lie.

PDF. 84 pages. Color covers and interior art. Levels 3 to 6.

Before I get into the adventure itself I do want to say something about Page 3 which covers the basics of how "Zan's Adventures" work and the layout.  I know there is no reason at all that people need to conform to a "book" layout, especially since many people will read this on some sort of device. The adventures do not follow a book layout per se, but they do add a few things. For starters, color is used more to denote different sorts of outcomes or text. This is great, unless you have some sort of Red-Green color blindness. Rare yes, but these are the things I look for.

But there are some very strong benefits here as well. For example, the NPCs, including the Witch Queen herself, are well-defined in easy-to-read blocks to aid the DM/GM while running the adventure.  Same with the locations. 

The areas are defined as our three main antagonists. It is possible that one or more are freed from their tombs to enact their evil plans. Well we have character sheets in the back for those. Also, there are other NPCs and a ton of monsters to interact with.  Now given that one of the encounters is not 1 but 2 Death Knights, I think this one should be scaled up a bit. When I run it I might use just one Death Knight with skeletal minions.

There is a whole section of possible outcomes and endings. The adventure is not quite a free-form sandbox, your locations are limited, but how the players investigate them are up to them.

The biggest differences in these two come from the NPC and Monster statblocks and how the various skill checks work. All in line with the rules of Pathfinder and D&D.

The end has maps you can print out. There is also an additional product, Map Pack for the Witch Queen of Cair Urnahc for VTTs and Roll20 in particular.  I also find these are good to print. For an extra $2.00 it is worth it to me.

There is an OGL at the end, but the author might want to swap out "DM" in their text for "GM" for OGL compliance.

All in all not a bad adventure. Pretty straight forward to be honest. There are some new monsters so that is fun. I would have liked to see some unique treasure if nothing else the Spellbook of Witch Queen Morfa.

Use in War of the Witch Queens

Evil witch queen coming back from the dead? I wonder how that could happen in my world?  Hmm...

Yes, this is a good candidate for a War of the Witch Queen adventure.It practically is begging me to use it. Since there is no POD version (yet) I can print this out and then do the 5e material on one side and the Pathfinder on the other. But that is also moot since I am going to convert the whole thing over to Old School Essentials anyway.

A note about that.  Whether by design or by happenstance (I am going with design) the game-specific material is usually confined to a single page. So doing a conversion is largely a matter of writing up (or copying) a stat block or converting a DC for a skill check into an ability check. THIS also makes the layout and design more useful to me. 

So yeah, I am rather pleased with this.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween