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Atlas of Hyperborea
Publisher: North Wind Adventures
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/15/2022 00:14:35

Orignially posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/12/review-hyperborea-products.html

Atlas of Hyperborea

PDF and softcover. 36 pages.

This covers the whole HYPERBOREA world. There is an overview map and then broken up into detailed segments. The softcover book is great, and the PDF does allow you to zoom in for more detail.

It is a good map, but you need the HYPERBOREA RPG to get the full use out of it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Atlas of Hyperborea
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Hyperborea Annual Calendar
Publisher: North Wind Adventures
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/15/2022 00:14:28

Orignially posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/12/review-hyperborea-products.html

Hyperborea Annual Calendar

PDF. 14 pages.

This is a great product. It is the 13 month, 28-day per month HYPERBOREAN calendar. It has the moon phases of the two moons, Phobos and Celene, and plenty of room to add your own details. While you need the RPG to use this for Hyperborea, it would work out well for a homebrew world if you liked.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hyperborea Annual Calendar
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Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess
Publisher: North Wind Adventures
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/15/2022 00:14:19

Orignially posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/12/review-hyperborea-products.html

Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess

PDF. Color cover, black & white interior art.

This is an old-school adventure for 4 to 6 characters of 5th to 7th level.

Lemuria. Ancient cults. Dinosaurs and demon apes. This adventure has everything. I kinda wish it could have been done for lower levels because it is a great introduction to sorts of adventures that HYPERBOREA should be the best at. While I originally grabbed this as a supplement to some other related adventures (and still might use it as such) it really, really feels at home in Hyperborea the most.

On that note it can be easily used in whatever OSR/Old-School system feels the most as home to your groups.

Plus it has a Dimetrodon in it. So I am already sold on it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess
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HYPERBOREA Referee's Manual
Publisher: North Wind Adventures
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/14/2022 11:26:35

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/12/review-hyperborea-referees-manual.html

Yesterday I covered the Player's book. Today let's go with the Referee's Manual.

HYPERBOREA Referee's Manual

PDF and Hardcover. 308 pages. Color cover, black & white art with full-color art pages.

Chapter 10: Introduction Again, this is our introduction this time for the Game Master or Referee's point of view. What the Referee does for the game and more.

Chapter 11: Refereeing This get's into the Game Mastering process in detail. This covers grant experience for the characters and setting up the campaign.

Chapter 12: Bestiary Our monster section and truthfully one of my favorites. The expected ones are here, but there are also plenty of new ones. This covers roughly 130 pages. There are interesting new takes on some classic "D&D" monsters, plus many new ones like a bunch of new "lesser" and "sublunary" demons. The format is most similar to Basic or Labyrinth Lord, and it is full of the usual suspects with some Lovecraftian Horrors, and even remnants of alien and bygone ages. "Demons" are here, but no devils.

Chapter 13: Treasure Covers treasure types and magical treasure. Among the magic items are things like Radium Pistols and other sc-fi artifacts. Very pulpy. It also includes some rules on scribing spell and protection scrolls. There is even a small section on Alchemy in Hyperborea. Very useful to have really.

Chapter 14: Gazetteer. The lands are a pastiche of Howard, Vance, Lovecraft, and Smith. If these names mean anything to you, then you know or have an idea, of what you are going to get here. This section has been greatly expanded from the previous editions. Included here are the gods again and a little more on religion. Basically, you get the idea that gods are either something you swear by (or to) or get sacrificed to by crazy cultists. So yeah, you know I am a fan.

Appendix A: Weather in Hyperborea. Likely more important here than, say, other game worlds. Weather in Hyperborea is dangerous.

Appendix B: Hazards of Hyperborea. There are horrible things waiting for you in Hyperborea and they are not all monsters or the weather.

Appendix C: Waterborne Expeditions. Covers waterborne adventures and combat.

Appendix D: Warefare and Siege. Your characters have built their strongholds. Now someone wants to know it down. Here are the rules.

Appendix E: OGL Statement. The OGL statement for this book.

