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Dead God Excavation
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2018 10:04:20

First thing that came to my mind when I read the title was "Who in their right mind would want to dig up a dead God?

Venger Satanis!

Here's the publisher blurb:

Dead God Excavation is a short adventure for characters between 1st and 3rd level. I happen to think it's perfect for kicking off a gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy campaign. If you incorporate this into your "session zero"... respect, hoss!

This scenario was written for Crimson Dragon Slayer (including some new rules for clerics), but everything can be easily converted to your OSR system of choice.

The layout is sick! But there's also a printer-friendly version for those who are intimidated by such lurid hues (or who want to print it out). Just to make you aware, the pagecount includes the cover, two decorative pages, and a page for the credits. It's a densely coiled micro-adventure... beyond gorgeous demon-haunted sandbox! YOU CAN GRAB IT HERE.

First things first, I have to say I really appreciate that everyone of Venger's releases has a printer friendly version. This is handy, because I still print things off when I run adventures, I haven't wrapped my head around using a tablet or laptop while GMing.

The adventure starts off with a few rumours to set the stage. The one I liked was that the adventurer's have heard of ancient treasures and have come to possibly get wealthy and adventure! Simple enough to install the players in the game world. I should note, that I am probably going to run this module is some form. My first thoughts are somewhere in the desert of Mystara. Quite possibly as a 5e one shot. In the notes at the beginning of the adventure it is suggested to run it as a "session one funnel", while that is a grand idea, I wouldn't be able to pull it off with the 5e group I have. Mostly for "character development" reasons. None of which have anything to do with the packaged material. Onward!

Once upon the scene things start to liven up. There are a bunch of interesting NPCs with really good motives. The NPCs alone can get you going on different adventure ideas.

There is a super cool table with a variety of effects when touching the Alien Metal.

This whole adventure has a demonic/alien/god thing going for it. It's sort of like if you took expedition to the barrier peaks and mashed it up with Call of Cthulu. Actually that's not a half bad idea! The one thing this adventure lacks is a detailed map of the inside of the tomb. Now obviously there's a ton of great resources out there for maps, so just do a quick search.

As a side note, Venger if you need a map you can always tag me man, I'd be happy to try it out!

Prior to entering the tomb there's a nifty table called "Strange Occurrences" here's the text prior to the table. (it gives me the willies)

Strange Occurneces table:

This is not simply the inert interior of a giant container full of deceased demonic deity, but an ultra-telluric biosphere somewhere between reality and the place where dead gods dream. For every 15 minutes spent exploring, roll once on the following random table to determine what strangeness occurs....

All in all this is a pretty solid starting point adventure, there is enough text and flavour to get you going, but not too much that it starts to feel like a railroad. And of course the whole thing is filled with the general weirdness and gonzo that we have all come to expect from Korthalis publishing. I'm almost wondering if its worth challenging Venger to write something straight up? Nah..

If you have a copy of the The S'rulyan Vault II I think this adventure would go hand in hand with it!

Good stuff!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dead God Excavation
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The Midderlands - OSR Bestiary and Setting
Publisher: MonkeyBlood Design
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/03/2018 08:31:37

The Midderlands is an amazing piece of work, a world you can fit into any campaign. I honestly can't wait to run it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Midderlands - OSR Bestiary and Setting
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Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/28/2017 11:50:04

Even though this f**** book is called a "player's handbook" there are a ton of awesome resources for DM's as well! The book is technically system neutral, although it leans towards old school games that use polyhedral dice. As is the case with everything that Venger puts out, the layout and artwork is fucking fantastic. I originally downloaded the printer friendly pdf and read it the other night, (which btw is a wonderful thing to add as an extra in the downloads section), but flipping thru the actual pdf, the whole thing pops!

The book is filled with tables, charts, and interesting ideas for old school (or stripped down 5e games) for players. For instance my players always have f**** trouble coming up with a name. Well there's a excellent table for that!

There is a cool table for basically what "sign" you are born under, which of course gives extras to players. It reminded me of Oblivion (the video game) where you get little bonus's depending on the month of your birth (beats the crap out of being a Cancer anyways). My only issue at first was "k wait there's only 8 entries for months, aren't there 12 months". However when you look closely some of the months last longer that Earth's typical 30,31 day cycle. And why shouldn't it? I mean we are talking about fucking fantasy world's here!

