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BX7 Beyond the Black Wall BX RPG
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/02/2020 05:03:38

I really wanted to like this adventure, but it was unfortunately unplayable.

The previous adventure in the series had 1 missing entry but it was really easy to work around. In this case my first encounter I had an entry that didn't go anywhere. I backtracked, worked around and within a few more choices got to another entry that didn't go anywhere.

It's unfortunate because the art and writting were good, and I found it to feel fairly immersive (once I started just flipping through reading longer entires) but I couldn't actually play through the adventure at all.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
BX7 Beyond the Black Wall BX RPG
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BX6 Grave of the Green Flame BX RPG
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2020 21:17:04

This is an absolutely AMAZING amount of solo gaming content, and I can't believe it was only $4!

Grave Of The Green Flame combines map based overland exploration with some individual location set pieces. The adventure has a simple setup (find the bandits who robbed me) coupled with a few teasers towards a bigger grander story.

The addition of the 'Adventure Point' system offsets one of the biggest problems in solo games driven by non-solo gaming engines. Usually the lack of other party members or easily accessible healing magic in systems that generally include them mean that one or two bad die rolls can bring disaster. The addition of the 'Adventure Points' are basically re-rolls that give a player a limited number of do-overs to avoid those adventure ending failures a limited number of times.

I did have two minor issues with the adventure; not sure if there was hiccup with my PDF or my printout but entry "T" seems to be missing from my copy, the other things is for me personally I would have liked some artwork in the adventure to dress it up a bit.

Having said that I highly recommend Grave Of The Green Flame, it's one of the best solo adventures I've played and was a bargain at the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BX6 Grave of the Green Flame BX RPG
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BX6 Grave of the Green Flame BX RPG
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2020 04:40:00

Solo adventure: an initial quest to hunt down bandits; a woodland area to explore, with small pieces of the overall map revealed as you go; a mystery with which you will eventually interact. The possibility of rerolls via adventure points is a good idea, as a single low level character can be fragile; I would recommend a 2nd level ranger, not only for general toughness, but there are extra clues to be found by those who can track; a 2nd level magic-user with sleep spells might also fare well.

Some suggested corrections for this version: Area 0: title "ALTAR"; Area S: first option should link to Y; Entry W4: damage should be different depending on your skill check, say 2d4 for failure; Area X: X6 label is repeated, suggest "Challenge the Fog" is labelled X7, X7 changed to X9, and links updated accordingly; Area CC: fourth option "enter opulent tent" should link to CC7; Entry EE1: second sentence should begin "If you have not found...."; Entry EE9: missing title "EE9 Give up the Map"; Area GG: in entries GG12, GG14 and GG15, the final option of proceeding East should link to EE.

The structure of the scenario allows you to recover from typing errors (if necessary consulting the master map).

Top class module, very likely the best D+D solo adventure ever written. Would be relatively easy to convert to other systems (such as other OSR games, D+D 5, WFRP, Runequest). Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BX6 Grave of the Green Flame BX RPG
by Christopher c. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2020 21:42:41

I purchased the BX RPG rules books based on Mr. Brannon's very thorough reviews on the Players and GMs books, and im glad I did, I rated them "Good", I did not leave reviews on those books , because the reviews already there go in depth. I then rolled up a character and took him through "The Grave of the Green Flame". I will not spoil any of the goodness there in, only the gist of what you get in this module. You get a very busy adventure! plenty to explore , investigate, experience, and kill. I ran into several cool surprises that I didnt expect in a introductory 1st to 2nd Lvl character adventure. This is the first Solo adventure in a series of solos that will take characters from 1st through 7th lvl. There are also notes for group use. The story line is very good and entertaining, I did not get bored or lose interest at all. I took my time and savored it, and it lasted roughly 4 hours, which is great for me ! This solo system has guidance for mapping and it comes in handy in this adventure. The ending of the Tale told here sets you up for the next solo in the series "Beyond The Black Wall", my character is more experienced now , and tougher (twice i nearly lost him , Good Stuff!) and ready for the next Adventure! I can easily recomend this rules system and this Adventure ! There is one mystery in this adventure I didnt solve, and it eats at me... My next 1st lvl character will one day solve it , gives me more reasons to replay it one day !



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BX RPG Player's Guide
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/21/2020 14:01:09

Originally posted here: http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2020/07/review-pacesetter-games-simulations-bx.html

104 pages. Color covers, black & white interior art.

