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Faiths of the Forgotten Realms 2
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/17/2020 07:27:21

Faiths of the Forgotten Realms II is exactly what you want in a sequel! This gorgeously-formatted text contains 100 subclasses and spells, 50 Faerun deities, holy books, and new magic items. Coming from a star-studded cast of authors, you can rest assured the contents of this product have been tested. My only critique is the lack of an appendix sorting the archetypes by class and/or an appendix of the spells, but navigating the document is still straightforward.

I have yet to read it all, and choosing favorites is not easy, but I would have to go with:

  • Archetype - the Druid Circle of the Raccoon under the Gnomish deity Baervan Wildwanderer for their big raccoon companion!
  • Spell - Corellon's Arrow for the Legend-of-Zelda-light-arrow nostalgia it gives me :)
  • Holy text - Gruumsh's Litany of War, Death and Conquest, which is in fact a massive wardrum crafted from the tattooed skin of ancient shamans.
  • Magic item - the Spider Rod because the user can expend charges to cast the web spell and fire silken strands at targets 60 ft away AND because its charges replenish at midnight -- just a great detail!

If deities feature at all in your games, you will benefit from Faiths of the Forgotten Realms II.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Faiths of the Forgotten Realms 2
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Face the Music - 5e Encounter
Publisher: Oz Mills
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/14/2020 06:12:12

Face The Music looks like a great encounter! I have some aethetic nit-picks about the format, but I am pleased that the author included a summary, multiple adventure hooks, and detailed opening boxed text to set the stage.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Face the Music - 5e Encounter
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Masque of the Red Death Player's Guide
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2019 18:04:26

The Masque of the Red Death Player's Guide is the perfect 5e supplement for bringing late 19th Century earth -- with all its science and supersition, its etiquitte and secrets, its steamy and sooty late-industrial revolution technology sprinkled with the arcane -- to your gaming table!

"Perhaps you learned the truth in some antediluvian book of arcana. Perhaps secrets were whispered to you at an accursed altar beneath a gibbous moon." Yes, this work is positively dripping with Poe and Lovecraft, and fortunately, it is not spoiled by any "historical" opinions associated with the latter author or patriarchal imperialists of the era. This guide's authors point out early: "Consent to encounter certain story elements in the game must be given, not assumed, and withholding it is not something anyone needs to explain or defend."

Like the increasingly popular Call of Cthulhu TTRPG, the characters are almost exclusively going to be humans with little capacity to recover from bodily harm, and in great danger of succumbing to primal waves of fear. The devasting injuries and new combat options such as exerting influence, taking aim, and targeted strike are probably going to make their way into my houserules for regular 5e fantasy campaigns, and I like this supplement's take on archetypes as a blend of traditional 5e backgrounds and subclasses while backgrounds are still included. Plus, the classes, firearms, and explosives make a great ruleset for the wild-west mini campaign I've been wanting to run!

For its fantastic combination of gorgeous art and layout with masterful writing and editing, I highly recommend the Masque of the Red Death Player's Guide!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masque of the Red Death Player's Guide
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Nameia's Crimson Tome
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2019 16:04:15

Nameia's Crimson Tome is a fantastic supplement for DMs and players intrigued by the vital powers of blood magic! Within the first 20 pages, you are given sanguine subclasses for each character class. Barbarian path of the blood rager, druid circle of the blood court, monk way of the crimson blade, and rogue bloodcurser all do justice to my favorite classes, and every one seems well-balanced. The 25 orginal spells present a mix of low and high levels, making them useful for all tiers, and the rules for group ritual casting provide a mechanical backbone for the dark rites of your campaign's villainous casters! The following section on the Crimson Order details exactly the kind of dastardly cult you would want to bring this blood magic to your table. Plus the magic items, monsters, and NPCs, this supplement covers all the bases in one beautifully-illustrated, professionally formatted package. I highly recommend Nameia's Crimson Tome by Stratos Fotakis.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nameia's Crimson Tome
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The Garradrugh
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2019 14:18:47

The Garradrugh is a great class for nature-enthusiast DMs and players of the druidic persuasion! The core feature of this class is a symbiotic creature, the beocryd, which fills a garradrugh with pure, natural magic. The primary features appear well-balanced, and I particularly like the 2nd level Planting Strike feature -- dealing an extra 1d4 force damage and attempting to bind the target in roots and vines! At level 3, a garradrugh's beocryd specializes, allowing the player to choose one of SIX unique subclasses (certainly more than what is usually provided by 3rd-party classes). The subclasses also come with the optional lore of only six garradrugh existing on one plane at a time, inspiring a campaign ideas of the other garradrughs, or even their sacred grove, coming under threat of destruction!