The "stranger things" table is similar to the trinkets table in 5e, however it has the wonderful fucked up Venger twist to it. "this table is a list of items, abilities and weirdness to start your adventuring career". This table is getting printed out and put in my DM binder next to my character backgrounds table

I thoroughly enjoyed the table for naming magical weapons. This is another table that I will start using on a regular basis. option 1, player: "I hit it with my plus three axe", option 2: "I unsheathe Zod Bjorn Crushing Blow" fuck that is fantastic!

Some of the background mechanics presented here will also be of use to me (I'm guessing as time goes on in a session). The dishonor & infamy and "did you bring it" tables specifically.

The book comes in at 33 pages, and there are little nuggets of things on every single page. As a DM/Player you don't have to use every single table. Heck you might only use one, maybe another character will use a few of the options. The thing I like about this book, is if I was say going to run a basic old school game it adds a nice little spice to it. However it doesn't make my old school game all new and fandangled like a 5e game. As an example I use adv/disadvantage in my old school games, because it makes thing's fun. I enjoy the flip flip that can occur. I don't use it all the time however, only when situations dictate. The same goes for some of the fun tables in this book.

I agree with Eric F.

This book is a solid effort, my only thought is that its not really a "players handbook" per se. Well it is and it isn't. If this book had a bunch of f* up spells in it, maybe a table of "weird trainers and what they cost", proficiency's, etc (Your basic "player's handbook" that we have seen time and again). Counter point, this is a cool fucking book that gives a player some inspiration, fuels the imagination and gets them ready to game. That's a f handbook isn't it?

As a somewhat side note, I really do like the idea of O5R. I would be very curious to see the outcome of a book (set of rules) if someone locked Venger in a basement with the 5e SRD for a month. His version of the game, would be super fucking cool!

Player's handbook like a f**** boss is going to be sitting on my gaming table in the near future. If you like weird things, random tables, excellent naming resources, interesting fucking mechanic ideas and you play elf games with fucked up dice, this book is for you!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
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The Midderlands Additions
Publisher: MonkeyBlood Design
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2017 08:50:39

Alright, so the "Midderlands" was amazing! But Glynn didn't stop there did he? No of course not. Here he comes along with the "Additions", which just adds to the awesome of the midderlands!

The setting & the additions has raised the bar for all things OSR. If you intend to run the Midderlands, this is a must have.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Midderlands Additions
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Dice Roll Zine #1
Publisher: Hogtown Games
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/10/2017 15:36:09

For the price it's totally worth it! Here's a brief overview.

First off it has a B/X Old school flavour to it. There's a LOT of great art within. I am in love with the cover (honestly a toadstool inn! way to hit right close to home on that one boys!).

Here's what you get:

How to resolve anything that comes up: An article on ability scores with a awesome table.

The Barbarian: An optional B/X Class

Optional Combat rules for heroes

Turning Undead: A different way of dealing with creepy undead that should have stayed dead (b/x).

The Purple Mushroom Inn: A sci fantasy adventures site for low mid level characters. (Damn this is awesome!). Complete with rumor & adventure table, menu, NPC staff, detailed personalities, and wonderful tavern map (and underground lair).

Random Chaos Mutant Die Drop Table: Great table with a pile of weirdness.

Random Dungeon Stuff: A bunch of excellent tables for dungeon crawling.

Mega Dungeon Maps: The Treasure Vaults of Nargu Qa'Dash. There are 4 extremely detailed dungeon maps (all hand drawn), combined with the random dungeon stuff tables, and a few wandering monster tables, you basically have a game ready to go. (of course a bit of inspiration).

**Oh look here's some inspiration

Reasons for entering the dungeon**

  1. To return a ring to a lost love. (Long ago a dark elf maiden fell in love with a traveler, it was his dying wish to have her ring returned).

  2. Hunting expedition. The coats of the shaggy beetle are extremely sought after, and worth quite a lot of gold.

  3. Recently a Gnomish Caravan came to the surface with trade goods. Turns out that the good they sold are all defective. They need to be returned and the gold paid retrieved.

  4. A local scholar will pay for detailed maps of the dungeon.

  5. The source of the death shadow plague points towards the depths.

  6. In the darkness there are rumblings, causing structures on terra firma to fall down and crumble.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dice Roll Zine #1
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White Box : Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game
Publisher: Seattle Hill Games
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2017 10:54:14

This is by far one of my favourite versions of old school roleplaying. I currently use a different system for fantasy gaming, however I have started to use a few house rules within it. The funny thing is all the house rules are taken directly from White Box! The book is well written, laid out really nicely. I can't wait to run it straight up by the book (which will be after the current campaign ends).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Box : Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game
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Black Pudding #2
Publisher: Random Order Creations
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2017 10:51:39

