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Is your band of adventurers stuck on the sidelines because there’s no one to run the game? Have no fear, the wait is over! This expanded installment of a players-only adventure will allow you to create detailed characters and run them through their first five levels of dungeon-delving danger while interacting with the town of Mountain View as they progress. Fight the monsters, find the treasure, barter with merchants, then brag about it at the tavern and get into a bar brawl, all without any down time to prep for the next adventure.
Advanced Back to Basics uses the prime essentials which make d20 gaming fun and leaves out the tedious rules that can bog down a good gaming session. Character creation can be anything from a fierce, Human warrior to a nimble Halfling, an Elven spell-wielder to a noble Dwarven Paladin or a traditional Cleric who can turn undead with the best of them. This expanded version of Back to Basics introduces the Ranger and Druid classes, plus Eldritch spells that allow you to build a Sorcerer, Bard or Eldritch Warrior. Fine-tune your character with skills and feats to build the hero you want, then romp around in a Goblin infested under-mountain realm of treacherous passages, flooded chambers and devious traps that will test your dungeon delving resolve. Best of all: the adventure is re-playable.
Path of Legends adventures are built with a number of random elements that make it impossible to have the same experience the next time around. The dice-rolling doesn’t end when you finish the book – just make some new characters and run the gauntlet again. Optimized for a party of four, but easily modified for more or less players, Advanced Back to Basics is an essential manual for the busy weekend warriors because the minutes of a weekly gaming session are too valuable to waste not having fun.

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Craig E July 02, 2023 11:49 pm UTC
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Can a multiclass character use skills/feats/class abilities on one "side" of their progression to qualify for abilities taken on the other side? For example, can a dwarf of leagues (where did you even get that name, anyway?) take the Lethal feat at level 1, and then subsequently improve it at levels 4, 7, and 10 by alternating between the human and dwarvish sides (human at 4, dwarf at 7, then human again at 10)?

Also, is it allowed in your system for multiclass characters to mix race combinations other than the high elf (elf/elf), hallowed human (human/human), and dwarf of leagues (dwarf/human)? Can you make a dwarf/half-drow, or a human/elf? Oh, wait... I know what the latter would be called. After all, Hugo Weaving played one, once upon a time. ;D
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Craig E July 03, 2023 4:16 am UTC
PURCHASER
Also, are javelins and throwing axes finesse weapons, or not? The table on page 52 says two different things. Also, why the huge discrepancy between the costs? You can buy 40 javelins for the price of a single throwing axe, despite how they do the same damage and fall into the same weapon category! Sure, the javelins take up twice as much encumbrance, but that shouldn't be enough of a downside to skew the price that much, should it?
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Chris Y July 09, 2023 11:23 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I would suggest to keep each 'side' of the multiclass as separate as possible since that type of character already runs the risk of being overpowered. For skills such as Awareness, which is available to all classes, raising it by 2 points per level would not seem out of balance, but raising a skill or feat that is technically only available to one 'side' should only be advanced as if it was being done so by the single class it is associated with. Also, the Lethal feat clearly states that there must be three levels of progression between each advancement, not two such as in your suggested scenario.
As far as mixing other races, I would suggest against it. If you feel the need to have a Half-Drow multiclass then simply choose two classes which that race would excel in such as Eldritch Warrior and Bard or Eldritch Caster.
Also remember that the multiclass feature in Back to Basics is meant to be a last ditch attempt at filling out an adventuring party instead of running two separate characters - it was...See more
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Chris Y July 09, 2023 11:28 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
As the chart indicates, javelins and throwing axes are only finesse weapons when thrown, not when used in hand-to-hand combat. Pricing was based on 3.5 SRD information. If you think those prices are ridiculous, I wouldn't recommend looking at the 5e prices.
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Craig E January 20, 2023 2:24 am UTC
PURCHASER
First, why is Shield Bash a prerequisite for Shield Defense (page 36)? The ability to smash someone's face in with a shield seems unrelated having an improved ability to defend yourself with that shield. Likewise, it seems strange that Improved Shield Bash is all about retaining the defensive benefits of your shield when making attacks, even if one of the types of attacks in question is the aforementioned face-smash with the shield. I would call it Improved Shield Defense instead (also make a note that Two-Weapon Fighting also references these feats).

