This is one of my favorite modules published for 2nd Edition. My original copy got lost and I've been looking around for a replacement for awhile. Unable to find one, I broke down and bought the PDF.
Generally I do not care for PDF products, especially scanned PDF's but was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this one.
Pertaining to the module itself though...
This is an excellent low level adventure. A dolmen at a stone circle falls over revealing a dungeon below in which rests an ancient artifact able to call forth creatures from times lost.
The module has a nice mix of dungeon crawling and role-playing potential. Not every encounter has to result in initiative being rolled. My only complaint is that it is listed as a module for levels 1-3. I think that is to low for the Shattered Circle, turning the dungeon into a meat grinder for adventurers of that level range. That is the only thing keeping me from giving it a 5 star rating.
All in all, this is some quality work and well worth the PDF price tag.
Calm down Planescape fanboys, the title of my review is only a joke.
Midnight Realm is a supplement for Talislanta 4th Edition which introduces a dark, infernal realm of demons, devils and other dark creatures and character types into your game.
First, this book adheres to the great production values of the T4 book. A great looking, sturdy product that I wish more companies would emulate.
So, what’s inside?
Mechanically, you have 22 new archetypes of various otherworldly denizens you can play. A few examples include the Tarteran Demon Hunter, Golgothan Soldier, Agathonian Diabolist, Othyrian Pirate and Ebonite Soul Trader.
You’ll also find 11 new skills appropriate to this new realm, Appraise (Souls) is one of my favorites. There are two new magical orders as well.
A good portion of the book is dedicated to the information necessary to run a game in this dark realm. History, political overview, flora, fauna, coinage, all that good stuff. There is also a section for the GM on how to utilize the Midnight Realm and detailing various methods which it can be reached from Talislanta.
Overall this is a high quality, solid addition to your T4 collection.
Every RPG company should strive to create a product of this quality. The T4 book weighs in at a hefty 500 pages of RPG goodness. There is so much to like about this game it is difficult to find a place to begin.
Character creation is simple with 130+ archetypes to choose from. These archetypes span the largest selection of races and cultures I have ever seen in a game. Some people might not like the nature of selecting archetypes, feeling that it leads to characters with little customization. It is easy to fix though, just make up your own archetype, it’s easy.
The game has an easy to use skill system with a good array of skill types. Simply roll a d20, add appropriate modifier/penalties and check the action table. Not tough at all.
Combat is fast and easy to run. You can also gain combat skills to increase your character’s combat effectiveness. Weapons have damage rating, armor works as DR, a system is set up to allow characters to unconventional combat maneuvers or stunts.
The magic system is a true gem. There are no fixed spells, but characters belong to orders and learn different modes of magic. The system allows for easily improvised magic and the various orders give different magic users unique and cultural feels.
Around the first 100 pages of the book are filled with the rules. The remaining 400 pages detail the world of Talislanta. It is difficult to sum up just what the world of Talislanta is like so I’ll just steal the quote from the back of the book credited to Rick Swan: ”Its as if H.P. Lovecraft had written Alice in Wonderland with Hans Christian Anderson and William S. Burroughs.”
Yeah, that sums it up pretty nicely. This is not your standard fantasy setting. Talislanta is a completely original, exotic setting full of monsters, demons, ancient ruins and lost civilizations.
Crimson/Cursed Empire is one of the more interesting RPG finds I have stumbled across in awhile.
It is a dark fantasy setting with crazed cultists, black magic and assassins. The world of Thargos is an interesting one and the game's take on the standard fantasy races is truly unique and intriguing.
At first glance, the game system itself seems complicated. It is a level and class based system with percentile based skills. Character creation is a little bit of a pain. Combat looks to be a monster, but after I actually ran a session it turned out that combat was far more intuitive than you would think after only reading about it, with hit locations, armor working different than most systems, armor degradation, etc. It has rules for parrying, perfect attacks, and more. Pretty realistic and deadly combat that still manages to go at an acceptable pace.
Character improvement is based on raising levels and increases in skills which you have used. It also has a Points of Renown system allowing you to gauge your hero's fame. The PR system is a little nebulous but the GM can fill it in easily enough.
My primary complaint with the book is the way it is organized. During character creation we found ourselves flipping from section to section trying to find all the information we needed.
It looks like it might not be receiving any further support for the game line, which is sad. Its an amazing game with a number of high quality supplements.
Definitely worth putting in your game hoard. Especially if you're looking for something different than your standard fantasy.
Sure, it's not the newest edition of Shadowrun, but it is a great free download for anyone unfamiliar with the Shadowrun universe.
This PDF gives a simple breakdown of the basic rules necessary to run a Shadowrun game and does so in a simple, easy to understand manner. The adventure included is top notch as well, far better than most you will find in a Quickstart product.
It's Free! So, what' stopping you chummer? Download this bad boy and see what Shadowrun is all about. Just try not to get geeked in the process.
When you get done, snag the core book and get rolling in one of the best RPG's out there.
Races & Classes provides an overview of the design philosophy WotC has put into the development of 4e, as the name of the book suggests; primarily in the department of races and classes.
This book is NOT a preview of the 4th Edition rules. You will not see any hard "crunch" in it. This is more of a "the making of" type product and is billed as such.
The art in the book is simply amazing. I've disliked much of WotC's art for years. If this book is a preview of the look they will maintain for 4e, I'm impressed.
It gives an in-depth overview of 7 races: Humans, Dragonborn, Dwarves, Eladrins, Elves, Halflings, and Tieflings. These overviews give some interesting "fluff" about each race, setting the scene for them. After the fluff, there are generally design notes on each race telling the reader what it is they are trying to accomplish and the reasoning behind it.
The same treatment of the classes is given; fluff followed by the "why" of what 4e is trying to accomplish.
My primary complaint with the book is it's price. $19.95 seems a bit steep for this type of product. Although I suppose the fact that I am willing to buy the next preview book as well means I don't consider the price to be over the top. I'd be more pleased with a $10-$15 range though.
If you are interested in design philosophy and seeing what goes into the making of the game, this is a good buy. If you are hoping for concrete peeks into the rules system, wait for the SRD or core books.