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Castles & Crusades U1 Shadows of the Halfling Hall
by Katrina R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/14/2010 07:49:41

A nice, relatively straightforward, low level adventure that is perfect for when you mostly want to bash skeletons in with an ax.


That being said, there is enough detail laid out in the town and surrounding areas, including NPCs, that a campaign or a series of adventures could be built around the town and the people living there.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades U1 Shadows of the Halfling Hall
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Tainted Lands
by Timothy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2010 12:21:10

Tries to be "Ravenloft, but darker" and fails. Interesting use of the Castles and Crusades core mechanic and could be made to work with Ravenloft for the C&C fan. If you like dark fantasy horror and are curious about C&C then this is your game. Otherwise I was a bit disappointed in it.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tainted Lands
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Castles & Crusades 2010 Primer & Quick Start
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2010 22:51:29

A nice little quick-start. Does what it sets out to (introduce the Castles & Crusades RPG in a free format), and includes both the game basics and a short adventure. A couple of editing tics are annoying but not deal-breakers.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades 2010 Primer & Quick Start
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Harvesters
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/26/2010 10:31:32

Troll Lord Games has released Harvesters, their RPG with rabbits, squirrels and other furry critters in PDF format. So, what do you get for your hard earned bucks?


You get a nicely written version of the Castles & Crusades rules that are aren't going to overwhelm your kids, yet should still maintain the interests of the parents. We get most of the C&C classes represented in the rules, and advancement thru level 6. If your campaign was going to go beyond that, you'd need to reach over and flip thru the Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook.


The 66 page book includes character races, classes, spells, equipment, core rules, adversaries and even an adventure and campaign world. A lot crammed into a small number of pages.


Is it worth the price tag? If you have young kids that are interested in Role Playing Games, this might be a very good entry vehicle, especially if the GM/DM/CK is already familiar with 3.5e or any of the clones of the older D&D games (including Harvesters' direct parent, Castles and Crusades). It might even play well as a short term diversion for more adult oriented gaming groups.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Harvesters
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Harvesters
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/25/2010 10:30:30

Harvesters is billed as an RPG for all ages, and they recommend players be six or over. After my 7 year old daughter went decidedly nuts over the hard copy I had in my bag, I'd have to say the folks at Troll Lord Games are on to something.


Based on the Castles & Crusaders system, which runs on the Siege Engine, which is based on the OGL - Harvesters is firmly grounded in a long line of RPG wisdom. You could look at this game as a boiled down version of D&D 3.5. It's got all the basics, but framed in the point of view of small woodland creatures and simplified to the point where kids will be able to participate.


Harvesters includes everything you'll need to run a game in the world of Wheat Hollow. There's enough to create a number of different characters based on class/race (with races like Squirrel and Otter). The Castle Keeper (C&C speak for GM) has at their hands a number of monsters, bad guys and NPCs as well as a complete adventure in this book. Also contained within are a number of full color maps and a nice character sheet.


While they do bill this as a game for the whole family, an adult or older child will need to interpret rules for the younger set.


Overall the book is well written and well organized. Most of the artwork is good but some leaves a bit to be desired. The maps are nice, use a hex grid to display 15' areas but print out to small for the use of miniatures, if that's your thing. Lastly, the book at it's current price strikes me as a little pricey for a 66 page PDF. Still, this reads easy, has my 7 year old very excited to try out her first RPG and would be easy for an experienced RPG player/GM to pickup and run in an evening. Someone new to RPGs wouldn't be intimated by this and could be running after a day or two of reading.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades 2010 Primer & Quick Start
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/24/2010 19:17:33

This was Troll Lord Games Free RPG for 2010. If you haven't tried C&C yet, this is an easy way to check it out. If you have played C&C, this is an easy way to show your friends. Does what it sets out to do... intro the C&C rules.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades 2010 Primer & Quick Start
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Castles & Crusades U1 Shadows of the Halfling Hall
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/07/2010 03:22:13

The Mayor went up to feast at Willic Brambletoe's hall, then the Reeve went to see what happened to the Mayor - and none of them ever came back .. A nicely detailed village setting around an introductory short dungeon bash with a couple of interesting new monsters, plus an optional extended encounter. I received a copy of this adventure through the Gamers Helping Haiti bundle.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades U1 Shadows of the Halfling Hall
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Castles & Crusades Quick Start Rules
by Matthew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2010 22:40:03

This product is what D&D should be. It basically makes 3.5 D&D alot easier.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Quick Start Rules
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Tainted Lands
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2009 10:18:08

Well, I just wrote a lengthy review that was devoured by rpgnow requiring me to sign in a second time (timed out I guess) and I lack the energy to rewrite this, so I'll just do a summary:


Style/Presentation: there are 5 books included but they are not indexed. The artwork is good, although the new artist's style took a bit of adjusting to get used to. As with all Troll Lords products it could have used a bit more editing. There is confusion on the extra prime rules introduced in the book.