Second, if you spend skill points on the Finesse Weapon skill and later take the Weapon Finesse feat, can you then reassign those points somewhere else?

Next, you may want to change the wording on the elvish bonus to attack with bows (page 8). It says you only get the +1 bonus when using large bows. It specifically says you can't apply this bonus to shortbows (a questionable decision, IMO), and crossbows (which I would think goes without...See more
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Chris Y January 21, 2023 5:17 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Craig,
First: The Shield Bash feat is more of an all-around entry feat that helps a shield wielder to become more 'at one' with their shield. Just using one properly in battle is a skill in itself, and learning to use it more extensively while retaining the shield's defensive property is the next step with these feats you are describing. It's a progressive game mechanic, and while I'm sure there could be a variety of alternative names for these feats it doesn't take away from their goal of progressing your character into a shield-wielding dynamo.

Second: Skill points are permanently assigned to skills and cannot be reassigned at a later date. The Finesse Weapon skill is intended for characters who are only interested in being a great archer (for example) but would rather invest their feat in a different archer-related feat. The skill opens up more possibilities for character building, but may require you to do a bit of planning.

Next: Good catch on the "large bows"...See more
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Craig E December 20, 2022 5:33 am UTC
PURCHASER
Normally, skills are limited to a number of ranks equal to your level, and you can only add 1 rank to any given skill every level. The multiclass rules (page 48) say a multiclass character can improve a skill by 2 ranks each level. Does the 2-per-level line mean the maximum number of ranks increases to double the character's level, or does it simply mean that you can make up for lost ground by spending extra points at level 2 and higher?

Also, after looking carefully at the equipment list and the description of the adventuring kit, it says to treat it as a skill with a base value equal to your level, and a special bonus of +1 for every extra adventuring kit you have available to apply to the task at hand (especially relevant to note if you've split the party). Are you supposed to pay one of your skill points every level for this bonus?
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Chris Y December 22, 2022 12:16 am UTC
PUBLISHER
When multi-classing you can spend 2 skill points on a single skill per level, which includes 1st level at character creation.
The adventuring kit is represented as a skill equal to your character's level. It does not require any investment of skill points, otherwise it would say so in the item description.
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Craig E December 10, 2022 4:48 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Are clerics supposed to keep their feat progression? I looked through the various class descriptions, and the druid, bard, and sorcerer (oops! Excuse me, the "eldritch caster") give up their feats in exchange for joining those classes, but the cleric makes no mention of this despite obviously being in the same category, i.e.: full casters, instead of half-casters like the paladin, ranger, or elven mystic. Is this an oversight, or is the distinction between clerics and other full casters intentional?

Also, you might want to take another pass at the eldritch kni... damn, you got me again! As I was saying, you may want to take another pass at the eldritch warrior. Giving up your beginning feat and getting nothing for it, just crossing your fingers that the character can get to level 3 and reap the rewards? Sure, I get that it's the only "class feat" that doesn't impose any restrictions on the character, but they should get some kind of magical benefit at level 1 in return for the...See more
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Chris Y December 11, 2022 4:15 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes, Clerics keep the feat progression of their main race. Races are meant to be core classes in themselves, not needing any other sub-class additions to make them playable. Clerics are also the original full caster for Back to Basics and thus have several restrictions imposed on them (weapon limitations, number of attacks and BAB reduced, plus the hit die reduction) to make up for the full spell capability. Aside from turning undead they do not get any other class perks as they progress in level and thus players are free to choose how feats are used to customize their character (which is what Back to Basics was originally about).
Advanced Back to Basics introduces the other full casters, but to make them more like their D&D counterparts I needed to restrict their feat advancements and allocation, giving less (or no) options for character customization. They still get 'feats' as they progress, but those are translated into specific abilities tailored to that class. Basic racial abilities are kept but...See more
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Craig E November 20, 2022 2:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The description of the elven greatbow on page 55 says it does 1d8+1 damage, while the description on page 123 says it does 1d8+3+STR. Which is correct?

