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The Burning Sage's Demesne
by Itai G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2019 15:59:24

I am not a fan of the font and layout; it's very old-school and looks just like the old modules, but I prefer mine with more white space; it's too crowded on the eyes. the adventure itself is pretty solid, a single floor dungeon, a few new magical items - it's OK.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Burning Sage's Demesne
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The Burning Sage's Demesne
by paddy g. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/30/2015 16:55:18

This module was just perfect to start off my new players as they leveled from 3-4 through to 5th and 6th.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Buy the Numbers
by Gary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2014 08:52:20

This is what was missing from Pathfinder. I always hated the 'normal' level up system in D&D and Pathfinder. I prefer xp based leveling and more character customization and this book provides for exactly that. Sure, it's math heavy and a bit dry, but the work and thought put into this was incredible. It's a great system that offers alternate ways to design YOUR character, instead of just being a Fighter or a Cleric, you can do a lot more with this system.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Burning Sage's Demesne
by Gray W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2013 20:40:28

I downloaded a few resources to run a game for a new party in my existing world. I chose to run this one, and created 4th level characters to explore it. This is a very challenging adventure for 4th levels and we are only part way through it! Clumsy and somewhat unused to working as a team, my group were unable to deal with the threats individually and were in serious trouble, but I had the two factions turn on each other, and then the trapped azers came to their aid. They haven't crossed the lava lake yet and are all pretty beaten up. I am looking forward to the next session and torturing them further.

I would only have two criticisms; 1) that a 6th level party would probably be more suitable, 2) It is not clear how the sword helps remove the curse, or indeed what the party could (should) do once shifted to the other plane in order to lift the curse. and that is kind of important.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Burning Sage's Demesne
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Trouble in the River City
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2013 04:51:04

This is a city-based scenario in which the PCs become involved with the conflict between two criminal gangs. It's event driven, rather than location driven, with a relatively linear plot. That may lead to issues if the PCs choose to do something unexpected, although it's more likely that they would circumvent sections if this happened, rather than cause the entire plot to collapse. In fact, as linear plots go, it's quite well done, with much of the action following on logically, rather than assuming to much of the PCs - still, players who prefer a more sandbox style might notice they're being herded. Speaking of which, I particularly like the chase sequence, which should be great fun if the players go along with it.

A strong point with the scenario, however, is the amount of background detail on the setting. Much of this has nothing to do with the plot, and so can be safely discarded if you need to set the scenario in a detailed pre-existing city in another campaign world. (For example, the city doesn't even have to be on a river for the scenario to work). Having said that, it's well done, and much of it can be put anywhere, giving a feel to the setting that not only brings it to life, but provides the PCs with plenty to do outside of the core plot. In particular, there a good number of well-described NPCs in the appendix, some of whom have no direct involvement in the plot at all (they may, of course, have had a bigger role in later scenarios in the series) but do give plenty of opportunity for interaction.

The artwork is good quality line art, some if it excellent. The maps, on the other hand, are just geomorphs, although they're as good as one could reasonably expect a geomorph to be. The scenario was intended as an introduction to a longer series, but is also designed to work well as a stand-alone, and is a good and well-written example of its kind.

[Note: The later parts of the series were not, so far as I can tell, ever published.]



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Buy the Numbers
by Mark A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/11/2009 20:13:06

Very well done! This has become a part of my toolbox for my incessant rules tinkering. Works very good as a wholesale plug-in for your game, or as an excellent resource for the value of D&D's "parts".



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Buy the Numbers
by jason b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/10/2008 22:28:23

A good idea poorly implemented. Whoever wrote this gave real thought to a point-buy class system. There are many good ideas in there. However, his math is faulty. By even mid-levels, the difference in point values between two classes of the same level is greater than the difference between characters of different levels of the same class.

Still, it was a good idea.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Buy the Numbers
by David B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2007 00:00:00

I liked this one so much I bought it again when the print version became available! I don't think I will run another D20 campaign without allowing players to use this book to advance their characters.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: It provides excellent flexibility to D20.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: It is sometimes difficult to locate specific abilities, and index would be helpful.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Enchiridion of Mystic Music
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/24/2007 00:00:00

Enchiridion of Mystic Music is one of the few products that covers a topic much better then any of the others. This pdf gives Bards that much needed extra something to allow them to really shine as the musical masters they are. This pdf is 80 pages long and filled with good ideas and new rules. While there is very little art in the book, the formatting of the pages is very readable and well done. It?s written in a nice two column approach and there are two versions of this file. One that is meant for printing and one that is not.