Nearly every aspect of this game has seen expansion since the 2nd Edition; some sections more than others, but it is a great upgrade.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HYPERBOREA Referee's Manual
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HYPERBOREA Player's Manual
Publisher: North Wind Adventures
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/13/2022 12:30:25

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/12/review-hyperborea-players-manual.html

With the new 3rd Edition, we have some changes. First, the game is now simply called "HYPERBOREA" and not "Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 3rd Edition." Secondly, the Player's Manual and the Referee's Manual are now separate books. Much like the 1st Edition was. Only this time, they are full hardcover books.

HYPERBOREA Player's Manual

PDF and Hardcover. 324 pages. Color cover, black & white art with full color art pages.

For my review, I am going to be considering the hardcover from the Kickstarter and the PDFs from DriveThruRPG.

The book starts with the credits, acknowledgments, and dedication to John Eric Holmes, the author/editor of the "Holmes" Basic edition.

Chapter 1: Introduction this covers what this game is and what RPGs in general are. This is important and worth a read since it sets the stage for what sort of sub-genre this game covers, "swords, sorcery, and weird science-fantasy." The classics of Swords and Sorcery are covered here briefly and how they add to the feeling of this game. This is pure Howard, Lovecraft, and Smith.

Chapter 2: Character Generation covers character creation. This chapter is brief covering of what you can do with the five chapters. This also has a listing of the common "facts" known to every character. There is a section on leveling up.

Chapter 3: Statistics or the "rolling up characters" chapter. The six recognizable methods are presented here. The most common of course is Method III; roll 4d6 drop the lowest. We also have the same six attributes we have always had.

Each class has a "Fighting Ability" (FA) and a "Casting Ability" (CA) which relates to attacks. So yes, even magicians can get a little better in combat as they go up in level. It's a great little shorthand and works great. So a 4th level Fighter has a fighting ability of 4. A 4th level magician still only has a fighting ability of 1 and a cleric 3 and thief 3. Subclasses can and do vary.

AC is descending (like old school games), BUT with the Fighting Ability stat it could be converted to an ascending AC easily.

Chapter 4: Classes We still have our Basic Four; Fighter, Magician, Cleric, and Theif. Each also gets a number of subclasses. Fighters get Barbarian, Berserker, Cataphract, Huntsman, Paladin, Ranger, and Warlock. The Magician has Cryomancer, Illusionist, Necromancer, Pyromancer, and Witch. The Cleric has the Druid, Monk, Priest, Runegraver, and Shaman. Finally, the Thief has the Assassin, Bard, Legerdemainist, Purloiner, and Scout.

Each subclass is very much like its parent classes with some changes. The classes look pretty well balanced.

Chapter 5: Background This covers all the things about the character that "happened" before they were characters.

Races are dealt with first. They include Amazons, Atlanteans, Esquimaux, Hyperboreans, Ixians, Kelts, Kimmerians, Lemurians, Picts, and Vikings along with the catch-all "Common" race of man. No elves or dwarves here. Physique is also covered.

Alignment is a simpler affair of Lawful Good, Lawful Evil, Chaotic Good, Chaotic Evil, and Neutral.

Along with race, there are various languages the characters can learn/know. There are also gods here, an interesting mix of Greek, Lovecraftian, Norse, and Smith gods.

There are background skills and weapon skills. Though I misread "charcoaler" as "chocolatier," and now I want a character with this background.

Chapter 6: Equipment Or the "let's go shopping" chapter. If you missed the "to hit modifiers vs. armor types/AC" in AD&D then I have a treat for you. Weapons here are more detailed than they were in previous editions of HYPERBOREA; or at least more detailed than my memory of the older editions. Just checked, this one is much more detailed.

Chapter 7: Sorcery This is our spell chapter but it also covers alchemy. Spells are split up by character class. Spells are limit to 6th level since classes are all limited to 12 levels. Spell descriptions are all alphabetical. This covers about 75 pages.
Chapter 8: Adventure. This chapter improves over the previous editions. It covers all sorts of adventure topics like hirelings and henchmen, climbing, doors, nonstandard actions, time and movement.