Also, can a ranger use a greatbow? Their class description says they can only use light and medium weapons, or they're limited to just one shot per round (except at level 16+, when they can make a second), but it seems to me that if anyone should be able to pick up the biggest, baddest bow around, and use it like nobody's business, it would be a ranger.
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Chris Y November 20, 2022 4:11 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yikes! That's definitely a typo that escaped revisions. The Elven Greatbow used to be a STR bonus weapon but that changed when I implemented the Finesse trait. Now it does 1d8+1 damage for regular use but adds a character's Dex modifier for additional damage if they have the Weapon Finesse feat or a point in the Finesse Weapon skill dedicated to the Elven Greatbow. Thanks for pointing that out.
As for the weapon's use by a Ranger, I absolutely see your point. I think on the next book revision (which is not planned any time soon), I will include finesse weapons to the Ranger's weapon use description, provided that the Ranger fits all protocols to use such weapons. Another good catch Craig. It would be an absolute crime if an Elven Ranger couldn't use an Elven Greatbow.
Note that this would not allow Rangers to use a Dwarven Greatbow under any circumstances as it is not a finesse weapon.
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Craig E July 08, 2022 11:25 am UTC
PURCHASER
How do multiclass characters deal with overlapping saving throw modifiers? For example, does a high elf add the racial bonus twice? What about willpower?

Also, could an eldritch caster forgo the level 1 benefit of the Ancient Servant feature (enchanted armor fused to the skin) in favor of a feat (I'm thinking Martial Defense, for the classic wizard-in-robes feel)?
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Chris Y July 09, 2022 10:15 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Saving throws are always based on the racial class that your character is built on, so a High Elf would still only use the saves of a regular Elf. While multi-classing allows you to double up on elements such as feats and spells (but not doubling the benefit of taking the Willpower feat twice), it is still only one character. In the case of a Dwarf of Leagues - the only multi-class that combines two different racial classes - your character would get all Dwarven benefits such as advantage on poison saving throws, but they would not combine their racial save bonus (Con) while also getting a second racial save bonus of their choice from the Human side. That character is basically a Dwarf who gets to choose which saving throw their racial bonus is applied to (Will, Con or Dex).
As for the Eldritch Caster, there is no option to swap out the Ancient Aegis feature. However, if multi-classing, there is the option to gain extra feats with their 'second' class as long as they don't conflict with the Eldrich Caster...See more
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Chris Y November 20, 2022 4:27 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Another solution to the Eldritch Caster's restriction of the Ancient Aegis would be to import an actual Sorcerer or Warlock from 5e. I combined these two, minus their overly-complicated traits, to make an all-around caster that fit more easily into the Back to Basics solo rule system and did not rely on DM input during game play. If you think you could come up with your own spell caster that better suits your style of play then by means go for it! I did everything I could to keep Back to Basics non-restrictive and more general for ease of solo play AND to avoid 5e copyright infringements. But you are free to adopt any 5e class (or race, or spell, etc) for your personal campaign if you can make it work with the Back to Basics solo rule system.
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Craig E November 20, 2022 5:17 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I think I would just use a sorcerous origin, instead. Ancient rusty armor permanently fusing itself to my character's body? No, thanks! You'd need a constant stream of tetanus shots, for one thing. And some way to remove the part over your mouth (getting food and drink in) and the nether regions (letting the food and drink back out, once you're done with it).
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Chris Y November 20, 2022 6:34 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Well, the exact depiction of the armour is left open-ended but you're choosing to use the worst possible one. It's light armour (so no helmet) that imposes zero penalties (you can sleep in it without problem). 'Old' and 'weathered' merely means it isn't new and shiny - you can tell it's been around for a long time and has been well used. 'Covering your body' implies that it gives full protection, not that you are wrapped heat to toe like a mummy. 'Foreign' refers to it's look. I wanted to use 'alien' but that word doesn't sit well in this setting. It can look anywhere from bizarre to beautiful, from a fine chain bikini (with proper shoulder and knee protection of course), to a full suit of studded leather. Your character is a representative of an ancient, forgotten god - the armour is a testament to their power, not a punishment or humiliation. This is a fantasy game, so let your mind wander.
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Chris T May 01, 2022 10:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Some encumbrance related questions; I am struggling to find the encumbrance values for armor. Where might these be located?
Actually, I confess to a certain confusion about the encumbrance system in general. Do the 8 encumbrance points in one's backpack not count against the allotted 24 points? If it did, the standard payload on page 51 seems to add up to 27 points, (26 with silk rope). And that's not counting armor.
Possibly I'm very much missing something though.
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Chris Y May 01, 2022 11:20 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
As indicated on the Encumbrance Record sheet on pg. 143, all characters (except Halflings) can carry 24 Encumbrance Points of items, plus an extra point per their strength modifier. I was looking for a simpler method of carrying stuff that combined weight and bulk (Styrofoam blocks weigh nothing but are very bulky). As for armour, page 51 states: Nobody can carry around an extra suit of armour during an adventure, aside from a rolled-up suit of light armour for 5 EP, so any other armour found as treasure must be worn while discarding your current armour.
For this reason, armour has not been given an Encumbrance rating since it must be worn and is considered a free item.
The summary on page 51 gives examples of everything that could be carried, including the 4 EP of liquids which could be accessible OR stowed in your character's backpack. How you divy up the points is up to you. Also, like encumbrance rules in other gaming systems, how close you stick to the rules can be somewhat subjective. ;)
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Chris T May 01, 2022 11:23 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I see now, thank you so much for the prompt reply!
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Craig E April 26, 2022 4:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Page 48 says taking Devoted and Righteous removes the cleric's restriction on using slashing and piercing weapons. Why? Don't they have all the normal traits of both classes, including both the bonuses and the penalties? Why is this one rule thrown out the window, but not the others? Or are they thrown out, too? If you do take cleric/paladin, which rules do you get to simply ignore if they suit you? Can you take Eldritch more than once to become, for example, a bard/mage? If you're an elf with the Eldritch feat, can you choose the Eldritch Elf progression at level 4, too?

