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Boot Hill Wild West Role-Playing Game (2nd Edition)
by Jacob H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/20/2019 00:06:13

This is an entirely different game from Boot Hill Third edition. This has the best Wild West combat I've ever encountered; it's very deadly. An example: To attack, I have a percent chance I need to roll under to hit. If I hit, I roll on the Wound chart twice; once to see what body part got hit, another to see how bad it is. Regardless of your level, an unlucky hit can kill you instantly.

The rulebook assumes you'll be playing a game similar to the old Braunstein games of yesteryear. Everyone creates a character who has a role in the town/terrority; Texas Ranger, Sheriff, Marshell, Indian Chief, Railroad Boss, Newspaper Owner, Outlaw Gang leader, drifter, etc. Everyone is viaing to make such and such amount of money, and the referee just moderates the chaos.

This blog post here has a description of one Game Master's experience with Boot Hill 2nd Edition. http://www.chocolatehammer.org/?p=5773



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Boot Hill Wild West Role-Playing Game (2nd Edition)
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DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
by James M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2019 10:31:06

Great little adventure. My group had a blast running through it. Make sure to check AL errata for updates on the the awards in this module if that sort of thing is important to you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL00-05 Winter's Splendor (5e)
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DDAL04-08 The Broken One (5e)
by Jeff C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2019 22:31:59

The highest praise I can give is to report that it kept my group of 12- and 13-thirteen old players riveted, and got them completely invested in what happened to Luca. We just picked this one randomly and started playing it out of sequence but I'll definitely be checking out more from the series.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04-08 The Broken One (5e)
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DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
by Greg T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2019 19:48:07

A confusing mess, best avoided

Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer's Isle has a good idea - revisiting the Pyramid of Yarash, previously featured in the Pool of Radiance videogame and novel. It's a semi-iconic location, and an Adventurer's League set in Phlan is a great time to do it. Unfortunately, almost every aspect of the actual module doesn't work.

(1) The adventure simply doesn't make sense given its placement in the Adventurer's League season. Phlan has just fallen, and in the immediate previous adventure (and in the season finale) getting out of the city is now hard, requiring an entire adventure to achieve. But players here are able to pop out and back for a leisurely jaunt upriver to check out something of marginal relevance to anyone in Phlan.

(2) The trip up the river is pointless busywork, best skipped.

(3) The lower level of the pyramid features an unmappable maze where players must face a certain number of random encounters to progress. This is lazy design, and is transparently frustrating to players. Some of these random encounters are interesting; most are not.

(4) The module theoretically features substantially different pathways depending on which entrance players make use of to the pyramid. In practice, these pathways are only marginally different but require double-printing many encounters. The reality is that there's a path that favours talking and a path that favours fighting, and a good GM should be orienting the adventure to their players' preference anyway.

(5) The adventure features (spoilers) Slaads, a rarely-used and interesting foe, but it doesn't use them terribly well. They're one faction in the pyramid, along with lizardfolk, Red Wizards and cultists, but the adventure is overly prone to fights featuring a single class of enemy, leaving them vulnerable to having their weaknesses exploited rather than demonstrating their strengths. (The wizards don't have any tanks, the slaads don't have any range, etc.)

(6) There's a weightless sense about the whole adventure, that none of it really matters or has consequences for anyone. Plus, there's just too much going on in the pyramid - too many factions, whose motives are too poorly explained, even in GM text, and moreso once you consider how to impart what information exists to the players.

In the end, this turned out to be the weakest adventure in Season 1 of Adventurer's League for our group, and one we were eager to hurry through and be done with. Not recommended.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
DDEX1-11 Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle (5e)
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D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)
by Brian S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2019 18:21:22

Five stars for the contents, and five stars for the print on demand product quality. The Rules Cyclopdiea is widely regarded as THE best single-volume D&D-related book ever made, so it easily earns five stars for content. But I was somewhat hesitant to order the print on demand version, because I've heard multiple reports of blurry text. But the hardcover was on sale for $23.99, so I took a gamble and ordered my copy on May 1st 2019. The product arrived exactly two weeks later. And the print on demand print quality is surprisingly excellent. The book features nice dark crisp print, with no blurriness whatsoever. I was very pleasantly surprised. Great book, great price, great quality. I couldn't be happier with this purchase.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)
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DDAL05-10 Giant Diplomacy (5e)
by Daniel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2019 10:47:42

This is one of my favorite adventures and a go-to for when I am introducing new players to the game.

It does start out with combat, so it gets the players involved rather quickly. But almost immediately, you are introduced to situations that can be solved with roleplaying. I love having that in an adventure for new people, because they can see the different styles. (What the newer adventures make a point to label as the "pillars of play.")

