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Hostile Takeover
Publisher: Witherwind Games
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2019 06:34:54

Nice maps, which the adventure does not need; having details of combats in an appendix is good organisation. However this is over very swiftly: one charisma check (with a combat if failed) and a simple one on one "boss fight" and you're done. The entries are overlong, and choices are few.

Some suggestions for a rewrite: (i) Have various tasks, with points awarded for success; if you accumulate (say) 5 points, you can challenge Ephram to a duel for the leadership; if you reach 10 points, Ephram flees (and you win automatically); (ii) Tasks could include: killing a fearsome monster; influencing important local figures; rescuing a trapped child; finding a treasure trove; taking part in the local log-lifting competition; intimidating (or charming) Ephram's thugs.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hostile Takeover
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Avalon’s Solo Adventures System, Sidetrack Adventures, Book 1
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2019 13:47:19

A series of short unconnected "Choose your own adventure" style solos for a group of PCs. Excellent variety in the adventures, and more forgiving than others by these authors: manageable combats and opportunities to triumph even after failed skill rolls. There is a good balance between story awards and experience points from fighting. There is also a mechanic to make combats more challenging for stronger groups.

A possible improvement for Vicious Secrets: succeeding in part 5 ought to gain the information in part 8. In A Few Coins, it would be better if failure in part 19 directed the PCs to, say, part 17; part 29 refers to non-existent part 37, perhaps part 33 was intended.

Recommended. A good place to start for anyone wishing to try this type of campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon’s Solo Adventures System, Sidetrack Adventures, Book 1
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Avalon’s Solo Adventure System, King’s Guard, Book 1
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/03/2019 05:54:01

A series of adventures in which the PCs protect the royal family (especially the Princess) and their interests. Good variety: plenty of (winnable) combat; other skills tested; some strategic decisions to make. The nature of the quests leads to (mostly) similar endings, but different NPCs may get involved, with different fates. Replay value.

Would have benefitted from a further edit: for example on p. 26 you are told a certain NPC is alive, but in the next mini-paragraph he is declared dead; bullywugs suddenly become goblins on p.99, Part 43. A jousting tournament could have been a nice addition; also a formal ball with dancing skills tested, and verbal sparring.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon’s Solo Adventure System, King’s Guard, Book 1
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TS4 - Unicorn's Mane
Publisher: Adventures in Filbar
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/23/2019 10:15:39

Fun solo adventure, 24 pages in length. A race against time to find a plant, located in a mini sandbox, before someone dies. Mainly combat encounters, but some variety, including an encounter where talking gains. There are some sources of healing, and a few treasure troves.

Possible improvements: (i) The odd typing error, see 16A line 6 "17Cation", and in 23B line 3 "knee" does not make sense. The only important change I would make is 2 rather than 8 lizardfolk in 12A: the previous description suggests 2, and 8 would likely overwhelm the PC. (ii) The mechanic for determining whether your PC returns in time (in 18A) is a bit underwhelming, taking no account of number of entries visited. I suggest the wife dies after 30 + 1d20 entries. (In various successful plays between 18 and 39 entries were visited.)

Replay value as different routes are possible. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
TS4 - Unicorn's Mane
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the review we really appreciate it! You are correct, we botched 16A and 12A (now corrected). The "knee" comment is a sports comment...take a knee aka take a breather! We like the idea on the timing mechanic but avoid them in solos because of the general difficulty!
RPGPundit Presents #76: Fire Demons of Croyland
Publisher: Spectre Press
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2019 06:19:29

Spoilers follow.

Elven sorceress arrives in isolated region: she charms and slays some locals, animating them as zombies; a dupe moves the remains of a saint, potentially releasing trapped fire demons; the sorceress seeks a pact with the fire demons. PCs may be agents of/employed by the local abbey, investigating the disappearances of villagers.