The BX RPG is split into the Player's Guide and the Dungeon Guide. The Player's guide has all the information a player needs. The book is broken down into creating a character, the character classes, spells, and other abilities of the classes. Following the basic design goals, the information in this book largely cleaves close to the original B/X game. So things like the ability scores and their bonuses work the same way. There are some optional rule sidebars, like giving max hp at 1st level and so on. Likely things we all did anyway. They are not part of the core rules and are presented as options.

Classes

This is one of the larger changes to the standard B/X rules. In the BX RPG we have the same "Basic Four" of Cleric, Fighter, Magic-user, and Thief. We also get the Druid, Monk, Necromancer, Paladin, and Ranger. Some classes get some additional abilities. Clerics have spell progression to the 9th level (but only up to 7th level spells are featured in the book). Magic-users can use cantrips or 0-level spells in a fashion similar to what I have done with my Witch classes. Makes sense, it is an easy way to add minor spells to a Basic-era game. Druids, Monks, Paladins, and Rangers all get their expected abilities and powers. They are a pretty good Basic interpretation of some standard Advanced classes. Fighters, Monks, Rangers, and Paladins all get extra attacks per round as they advance. The Necromancer is a truly new addition. It takes the "place" of the Illusionist. Their XP totals are bit more than the Magic-user. While they do not get the ability to use cantrips, they control undead as a Chaotic Cleric might. Spell progression is a bit faster compared to a magic-user, but their selection is more limited. It might be interesting to compare this Necromancer to the others I have seen in the past. All human classes have a maximum of 18 levels.

Races

Since this is a B/X remaster, races are classes as well. This RPG gives up the same trinity of Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling, and adds the Gnome and Half-elf race/classes. There are some changes to these classes as well. Dwarves are limited to level 15, Elves to 18, Gnomes 18, Halflings 15, and Half-elves 18. Gnomes and Half-elves have magic similar to elves. In fact, not much differentiates the elf from the half-elf save that the half-elf gains the fighter's multiple attacks per round and elves are better with a bow. Halflings though get some minor thieves abilities which are a great addition and something that should have been part of the B/X rules in my opinion.

Spells

The next 50 or so pages of the 104-page book are dedicated to spells. They are sorted by class and then by level. Clerics and Paladins share a list. Magic-users, Elves, and Half-elves share a list. Druids and Rangers share a list. Necromancers have their own list. Gnomes have their own list as well. Like B/X and BECMI some spells can be reversed.
There are redundances in the lists. For example spells like Light and Wish appear on multiple lists and the spell is repeated each time for those classes at the appropriate level as opposed to the B/X standard of "See 1st level magic-user spell of the same name" or listing all spells alphabetically and including what class can cast it, like 3rd Edition does. The advantage to this is if you have the PDf you can print out all the spells for your class and have them all attached to your character sheet. Nothing jumped out at me as being particularly new in the spell area. There are few non-B/X, non-BECMI ones ported over from Advanced and some logical extensions of spells, like Wall of Bone for Necromancers. Again this largely fits in with the design goals of this set.

There is a somewhat plain, but very pragmatic (often the same thing) character sheet at the end.

The art is very much old-school inspired though I think some may call it "anime-inspired." I actually rather like the art and love the cover. The halfling, in particular, is great and from now on thanks to this and James Spahn, all my halfling will have mutton chops.

The book could have gone through another round of edits and QA checks. There are some typos and some layout oddities. I am only mentioning them because others have. I only found the ones I did because I was looking for them. Though one sticks out. The Cleric spell chart going to level 9. Hard to say if this is a typo (or editing mistake) or if clerics really do get 8th and 9th level spells and those will appear in a future product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BX RPG Player's Guide
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BX RPG Dungeon Guide
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/21/2020 14:01:05

Originally posted here: http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2020/07/review-pacesetter-games-simulations-bx.html

112 pages. Color covers, black & white interior art.

One of the best features about the BX RPG is taking the base B/X game and redoing it all to split the Player's and Game Master's material into two books. Makes it great for when you have a group and can get extra Player's books.

The Dungeon guide covers the basic rules including adventuring, combat, poison and granting experience. These rules go into more detail than their B/X counterparts and more akin to the detail we see in BECMI. There are more examples given for situations as well. If you were a brand new player of Game Master for the B/X system then this set is a pretty good start to get you going.