There's a lot of silly fun, and it's enhanced if you're willing to go all-out with the silliness as the DM. It's completely an excuse to be overly enthusiastic and get a little loud and every time I've run it, that has paid off.

The contest in the adventure especially pays off if you mostly adlib the descriptions, and maybe even fudge the stats a little so that its more of a nail-biter. (You can certainly keep track of the "real numbers" ... but nothing says that your descriptions have to correspond exactly to the rolls. This is one of those DM adjudication moments.)

Players get real involved in that part, and it helps to make it seem neck-and-neck as much as possible.

And it's fun to see how DIFFERENTLY each table handles the ending.

I recommend this one highly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-10 Giant Diplomacy (5e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Emily L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2019 09:48:49

The Black Road is the first campaign I have ever DMed. It was a great starter campaign and introduction. My players, all of whom are more experienced than me, had a great time and can't wait to find out what happens next!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)
by Luke M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2019 01:15:18

In reading many comments by customers, I approached this order with great trepidation- both in general and in regards to this specific book. This is my first order from this site, so I am offering a sort of log of my overall experience for the sake of any other new customer who may be as cautious as I was going in.

I placed my order for this print-on-demand book on April 29. The confirmation email stated print materials may take up to 14 business days- that's three weeks, folks- to ship.

Fortunately, I received a shipping notification email on May 7. Despite claiming shipment was by Media Mail, no tracking number was provided.

In any event, annoyance of no tracking number was more or less mitigated by the fact that the book arrived just four days after the shipment notice. Packing was a variation of one of those wrap-around cardboard deals you see other stores use for shipping books (that is, not really a box) but this did not affect the condition of the book at all.

In fact, the quality of this item is absolutely astounding. Going in, I kind of assumed that I'd get a thing I could use but could never be regarded as "the real thing." I was very pleasantly surprised! While it does not look 100% like the original, it only looks like a print-on-demand fascimile if you pour over it with a magnifying lens. For all normal intents and purposes, this looks- and is- basically a new reissue of an old book.

If I had one complaint, I suppose it would be that I have a mild concern about the binding. I've seen professionally published books with worse binding that held up over time, and I always treat books with reverence, so it's probably not going to be a problem. On the other hand, if you are reckless and aggressive with books and plan on using this "at the table" it may behoove you to get the paperback version instead of the hardcover. I may actually buy a paperback version later on just to have a spare, since the price is so wonderfully reasonable.

Allegations of blurry text categorically do not apply to the copy I received. The paper and printing are different from the original, so the text kind of looks different, but I wouldn't be able to call what I'm seeing here "blurry" even if I were to wildly exaggerate. If you received a copy with blurred text- and your eyesight is healthy- contact the site and get a replacement, because mine sure as heck doesn't look like that.

In conclusion, I was so impressed by this entire ordering experience that I am now guaranteed to make it rain at DriveThru RPG, and with relish. This site does the entire world a great service by allowing us to bypass the preposterous secondary market and its insane prices. Right now there is a person selling an original copy of this very book on- as they say- another web shop, listing it as "very good" but openly stating that the binding is held together with tape. The price? $100! Thank you, DriveThru, for giving us all the ability to strike back at such nonsense. I will eagerly order again!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)
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The Planewalker's Handbook (2e)
by Matthew T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2019 04:25:17

Highly recommend this book for anyone new to planescape. I have a planescape campaign setting box set and this print on demand version is way cheaper and supplies much of the same information. Does have slightly faded text, which is common with planescape, but it's legible, although the tables at the back, specifically the sand/gold coloured non-bold text is very difficult to read.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Planewalker's Handbook (2e)
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Hellbound - The Blood War (2e)
by Matthew T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2019 04:20:42

Excellent print of a scan. The box sets done as a single book are generally well put together, with only slight issues with the scan of some maps looking a little rushed (probably not ideal source material to scan either, being folded for a few decades is less than optimal). Haven't tried printing maps from the supplied PDF's yet, although plan to soon.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hellbound - The Blood War (2e)
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The Will and the Way (2e)
by Matthew T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2019 04:18:20

Excellent print quality in regards to the book itself. Text is a little faded, something that is often found in planescape/dark sun books. Still readable though. I presume the original was slightly longer than this book is, since both the top and bottom of the pages are slightly clipped. This means the page numbers are sometimes slightly cut off and the dark sun logo at the top of the page is clipped as well. The page numbers are still usuable but it jars a little.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Will and the Way (2e)
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The Factol's Manifesto (2e)
by Matthew T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2019 04:14:27

