Posted on March 5, 2010 by Billzilla
A number of entities have carved a successful niche for themselves creating support products for D&D. One of these, Open Design LLC, operates under an interesting model; direct patronage. They produce material, in part or in full, based on what their sponsors wish to see and are willing to finance. One of their more recent products, the Imperial Gazetteer, describes the region containing the Principality of Morgau and Doresh. This realm was once like any other, but is currently controlled by vampires and ghouls. As one might expect, most of the adversaries presented within are of considerable power; this region is not one on which 1st level characters could expect cut their teeth, by any means.
The book begins with a brief introduction to the subject material by co-author Wolfgang Baur. The first chapter details the history of the principality, giving a brief overview of less recent events while covering more current history a bit more closely.
Posted on September 3, 2009 by Billzilla
If there is a single grouping of monsters that are a favorite, undead would probably be at or near the top of everyone’s list. From ghosts to zombies and from vampires to mummies, undead are the critters we love to hate. In Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead, Wizards of the Coast offers up a tasty book filled with intriguing information for GMs wishing to get the most out of their players’ encounters with those who refuse to stay dead.
It’s important to note that this volume isn’t a simple monster manual for the Undead. It doesn’t bother to cover the basic types; skeletons, zombies, and even straight-up vampire types are totally ignored, being covered in some depth elsewhere. What it does offer are variations on the standard creature, with strategy tips and useful tricks for effective deployment.
Posted on December 10, 2008 by Billzilla
I’m frankly a sucker for many things — ghost stories and samurai films among them. On discovering the book In the Service of Samurai by Gloria Oliver, I was pleased to discover that two of my passions had been rolled into one package.
In the Service of Samuari tells the story of a young apprentice mapmaker, Chizuson Toshiro or “Toshi,” who is purchased from his master to act as navigator for a strange samurai with an even stranger ship and crew. Cursed and betrayed in life, the undead Samurai and his ghostly men must wander the sea until they have completed their mission. In the end, only Toshi’s wits and determination can help them see it through. The tension of the story grows as Toshi learns to accept his situation.
Posted on November 20, 2008 by Billzilla
Our next contestant is Iron Wind Metals. Rising from the ashes of the fallen Ral Partha Miniatures, Iron Wind first began cranking out miniatures in 1999. Since then they’ve attempted to resurrect many of the figures for which they became famous in the 1980s and 90s, but have so far found little success getting their re-tooled fantasy lines into stores. Ordering online might be your only option to acquire these beauties, but check your favourite local game store first; they may be willing to special order Iron Wind Metals miniatures for you.
The miniatures we’ll be looking at come from several different product lines. As usual, I will list the miniatures by name, stock code, and by MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price). I try to include the sculptor’s name whenever possible; credit where credit is due, after all.
Posted on June 11, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
The Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. IV—The Underworld
A Guide to the Land of the Dead
The fourth of five books dedicated to the supernatural locales of the Exalted setting, this supplement focuses on the Underworld, land of the dead. Created by the death of Primordials in their war with the Exalted, the Underworld is now home to billions of ghosts who have escaped the Cycle of Reincarnation. Will the returned Solars unite to destroy it as an affront to the proper function of Creation, or will they be seduced by its dark beauty and the power its dark art of necromancy offers, becoming like the corrupt Abyssal Exalted who call the place home?
Posted on March 31, 2008 by Flames
The game of Dungeons & Dragons is, at its core, a game of epic fantasy. The characters we choose and role-play more closely resemble the mythological heroes of ancient times or modern fantasy literature. The nature of an epic fantasy adventure is that the hero(es) will face a great threat which will endanger the lives of innocents/family/the world. There will be a great struggle, but the outcome is never in question. Epic fantasy stories end with our protagonist overcoming the long odds and great trials to become a truly legendary hero. But this begs an interesting question.
What if the hero can not succeed?
Review by Vincent Venturella
Posted on March 24, 2008 by Flames
The subtitle is The Book of Undead and that accurately captures the thrust of this entire work. For me, this work was long coming as I still have my copy of the 2nd Edition Necromancer’s Handbook on my gaming shelf (okay, shelves). That book allowed us to live out our darker desires in D&D; a game whose objective morality often prevents those who want a little taste of the dark side from enjoying themselves. That handbook, like Libris Mortis promises us the chance to peer deeper into the unlife of undead from every angle. Let’s face it, who doesn’t sit at work some days, when your boss is breathing down your neck, and Sheila from accounting is emailing you thirteen times an hour for the TPS reports, and dream of summoning a horde of the undead to wipe them all out.
It can’t be just me.
Review by Vincent Venturella