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Questionable Confectionaries vol 2 Cole'Drens' Tavern Side Bistro
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/08/2021 19:15:37

For those who aren't familiar with the first volume the Questionable Confectionaries series is a collection of food-themed magic items that would occupy a similar place in a treasure assortment to a potion or scroll. What's nice about the food/treat theme of most of the items is that they inherently give the items themselves a more whimsical nature and may fit particularly well into certain themed games, for example if you're already tapping into some fairy tale mythologies, or possibly even an Alice In Wonderland type feel.

The overall tone and feel of the items themselves hits the perfect balance for me in my games of being very tongue-in-cheek without descending into cartoonish levels of silliness. This time out the collection is broken up into sections based on overall rarity (which I find extremely helpful).

I have to say upon my initial read-through of the second volume I was immediately struck by one significant improvement over the first volume, as well as one unfortunate step back. The big improvement for me was the sheer quantity of content. In addition to simply having a higher page count (by a significant margin) the layout is a bit changed and updated with a lot more text on every page. This is a big improvement because if you liked the first volume, there is simply way more of it to like here. The step back is that all this increased material seems to have come at the cost of a dramatic reduction in the ratio of art to items. For some purchasers this simply won't be an issue but for me art really makes an RPG product pop, and I not only enjoyed the art in the first volume, but what art there was in the second volume was again very well done (special shout-out to the Draconian Fruit Cake) and I certainly would have liked to have more of it.

One of the areas of expansion covered by this volume is the addition of The Gourmand which is an appropriately foody version of the Artificer along with some new abilities. This gives both DMs and players more opportunity to work with the Questionable Confectionaries material in-game.

Overall I think Questionable Confectionaries Volume 2 is a worthwhile addition to any DMs toolbox, especially those looking for treat-themed items to add to their games!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Questionable Confectionaries vol 2 Cole'Drens' Tavern Side Bistro
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Questionable Confectionaries Vol.1: Niters' Ye Old Candy Shoppe
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/22/2021 18:36:38

Although the DMsGuild has no shortage of collections of new and wonderous magical items for players to add to their games Niter's is the first collection I've come across with such a clear, coherent and well executed theme. As is no doubt obvious from the title the theme is candy!

First up the layout and presentation of this volume is terrific. Each candy receives a full description, clearly laid out game effects, flavour text in the form of an anecdote from Niter, as well as an image for every entry. This layout both makes the collection easy and engaging to read as well as giving a certain sense of immersion.

Two of the features I'd also like to call out are a brief section on accessibility at the beginning on the book reframing some of D&Ds conditions and separating them from disabilities of the same names. In addition when purchasing a copy of Niter's you will receive both the standard copy of the document, as well as a dyslexia-friendly version which is a rare and valuable accessibility option.

From a game mechanics point of view the impact that the individual candies would have on a game is quite wide-ranging and seems well defined by and connected to the rarity level of each individual confection. What I personally found really appealing about the game effects were that they were well anchored and described in the context and sensibilities of D&D 5e, but had very much the gonzo old-school feeling of something that a player might have found in an old fun-house style adventure like Tegal Manor or Castle Amber.

The only real downside I can see in Niter's Ye Old Candy Shoppe is that for groups who like their adventuring style more 'grimdark' the general fun and whimsical tone might not align with their view of what they want in their game.

Overall I think adding bits and pieces from Niter's Ye Olde Candy Shoppe to existing adventures or using some of the options as seeds for adventures on their own can add a lot of fun and wonder to a D&D campaign and I'm personally looking forward to adding some traveling sales reps from Niter's to my own games in the coming months.

Overall I highly recommend Niter's Ye Olde Candy Shoppe to anyone running a 5e game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Questionable Confectionaries Vol.1: Niters' Ye Old Candy Shoppe
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GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos (Basic)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/21/2021 08:41:35

Back in the day I was a huge fan of the Gazetteer series but lost most of mine in a move. I was super happy to see these books offered through OneBookShelf and immediately pounced on my two favourites in the series Gaz 1 (Karameikos) and Gaz 3 (Glantri).

The Grand Duchy Of Karameikos is a tremendous introduction to the Known World of D&D. The art is amazingly evocative and the layout is extremely user friendly and visually appealing. I purchased the POD version of the book and my copy is crisp and clear.

I highy recommend this book to any fans of the BECMI era of D&D and/or anyone looking for a campaign world that is deep and developed without feeling inherently tied to a lot of named characters in branded fiction.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos (Basic)
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Modern AGE RPG Quickstart
Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2021 17:26:36

If the goal of a free set of quickstart rules is to get you to purchase the full edition than this set is Mission Accomplished!

Basically as soon as I was done reading this I purchased the full rulebook and Feral Hogs scenario and my group was off to the races.

The Modern AGE rules themselves are fairly simple and straightforward and my group was able to pick them up immediately with very little learning curve. I've only run one adventure using these rules so far but my whole group's immediate response was "when can we play again?" so that's the most reliable metric I have to indicate a gme is good.

