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An excellent start to an epic AP

5/5

I've been running this AP for 3 years now and as we're drawing to the close of book 6 I realized I never put in a review for this book. The adventure itself is a great kick off, sets up the mystery and by the end it makes it very clear what the AP is about to the players. Brinewall is a great location offering memorable battles and rping.
The supporting NPC cast introduced offers plenty to work with for DMs and players and adds a great dimension throughout the campaign.
The only qualms are the unnecessary caravan rules and romance rules. Just ignore these. In conclusion, highly recommend this book for a level 1 adventure and the AP as a whole.


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Best of the ap so far

4/5

Just finished running recently great sandbox adventure with a wide mix of rp puzzles combat and establishing the land of Minkai be sure to read the empty throne before running this as the fm should introduce info in this adventure so it doesn't come out of left field. Lastly Tito needs to write more adventures!


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Intrigue under the full moon

5/5

Its been awhile since I ran this, I recall prepping for this book not being all too excited about it but in play this module really shines. The majority of the adventure set in the Shudderwood provides a great opportunity for sandbox investigation, role play and of course a chance to go up against the beasts of the night.

Likewise, Feldgrau with some tweaks makes a great end to the first half of the AP and a chance of course to avenge the party's mentor.

In short, yes in reading this book doesn't leap out as a great volume but I think any group will be immensely rewarded through playing this one. Especially as the remaining modules in the campaign begin to diminish after this.


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Poor introduction of Tian Xia

2/5

First the good:

1. The first part of the adventure (roughly 1/3) is great. Hongal and the journey through the haunted forest provided for some memorable sessions and after crossing the crown of the world coming to Tian XIa felt momentuos to the players.

2. The kami and the history of the oni are fleshed out for the players.

Now the problems.

1. The Hongal chapter while good could've been further developed. I added material to this as it was a lot of fun and provided a mcguffin that the party wanted to get from the ruler.

2. As other reviewers posted this was about the worst time for a dungeon crawl and an indifferent one at that. I was able to plunder some stat blocks but I can't imagine any group enjoying that crawl with little payoff in the end.


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Serviceable

2/5

As with Book 5 there's some good parts:

1. Creepy Virlych setting

2. Renchurch is atmospheric gothic dungeon crawl

3. A lot of great encounters, unique opponents (Lucimar, Gray Friar etc.)

But as others have pointed out this still ends up being a dungeon crawl in the end. I got my use out of this book by plundering it for stat blocks and some other elements (the Tyrant's Whispers) but I would think that groups running through this as is will find it rather grindy.


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Potential but needs work

1/5

There's quite a few good things about this installment:

1. Caliphas - great setting, gazzetteer article has some wonderful details to help bring this gothic urban setting to mist-shrouded life.

2. The vamp courtyard - Quinley, Luvick, Countess are all interesting NPCs and their is some good story/rp potential for the notion of helping the vamps.

However, this adventure comes on the heels of a side trek and mostly feels like a side trek as well. The background motivations for the villain's plan are too opaque to the players and as written most parties would probably wonder why they are going to this bother. Additionally, the

Spoiler:
tailor villain
is fairly forgettable and the last part of the adventure while a well written crawl feels stapled on. All in all, this is a very uneven adventure but with some good parts that a GM willing to hack together to fit the campaign better will get some good mileage out of. With the support articles the book would merit 2 stars but as this primarily a review of the adventure material I will indicate 1 star.


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Cthulhu Dungeon crawl

3/5

Overall an enjoyable adventure but not a strong entry in the CC AP. The adventure starts off strong with investigation and memorable setting and NPCs. However, it then quickly slips into a hackfest as the party must essentially clear out 3 locations (albeit 3 interesting and well-written locations). There are some great encounters, lovecraftian references that help mitigate this but the adventure still feels like a missed opportunity in using the mythos. Additionally, the background is a muddle and needs to be streamlined. For DMs running this as part of CC I suggest you look on providing the party more motivation to be following the Dark Rider (perhaps some more fleshed out clues as to the Raven's Head) as a DM sticking to the written content may find players wondering why they're going to all this trouble.


