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Darkhold: Secrets of the Zhentarim
by Wrich P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2021 02:21:31

There is a great deal to love about this book. It takes an inventive look at an organization that thousands of players have joined over the last few years and really fleshes it out. It follows a format which should be used for The Order of the Guantlet, The Lords Alliance, The Emerald Enclave, and the Harpers as well.

The Bay Area of Californa had hundreds of Zent players (who formed a local guild before AL decided to mess with the Faction rules...repeatedly) and this would have served as a nice, even if unofficial, guide for that group.

One thing to note for the FR cosmology: Bane has been demoted to a Lord (Demi-God)- so his grasp on the Zhents may not be what it once was. I would suggest that a god(dess) of commerce might pick up the slack...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Darkhold: Secrets of the Zhentarim
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A Meal to Remember (WBW-DC-FDC-07)
by Doug S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2021 00:06:41

This adventure has a very touching story, and the artwork does a great job of conveying the lonely and desolate feeling in the domain of Dwindle. Including a real recipe for the dish in the adventure is such a great touch. I made it for my family shortly after purchase, and everyone loved it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Meal to Remember (WBW-DC-FDC-07)
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The Desert Wellspring
by Brad B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2021 21:35:34

I can't say that I recommend this adventure... it proved to be too deadly. I'm a power gamer and instead of running 2 4th level characters I ran the adventure with a 3rd Yuan-ti Sorlock. Every encounter was easily overcome except for the final saving throw vs Mummy Rot for putting on the Mummy's Amulet, so my character was afflicted. Realizing what happened, she re-enabled all the old traps and introduced new ones, then secreted all treasure away in the most remote, hidden location in the crypt. Then suspended a weight above the sarcophagus with a remote release outside. She then placed herself in the basin of the fountain just before she died with a note describing the treasure contained within and that she would lead them safely to it if she was brought back to life. A poetic ending and potential resurrection at a later date, but for now she's dead.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Desert Wellspring
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Realm of the Pumpkin King
by Jacob B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2021 20:01:24

Taking a look through this module, I think it looks like a fun little seasonal campaign. Something that both new players and seasoned veterans can pick up and enjoy for a Halloween night. However, I have a minor concern regarding the pacing and the layout of the module, which decides to vary up their parts by having different playstyles being the main focus each part.

Overall, however, the module is very informative, offers various tips and suggestions on how to go about certains scenes and even has some very nice visuals to help compliment the pieces. It respects the player and the DM on the usage and application of fear in a tabletop setting, and includes a unique genre that isn't common in most D&D modules. I would definitely recommend trying this out if you have the spare time for this season!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Realm of the Pumpkin King
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D&D Solo Adventure: The Death Knight's Squire
by Andrew O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2021 15:44:22

I really enjoyed this, a good afternoons play. I'll probably run it as a DM'd game for my son as well and it would work as an introductory scenario for a small group of newbies.

I liked the short but atmospheric scene descriptions and I found the balance of options in each scene quite well done. Despite using splint armoured melee fighter I tried the steath option everytime, didn't help! I also successful spotted traps everytime there weren't any and then didn't, very amusing and reminded me of the better FF books. Of which this module had more that an air off (in a hood way).

Really fun with much potential. I also think it's a nice step up for younger players who might be using Hero Kids as a system. Similar format bur with more scope for character growth. I intend to get the next installment.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Solo Adventure: The Death Knight's Squire
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She is the Ancient: A Genderbent Curse of Strahd
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/27/2021 09:48:06

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2021/10/review-she-is-ancient-genderbent-curse.html

A couple of months ago, beginning of September I think, I was made aware of a new title on DMsGuild called She is the Ancient: A Genderbent Curse of Strahd by Beth the Bard. I checked it out and liked it. Poped on to Twitter to offer her congratulations and mentioned that she would hit Gold Best Seller status. Well, this past month she did it! I thought with Halloween coming up and so many people running the 5e Curse of Strahd this would be a great time to review it.

She is the Ancient: A Genderbent Curse of Strahd

by Beth the Bard

157 pages, color art, PDF.