Creatures

A large bulk of the book is dedicated to creatures. Here is a good mix of both the Basic and Expert sets with a few more thrown in for good measure. A lot of detail is given to the creatures. Additionally, the stat blocks are bit more robust than with other Basic-era games, but not quite the detail we see in the 2nd ed AD&D game. Monsters are grouped by type, Animals, Giants, Dinosaurs, Dragons, Undead, and so on. So if you are an old hand at this the monsters are easy to find, if you are new it might take longer. There are new monsters sprinkled around here and there. Some are new-to-B/X and some are new new. So it is nice to get a little more variety. Demons are mentioned and this is the first explicit notice to check out another product and to wait for future ones. It seems the universe is telling me that Demons are a good thing for Basic-era games.

Gods, Demons and the Planes

In the first bit of overt world-building, the BX RPG takes place in Pacesetter's Misty Isles setting (Print, PDF). There is note stating that more setting material will be available in Fall 2020. Some gods are mentioned and they seem to be practical "D&D" like gods. There is not a lot here, but enough for clerics to jot down a god on their sheets. Demons seem to be like the D&D standards so far. No stats or names are given here.

Treasure, Charts, and Appendicies

This section follows the monsters much like day follows night. The usual treasure is covered here with a lot of magic items. There are no intelligent swords. Monster to hit and save charts follow. Along with Cleric turning, and Object saving throws (nice to have).

A sample dungeon in next and it is an excerpt from the module BX2 the Haunter Tower which is included in the boxed set (print, pdf). It's a nice intro to be honest and I got a solid Basic Set vibe from this. That is intentional of course.

There are also random tables of monsters, dungeon settings/encounters, random treasure and even curses and monster summoning tables.

There is a bit on demi-humans using other classes. This book falls on the side of yes there are dwarf clerics and elf thieves, they just don't go on adventures. Though Game Masters have the ultimate say.

In my review for the Player's Book I ended with a note on the typos and layout issues. The same problem exists here. Though this time there were enough that a new version of the Dungeon Guide was sent to the backers of the Kickstarter.

The differences are about 12 pages and the older version of the Dungeon guide is stapled (like the Player's book and the original B/X books) the newer one is perfect bound. The PDF only has the newer content.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BX RPG Dungeon Guide
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H2 The Witch of Monte Rosa
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/10/2020 10:27:40

The Witch of Monte Rosa is from Bill Barsh over at Pacesetter Games. For 3 bucks you get an old-school like adventure PDF. This adventure is for low-level characters using OSRIC or your favorite OSR rule-set. Easily converted to just about anything you are running. It is a sanbox adventure designed to be dropped into any campaign and is adaptable to higher levels. The main focus though is the titular witch and the damage she is causing to nearby life. There are some new monsters and some new magic items that look like a lot of fun. Feels like a dungeon crawl from the 80s in the best possible way.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
H2 The Witch of Monte Rosa
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V6 Palace of the Vampire Queen: Crypts of the Living
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/23/2020 15:51:15

Full review with other Palace of the Vampire Queen related material here: http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2020/01/classic-adventures-revisited-palace-of.html

Crypts of the Living was written as an explicit sequel to the Palace of the Vampire Queen and makes more overt references to the first adventure. The booklet, 16 pages worth, says it is designed for 5th Edition, but all the stats are for OSRIC/1st Edition. No worries. Converting is easy. There are references to both the Palace of the Vampire Queen and Castle Blood. The other adventures are not 100% required to play this one, but it does help. The adventure is a fairly straight forward exploration affair. There are new monsters and new magic items so that is a nice bonus. Can be played in an afternoon or combined with the others for a longer campaign. A fun adventure that is easily adapted to a wide variety of games.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
V6 Palace of the Vampire Queen: Crypts of the Living
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V5 Palace of the Vampire Queen: Castle Blood
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/23/2020 15:50:32

Full review with other Palace of the Vampire Queen related material here: http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2020/01/classic-adventures-revisited-palace-of.html

The first sequel to Palace of the Vampire Queen is Castle Blood. Now here we get more modern adventure designs and maps. There is more background here too to hook the players in, The adventure is brief, but it is supposed to be, at just 16 pages. It can be run in an afternoon. I actually felt this worked better as a prequel to the PotVQ. You learn more about her history here. The eponymous castle is all detailed and above ground. You can meet the Vampire Queen here, but killing her is not the goal of this adventure, but rather finding out what is going on. A fun adventure that is easily adapted to a wide variety of games.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
V5 Palace of the Vampire Queen: Castle Blood
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