Flames Rising PDF Store
DriveThruComics
DriveThruFiction



Home » AAW Games » Reviews
 Quick Find
Browse Categories
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Information
See our Quickstart Guide for information on how to get started.

Having Problems?
  • FAQ - our Frequently Asked Questions page.
  • Device Help - assistance for viewing your purchases on a tablet device.
  • Contact us if none of these answer your questions.

Affiliate System - Click here for information about how you can get money by referring people to Flames Rising PDF Store!

Our Latest Newsletter
Product Reviews
Privacy Policy
How to Sell on Flames Rising PDF Store
Convention Support Program


RSS Feed New Product RSS Feed
Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
The Vikmordere: Player Primer
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/15/2018 04:41:06

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 6 pages of sheets for notes/ancestral appellations, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This pdf was requested to be moved up in my reviewing queue by my patreons.

First things first: This is basically the Player-friendly, SPOILER-less and system-neutral version of Ancestral Appellations; it deals with the known fluff etc. and allows a Gm control over which items and abilities to allow/use. I wholeheartedly applaud this strategy.

So, what are the Vikmordere? As the nomenclature used in the introduction makes abundantly-clear, they are a culture of various indigenous peoples, steeped in the nomenclature and cultural trappings of Nordic myth, something I find myself inexorably drawn to. However, unlike pretty much all renditions of fantasy vikings, the Vikmordere are more than that: Basically, picture what would happen when you’d replace the (amazing!) fatalism and mythology with a mysticism that is, theme-wise, more in tune with Native American aesthetics. The Vikmordere, as such, employ a thoroughly unique blending of tropes that set them distinctly apart from both the depiction of pseudo-Native Americans or Vikings; they worship the ancestor spirit and still use observe the Old Ways, but in their remote and rugged valley, they have since dwindled in numbers…though, ultimately, they are very much feared beyond.

Their home, the rugged Vikmordere valley is depicted with notes on clime, flora and fauna painting a vivid and wondrous picture. Vikmordere society centers around the use of natural resources, and while they may once have worshipped petty and vengeful gods, they have, in a surprisingly enlightened and encompassing stance, since then resumed a form of ancestral worship that should resound with quite a few contemporaries. The clans and tribes do not sport a centralized government, though a sort of Þing-equivalent does exist around Serpent Lake, with the Northern Fury Council.

Does that sound too friendly for your tastes? Well, the Vikmordere in Aventyr (AAW Games’ default world) are basically surrounded by the Klavek kingdom, which seeks to exploit their natural resources; much like medieval Vikings, their ships are superior and they have a pronounced tradition of raiding and capturing individuals; while these captives may be considered to be slaves by some, the enlightened notions suffusing the culture also mean that these individuals are treated fairly, allowing them to gain freedom and integrate into the respective tribe, another notion that resounds with historic themes, while changing them in an intriguing manner.

Okay, at this point, you should have a good idea why I consider these fellows to be pretty much an amazing addition to a given world, but that is not where the pdf stops: In the lavishly-depicted map of Serpent Lake (included as a pretty glorious one-page version as well), we learn of the wondrous locales in the valley – from the Everflame Isle that houses a forest of red-leafed Everflame Trees in its sunken interior to Ighdenholm, the top of the world, ostensibly seat of mighty evil unvanquished to the snowfields of sorrow, where a particularly warm summer may well unearth artifacts of conflicts long past, the little write-ups are excellent.

Beyond that, we move on to something particularly important for the Vikmordere – their names. A d20-table with two columns allows you to create a spiritual name, with the first being a descriptor, the second a noun; in the aesthetics of Native Americans, you could thus end with a spirit name of “Sulking Sky” or “Ghost Shadow”; as per Norse/Icelandic nomenclatures, Vikmordere also often introduce themselves as “X, son of Y”, where Y would be the father’s (or mother’s!) name; in light of that, the massive 100-entry-strong table of sample names for males and females is certainly appreciated.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious hiccups. Layout adheres to the drop-dead gorgeous 2-column full-color standard for “Into the Wintery Gale”-supplements. The pdf sports excellent full-color artworks, though fans of AAW Games may be familiar with a few of them; same goes for the neat map. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Justin Andrew Mason, with contributions from Jonathan G. Nelson, delivers something I have been keen to see for a while: More information on one of my favorite cultures in current fantasy roleplaying. The Vikmordere have, even during the humble beginnings of AAW Games, been something that set world and modules apart; their culture, practices etc. feel plausible and fresh in a way that we don’t get to see that often.