The first chapter is a short introduction to the new abilities. It talks a little about the range the sounds are able to go and listen checks to detect them.

Chapter two has about a dozen new musical feats in it. There are some to lengthen the duration or increase the amount of times that a Mystical Music can be done per day. Most of these feats are what one would expect and they cover most of the areas but there really does not seem to be any that really stand out.

The third chapter deals with classes and starts with the bard class we are all familiar with. After that it has six prestige classes for the bard. The Dark Minstrel was a witness to the evil that men do and has let that consumer her. While the class seems a little on the bland side in abilities the idea behind the class would make for a great character. Next is the Eldritch Caller, a bard who specializes in the outer planes and affecting the creatures from them. Another good class for the right character but the abilities of the class seems to be lacking in inspiration. The Elemental caller I found to be pretty much the same. However, the next three classes I found to be both great in ideas and in the actual write up. The Herald of Nature is a great way to bring the Druid and Bard together, although the class really breaks away from both in a good way. The Politico is an interesting version of the bard that is the master of the spoken word and influencing the people. And the Sonomancer is a study of the magic of sound. All three of these classes have very interesting abilities as well as being great ideas for the focus of a character.

Chapter four is the gem of the book. It described the Mystic Music abilities and really covers all the rules one needs for them. The abilities can do many things like alter memories to causing death, from creating undead to allowing friends to enter frenzy. There are so many good abilities here it?s really hard to just mention a few. There are 26 pages of them and most of them will really broaden the abilities of the Bard to allow him his glory.

The fifth chapter has magical musical compositions. These are scroll version of the Mystic Music abilities.

Lastly we have new monsters and new spells. There are some really good spells like the Drinking song and Hairbelly Rhyme. I like that many of the spells are designed for none combat use, something that is highly lacking in most d20 sourcebooks.

Over all this is a good book that really gives the bard class new options and many new directions that the core books failed to do. The Mystical Music abilities are the best part of this book and will give any bard character the perfect abilities they need. This is the best bard sourcebook on the market today.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Enchiridion of Mystic Music
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Buy the Numbers
by Kevin L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2007 00:00:00

Excellent product. I use it in my D&D campaign. Buy it!<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Buy the Numbers
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Buy the Numbers
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/30/2006 00:00:00

Buy the Numbers

Dungeons and Dragons is an RPG game that has some very set ideas. Each character will have a class and one progressed through gaining levels and getting set abilities defined by the classes. There are some options now like feats and skills, but for the most part the classes determine most of a character?s abilities. Well, that?s not the way it is going to work if Spencer Cooley has anything to say about it. Spencer Cooley is the author and publisher behind Buy the Numbers. He has written a few d20 books but this is by far the most radical. This is one of the most radical books I have read for the system. It takes two of the so called sacred cows, classes and levels, and tosses them aside. Almost. It is a class and level base system that this is based off of. Classes and levels do make their way in here but only to keep things balanced and to figure appropriate challenges. Buy the numbers is a sixty two page pdf. It comes in a zip file a bit over seven megs and unzips to two pdf files. One is made for printing and is under a meg and size and the other is full color with borders and art. The color file is a bit over eight megs in size. There is a nice color border on alternating sides of the book, but with no border opposite it it really makes the other side look bare. The art is okay and the layout is well done. However, the important part of this is the rules. The idea is simple but the construction of them is complicated. One takes all the abilities that go into the classes like hit dice, saves, base attack bonus, skills, etc and assigns costs to them. The costs are in experience points. There is no longer the waiting between gaining levels to gain abilities. Just take the experience points one gained in an adventure and spend them to improve the character. Every ability in the Players Handbook is given a cost in here. The book also gives good guidelines and formulas for figuring out the cost of any ability presented in the thousands of d20 books. Personally, I really like the idea. The numbers and formulas are easy to use and while there is some math involved it is not nearly as complex as I was expecting. There are basic rules given for the costs and then there are usually a few options for alternate costs. For instance raising an attribute costs 400xp the first time and then 800, 1200, 1600 etc for each other time. The options though provide ways to have the cost increase only if one is increasing the same ability over and over. If one wants to just increase all abilities once the cost stays cheap under this option. A second option is to make the cost dependant on how good the ability will be after it is raised. Under this option it is cheaper to raise an eleven to a twelve then a twenty to a twenty one for instance. And the third option combines those two ideas. The options presented here should allow any group to find a way that works for them. There are of course some problems that can arise from this type of system though. A character can easily buy a lot of the cheaper abilities and have a wide range of options for him. A character might be able to acquire a huge base attack bonus at the expense of not learning skills. Obviously it is really up to the DM to watch over what the characters are doing and to hopefully show them that certain types of min maxing while possible will not produce a character that can meet all the obstacles. There is one thing that is missing from the book though. I would like to see a character generation sheet that can be used to keep track of the experience costs and what the experience has been spent on. I think this type of sheet would be very useful with this kind of character creation and advancement. A second thing it does not handle is races with level adjustments. One interesting thing that the author does at the end is show how much experience it would cost to use this system and progress just like the base classes do. The classes are not equal and the levels are not equal. This system will help balance that out and allow the characters to feel more on the same ability level with each other. Overall this is a fascinating product. It is one of the rare books that can truly say it covers something no other d20 book has. It really has the ability to change the way people play the game without altering the campaign world.

