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Minor Magicks
by Donald H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2006 00:00:00

With so much attention given to higher level game play, it's nice to see this kind of product on the market. I have used this book in my game with excellent results. Well written, nicely illustrated and most impotantly, useful to any character able to use spells. My cleric uses several very handy spells from this book.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Minor Magicks
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Template Troves, Volume III: Diseases, Parasites & Symbiotes
by Mark G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/31/2005 00:00:00

?Template Troves ? Volume III: Diseases, Parasites, & Symbiotes? is a 44 page pdf from Silverthrone Games. This product is a creature template book that focuses on the effects of diseases, parasites and symbiotes have on the creatures they come in contact with.

The book begins with a 3 page introduction that details how to apply templates to creatures and the open game content declaration. Templates are seen as daunting to some and this two and one half page of explanation does a good job of detail how these templates where developed as well as providing insight to help you design your own. This book defines its open game content as, ?With regard to these designations of Product Identity and Closed Content, all prose and game-related terminology and mechanics in this product are designated as Open Game Content under the terms and conditions of the Open Game License v1.0a.?, meaning that this product is loaded with content that hopefully make it into the adventures of other publishers.

Each template and introduction explaining its origin, changes to the appearance of the creature, the template itself and at least one sample creatures.

The 1st major chapter of the book spans 14 pages and covers the disease related templates. Six new diseases are introduced that link to six of the seven new diseases related templates. One of the stark differences between this product and many other template books is that some of the templates are quite detrimental that weaken the character as much as it grants benefit or that will even lead to a creature?s death. In this first chapter we have a carrier template (gains strength from sickness as other?s fall victim), distorted template (a disease that mutates the victim with each failed save), enraged (see 28 Days Later), foetid (a wasting disease that cause the victim to reek and have caustic blood), plague zombies (see Dawn of the Dead (remake)), pox spirit (a template that infects the spirit of a creature and causes them to infect others), and withered (victims of a wasting disease who become more and more frail). I enjoyed most of the templates in this section as several allow for movie zombie behavior to migrate to me DND game and others like the withered could be used as a template for a famine cursed people or the distorted to add some creepiness.

The 2nd and more disturbing chapter of the book spans 10 pages is the templates on parasites. I?m not normally a squeamish player, I have my Book of Vile Darkness next to the Book of Erotic Fantasy on my bookshelf, but I just found some of these templates unsettling. Templates include the fetal imposter (a parasitic lifeform that grows by consuming the fetus of another creature and its mother before it is born. Once born the fetal imposter matures and has sex with more pregnant women repeating the process), heartless (a parasite that consumes and replaces a creature?s heart, with its increased metabolism it grants many benefits to the creature before it dies in 3d4 months), Hivedriven (a parasitic infection in which the creature becomes a mobile swarm carrier ? until the consume him from the inside), meningean (a parasitic worm that buries into the brain of the victim and grants him psionic abilities [Note: not true psionics like in the Expanded Psionics Handbook but the Monster Manual type psionics], overseen (a template to make a creature an obedient slave), ravenous (infection by supertapeworm makes the creature voracious), and soul eater (a parasitic entities allows you to consume the life essences (read as energy drain) of others to feed itself.). These templates are not for the average game but definitely focused toward a more mature audience. This section also contains 3 new monsters ? the meningeal worm, the overseer tick, and the soul lamprey. Each is written up in the in detail and the mechanics look solid, except for the overseer tick which doesn?t qualify for the Weapon Finesse feat (I?d just make it a bonus feat and give him Stealthy), but this is minor and really won?t make a difference in the long run.

The 3rd chapter of this book spans about 9 pages and details symbiotic relationships that can exist with a host and another species for mutual benefit. Templates include the absolved (a celestial leech that grants celestial abilities to chosen recipients), the grafted (a being that when grafted to a creature grants increased strength, size and general robustness), the inheritor (an ancestral spirit that can provide benefits to the character), the lucid (a crystalline creature that melds with the creature, think ? crystal elemental template and you would be close enough), the sanguineous (a living blood that makes general survival easier in a number of ways (no breathing, no wounding, et cetera)), the spectator (eyeball creatures that grant enhanced vision to blind creatures), and toxic (a slug like creature that makes you mildly poisonous and grant you bonuses from being exposed to poisons). There are a number of new monsters in this section as well including the celestial leech (which although has perfect flight took the Hover feat?, has a deflection bonus but is not incorporeal, and has symbiosis listed in its creature description but not in its special qualities) and the ocular ally (whose picture doesn?t really match the template description unless the pupil and iris change upon implementation).

