Tag Archive | "d20"

Interview with Ed Wetterman and Preston DuBose at 12 to Midnight

Posted on May 21, 2008 by

12 to Midnight publishes modern horror roleplaying games and accessories.

In this interview Ed Wetterman and Preston DuBose take us on a tour of Pinebox and then they explain a little bit about the design process that went into the new Steamworks d20 fantasy book.

We also get to hear about why 12 to Midnight likes the Savage Worlds system and get some details on the first ever Midnight Charity Project.


Steamworks RPG Review

Posted on April 23, 2008 by

This is a tightly presented 165 page PDF in two column format in a fair imitation of much of Wizard’s own presentation, it cover PC and NPC character clases, prestige classes, mechanical devices and effects, the interaction of magic and technology, automations, skills, feats and everything else. Basically this is one entire plug-in to bring technology and its users into the game, along with brief discussions on the affect technological change might have on a society and the means by which it might be introduced. To my mind there wasn’t enough material on this side of things, doubtless to make room for all the mechanical crunch.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough


Monte Cook’s The Volcanic Shrine

Posted on April 19, 2008 by

Key Encounters: The Volcanic Shrine combines the writing and imagination of fan favorite Monte Cook with SkeletonKey Games‘ best selling miniatures-scale tiles to bring a detailed encounter to your table top. The Volcanic Shrine is a major encounter for fantasy d20 games that can be built with the 20 brand-new, custom designed miniatures-scale tiles included in the product. The encounter details the link between a massive lake of lava deep underground and the Elemental Plane of Fire itself. This encounter could be used as the center point of an entire adventure involving creatures of flame and the evil plot of a dark elemental creature known as Kaliastrix.


Tome of Horrors Revised Review

Posted on April 16, 2008 by

The Revised Tome of Horrors is a massive play on nostalgia. A book hoping that you miss the strange, often inexplicable and forgettable monsters from 1st edition. The problem becomes, that if you do not know what the hell these monsters are and you have no attachment to a pech or a tentamort, you will think this is simply a massive collection of strange and unremarkable creatures.

The book is single minded in its approach; proudly presenting you with over 300 monsters from the “good old days” of D&D. It clocks in at a massive 451 pages and is only available in PDF format. The reason for this decision is explained at the opening of the book. Ultimately it boils down to the cost involved with a reprint of a book this size.

Review by Vincent Venturella


Steamworks at RPGNow!

Posted on April 11, 2008 by

Now available from 12 to Midnight!

Ever wish you could just toss a grenade into a room full of orcs? Or wish you had an automaton to scout out a booby trapped hallway? Or that you could let your fantasy characters explore the ruins of an ancient, technologically advanced civilization? If you’ve ever wanted to introduce a little bit of steampunk into your fantasy campaign, then you want Steamworks!


Heroes of Horror (D&D) RPG Review

Posted on March 31, 2008 by

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


Brainwashed RPG Review

Posted on March 10, 2008 by

Brainwashed is a d20 Modern, horror adventure by 12 to Midnight, written by the impressively named Preston P. DuBose and illustrated by Nicole Cardiff (cover) and Steve Bentley (interior). It follows the misadventures of a group of investigators as they probe the mysterious and sudden popularity of the Harmony Farm commune/cult and get to the bottom of a strange and otherworldly secret. The blurb professes an ambition for a Lovecraftian feel to the game, good to aim high, and it references 12 to Midnight’s horror supplemental rules effort Fear Effects, which – unfortunately – I haven’t read, so I can’t comment on the adventure in that respect. I also now, ahead of time and with full understanding of my own hypocrisy here, having written published adventures before, admit that I just generally don’t like pre-written adventures as they don’t suit my free-wheeling style of GMing.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough


R.I.P. Gary Gygax

Posted on March 4, 2008 by

E. Gary Gygax has passed away. Gary was one of the creators of Dungeons & Dragons, in addition to many other games and novels over the years. I had the chance to game with him a couple of times at various conventions over the years. I’m planning on GMing a little old-school “Dungeon Crawl” tonight, […]


Ravenloft Gazetteer V Review

Posted on September 27, 2007 by

I should probably note before I commence that I am not much of a fan of the original Ravenloft, or of the world as a whole. Of the alternative game settings offered in the last gasps of TSR Ravenloft is much weaker – in my opinion – than Dark Sun or Planescape. To me it just all seemed a little too cheesy, a little too Bela Lugosi and we all know how unscary the old 40s and 50s horror films seem these days. Some of that ‘cheese’ always seemed to taint my encounters with Ravenloft from fortune telling gypsies to vampire lords and, so, I’ve never been that enamoured of it. I know people love it though, so I’ll try to rate this d20 remake gazetteer based on its individual content rather than the world it describes.


Dungeon Bash RPG Review

Posted on February 1, 2007 by

Dungeon Bash is obtainable via download from RPGNow.com and similar sites. A bundle of PDFs is provided for a cost of US $10, which is far from excessive. Some of the files contain D20 related material which is available elsewhere but is provided here in more user-friendly formats. Dating back to the time of Gary Gygax and Dave Arnesen, the original creators of the game, D&D rules have always combined the sensible and the nonsensical in almost equal balance. This tendency has pretty much continued as the game has grown in complexity and is perhaps inevitable when so many people have been responsible for producing officially sponsored content. Players of course contribute to the problem by gleefully ripping ideas and concepts out of their context in forcing them into their own games, generally in the hope of giving themselves an advantage in the killing-and-looting stakes. Consequently, there exists a market niche for people who can summarize and present pertinent information in a reader-friendly and comprehensive fashion.