I love every page of this zine! It's chalk full of great ideas. If your a b/x fan this is a must have. If you are not aware, it's cross compatible with a lot of OSR systems, including Labryinth Lord. Great work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Pudding #2
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Alpha Blue Quickie
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2017 16:43:29

This is a great addition to Alpha Blue and my game. Very cool! It gets me excited to play the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alpha Blue Quickie
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Winds of the Ice Forest (LL)
Publisher: Random Order Creations
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2016 16:44:34

First off I would like to say that this module is incredibly well laid out. So much so that as far as I'm concerned this module sets a new standard for "Pay What You Want". The artwork by J.V. West is not only amazing but fits perfectly within the module. That is to say the subject matter and the art go hand in hand. It has a bit of a cartooney feel that I absolutely adore, However there are shades of darkness in it as well.

The premise of the adventure is that a very nice forest has become evil, the reason why is unknown. There is a road thru the forest that is used by the general populace, travelling merchants etc. Of course it is overrun by bad guys!

There are a variety of adventure hooks & rumours to get you started wandering thru the fors

The adventure includes a new class, new monsters, new magic items and new spells! All of which are awesome. Particularly the "Barbarian" class, which IMHO is done perfect.

The adventure also includes pre generated characters.

This adventure hits everything you need to get up and running quickly. Not only that but it does things that more modules need to do: Include new things! new monsters, magic, items, and classes. Just another thing to push myself & other independent publishers to do.

One thing that I've always loved about Basic Fantasy modules, is that all the monsters hit points are pre rolled and there are nice little boxes to check off during combat. Winds Of The Ice Forest includes this as well. (THUMBS UP!).

I've decided in my infinite wisdom to create a scoring for reviews. So from hence forth reviews will be getting "Mugs Of Ale"

And this one gets 5 Mugs Of Ale! HUZZAH!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Winds of the Ice Forest (LL)
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No Escape from New York
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/19/2015 12:50:40

Right from the first paragraph you know that your in for a f**king ride.

You'll be adventuring in a parallel world of New York City, circa 1983. After a short but calamitous global thermal nuclear war, the urban landscape became a burned-out wasteland of ruin and mutation. Survivors congregate in the city that never sleeps, making it their nightmarish playground.. a shit hole of degeneracy & and wickedness.

As the author states, running a Crimson Dragon Slayer campaign " If it's possible to imagine whatever's going on in some late-night, low-budget 70's or 80's flick, then said thing is appropriate for Crimson Dragon Slayer. Appropriate? Nay, encouraged! The more ridiculous, the better." Which perfectly sets up this module! (I need to run this game man!). Considering I did add a little thoughts here & there to the development of Crimson Dragon Slayer.

That being said this game isn't for the faint of heart, or for that matter "typical role players". When I say that, I mean you need a group of players that are into this type of fantasy world. Not the usual damsel's in distress (more like damsels in a state of undress!), Orc's, Wizards, Elves! BAH make em purple with tentacles and slime and your getting closer. etc. Crimson Dragon Slayer is meant to be a fun, engaging alternative to the usual role playing tropes that we hold near and dear.

Note: The opening mentions the home world of "Thule". I hazard to guess this is the world of Crimson Dragon Slayer. Since I can't quite find my copy of the rules, I am going to go with that. Having said that the premise of the game is an alternate reality, so feel free to dream up your own world to run this campaign in.

Conversion notes: If you want a more traditional Armor Class, all you have to do is add 10 to what's listed. For the Attack Bonus, simply give a +1 for every Hit Die. Everything else should be interpreted by the Dragon Master as he sees fit.

Having read & played a few of Venger's modules, they are relatively easy to convert to any Old School system. For me this screams Mutant Future, or a 5e mashup. That said I'm sure it was written with Crimson Dragon Slayer in mind originally. Although advertised as "Best of all... this is more or less compatible with any OSR game that uses Hit Dice, Armor Class, etc. No Escape from New York is 85% of a full-fledged micro-campaign just waiting for your grimy, crimson-soaked fingertips. Caress this PDF if you dare!"

Random note: Venger, why didn't you call it Crimson Demon Slayer? Every time I write CDS I screw it up and have to go back and revise. hahaha

File under best name for a random table ever: REASONS WHY YOUR BUDDY IS A DARK SIDE JACK-HOLE

As much as "Keep on the borderlands" is a perfect starting point module for Basic D&D, No Escape From New York perfectly suits trying out CDS for the first time. It throws you into the twisted mind of the author and the game. After running thru this module you will have perfect jumping off points to continue your campaigns within the CDS system.