To start with you will need the 5th Edition version of Curse of Strahd to use this resource. Though I am going to also talk about how this can be used with the original AD&D 1st Edition adventure I6 Ravenloft.

She is the Ancient is more than just giving us a distaff Strahd. You don't need a guide for that. This guidebook shows how changing the gender of Strahd, but keeping her as a strong warrior figure, changes the nature of her relationship with, well everyone. The most interesting is her new rivalry and even hatred of Tatyana. These new relationships take up a good bit of this guide.

Beth the Bard reminds us that this IS a horror adventure and to assume that bad things can't happen to, well, everyone, is unreasonable. So yes there is still violence here and it's directed at everyone this time.

The changes are largely of these sorts:

Characters/NPCs. Several characters get changes, some minor, others are major. Strahd is now female, as is Van Richten. Others get minor changes. Any of these can be used optionally. Many of these are much more interesting than the ones we get in Curse of Strahd.

Relationships. Related to the characters are new relationships. These are very well detailed and even if you never change a single character according to this guide this is a very useful tool for Curse of Strahd.

Encounters. There are also changes to various encounters all over the Curse of Strahd adventure. This takes the shape of some encounter rewrites and others with tips. Additionally, there are encounter "flowcharts" that show how the various encounters are related to each other. There are also new handouts that you can print out to give to players.

That is overly simple, there are 157 pages here after all, but this is the gist of it.

The layout is clean and clear and the art is rather fantastic. It is on sale right now, but even at its regular price of $19.99 is a good deal, especially considering all we are getting here.

The overall feel is the same I get from watching a classic horror movie. "Dracula" is a horrid monster, someone that kills pretty much everyone in his path. "The Bride of Dracula" is just as evil, and likely kills as many people, but for some reason, her story seems more tragic. This new guide turns even this around.

Strahd is tragic, his love for Tatyana has driven him to become a monster. In this new Strahd, she is still a tragic figure, but it is nothing so prosaic as love that drives her, but hate and betrayal and yes jealousy. THIS Strahd is motivated by more violent emotions and desires. You anger her at your peril.

There is an accessible version of this adventure available. Link included in the PDF. There are tokens and NPC portraits you can use with this OR with the original Curse of Strahd if you choose.

I6 Ravenloft

Curse of Strahd is the newest iteration of the classic Ravenloft tale. This is "Dracula Untold" with Luke Evans. "I6 Ravenloft" is Hammer Horror with Christopher Lee. SO it stands then that "She is the Ancient" applied to I6 Ravenloft is Ingrid Pitt, in her "Countess Dracula" role.

I have not sat down with this new guide and Ravenloft and analyzed it line by line, but I have run Ravenloft several times since I purchased the original shortly after it was released. I have run it for every version of D&D since 1983, including D&D 5e before Curse of Strahd was released. My feeling here is that She is the Ancient can be used with the classic module just as easily.

Much of what is presented in the She is the Ancient is relationship-based. So conversion to or from 5e and 1st Ed is not an issue. There are some 5e stat blocks, but nothing that can't be easily replaced or swapped out.

Honestly the next time I run I6 I am going to give this a try.

What I like best about this is an attempt to do something different with what is now can be considered a classic sort of tale. It shows that like love, the topics of hate, revenge, and undying purpose are universal and can transcend simpler concepts of gender.

I had thought, originally, that this would give me some ideas for my own Darklord and Domain, Darlessa and Arevenir. Thankfully, She is the Ancient is not only NOT distaff Strahd, it is also NOT just a generic female vampire Darklord. I will, however, adopt the adventure flowchart idea and the relationships as they are modeled here. There are some great ideas to be honest.

Who should buy She is the Ancient? Anyone who has run and wants to re-run Curse of Strahd and wants to try something different. Personally, I feel the DMs that have run Curse of Strahd already will benefit the most from this.

I also think that first-time DMs of Curse of Strahd will enjoy this, but there is a LOT going on in both Curse of Strahd AND She is the Ancient.

Once you have this you can adopt/adapt as much or as little as you like. Or even just use the flowcharts and relationships to flesh out all the characters more.