You see, in many Tolkienesque fantasy (or non-Tolkienesque fantasy, for that matter), the depiction of cultures most often employs a construction-paradigm alongside the line of least resistance:

“Like culture x, but with twist z.” This twist is then thought through to its logical conclusion, with different degrees of success. Sometimes, something amazing comes from that procedure. However, most of the part, we end up being…well. Bored. Okay, so elves, but Egyptian. Got it. Okay, so dwarves are Scotsmen, got it. Elves that are touched by fire/abyss/etc.

Notice something? Those tropes, in and of themselves, have become cliché in the games we play. It is my ardent belief that they are responsible for the tendency often bemoaned by old-school gamers, that races are just stats in more modern games. And know what? Thinking back, I can relate. When I started playing, the German AD&D supplements about races talked about gnomish roby wine, about elven funeral customs, etc. and painted a picture far beyond “You get +2 to two attributes”; The cultures, while Tolkienesque, were WONDROUS, because they felt like more than an accumulation of stats. It is from this solely number-based design aesthetic, that soulless “template” racial variants sprang. If I had a dime for every lame desert-x variant of a race I had to read over the years…but I digress.

As a result of the customization-demands of modern gamers, many racial supplements have simply lost the means to make a culture/ethnicity/race feel plausible…and as a result, gamers skip the ever shortening flavor-texts; it’s a vicious circle and most folks that have encountered it are probably not even aware of it. So, back in the day, when I was tearing through AAW Games’ first offerings, the crew asked me what I’d consider to be their greatest strength.

I replied that it’s hard to grasp, and frankly, it took me a while to enunciate my feelings properly. As someone with a basic grasp of cultural anthropology and social sciences, it dawned upon me that one crucial, undeniable strength was that they managed to tap into a sense of wonder, while remaining plausible. I could picture this strange culture that never was…and in another world, it may well have been. Beyond just a blending and twisting of tropes, the details elevate the culture beyond a mere blending of themes, to something that is separate, but thoroughly distinct from its parents.

While the elevator pitch for the Vikmordere would be “Viking Native Americans”, that ultimately does not do them justice; I find myself excited, always, for new adventures set in the Vikmordere valley, always in the hopes of learning something new…and that is something only precious few cultures have managed to accomplish in the last couple of years.

It should be noted, that the similarities to parent cultures, while only running skin-deep, also allow the Vikmordere to be easily and seamlessly plugged into pretty much any fantasy world; it is only slowly that they transcend the connotations of their parent cultures, becoming something different…which may, in and of itself, generate a sense of tension and excitement at your table.

In short: This is a really good, system-neutral first look at the Vikmordere, one that does not SPOIL any of the modules featuring them, while giving players a good first grasp of these peoples. That being said, for maximum fun, I’d urge you to use this differently: Make the PCs part of an expedition; have them encounter and interact with the Vikmordere, separate fact from fiction…I used that particular strategy in my own campaign to great effect.

…yeah, I think I like these fellows. In fact, I find myself hoping that AAW Games will continue to craft their thoroughly and unique races and cultures, above the ground and below. My final verdict? Well, have I mentioned that this is FREE? As in “costs $0.00”? Yeah, I’d strongly suggest downloading this – well worth checking out! My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Vikmordere: Player Primer
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #058: The Palace of Ahmad Sahir
by Bryan E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 03:16:23

Overall, a pretty good little adventure. The materials are well-designed and well-written, and the adventure is reasonably interesting for a one-session playthrough.

However, my main complaint is that the encounters are not very well-balanced. The two encounters with the elementals were very tough, and I had to tone them down for my group as we were playing them. The final boss fight, however, was trivially easy, and would have been over by the second round if I hadn't boosted the bad guys' hit points and attacks. Same with the hellhound fight. The bodyguard fight seemed right where it needed to be.

