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Character Crucible: Dhampirs (A Race for 5E)
Editorial: Dungeon Masters Guild
por Timothy B. [Comprador verificado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 02/11/16 07:32:56

Not very large, but it does exactly what it needs to do. The Dhampir is a great race to play in any version of D&D, but Mark capitalizes on the strengths of D&D5 to make a fun race. I would have an easier time working these Dhampirs into my games than the Dragonborn and Tieflings my kids want to play all the time.
Perfect for a buck.



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Psionics Unearthed: Tesseract (A Martial Archetype for 5E)
Editorial: Dungeon Masters Guild
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 02/11/16 07:25:39

I just got it and love it. The best way to describe it is "blinky thieves" but it would work for any martial class too. It might actually be a little underpowered compared to say the Arcane Trickster, but the fact that a Tesseract can use their powers multiple times between long rests makes up for it. My kids will fight over who gets to use this one!
I can easily think of several places where a character like this would work well in a fantasy game. A half-elf theif with this archetype with a backstory of living on the streets, abandoned by both races...the character practically writes itself!
All this for just a buck? Yeah, that is a steal!



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Psionics Unearthed: Tesseract (A Martial Archetype for 5E)
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Deities and Domains: Specialty Priests of the Forgotten Realms (39 Feats for 5E)
Editorial: Dungeon Masters Guild
por Timothy B. [Comprador verificado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 02/11/16 07:16:54

At 25 pages and 39 dieties this is one of the larger products I have purchased here (DM's Guild). While overtly for the Forgotten Realms, there is so much here that any D&D 5 palyer should grab it and just swap out the names for their own gods. Plus it comes with a printer-friendly version. I am already using the cleric of Mystra, only in my game it is a cleric of Wee Jas.
Easy to read. Flexible and not overpowering. Easily slotted into any D&D game. Honestly what more could you ask?



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Stock Art Characters
Editorial: Space Pirate Games
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 02/03/16 06:52:55

Another really great piece of art. Sometimes I know where I want to use something before I buy it. In this case I bought this just becuase I liked it a lot.
The file format is PDF, which is fine if I am going to use this for personal use only (I think I want to print it out as part of a character folio) but for publishing my own works I would prefer TIFF or PSD files.


Use to use re-license for comercial work.



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Publisher Reply:
Let me know if that works, not sure if I updated it all correctly.
Stock Art Star Ships 5
Editorial: Space Pirate Games
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 02/02/16 12:49:22

Exactly what I needed when I needed it!
The ship is perfect and having so many different points of view is great.


Hi Res TIFF or PSD files would have been nicer, but I made it work.



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Alpha Blue
Editorial: Kort'thalis Publishing
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 01/11/16 07:26:12

Alpha Blue is the latest release from Kort'thalis Publishing and +Venger Satanis.


Alpha Blue is a Space Station where the party never ends. The book is 111 pages (114 if you count covers and extra page). The art is what you would expect from Venger; good and on the creepy side. Some I think I have seen before, but I can't be sure really. But all of it really comes with a nice vibe of late 70s/early 80s sci-fi cheese. Basically if you grew up in the 70s and 80s watching any sci-fi you will recognize something here. If you are like me then something you will like. They layout is clean and easy to read. I also appreciate the color and b/w versions of the character sheet.


The book has a basic system attached to it, mostly, as the author describes to set the tone for a game. The character generation system actually would well as an additional bit of character information for your standard OSR game. There is some good material here that can be used for something like White Star or Starships & Spacemen. Print out your game's regular sheet and an Alpha Blue sheet back to back.


The rest of the book is the reall meat of the book and might not really be most people's cup of tea. Alpha Blue is a Space Brothel. The obvious nod here is to the old adult movie The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue. I will happily admit I have seen and enjoyed the movie. Actually the movie is an interesting social commentary that all the best sci-fi movies have. But that is for another discussion.