I would say my ONLY complaint is that there is no POD option, but in truth, the layout and design are such that any page or collection of pages can be printed out and slotted into your Curse of Strahd book. Though a POD would be nice.

She is the Ancient: A Genderbent Curse of Strahd is not going to be for everyone and that is OK. BUT, for the people that are inclined to use it is a great resource and guide. It is well written with great art and layout. A lot of work went into this and like the original Ravenloft, it provides yet more options for replayability.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
She is the Ancient: A Genderbent Curse of Strahd
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First Blush
by Samuel E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2021 08:12:20

Just ran this with a completely new to gaming player after a long break myself. Very fun and easy to run, nice use of game mechanics to show potential in the future. Look forward to the next one in the series.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
First Blush
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The Book of Dragons: Volume II
by Andy S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2021 00:02:54

I'm always disappointed when D and D released something like Fizbans when this already did it better.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Book of Dragons: Volume II
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Fenrick's Compendium: Volume 1 - Subclasses and Spells
by John P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2021 23:55:29

There are only a handful of continuity errors with little ambiguity in some subclasses, but overall this was an incredible volume from Fenrick. While the weaver felt like it’s own thing, and I couldn’t see fitting with the overall theme, it proposes an interesting martial, spellcasting class. I thoroughly enjoyed the fundamental lore of these subclasses and think they really make this volume interesting. Each subclass adds a different perspective on the area that Fenrick explores. Despite having certain flaws here and there, most of these subclasses boast nuance in their reaction to the presence of Aether, or anti-creation, or at least a facet of it. Truly this volume has a spectacular assortment. Can’t wait to review Volume 2.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fenrick's Compendium: Volume 1 - Subclasses and Spells
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The Monster of Wonderia (WBW-DC-FDC-04)
by Marcello V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2021 17:58:08

Hi all. In prepping this adventure for my FEY-RUN weekends throughout next month, I thought I would share some thoughts:

  • The Domain and the Wonderfey are unique and vibrantly described!The Domains of Delight presented in the mods I have read so far have been creative and intruiging!
  • The presentation leads you to believe the premise will be entirely child-oriented, but there is mature, wholesome themes depicted here (it's a surprise!).
  • I'm not going to lie--my thoughts did wander to my abuelita, who is not here anymore, but I enjoyed the Yvelise as an NPC.
  • The last part of this adventure alone would sell this mod for me! Wonderfully depicted environment and surprising environment (I won't let the cat out of the BAG!).

This adventure is one of the more light-hearted of the DungeonCraft Spotlight. It's no Heir to Orcus, or slapstick comedy-themed adventure, but I believe this adventure is enjoyable and would be an excellent addition to any DM's adventure library. My rating is based on these above notes and comparisons to other work done by this designer--an adventure master for sure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Monster of Wonderia (WBW-DC-FDC-04)
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review Marcello! I hope your players enjoy their adventure in Wonderia!
Ironslag - Box Text Companion - Storm King's Thunder
by PurpleBogPress .. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2021 16:48:54

A huge time-saver for prepping this complex dungeon crawl, thank you!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironslag - Box Text Companion - Storm King's Thunder
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Through the Veil: Treasures of the Feywild
by PurpleBogPress .. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2021 16:44:49

So much packed in here! I love that there's lore included to really connect everything to the feywild. Everything is handily cross-referenced by type and rarity, and there are roll tables to help seed items into your adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Through the Veil: Treasures of the Feywild
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Strategist Class
by MARK K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/26/2021 15:32:04

I love this class so much I bought it again to be able to pay more. It scratches the itch I have to try and lead a team from the jaws of defeat into victory. It is definitely a complicated class. Not friendly to a new player, but for the player who wants a challenge, this is awesome.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strategist Class
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Blackstaff's Tome of Wizardry
by Troy W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2021 10:55:42

This is a great supplement with tons of wizard options. I reccomend this for a look at new ways to play my favorite class.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blackstaff's Tome of Wizardry
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Tartarus | Journey into the Underworld
by Troy W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2021 10:53:31

Tartarus is a fun delve into classic mythology. Highly reccomended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tartarus | Journey into the Underworld
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