It's definitely worth the price, but be prepared to do some tweaking.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #058: The Palace of Ahmad Sahir
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Into the Wintery Gale: Wrath of the Jotunn
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/07/2017 09:53:32

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive mega-adventure/sourcebook clocks in at 199 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages panorama/art-showcases of the front cover sans logo etc., 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 page KS-thanks, 1 page encounter contributors, 1 page rune-design sheet (more on that later), 1 page back cover, leaving us with 187 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Okay, so this module takes place in the Vikmordere Valley on the planet of Aventyr – in case you’re not familiar with the culture, let me give you a brief run-down: Picture a blending of the cultures of Native Americans and Vikings. Sounds badass? It is! One of the biggest strengths of AAW Games’ early offerings is the establishment of this culture, of depicting it in a way that is plausible, that feels real and yet fantastic and different. It is, at this point, no secret that I adore the Vikmordere as a concept. In this book, we take a look at their home, the majestic Vikmordere valley around serpent lake. In fact, a significant part of this book can be considered to be a sourcebook of life and survival in this region – there are really cool rules for 3-step hypothermia and frostbite that add the survivalist aspect for groups that enjoy a challenge in that vein – they are simple, yet rewarding and make seeking shelter, exposure etc. a significant aspect of the game. Big plus for these tundra survival rules. In these, e.g. Vikmordere winter outfits (completely described and explained), rations, boneskates and frossenpine (a wooden pole used to catapult iceskaters along), bear paws – the basic set-up is great.

Beyond that, we get an amazing table that lists all traveling distances from place to place – really comfortable for the GM and something we only see rarely in modules for the more modern systems. Now, I called this both an adventure and a setting sourcebook – there is a reason for that. You see, there are two magical hazards that render this massive adventure more of a challenge – the ice fog and the wintery gale: Ammo is swept by the winds, teleportation is cursed and snow-blindness due to whiteouts is a deadly threat. On the lake, sentient icebergs (!!) make for a fantastic, yet amazing “trap” – more of a skill challenge than just a simple trap or haunt, but yeah – hunting icebergs? Come on, that is amazing and oozes fantastic North from every pore, right? The book also features MASSIVE random encounter tables, with full stats of the creatures included for your convenience.

And there are special events. 30, to be more precise. These were sourced from the contributing backers and are thoroughly creative and diverse: Stalking yetis, dazzling ice rifts, bridges across chasms, where the gale is funneled into the depths, wells inhabited by Brunnmigi, hobbled hunters, ice trolls in a feud with the Vikmordere who actually want the conflict resolved, strange shrooms that bury into the unconscious to animate them, white wyrm riders – the encounters are GOLD and feel, very much, like the notes that you can read in an old-school hexcrawl – not exactly lavishly detailed, but thoroughly inspiring.

Now, there is an issue that particularly inexperienced GMs running a hexcrawl will be all too familiar with: How many descriptions of a landscape can you create before it gets dull? How many different ways do you know to describe an icy tundra? New school modules tend to deal with the requirement for lavish descriptions via read-aloud text, but that usually only works within the context of a linear structure, not a sandbox. The rebuttal to this problem that this massive sandbox provides is glorious in its simplicity and something I honestly expect to see from comparable modules from this point onwards. The solution is, simply, descriptions. Grouped by area. Open tundra, mountain base, mountain pass, glacier – all types of arctic environments featured herein come with a TON of glorious prose-descriptions for the wilderness. More than 16 pages, to be more precise. These descriptions really help to maintain the atmosphere, are easily scavenged and make sense in a ton of ways.

Which brings me to my central thesis regarding the analysis of this adventure: This is a blending of both old-school and new-school design aesthetics; the wilderness sections behave like an easy to customize point-crawl, driven by plot, but lavish in its freedom within the traveling experience. At the same time, both highly detailed adventure hooks, read-aloud texts etc. provide an engaging plot.

Okay, at this point, I need to start going into the details of the plot, so from here on out, the SPOILERS reign. The wintery gale will take intrepid players that read any further! Skip to the conclusion or incur the icy wrath!

..

.