Chapter 9: Combat. All sorts of combat topics are covered. Critical hits, unarmed combat, mounted combat and more. Damage and madness are also covered. The madness section is small and not really designed to mimic the real world.

Appendix A: Name Generator. Pretty useful, really, to get the right feel of the game. Afterall "Bob the Barbarian" isn't going to cut it here.

Appendix B: Lordship and Strongholds. What each class and subclass gains as a Lord or Lady of their chosen strongholds. There is a great section on creating strongholds as well.

Appendix C: Cooperative Gaming. This covers how well to play in a group.

Appendix D: OGL Statement. This is our OGL statement.

These appendices (with the exception of D) are all new.

There is also a great index.

So I will admit I was unsure about backing the 3rd Edition of HYPERBOREA. I have the 1st and 2nd Editions and they have served me well over the last few years. This edition brings enough new material to the table that it really is the definitive version of the game.

The leatherette covers are really nice and I am happy I waited for it. Since the Player's and Ref's books are now separate, I could, if I wanted, pick up another Player's book.

The art is great. There are some reused pieces and still plenty of new ones. It uses the art well and helps set the tone of the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HYPERBOREA Player's Manual
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Mysteries of the Dead Side: Sacred Necromancer
Publisher: Zombie Sky Press
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2022 10:18:38

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2018/09/class-struggles-necromancer-part-2.html

This book is presented in landscape orientation for easier screen reading. We are given a 20-level base class for Pathfinder with six "Callings" (sub-types). I have to admit this got may attention since my cabal of evil necromancers is called "The Order of Six" so I could restat them as one of each type here. No new spells, but there is a fully...fleshed out...NPC.

For just under $4 it is worth it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Dead Side: Sacred Necromancer
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New Paths 7: Expanded White Necromancer (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2022 10:18:33

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2018/09/class-struggles-necromancer-part-2.html

This 17-page book gives a new perspective a, GOOD necromancer that protects the dead. I like the idea, to be honest. It comes with a complete 20-level base class and six new spells. There are also feats and stats for various undead companions. It makes for a great companion piece and counterpoint to the 3.x Death Master from Dragon Compendium Volume 1.

For just under $3 it is a great buy for anyone that wants something a little different or for that GM whoes player keeps begging to play a necromancer.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
New Paths 7: Expanded White Necromancer (Pathfinder RPG)
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Old-School Essentials: The Necromancer
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2022 10:18:27

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2018/09/class-struggles-necromancer-part-2.html

One of the newest necromancers on the block and designed specifically for Old School Essentials. This is designated as "Play Test Material" but it really is ready to go. There have been necromancers for OSE before and there is at least one necromancer for other B/X-Basic games written by Gavin Norman already. Here the Necromancer is a subclass of the Magic-user, as would be expected, and some notes are given about using these new spells for the magic-user. But thematically they fit with the necromancer much better. The new spells are from 1st to 6th level and there are 12 of each. I see why there are twelve of each; to fit the style and layout of what Gavin does with his OSE games. But I would have been tempted to make it a nice 13 per level myself.

The spells are good and fit well. Some we have seen in other forms and formats over the past few years, but that does not detract from this book at all. Do you want a great OSE necromancer? Well, here it is. The format used here could be adopted for all sorts of other magic-user type classes or subclasses like the Illusionist or Enchanter for example.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Old-School Essentials: The Necromancer
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Shadow of the Necromancer 1E
Publisher: Dark Wizard Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2022 10:18:20

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2018/09/class-struggles-necromancer-part-2.html

This is a short adventure for 1st to 3rd-level characters. And most importantly (to me) it comes in both Old-School/1st Edition and 5th Edition D&D versions! The adventure comes with a map, in beautiful old-school blue for the 1st ed version and full color for the 5th edition version. The module itself is 16 pages (one page for title and credits, one page for OGL , one page blank). The adventure is a simple "strange things are going on! The PCs must investigate!" situation. It turns into "stop the minion of the Necromancer from finishing his evil plans." It's tried and true and it works fine here. The adventure, as with many of the Darl Wizard/Maximum Mayhem Dungeons, is a deadly affair. Not as deadly as the Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen, but it is not a walk in the graveyard either. It is a fun romp and really captures the feel of old-school playing. Both versions are great and I can keep the 1st-ed version for myself and give the 5th-ed version to my kids to run.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow of the Necromancer 1E
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Shadow of the Necromancer 5E
Publisher: Dark Wizard Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2022 10:18:01