Stand-Alone Usefulness: The book includes a C&C quickstart rules set but the game is clearly written for use with the main books, and so this is of limited usefulness. It works great as a specific campaign setting for C&C, but it is very high powered, and using much of this material in standard C&C games requires careful consideration.


Usefulness as a Horror Setting: This game is clearly inspired by Ravenloft, but it is much closer thematically to the movie Van Helsing or Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. I would also suggest this was a great resource for a Castlevania style game. Characters in this game are tough, very tough. They face slavering hordes of monsters that are just as tough, however; it's a strange mix that felt like a "fantasy heavy metal" take on horror to me.


Contents: Four new classes, a ton of new magic items, gear and spells, a detailed overview of the demiplane and a scenario for 4th level characters that will put them through the wringer of a haunted former keep turned inn turned bastion of EVIL. There is also a PDF with class-based character records and a quickstart rulebook that is more useful as a hand-out to players new to the whole RPG thing than to running the boxed set as is.


Overall: James Ward knows how to write a fun old-school sourcebook. It's not for people who find and crave balance, nor is it for people who learned everything they ever knew about role playing games within the last six years; if you were gaming in the 80's you will grokk what this set is about and appreciate what it's trying to accomplish. It;s very accessible and full of weird over-the-top ideas. Well worth the attention of old school and C&C fans alike. I could also see this being converted to a more modern game like Pathfinder with minor work involved. Fans of WoD games need not apply, this is a brand of heavy metal dark fantasy that has little to do with the precepts of the White Wolf brand names; likewise if you come to this expecting a Ravenloft supplement with the serial numbers filed off you will only be partially correct; the Tainted Lands is closer to James Ward's homebrew Ravenloft, I suspect, than anything else, and the higher overall power level of this game means it will most definitely play out like some sort of dark heroic fantasy than gothic horror.


Style: 4/5 -- good art, good layout, needs some errata and editing
Rules: 3/5 -- useful for its internal setting, harder to adapt a lot of it to a standard C&C game
Readability: 5/5 -- James Ward's relaxed and casual style of writing is a pleasure to read and made this more engaging than many existing C&C modules
Overall: 4/5 -- I'm using this for a Tainted Lands campaign "as is", the wacky concepts within make for a singularly unique over-the-top splatterfest campaign; if you like old-school and this sounds intriguing, grab it!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tainted Lands
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Castles & Crusades Of Gods & Monsters
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2009 12:41:51

This is an "old school" approach to gods in fantasy gaming and C&C in particular, and a product I have been looking forward to for some time. If you were disappointed with the 3.0 edition of Dieties & Demigods as having far too few deities/pantheons and far too large a set of stat blocks, then this book will appeal to you.


Of Gods & Monsters includes fantasy pantheons for the various races (including goblinoids, gnomes, elves, dwarves, and halflings), the Airdhe pantheon (the default setting of many C&C modules) and a large sampling of real world mythologies, including Japanese, Indian, Roman, Greek, Celtic, Norse, Aztec, American Indian, and Egyptian. Each section provides a representative collection of the deities from each pantheon as well as statistics for their avatars (kind of like it was done in 2nd edition AD&D's Legends * Lore). A plethora of new monsters relevant to each pantheon are included, making this a good addition to C&C's Monsters & Treasures book, as well. A load of new spells are also included, and each deity entry includes suggested benefits clerics of the god might receive.


The plus side of this book is obvious: a convenient grouping of gods from real-world mythology as well as some ready made fictional pantheons, easily inserted in to whatever campaign world you desire. The book is gorgeously illustrated throughout, and has all of Troll Lord's signature artists involved, giving a nice range of variation. As always I enjoyed Bradley's art, but the new arist (who ilustrated the Norse pantheon) did some reall cool stuff here, and I really like his style; it's grown on me quite a bit since Tainted Lands.


The down side of this book isn't really a down side unless you're part of the newer generation of gamers who are accustomed to rigidly balanced mechanics. Many of the new clerical abilities, spells and even some monsters/avatars in this book have interesting stats and approaches. Some struck me as peculiar or potentially unbalanced (not many, just a few). From my perspective as an older gamer this is not an issue; C&C runs like older edition versions of D&D, and those did not arc everything along a specific line of balance. Likewise, C&C is famous for encouraging house rules and customization, so if something seems wonky, excluding or changing it does not cause problems. Personally, I've found nothing with which I had issue here, but then again I'm a more story-focused GM/CK so this book's range of diverse pantheons and ideas will greatly benefit my play style. If you are obsessed with balance, however, you might find some things odd or annoying.