All right, only GMs around? Great! We begin with potent symbolism – the PCs are surprised by a horrible snowstorm, only to be visited by an ash-grey owl that tries to lead the PCs further; as the blizzard seems too potent, the owl suddenly is wreathed in flames and guides the PCs – for they are the ones chosen by the demi-goddess Ningatha. As they make their way through the relentless cold towards Völsfiheimr, she introduces the PCs to the Northern Fury Council of the Vikmordere clans. Honoring the request of the ancestral spirit, the PCs get to participate in the gathering of jarls. You see, the Ohjaslange has approached once more and a vast evil stirs – 400 years have passed since the Vikmordere last managed to defeat, by the skin of their teeth, the dread Jötunn – and now, they and the curse of their gale has returned. In order to stop the dreaded undead, immortal frost giants, the PCs will have to reclaim the ancient artifacts that once provided the tools of the downfall of the giants – the sword Vlfberht and the shield Skojold Rustning – both, however, have fallen into deep obscurity, the bloodline that once guarded them fallen into obscurity. While the PCs are celebrated if they take the richly-rewarded quest (and may certainly engage in Glima!), they will first have to pass the unsafe waters of Serpent lake to find the old witch Arurún – and bypass her giant bear.

The PCs will have a chance to learn a unique spell from the witch and even the runepaining magic of the Vikmordere – the engine is pretty solid, if not too spectacular; as a supplement for an adventure, it is solid enough and adds some serious local flavor to the proceedings. More important would be that the witch provides an amulet that helps the PCs find the resting places of the artifacts long lost – here, I should comment on something thoroughly impressive: We get GORGEOUS top-down AND isometric maps of the dungeons – and yes, player-friendly versions included. The cartography provided for this module is masterclass – Tommi Salama at his best. Beyond the aesthetic component, it is in the dungeons that contain the artifacts that the design-aesthetics become pretty old-school: We have indirect story-telling; understanding the culture and values of the Vikmordere will make the exploration easier; similarly, the dungeons themselves feel like they have been taken straight out of the good examples of the heyday of RPGs – they ooze flavor, reward smart players and the dungeons also sport puzzles – while brute-forcing them is an option, as a person, I suggest trying them out – most groups like, at least once in a while, using their brain.

Returning with legendary Vlfbehrt to the witch, the PCs will witness a grim scene – the Jötunn are on their heels, the witch slain – and now, the deadly, undying Jötunn remain – though, at this point, the PCs may not yet know about the truth behind the undying nature of the Jötunn. Without a guidance, it is a benevolent haunt, a manifestation of the guarding ancestral spirits, that the PCs will be brought to the vault wherein Skjold Rustning lies – the dungeon will once again demand that the players use both brain and brawn to survive…And yes, the Jötunn are still on their trail…

That being said, the PCs have the artifacts – so it’s time to face the Jötunn and end this! This is where the module sports one of its weaker aspects: There is a traitor in the Vikmordere’s ranks and the wielder of the artifacts is slain; in spite of the presence of mass combat rules for PFRPG, we don’t get the like – instead, we get some regular encounters before Ningatha intervenes…as, while the Vikmordere seem to win, the Jötunn’s immortality kicks in – and the vanquished giants rise. The result is a horrible rout, one that the PCs and Vikmordere only survive due to Ningatha expending almost all of her divine powers.

All seems lost, as the evil ice maidens lend their powers to the forces of the Jötunn – and the PCs will have but one final chance to stop them: Within the tomb of the ancestors, there lies the only way to reach the isle of the maidens – the magic ship called Sorrow’s Snekkja. En route, the PCs will be shipwrecked by a mighty sea serpent…and that is not where it ends. However, it takes the sacrifice of both Ningatha and the guiding Vikmordere spirit to open the doors, as the erstwhile lovers are once again united, their love a symbolic sacrifice and hope for the PCs to claim. With the stakes that high, the exploration of the tomb makes the dungeons so far look like child’s play – the PCs will have to activate the well of lost souls in this legendary complex and sail the magic ship out of the complex!

After the deadly dungeon, the PCs will finally be able to arrive at the island – where the mighty ice queen and her wyrms remain – and where the PCs will have to destroy the Wintyrsyrd, breaking the potent magics of the dread lady. If they manage to survive this ordeal, there will be but one final task that remains. Rendezvous with the Vikmordere, then lead one final, desperate assault, wherein the forces of the noble Vikmordere will cleave a path through the Jötunn forces, allowing the PCs to make their way to the dread keep of King Krumma – if they can defeat the mighty lord of the Jötunn, they may yet stop the relentless, seemingly unstoppable horde of undead giants. He’s btw. CR 24. Yeah, good luck…the PCs will damn well need it…