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2018/09/class-struggles-necromancer-part-2.html

This is a short adventure for 1st to 3rd-level characters. And most importantly (to me) it comes in both Old-School/1st Edition and 5th Edition D&D versions! The adventure comes with a map, in beautiful old-school blue for the 1st ed version and full color for the 5th edition version. The module itself is 16 pages (one page for title and credits, one page for OGL , one page blank). The adventure is a simple "strange things are going on! The PCs must investigate!" situation. It turns into "stop the minion of the Necromancer from finishing his evil plans." It's tried and true and it works fine here. The adventure, as with many of the Darl Wizard/Maximum Mayhem Dungeons, is a deadly affair. Not as deadly as the Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen, but it is not a walk in the graveyard either. It is a fun romp and really captures the feel of old-school playing. Both versions are great and I can keep the 1st-ed version for myself and give the 5th-ed version to my kids to run.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow of the Necromancer 5E
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Old-School Essentials Purist Character Sheet
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/01/2022 14:55:35

You always need more character sheets and with Old-School Essentials you have a few options. This sheet follows the design philosophy of OSE. Make it functional, make it simple and make it work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Old-School Essentials Purist Character Sheet
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Old-School Essentials Vagabond Character Sheet
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/01/2022 14:55:20

You always need more character sheets and with Old-School Essentials you have a few options. This sheet follows the design philosophy of OSE. Make it functional, make it simple and make it work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Old-School Essentials Vagabond Character Sheet
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Witch: Fated Souls 2e Quickstart
Publisher: Angry Hamster Publishing
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/01/2022 13:24:21

Orignially posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-witch-fated-souls.html

Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition

I have been a fan of Witch: Fated Souls and Elizabeth Chaipraditkul for a while now. I even got her to the foreword for my own The Green Witch for Swords & Wizardry book.

So for this Halloween day, I give you Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition, Quickstart, AND the Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition, Kickstarter.

Quickstart

PDF. 36 pages. Full-color cover and interior art.

Design & Development: Elizabeth Chaipraditkul & Steffie de Vaan

This quick start covers the basic rules of Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition and includes a quick adventure to play.

Like the 1st Edition, Witch: FS2 deals with people (Witches or "The Fated") who sell their souls for power in the modern world. The different sorts of "demons" these characters sell their souls to will determine what sorts of power they will get and how they interact with the world, or their "Fates".

Pausing for a second I can see already improvements in gameplay, readability, and layout of this Quickstart over the original Witch: FS1.

Characters now have nine abilities, not eight, and are grouped by Mind, Body, and Spirit with three sub-attributes each. These are all explained and how they are used in the QS. Checks are also explained. The new mechanics are based on Elizabeth Chaipraditkul and Steffie de Vaan's other game Afterlife: Wandering Souls. This opens up a whole level of play if you have both games. But I am going to wait on that one.

We have a section on magic and knowing Witch: FS1 there is going to be a lot more in Witch: FS2.

There is even some detail on advancement. So really, as far as characters go you have enough here to keep you busy until the Second Edition Kickstarter is done.

Demons are covered in their own section and they are the most interesting and likely complicated thing in this game. Complicated that is in how to run them and interact with their Fated.

The last half of the quickstart covers the included sample adventure, "The Devil Made Me Do It."

There are included NPCs, similar to the ones that appear in Witch: FS1 and using the same art; which is great for returning players helping them get acclimated to the new system. It is recommended you use these characters to aid you in learning the game.

The Fated

If the full product is anything like this Quickstart then we are in for a treat!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Witch: Fated Souls 2e Quickstart
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Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/31/2022 12:25:48

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/monstrous-mondays-d-undead.html

Ghosts. Vampires. The Undead. These are the monsters that got me into D&D from the start. Yes it was fun to see all the monsters of mythology here, but I didn't want to be Perseus or Heracles, I wanted to be Van Helsing (I ended up as Dr. Seward, and that is fine).

