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Advanced Adventures #1: The Pod-Caverns of the Sinister Shroom
by Johnny H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/18/2006 00:00:00

Having known about the OSRIC project, and having kept up with it's progress via discussion on the Dragonsfoot forums, I was interested to take a look ath the Pod Caverns module and see how Expeditious Retreat Press had handled the first release done under the OSRIC umbrella.

I downloaded this product with the hopes of actually converting it to the Castles & Crusades system for a play-by-email campaign I am about to start for my gaming group (as opposed to using it for with the 1st Edition rules a lot of us grew up playing). However, after reading through the module tonight, I will probably be using the original game.

I got such a nostalgic feeling when I saw the font, and read the text of the module, that it actually pulled me back to those summers where AD&D was king, and the only game we played...and play it we did, for countless summer hours.

I really enjoyed reading through the module, and feel that it does an excellent job of capturing the feeling of those early modules created for the AD&D game.

<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: The old-school look of the font and imagery. The actual setting of the module and way it was written to get the characters into the adventure with no muss and fuss...It's a cavern waiting to be explored without a lot of extraneous background. It's up to the Dungeon Master to fill in the background of his campaign, not this module.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: I don't enjoy buying PDF products. I wanted the print version, but it's not available yet....so about the only thing I didn't like was the fact that I will be buying this module twice...the PDF and the print copy. What can I say, I like it that much.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Adventures #1: The Pod-Caverns of the Sinister Shroom
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A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe
by Benoit B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/03/2006 00:00:00

Nothing more should be said on this excellent product. It is a must-have for any serious DM running "verisimilitude" medieval campaigns.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: There is as much deeply descriptive text as there are tables and practical rules to implement the background information. City layout, economic simulation, estate production yields and financial benefits, can be neatly and easily computed using the methods provided in the book.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The influence point system to define the influence centers in a city is not so well explained and does not seem completely self-consistent. However you can easily work yourself around this flaw.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe
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Seeds: Sci-Fi
by Matthew F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2006 00:00:00

Great idea, good concept. More than just ideas for RPGs... ideas for short stories and novels and stuff. Multifunctinoal goodness!<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Seeds: Sci-Fi
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Seeds: Sci-Fi II
by Matthew F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2006 00:00:00

Very handy. Its good to see that anyone can contribute almost anything.

Also try randomly picking three or four, and have them as seperate plots in stories... teh challenge being to intertwine them.

<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Seeds: Sci-Fi II
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Seeds: Sci-Fi III
by Matthew F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2006 00:00:00

Short sharp and shiny. Helpful with one off adventures, side missions and also for story fan/fic writing. Very useful.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Seeds: Sci-Fi III
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Seeds Compilation: Supers I-V
by Richard F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/19/2006 00:00:00

This is nice set of ideas for any superhero style game. I found that the first few ideas spurred my imagination into gear and come up a few different directions for them. I would recommend this to anyone that need a bit of inspiration for your adventures.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Would have liked a portrait version for the print out, not a landscape version with no borders.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Seeds Compilation: Supers I-V
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A Magical Society: Beast Builder
by Robert M. J. Date Added: 06/28/2006 13:24:29

Going into this book I was wondering if it had what I, as a 30 vet of D&D, would want in a monster creation type tome.

Well, I was happliy suprised by how indepth it really goes. Mind you if your not into learning game mechanics your going to find it a very long and pretty dull read but they also warn you as the reader of this fact and they are right.

The mechanics discused in this book are very indepth and comprehensive. It deals with ground up creation of monsters in all settings and lists LOTS of verried options for any level of diffeculty and experience.

They also put a random monster generator appendix in the back of the book consisting of many charts.

I think the only thing I may say is a draw back of this system is the math you have to do to calculate DC for the creatures you create. It's something Enistine might enjoy looking at.

Over all a great book and one of the most worthwhile RPG suppliments I have bought in a long time!

Great work Expeditious Retreat Press!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Magical Society: Beast Builder
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A Magical Society: Beast Builder
by Andrew B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/28/2006 00:00:00

A Magical Society: Beast Builder is one of my favorite d20 books. It?s easily one of the three or so best PDF products that I own. While it might not be for everyone, it does what it sets out to do with absolutely flying colors.

Never in the history of gaming has it been so easy to self-publish an RPG supplement. The portability of the PDF format combined with the openness of the d20 license allows designers of expand on a lot of niche products. The end result is some great products that boldly go in directions that Wizards of the Coast doesn?t have the interest or the pagecount to explore. Things that were once esoteric in D&D are now open to the masses.

MS: Beast Builder is a book devoted to one thing: d20 monster design. The authors have done a great job reverse-engineering the how and why of d20 monsters and compiling everything into one easy to use resource. Monster design can often involve flipping through multiple books, cross-referencing creature special abilities, and comparing and contrasting stats. With all the nuance and detail in third edition, its easy to make mistakes when making new monsters, a truism that even Wizards of the Coast have trouble escaping.

Expeditious Retreat Press has taken all of the guesswork out of monster design. MS: Beast Builder compiles all the rules relevant to creature creation into one source. Need to rate a new animal?s natural AC? Simply find its hide (or scales, or whatever) on the Estimating Natural Armor chart. Need the list of skill synergy bonuses? It?s right here on page 76.