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, almost very good – there are a couple of instances where blank spaces etc. are missing, but not unduly many; as a whole, this book is pretty well-made in that regard. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard that is absolutely glorious – BJ Hensley and Daniel Marshall did amazing work here. The book sports a metric TON of glorious, original artwork with a uniform style – Mates Laurentiu really rocked this book; the cover by Jason rainville is similarly amazing. Cartography by Tommi Salama is AMAZING. Even better: We actually get VTT-friendly high-res versions of the maps. Master-class in the cartography department. I mean it. The electronic version comes fully bookmarked with nested, detailed bookmarks. I won the hardcover version of the book – and, frankly – if you have the choice, get the hardcover. It’s worth owning.

Justin Andrew Mason’s “Wrath of the Jötunn” seemed to be cursed; the author, at one point, lost a ton of his notes and had to recreate the saga. It is puzzling, considering this complication, that he managed to not only deliver a good mega-adventure, but a great one.

Let me elaborate: This is, in essence, a massive sandbox with a really strong narrative that resounds with themes of love, loss, glory; this feels like a larger than life tale, straight from a mythology that could have been. This module at once manages to evoke themes of old-school masterpieces, the sense of myth, the sense of plausibility and the new-school focus on a captivating narrative, with tons of read-aloud text, diverse challenges, etc. Now, personally, I was not necessarily too happy about some of the cut-scene-like sequences and how they can feel slightly too linear; at the same time, though, the book handles these in a smart way – it moves quickly in the sequences and provides the next awesome thing; the excellent prose helps the GM to navigate these slightly weaker spots in the otherwise inspired, epic narrative. Now, I would have loved for a few of the foes herein to have a few more unique tricks on their plate, but all of that is me complaining at a high level.

In the end, the exploration of the Vikmordere valley, from the inspired threats to the mythological items, the evocative dungeons – all of that makes this mega-adventure a thoroughly unique and evocative experience. The blending of new- and old-school design paradigms has been executed in a masterful manner that I absolutely loved. This may not be perfect, but it does a lot of innovative, convenient things for the GM; it is easier to run and navigate than comparable offerings; it tells a fantastic story resounding with the classic themes, adding a unique spin to the tropes. It is suffused with glorious cultural tidbits. It is a great read. The massive dressing-entries and sandboxy aspects add a further dimension of longevity to the module. In short: I adore this book. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars (reflecting the minor imperfections), but I will round up (since this is excellent, not just good). I thoroughly LOVED this gem, which is why this gets my seal of approval. And for its blending of adventure-design-schools, for the convenience-aspects, the supplemental material, etc., for going one step beyond in pretty much all aspects, this also is nominated as a candidate for my Top Ten of 2017.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Wintery Gale: Wrath of the Jotunn
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #059: With a Candlestick
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/21/2017 04:11:03

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

And now for something completely different! Lord and Lady Scarlet are wealthy, well-connected and even pretty popular - the nobles have established a national embassy. When the PCs arrive, however, they come at a rather bad time. Mere minutes before, lord Scarlet was found murdered. There are a couple of guests here...and we have a powerful mastermind, doppelgangers and intrigue...as well as a gorgeously mapped massive mansion. Any GM halfway worth his/her salt can further complicate the scenario with a variety of NPCs, making this an amazing set-up...but if the PCs don't take care, that'll end up bad for them...very bad. Speaking of NPCs – we get full stats for the Verdant knight, who happens to be a guest here, as well – and clashing blades with him is a distinct possibility!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and really nice, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Michael McCarthy delivers a nice mini-murder-mystery; the map if great, the details surprisingly pronounced for the length, the whole set-up surprisingly well done, considering the limitations of the wordcount. This deserves respect and is really neat. If you're willing to add a bit of detail, consider this 5 stars; if you want go-play, 4 instead. My official verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to the nice bonus stats of the knight – kudos to whoever did the conversion: Well done!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #059: With a Candlestick
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #058: The Palace of Ahmad Sahir
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/21/2017 04:09:36

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

Ahmad Sahir was once a great wizard, devotee of the three goddesses of divination and oases, goddesses whom he rescued from a scrupulous sultan - and as such, the fantastic map depicts the palace of this man at the palm-covered shore of such an oasis. Cursed by the sultan, madness has consumed poor Sahir and now, he has himself enslaved the minor deities, using the blood of his servants as a means to bind them to his bidding.