Prince of Lies: The Avatar Series, Book IV Review

Posted on July 5, 2006 by

The fourth in a series, Prince of Lies flirts with horror, magic and mystery. Cyric, lord over the realm of the dead and god of murder, desperately seeks the soul of Kelemvor Lyonsbane who was once lover and companion to Mystra, the goddess of magic. In his zeal for vengeance, Cyric traps several humans into his mad design as easily as if they were pawns on a chessboard. Not only does Cyric search for Lyonsbane’s soul, he also entraps a human female, Rinda, to write his notorious book in an effort to bend the entire world to his will, erasing the gods in all their might.


What Lurks Beyond RPG Review

Posted on June 14, 2006 by

Weighing in at a hefty ninety-five pages (excluding an appendix of various maps and player handouts) and retailing for a reasonable $18.99 (US), What Lurks Beyond is a fantasy horror adventure module published by Cutter’s Guild Games (best known for their Deathstalkers RPG). So, what are you getting for that investment? First the good news….

Billed as an adventure module, the product reminds more of a mini campaign, due largely to its scope and length – it is heavy on the meat. The basic plot of What Lurks Beyond is both well thought out and engaging, if somewhat hampered by the product’s presentation. And that’s it for the good news. Now for the bad news….


Interview with freelance author Patrick Younts

Posted on September 22, 2005 by

Patrick tells us about his work on many Mongoose Publishing d20 products as well as writing for the Scarred Lands setting from Sword & Sorcery Studios.


Bloodlines RPG Review

Posted on July 27, 2005 by

Bloodlines is a handy pdf for d20 Modern from the folks at 12 to Midnight. This adventure is written with 5th Level characters in mind, but is not a requirement. With a little prep, a GM can do just about anything with this material. Bloodlines uses the OGL Horror magic system from Mongoose Publishing, but has everything you need included. Coming in both “Printer-Friendly” and “Full versions as a set. The Full version is packed with handouts, bookmarks and is one of the best looking pdfs I’ve seen on the market.


Desert Dreams RPG Review

Posted on May 31, 2005 by

Desert Dreams is the first supplement produced by Sacred Wolf for its Ignotus modern D20 setting. Ignotus is a dark world in which the eponymous supernatural realm poses a grave threat to humanity and its hideous denizens work to undermine society. Shadowy government agencies and vile religious cultists combine to make the real world, beneath the level of consciousness of most people, nasty, brutish and short.


Ignotus Player Guide Review

Posted on May 2, 2005 by

Ignotus is Sacred Wolf’s game of modern horror, in which potent conspiracies exist to render miserable the lives of the ordinary people and dark secrets are revealed to show that man is not alone. In the Ignotus Player’s Guide, all of the information required for players to take part in this darkly present world is provided. From formative experiences to feats and skills, prestige classes to starting occupations, the book lays out in plain terms what is what. The emphasis is primarily on the nitty gritty of gameplay rather than the flavour of the setting and it is sometimes difficult to envisage exactly how characters can be made to come alive.


Ignotus GM’s Guide RPG Review

Posted on May 2, 2005 by

Throughout known history, mankind has been threatened by the malevolent plane known as the Ignotus. How the Ignotus came into being is not clear – some believe it was a remnant of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, while others consider it to be a punishment from God. What is known, though, is that the Ignotus is the source of numerous trials and tribulations, including manifestations of evil spirits, ghosts and all manner of frightful things. As the Ignotus moves closer to the earth, its effects multiply and inevitably it is the innocent who suffer the most.

Review by John Walsh


GRIMM (Horizon d20) Review

Posted on March 20, 2005 by

Grimm is a d20 setting part of Fantasy Flight Games’ Horizon line. It’s self-contained and only needs the 3 Core books. It’s designed with 3.5 in mind but I imagine the 3.0 Core books could be used without difficulty. The premise is that you play children who have been drawn into the lands where the Grimm fairy tales took place. It was the setting that caught my attention and is the reason I decided to buy it. Grimm definitely gets points for uniqueness.


Interview with Wil Upchurch

Posted on February 24, 2005 by

In this interview Wil talks to us about working on the Midnight RPG from Fantasy Flight Games. He also tells us a little about Dawnforge and other projects he has been working on.


Cursed Empire: Second Edition Overview

Posted on February 24, 2005 by

At first glance, Cursed Empire is a lot of information. I would even go so far as to say that this book holds more information and mechanics than a lot of the D20 products out there on the market. Steven Preston, a fan who’s played Cursed Empire writes, “The system is much more in depth than your standard d20 types. It is very realistic.” Realism is the core of this game. The mechanics, while not D20, are based on percentages. For someone who plays games that are not mechanics-intensive, Cursed Empire can appear intimidating. The rules system covers everything you can imagine, from the weight of your satchel to the effects of weather (p. 167). However, the percentage mechanics has an appeal to many D20 players. James Holden, another fan who’s played Cursed Empire writes, “As far as the percentile system goes it is superb. We had no probs as d20 gamers getting into this and have picked it up really easily.”


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