Alpha Blue, the book, is thankfully devoid of social commentary. I am not trying to say the book is nothing but sleazy encounters, but there is a lot here that can be great setting material...and some sleaze.


I think that Venger missed a good opportunity here to call the game master a "Blue Dungeon Space Master" or a BDSM. A little awkward? Yeah. No worse than Dungeon Master I guess.


I mentioned in the past that this premise reminds me of the +Shon Richards' story Pleasure Station Sigma. The comparison still holds, but there is more to Alpha Blue than just that.


Honestly there are so many hidden gems and easter eggs here that I am still finding them weeks in to reading this game. Which brings up a point.
The one thing this book lacks, and really could use, is it's own "Appendix N". A collection of late 70s early 80s B and C grade Sci-Fi movies and TV shows. Off the top of my head I saw influences of Logan's Run, Barbarella (ok 60s), Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek (TOS), Star Wars (the first trilogy only), Doctor Who (explictly mentioned), Galaxina, Cherry 2000, Westworld, Heavy Metal, Weird Science, the Buck Rodgers RV series, the Flash Gordon movie and of course, Satisfyers of Alpha Blue.


There are a lot of random tables in this book too. Personally I am not a fan of a bunch of random tables, but here it works. After all this is a space station with a lot going on. Plus it fits not only the Gonzo-Sci-Fi style VS has going here, but also the Gonzo-OSR style all his books have.


Alpha Blue is not for the easily offended. It is also not really for anyone that did grow up in the 70s or 80s; too much of the content will be lost on anyone that hears "Starbuck" and thinks coffee or Katee Sackhoff. There is the right group out there for this book, and for that group it will be a lot of fun. Some reviews have called this an "adult" title. Maybe. Personally I would say it is R-rated at the worst. Though now I do know how much damage a jelly-double headed dildo will do if used in combat.



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Between Star & Void
Editorial: DYS Games
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 01/07/16 07:19:54

White Star isn't just a cool set of rules, it is also a nice sandbox with some minor assumptions on a game universe. The best elements are left open for others to play with and develop further.


Between Star & Void is a great example.

This book covers the Star Knights and their enemies, the Void Knights, in greater detail. +Matthew Skail has done a great job of showing us what both groups of Knights can do. I came away not so much wanting to run "Jedi" or "Sith" but something more akin to the Green Lantern Corps. At 109 pages it is a pretty full (101 pages of content) of material for Star Knights and Void Knights. This book also includes Mystics, Star Pilot, Way Adapt and Alien Star Knight, and of course, Void Knights and an extra special group, the Eclipse Knights.
There are plenty of new Meditations for the Knights and Mystics and new Empowerments for Void Knights. The Void Knights really kind of steal the show here a bit. I think everyone loves a good bad guy. Though the Star Pilot will get a lot of love in some game groups I am sure.
We also have a chapter on Star Knight Martial Styles and a chapter on Star Sword construction. They really put the "Tao" in "Way" here. I have to admit reading this feels just like playing games in the late 70s early 80s when sci-fi was king and everywhere. I had toys from various franchises and freely mixed them all together is a crazy, and mostly incoherent, whole. But I didn't care, it was fun.
This book is like that. Not crazy and incoherent, but certainly a lot of fun.

There are some great Appendices here too. There is an alternate Meditation system in Appendix A.
Appendix B includes some "Fantasy Conversions" for Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, Adventurer Conqueror King, or higher level White Star games. This includes higher level Meditations


The art is a mixed lot, but I love the cover.
There are some obvious typos and the text needs some cleaning up here and there, but nothing that impacts readability or use. There is a lot of fun in this book and I can't wait to try it out.



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GAZ3 The Principalities of Glantri (Basic)
Editorial: Wizards of the Coast
por Timothy B. [Comprador verificado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 12/08/15 11:40:05

The pdf is 102 pages (the original book was 96 pages, a detached cover and large map of the country and Glantri City). The PDF is a good quality scan and retains all the information found in the print book. The cover art was done by the fantastic Clyde Caldwell. While this book is a D&D "Basic" book, there is so much here of use that it can really be used with any D&D system. This book really set the stage for all the other Gazetteers to follow.