Ultimately, the PCs will have to explore his exotic compound and deal with the maddened mage, braving guards mundane and magical, ranging from elementals to infernal threats. Amazing: We get full boss stats for Ahmad, who comes with unique tricks – kudos!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and absolutely glorious, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Michael Holland provides a story from 1001 nights; a high-concept fantasy, a unique environment - in short, a great little mini-dungeon. The map is amazing and evocative and the bonus boss stats (whoever did the conversion: Good job!) elevate this mini-dungeon to the level I love to see from the series, namely the one where I don’t have to complain. 5 stars + seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #058: The Palace of Ahmad Sahir
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #057: Last Stand of the Forgotten Pirate
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/19/2017 04:12:57

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

The PCs are asked by an druid to check up on a former orc pirate, old Gnarltooth, who has been pretty evasive about some obligations, consumed by his obsession with "The Beast", an awakened elasmosaurus, which is lurking nearby, as he has had the beast magically bound. The pdf depicts his little island home - the orc is obviously afraid to face-down the creature. The mundane nature of the orc's life is depicted and provides quite a few options to engage in meaningful roleplaying...but ultimately, the PCs will have to enforce, finally, a confrontation...but they'll need to help...or the battle will be rather short...

Wait, we don’t have elasmosaurus stats in 5E? Well, now we do! The pdf contains the stats for the critter!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and really nice, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Michael McCarthy's little character study/variant of the Moby Dick trope is a compelling, fun sidetrek that can provide some interesting questions to ponder, an intriguing ally to potentially recruit. In short: This is well worth the fair asking price and also presents a nice, idyllic potential home for the PCs...at least for a while. The 5E-version (not sure who did the conversion) loses nothing of the original module’s appeal, adding the critter stats as a cool bonus…and that should be rewarded: The module is worth a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #057: Last Stand of the Forgotten Pirate
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #056: The Siren's Lament
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/19/2017 04:11:20

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

Sirens rarely find true love and when they do, it rarely ends well; such was the case here. The lover of the siren was a wealthy captain, drowned by the wrath of the Sea King, the siren's father...which broke the siren's heart and drove her to suicide - this complex with its winding passages would be his monument to his rage and remorse. Within this complex remain the remnants of the once proud ship of the captain, guarded by haunts, animated galleon figures. From ghostly tunes to the storms unleashed and a memory child, the PCs can actually find out about this tragedy in both direct and indirect storytelling...but upon witnessing the finale, the complex will flood...with a giant shark...so good luck to the players.

In 5E, the new creature called Phantom Foundling makes for an eerie enhancer to the content – neat, though I think its attack value is off by 1 – at challenge 6, it should be +3 proficiency + 3 Dex-mod for +6, not +5.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and really nice, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Colin Stricklin delivers big time in this amazing mini-dungeon; the checks make sense, the story is surprisingly strong. The flavor of this dungeon is fantastic and somber, true fantasy and resonates with strong leitmotifs. In short: An amazing mini-dungeon that has been converted rather well to 5e (not sure by whom) – worthy of 5 stars, just short of my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #056: The Siren's Lament
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Stock Art: Plant Horror
by John M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/15/2017 16:11:52

Love it, and am using it in The Gray World (5E adventure).

Minor nit: I only wish artist's name is in the licensing file, so I didn't have to find it again on DriveThru.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Plant Horror
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Creator Reply:
The artist's name is both in the licensing file and also on the top right of this webpage = Jacob Blackmon. Thank you! :)
5E Mini-Dungeon #055: Chrome Devils of the Swamp
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/15/2017 03:49:03

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

A fiery comet has fallen into the nearby swamp and rumors abound regarding the strange devils that have ventured forth from its insides. Indeed, within the swamp, the dungeon is composed of a strange alloy, sports an eerie glow...yep, this very much would be a crashed space-ship, with several kind of robots serving as the opposition to be faced by the PCs. Here is something cool: Doors improperly forced open, droids destroyed - all matter, for the AI that is the BB"E"G can result in enemies coming close.

