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Dead by Dawn (Starting)
by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2017 12:57:21

Last night, we took a break from my Tamoachan DnD 5E game so that I could run a Halloween game. I chose to run Schwalb Entertainment's Dead By Dawn adventure written by Rob Wieland for Shadow of the Demon Lord.

The adventure comes in at 6 pages and I spent about 20 minutes reading it the night before, making some notes for about 15 minutes the next day, and then a final pass about 5 mintues before we started playing later the same night.

The set up is that the Players (all starting characters or 0 level in DnD) are staying at the Goathorne Inn (The two owners pronounce it differenty, by the way) close to a road winding through a foreboding forest.

My opening scene was set a bit before dinner and gave the Players, an orc, a human ex-marine, a human student of religion and magic, and an inquisitive human healer, time to meet each other and introduce them to Gelda and Ananda, dwarven adventurers who have settled down to run the Inn and their empolyee, Bester, a fair-haired kid.

Soon, dinner was ready and Ananada asked David, the magician, to go fetch Horvath, a local staying with them, from upstairs. Horvath's door was locked and David called for help, Ananda sent the keys to the room up with Matt, the healer. After they got the door open open, they found Horvath, naked upon his bed and dead for at least 24 hours. Amongst his belongings was a fur pouch with mystical symbols, identifying it as a blood ritual to David. At that moment, Horvath rose and began uttering a curse, but Matt used his dagger to stab the corpse in the head. The pair called up the rest of the group and as they spoke about him rising as a zombie they began to hear moaning and beating upon doors and the shattering of first floor windows.

The group sprang into action and began beating back zombies in the kitchen and then fortified the rest of the house.

David learned that the ritual was a protection from an evil tree that grew in the forest and that Horvath was to complete it. He explained that if they could survive until dawn, the tree's power would collapse under the daylight and they would be safe until the next nightfall.

Dead Until Dawn presents a system for a five part siege, with each part lasting 2 hours. During each part a player can attempt to fortify, rest from fatigue, heal, work the ritual, or run for supplies. If the ritual is worked, it requires blood and the more blood offered the fewer zombies might appear for that part, however it is best to use the caster's own blood, as another's blood adds Banes (my Player's did this for 2 parts before they caught on). Fortifying can also help reduce the number of zombies that appear for that part.

After actions are declared, there a d20 table for Unusual Events which affects, often negatively, that part. Finally, there is a Threat rating for the zombies for that part, if the ritual succeeds, the number of blood spent allows the players to remove specific undead (comprised of Animated Corpses and Zombies from the SotDL rule book). The number of successful fortification roles for that part also can lower the Threat rating (which defaults to 2). Additionally, if Gelda, Ananda, or Bester help to a Player, they add Boons to the roll.

It's a well done way to organize the chaos of a zombie siege and my Players and I loved it.

My group managed to make it until dawn, as David, their magician ran very low on blood, but the Orc, Benth, spent most of the night learning the ritual so he could finish it for the last 2 hour part. Sadly, Bester died (due to a roll on the Unusual Events table that would have required someone to go outside after him).

When dawn broke, the Orc (who had suffered an insanity) and Ananda (who was already a bit unstable) left the area together. Gelda, however agreed to accompany the other into the forest to take care of the evil tree.

My one-shot has turned into a (at least) a two-parter.

I can't recommend Dead Until Dawn enough!

Great game for a great Halloween Adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dead by Dawn (Starting)
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Shadow of the Demon Lord Screen (PDF)
by Thomas Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2017 13:19:08

My rating doesn't reflect the quality of the product in any way. For the money it's a nobrainer. Approximately $7.00 gets you the digital file and you'll also receive the 8 cardstock inserts in the mail. Very nice all around. The problem stems from the fact that nobody seems to produce a 4-panel GM screen to house these things for less than $30. Add the one offered on Drive-Thru to your cart and by the time it's all said and done you've spent nearly $50.00 for a piece of plastic. Spend $50.00 to hold $7.00 worth of stuff? Crazy folks. I just can't come to terms with that in my head. For that money I'll go grab another 400 page, full color game book.

At this point my Demon Lord screen has done nothing but collect dust which makes me sad :(



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow of the Demon Lord Screen (PDF)
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Shadow of the Demon Lord
by Robin L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2017 06:37:31

Wonderfully grim setting with a simple system. The bastard child of Call of Cthulhu and D&D is a true spiritual successor to WFRP.

Loved it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow of the Demon Lord
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Terror in Freeport (SotDL)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/16/2017 12:15:54

Great addition to the SotDL family. Offers fun new adventures in Freeport as well as inspiration for ongoing campaigns.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Terror in Freeport (SotDL)
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Paths of Battle
by James M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2017 06:31:01

This contains a new expert path (the Knight) along with some small edits/buffs to the Berserker, Fighter, and Ranger form the core Rulebook. The buffs to the Fighter are especially important- the Fighter was probably the weakest of the core rulebook expert paths, so it's nice to see it brought up to speed with the rest. The Knight is a great addition, it provides some strong defensive options that had been missing from the Expert Paths.