So it is to the undead that my monster-hunting eye has always turned. This has been true for every edition of D&D I have played. Second Edition AD&D had Ravenloft and The Complete Book of Necromancers. Fourth Edition has had today's subject.

Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead (4e)

PDF and Hardcover. 224 pages. Full-color cover and interior art. For this review, I am considering both the PDF from DriveThruRPG and my hard-cover book.

This book has a solid pedigree. First off one of the authors of this, Bruce R. Cordell, was also one of the authors of Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead. He was also one of main designers of the epic HPE series of Orcus-focused adventures for 4e. This means to me at least that if you are running the HPE series and using undead (and of course you are) then this book is a must-buy. There are more details in this book that make it a great book on D&D Undead, but I will get to those in due time.

Chapter 1: Undead Lore

This book starts much like it's 3.5 Edition counterpart. This chapter covers the hows, whats, and whys of undead. There are sections on physiology, outlook, and psychology, as well as society. These sections are very similar to the 3.5 edition, which makes sense, with the addition of edition specific details.

For my point of view, the two books (Open Grave and Libris Mortis) both compliment and complete each other. Together they are not the final words on Undead, but they cover quite a lot.

The section that is newest here is the one on Shadowfell (and thus why it is a great resource for the HPE adventures).

There are few undead monster stat blocks featured here as well.

Chapter 2: DM's Guide to Undead

This covers DM's rules. In particular there are skill challenges, how to handle hauntings, and building undead into campaigns. This section in particular is good advice to any DM of any edition wanting to use undead in their games.

There are also some artifacts detailed here including the Mask and Sword of Kas, the Soul Sword, the Von Zarovich family sword, and more. Like 3.5 there are even some undead grafts.

New rituals are also detailed. Something I felt D&D 4e never had enough of.

Chapter 3: Undead Lairs

Location-based encounters were a big deal in 4e. This covers ones with an undead flavor to them for Heroic, Paragon, and Epic level tiers. Three of each are featured with character levels from 1st to 26th. As with all 4e encounter listings, there are plenty of quasi-unique monsters here. Sometimes they are new, and often they are just an edit on an existing creature.

Chapter 4: New Monsters

Ah, here is what we want! There are more than just undead here, there are the "unliving" as well; monsters that have cheated death but are not undead themselves. There are 122 statblocks of monsters here. These included variations on the Ghoul, Lich, Mummy, Skeleton, Vampire, and Zombie. There are new creatures including undead constructs and oozes. Our old friend the Brain in the Jar from Ravenloft is also back. So many of these are at least familiar to me and some are new.

Undead Hall of Infamy

This flows from the Chapter 4 material and is nominally part of Chapter 4, it is its own section. Here we get some stats for some of the biggest undead names in D&D history. They include Acererak, Ctenmiir the Cursed (from White Plume Mountain), Kas the Betrayer, Kyuss, Osterneth the Bronze Lich (a new NPC but has the relic, the Heart of Vecna), Strahd von Zarovich, and Vecna himself.

Templates

Also part of Chapter 4 these are templates for undead creatures.

Alternative Powers

Undead should be unique, so these are alternate power for various undead that replaces one or more of the powers they have listed.

The utility of this book to the 4e DM can not be overstated. Especially if you are running the HPE adventures or dealing with any undead.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead (4e)
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Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/31/2022 12:24:42

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/monstrous-mondays-d-undead.html

Ghosts. Vampires. The Undead. These are the monsters that got me into D&D from the start. Yes it was fun to see all the monsters of mythology here, but I didn't want to be Perseus or Heracles, I wanted to be Van Helsing (I ended up as Dr. Seward, and that is fine).

So it is to the undead that my monster-hunting eye has always turned. This has been true for every edition of D&D I have played. Second Edition AD&D had Ravenloft and The Complete Book of Necromancers. Third Edition has had today's subject.

Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (3.5)

PDF and Hardcover. 192 pages. Full-color cover and interior art. For this review, I am considering both the PDF from DriveThruRPG and my hard-cover book.