The book closes with two pages of tables that organize the content alphabetically, by CR adjustment, templates by LA, and sample creature CRs.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Many unique templates (some familiar from movies) but not any that I can say I saw one like X in Book B by another publisher. Templates look well balanced (though the toxic feels to me it could be +2, or carrying cheap poison could replace potions for this character). <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: A few more mechanic errors in the ?new monsters? than I would have expected from this publisher. Limited scope of creatures to template (21/21 can be applied to humanoids, 18/21 to monstrous humanoids, then next highest is 5/21 to animals; no templates for undead, dragons, plants.) - It feels like it should have been called "Diseases, Parasites, and Symbiotes for Humanoids and Monstrous Humanoids". I think a number of these templates are disturbing and should carry some kind of warning on the product description. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Template Troves, Volume III: Diseases, Parasites & Symbiotes
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Kressmer's Bizarre Grimoire: Seven Spells of Mischief
by David P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2005 00:00:00

If I was playing a bard or mischievous sorcerer, I would definately want these spells on my list...so long as I was staying in town. While they are definately cool and could add some amusement to a game, I don't think they would be on my character's regular spell list when it came time for dungeon crawls or similar situations. Better to use these as scrolls than placing them on your character's regular spell list. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: fun spell ideas<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kressmer's Bizarre Grimoire: Seven Spells of Mischief
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Template Troves, Volume III: Diseases, Parasites & Symbiotes
by Derek H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/17/2005 00:00:00

An interesting look at making the results of diseases and symbiotes (including parasites) as templates. Some of the more interesting ones are the celestial leech that sucks evil out of beings, the disease that mutates its victim at a serious cost, the heart parasite that strengthens and then kills its host, memories of people long dead (and not undead), earth elemental symbiotes and the kidney dwelling slugs that give poison powers to their host. There is also the standard plague zombie for those who like diseased based zombies.

The only issue I have is the same with TT2- the cover art is much larger than the rest of the file so it makes quick scanning a little more difficult.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Template Troves, Volume III: Diseases, Parasites & Symbiotes
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Creator Reply:
The large cover issue has now been resolved so that all the PDF pages are the same size. Don't quite know what happened there. Let me know if there are any other problems with the file and we'll fix them ASAP. Thanks for your kind review and good gaming! Cheers! Ian Johnston @ Silverthorne Games
Template Troves, Volume III: Diseases, Parasites & Symbiotes
by Anthony R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/13/2005 00:00:00

Temple Troves ? Volume III: Diseases, Parasites and Symbiotes is a 44-page PDF that delivers twenty-one templates for new ? wait for it ? diseases, parasites and symbiotes. The PDF has a color cover and mostly black and white interior (the tables are tinted green).

Layout is quite professional and ink sucking borders are thoughtfully kept to a minimum. In addition to the nice layout, I was also impressed by the quality of the interior art. I was not familiar with Cara J. Mitten, but her line art here is really nice. I especially liked the picture of the plague zombie. The PDF is bookmarked and an appendix lists templates alphabetically, by level adjustment and by challenge rating. The sample monsters included that were created from the templates are also listed by challenge rating. Huzzahs to Silverthorne Games for this nice addition.

About a page and a half is devoted to each of the twenty-one templates included. In addition to the rules for creating a creature with the template, each template also has a section that describes any appearance changes to the creature after the template is applied, as well as a section that gives some details about the characters that are typically affected by the template. Five templates also have an entry for a new monster associated with that template. Approximately half of the templates have an associated illustration. The author, Gary Astleford?s writing is clear and concise and I came across no egregious typos during my review. I am no d20 expert, but I also did not find that any of the templates screamed ?broken? or seemed overly powerful to me either.

As the back cover of Temple Troves Volume III proclaims, templates are indeed a great addition to the d20 system. The author even thoughtfully includes stat blocks for two sample monsters created with each template, complete with flavor text. This is just one example of ?added value? that makes this PDF appealing to me. Another is the fact that the challenge ratings for the example monsters span a range from one to twelve, with the majority centered around the mid levels of four to six (where the majority of games presumably occur). This is just plain old thoughtful design and not something that I see in the average PDF.

