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Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2019 22:01:42

For high fantasy, there's the Realms. Romance? There's Dragonlance. But Spelljammer? Well, it's for the real weirdos out there. We got antiquity-level physics. We got a legendary immortal spaceship. We got malevolent eel-spiders and giant snail shell spaceships and hippopotamuses who love guns.

That should be enough to sell you on this book, or else you've probably already closed the tab.

As far as print quality, the hardcover that I received in Summer 2019 is quite high quality. It's not blurry, and it's not missing letters, like it sounds previous scans had problems with. It's a little strange that the two books are printed in the opposite order that the original material suggests, but it's not a big deal. There are several pages where material gets lost in the fold, since it wasn't intended to be presented in this way. But if you're interested in this strange, strange universe -- which can link the Realms, Dragonlance, and any other campaign, by the way -- and you're not as concerned with collectability, it's hard to go wrong with this.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
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The Archive of Esoteric Secrets
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/01/2019 16:40:22

I love to reward my players by doling out spells and scrolls for magic they've never seen in a WotC supplement. The downside is that a lot of the magic supplements are either redundant with the PHB, or poorly executed. This supplement has neither of those problems.

These spells are highly creative and put a smile on my face just to read. For instance: Constellation Message allows a sufficiently powerful caster to alter the night sky itself with an illusion. What a great way to send a message over vast distances! But surely other sages would notice, too...

Other spells, like Wink, seem like such natural spells to exist that you'd think they'd have been in the PHB.

Really great stuff here, and worth your money!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Archive of Esoteric Secrets
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Here's To Crime: A Guide to Capers and Heists
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/23/2018 10:35:53

Here's To Crime seems to try to make a storytelling game out of Dungeons & Dragons, when those are two different genres and very different styles of play.

I do like the first step, encouraging the players to brainstorm an approach to their goal, whether it's a con job, a heist, or so on. As the author points out, listening to your players telling you what kind of game they want to play is good DMing!

Unfortunately, beyond that point, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of meaningful player choice nor consequences for their actions. The role of the DM is practically abstracted out of existence, as the players are directed to set up situations however they please. This turns the game into a sequence of dice rolls that will naturally match up with whatever the characters are proficient at. If a complication arises, flash back to a convenient reason why that complication is actually no problem at all.

I appreciate that the author has gone way outside the box with this product, and clearly has found an audience that enjoys it! I certainly wouldn't want to detract from that. But if you run a style of game that emphasizes agency, player skill over character skill, and meaningful stakes for the characters involved, you might be disappointed.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Here's To Crime: A Guide to Capers and Heists
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to check this out! I totally get that it's a bit more cinematic/narrative than a lot of tables will be comfortable with- it's for sure not for everybody! I did just want to clarify one point. You mention the DM being abstracted out of existence, but that's not the case for the piece as a whole. The heist is broken into three phases. The third phase- which wraps up the heist and should take roughly ten minutes of gametime- does in fact abstract the DM and give the players a TON of storytelling control. However, the bulk of the session is in the second phase, which is the heist proper. During this phase, the DM is setting challenges and scenarios the players and characters have to over come, much like a conventional game. (And they do have a "Flashback" resource, which can help them deal with the problem, but not wish it away entirely). I totally get it's not for everybody, though, and thank you for the review. I'm not intending to argue, just wanted to clarify intent. Even though you didn't enjoy the work as a whole, I'm glad there were aspects of it you dug!
Class Character Sheets - The Bundle
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/22/2018 10:03:27

Second to none! The best I've seen from anyone, for any edition.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Class Character Sheets - The Bundle
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(5E) The Mostly Useless Grimoire
Publisher: Petoskey Games
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/28/2018 11:16:44

This is a fun little PDF that every DM should pick up! I would happily pay for a much-expanded version of "useless" spells.

Some of these seem a little powerful, particularly Rainbow Bridge -- allowing entire parties to walk right over any body of water at 1st level seems like maybe a bit much. However, it's easy for a concerned DM to tinker and say that it only lasts for, say, one round, or change it to a fourth-level spell. (Water Walk is a third-level spell and seems comparable.)

Some of the schools also seem a little off, like Grow Giant Hands. I'd see that as more of a transmutation spell than conjuration.

However, these are tiny nits to pick for such a delightful document! Kudos to Michael Klamerus for coming up with something so fun! I hope we get to see more in the future.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
(5E) The Mostly Useless Grimoire
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Interesting Items of Questionable Quality: Volume Two
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/13/2018 09:59:44

I defy anyone to read through this short work without an amused smile appearing on their face.

It's a great little supplement that has the potential to create some really memorable moments at the table, to help the DM get their creative juices flowing during prep work, or even just to read for the humor of it. Well worth the $1 asking price!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Interesting Items of Questionable Quality: Volume Two
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Beneath the Ruins of Firestone Keep - Adventure
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/04/2018 09:25:20

I ran this adventure as a one-shot for a new gaming group, and it was a perfect fit: An honest-to-goodness dungeon delve with a compelling backstory. It can easily be wrapped up in two sessions with no loose threads, or conversely, the DM should have no difficulty pulling some of those threads loose to tie into half a dozen other plot hooks if they'd like to turn this into a continuing campaign.

There's a great mix of combat encounters, traps, and situations that can be resolved creatively. Overall, it's a really enjoyable mix of the familiar and the surprising. New players and grognards alike should find plenty to enjoy in this introductory adventure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beneath the Ruins of Firestone Keep - Adventure
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ANARCHY: The Role Playing Game
Publisher: dicegeeks
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/07/2017 15:54:59

I have to admit that I'm not the optimal reviewer for this product. After reading the premise, and having really enjoyed the author's other works, I swooped right in and grabbed this.

The issue, for me, is that this is much more of a mechanical rulebook than it is a setting book. It's kind of a shame, because you can catch fleeting glimpses of a rich and exciting post-apocalyptic setting -- not an easy feat when in such well-trod territory!

The book does lay out several example encounters, and it's possible that this is all intended as Mind Fertilizer, so that any GM can truly make the game their own. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, but I can't help but get the feeling that Matt Davids has already done a lot of work to make a vibrant, living, radioactive world behind his screen, and I'd love to take a look.

The product is truly put together very well. The layout and graphics are pretty slick, the rules do look like they'd make for some nail-biting gameplay, and there are random tables galore. If that's something you're looking for, you'll be satisfied! In the meantime, I'll hope that DiceGeeks release a campaign sourcebook that details the history and flavor of the setting.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
ANARCHY: The Role Playing Game
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the thoughtful review! I'm sorry it didn't meet your expectations. However, I do have a campaign setting book in the works.
Bulette Storm
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/04/2017 15:12:22

This is a great drop-anywhere adventure. I especially like that it intentionally lulls the PCs into a false sense of security before throwing a huge wollop at them right at the end. There's no reason not to pick this up!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bulette Storm
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Miniquest! - Gnolls Galore
Publisher: Campaign Creations
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/08/2017 15:32:25

Really nicely put together. I'll be eager to see more of these, especially the noncombat encounters!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Miniquest! - Gnolls Galore
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Realms of Understreet
Publisher: dicegeeks
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/26/2016 11:42:50

Highly creative and evocative of much of the fiction I remember reading as a child. The author has done a wonderful job "porting" the 5e rules mostly using common sense.

There's not much in the way of rules here -- all the juice is in the setting details. It seems like there's a rich world waiting to be detailed here, and I'd love to see more!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Understreet
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for the amazing review. The full setting will be released this summer.
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