Also, the book could have used a second edit. There were some typos that stood out in certain spots. That said, it's still orders of magnitude better than the 1st printing C&C Player's Handbook in terms of look and editing.


In the end, I would reccommend this book to all C&C players and also to OSRIC/Labyrinth Lord/older edition D&D gamers, as this book would prove equaly useful to such games, I feel. I actually plan to use it in reference to my Pathfinder games, as well.


Overall rating:
Usefulness 5/5
Mechanics 4/5
Presentation/Art: 5/5
Editing: 3/5
Value for the Dollar: 5/5
Overall: 5/5



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Of Gods & Monsters
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Castles & Crusades: Monstrous Menaces #1: Gharlidh, Grulnosc, and Rocktopus
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2009 22:15:41

Interesting baddies for my C&C game, but I can see how they could be easily ported to several different classic-feel fantasy RPGs. For a buck, totally worth it for the Castles & Crusades gamer.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades: Monstrous Menaces #1: Gharlidh, Grulnosc, and Rocktopus
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Castles & Crusades: 100 Calamitous Curses
by Kenneth H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2009 20:35:10

While curses are typically a small part of most RPGs, even traditional fantasy RPGs, this product immediately forced me to think of ways to use it and use it often. Creative and useful, this book is a treat. Far from being a hindrance at the game table, these curses give the characters a problem to solve and provide the seeds for some unusual adventuring and role play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades: 100 Calamitous Curses
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Castles & Crusades: Monstrous Menaces #5: Chupacabra, Felpha, and Olgoi-Khorkhoi
by Kenneth H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2009 12:16:31

The fifth in the series of Monstrous Menaces meets the same standards of quality and usefulness set by the previous four Monstrous Menaces. The author, James Mishler, provides interesting and unique characteristics for each monster that translates directly into actual game play. You get plenty of ecological information and tactical details that all add richness to the game without overworking the harried GM/DM/CK/Ref.


The three creatures in this particular set are very flexible and useful. The monsters are setting neutral--despite the detail provided, the GM/DM/CK/Ref will not have to "translate" anything to fit this critters into their campaign setting. And, despite the Castles & Crusades template, can fit right into any traditional fantasy role playing game with minimal work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades: Monstrous Menaces #5: Chupacabra, Felpha, and Olgoi-Khorkhoi
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Castles & Crusades: Monstrous Menaces #4: Hribixul, Memnech, and Quasi-Dragon
by Kenneth H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2009 12:10:54

The fourth in the series of Monstrous Menaces maintains the quality of the previous three offerings. The author, James Mishler, provides interesting and unique characteristics for each monster that translates directly into actual game play. You get plenty of ecological information and tactical details that all add richness to the game without overworking the harried GM/DM/CK/Ref.


The hribixul is a great wilderness monster that will be a challenge for any party of adventurers. The memnech is less likely to be used as a random creature, but gives the GM/DM/CK/Ref a nice creature to when a campaign needs direct interaction by otherwise distant and removed deities. The quasi-dragon is similar to the pseudo-dragon in name only--the quasi-dragon being a large, primitive dragon-like creature (maybe the missing link between large reptiles and the dragon?).


The monsters are setting neutral--despite the detail provided, the GM/DM/CK/Ref will have a set of monsters that are usable in almost an campaign setting. And, despite the Castles & Crusades template, can fit right into any traditional fantasy role playing game with minimal work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades: Monstrous Menaces #4: Hribixul, Memnech, and Quasi-Dragon
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Castles & Crusades: Monstrous Menaces #3: Akhlat, Oogloog, and Woodwose
by Kenneth H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2009 10:39:15

The third is the series of Monstrous Menaces does not disappoint. The author, James Mishler, provides interesting and unique characteristics for each monster that translates directly into actual game play. You get plenty of ecological information and tactical details that all add richness to the game without overworking the harried GM/DM/CK/Ref.


The previous Monstrous Menaces monsters were setting neutral--despite the detail provided, the GM/DM/CK/Ref will have a set of monsters that are usable in almost an campaign setting. And, despite the Castles & Crusades template, can fit right into any traditional fantasy role playing game with minimal work. I'm not sure that I can say the same with these three creatures in Monstrous Menaces #3. We still get the same attention to detail as in the previous Monstrous Menaces releases, but I am not sure that any of the three of these creatures could be useful in every campaign. However, for those looking to add something unusual to their game, these creatures fit the bill.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades: Monstrous Menaces #3: Akhlat, Oogloog, and Woodwose
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