The formatting of the class table and some images could be improved, several cover art characters' body-types are oversexualized compared to most 5e art, and the quick-build recommends making Strength and Wisdom your primary ability scores while Strength and Charisma are the basis of the garradrugh's features. Some of these critiques are easier to resolve than others, so I hope the creators will consider these points in future releases.

For any 5e setting where the nature world (or its absence) plays an important role, I recommend the garradrugh!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Garradrugh
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Creator Reply:
Many thanks for the time taken out to do the review - all definitely things to work on in the future! My crux is always that I focus too much on story and not enough on mechanics - a work in progress. With the art, going to hopefully remedy that in future pieces.
Glittergold's Clockwork Combat
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2019 12:49:52

[Video Review: https://youtu.be/Cv1g40hOZJM] Glittergold's Clockwork Combat is a fantastic one-shot adventure for any level of play! This 15-page module is a fun campaign-insert where the party joins a rock gnome celebration of jokes, pranks, and storytelling in honor of Garl Glittergold, the gnome god of having a good time! The intro includes a chapter-by-chapter summary and three adventure hooks -- as if your party will need any convincing to join this robo-battle tournament! There are short bios for each small NPC, and an overview of the subterranean celebration: a magically lit, comically small, tightly packed, gnomish charity event, the Communion of Laughter. Plus, there are rules for turning this oneshot into your own charity event, with audience donations impacting the story as blessings from Garl Glittergold!

The author recommends creating combat bots before the adventure itself, but the module does include 5 sample bots statblocks, and bot creation is fairly simple. See my video review linked above for more details! For its professional and thematic formatting, its creativity and spirit of pure fun for a great cause, I highly recommend Glittergold’s Clockwork Combat!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Glittergold's Clockwork Combat
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Alternative Medicines: A Compendium of Fascinating Alternatives for Healing
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/17/2019 20:01:10

Alternative Medicines is a great collection of lore and specialized healing potions, tonics, ointments, and salves. Interestingly, this supplement specifies the damage type relevant to each healing method, which creates a tradeoff between the apparent requirement for players to record the amount of each type of damage taken in combat, and the excitement that comes from having the perfect item for a given situation! Furthermore, I appreciate the carefully detailed descriptions for the realism of each medicine having a specific application rather than healing ANY wounds whatsoever.

This information is perfect for any player character with an outlander, sage, or hermit background, the ranger or druid class, or NPCs that act as herbalists or physicians. I would like the inclusion of a table of contents and/or an appendices organized by damage type, though a clean, professional formatting with simple scientific-sketch illustrations tie this lore together into a well-designed supplement.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Alternative Medicines: A Compendium of Fascinating Alternatives for Healing
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Eberronicon: A Pocket Guide to the World
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/17/2019 19:34:44

Eberronicon: A Pocket Guide to the World is exactly what it claims to be: a concise yet comprehensive guide to the noir and pulp action world that many people (myself included) are meeting for the first time in D&D 5e. After reading the first few pages, I already have a better understanding of this thrilling setting, and as someone who typically prefers a low-mid magic medieval-fantasy atmosphere, this guide is inspiring ways I can bring Eberron to my table! For DMs, players, and lore-loving fans of D&D, the Eberronicon is the perfect balance of background information and teaser material, wrapped into a well-written, beautifully formatted package.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eberronicon: A Pocket Guide to the World
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Baldur's Gate: City Encounters
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/17/2019 19:33:59