Best described as an adventure framework rather than a full adventure; there are no maps. The village, abbey and fens are described in sufficient detail to run interactions with the PCs. Would definitely benefit from an introductory paragraph summarising what is going on, to help the referee: you have to wait until page 10 for the section Elf Maid's Plot. Should be easily adaptable to many systems. For WFRP, fire demons could be replaced by (intelligent) Flamers, the elf by a Druchii.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
RPGPundit Presents #76: Fire Demons of Croyland
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Avalon’s Solo Adventure System
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/26/2019 08:34:47

A substantial collection of short solo (no referee) adventures, which build to create a bigger story. They follow the conventions of Choose Your Own Adventure Books e.g. "if you pursue the thief, go to paragraph 7". Events are in motion, but quite what role the PCs will play will depend on their choices/good fortune.

Strengths: (i) there is a great deal of material; (ii) whilst combat is the main feature, other abilities are tested, and there are strategic decisions to make; (iii) replay value, as different choices/outcomes could lead to a very different sequence of adventures played; (iv) a subsystem which keeps track of how well you are regarded in various organisations, including romances; (v) dungeon delves are handled by random selection of rooms from a big list, adding uncertainty and excitement.

Cautions/Weaknesses: (i) Some encounters may prove too tough for the levels indicated, e.g. four mummies for a low level group. I suggest an old school mentality of altering any "impossible" encounter, in the example you could make the mummies very susceptible to fire, or reduce their numbers; (ii) the running marriage score makes good sense for Princess Jenn, but less so for other possible paramours: bespoke scores such as +2 marriage (Jenn), +1 marriage (Elinos) might be better, also a male love interest could be included.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon’s Solo Adventure System
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Rangers of Shadow Deep: Temple of Madness
Publisher: Joseph A. McCullough
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2019 08:24:51

A series of four combat/puzzle rooms: enough variation between scenarios to keep things fresh, and replay value as different notes are likely to be triggered in a second attempt. Combat is the focus, but other abilities are tested as well; the talking mirror (and its revelations) are a nice touch. I would like a little more variety in the encounter tables: perhaps a once only escaped prisoner, or summoned demon.

A couple of possible corrections: notes 738 and 739 are out of numerical order; the encounter table on p. 35 makes no reference to shadow knights, yet they are listed in the experience table, perhaps entry 12-14 is in error.

In a double play, the heroes got lucky in the columns room both times with a near immediate repeat of activated numbers; the magical locked door scenario proved the toughest, with exciting combats that were on a knife edge. The Beastman bodyguard (in the finale) nearly killed a Ranger in the second play, but the heroes prevailed both times.

Outside of the adventure there is a welcome expansion of spells, wizardly items, and magic-using companions.

Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rangers of Shadow Deep: Temple of Madness
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Adventure Framework 36: Den of Thieves
Publisher: Pickpocket Press
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/12/2019 05:44:13

PCs paid to protect the leaders of the losing side of a gangland war; they need to stop assassination attempts.

Spoilers follow. Interesting premise, well executed. It is a nice twist to have three identical assassins, the players might expect (or find out about) two, but then the third could be an unpleasant surprise. A good framework if the players decide to stop the assassins: there are useful notes on how the assassins might react. However I would have liked to see a couple of other approaches discussed (with some supporting material): kill Udan, the paymaster of the assassins; switch sides and deliver Jester and allies to Udan themselves. The former should be difficult, but the PCs might pull a "Joker", and deliver "the body of Jester", and launch a surprise attack. In the latter, if the PCs cut a deal with the assassins, all may be well, but if the assassins are cheated of their fee they might not be happy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Framework 36: Den of Thieves
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Tar Pits of the Bone Toilers
Publisher: The Merciless Merchants
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2019 08:20:17

Review based on a read through: more may be added after play.

A region is detailed; there is a background plot which the PCs can interact with if they wish. Delightfully varied locations: in some areas PCs will want to massacre everything that moves; in the main area, infiltration wearing disguises is a much better strategy. Well designed magic items.