The first part, Welcome to Glantri, gives a very brief overview of what the country is and what this book sets out to do.
Up next is the History of Glantri. I spent hours and hours reading this over and over. I won't go into great detail, but linking Glantri to ancient Blackmoor was wonderful in my mind. Mostly because I loved the link but also I had done something similar for my own games. What follows next is a time line from 3000 BC, The Rain of Fire (Before Crowning of the first Emperor of Thyatis) to 1000 AC (today) and even on to 1200 AC. I always wondered if the Rain of Fire that destroyed Blackmoor was related or even just the same spell that destroyed the Suel in the Greyhawk world.


Geography of Glantri is next. Like much of Mystara, Glantri is a mix of all sorts of races and people, but Glantri also has it's fair share of "monsters" those will be detailed later. Glantri's climate is also touched upon, making it one of the colder lands.


The is followed by The Glantrian Economy. I really enjoyed this section because it really breathes life into the people that live here. Each of the Principalities is detailed here for the first time. A quick read and one immediately recognizes analogues to Scotland, Italy, France, and even Transylvania. Glantri is very cosmopolitan. We move into the Grand Army of Glantri and Politics and Rivalries of Glantri. Glantri is the place to play out political intrigue where everyone is mage of some sort or has one on retainer. Like the Economy section, this section breathes more life into the people of the land, in this case all the great houses. I will admit once again that the interior art by Stephan Fabian links this to Ravenloft in my mind. Not only are there humans here, but vampires, werewolves and liches ruling. We will get to witches in a bit.


Guilds and Brotherhoods are also one of the more important features of this book and life in Glantri. There are so many here that characters could each belong to many and none overlap. Some are complimentary to each other and others at cross purposes. Really good fodder for role-playing.


Glantri City by Night details what happens to the 39,000+ residents when the sun goes down. The book is like a what we now call Modern Supernatural. So all sorts of "monsters" come out and mingle with everyday people. It says "by Night" but really this an overview of the city itself and all it's sections. It reminds me of a travel guide to London I once read, so I am rather fond of this section.


Living in Glantri City details life in the city including the laws, who is in charge, magic use and various holy/high days. There is no religion in Glantri, but there is a state philosophy. Of course it is tied in with magic.


The Great School of Magic. Outside of Hogwarts or Professor Xavier's school has a school been so rich detailed. Though there is enough here to make me want more, a lot more. This is followed by Creating Spells and Magical Items and The Secret of the Radiance. The source of Glantri's magical power.


Nest we get into The Seven Secret Crafts of Glantri. If you only buy this book for this section then you will be well rewarded. Think of these as schools or even colleges of magic. Each one ads something special to the Magic-User class, almost like a Prestige Class or Paragon class feature. They include, Alchemy, Dragon magic, Elemental magic, Illusion, Necromancy, Rune magic, and of course, Witchcraft.
We wrap up with Adventures in Glantri.


The Gazetteer series were works of art and none more so than the Glantri book.


I mentioned before that this book would work fine with other versions of D&D. Looking deeper into the Seven Secret Crafts of Glantri, one could EASILY replace the Arcane Tradition feature of the 5th Edition Wizard and replace those powers with the craft powers. The 5e wizard gets 4 Arcane tradition powers/features and the Basic craft wizards get 5. They work out to about the same levels too.


So if you have not picked this up, do so. I highly recommend it.



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The B/X Rogue
Editorial: Necrotic Gnome Productions
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/24/15 12:06:41

I love new B/X classes. If I have demonstrated nothing else here it is that. So when +Gavin Norman of the excellent City of Iron blog and Necrotic Gnome Productions came out with a new B/X class, well I had to get it.
Gavin has already given us some great classes in his Theorems & Thaumaturgy and The Complete Vivimancer. Now he takes on the thief archetype in The B/X Rogue.


