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Dungeon Crawl Classics: Saga of the Witch Queen
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/02/2015 11:25:49

A longer review is posted here: http://theothers-
ide.timsbrannan.com/


This is a meaty module. 84 pages, covers, maps and OGL still leave a lot of pages for material.
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 screamed is should be used for one system or the other.

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. 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 the tome Ars Maleficus. The nostalgia comes from many little easter eggs through out 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 are 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 witch.


Of course there is the one 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? 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 part of this evil cabal. Each providing something different.

Seriously, there is so much fun stuff here I can't wait to try it out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics: Saga of the Witch Queen
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The Evil of Witches Fen
Publisher: Taskboy Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/02/2015 10:31:37

More detail reviews are here: http://theothers-
ide.timsbrannan.com/


This adventure is really more of hex-sandbox. It is two pages and the central conceit is the characters are stranded here till the next boat arrives so they might as well figure out why the place is dying. There are some suggested quests and some points of interest. There are a couple of witches mentioned. The Gray Lady is the spectre of an old witch. She is also a quest. Dispatch her to help bring the area back from extinction. There is also the remains of a witch cult. They are not described in any detail.
This is a pay what you want product, then by all mean plop down a buck for it. At two pages (no title page or ogl) there is a still a lot here. You can find out more at the author's website: http://games.taskboy.-
com/#tbg-b

Does it work with The Witch? Yes. Only in teh respect that the adventure has so little detail that it works with anything. Now for some people this is perfect. Indeed I can see a number of sessions based on these two pages alone. You can drop it into any game as a break from the regular campaign. But if you want more meat to your module then this might not be for you.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Evil of Witches Fen
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The Ruins of Ramat (S&W)
Publisher: Arcana Creations
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/02/2015 10:20:37

More detailed review at http://theothers-
ide.timsbrannan.com/


This one is for Swords & Wizardry, but can be played in any OSR game really.

14 pages, 2 mapes, cover, ogl. This is the S&W conversion of the Castles & Crusades adventure.
The adventure is a good introductory adventure for players and low level characters. It is a simple two level dungeon that used to be the home of an evil cult. So there are a lot of undead and some demonic powers here. The catacombs are supposed to be filled with treasure according to legends.
Given that this all takes place on "Witch Hill" I would want to expand its history a bit to say more about the cults that were there. I would make the cult a coven of witches.
What I think works best about this module is not only can it be located anywhere, but it can even be located under anything in another adventure. A little tinkering and suddenly I have "The Ruins on Witch Hill".


Does it work with The Witch class? Well. There are no witches in this. So unless I want to make an active cult there (and that is really a good idea) then there is not much to add from my book. Save for some magic items and scrolls with ancient spells.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Ruins of Ramat (S&W)
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The Witch of the Tarriswoods
Publisher: Sharp Mountain Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/02/2015 10:07:54

Full reviews are here: http://theothers-
ide.timsbrannan.com/


A 24 page OSR adventure (2 covers, toc, ogl, 3 maps). It's a good adventure of the "there is something strange going on in the woods, let's investigate!" type. The hazards make this more of a challenge for 3-7 level characters instead of say 1-3. That is fine really. I would use this to lull seasoned players into a false sense of security and then show them there are still dangers to be had in simple settings. This is the perfect adventure for say a lazy afternoon. You can drop it nearly anywhere in your world. Our main bad gal is Llorona, Witch of the Tarriswoods. She is a 5th level magic-user.

Does it work with The Witch class book? Yes. I say change Llorona to a 5th or 6th level witch and give her some more spells. Given her name, dress her in blue and white gowns and focus on water-based spells. change the "wizard staff" to a trident or tined fork. This would make her much more of a threat.


If you have a couple bucks and need something fun for the afternoon then this is a great choice.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Witch of the Tarriswoods
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks so much for the kind review and the good suggestions. GM\'s should feel free to adjust the Witch to their needs and change her attire and such to their liking. Thanks again, I really appreciate it!
Thanks so much for the kind review and the good suggestions. GI did make a few adjustments based on your suggestions. Thanks again, I really appreciate it!
Sparks of Light
Publisher: Twisted Die Productions
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/01/2015 11:56:53

Sparks is a light hearted game of Magical Girls. I uses the Fate system, but it can be used as a guide for any magical girl game regardless of system.

