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Mega-Double Review / Interview Special: Gauntlgrym & Neverwinter by R.A. Salvatore

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When I attended GenCon 2011 this past August, and got the chance to sit down with the Wizards of the Coast Brand Manager Laura Tommervik, I had no idea that the conversation would lead to some amazing opportunities for me as a game reviewer this fall. Not only did I end up getting a pre-release paperback review copy of the new Neverwinter novel by R.A. Salvatore, but I also got the chance to...
4 Hours w/RSD: Run Away!
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“The party is currently split ... in two different dimensions. Mei Ling is "mostly dead" and being dragged like a meat balloon through zero gravity tunnels by Marteen and Bog. Temper is very badly injured and "Dimissed" herself back to the Prime Material Plane a melee round before being turned into Shoggoth kibble.” -- Paul Jaquays Unwinnable Does Not Mean Bad One of the complaints that I...

Review of Heroes of the Feywild by Wizards of the Coast

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I'm surprised your view of the Skald is so negative. I think it does a great job of "essentializing" the original Bard. It gets to use Charisma for its basic attacks, which means those at-will powers will be as effective at hitting and dealing damage as regular bard powers. The skald's aura is a cool twist on healing in my opinion, since the bard doesn't have to use actions in order to let...

Review of Advanced Encounters: Terrain Toolbox by Sneak Attack Press

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A great idea for a product! That's something I could use.

Review: Pathfinder Beginner Box

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As a committed 4e player, WOTC should be standing up and taking notice of what their competitors are doing and doing a million times better. I get the impression that Pathfinder is a heavy load for a DM, but this seems to be inspired in helping them get onto that road faster than before. The steep learning curve just got a lot less steep. Congrats Paizo, WOTC please take note.

Streets of Zobeck by Open Design

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Isn't this actually a pretty old format? I'd argue a bunch of the Judges Guild books from the 1970s would qualify for the adventure setting format, as described.

Review of Goblins of Golarion by Paizo

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I really don't understand how a 32 page full color book is 'over priced' at $10.99... especially with as much custom art as this book includes in it, and especially considering the quality of the writing in it. How much /should/ a 32 page full color book cost? Cause I don't see anything being offered much cheaper anywhere else.
4 Hours w/RSD: Undermountain Update
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Undermountain Update Since my last column we have played 4 sessions of Undermountain and I am happy to give folks an update. If you’re unfamiliar with the Undermountain concept you can read more about it in my last column, but in summary it’s a stripped down version of Pathfinder optimized for simple dungeon crawling and light rules. There Is No Ruler The first major change I’ve made since...

PATHFINDER REVIEW: GameMastery Chase Deck & Condition Cards Deck

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We tried out the chase cards to resolve a situation in our Griffins & Grottos game just recently and they worked well enough. We've been playing a narrative game, sans minis, this time around, but when one of the players picked up the Chase card deck, we wanted to try them out. We had to fudge things a little because it wasn't quite the terrain in play at the time and we weren't using the PF...

Review of Kobold Quarterly Issue #19 (Fall 2011) by Open Design

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As the seasons change, and with the year of 2011 nearly done in, it’s time for the final issue of Kobold Quarterly for this calendar year! Open Design’s flagship periodical has been going strong these past couple years, covering a wide range of role-playing material for not only D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder, but also D&D 4E, and the relative newcomer to the FRPG market, the DragonAge RPG. The...

Review of Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium by WotC

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So after gushing about this book for several paragraphs, you gave it 3.75 because of the availability constraints? Really? How about you add that in a post-script, but not have it affect the score? I'm sorry you had to drive and get the book, and maybe WotC will learn from this fiasco, but in a month's time are any of us going to remember or give a crap about this roadblock? Remember, there...

Pathfinder Review: Tome of Horrors Complete

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I loved the d20 version of this book and am proud to have it on my shelf. I am very interested in a Pathfinder version. My only complaint is that no one has redone the rock and crystal living statues from BECMI. I would love to see them in a Necromancer Games book one day. Again, great work and an accomplishment in which you should be justifiably proud.

Review of Warhammer 40K: Space Marine by THQ

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Having almost completed the singleplayer mission I have to say that what impresses me the most is the visual aspect of the game. While it may not be the most cutting edge graphics (at least according to some reviews I've read), the folks at Relic have managed to catch the very specific atmosphere of the 41st millennium. As I guided Captain Titus through the missions and objectives, I really...
4 Hours w/RSD - Introducing Undermountain (Ryan Dancey)
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The past six columns I’ve been laying the groundwork to talk about my own personal home game and why I think it will be interesting to the people reading this column. I haven’t played in a tabletop RPG group since I stopped living full time in the Seattle area about 10 years ago. During the time I’ve been gone I’ve played a handful of pickup one-shot games and played in several convention...
Retroclones and Older D&D Editions
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Retroclones and Older D&D Editions There are many out there who enjoy the style and feel of older editions of D&D. While it's certainly possible to find these products on eBay and the like, you may not be aware of the concept of a retroclone. A retroclone is a game that is compatible with, and heavily based on, an unsupported game or unsupported edition of a game.

Review of Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale by WotC

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Thanks for the review! You have made my mind up to purchase the product. Overall, I have liked the D&D Essentials product line. Now if they can just produce a Geyhawk "like" box set for the world... Amazon.com: World of Greyhawk, folio edition (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons) (9780935696233): Gary Gygax: Books P.S. - Wished they had stayed with the Essentials books size instead of the...
4 hours w/ RSD: Get Some Feedback
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The bulk of this month’s column is going to talk about development choices and marketing for tabletop RPGs. There is an important part that relates to our objective of getting more fun out of the 4 hour game session, so I’ll lead with that and those of you uninterested in the business analysis won’t have to wade through it to get to the good stuff. Before anything else happens at your...
4 Hours w/ RSD - Let's Have a Flamewar!
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Lets Have a Flamewar! I have, from time to time, been accused of making comments designed to inflame passions and ignite debate. That may be true to some degree, but when it comes to the art of driving people crazy with terminology, I tip my hat to the people at Global Underwater Explorers. In the 1980s this group became the stewards of a project designed to map the underground water...
4 Hours w/ RSD - Take Note
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Notes for Every GM and Player A Call to Action for GMs! I have a couple of old 1st edition modules covered in badly obfuscated handwritten notes from my earliest days of playing. I can remember constantly having to improvise various things as we played because I couldn’t remember exactly what we had done or said in previous sessions. In the mid-90s I ran a lengthy Dark Sun campaign. I...

A semi-brief history of D&D and some other RPGs: 1980-1989

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Continued from: http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/275042-semi-brief-history-d-d-some-other-rpgs-1967-1979-a.html 1980 The Fantasy Trip by Jackson (of Texas) published by MetaGaming. Based on minigames Melee and Wizard, TFT included flexible, non-random, character creation for its two classes, three stats (Strength, Dexterity, and IQ), and combat played out on a hex-grid...

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