Edit: Sorry, I'm riding a caffeine high at the moment and my mind's going a mile a microsecond.
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Chris Y April 26, 2022 11:16 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I thought a LOT about the Cleric/Paladin mix. It's never made clear in early D&D exactly why Clerics only use blunt weapons (aside from avoiding bloodshed, which never really made sense), but whatever the reason, Paladins are often seen being just as holy. The mindset which allows Paladins to use any weapon (they clearly aren't offending their deity, which is most important) should therefore be transferable although the Paladin code of ethics remains, which some could say are even more restricting. Also remember that multi-classing in ABtoB is an exception to the rule for players who don't want to run two characters (but at the sacrifice of losing the attacks of an additional character).
As for the Eldritch feat, pg. 22 states: "Elves who take the Eldritch Feat at 1st level must forego their Rite of Passage, but they also ignore any hit die reduction penalty associated with it". Thus, a High-Elf multi-class could indeed have the Path of Mysticism as well if they take the Eldritch feat as their...See more
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Craig E April 27, 2022 3:13 am UTC
PURCHASER
OG D&D Clerics were based on the Knights Templar. Because knights fought other humans, who were almost exclusively wearing armor, the weapons most effective against armored opponents were heavily favored. And the most effective weapons available at the time were actually blunt weapons: maces, warhammers, etc., due to their ability to inflict serious injury even through chainmail, brigandine, or mail-and-plate. Despite depictions in art and modern theater, swords were almost never used by knights on the battlefield.

Ah, but in a world of fantasy, armored enemy soldiers or brigands are not the only enemies around. And clerics are no longer considered to be knights that are blessed with divine favor. They're priests who take the fight to all manner of threats to their flock (pronounced: anyone or anything that doesn't follow their god). While they have access to armor, they generally won't spend the necessary time to train in a wider array of weaponry, hence they stop after learning all armor and...See more
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Chris Y April 28, 2022 2:50 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Excellent research!
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Craig E April 24, 2022 3:45 am UTC
PURCHASER
Character idea: The Second Son

The ancient prophecy tells of a time when a Legendary Hero will rise up against the forces of darkness and...

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

As it turns out, The Oracle was half-drunk when he had his vision. The foretold birth was a pair of twins, a boy (Victor) and a girl (Valerie), both of which became Saints (Hallowed humans). This is not their story.

This is the story of their shunned younger brother, Hunter. Born to parents who each had a considerable amount of elf blood but who weren't quite half-elves themselves, Hunter seemed to have received all the elf blood his elder siblings apparently lacked, becoming at least three-quarters elf. He went on to become a (thus far) unique being: a multiclass of elf and half-elf.