I think the most important thing about this book is how do the characters relate to each other and too the NPCs. This is the key feature of any magical girl story whether or not it is Sailor Moon, W.I.T.C.H., Cardcaptor Sakura or even Charmed. It is the relationships that define the character. Take someone like Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon, he is (let's be honest) useless. But he does have relationships to the rest of the cast and that makes for drama. Would it make for a good game? No, maybe not, but consider Angel in the first season of Buffy. He was basically Tuxedo Mask.
I also really liked the Hope Points mechanic. Magic Girls rarely see last death or injury (Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune not withstanding), so hit points don't really make a lot of sense. Plus the Darkness is not about killing really. It's about snuffing out the light or hope of the heroes.
In this respect it might make it a better game for little kids. Don't get me wrong, I have played D&D with grade-schoolers and they are a vicious, blood thirsty lot. But they don't have to be.
If you like Fate then is a good game to try out, especially given the price.

If you like Magical Girls then this is a must buy (even if some of this is covered in other books as well).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sparks of Light
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Witch Girls Magical Minutia: Crossover
Publisher: Channel M Publishing
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/01/2015 11:16:03

This book for Witch Girls Adventures previews a bit of the rules we will see in WGA 2.0 and the upcoming super hero games from Channel M. WE are introduced to Nemsis Earth, an Earth populated by superheroes and some differences in history. Chapter 1 covers the details of this new Earth and it's features, both magical and tech.
The book is presented from the point of view of a Witch Girl travelling across the dimensions.
There are plenty of new equipment for Witch Girl stars and even a new heritage (Half-Metahuman).
Chapter 3 covers Channel M's new "Youthquake" team of superpowered teens.
The general feel of this "Crisis on Two Earths" and honestly I really like that. I wish I had had this back when I was working on Season 3 of my Willow & Tara game where I crossed over to a super powered Earth that resembled the Earth int he DC universe. While reading this I was also wishing I had an Icons version of this. Same ideas, characters and text, but Icons as the rules. They would mesh together rather nice I think.
If you are a fan of supers and Witch Girls Adventures then this is a good buy.
One issue. I hate to bring this up, really. I love Malcolm's work but he should really hire a good proofreader and editor to help clean up his work. That leaves him to focus on the big ideas and let others do the editorial work.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Witch Girls Magical Minutia: Crossover
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Star Sailors: The Magical Girl Supplement for White Star RPG
Publisher: Okumarts Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/01/2015 10:38:43

Oh, this one is a fun. This little book (11 pages, including cover and OGL) is packed full of great material. Basically this presents a Magical Girl class, the Star Sailors. Each level the Star Sailor gains a "Heart Power" of a different color. Very cool. They also get a "Starlight Blast" that is blasted out of her "Star Sailor Starlight Wand". I know this all sounds silly, but trust me, this is exactly the sort of thing you would see in a Magical Girl show or book. I also love how each power has a catchphrase. I would totally make my players say these to activate each attack.
The powers are described, with effects. Also some background on the Starlight Entity. The sailors also can have mascots, aka pets.
There is also a great monster/big bad for the sailors to fight, the appropriately named "Gloom".

While the book is overtly for White Star it includes some ideas for Modern Times and S&W.

Really, really fun. The art also really fun and appropriate.
Don't like Magical Girls? You could, with minor tweaking, turn this into a Green Lantern like organization.
Either way, this is great stuff.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Sailors: The Magical Girl Supplement for White Star RPG
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Avalon Clip Art, Sci-Fi Genre [BUNDLE]
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/27/2015 21:32:16

Sci-fi clip art. It is in PDF format, so not very useful if you are planning on reusing it. Fine for printing out at the game table. Wish I had seen some samples first. Not really to my liking.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Clip Art, Sci-Fi Genre [BUNDLE]
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Avalon Clip Art, Sci-Fi Genre
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/27/2015 21:28:51

Sci-fi clip art. It is in PDF format, so not very useful if you are planning on reusing it. Fine for printing out at the game table. Wish I had seen some samples first. Not really to my liking.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Clip Art, Sci-Fi Genre
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Avalon Clip Art, Sci-Fi 2
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/27/2015 21:28:31

Sci-fi clip art. It is in PDF format, so not very useful if you are planning on reusing it. Fine for printing out at the game table. Wish I had seen some samples first. Not really to my liking.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Clip Art, Sci-Fi 2
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X-plorers Printable Player's Guide
Publisher: Brave Halfling Publishing
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/15/2015 13:20:00

Read my full review here: http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2015/05/rev-
iew-x-plorers.html


This is everything the play needs to get their characters from cool concept to play. Best yet, print it out and give copies to your players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
X-plorers Printable Player's Guide
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X-plorers QuickStart
Publisher: BD Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/15/2015 13:18:23

This quickstart gets you set up with characters to play X-plorers.
Want to know more, read my full review here: http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2015/05/rev-
iew-x-plorers.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
X-plorers QuickStart
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X-plorers RPG (FREE No Art Version)
Publisher: Brave Halfling Publishing
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/15/2015 13:14:16

X-plorers is somewhere in the middle of Starships & Spacemen and White Star. Both thematically and in terms of rules. There is a more of an old school vibe of this one. So to continue my analogies to the point of breaking, X-plorers is more Buck Rogers, the old serials and 50s sci-fi movies.


