Archive | Reviews

Review of Vecna Eve of Ruin Celebrating 50 Years of D&D

Posted on May 7, 2024 by

Vecna: Eve of Ruin is a campaign book for characters of levels 10 through 20. Compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, the campaign tasks the players with a seemingly-impossible job: to save the multiverse from annihilation. The campaign book is offered in two editions: standard and an alternate cover. The standard edition cover, illustrated […]

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Review of PocketQuest Loot Goblins

Posted on April 10, 2024 by

Hiya, I am breaking a review hiatus to offer a review of Loot Goblins, by Michael’s Mind Online. The creator generously offered me a review copy, and I am happy to support their game design efforts-especially since this is their first, published game on DriveThruRPG! Loot Goblins was designed for PocketQuest 2024’s HEIST theme and, […]

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Dungeons & Dragons: The Deck of Many Things Review

Posted on November 14, 2023 by

The Deck of Many Things Bundle is the latest Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition sourcebook and game accessory. Included in the physical product is a 192-page sourcebook titled The Book of Many Things as well as beautifully-boxed Deck of Many Things containing 66 cards and a hardcover 80-page card reference guide.

The 22-chapter sourcebook, which is available in standard and alternate printings, features Asteria (p. 188) on both covers and is structured around The Deck of Many Things as well as a standard deck of playing cards. This information-dense guidebook includes an introductory chapter written for history buffs that explains the origin and evolution of this titular magic deck. Following Chapter One: Fool, The Book of Many Things offers thematically-appropriate dungeon master tools, character creation options, factions, guilds, and cults, adventure locations, maps, monsters, and statistics for the deck’s creators (the human warrior, Asteria, and the medusa, Euryale) in twenty-one, idea-packed chapters.

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Planescape Adventures in the Multiverse Boxed Set Review

Posted on October 13, 2023 by

Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse is a boxed set available in standard and alternate full color editions of Morte’s Planar Parade, Sigil and the Outlands, Turn of Fortune’s Wheel, and a Planescape-themed campaign screen. The alternate edition offers the same content, but is printed with collectibility in mind; all four pieces are part of a […]

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Phandelever and Below The Shattered Obelisk Review

Posted on September 25, 2023 by

Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk is a campaign supplement for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition that recently debuted in September 2023. Geared for DMs, the supplement builds off of The Lost Mine of Phandelver included in the Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set. That same adventure is reprinted in this supplement as well, and it’s worth nothing that the material has been slightly edited to better fit the campaign. The monsters from Chapters 1 through 4 are not included in the Bestiary, however, so if you require rules for non-named NPCs and creatures along with common magic items, you’ll need a copy of the Monster Manual and the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

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Bigby Presents Glory of the Giants DnD5E Review

Posted on August 14, 2023 by

Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants begins with a poem written by Bigby about a giant demigoddess named Diancastra, the daughter of Annam the All-Father, progenitor of the Giants. An epic poem details her role in the saga of giants, and sets a thematic tone for the book. Throughout the supplement, Bigby adds colorful commentary to flesh out the informational voice written by Makenzie de Armas, Dan Dillon, Ben Petrisor, and Jason Tondro.

Giants are referred to as a creature type, as listed in the Monster Manual, and are mythological descendants of Annam. This includes fomorians, death giants, trolls and ogres, cyclopes, and ettins as well as goliaths and firbolgs.

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Review of The Practically Complete Guide to Dragons

Posted on August 10, 2023 by

The Practically Complete Guide to Dragons is a 127-page, system-agnostic, descriptive field guide to dragons. Written by Sindri Suncatcher, a kender wizard familiar to Dragonlance fans, the narrative guide provides an overview of dragon anatomy, society, lairs, hoards, combat, magic, etiquette, and language. Notes in the margins flesh out Sindri’s take on ten different types […]

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Reviewing The Alleyman’s Tarot Deck and Guidebook

Posted on July 19, 2023 by

If you’re a tarot or Kickstarter enthusiast, you’ve probably heard about The Alleyman’s Tarot. To date, it’s the most well-funded and backed tarot card set on Kickstarter. As one of the original backers, I thought I’d review the set and the guidebook after drawing and reading cards for some time. The size of The Alleyman’s […]

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The Spoopy Tarot Deck Review

Posted on February 28, 2023 by

Designed by Amí Naeily, the Spoopy Tarot is a kawaii-style tarot deck with a “spoopy” theme–a haunted house filled with candy, ghosts, bats, eyeballs, potions, and so much more. Popularized by Marie Lenormand, modern tarot card readings range from the esoteric to the pragmatic. In the Spoopy Tarot, the Major Arcana is accurately described as […]

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Tarot of the Divine Review

Posted on January 25, 2023 by

The Tarot of the Divine is a rare treasure illustrated and designed by California-based artist Yoshi Yoshitani. Each card is illustrated in vibrant colors and line art to depict scenes from fairy tales, folklore, and myths found all over the world. Vasilisa the Beautiful inspired the Nine of Wands, for example, and its illustration is […]

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Scarred Lands Vigil Watch Collected Volume Review

Posted on August 31, 2021 by

Review written by Brian LeTendre When the Scarred Lands setting first debuted during the d20 boom of the early 2000s, I bought every single book in the line. The way the setting was introduced, and information about it revealed, felt like the unraveling of a mystery. I first got introduced to the world of Scarn […]

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The Lost Apothecary Review

Posted on June 2, 2021 by

Written by debut author Sarah Penner, The Lost Apothecary is a book about poisonous endings—some deadly, some not. This London-based story begins by slowly weaving threads narrated by three heroines in their respective time periods. Nella Clavinger is a healer-turned-poisoner who helps women rid themselves of their vile lovers, husbands, and fathers in 1791. Eliza […]

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Certain Dark Things a Worthy Vampire Tale

Posted on June 30, 2019 by

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Certain Dark Things, about a Mexican vampire on the run from gangs, the police, and rival vampires trying to wipe out her family.