Baldur's Gate: City Encounters is a fantastic expansion to your party's adventures in the City of Blood! The city of Baldur's Gate is dangerous; it is a darker, human reflection of nature's heartless power struggle between predator and prey, and this supplement encapsulates the unsteadiness of that power. The twenty "Tension Encounters" are based on the Law-Chaos axis of alignment, and expressed through the relative influence of Baldur's Gate's main factions, namely the Flaming Fists and the Dead Three. There are also twenty neighborhood encounters, linked to specific locations in the Upper, Lower, and Outer City. My favorite neighborhood encounter is #3 High Hall Temples, in which a vigilante priest wanting to upset the corrupt court system is planning his very own Gunpowder Plot! While the details of each encounter link them to this infamous Forgotten Realms city, they could be plugged into any urban setting with minor adjustments. Baldur's Gate: City Encounters is well-written, professionally formatted, and a simple way to enhance your group's tier one experience in Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Baldur's Gate: City Encounters
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Trap-trap! A kobold-themed one-shot
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/17/2019 08:19:37

Trap-Trap! is an exciting gauntlet-style adventure for low tier parties! With multiple adventure hooks, the annual kobold gladiatorial challenge "Trap-Trap" can be chosen by bold heroes, or thrust upon them. The party must survive the celebration by solving a series of puzzles -- where every choice has a consequence -- while being heckled, attacked, and maybe praised by wide-eyed kobold spectators! The gauntlet itself fits into about 10 pages making this one-shot easy to prep, its subterranean kobold-cave backdrop can be plugged into any setting, and there's some replayability (as this event occurs every year).

Trap-Trap! comes with DM and player maps, as well as handouts of several illustrations -- and I love how the inky black, white, and red sketches match the theme of this wild module! Purely an aesthetic choice: I think the formatting could be improved with a parchment or plain white background (to match the art style). If your campaign involves kobolds, or you want it to, Trap-Trap! is the adventure you're looking for!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Trap-trap!  A kobold-themed one-shot
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Amarune's Almanac: Forests of the Realms
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/04/2019 07:16:06

[Video Review: https://youtu.be/srOO7vMamlQ] Amarune’s Almanac Forests of the Realms brings the forests of Faerun to life! From leather-bound cover-to-cover, this journal is the most genuine guide I have seen from living resident of the D&D multiverse. Like the snippets we get from Mordenkainen, the Xanathar, and Volo, there’s some commentary from Amarune’s “editor,” but most of the book is written from her perspective, making the lore within feel tangible and true. And Ed Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms, agrees in his introductory forward!

There are character archetypes for the druid and ranger, optional rules for spellcasting and foraging, 11 original arboreal spells, journal entries covering 5 major faerun forests, and lore for 20 plants, 10 creatures, and 10 thematic magic items all packed into 50 pages. The new ranger archetype, Sylvan Sentinel, is a personal favorite. They gain proficiency in Sylvan to speak with forest creatures and good-aligned fey, they are swift attackers, difficult to strike, and at level 15, sylvan sentinels can manifest a set of silken spectral wings! This volume also introduces Environmental spell components for Druid and Ranger spells that draw power from the caster’s surroundings, and each of Amarune’s 5 journal entries is an exciting short story bursting with sparks of Dungeon Master inspiration!

I appreciate the time and detail put into the descriptions of the 20 trees, flowers, and fungi in this supplement. Most supplements and adventures -- even those from Wizards of the Coast -- never mention native flora, but now I know that shadowtops are extremely common trees across Faerun, particularly in humid regions. The high flat feathery crowns of these giants leave the forest floor in perpetual shadow. Shadow-wood fibers are used to reinforce rope coils, chefs love the near-smokeless wood for the almost tangy aftertaste it adds to meat, and arcanists prize it as a potent yet affordable material for wands and staves -- said to increase the strength of druidic magic. Acknowledging plant life adds a new dimension and level of immersion to the Forgotten Realms!

For its immersive storytelling, beautiful and professional layout, and diverse yet thematic contents, I highly recommend Amarune’s Almanac Volume 1 Forests of the Realms. Check out my video review linked above for a look inside!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amarune's Almanac: Forests of the Realms
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Puzzles, Predicaments, and Perplexities II
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2019 15:03:55

Puzzles, Predicaments, and Perplexities II is a great collection of critical thinking challenges for all players. Most groups lean on two of D&D's pillars: combat, which the "game" is mostly based around, and roleplay, because pretending to be a character in a fantasy world is fun! This supplement is all about pillar #3, the critical thinking required for our fun-loving characters to survive the subtle dangers of fantasy land.