I have few complaints with Temple Troves Volume III. I couldn?t find any rules for removing Parasites and Symbiotes from a host. Can they be removed with a simple Cure Disease? Also, I know I have seen rules somewhere for making d20 diseases a little ?tougher? and harder to cure. It would have been nice to see those rules repeated here (if they were OGC) or barring that, something similar. All in all though, Treasure Troves III is an outstanding product from a publisher that was relatively unknown to me. The $6.00 price tag makes it that much more appealing. If you want to add drama and danger to your encounters, as well as get some great ideas, make sure to pick this one up.

As a postscript, if you want to try before you buy, make sure you download the Demo PDF with the plague zombie template. It should add a little 28 Days Later flavor to your next D&D game.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: The writing and interior art are both excellent. Sample monsters created with the templates, lists of templates by challenge rating, etc. add plenty of value to the product.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Very little. I would have liked to see some rules for making diseases harder to cure.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Minor Magicks
by Robin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/06/2005 00:00:00

IMo this book is a must-have when creating spellcasting NPC's of lower levels - ones who do not desire to adventure and have planned on making thier living with lower-level spells of everyday use to others. The magic spells and items here are more geared to practical everyday uses and nobles who can afford small magical luxeries (like a brush that styles a noblewoman's hair, or a stall mucker that cleans the stables of up to 20 horses). It's provided no end of useful magical "home" items for the PC's to acquire, and non-combat spells to learn. This is one of the best ebooks that I have bought here to date. It's an EXCELLENT value for the money - very complete and diverse! WELL worth the money!<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: In addition to the huge amount of material for the price, I appreciated that in the back there's an index of spells by class/level - very helpful!<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Minor Magicks
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Kressmer's Bizarre Grimoire: Seven Abjurations
by Devon G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2005 00:00:00

I?m always on the lookout for unique new spells to trick out my magic users, so I was eager to see what these were all about (particularly since..hey, they're FREE!) As a player, I would love to use these spells, but as a GM I would have to think twice because a few of them should be higher level spells than they are.

Gas Mask is too powerful for a 3rd level spell, since it last one hour per caster level and apparently can affect an unlimited number of allies! Even though the duration gets divided between all the targets, at 7th level I could conceivably protect 7 people for one hour each, or 14 people for 30 minutes each, or 28 people for 15 minutes each! It?s also not clear whether the spell protects from supernatural stink (like a ghast) Rainbow Cloak also seems too strong for 3rd level, as it allows the user to jump between fire, cold, acid, electricity, sonic, poison, and force resistance 20 each round. Considering that the similar spell Resist Energy is 2nd level and doesn?t include protection from force and poison and can?t be changed each round, for this to only be third level is a little unbalanced.

At the other end of the spectrum though, why would I want to cast Kressmer?s Moment of Deflection, which will only last one round, when I can cast Mage Armor that will last for hours? Sure, I get a cool zero level spell, but I?d rather reserve that slot for the always useful detect magic or mage hand.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: As a player, they allow some more potent spells at lower levels...increasing survivability.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: As a GM, I'd want to scale some of the spells and maybe make them higher level.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Kressmer's Bizarre Grimoire: Seven Abjurations
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Book of Templates - Deluxe Edition 3.5
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/28/2005 00:00:00

First off I fel templates are one of the best things to come out of d20 "monster..." lines. They offer limitless variety but adding to what you already have at hand. With this volume you get plenty of original ideas that will inspire creativity and adventure. Some of my personal favorites are:

Hiveling - a gestalt organism that thrives in numbers and possesses a terrifying hive mind.

Legion - an enlarged monster that can give "birth" to smaller members of its own race.

Apocalyptic - an ideal end of campaign/epic level beast taht can easilly form the focus of many adventures by itself.

The only criticism I could offer is that the sheer number of templates mean that some do lack creativity - for example the Nettlecloud vermin - this template turns an ordinary spider into a bird eating spider(capable send a cloud of irritating hairs at a foe.