I say archetype because what this book tries (and succeeds, but more on that in a bit) to do is create a Rogue class that encompasses all of the various "sub-classes" we have seen on the thief over the years. How he does it is both very elegant and very, very basic, if not Basic.


Like the thief the rogue has a number of talents at his/her disposal. Instead of a percentile (or d20) roll the rogue is assumed to be fully proficient in their talent. The differences lie in the choice of talents and some of the talents themselves. The example given is the iconic Remove Traps. If a rogue has this at 1st level then they can remove or disable a trap 100% of the time. However the types of traps are now changed. The rogue can only disable small mechanical traps. Not huge pits in the floor.


The rogue class begins with 4 talents. This increases by 1 per level. Some talents have prerequisites and can only be taken at 5th level (Expert Talents, love the split of Basic and Expert Talents here). Outside of that the class it remarkably like the B/X thief.


The bulk of the book describe the 36 talents a rogue might take. This allows for near infinite (or close enough for the amount of character sheets I'll print out) rogue types. There are even magical talents for the Bards and Arcane Tricksters out there. Of course I immediately went to the magic section and quickly figured out an Occult Scholar, a rogue that raids tombs and libraries for bits of arcane knowledge and some spells to help them out. Won't help you when you need an orc killed, unless he has a scroll for it.


There is also a very useful table to help you with your archetypes. Want an assassin? Great, take back-stab, hide, garotte, move quietly at 1st level. There are 10 of these, so a d10 will also get you up and going fast. Don't want a magic-one? Easy. Roll a d8 instead.


The PDF itself is 26 pages; a front cover, a back cover and two page OGL, all for a $1.50. Not a bad deal at all really, especially when consider how flexible this class is now.
If you are a fan of the theif class, B/X or Gavin's other classes then this is a must buy.



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Psionics
Editorial: DYS Games
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/11/15 13:03:04

This book is designed for the White Star game.Though it can be ported over to Swords & Wizardry with no issues. The psionist is introduced and powers are detailed. The psionist chooses a focus power area and sticks with that in the game. A nice, simple system with some useful powers. 11 pages with cover and OGL.



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Crypts & Creatures Psionics Handbook
Editorial: Pick Up & Go Games
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/11/15 12:45:04

At 12 pages for 50 cents this looks like a deal. But what we have here is a stripped down version of the psionic classes from the d20 SRD for the OSR crowd. I would have liked to see some more to be honest. There are classes and powers listed, but not really detailed. Now for someone this will be just perfect, but most people I think will want some more.



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Osric Psionic Combat
Editorial: Dragoneer Publishing
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/11/15 12:42:00

This book has a lot of charm. A quick look at the author, artist and contributors leads me to believe this was something a whole family put together and then played. I can relate and honestly the book gets an extra star just for that. The books covers a very simple psionic combat system and a psionist class. Nothing more really. But that is all it set out to do, so great. I might not play as written, but the detail here is great and would convert nicely to any of the other systems I have used.



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Old-School Psionics
Editorial: Vigilance Press
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/11/15 12:36:44

Designed to be a new psionics system for OSRIC this book introduces the Mentalist class. Powers are divided out among disciplines going to 7th level. Powers are treated mostly like spells, but that works well for adding into OSRIC. Also some psionic monsters are detailed including my favorite (and worth the price of the book) the Doppleganger as a proper psionic monster. 22 pages including cover and OGL. Very nicely done.



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White Box Options: Psychic Talents [Swords & Wizardry]
Editorial: Barrel Rider Games
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/11/15 12:31:19

At 10 pages this book really exemplifies what people love about S&W. Quick and easy rules that slot in nicely with the game they are playing. This is more of a psychic wild talent add on. Feels similar to the wild talent powers in AD&D1 or even OD&D. Random table of powers and descriptions of all the powers. Not a bad deal for just under 2 bucks.