The way the module is laid out, there are all kinds of random things that can happen, and a set of "events" as I'd like to call them. Jumping off points to move the story along. Obviously the GM can follow the chosen path (although its not a railroad whatsoever), or take a hard left turn and go off on some other wildly extreme tangent (preferably with tentacles!).

The module contains amazing BW art that we have come to expect from all of Venger's writings. The evoke the world that you are playing in. And as a GM they help to get you right in the zone.

There isn't really any kind of maps of New York, as the author states its good to start off small when building a campaign. There's enough going on within the module to get you there without a map of the area. That said even a cross section street view with a few area's of interest would have been handy. Easily solved by googling old city maps of New York.

I'm totally in love with all of the 80's references, including the "Gang of three". Nope I'm not telling you who is in the gang. Buy the module and find out!

Any module that includes references to the "Ultimate Wet T Shirt" contest is awesome in my book! The whole premise of this adventure takes you on one helluva a crazy ride. In all honesty if I was running this, I'd make sure the PC's were pretty tough, just so I could get them thru the whole thing! The module includes 3 new spells for Old School & CDS play. As well there's a bunch of awesome tables, including ones for hilarious character name generation.

All in all, this is a great adventure! Clocking in at 24 pages, it leaves me wanting a bit more. But I know if I was running this I'd start adding all my own little flourishes to make it even that much better. Which is the idea of a module isn't it? We can't think of everything as publishers. And a system like CDS really allows for the imagination of the players & GM to take over and make it theirs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
No Escape from New York
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The Manse on Murder Hill
Publisher: Taskboy Games
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/13/2015 16:14:58

Everything about this module drips beautiful!
I am serious. It's amazing. The layout, artwork and the writing are top notch. From now on this is one of the modules I am going to go to when I'm designing my own. As usual, I am not going to give too many spoilers other than the above product description. The layout really caught my attention, it has its own feel, although its mostly B&W, the little splashes of the blue make me smile. It isn't the typical "old school" module look, but it does reference it a bit here and there (2 columns, B&W artwork, etc). Now onto the actual writing.

First off, I'll say this, there isn't one thing that +Joe Johnston didn't think of. There's great rumors (including false ones), everything is labelled well (all maps), there's player handouts, all the monsters & NPC's are stated out. (Labyrinth Lord Compatible BTW). There is political intrigue!

The one thing I quite liked was that the town does not really have much in the way of adventuring gear. This could be a interesting thing with some newb players that assume you can buy your bastard sword + 9 anywhere.

There is an air of creepiness within the module (I refer you to the title). There are shades of Lovecraft within the writing. A good GM will play up the creepiness of the mansion. Speaking of which there's some wonderful tables throughout the module that help to do just that.

Another thing that I quite like (and strive to do as well), is to create adventures that are open ended as far as specific campaign settings are concerned. Joe does just that. This adventure can easily be plopped into your existing campaign world with little to no fuss.

The adventure is labelled for a party of balanced 1st level characters with approx 6 -10 players. (I'd love to get 10 players - side note). Of course the author suggests that it is best to read thru the entire adventure first, and change/balance things the way you like.

Oh did I mention there's a few extra monsters? YUP! there's a few extra monsters.

(don't swear Shane).....

A fucking love this adventure. I can't wait to run it. Considering I am going to be playing a little 5e I may go ahead and convert it, its either that or I'm running it as a one off with basic rules from 81.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Manse on Murder Hill
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A Girl and Her Monster (Rune Breaker, #1)
Publisher: Paradox-Omni Entertainment
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2015 16:03:49

The story didn't grab me right away, I was unable to finish it. Part of the reason was the awkward formatting on my ebook reader (kobo). This of course may not be everyone's issue. I will go back and try and finish it when I have some time.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
A Girl and Her Monster (Rune Breaker, #1)
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On a Black Tide
Publisher: Privateer Press
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2015 16:02:37

After reading this preview, I am defiantly going to grab the full book. It was great, solid read.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
On a Black Tide
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Dragon stock art #1
Publisher: Lightworker
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2015 13:40:03

Amazing artwork! I dig all the stuff you guys create. I would like to discuss with someone about using this image on a commercial module, can they email me at shanepatrickward AT gmail DOT com. thanks!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon stock art #1
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The Baleful Sorcerer of Tsathag'kha
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/20/2013 12:24:59

Venger does it again! Totally digging this class, and the history behind it. I haven't had an opportunity to run it yet, but I plan to incorporate the idea into a cult I've created in a game. These Baleful sorcerer's willl be the leaders of the cult.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Baleful Sorcerer of Tsathag'kha
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