Racial saving throws: Dexterity, Willpower

Feats at level 1: Ranger, Eldritch (Warrior), Nimble (Bonus Feat: Ambidextrous)
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Craig E April 24, 2022 12:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Sorry, that was supposed to go on a Facebook group page. The GM is running us in randomized multiclass pairs, but we have to run the idea by him first. I didn't realize I'd misposted it until he texted me and asked where my character idea was.

Ugh.
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Chris Y April 24, 2022 4:51 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
It's pretty good for a misplaced post. :D And I like the way you're exploring the multi-class feature. An Elf/Half-Elf Ranger/Eldritch Warrior combo should prove quite effective.
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Craig E April 23, 2022 11:30 am UTC
PURCHASER
Several cantrips are described in the cantrip section, but aren't included on any spell lists. Are these there solely for use by the bard via the magic secrets ability? Or were they supposed to be options for the eldritch elf or something?

Edit: The ones in question are Dazzling Lights, Guidance, Produce Flame, Resistance, Sacred Flame, Searing Bolt, Shillelagh, and Thaumaturgy.
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Chris Y April 23, 2022 8:16 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I included every cantrip I could from the 5e SRD for a few reasons:
1. Ones that are not on any Eldritch spell lists can be learned by the Bard.
2. [spoiler alert] There is also a special event in the adventure that grants your character the chance to learn a cantrip of their choice, although the chance of finding this event depends on the choices you make.
3. They were included in case someone would like to import a specific 5e class that is not covered in ABtoB which could have access to these cantrips.
4. There will be new monsters and NPCs in future adventures, but I wanted as much info as possible in this main book to avoid having too much add-on rules down the road.
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Craig E April 21, 2022 3:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Does anyone know if the Fierce and Righteous feats conflict with one another? I can totally imagine a barbarian paladin, and I just wanted to know if there's a reason not to allow this.
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Chris Y April 21, 2022 5:15 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Craig, the Fierce feat states:"You will never be able to cast spells or use items that
grant spell-like abilities". However, a Barbarian Paladin does fall under the Rule of Cool, and would be limited to Human or Half-Elf (the only races that get two feats at 1st level). Perhaps as a house rule you could have the character roll a Will save each time they want to use any magical Paladin abilities - Will [10] for Righteous Might or Laying on of Hands and Will [10+double spell level] to use a spell. Only allow the Will check once per turn or battle - a fail means the Barb can't muster the strength to use the ability but it isn't wasted like a failed spell. But I wouldn't run with this idea too much and allow it with all spellcasting feats, just to keep a bit of balance. A Barb-Ranger does make sense as well, but not a full-on spellcaster like Druid, Cleric or any of the Eldritch options.
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Craig E April 22, 2022 1:04 am UTC
PURCHASER
Okay, thanks. It just seemed like such an awesome idea, and one I can think of 2 or 3 examples of from pop fantasy, but one that might be in conflict with itself by RAW.
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Chris Y April 22, 2022 4:31 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes, the Fierce Barbarian is an awesome brute in close combat so I stuck with the AD&D idea of balancing that with an aversion to magic although not as severe in some ways. However, all classes are built on the basis of a four character party. If you're playing solo or with a smaller party then experimenting with a Barb/Paladin balanced out with house rules is feasible. I allude to the idea with the multi-classing rules under the High Elf on page 48: "While a High-Elf Paladin would be stretching the rules of this gaming realm, they are not unheard of in campaigns where such a hero is warranted".
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Chris T April 09, 2022 4:59 am UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome! Can we expect a print version as well?
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Chris Y April 10, 2022 9:52 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Absolutely Chris! The files have been submitted to DriveThru, so it's just a waiting game now. Hopefully by summer.
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Chris T April 10, 2022 9:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Great news, I'll be looking forward to it!
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Chris Y May 12, 2022 1:15 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Print is now available, and even more affordable due to the May D&D sale here at DriveThruRPG. You won't find a better deal.
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Chris T May 12, 2022 1:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
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Product Information
Pages
350
ISBN
978-0-9952484-3-4
File Size:
61.31 MB
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on April 08, 2022.