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X2 Castle Amber (Basic)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/31/2020 03:11:03

As multiple others ones already wrote, the scans are quite bad and lower the rating by at least a star. They are blurry and bit of the map haven't been covered. While it is easy to get them from other places online, it should't be needed to do.

The adventure itself is a nice funhouse dungeon that is followed by a bit sparser wilderness aprt and another short dungeon. Overall well done and worth the price.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
X2 Castle Amber (Basic)
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Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/28/2020 06:14:25

A nice expansion of the Savage Species system (which you probably also want to build races that are not covered). Due to the racial levels, it also doesn't seem to be too unbalanced, even if they are surely on the more powerfull side. The articles on the ecology, etc. is also very well written and evocative.

The only letdown is the chapter that describes the new classes, which seem to be a tad bland, but at least there are a lot.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (3.5)
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Ghostwalk (3e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/28/2020 06:09:54

That one is actually surprisingly nice. It is a whole compaign setting and rolls out useable rules for playing ghosts, that one the first glance don't look too bad or unbalanced.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghostwalk (3e)
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Magic of Incarnum (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/27/2020 03:18:48

While it is a clean scan and the production and writing quality is also quite high, in times of books like the black sun codex, vaginas are magic, DCC, the Pathfinder Spheres books and lots of other modern variant magic books, it seems like a very timid and restrained attempt of a variant system. Even compared to other 3.x magic variants like the ones from Malhavok Press, like Chaositech or the Unearthed Arcana series it massively falls short.

On the grand scheme I can only recommend it for the completionist and because it is an official 3.5 book, so it blends better.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Magic of Incarnum (3.5)
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Deep Carbon Observatory - Remastered
Publisher: False Machine Publishing
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/29/2020 04:35:06

That is literary the version you always wanted: with improved maps and layout and still the excellent adventure of old, just easier to run



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deep Carbon Observatory - Remastered
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Castle Xyntillan
Publisher: First Hungarian d20 Society
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/29/2020 04:32:41

An excellent castle dungeon crawl, well mapped and described with good plot connections between the various location. A bit like the Black Monastry redone with a more renaissance tone.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Xyntillan
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Bloodlines & Black Magic - Episode 2: The House of Hollows
Publisher: Storm Bunny Studios
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/28/2020 04:57:22

while from the writing, formatting, layout and the pregens the adventure would be most likely a 4/5, there are quite a few of letdowns in the encounter, story and logic part, that make it to me as DM very irritating. From the linearity, the overabundance of combat, set pieces and the random tokens of various kinds, unresolved logic&plot strands and literary 42 actually quite well worked out, never reappearing after their one scene.

I do believe as player it might be less an issue, as most will be hidden from you or smoothed out by the DM, but it does my head in. Especially since there is a great promise in the setup.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bloodlines & Black Magic - Episode 2: The House of Hollows
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WGS1 Five Shall Be One (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/21/2019 09:13:13

while it is a module of historical importance (the new metaplot was driven forward), it is with very few exceptions quite mediocre. The highlight is a city infiltration which thankfully gives the players a bit freedom to come up with good ideas. On the negative side, it looks very much like they tried to copy the Dragonlance premade characters in event based adventure thing, which in my opinion does not work at all in that case. In addition the plot, as well as the whole descriptions of the environments could profit from a logic check and a big rewrite.

[Edit] I reread the Orc city part and it is actually quite unique and nice, so maybe 4/5 is justified.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
WGS1 Five Shall Be One (2e)
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Old School Renaissance Handbook
Publisher: Brent P. Newhall's Musaeum
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/16/2019 06:52:39

It is a nice writeup/overview of world of OSR systems in 2012 upto maybe 2015 and a great read. Sadly quite a few changes have been made to existing systems, new ones came and went away and therfore an update would be very much appreciated. But I know that going back and reworking what you wrote 7 years ago is probably very unappealing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Old School Renaissance Handbook
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Castle Spulzeer (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/08/2019 11:54:43

Let;s be fair, you probably just bought it as prequel to the linked Ravenloft adventure ;-) But even by itself it is one of the better event based adventures in the TSR line. Mostly because the road-trip half lends itself to it and you don't have to force players to bite each hoko, as on the grand scheme it doesn't matter for the plot (you could just start at the castle and all that is missing is some loot). The castle itself is quite small in comparison to the run-up, but doesn't constrain the players to much in their exploration, the only letdown the usual NPC fight, but at least the players can ingfluence it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Spulzeer (2e)
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Champions of the Mists (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/08/2019 11:49:37

I was a bit drawn between 4/5 and 5/5 as the content is probably most useful for DMs and most would not allow players to use the kits, etc. Mostly to keep the secrets and not because of gross problems with it, wich makes it less useful. On the other side, the production value is quite nice with great illustrations, design and good descriptions drawing you into the setting, so DMs will probably love it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Champions of the Mists (2e)
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WGA3 Flames of the Falcon (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/08/2019 09:05:08

I would rate it higher than WGA2, but it has the same issue as WGA1 in that the event-based first part does not allow for any interactivity of the players. Also similar to WGA1 it gives a bit more freedom towards the end when eploration comes back in and no fixed approach is required. The story itself also is not the strong part of the module (some things need a lot of mind bending to make sense) with the only highlight being the location (plus the fleshed out NPCs). If I could, I would have given it a 3.5.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
WGA3 Flames of the Falcon (2e)
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Rappan Athuk Expansions - Pathfinder
Publisher: Frog God Games
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/07/2019 12:00:46

It is one of the all-time best underworld exploration campaigns with exxotic locals and wird environments. My only complaint is that the S&W edition is way nicer to handle at the table, as it is more compact and condenses the stat-blocks better.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rappan Athuk Expansions - Pathfinder
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WGA1 Falcon's Revenge (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2019 09:05:14

The beginning of the adventure is the usual dross of encounter after encounter with predestined outcomes, that TSR was so infamous for at that time. But the later parts suddenly change into a lot more freedom for the party with multiple locations on offer and multiple endings possible. The big infiltration missions at the end feel so much better than the first half with lots more options and characters. Plus it genuinely describes what is going to happen if the party doesn't do anything and it is up to the party to influence it (or not).

Some of the fights probably need a bit of rebalancing and the "enemy will normally not flee" more issue is also fixable if wanted. I could also image just inverting the whole adventure if a rogue is in the party.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
WGA1 Falcon's Revenge (2e)
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Unholy Land
Publisher: Garske Games
by Michael P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/16/2019 07:53:56

I do like the idea, and the examples shown in the booklet. But it feels a bit light around the corners with quite a bit of work by the DM to fill in the fluff. I think some of the old AD&D supllements would help quite a bit, like the Crusaders splat book from 2e (which covers quite a bit of the region, admittedly in a slightly different time) or the Testament campaign setting. I would also generously add creepy content from the V:DA books. One of the pitfalls I can also see for these settings, is that the invented history line (and who is good/evil) will be controversial to some.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unholy Land
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