Tag Archive | "dungeons & dragons"

Robert A. Howard

The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos (D&D 4E) Review

Posted on April 8, 2010 by

The Plane Below greatly expands on the Elemental Chaos, which is one of the fundamental planes of the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition cosmos. To be sure, this supplement is primarily intended for Dungeon Masters and is best suited for paragon and epic tier games. There is no doubt that the Elemental Chaos is aptly named, for although there are some relatively stable places to visit, much of the plane is filled with a roiling chaos of raw elements from which the rest of creation is derived. It is a hostile and alien place — just the sort of place to drop your players into unexpectedly to watch them squirm.

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Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer: Shadows of Mirahan RPG Review

Posted on February 15, 2010 by

When I first saw Goodman Games’ D&D 4e adventure, Death Dealer: Shadows of Mirahan, I had mixed reactions. First, I love Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer. I’ve seen all the Frazetta paintings, read the novels by James Silke, collected the comics written by Glen Danzig, and bought the Molly Hatchet album with Death Dealer on the cover when I first saw it back in the 80s (it was actually released in 1978).

However, the gamer in me balked. I was wondering how they could pull off an adventure about the Death Dealer without having the nearly omnipotent figure overshadow the player characters. There is only one Death Dealer, and surely the players would not be playing as the legendary anti-hero. I was also wondering how the adventure dealt with non-human races (I couldn’t remember reading about elves and dwarves in the novels).

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Critter Cache: Lovecraftian Bestiary Review

Posted on December 10, 2009 by

I’m surprised it took this long. I know there have been flirtations between Dungeons & Dragons and Call of Cthulhu in the past; however, the affair is now fully public. Two of the biggest games in the market now have a serious connection. This book offers nearly fifty pages of how to bring Lovecraft’s creations into your beloved fantasy game. It’s essentially a small book of monsters. It’s just happens to be a damn good book of monsters.

Erik Nowak’s graphic design and layout catches the reader’s attention towards exactly what you need. Stats are blocked out differently than the flavor text. Bold fonts and borders keep the reader wrangled into the material.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Reactions to the new WotC Fan Site Policy

Posted on August 7, 2009 by

Wizards of the Coast has just posted the new Fan Site Kit Policy for those interested in putting together a fansite for D&D 4th Edition (and it apparently covers Magic: the Gathering as well). Reactions have been…rather mixed so far:

The Seven-Sided Die has a good post called Wizards’ Fan Site Kit is not a fan site policy that is worth reading.

Geek Related tells us Wizards Fan Site Policy – What It’s Good For.

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Megan

Wraith Recon RPG Review

Posted on June 30, 2009 by

Rather a long time ago, when I had just taken the Queen’s Shilling and the new game was Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, I thought about applying classic squad tactics to adventuring parties on the tabletop. War, after all, happens at least as frequently in a fantasy realm as it does in the real world, and small groups are the norm in both role-playing and Special Forces. So it is with a measure of glee that I find a book which has taken this route with the combat-orientated 4th Edition of D&D; providing both a rich but war-torn setting and ideas for building a special forces unit using the full potential of fantasy adventurers.

The Introduction explains precisely what is intended. Although it has the normal trappings of a standard fantasy campaign setting (and indeed if that is what you want you can play a normal fantasy game here), the intention is that player-characters will be members of an elite ‘special forces’ style group called Wraith Recon; and that rather than normal adventuring activities they will engage in classic special forces missions, acing often on their own but under direction of their commanders.

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Megan

D&D 4E Player’s Handbook 2 RPG Review

Posted on June 10, 2009 by

The intention behind this book is to introduce new races, classes and powers as options that players can choose when designing their characters. The Introduction launches off with some grandiose claims about being a ‘significant expansion’ – well, it is fair to say that five new races and eight new classes broadens your options… it just depends if what is offered happens to suit what you want to play. The second part of the Introduction presents the ‘Primal Power Source’ which underlies the supernatural powers available to the barbarian, druid, shaman and warden classes presented later on. It links to the spirits of nature, the power of the world itself that originally arose to protect it from the depredations of squabbling deities and primordials. Having banished them so that they can only exert an influence the primal powers, a myriad of spirits, have established what is perceived as the ‘natural order’ – the cycle of life and death, the turning of the seasons. The characters who draw on them are thus firmly rooted in nature.

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Megan

Martial Power RPG Review

Posted on May 28, 2009 by

The Introduction begins by discussing the true tools of a warrior: not so much his weapons and armour, but his skills and techniques. The best fighters may even be know for a particular style or manoeuvre that has become a trademark. This book is laid out so as to help you to develop such a character, one tailored to the style you wish him to have. Each of the martial character classes – fighter, ranger, rogue, and warlord – has a chapter dedicated to honing characters of that class, and the book rounds out with a massive listing of new feats which may be used to good effect. While some players may take the opportunity to build a new character from the bottom up using these resources, allowance has also been made for those who wish to revise existing martial characters in the light of what is written here.