In addition to the raw data, MS: Beast Builder gives plenty of advice. Each statistic (base attack bonus, types of attacks, saves) is explained with game mechanics, advice on how the stat might affect Challenge Rating, and examples from the core rules. Rules that I often need to look up during monster design are explained here as well. For example, what happens when a creature with natural weapons also wields a sword? MS: Beast Builder gives you a clear, easy to find explanation of the rules. Even ?non-crunchy? bits like name and concept get some attention. There is advice on making your creatures unique, various roles that monsters fill in the context of the game, and plenty of examples from the core rules.

The book also contains a number of appendices with useful charts, checklists, and a random monster generation system. Its pretty good stuff. I find the monster creation checklist is particularly useful for helping me avoid common mistakes in my work.

While the brunt of this book is concerned with the nuts and bolts of monster design, the first 50 odd pages are devoted to the ecology and environment of animals in the real world and how these things translate into the reality of the d20 system. The book contains a fairly in-depth primer on how ecosystems work and why animals evolve the way they do.

This section is full of examples of real world creatures whose strange abilities and characteristics would fit right in with the monsters in a typical fantasy campaign. Anyone looking to develop somewhat more realistic creatures, or at least design monsters that give a nod to a realistic ecology will find this section useful. It?s well-written, informative, and a pretty entertaining read.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: This book has saved me a great deal of time and helped me eliminate a lot of small errors when designing monsters. The stats are spot on, the organization is good, and the advice is very useful.

If you?re designing a lot of monsters, and you want to do things right, I can?t recommend this product enough.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Magical Society: Beast Builder is a niche product. If you aren?t interested in monster design, or you prefer to trade technical accuracy for speed, this probably isn?t the book for you.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture
by william e. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2006 00:00:00

I bought this book a while ago, and had not ahd a chance to use or read it for a while. I REALLY wish I had read it right off the bat, as it is an invaluable resource for any GM, or even an aspiring writter building his own world. As with any Exped. Retreat product, it is very well laid out, and even more well thought out. One of the most excellent tools you can purchase.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture
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A Magical Society: Silk Road
by Anna D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2006 00:00:00

Another excellent product by Expeditious Retreat. Just in time too, since I'm working on something that includes caravans and caravan routes.

<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Good information on caravans and what they carry.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Nothing to dislike.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Magical Society: Silk Road
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World Building Library: Fantasy Racial Foods
by Jeff T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2006 00:00:00

An interesting read for a few minutes. I printed this off and read it while waiting for the dentist in his office (no joke). It gives the reader a few decent ideas, but is not much more than a typical article you would find in a magazine. I'm glad it wasn't expensive<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: The comparison of racial foods to modern day ethnic foods<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Could have used many more examples of foods and meals. I would have like charts that I could use to determine meals.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
World Building Library: Fantasy Racial Foods
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1 on 1 Adventures #1: Gambler's Quest
by Paul R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2006 00:00:00

I'd like to able to fill this box in without having to put anything in this comment box, alas I cannot- I apologise but I've not got a lot of free time and yet I want to rate the products.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
1 on 1 Adventures #1: Gambler's Quest
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1 on 1 Adventures #2: The Star of Olindor
by Paul R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2006 00:00:00

I'd like to able to fil this box in without having to put anything in this coment box, alas I cannot- I apologise but I've not got a lot of free time and yet I want to rate the products.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
1 on 1 Adventures #2: The Star of Olindor
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Seeds: Supers II
by John T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2006 00:00:00

I was very disapppointed with this copy of Seeds. In my opinion the majority of the plot seeds are difficult to integrate into an existing campaign. Many of them rely on other super teams, deaths of superheroes, etc. I only found a couple of seed that I liked.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: There are a couple of seeds that I could use.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Many of the seeds are not easy to integrate into existing campaigns.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Disappointing<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Disappointed<br>



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Seeds: Supers II
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Monster Geographica: Underground
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/31/2006 00:00:00

Monster Geographica Underground (MGU) is a PDF by Expeditious Retreat. They are best known for their PDF/Book a Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe. As with that they break new ground by offering a new type of monster book. MGU focuses on creatures that can be found underground and while this is not anything new in itself (see Monster of the Endless Dark for example), this is compilation of previously released monsters. About half of the monsters had yet to be updated to 3.5 before this volume. All the monsters have been edited to make sure that they are done properly and all the little errors are nonexistent. The book offers two hundred monsters in this 200 pages of text. And its all text as to conserve on space and price no art except the cover appears in the PDF.

The PDF comes in a zip file a little under five megs in size. Inside are three different PDFs. The first is the cover done in full color and by Ravindra Rana. The other two are the bulk of the book one in designed for on the screen and the other designed to be printed. One of the highlights for me is the book marks. This is possible the most concise book marking I have seen. One of the great things they did was have the monsters listed three ways in the book marks. They are listed by challenge rating, alphabetically, and by creature type. That is a great way to make sure the creatures can be found with ease. However, there is no art. As I said they did not include art for cost and size reasons. I can understand that, but monsters are nice to have pictures of. It is just easier to envision some of these creatures using a picture then the written descriptions. There are two hundred creatures here. I am not sure exactly how many monsters are found in the other monster books, but two hundred does sound like a good amount. They range in challenge rating from one fourth to twenty. Creature types are also very varied. One really good thing that they include is flora and fauna. These are a great addition for people who want exotic but not always deadly plants to enhance their world. MGU is a very good monster book. The stats of the creatures were specifically all checked and redone when necessary to ensure accuracy. The two hundred monsters that come from a few dozen different sources brings together the creatures one needs to populate the underground.

<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Geographica: Underground
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