These 15 puzzles are laid out with clear descriptions and solutions, and they are categorized by perplexity rating from "Easy" (puzzles where all the pieces are presented, and the party needs to put them in order) to "Hard" (where complex analysis of multiple factors is required for the solution). While each puzzle is designed for Tier 1, they include tips for scaling to all levels! Knowing your group is crucial because some players (note: players, not characters) will certainly be able to solve particular puzzles easier than others, but the diversity of challenges in this supplement ensures that some can be plugged right into your game, and others can be fine-tuned for your group and story. Reading through, I already know which ones I would like to try in my game -- unfortunately, I’m finding it impossible to describe puzzles without potentially spoiling them!

With a professional layout and two adventures that string multiple puzzles together for you, Puzzles, Predicaments, and Perplexities II makes a great reference book for DMs who want to challenge their party in new ways!

Bob World Builder https://www.youtube.com/bobworldbuilder



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Puzzles, Predicaments, and Perplexities II
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Voice of the Gods
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/28/2019 12:29:09

Voice of the Gods is a great supplement for bringing the divine to your gaming table! The four subclasses are depicted with inspiring character art, and they are loaded with features utilizing holy light to blind foes and deal radiant damage. My favorite part is the straightforward rules for Enochian: a mystic, celestial language that can be included in your game as powerful runes to temporarily (drawn/painted) or permanently (etched/tattooed) enhance both items and characters; something the high-fantasy world of D&D needs. The document is professionally formatted in a medieval illuminated text style, and the class features seem well-balanced. I highly recommend Voice of the Gods!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Voice of the Gods
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much sir for taking the time to delve into our project and read it! We really appreciate it - make sure to tell us if any of your players or you use it around the table!
Warriors of Sehanine
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/28/2019 11:03:22

[Video Review: https://youtu.be/8zLC8db6K-I] Warriors of Sehanine is a masterfully-crafted tier 1 adventure for D&D 5e! The beautifully detailed cover by Raluca Marinescu sets an appropriately high bar for this module. Written by well-known DMs Guild greats Florian Emmerich, Ashley Warren, and JVC Parry (author of Call From The Deep), the 38 page story follows a clear 3-act structure broken into chapters, plus a one-shot epilogue quest included in the appendices! Part hex-crawl, part timed mission -- Warriors of Sehanine is a dramatic and exploratory mini-campaign, so it's great follow-up to low-level oneshots, as well as the perfect prelude to larger campaigns like Descent into Avernus (as this adventure takes place just outside Baldur’s Gate) or a great add-on to modules like the Dragon of Icespire Peak thanks to the flexibility of its location.

The creators provide multiple adventure hooks, a helpful character breakdown, multiple versions of each map for players and DMs, handouts of the character art pieces, and several gorgeous 2D Trash Mob Minis. For the flawless and thematic formatting, beautiful art, wonderful story design and flavorful concise writing, I highly recommend Warriors of Sehahine! Check out my video review linked above for an inside look!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warriors of Sehanine
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Monster Manual Expanded II (5E)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/11/2019 09:58:20

The Monster Manual Expanded II does exactly as promised: this tome delivers dozens more variants based on the eye-opening reference bestiary, Volo's Guide to Monsters, and the darker and more powerful creatures of Mordenkainen's Tome Of Foes. Like its predecessor, MME I, this sequel enhances the lore of well-known monsters and provides a font of inspiration for Dungeon Masters who want to incorporate any of these creatures into their party's adventures or their own homebrew campaign setting. Furthermore, the wealth of demon and devil variants make this book a great resource if you plan to run Descent Into Avernus, Out Of The Abyss, or any underworld-themed campaign, and the NPC stat blocks are good for populating any setting with powerful allies and enemies.

To reference my critiques of MME I, this book appears to have a higher proportion of low CR creature variants (check!) and a tighter, more professional layout (check!). Plus, the creatures by CR appendix makes it easy to scan for appropriately-challenging monsters! The Monster Manual Expanded II is best-suited for DMs whose players are deeply knowledgeable of D&D creature lore, and those who want to enrich their games with a diversity of monsters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Manual Expanded II (5E)
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