That being said, Robert Schwalb has already said that the updates to the core classes wil be added to the core rulebook at some point, so it's personal preference whether this is worth it for the Knight and the information on the buffs right now.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Paths of Battle
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Chronicles of the Demon Lord
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2017 15:29:51

5 stories and a very quick read. I was done before I knew it. Would be better priced at a around $1.99 - $2.99 as it takes only about an hour or so to complete the entire book. The writing, while not out of this world, is very solid and each author brings their own take to the world of Urth (The official setting for "Shadow of the Demon Lord").

If I had to rank the stories I'd say that the first was my favorite. Mainly because it was evocative and portrayed a situation and characters that might easily be converted into an adventure for the game. it wa quite well done and a very enjoyable (if brief) read! Each of the other stories are right up there as well, they just didn't strike me the way the first did.

I was looking to gain a general "feel" for the world of Urth by picking these stories up, and I think that they helped in that endeavor. If you're looking for an hour or so worh of enjoyable jaunts into the world of Urth then I might pick this up. But it's most certainly not on my "must read" list for anyone. Bottom line, decent stories for a mediocre value.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of the Demon Lord
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Freeholds of Nar
by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2017 02:20:56

One of many great supplements detailing the lands of Rul!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Freeholds of Nar
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The Flute of Farewell
by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2017 02:18:49

A fun adventure built around an unusual cult and a magic flute. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Flute of Farewell
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Weight of the Underworld
by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2017 02:15:13

Great primer for what it's like in the underworld. Would-be Orpheuses, beware!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Weight of the Underworld
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Paths of Battle
by Jay W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2017 03:37:58

You get what it advertises: upgrades for the Berserker (minor), Fighter (significant), and Ranger (minor) along with the all-new Knight. The Knight fills a slot that the Paladin never quite did (IMO), and the upgrades to the Fighter make it a truly stand out choice for a warrior. I still wish it offered a bit more, but it's a good value for the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Paths of Battle
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Victims of the Demon Lord: Starter Guide
by Brian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2017 18:22:34

Just enough to give you a taste of the game, and lure you in. Actually, it's quite a lot of content for the price. I have purchased this as a gift for friends I thought might be interested. It's $2 well spent.

As another reviewer mentioned, it doesn't provide the magic or spells, but for 0 level characters, that's not a terrible issue.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victims of the Demon Lord: Starter Guide
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Ghastly Gourmands
by Vitaliy F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2017 23:40:30

Unusal story of ogres' origin =) Good variants and character creation's rules. As always =)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghastly Gourmands
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Foulest Reptiles
by Vitaliy F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2017 23:49:46

Thank you for this material! Excellent, as usual!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Foulest Reptiles
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Forbidden Fruits (Expert)
by Vitaliy F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/18/2017 08:18:10

Good and interesting enough to play it. We need moarrrr such adventures =)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Forbidden Fruits (Expert)
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Paths of Power
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2017 23:03:30

As you open the document you are treated to an attractive possibly corrupted female mage with what appears to be a Gollum-like creature on a leash. Good start as it is shown clearly through the image what you expect Paths of Power to be about. The lower half offers an introduction as to what the new series will be about. Reading that it will offer new options, enhancements, and updates to some of my favorite paths in the game is one of the main reasons I purchased the product. I absolutely love the sorcerer and spellbinder and couldn't wait to see what I could do with them now. Towards the end it introduced the occultist, a new expert path for characters that dives head first into the use of dark magic with less penalty for learning dark traditions and their spells.

The new path is very attractive. I can't wait to design some villains or tormented souls using evil for good reasons. This class is also what appears to be what the female on the front cover is seeing as you level up you eventually gain a gain servant that clearly matches the description of the creature she has leashed. The fact that you no longer gain corruption from discovering dark magic or learning dark spells makes the option to go down a darker path as a "hero" much more attractive as you feel less(at least for myself) like you're just screwing yourself and the group over. I really love the new path.

The 4 pages left went over the sorcerer, spellbinder, warlock, and wizard. I'm not sure if maybe I missed something after going over it in comparison to the core rulebook but the updates seem to be better worded descriptions of path abilities. If I am missing something please let me know as this is the reason why I can't give this a higher score. I was anticipating at least one or two variations to an expert path similar to what Uncertain faiths did for the priest novice path based on the wording used in the description of the product. The only difference I have found has been the spellbinders spell "spellbound weapon" that offers an added affect that allows you to give up spells to do more damage with an attack from the weapon.

For the price I'd say you're not losing anything. The updates are better worded than their original from the core rulebook. From the description of the product I do feel let down that the only new thing I received was a new expert path. Overall, a little more than a dollar for it wasn't bad just disappointing.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Paths of Power
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