The story begins with Domingo, a teen-aged picker who makes his living going through garbage to find things to salvage and sell. On his way to work, he sees a striking young woman on the train, and he finds himself smitten — even obsessed — with this strange young woman walking a rather vicious-looking dog.

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Betrayal Legacy Board Game Review

Posted on May 24, 2019 by

15 years ago, the Avalon Hill division of Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro released a board game called Betrayal at the House on the Hill, to little fanfare. It was a game of exploring a classic haunted house, but with a twist: eventually, as the mansion was explored and the tension grew, one player would be […]

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Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition Review

Posted on September 18, 2018 by

Once upon a time, many years ago in the closing months of the 20th Century, one of my best friends said to me “We’re going to do something new. Something different. We’re going to play Wraith.” being in a group of players that was consistently made up of myself, the significant other of my best friend, and my best friend-as-Storyteller, I was immediately intimidated. I had no idea how to play Wraith, and – truth be told – had no idea how the rules worked or how the setting would be laid out, etc.

Let’s be clear here; Vampire is easy. You’re a vampire and you live in a city and you blah blah blah all night long until the sun comes up. And let’s also be clear that with Werewolf, you’re a werewolf and you live in the near-city or wilderness – or, as I’ve proven in MY OWN games of Werewolf that I’ve run – in the city proper and you blah blah blah all day and night long until your phase of the moon hits and you’re rocking at full-tilt Gnosis and Rage…

But Wraith was different.

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Handbook for the Recently Deceased Review

Posted on September 10, 2018 by

Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition is one of the best core books for the World of Darkness bar none.  To say that it brought Wraith into the 21st Century in style would be a gross understatement, and for Onyx Path Publishing, the book is a triumph of literary accomplishment as well as updating the game and streamlining it while keeping the parts of it that absolutely needed to be held close.

Handbook for the Recently Deceased, however, affords both the player and the storyteller a succinct, capsulized glimpse at Wraith: the Oblivion that keeps the would-be storyteller who is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to throw his or her players across the Shroud from cutting deep into their printer’s ink reserves and spitting out chapters to serve as the building blocks for what they can expect from the game.

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Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition Review

Posted on September 5, 2018 by

What is reality?  I mean, think about it for a minute.  Since the dawn of human sentience, we’ve been thinking about things like “Am I just a bit-part player in someone else’s dream?” or “Is everything around me real because I want it to be?”

Is reality real?  Or is it what someone else wants it to be?

That sentence sets the groundwork for about 95% of the conflict in Mage: the Ascension.  There are warring factions in the world around you.

Some would answer that question with “Absolutely.  Reality is something that must be maintained and is what it is because it is the best possible environment for humanity to exist within.”

Some would answer that “Reality is what we need it to be.  When we need to elicit change, it is one thing.  When we need stasis, it is something else.  But have no illusions, WE are the masters of what reality is and is not.  You need only the will to change things to make them change, and the knowledge of the Spheres to make it happen.”

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Vampire’s Lore of the Clans Review

Posted on August 31, 2018 by

Lore of the Clans is a sourcebook supporting Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition and is written by Alexander, Kevin Czarnecki, Joshua Doetsch, Matt M McElroy, Andrew Peregrine, Ree Soesbee, Rob Wieland, and Christopher Wilde.  Released in 2015, the book collects together information that covers the Clans of the Camarilla, the Clans of the Sabbat, the Independent Clans, the Caitiff (whom we old farts used to refer to as the “Clanless”) and their respective Antitribu, which is a vampire who is and acts as the antithesis (and, in some cases, anathema as well) to the Clan that they were originally “Embraced” into.

Us “old farts” also remember a time when we had to wait for Clanbooks to be released on a schedule.  The die-hard Vampire: the Masquerade guys and gals would clench up so hard that they were able to make diamonds within the proximal recesses of their buttocks while they waited for Clanbook: This or Clanbook: That to be released.  This book brings them all together between two covers, which is a bit of a revolution for the game.

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Unraveling Netflix’s Requiem

Posted on April 13, 2018 by

On the heels of a fresh push for platform-specific content, Netflix released Requiem. It’s a six episode British miniseries set primarily in the small town of Penllynith. Billed as a supernatural thriller, the story revolves around Matilda Grey, an award-winning cellist played by Lydia Wilson, and her ever increasing obsession with a decades old mystery. […]

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Annihilation Movie Review

Posted on April 6, 2018 by

Annihilation (2018) is a dark science fantasy thriller written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina). Unlike Ex Machina (2014), Garland adapted the work from the first novel of acclaimed author Jeff VanderMeer‘s Southern Reach trilogy. The night before we went to see Annihilation, I had watched The Ritual (2017). Like The Witch (2015) and […]

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