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36 NPC Secrets
by Micah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2014 08:43:51
Good, worth the purchase but has some short comings.

So the product is not bad but this company's products are often better. The secrets are interesting but obvious choices. The ones that most people who sat down and tried to make this product would come up with. There are a few good ones.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
36 NPC Secrets
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Unusual Magic Items
by Micah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2014 06:46:19
One of my favorite purchases on RPG now. SS brings life to its magic items, they are meaningful and creative. You're gonna dig the "Chela of Severing". Also another great product of this type is "10+ Treasures" from Awful Good Games.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Unusual Magic Items
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14 Traps
by Micah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2014 10:34:07
Scavenger Studios is fantastic I have purchased all of their products and have not been disappointed. This product actually diagrams the traps and mechanisms within each trap. It is a great DM resource.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
14 Traps
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36 NPC Secrets
by Darryl J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2013 21:39:46
I was very pleased with this product. When first opening the book, the formatting and smart layout caught my eye. Each secret has a clear heading, that is very noticeable.

But what I really enjoyed is the plug-n-play nature of this content. These nasty little secrets will work with any game. Quite a few of the secrets have a suggestion, detailing how someone with said secret could come into play, and the havoc they would cause.

I heartily recommend this product.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
36 NPC Secrets
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Guide to Insanity (Pathfinder version)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/25/2011 20:51:10
Ok let's talk about the good first. The artwork here is fantastic, it almost seems too bad it is in a FRPG book and not a Horror RPG book where I think the style is better suited.
The book in not very expensive, and even then a percentage is going to UNICEF. So props all around.

Now on to what I don't like. For me, sanity rules have no place in a Fantasy RPG like Pathfinder. While they are presented here as an affliction and not a Drawback; that is both effect your character negatively, one gives you back points.
The sanity save is similar in construction to that of True20 and other d20 variants, so that is good. But there are some funky rules in there as well (number of insanities equal to half your Wisdom, so wiser people can be crazier?)
There is a spell, which is basically a form of curse which looks right, to cause madness. There is also the means of restoring mental balance.

The insanities themselves are a mixed bag. It also seems that the random table would treat each one roughly equal, but a casual glance at the afflictions themselves show they are not. Some are outright derangements and others are mostly mental quirks. Some of the phobias are a little too modern to be appropriate to the setting.

The biggest issue I have with insanity in a FRPG is that insanity as a concept did not exist till mid-late 19th century. Prior to that anything we would call "insane" (and that's a legal definition mind you, not a medical one) would have been called something else. In a Pathfinder world it is more likely that they are possessed by demons or imbalanced humors or floating organs.

In the real world mental illnesses are debilitating without proper treatment, which often includes psychotherapy and drugs. They work in horror games, but not so much in fantasy ones.

The book is attractive and a lot of work went into it. If you want to add insanities to your Pathfinder or d20 game then this is a good choice.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Guide to Insanity (Pathfinder version)
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The village crisis
by David B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2011 02:09:39
This is a great adventure. Much better than other adventures I have purchased. It has a nice plot, relatively open ended and a couple of interwoven threads without feeling too locked down. It is not combat focused, but there is some opportunity for combat. I would definitely buy another from this writer.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The village crisis
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The village crisis
by Brian L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/06/2011 07:11:43
I like it! The adventure is well written with colorful NPCs and a complex plot. I like the fact that the author donates all royalties to UNICEF.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
36 NPC Secrets
by Christopher L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2010 19:39:54
Very cool ideas to really make your NPCs lifelike and memorable. I would highly recommend this to any GM/DM who is looking for something to spice up his characters!

As the other reviewer mentioned, there are some pretty perverse secrets contained within this PDF. But, to be honest, that's what typically makes a secret. Having a secret fantasy of coloring pictures of donkey's isn't interesting, however, having an attraction to corpses or to having a drug addiction, now that's interesting!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
36 NPC Secrets
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14 Traps
by Christopher L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2010 19:32:51
Cool traps with some gruesome 'side effects'...

My only complaint, and this is really my fault for not assuming this, is that these traps are all for fantasy games. Whether its magic scrolls or hidden traps inside of treasure chests, these traps are certainly not universal. But again, I should probably have assumed this.

Otherwise these 14 traps are well explained and drawn wonderfully!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
14 Traps
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36 NPC Secrets
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/26/2010 12:05:03
Iron Nugget
36 NPC Secrets morbidly provides some useful secrets that can be used for NPCs, primarily for modern campaigns and, even then, those with serious adult themes. The PDF starts off great, with a decent format explaining the secret and a Suggestion of how it can be used. But a good many of the secrets veer off into adventure hook land and some, such as cannibalism and Pedophile feel incredibly adult to be in a PDF.