The content of the book is excellent and a useful addition to Planescape. The print itself suffers from some of the same issues that other scans from Planescape have, as well as Dark Sun. The colour balance and scan leaves some of the non-black text looking quite faded. Still perfectly useable and considering the cost of print on demand books versus buying used out of print, at least I'm not getting stiffed on book condition.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Factol's Manifesto (2e)
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Planes of Chaos (2e)
by Matthew T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2019 04:11:36

Very nice and clear print. Very impressed at some of the print on demand books.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Planes of Chaos (2e)
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Faiths & Avatars (2e)
by John G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2019 09:59:50

This is one of the most useful books from older editions I've found. There is just so much detail about each of the deities. So much better than wikis. I wouldn't read this cover to cover ever but once I've decided to incorporate a diety into my campaign, I'm immediately going to turn to this book to get details.

Just so you know what you are getting, this is a second edition book that has ~2 pages with incredibly tiny font about each diety, the church and the beleifs. From what I can tell, in 2nd edition, all of the gods actually physically manifested themselves and walked around faerun (and they are all statted up). All of the stat blocks and crunch are essentially worthless to me but thats not what I'm looking for. The fluff is just so good. Words for prayers, how the church is orgnaized, brief descriptions of rituals, taboos, desciptions of temples and symbols, relationships with other gods. It is really fantastic fluff for roleplaying.

If you found the god descriptions in SCAG lacking, have a cleric in your party or want to do anything with religion, then pick this book up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Faiths & Avatars (2e)
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DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
by Daniel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2019 01:59:47

This adventure is a FAVORITE of our local play-group. It's a tightly packed two hour story for tier one, which I am always in need of. (I'm going to try to avoid major spoilers, but there are some minor ones contained here.)

It also serves as a great introduction to season five, specifically the town of Parnast which is the shared setting for the tier one portion of the DDAL05 series.

It makes the good decision to have you be new to Parnast so you can learn about it along with your character, you get introduced to Azam, the caravan-master and Hsing, a golden psuedodragon. Both characters make appearances in other adventures, so you get a nice introduction there. You're going to be travelling across the Anauroch desert.

This happened right during season five, where the campaign in general shifted location. I have a big map printed of the sword coast which includes the Moonsea over in the corner, and ... Once you see the scope, you can't appreciate. I point my hand up at the far right of map, "you're starting out here..." and then wave my hand "and going alllllll the ways over here." And in this huge map is this IMMENSE expanse of tan. The map is big, but I can do this hand gesture from across the room and people can see clearly, it's that big. (and enough players in our group have gone through this adventure that ... People know when I'm running this one.)

Apart from the fact you're in this caravan bringing necessary supplies across a wasteland, it is open-ended. You can insert colorful things throughout, and the adventure encourages that. You have DAYS of travel, and the events are open-ended when they happen. But, the wasteland allows you to keep things from getting lost, they have a GOAL and they get invested in having this caravan arriving safely.

Also, the encounters give you options for what to do, for instance one of the early encounters gives you one circumstance for what to do if the players set up watch AND succeed at a perception check, and another for if the fail. Another encounter/hazard (based around skill checks and saves) is even more open ended, giving you the ability to invite the players to describe what they want to do to help the caravan. (the text literally encourages you to work with the players to find creative solutions, I love that.)

In the old rules, one of the encounters had the number of successes or failures determine the gold reward at the end, the newer rules don't have that option, but it speaks to the strength of the story that I haven't seen the players change behavior at all.

EVERYONE gets invested in doing everything that they can do to save that caravan, they FEEL those losses. I've run it Sooooo many times, and yet it never fails, people get invested.

The final encounter has a flowchart for what happens depending on players choices, making sure that they still get an exciting outcome but still providing the ability for their choices and rolls to make a difference. This is much more common in season eight, but I love this ability to have the adventure be just different enough from one table to another.

There is an optional encounter in the middle, I have never run it! This is a good thing, the adventure gives you this encounter to help with pacing, if everything goes super quickly, you can add this to help fill the two hour slot, but I always have the RP and skill challenge fill up time just about perfectly. This adventure fills the time RELIABLY, if I have my watch handy I can keep pace and the players engaged without fail.

Finally, at the end you have an interesting story award (everyone remembers the caravan master's name, or at least they can recall it when I mention "Caravan Master"), a decent unlock that makes some people happy, and they're in a new town.

And I am always asked at the end by someone, "When are we playing the next one?" Isn't that the mark of a great introductory adventure?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL05-02 The Black Road (5e)
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