Libris Mortis was the undead book for 3.5. Undead were covered in the Book of Vile Darkness for 3.0 and here they get more attention and more details.

Introduction

Tells us all about this book and the basics of the Undead and undeath.

Chapter 1: All About Undead

Gets into the detail of the undead including how they manifest; largely along the traditional Corporeal/Incorpeal lines. Undead physiology and details like metabolism and feeding are covered. There is a useful table of various undead monsters and whether or not they feed, what they feed on, and whether it is needed or just desired. This also covers their senses which can be very different than the living stock they came from. All Undead have Darkvision 60' for example, but their sense of touch is limited.

Also, undead psychology is covered. Namely, how does one deal with being nearly immortal and never changing? There is a bit on undead religion including some gods (in 3.x format) of the Undead. Some of these we have seen before or have seen mentions of. Doresain the King of Ghouls, Nerull the Reaper, and our good friend Orcus are all mentioned here.

Though one of my favorite sections is the Fighting Undead section which covers weaknesses and tactics that can be used in fighting the undead. Much like Professor Hieronymus Grost informs us in Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, all undead (not just vampires) have a means to their destruction. This section should make the undead scarier than other monsters. Orcs and Dragons die the same way. You reduce their HP enough with weapons and they will die. Not always so with Undead.

Chapter 2: Character Options

This is a 3.5 book so there are going to be character options. These start with the feats. They are split between undead-friendly feats and undead-hunting feats.

Building off of the Savage Species there are rules for Undead Characters. This includes level adjustments for undead characters. Not every group will want undead characters, but these rules do help. There are even some Monster Classes. Of course, the best use of these is to make unique undead NPCs to threaten characters with.

Chapter 3: Prestige Classes

3.x was all about the prestige classes. And there are several here that I found a lot of fun. There are Death's Chosen (high level lieutenants for the undead), Dirge Singer (a fun bard idea), Master of Radiance (one my Paladin went into), Master of Shrouds (their evil counterpart), Pale Master (Prestige Divine Necromancer), Sacred Purifier (another good undead fighting class), True Necromancer (Prestige Arcane AND Divine Necromancer). The True Necromancer advances in both Divine and Arcane spellcasting classes and gets special powers. It is also an odd Prestige Class in that it has 14 levels. Obviously to give the maximum effect of taking three levels in a divine class (need Knowledge Religion 8 ranks, cast summon undead II) and three levels in an arcane class (need Knowledge Arcan 8 ranks, cast command undead). I also can't help but think this is an obvious nod to the Death Master.

There are also Undead Prestige Classes such as Lurking Terror, Master Vampire, and the Tomb Warden.

At this point, I could run a 3.5 campaign and battle only undead and never run out of combinations and permutations of monster, class, feat, and prestige class combinations.

Chapter 4: Spells

Covers spells for Assassins, Blackguards, Clerics, Druids, Paladins, and Sorcerer/Wizards. There are many here that are new. I'd have to go line by line to see how many came from the Complete Book of Necromancers.

Chapter 5: Equipment

A shorter chapter that covers new equipment. There are alchemical substances, toxins, poisons as well as undead grafts and magic items.

Chapter 6: New Monsters

Nearly 50 new monsters here and only a few seem to come from previous versions of D&D. The Brain in a Jar stands out as a previous one, but the rest are new.

I never get tired of new monsters, especially undead ones.

Chapter 7: Campaigns

This covers the last quarter or so of the book. It covers how to use undead in various roles including using them in encounters. There is also a great section on variant undead. I believe that all undead should be unique in some fashion, often relating to how they lived or died (see "A Christmas Carol"). Only a few examples are given, but they can be extended to all sorts of undead.

There are various cults here that can be used anywhere and in any version of D&D. There are also adventure sites and seeds which can also be dropped anywhere but require some minor conversion for other versions of the game.

This is one of those books I keep coming back to for more ideas. Yes I have been using the undead in my own games for more than 40 years now, but there is something else to do, something else to learn, and more to the point, more monsters to fight.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (3.5)
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