For $0 if you're interested in a modern RPG that anyone can play and learn you can't afford not to get this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Modern AGE RPG Quickstart
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Modern AGE Missions: Feral Hogs
Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/19/2020 00:40:03

Fantastic adventure! If you want a fun post-apocalyptic advnture that doesn't take itself too seriously this is just perfect.

Just ran it for my group and pitched it as Idiocracy meets Mad Max, played it as such and everybody had a blast!

The adventure is a great intro to the Age system as there is; social interactions, combat, breeching challenges, and a chase.

Highly recommend!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Modern AGE Missions: Feral Hogs
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Shadows over Vathak: The Hollowfield Harvest Festival (5th Edition)
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/01/2020 21:52:39

The Hollowfield Harvest Festival is a great introductory adventure with a fun Halloween theme.

In addition to some spooky goings-on Hollowfield provides a great starting location or homebase for a new group of adventurers. The flavour-text is very well written and although I grabbed this as a seasonally appropriate adventure based on it's great (FREE!) price, the quality of the writting and presentation have definitely convinced me to invest in more of Fat Goblin's Vathak material.

I would highly recommend this adventure for anyone looking for a fun low-level adventure set against an interesting backdrop.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows over Vathak: The Hollowfield Harvest Festival (5th Edition)
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Slasher Flick
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/30/2020 10:29:56

Just played my first game of Slasher Flick and it was great!

This is a rules-light game with a very simple yet engaging dice mechanic that was very easy to pick up and learn and did an amazing job of capturing the feeling of playing through an 80s slasher movie. Normally I'm a bit slow to take to new game rules but I got my copy of Slasher Flick on a Monday and was playing a game where I felt fully comfortable with the rules by that Wednesday.

I've read some other comments that some purchasers weren't fans of the art but I loved it. It's fairly simple black and white art throughout but having been a fan and player of RPGs in the 80s that was another element that really drew me back and put me in that time period.

Overall I would highly recommend Slasher Flick to anyone who wants to play their way through an 80s slasher film experience. It's a great game that emulates the genre amazingly well and my group and I had a blast playing it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slasher Flick
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Death is Only the Beginning? - Level 3 Mini Adventure
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/27/2020 22:11:19

Death Is Only The Beginning is a fun take on the idea of an adventure beginning with a TPK.

The PCs 'awaken' as the victims of a somewhat inept necromancer. The characters travel through a fairly linear dungeon towards their final encounters and at the conclusion of the adventure the stage is set in classic horror movie fashion for the villain to make his own unexpected return at a future point in the campaign.

I really like the setup, execution, and presentation of Death Is Only The Beginning but for my own campaign I will be making two changes. First up, I will be removing the magic item from room 9. I get the intention behind the item but if it is not used in the way the authors intended it could become unbalancing for a campaign, having said that if I was going to run this as a pure one-shot I would leave it as-is as that wouldn't be a concern. My second change is more one of personal taste, I'm going to revise the list of undead creatures the PCs awaken as. Conceptually I struggle both with the idea of one of the PCs waking as a ghost, and I also don't like the visual of a PC skeleton, I'll probably go with fleshier undead.

In spite of those changes I'm really happy with the adventure and am really happy with the idea of slotting it into my next Ravenloft campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Death is Only the Beginning? - Level 3 Mini Adventure
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Creator Reply:
Hi Jay, happy to hear that you liked the mini-adventure! :-D Thanks for the review, awesome feedback and great points - thank you!!
The Hardly Haunted Library
Publisher: Grove Guardian Press
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/27/2020 21:38:53

The Hardly Haunted Library is a great one-shot or side-quest that can easily be dropped into an existing campaign. I actually just received my copy of Curse Of Strahd Re-Vamped today and am planning on subsituting The Hardly Haunted Library for Death House as my player's first supernatural encounter and gateway to the lands of Barovia.

The Hardly Haunted Library is heavily weighted to accomplishing tasks and problem solving and runs light on combat. Having said that the inclusion of a full-page map that appears to be well scaled to use as a tactical map will make combat super smooth and easy to run.

The narrative is interesting, satisfying, and logical. The haunting elements are also effective without being jump-scares and in addition to my regular players I think this is also and adventure I can run for my 13 year old.

The adventure is admittedly fairly short, but it works well that way and is certainly still a bargain for the price! I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fun introductory adventure with a supernatural flavour.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Hardly Haunted Library
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You're in a Bar
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/14/2020 19:21:42

You're in a bar is a fairly simple straightforward solo dungeon crawl. Depending on your personal tastes this is either a good thing or a bad thing. Personally I like a traditional dungeon crawls so I was ready to be engaged.

You're in a Bar does a lot of things right. None of the challenges are inherently overwhelming for a 1st level character. The encounters and rewards are level appropriate. And the adventure itself has a good amount of art and imagery attached. I found the overall experience to be a fun and satisying diversion for about an hour.

