Umbragen

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Awesome Sauce

5/5

I have every novel from the first release, and I have begun to grow an ache in between the release of the next novel. Each one seems to improve and unfurl like a drink of water in a desert.
In this one I can feel the joy and excitement of the world setting. When I'm with a client in a doctor's office, I have a brief moment of bliss and wish I can pause my world to finish the book (which I finally did a week ago). I adore the plane-hopping, which got me fantasizing about my planescape days, and the tragic hero.
Each novel gets better, so now my impatience between novels will only get worse. Maybe there will be a lackluster novel someday, so then I'll not mind the wait.


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Superior Game Master Guide

5/5

Paizo delivers on the promise of offering something for the new and for the experienced.
I've been playing and running games since 1991, and most game mastery guides of the many systems I've used in the past usually review the same advice. That advice is present here, but there's more. For the first time I've read advice how to handle running a game in the context of the real world setting such as difficult players or who brings snacks and cleans up. I also enjoyed advice on how to reward players with more than just experience and loot, suggesting boons from npc contacts. I also enjoy ideas for alternate ideas for game settings such as the future or if everyone was evil.


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Fast and Fun

5/5

This game can be played with only two players, the rules are quick and easy, and the card stock feels durable with double-sides images. The spinner spins well. The card graphics are whimsical and fun to read. This is an excellent game that goes fast (maybe 10 minutes for 2 people when taking our time) if one doesn't have time to spend hours playing something like "Monopoly."


Great Fun

5/5

Ever since we bought this DVD about two months ago, my wife and I have continued to be entertained while watching it about every other week or so. It's apparent how much fun they had while making it, and still fun to watch.
If there is a sequel, I hope the whole cast remains in it. They are all a delight and have great chemistry in their interactions.


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Superior AP

5/5

I ran Rise of the Rune Lords (RotRL), and felt honored to participate in the bold new world of AP's of a rival of WotC. I recall orchestrating the RotRL AP well enough, but it was filled with growth spurs that could dissuade lesser DM's from taking the reigns (although it boasts a breathtaking first chapter, the Skinsaw Murderes, and the nefarious Hook Mountain Massacre).

Not so with this first chapter of Second Darkness. It starts strong and easy for even a novice DM to run a smashing game. Just let "everyone have a blast" be the motto, and I think you'll be hard pressed to be bored or frustrated. Much of the kinks are worked out, and Paizo has mastered their field.


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A wonderful overview

3/5

I want to particularly commend what may be the very first taste of psionic crunch in a Paizo product. I was hoping for more, specifically with regards to Aboleths, but I understand the caution. For a hard core psionics fan, it's more of a small sample, and for psionic foes, the crunch is presented as a very small "sample" stat block, which shouldn't be too disturbing.
It provides a strong overview of basic features of the area, but I was hoping for more details about Aboleth cities and about the creators of Orv.


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Buy the Campaign Setting

3/5

I bought this as a prelude to the Campaign Setting because I was impatient and a subscriber to the Chronicles.
I think a wiser purchase would be the Campaign Setting since that book includes the gazetteer "and" expands upon it.
However, if someone can't afford the Campaign Setting, this book will do. With what it has, it's on par with other products here.


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Solid Campaign Setting

4/5

Negatives: 1) As with any rpg company, this book will have typos, but, I, personally, ignore them. I always consider the resources, labor, and deadlines for this industry, and they never bother me. I'm proud in my own skills as a reader, and rpg fan to spot and correct typos automatically. However, this may be an issue to others, so I mention this nonetheless.
2) There are minor loose-ends, both intentional and not, meant as seeds, or overlooked, and there are minor flavor inconsistancies such as the use of the term "Chelish" etc. For the most part, this is mostly unimportant, but may be for others.
3) Some may not relish changes when the book is revised and reprinted once the new Beta rules become official in a year or so.
4) Only the Inner Sea Region is detailed, with other areas left for later.

Positives 1) With such attention to detail as name choices and language attributes for races, it feels both friendly to old die hards who demand live roleplaying in native speak as well as newbies wanting to know how to fit in and otherwise find it difficult to choose their PC's name.
2) The extraordinary choices that are fleshed out for races, nationalities, regions, classes, countries, technology, and philosophy are brilliantly dynamic and engaging. I feel like a group would be hard pressed not to find "something" of interest to set their game in. There are so many choices, that I feel there will be group tension just on selecting where to start.

Here are my personal pleasures.
1) I adore the appendices, which include sample encounter charts for certain areas.
2) The flags of each country really add to the sense of just how much love went into this book. It's a small detail, but to me it's a wonderful little pleasure.
3) The setting has taken a bold plunge to include guns and psionics.
More Psionics, please!!!


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Nicolas Logue crafted another Masterpiece

5/5

1) My wife is running this AP, and, although she's introduced to DM'ing for the very first time with CotCT, the skill of Mr. Logue's writing enabled a new DM to run a compelling and engaging first installment to the second AP.

2) As always, I find grit, nefarious endeavors, and nasty/ unspeakable goings-on a delight in a game, and this installment crafts such naughty bits with utmost daring and decorum.

3) The adventure flowed, for me. It made sense, and I enjoy how my characters have become undeniably linked to the fate of Korvosa.

<I posted this review, and it didn't appear. However, there was an "edit review" link, so if this review double-posts, I apologize>


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100% Fantastic Flavor

5/5

Is this critical for the game? No.

Does this add fun to the game? Yes.

A group could use the alternative mechanics suggested in the AP using dice, generic playing cards, or perhaps try a Tarot deck, the I Ching, or runes, but the Harrow Deck complements the game much better because it was crafted for the campaign setting. The symbols and artwork actually tie in with one of the native races.

This feels new, fresh, inventive, and a delightful twist to spice up the game for me.


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Amazing

5/5

To comment about the price. $19.99 doesn't seem that excessive when I consider the discount for subscribing, that there's a $13.99 pdf alternative, and that the list price for a typical hardbound WotC book runs about $30 - $35. The book is the absolute best quality I have ever experienced for a softcover. For a complete, campaign setting and story arc, this book delivers excitement, creativity, and fun.