If you are a DM in need of monsters don't go out and get the pesky and expensive monster manuals buy this instead! You will not be dissapointed.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The sheer number and variety of templates offered, all hyperlinked in the contents and given an example creature The starting section on monster/template construction and use. The ideas it inspires!!!<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: If anything this book needs ART. Its always good to have a picture to illustrate the ideas presented in a monster tome, and while less necessary in a book of templates it still adds to the "feel".<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Templates - Deluxe Edition 3.5
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Minor Magicks
by Jarnin L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2005 00:00:00

Fabulous! Fills a real gap -- the kinds of magic spells and items that everyday magic users would have. A real boon for fleshing out NPCs (especially in my city-based campaign), but a lot of spells would be useful for adventurers too. For example, a range of spells that change minor aspects of a person's appearance, but for a longer time period than alter self, which would be useful for the serving-mage of a vain noblewoman, but also for going undercover longer term; spells that your bard PC would have for performances or playing tricks on people that would also be useful for distracting guards or hiding stolen items, etc.

When they say "dozens" of spells and items, I was expected less than what I got -- my quick estimate is more like 80+ spells and 100+ magic items. There's a nice range of types/purposes, all low-level (0- to 3rd-level). Although some of the spells and items are a bit silly, or under- or over-powered, there is a LOT more useful material here than in most products like this that I buy. <br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The layout is organized, clean, easy to read. The spells are listed in alphebetical order, and then there's an index at the end grouping them by class and level -- thank you!<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: I think that a few of the spells are a little bit under- or over-powered and I'm going to tweak them, but even these are very minor issues, and probably just a matter of personal taste. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Minor Magicks
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Template Troves, Volume I: Serpents, Spiders & Godlings
by Yair R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2005 00:00:00

I just didn't find this work useful. I bought it looking for some templates to use, and I didn't find any that I consider useful. It's a somewhat subjective thing, of course, but I generally think the templates are too focused and just not comprehensive or engaging enough. From the Arnarch which is an aranea-spider crossbreed (that's a MONSTER, not a TEMPLATE), to the Poisonflow creature template that just adds a poison to the base creature, I just didn't like this offering. You can get ideas for some new monsters from this work, but I personally doubt I'll ever use any of the templates to do anything but create the single implied creature. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Disappointing<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Disappointed<br>



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Template Troves, Volume I: Serpents, Spiders & Godlings
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Five Free Races
by Nitehawk J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/06/2005 00:00:00

Some very interesting races. I'd love to see these updated to 3.5 rules.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The races are quite unique.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The races are given in individual files. Would be nice if they were in "book" format or there was a way to combine them myself.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Five Free Races
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The Book of Oafish Might
by Nitehawk J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/06/2005 00:00:00

I was dubious at first on downloading this even though it was free. But I have to say this book had me in stitches. And I may even use some of the oddities within in my games. For an April Fools Day release this is a great publication even if it was meant as a joke.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The little "easter eggs" throughout the book. All the things are not only hilarious, they are usable.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: There is no print version.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Book of Oafish Might
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Book of Templates - Deluxe Edition
by Duane B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2005 00:00:00

I really enjoy using Book Of Templates. Many of the concepts are ones where you wished you thought of them already. Fallen Angels and Puppeteer Oozes are my favorites.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Templates - Deluxe Edition
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Tainted Troves: A Collection of Cursed Items
by Gregory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/06/2005 00:00:00

The content of this is very nice. The cursed items, places, and artifacts are original, and the introduction gives a nice cursory summary of the general nature and origins of cursed items. Overall, I was very pleased with what I got for the price.

But sweet mother of our Loki.... this thing is impossible to print. I don't know what they did to this PDF, because the borders don't look unbearably fancy, it's not saturated in background graphics, and nothing is in color. But in spite of a decent computer and a high-end Dell laser printer, it takes almost 5 minutes to get a single page printed.

Anyway, it's a very nice product that gives you everything it advertizes, and then some. If you don't feel the need to make a hard-copy, I think you'll be pretty pleased with your purchase. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tainted Troves: A Collection of Cursed Items
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Kressmer's Bizarre Grimoire: Seven Spells of Power
by David L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2005 00:00:00

I bought this mainly because it's the only one of the series that costs something. I wasn't really expecting this to be any different from the others content-wise, and I was right.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The potentially useful and definitely flavourful spells. Plus the fact that I only had to pay half a US dollar for 9 PDFs.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: As with the others, they just had to put the text in something other than black. An why not just three columns? I don't have a big monitor and I hate having to zoom in and then have to scroll both horizontally and vertically as I read.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kressmer's Bizarre Grimoire: Seven Spells of Power
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