Reminiscent of the Red Prophet Rises without being a retread.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tar Pits of the Bone Toilers
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Fam1 - Köppen Tomb
Publisher: Adventures in Filbar
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2019 12:21:20

Low level dungeon crawl, with undead to overcome, and grave goods to claim; there are some nice features, such as geographical obstacles (cliffs, water) to surmount, puzzles/traps which are simple and can be overcome by player skill, and signs of a previous expedition.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fam1 - Köppen Tomb
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The Crypt of Jasper Fort
Publisher: James Embry
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2019 12:07:01

A good take on the basic "Keep on the Borderlands" situation, that is an outpost on the edge of civilisation under attack from monsters. Instead of the usual humanoid tribe, undead are making the incursions; a crypt was unwisely opened, and local attempts to deal with the problem have led to most of the militia being wiped out. A perfect time for adventurers to arrive; as well as cleaning out the crypt, there are a number of lesser quests to undertake, such as investigating the noise in the basement of an inn, and capturing local bandits.

Nothing very original here, but solid fare which should provide good gaming. There is a background story which is easily adapted; you might want to change some names: King Trevor?

Written for Raven of the Scythe, but it is simple enough to restat for low level D+D, WFRP or Runequest.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Crypt of Jasper Fort
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Rangers of Shadow Deep: Blood Moon
Publisher: Joseph A. McCullough
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/29/2018 07:25:08

Fairly simple fight the werewolves and their allies adventure, with the twist that one companion is a secret lycanthrope: determining the latter is cleverly handled by a nice mechanic. A couple of minor corrections: swamp zombies should be added to the miniatures required list; event cards Red 2 and 3 should refer to clue markers (but it might be appropriate to have a treasure token appear if the figure is defeated).

Ran through the event cards twice in play; Covin was the secret werewolf, and he managed to kill two of his companions before the PCs (Ranger and allies) triumphed. Another fun adventure with replay value.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rangers of Shadow Deep: Blood Moon
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Rangers of Shadow Deep: A Tabletop Adventure Game
Publisher: Joseph A. McCullough
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/14/2018 11:35:31

I'm reviewing this as a solo roleplaying game (no referee) where one might use miniatures/counters to clarify certain situations.

The basic premise is that dark forces have consumed a neighbouring land, and small elite squads need to combat threats to the borders of the kingdom.

The game system is not complicated, yet surprisingly rich, with a number of non-combat actions. Setting details are currently sparse, but reader imagination can fill in the gaps, and this leaves plenty of room for unfolding revelations in subsequent products. Combat is the main feature of the (several) included adventures, yet they have variety both in mission types as well as (especially) in set up/presentation. As some details are generated randomly from a list, there is replay value.

The softcover book has clear print and is well illustrated. The missions are fun to play, and comprise much of the book.

I look forward to more products in this line. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rangers of Shadow Deep: A Tabletop Adventure Game
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Adventure Framework 50: Night at the Green Goblin
Publisher: Pickpocket Press
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/10/2018 04:40:09

Superior example of an evening at an inn with multiple plot strands in play. PCs are embroiled in some automatically; others need to be sought out; the remainder depend on which NPCs they encounter. There are random tables for: (i) rumours (including links to Battle for Rivertop, It Came from the Sewers, and Caverns of Melusiah); (ii) tavern events; (iii) special actions in any tavern brawl; (iv) what happens to drunk PCs. There are sufficient interesting contacts for multiple visits.

Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Framework 50: Night at the Green Goblin
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Adventure Framework 25: Revelry in Northgate
Publisher: Pickpocket Press
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2018 04:47:22

Simple quest to track down an errant drinker in a busy city before he does an "Oliver Reed". Would benefit from a timeline (with locations) for Lord Hargraves; in a fun scenario, the despotic overlord and forced meeting with his Inquisition, the Anointed, is a jarring note. (See "The Lost Lush" for a better integration of this idea into a political situation.)

Four stars for the innovative plot and hilarious mishaps that Lord Hargraves may suffer.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Framework 25: Revelry in Northgate
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