<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: It makes the game a point system while keeping what makes the game great<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Buy the Numbers
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/18/2006 00:00:00

Buy the Numbers is a remarkable product and could very well be the future of later editions of Dungeons and Dragons.

The innovative leveling system, available in both PDF and print by Cooley Publishing, allows DMs and Players to level their characters as they go, as opposed to waiting for some magical number and like a bad sequel to Cocoon you are slightly more remarkable than you were. It does force your players to change their mindset about leveling, but the benefits it reaps for a campaign can be immense.

Using series a of simple calculations by analyzing the SRD core classes, it provides the reader with various costs in tables and charts for things such as skills, feats, abilities, spells and everything else that makes up a character. XP is spent on these items like gold coins from a dragon?s horde. Instead of managing their total XP count, DMs and players manage total XP, which is the XP gained throughout the campaign, and current XP, which is the XP players have to spend.

The PDF includes the various calculations and variants that can either complicate or simply matters. For instance, with skills, there is a formula provided that will allow players to be balanced and make it difficult to master certain skills or one for aiding players to specialize in certain skills faster.

Later in the book after the formula for abilities and special abilities are explained, it provides all of the SRD special abilities for the core classes with their point score already totaled, though the point formula?s themselves are usually pretty simple. For those players whom do not want to utilize the ability of customizing your character as you move along in the campaign, there is a breakdown of each core classes in the back of the book that provide the total cost of each level per class level.

There are some negatives. If you have munchkins or min-maxers you may want to instruct some house rules. For instance, players in my campaign are only allowed to buy HD once a total normal level and ability scores every 4 levels. There also is a tad more record keeping.

For the Player If you are tired of waiting for the magical number to pop up or if you hate the illogic that you can only learn something every few months, this is a system you should present to your DM. It is easy to use and implement.

For the DM This really fits well with DMs whom likes to customize their NPCs but do not want to mesh together 4 prestige classes to do so. This does not prevent you from leveling up characters normally (which is obviously easier with unimportant NPCs), but it does allow you to make more unique characters that will surprise your PCs. I love for new players to enter my campaign and try to figure out what I?m using. They completely baffled and usually dead by the end of the encounter.

The Iron Word The ease of use and smart style of Buy the Numbers makes it a great edition to a game, particularly long-term campaigns. For DMs whom deal out XP slowly, this is a superb enhancement allowing characters not to get bored with their characters while they wait for the next level. It also allows for pure customization and does not bottleneck players and DMs into an everending culture of multi-classing.
<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: - simple formulas and written like a conversation and not a textbook<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: - would love to see updated suggestions with other material translated <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OGL-Fantasy Lite: Basic Player's Guide
by Robin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2006 00:00:00

A truely excellent pdf, perfect for starting a small gaming group or folks wanting to get back to good old school gaming.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Good choice of starting classes, races, feats and equipment<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Not a lot; the layout is great as a tutorial or readthru, but can be confusing to find things during game.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OGL-Fantasy Lite: Basic Player's Guide
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Divine Arsenal: Banner Spells
by Derek H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2006 00:00:00