Having said that, there are also a few areas for improvement. First up, the adventure is surprisingly short. Based on the page count I was expecting a lengthier scenario. When I looked at the printer-friendly version (which strips out all of the graphics except the map) most of the pages were reduced to just a few lines of text. That leads into my second issue; there's almost no narrative. Basically you get told there's a dungeon, you fight some monsters, you get some loot, you go home. And my final issue follows on from there, there is no escalation of encounters (no big bad). All this added up to me ending the adventure having felt entertained but not really fullfilled.

Overall You're in a Bar is fun but it feels more like an introduction than a true adventure. If you're looking for a quick solo experience give it a go, but if you're looking for a more traditional full-length adventure this might fall short.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
You're in a Bar
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Delta Green: Need to Know
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/05/2020 21:49:44

I had seen a video review of Delta Green Last Things Last on youtube and decided to download Need To Know and run it for a group of my friends. I was so impressed by what I was reading that I'd only gotten a dozen pages in when I called my FLGS and ordered the physical book (with screen!). So obviously I really like it and think anyone interested in a modern cthulhu/horror game should get this immediately.

Delta Green is at it's core a mash-up of Call Of Cthulhu and The X-Files. Mechanically the game is similar to Call Of Cthulhu's basic role playing system, and is extremely easy to pick up and learn. For anyone looking for a modern take on horror that is easy to learn and play Delta Green is it.

The scenario contained in Need To Know, Last Things Last is a great introduction to the system's rules and showcases the difference between tradtional combat-based RPGs and Delta Green. The option for combat is there, but the focus is on investigation, and the scenario can be completed without any combat at all.

Delta Green Need To Know would have easily been a bargain as an e-pub for $10, for free if you're even faintly curious there's no reason not to download.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Need to Know
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Castle Amber - An Expansion and 5e Conversion Guide to Dungeon Module X2
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2020 20:41:49

There are a lot of '5e conversions' up on DMsGuild but in my experience this one is by far both the most useful and the most complete.

The original Castle Amber was an amazing module that really managed to seed the imagination of the DMs who read it in a mere 32 pages. This expansion and conversion guide bring together and quantify a ton of thoughts many of us would have had playing through the original X2.

$3.99 is an unbelievable bargain for the amount and quality of the content contained in this supplement. I highly recommend it to anyone adventuring in any version of Chateau d'Amberville.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Amber - An Expansion and 5e Conversion Guide to Dungeon Module X2
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The Shrieking Spire
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2020 20:20:49

The Shrieking Spire is a well thought out, relatively short adventure that should be playable in a single session. It's a throwback to an older style of adventure that was heavier on puzzles and traps and lighter on combat. Personally I prefer this style of adventure as it makes any adventure setting feel less like an apartment complex full of monsters.

The adventire itself is suitably mysterious and satisfying. The one opportunity for improvement I would call out is in the visual presentation. I like the art in the adventure but it could definitely use more of it, and there is more than ample space for it having a significant amount of unused space on a number of pages.

Overall I think the adventure itself is quite good and can easily be dropped into any existing campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Shrieking Spire
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PG1 Player's Guide to the Dragonlance Campaign (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2020 14:57:28

I've recently gotten into Dragonlance after not gaming the setting during it's first go around. I've enjoyed a lot of the original source material but as someone who's prior Dragonlance experience was mostly limited to the original trilogy of novels I have to say; this is the definitive guide to that period in Dragonlance history.

This book is a great read, and filled with tons of art from the original Dragonlance run. For any fan of the series or anyone looking back with a nostalgic eye this is in my opinion the best source book for the original trilogy and it's world.

One of the other huge positives with this book is that although it's nominally a 2nd Edition AD&D title, unlike the Dragonlance Adventures hardcover there is no space given to game mechanics in this book so it requires no translation or adaption to use with other editions of the game. For me personally I bought the book with the intent of using it to shape 5e content for Dragonlance and Sithicus (Ravenloft) and it fits perfectly.

For anyone considering any legacy Dragonlance purchases to round out their collections, this is to date; the most complete, easiest to use, nicest looking guide to The War Of The Lance era on DMsGuild. A must buy and a bargain for five bucks!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
PG1 Player's Guide to the Dragonlance Campaign (2e)
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The House of the Red Doors
Publisher: Horseshark Games
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2020 10:35:50

The House Of The Red Doors is a single player funnel for DCC with a really unique structure that works extremely well as both a funnel and a tournament adventure.

To be honest I had gotten tired of funnel adventures for DCC but after hearing good things about The House Of The Red Doors from a friend I decided to give it a shot. I'm super glad I did. The House Of The Red Doors makes good use of the funnel concept by using 0-level as a way to amp up the threat level to the PC while still having a TON of interesting exploration and discovery to play through. The House Of The Red Doors feels very much like a 'real' adventure not just a low-level introductory scenario.

If you want to introduce a new player to DCC The House Of The Red Doors is a great choice! I highly recommend this adventure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The House of the Red Doors
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