The book itself is 41 pages. This includes cover, title page, ogl page and a trademark license. The trademark license is nice. You can make content that is "X-Plorers Compatible" as long as you abide by the license. Yes other games do this too.


Characters have class, hit points, and levels just like most OSR books. The characters in X-Plorers though only have 4 attributes; Agility, Intelligence, Physique and Presence. They are still ranked 3-18. There are also four classes; Scientist, Soldier, Scouts and Technicians. Personally I think some sort of Royalty or Ambassador class might have been a nice inclusion as well.
There are some multi-classing rules too which are nice to see.


Equipment is covered next. The basic unit of commerce is the credit (cr). It functions largely the same way the gold piece does. Gear and weapons are covered, but also vehicles and robots. Near the end we cover skills as well.


Chapter 3 covers running the game. This includes saves, combat and skill checks. All similar territory to other games.


Chapter 4 details Space. This covers ships, buying and outfitting with crew as well as combat. Each phase of combat is discussed, so the gunner, engineer, pilot and so on. This reminds me of some the of old school Naval ship battles. Ship repair is also covered.


This is followed by a referee's section. This covers creating a game and running one. There is a small section on Aliens and Planets.
NPCs, Allies and Monsters are featured in the next section. I would have liked more, but again, these are easy to take from any fantasy game.


Chapter X is an adventure/background piece on Roswell. There are even stats for the Greys, whic is really cool to be honest.
Chapter Y covers psionics and pyschic characters. This is also pretty cool.


We end with some sheets for characters and ships.


X-plorers is a light game and designed to emulate the games of the 70s. So in that respect it does the job well. Some people will want more, but there is still a lot here. Rule-wise it reminds me more of White Box Swords & Wizardry, in fact you could use S&W as the rules and the rest as add-on.


This is the same as the full featured version, only no art.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
X-plorers RPG (FREE No Art Version)
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X-plorers RPG
Publisher: Brave Halfling Publishing
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/15/2015 13:05:57

X-plorers is somewhere in the middle of Starships & Spacemen and White Star. Both thematically and in terms of rules. There is a more of an old school vibe of this one. So to continue my analogies to the point of breaking, X-plorers is more Buck Rogers, the old serials and 50s sci-fi movies.


The book itself is 41 pages. This includes cover, title page, ogl page and a trademark license. The trademark license is nice. You can make content that is "X-Plorers Compatible" as long as you abide by the license. Yes other games do this too.


Characters have class, hit points, and levels just like most OSR books. The characters in X-Plorers though only have 4 attributes; Agility, Intelligence, Physique and Presence. They are still ranked 3-18. There are also four classes; Scientist, Soldier, Scouts and Technicians. Personally I think some sort of Royalty or Ambassador class might have been a nice inclusion as well.
There are some multi-classing rules too which are nice to see.


Equipment is covered next. The basic unit of commerce is the credit (cr). It functions largely the same way the gold piece does. Gear and weapons are covered, but also vehicles and robots. Near the end we cover skills as well.


Chapter 3 covers running the game. This includes saves, combat and skill checks. All similar territory to other games.


Chapter 4 details Space. This covers ships, buying and outfitting with crew as well as combat. Each phase of combat is discussed, so the gunner, engineer, pilot and so on. This reminds me of some the of old school Naval ship battles. Ship repair is also covered.


This is followed by a referee's section. This covers creating a game and running one. There is a small section on Aliens and Planets.
NPCs, Allies and Monsters are featured in the next section. I would have liked more, but again, these are easy to take from any fantasy game.


Chapter X is an adventure/background piece on Roswell. There are even stats for the Greys, whic is really cool to be honest.
Chapter Y covers psionics and pyschic characters. This is also pretty cool.


We end with some sheets for characters and ships.


X-plorers is a light game and designed to emulate the games of the 70s. So in that respect it does the job well. Some people will want more, but there is still a lot here. Rule-wise it reminds me more of White Box Swords & Wizardry, in fact you could use S&W as the rules and the rest as add-on.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
X-plorers RPG
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MA1e Human Character Sheet
Publisher: WardCo.
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/14/2015 09:20:13

Nice old-school style sheet for Metamorphosis Alpha, 1st Edition. This one is for humans.
While many sheets are free, the game this goes to is relatively inexpensive so it all evens out in my mind.
This sheet is only for the people that really want it. There is a functional sheet in the game pdf, but this one looks much nicer.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
MA1e Human Character Sheet
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