Banner spells produce a physical object that the divine caster holds in both hands. They produce an area effect or, if discharged or used as an attack, an effect on one creature. An interesting concept with plenty of examples.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Divine Arsenal: Banner Spells
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Buy the Numbers
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/11/2006 00:00:00

Buy the Numbers is a book about character creation from S. T. Cooley Publishing. The zipped file is 14.26 megabytes inside, containing two PDFs and two PNG images. The two images are full-color pictures of the front and back covers, with the former being just over 5.5 megabytes, and the latter being a little under 2.5. The two PDFs consist of the book itself, and a printer-friendly version thereof, and are respectively a little less than 7 meg, and just under one-half meg. Both PDFs have a table of contents, but only the main file has its table of contents with hyperlinks; it?s also the only one with bookmarks.

The main file is 64 pages long (the printer-friendly version is only 61). The table of contents and credits together are two pages, along with a one-page introduction, two pages for the OGL, a one-page afterword, and a page of ads. It has colored borders along the alternating sides of each page. A number of black-and-white pieces fill the book, supplementing the beautiful cover art (which, as noted, is a separate file).

Buy the Numbers is a book that gives an alternate method of character creation and advancement for d20 Fantasy characters. It does away with the concept of ?classes? and ?levels.? Instead, it assigns a cost to all aspects of a character ? feats, skill points, base attack bonus, etc. ? and these are bought by spending experience points on them. These purchases an be made at anytime, allowing characters to advance as they want, when they want.

The key here is that the cost of everything is calculated on a sliding scale. The first hit die you purchase will have a fixed cost, but the second one will be slightly more expensive than the first, and the third one will be more expensive still. By making sure that something becomes more expensive the more often you purchase it, game balance is maintained, as characters receive greater experience points later in the campaign.

Chapter one goes over these methods of character creation. It also covers several questions that arise from this system, such as how character level (e.g. for spell effects) is calculated, or how to buy attributes for first-level characters, who have no experience. It then lists the costs for statistics that every character has: hit dice, BAB, saves, feats, skills, attributes, and equipment proficiencies.

Chapter two covers the simple special abilities. These are class features that are always active, not having a ?per day? limit, or other mechanics tied to levels. As with everything else in the book, these are open to any character that can spend the requisite XP on them (though a few have prerequisite abilities that must be met also). The chapter also covers converting abilities from new classes in other products.

Chapter three is similar to chapter two, but covers the complex special abilities, which all have level-based effects and/or limits on their use. As in the previous chapter, there?s a section on converting class abilities from other products to this system.

Chapter four is devoted to spellcasting. Like other abilities, spellcasting is broken down into components and purchased separately; spells known, spells per day, etc. However, these are a little more tightly integrated. For example, access to a higher spell level necessitates having so many spells of the preceding spell level.

Appendix A covers other ways these rules can be used in your game. One such method is to make a character as normal, and then cherry-pick a few extra abilities by spending any leftover XP you might have. Other ways are to start with the character concept you want first, and then purchase the necessary abilities, and see how much it costs. You can even use the rules here to try and create prestige classes, putting certain abilities together and calculating the cost, then reverse-engineering them to levels.

Appendix B offers a breakdown of the eleven PHB classes using this system. Each is listed at every level, from one to twenty, with a listing of both the XP spent at that level, and in total, to purchase the class abilities at any given level.

Buy the Numbers is unquestionably a groundbreaking book. It effortlessly breaks the d20 system free from the shackles of classes and levels, allowing for near-total freedom in how characters advance. The brilliantly-done sliding scale for purchasing stats makes it so that characters never get out of hand, making this product as balanced as it is useful.

If the book has a flaw, it is in the reading. When the author of the book refers to his own work as ?dry? three times in the first paragraph, you know he?s probably not kidding. As this book relies quite heavily on number-crunching, it?s inevitable that it becomes slightly dull to read, despite attempts to alleviate this with examples. However, this is altogether a minor flaw ? while the book won?t ever be a supplement that?ll be read for pleasure, it still accomplishes what it set out to do ? make a class-less and level-less d20 ? perfectly. Players and GMs looking to make characters their own way would be well-served to Buy the Numbers. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: This product artfully broke the d20 system down, making a sliding point-buy system for all mechanics. The elegance of this system can't be overstated.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The book is a fairly dry read, and requires a bit more math use than most products of a similar type.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
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