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Good but needs tweaking

3/5

First the Good:

1. A detailed overview of the arctic regions, compelling encounters (both combat and rp).

2. An interesting villain and arc to the journey.

3. Makes good use of the arctic setting

Constructives:

1. I do not recommend running this is as. I made many adjustments as I went along to fit the party and garner player interest.
2. The villain is unrelated to the bigger plot. I made her one of the Amatatsu who died on the journey and is now an angry spirit being used by Sithud.
2. Handwave the length of the journey (give a description of the hardships but wouldn't recommend grinding this journey out any further)
3. A lot should be cut out (as long as your handwaving xp points) so as not to drag.

Overall, my group enjoyed this trek. I would recommend cribbing from Under Frozen Stars if you want to add a dosage of SF to the adventure.


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A fun trip

4/5

While I didn't use this adventure as written I did use a lot of material from it for my JR campaign. This is a great side trek if you and your players are looking to get your SF into your fantasy. Highly recommended eitehr as a written adventure or for a resource to plunder.


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Frankenstein meets Law and Order

4/5

Finished running this last night, this adventure is a good blend of various styles and should appeal to most DMs and players. The concept is a great hook and got my players involved as they took on the defence of the Beast. For the DM the challenge in this adventure is striking a balance between mob hysteria and the fact the city is educated and still has an almost slavish respect for legal tradition.
The investigation and the villains in the first half are great. Where this adventure begins to lost a bit of its steam is in the last half while the party looks to locate the Beast's creator. The last encounter while memorable is pretty railroady. My group enjoyed it as I did open up some options (finding a few adamantine weapons and or distracting the opponent to loose the prisoner). Overall another high quality module.


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Good but needs work

3/5

Overall, a good adventure and introduces the oni as a real threat. A good mix of Rp, investigation and hack n slash.

The investigation can get murky to the players and even with some massaging not all the links will be clear. Feel this adventure could have benefited from revisions and a better focus (i.e. this is the adventure where you smash a thieves guild). A very memorable final fight ends the adventure on a high point.


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A solid start

4/5

Picked up this on a whim, not subscribing to the AP as the dungeon-centric thing isn't my cup of tea. However, the reliable Greg Vaughn turns in a great start to an artifact hunting campaign with some investigation and of course dungeon-crawling. The Magnimar section is great with a host of memorable NPCs and possibilities. Now the dungeon here of course is the centre piece and I would say without a doubt as a player and a GM this one would be a lot of fun (and this from a not a big dungeon guy). Vaughn gives plenty of action and also some great opportunities for RPing. Its up to the players and the GM to pick up on the cues though. That said if I was to GM this I would still cut one level and give more prominence to the

Spoiler:
derro, who I felt were an under-utilized component to the storyline
This is a great module to port into any low level campaign.


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Fun,some issues

3/5

Ran this with a group using the pregens as a one-shot. THe beginning investigation worked well with some good RP. The party smoked the first encounter but ran into trouble in the final act. Though prepared for the boss' DR the fact remains the boss as written can easily take the party. A GM can work around this with playing up her ego. Regardless, the final battle pressed on and on. Definitely requires a group of six to avoid TPK.


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Dodging the law of sequels

5/5

An excellent monster book, strong mythological presence (from various cultures). Probably even better than Bestiary 2. And it has the flumph! (this is a good thing, well its worth a page) If you're looking for a monster book for some critters outside of the real core you would well to pick this up.


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Spiders, slugs and toads oh my

4/5

This was a great one-shot for a short evening of gaming.


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who you going to call?

4/5

A strong start to CC. An excellent old-fashioned haunted house adventure complete with suspicious townsfolk and secrets of the past. My group has a great time playing through this. Its been a long time since I've enjoyed running a dungeon crawl but Harrowstone is a great setting and the use of haunts, atmosphere and story kept it fresh and engaging each session


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Lovecraft comedy

3/5

Funny in most places. No Shaun of the Dead but an enjoyable lovecraft inspired comedy. The comic book origin of Cthulhu is great and Captain Olaf picks up the last act. Also with a tight running time it feels fairly focused with little padding. Recommended mostly.