The Iron Word
The author has some good ideas, and this book works primarily for modern campaigns with adult themes and more realistically dark characters.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
36 NPC Secrets
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36 NPC Secrets
by Dave H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2010 06:38:12
I must say that I don't agree. I actually found the secrets quite useful when writing adventures

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
36 NPC Secrets
by selcuk g. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2010 23:26:47
I bought this after reading the reviews of other products. The price was low, and donated to UNICEF. Unfortunately the contents are a total failure. If you are going to be satisfied by a NPC's secret that she is a thief, or a crossbreed, or one of the listed mental illnesses, then go ahead. You will be donating to a good cause. But if you are expecting imaginative content then stay away from this and make your donation directly.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
14 Traps
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/28/2009 14:20:39
When it comes to major hazards that an enterprising GM can fill a dungeon with, it’s easy to find sourcebooks filled with the obvious answers. Folios of new monsters top the list, with books of wicked new spells (all the better to have NPCs cast on your heroes) following closely behind. Traps, however, rarely get this sort of attention, and that’s a shame because traps can be some of the worst threats a character can face; this is especially true regarding purely mechanical traps – in a world where monsters can morph into furniture, or a long-cast magic spell can suddenly turn you into ashes, it’s easy to forget that a well-designed series of pulleys, chains, and a blade or two can quickly bring severe misfortune to a character. If you’re looking for something along those lines, then look no further, as 14 Traps, from Scavenger Studios, delivers on that score.

Before we go any further, let’s examine the technical workings of this nefarious libram. Eighteen pages long, the PDF does have full bookmarks, which is good, but they have all been labeled as “traps5,” which limits their usefulness in ease of navigation. Page borders of intricate machinery twine their way of the sides of each page, meeting along the top of them in the countenance of a metallic skull. Beyond this, each page has illustrations in the form of diagrams showing how the trap on that page works. There is no printer-friendly version of the document, but I’m waiving my usual objection to such an omission simply because the diagrams are necessary to understanding how these traps operate.

Having said all of that, there’s one thing that needs to be made absolutely clear about this book: it’s system-neutral. Despite being released under the Open Game License (which isn’t reproduced in the product, though the d20 STL is), there are no statistics of any kind to be found here – not the damage the traps inflict, not the DCs for detecting or disarming them, and not for how to construct them. I’m assuming this was on purpose, despite the licensing for this book, and so am not holding that against it. This is a diabolical book of traps for whatever kind of game you’re running.

Regarding what kinds of traps you’ll find here, the table of contents artificially breaks them up into four sections: literary traps (books or scrolls that are trapped), booby-trapped containers (things like trapped chests), solitary traps (traps set into the surrounding area, such as blades that pop out of walls), and doors of doom (trapped doors/doorways). The former two sections have three traps each, while the latter two have four. Thus, you have traps for whatever circumstance you’re looking for.

As for the traps themselves, let me tell you: these are nasty (in a good way)! When you’ve got traps with titles like “groin gouger” or “face ripper” you know you’re dealing with things much worse than just a spiked pit! Each trap is purely mechanical in function, which makes their varied designs very impressive for their ingenuity. While most are lethal, or at least designed to inflict serious harm to their victims, a few, such as the handcatcher chest, are designed to restrain would-be thieves, allowing for a nice bit of variance.

Overall, this book presents a diverse series of traps that display a fiendishly twisted imagination in how they’re constructed, all without magic (which I think broadens their appeal). They make lack system stats, but the originality and excellent displays won me over regardless. If you like springing traps on your PCs, this is a book that you should definitely pick up.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
14 Traps
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Unusual Magic Items
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/31/2009 21:50:18
It’s something of a necessary evil that magic items aren’t that magical in a standard d20 game. Special abilities are listed by cost, after all, and trying to give an in-game explanation for what the heck the +5 on a longsword +5 is can give even an experienced GM headaches. That’s the price one pays for playing a game where the mechanics link up so tightly, and really it’s not that bad – but every so often, we’ve all wished for magic items that weren’t quite so cut-and-dried. Enter Scavenger Studios’ Unusual Magic Items.

Unusual Magic Items presents thirteen new magic items, all of a variety that you’ve never seen before. In fact, these strange things have no real unifying theme other than how odd – and in some cases, downright bizarre – they are. For example, the Sling of the Scalper makes the wielder and his victim less real to everyone else, while to them everyone else becomes less real, effectively isolating them together, whereas Bonegnawer’s Fang removes a randomly-determined bone from an enemy. Weird-o-matic!

The strength of the book is that each item is fairly unconventional in what it does. Most accomplish things that are completely unrelated to combat encounters (though there’s at least one item here that’s very combat-focused, and others can be used that way), being much more esoteric in what they accomplish. That said, none of these are powerful to the point of being unbalancing; that’s not where the book’s problem lies. Rather, the problem is that eschewing the standard method for d20 magic items is a double-edged sword. The standard information regarding magic items is entirely absent here – don’t expect any information on how to craft these magic items, for instance, nor their aura, market price, caster level, etc. It really works much easier if you simply think of all of them as being minor artifacts.

Beyond that, the book did have some technical errors. I saw at least one sentence, for example, that was left unfinished, and in a few places it seemed like salient details were missing (such as a poison that reduces the victim’s Intelligence by “?????????????”). It also would have been nice if there’d been bookmarks to each of the magic items, though I mention that for a book this brief only because I think all PDFs should have them.

All things considered, Unusual Magic Items has its heart in the right place – it does a good job presenting new items that are outside the proverbial box. The problem is that in doing so it loses the familiar and reliable trappings that come from being in that box, and that might cause trouble for GM’s who play by the book. A smattering of errors doesn’t help much either. That said, these are all minor problems that can be overcome with minimal effort, which makes it a shame that the authors didn’t go and make that effort themselves. Still, the strange thingamajigs here are quite flavorful, and in a d20 game, which so often devolves into little more than combat via algebra, that’s a bit of magic all by itself.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unusual Magic Items
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