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Megan

The Half-Dead RPG Review

Posted on May 7, 2009 by

Whether you choose to play a half-dead as one of the most bizarre characters I can imagine, or feel that they will make horrific opposition for your game, this work details a terrifying fate, that of being neither dead, undead or alive… but trapped somewhere in between, a living mind in an undead body. Will madness ensue?

This fate can befall a member of any race, provided it is sentient. As it’s caused by dying while under the influence of dark and necrotic magics, it is a fate which can be held over characters when they encounter a foe capable of casting such magics.

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Flames

Level Up Magazine Review

Posted on April 28, 2009 by

The magazine comes in a robust 60 pages. That is not as big as their major competitor, but it is very, very, full. The initial editorial lays out all of the article types that the magazine plans to pursue in the coming quarters and every one seems interesting and with a constant mind toward having something for all players. There was always an eye toward having both solid fluff (flavor) and rules (crunch) in each article. More over, a focus on making sure the flavor and crunch aligned. Readers will notice if there is a disconnect and will be turned off by a product that does a bad job of aligning these two very important aspects of game design. That is not the case here.

The articles are similar to classic articles we, as a gaming generation, have all grown up with. There are articles that detail new weapons and talk about the fighters that use them, articles that introduce a new god, his followers and other important doctrines of the faith.

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Megan

Adventurer’s Vault RPG Review

Posted on April 23, 2009 by

All adventurers need good equipment, both magical and mundane, and even the most creative DM sometimes needs ideas for interesting treasure hoards for the characters to, ahem, liberate… so here is a book packed full of goodies to serve both interests. The Introduction explains the organisation of the work: a chapter each for equipment and magical items, plus a couple of appendices mostly for the DM, one with ideas for using magic items and one with them listed by level for ease of hoard creation.

Mainly intended for the character looking for some retail therapy, Chapter 1: Equipment is broken down into sections detailing all manner of gear. It begins with masterwork armour, and also covers weapons, mounts, vehicles and even alchemy – both that which can be purchased and things you can do yourself if possessed of the appropriate tools.

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Megan

Draconomicon Chromatic Dragons Review

Posted on April 6, 2009 by

Intended to serve as a collection of information about red, blue, green, black, and white dragons (as described in the Monster Manual, as well as a few newcomer dragons in the shape of grey, brown and purple ones, this work launches straight into its subject with a chapter on Dragon Lore. Much has already been written about dragons and yet the surface of the possible information about these truly epic creatures has been merely scratched. This chapter takes a wide-ranging look at dragons as they exist in the alternate reality of Dungeons & Dragons, including origins, biology, society and outlook, culminating in details of the chromatic dragons. Did you know that a dragon has no ears, and that it grows a complete new set of teeth each time it increases in size? But lest such comments suggest a mere biological creature to studyas you would any other, fear not: the notes portray a clear picture of a being that is truly awe-inspiring, the stuff of legend indeed.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Player’s Handbook 2: A Look at the Shaman

Posted on March 13, 2009 by

From the bright towns and darkened wilderness they come: mighty heroes intent on exploring dungeons, slaying monsters and battling evil.

The Player’s Handbook 2 offers Dungeons & Dragons players new options with new Races, Classes and more. This book introduces the primal power source, which draws on the spirits that preserve and sustain the world. Wizards of the Coast has offered up a handful of previews and excerpts on the Dungeons & Dragons website and a few lucky gamers out there have already received their pre-ordered copies of the book (some have even posted spoiler threads if you have the energy to dig through them).

Flames Rising was lucky enough to get an advance copy of the book for review and we are teaming up with a handful of other websites to explore some of the new options being made available to players of Dungeons & Dragons. Specifically we are going to be taking a look at the Shaman Class today. After our Look at the Shaman you will find a series of links to other sites examining other sections of the book.

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Flames

Polymancer Studios launches “FourthRight”

Posted on June 26, 2008 by

Polymancer Studios announces it will publish material supporting Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition under the new FourthRight imprint. Under the terms of the Game System License, products will appear in print and PDF in October 2008.

FourthRight, a new imprint of the publisher of many quality game products, will support the newest edition of the most popular roleplaying game rules system on the market today. The terms of the Game System License (GSL) allow for the rapid development of adventure scenarios as well as monster, power, and NPC compendiums.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Release

Posted on June 8, 2008 by

We’ve had our review of the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons posted for a few days already. The review seems to be pretty popular as well. We also reported that Wizards of the Coast will be a Co-Sponsor at GenCon recently.

Flames Rising is primarily a Horror & Dark Fantasy website, but we really can’t ignore a new edition of D&D. Other sites with a bit more focus on the game have plenty of interesting discussion going on, the RPGNet D&D Forum, EN World and Story Games, just to name a few.

Initial reports have been pretty positive, some retailers are mentioning decent sales and online offers from Amazon.com and Noble Knight Games also seem to be in high demand.

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