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Good structure

3/5

The first thought on Paizo's underdark treatment is they've done a very good job of keeping things segmented/customizable. The division of three layers, and regions reminded me a little of Ravenloft domains in a good way. The GM is not obligated to have everything in the mix but rather to focus on what they want.
Now to the content itself. There's some neat stuff, love the treatment of the derro, the Lovecraftian/Hodgson touches of the the third layer with gugs, ghoul empires and prehistoric beasties. Oh, and neothilids!
A great hollow earth pulp feel.
My main issue is with the Sekamina, the 2nd layer. Paizo's done a commendable effort with the drow but I think they would have been better to jettison entirely. Yep they're an iconic villain but thanks to Salvatore and FR I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole.
Still all and all a good starting document to springboard ideas for campaigns/adventures. Recommended. PDF is good quality.


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Indiana Jones meets Han Solo

4/5

The Northwest Smith stories showcase a splendid imagination, evocative worlds and are propelled by the brashness of Moore's titular rogue character. Heat guns, rockets side by side classic mythology and hard boiled street settings make for a potent brew. An excellent collection. Recommended.


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Outlaws by the numbers

2/5

I wavered on giving this either 2 or 3 stars. Kline delivers a yarn that is passable and in some aspects improves upon the book's predecessor (Swordsman of Mars). Yet there is little remarkable in this rather formulaic story. The derring-do, near escapes from certain death, damsels in distress and the bug eyed monsters are all there but little stands out as Kline's characters and world come across as fairly drab.
Once the novel gets going the plot moves along at a snappy pace to its foregone conclusion. Kline's action reads well and luckily his stilted love scenes are mercifully short usually cut off by some iminent peril of the bug-eyed variety.
A quick note re the racism present in the text. The novel is a product of the 1930s and it shows but it is at least far less blatant and outright hostile than say the Fu Manchu or various Yellow Menace serials of the time. It is there, quite visible, but no moreso than you would find in many Jack London, Robert E.Howard tales or the like. Kudos to Planet Stories for presenting this text warts and all.


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Setne's Last Journey

3/5

Fun, light read. However, there is not much mystery in this novel as the majority is taken up with Setne's journey to Hind. The mystery itself feels rather tacked on. That said, Gygax depicts a well drawn world with lively characters. The relationship and interaction between Rachelle and Setne grows providing many of the memorable scenes in the novel. The mystery's resolution works nicely and features a great scene with Setne and a certain deity.
Overall, not outstanding but enjoyable,


A fine end to Skaith

4/5

Brackett brings her Skaith trilogy to conclusion in fine style. This trilogy easily forms the best offerings Planet Stories has published thus far. Stark continues his odyssey, escaping monsters, facing off against pirates and crazed priests but is faced with harder decisions as not all can be saved.
The last book really shines in Brackett's vision of the final days of a dying planet. Apocalyptic cults, self-deceiving government and rank opportunists fill out a wide spectrum of all too human reactions. However, one almost feels the book is too short as a few promising plot threads are allowed to wander off or become 'suddenly' resolved.
Lucas' preface is an interesting read and one cannot help but wonder what Empire would've been like if Brackett had finished the project.
The Skaith trilogy is highly recommended.


Let Slip the dogs of war

4/5

The Skaith series heats up in the second installment as the power of the Lords Protector unravels and civil war begins.
Well worth the read and those that read the first book will not be dissapointed as Brackett rachets up the stakes. Stark continues to be embroiled in the politics of Skaith, a reluctant pawn of prophecy. Very much looking forward to how this will wrap up and the other forthcoming Brackett titles. Its not revolutionary SF adventure but it remains well above the average of the genre.


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Solid stuff

4/5

Kuttner's Dark World provides a short but gripping read. His protagonist Edward Bond/Ganelon makes the novel as the uncertain nature of his character's personality and shady memory keeps the action in suspense. His setting is evocative and replete with intriguing allusions to world myths and locations. An effective if not entirely original spin on the parallel world concept. The resolution is a touch contrived and feels that Kuttner could have used the elements he had in play a little more elegantly but nonetheless is still quite satisfying. Highly recommended, one of my favourites featured thus far in the Planet Stories line.


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Great format; watch out for last encounter

4/5

Just ran this last night for my group as a stand-alone adventure. Everyone got a kick out of the Arabian-flavoured setting with camels, cultist lepers and Fortitude saves for non-lethal damage. The encounters were strong but mixed with good rping opportunities. The party had a good experience schmoozing with the major caravan NPCs. All the encounters (except the first) are tough for lvl 1 but the last one is perhaps too much as it very nearly became a TPK. Still my players enjoyed it and I recommned this one for a short evening of play.


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