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The Battle at Two Roads Village
Publisher: DCS
by Dan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2015 13:54:24

This product is more background than scenario. While thought was put in to the what and why of troop movements, it can be hard to understand what A GM is supposed to do with this information. A few scenario guidelines are included, but they are mutually contradictory, requiring the PCs to be in different places when they encounter the enemy. Thus, it appears that only a small part of the large battlefield would actually be seen and by the PCs, resulting in a very short adventure (apart from the opportunity for prolonged combat with an army of arriving reinforcements).

Some other parts are also puzzling. The village is said to be neutral, so why not just let the troops pass through peacefully? Why do prostitutes constitute something like 10% of the village population and 50% of the described NPCs? Some pages end in the middle of a sentence and appear to be missing several lines of text at the bottom. The overall impression is that of a GMs notes to himself, rather than a guide for others.

Most troubling, however, is that to really understand what is going on, you need to buy several other products which also describe Two Roads Village. Perhaps this product would be a good value for people who already own those other product, but The Battle of Two Rivers Villiage does not justify even its modest cost as a stand-alone. They should edit the whole series into a (better proofread) single product and sell it for $5.

Also, while this product is more of less suitable for any world, its companion products appear to require a silly world of over-abundant magic, with vampires and mystic oracles in every sleepy hamlet. While such worlds are not uncommon in role-playing games, those who avoid such silliness may not want to adventure in Two Rivers Villiage.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Battle at Two Roads Village
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Publisher Reply:
Dan, thank you for taking the time to review my product. I believe that feedback is how we grow and I value your comments. I will take them to heart and fix some of the issues you encountered. Best David
12TM: Bloodlines--Savaged edition
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Dan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/19/2015 18:27:59

This is one of the two or three best FRP adventure products I have ever seen. The PCs must unravel mysteries only to discover new mysteries within as they play through three closely related adventures in only 36 hours (in-game time) of frantic activity. (Out-of-game time to complete the adventures I would estimate at 15-20 hours of play.) The plot twists are delightful and unexpected. It is everything a GM could want for either our-of-the-box play or incorporation into an existing campaign.

Up to 6 player characters, who can be from any walk of life, become drawn into a tale of ghosts, spells, murder, an evil cult, hostile law enforcement, "Men in Black", and a hidden treasure -- but the players don't know any of that at the start. All they know is that they are participants in a geocaching contest. Discovering what is really going on is part of the adventure.

Personal Notes: the "Men in Black" don't fit my campaign, so I am leaving them out. I can see why they were added, but I think the adventure is as good without them Also, I use a home-grown system and haven't found conversion from Savage Worlds to be at all difficult.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
12TM: Bloodlines--Savaged edition
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Rippers
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Dan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/04/2015 13:41:54

Most of Rippers is a light-hearted romp through popular 19th century literature. Its primary appeal is that the players cross paths with Captain Nemo, Sherlock Homes, Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, several characters from Bram Stoker's Dracula, Dr. Jeckell and Mr. Hyde, and so on. This is more silliness than I like in a campaign, so that alone made it unlikely that I would ever use Rippers.

At the same time, the story is tied to the literal existence of devils and hell, and the central secret of the story involves the players' allies (and possibly the players themselves) becoming unknowingly condemned to eternal suffering for actions which they undertook for the purpose of saving the world. Rippers' don't-take-it-seriously silliness may keep you from finding this injustice as distasteful as I found it.

In other respects Rippers is a well-crafted and inventive implementation of the plot-point format. Short adventures in sequence advance the main plot, side adventures are provided for use as the GM likes, and there are aids for adding additional adventures to the campaign. The package as a whole seems on the short side in comparison to the excellent ETU: Degrees of Horror, but still has material for several dozen hours of play.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Rippers
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The Covetous Poet's Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook
Publisher: Covetous Poet Publishing
by Dan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2015 11:15:51

I am not one to give a high rating to everything that I buy, but I like this product very much.

A lot of thought has been given to how an adventure can be structured, most of which should be useful to anyone designing their own adventures. This product gives me helpful guidance as I develop a raw idea into a satisfying adventure, and if I need some extra filler, the random tables offer a wealth of idea seeds.

I never use any product exactly as it is written, and this Adventure Creator makes it easy for the GM who likes to pick and choose what parts s/he will use -- or even put the pieces together in an entirely different way. At the same time, this Adventure Creator offers more specific help than I have seen in other GM aids. This is step by step guidance, not vague generalities.

I don't play "solo" adventures, but I expect that this product will also work very well for that. This product does assume that the GM will actually be creating adventures, so it may be less useful for those rare campaigns (extreme "sandbox" and/or extreme Narrativist) in which no preparatory adventure creation takes place.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Covetous Poet's Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook
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Mechanisms For Tabletop Roleplaying
Publisher: Levi Kornelsen
by Dan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/10/2014 14:41:46

This is a good set of METAGAME mechanics, but the description didn't make it clear that these mechanisms are all METAGAME in nature. These mechanics require the players to act as players rather than as their characters. GMs who do not want to erode the suspension of disbelief by rewarding out of character actions will not find this product useful.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mechanisms For Tabletop Roleplaying
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Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Engine Publishing
by Dan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/21/2012 12:27:54

My homebrew campaign is too different to use most published FRP resources, but I found many usable NPCs in this product. The personalities have interesting motives and yet are highly adaptable. Also, the included text version allows me to easily copy an NPC into my game prep materials. I also found quite a few usable plot seeds in the bios of the various NPCs. I'm glad that I bought this product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game
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