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PX1 Basic Psionics Handbook
Editorial: New Big Dragon Games Unlimited
por Timothy B. [Cr�tico destacado]
Fecha en que fue añadido: 11/03/15 12:54:55

I love Basic-era gaming. Basic/Expert D&D was the first D&D I ever played. Even when I had moved on to Advanced D&D, it still had a strong Basic feel to it. So I was very, very pleased to hear about +Richard LeBlanc's new psionics book, Basic Psionics Handbook.
If you have been reading his blog, Save vs Dragon, a lot of what is in the book won't be a surprise, but it is all great stuff. Even then there are things in the book that are still a treat and a surprise.


The book itself is 58 pages (PDF), full-color cover and black/white interior.

The book covers two basic (and Basic) classes, the Mystic and the Monk. Both use the new psionic system presented in the book. The system bears looking at and really is a treat.


Overview. This covers the basics including how psionics is not magic and how attributes are used. It's a page of rules that slot in nicely with the normal Basic rules. The basics of psychic power including Psionic Level and Psionic Strenght Points (PSP) are introduced.


Mystics are next. Mystics in this case are more molded on the Eastern philosophy of mystics, not the clerical sub-class-like mystics I have detailed in the past. Though through the lens of Western thought. That's fine this is not a religious analysis, this is a game book. This class helps builds the psionic system used in this book based on the seven chakras. Chakras divide the psionic powers into broad groups; something like the schools of magic for spells. As the mystic progresses in level, they open up more and more chakras.
Each chakra has seven Major Sciences and twelve Minor Devotions, similar to the old AD&D rules (but not exactly the same, so read carefully). This gives us 72 devotions and 42 sciences. That's quite a lot really.
As the mystic progresses they also earn more PSPs and more attack and defense modes. They are the heavy hitters of the psionic game.


Monks are the next class. Monks really are more of psionic using class in my mind and to have them here next to the mystic is a nice treat for a change. Everything you expect from the monk is here. Unarmed attacks, no need for armor and lots of fun psionic based combat powers. The monk does not have the psionic power the mystic does, but that is fine it is not supposed to. It does have a some neat powers from the mystic's list. One can easily see a monastery where both mystics and monks train together, one more mental and the other more physical. The monk has plenty of customization options in terms of choice of powers. In truth it is a very elegant system that shows it's strength with the mystic and it's flexibility with the example of the monk.

This is very likely my favorite monk class.


Psionic Disciplines detail all the powers of the chakras. It is a good bulk of the book as to be expected. There are not as many psionic powers as you might see spells in other books, but this is a feature, not a bug. Powers can be used many times as long as the psychic still has PSP. Also many do more things as the character goes up in level.


Psionic Combat is next and deals with the five attack modes and five defense modes of psychic combat. The ten powers are detailed and an attack vs. defense matrix is also provided. The combat is simple and much improved over it's ancestors.


The next large section details all the Psionic Monsters. Some of these are right out of the SRD but others are new. Personally I am rather happy to see a Psychic Vampire. Though it is not listed, I assume that these creatures are also undead and are turned as if they were vampires.


Appendix A deals with something we abused the hell out of, Wild Psionics. At two pages it is the simplest set of rules I have seen for this sort of thing. Also it looks like something that could be ported into ANY version of D&D including and especially D&D 5.


Get out your crystals, Appendix B details Psionic Items. Again, short, sweet and to the point.


Appendix C: Psionics and Magic is a must read chapter for anyone wanting to use both in their games.


Appendix D: Phrenic Creatures turns normal creatures into psionic ones.


Appendix E covers Conversions for Monsters from LeBlanc's own CC1: Creature Compendium.
Appendix F details how to convert any monster into a psionic one.


We end with a a couple pages of collected tables and the OGL.


Bottom line here is this is a great book. Everything you need to play psionic characters and add psionics to your game. Personally I am going to use this to beef up The Secret Machines of the Star Spawn which I also picked up today.



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