Better yet: While the PFRPG version had some issues in the rules-details, the 5E-conversion remedies these and goes above and beyond: We have robots that are reskins, modified monsters with different traits and proper rules-challenges – this complex works as intended and does so in a fantastic manner that is simply better than the original.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and decent, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stefanos "The Netlich" Patelis's science-fantasy crawl, in its original version, had all the makings of pure awesome and couldn’t realize them fully; in 5e, whoever has done the conversion, went above and beyond to make the module as amazing as it should be. This is, hands down, one of the best modules in the whole series – if you even remotely like science-fantasy, get this gem!! My final verdict will be 5 stars + seal of approval for this gem.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #055: Chrome Devils of the Swamp
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #054: Uneasy Rests the Crown'd Head
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2017 07:39:17

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This is a direct sequel of "Ne'er Trust the White Wolf's Tameness", but works perfectly as a standalone offering. The PCs venture down into a sinkhole, only to find an air membrane on water that can cling to the PCs, providing 60 minutes of air... -1 minute per round of strenuous activity, so they should better manage their precious air supplies......oh, and the less minutes remain, the more is their visibility impeded, which adds a really cool tactical option to the whole proceedings!

Now, the PCs can engage in plentiful 3D-combat here, as the complex is new and intended to be nothing less than the start of a new aboleth outpost, created by two brethren of this loathsome race. These critters, alas, have not been hyperlinked, but that as an aside – aquatic treants and the like make for interesting and very lethal foes. From a breach to the elemental plane of water and its guardian to other watery foes, traps, merrows and finally, the potentially maddening battle against the bosses, this is a diverse, challenging and extremely evocative mini-dungeon.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and solid, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley's excursion to the realms below the waves here is fantastic: It provides the means for interesting and rarely faced foes in a thoroughly fantastic environment. The air/vision mechanic is well worth scavenging and could carry a whole mega-adventure complex...in fact, that's what I'll use it for! It is impressive how much flavor and coolness the author has once again squeezed out of these precious few words - and how much fun. That being said, while I adore many choices herein, the module does lose a bit of its strong flavor in the conversion (no idea who did it), which is why this will “only” get 5 stars – well worth checking out if you’re looking for a challenge!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #054: Uneasy Rests the Crown'd Head
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #053: Ne'er Trust The White Wolf's Tameness
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2017 07:37:44

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This mini-dungeon can be run as a sequel to "Look not with Thine Eyes, but Thine Mind", but works just as well on its own. The PCs continue their descent into the bowels of the earth, teleporting into a lethal trap, where multiple, deadly guardians must be bested to escape the "Wolf's Eyes" - a kind of guarded teleport trap. “Everything is ceramic”, the module states – which is cool. I’m less enamored with “relevant check DC 10” – looks like a conversion relic to me.

Free of this challenging gauntlet of rooms and its powerful golems and swarms, the PCs have to make their way through the lethal traps of "the wolf's jaw" - and from here on out, things only get more foreboding, as remnants of horrific fates, 4 random encounters you may or may not use, and a terribly injured group of adventurers speak of worse things awaiting in "the wolf's mind" - a part of the complex where the way leads further below. The 5E-version also comes with a rather cool creature, the Iron Lector – neat!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and decent, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley sports a nice quasi-puzzle, some challenging traps and foes and a thematically concise and interesting mini-dungeon here. No complaints, well worth getting - 5 stars, and the 5E-bonus critter makes for a cool added bonus. Once again, I cannot comment on who has done the conversion here.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #053: Ne'er Trust The White Wolf's Tameness
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #052: Look Not With Thine Eyes But Thine Mind
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2017 07:36:00

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This mini-dungeon can be played as a sequel to "There are more Things in the Planes and the Earth", but it works perfectly fine on its own as well. After having braved the weird complex and witnessed an elder thing talking to Formians, the PCs now explore a complex where the insectoid creatures represent the none-too-pleasant opposition - random events are provided as well, 4 to be more precise, Wait, Formians? Yep – stats for warriors and workers of the classic critters are provided – kudos, though the formian’s Stinger is one off regarding its damage-value.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and decent, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me. Really annoying glitch: The text on page #2 is half transparent, making it a strain on the eyes.

Stephen Yeardley's latest installments of this sequence of loosely connected mini-dungeons has a diverse and fun array of foes, a neat atmosphere and generally makes for a cool exploration. That being said, the strange layout glitch on page #2 is less than pleasant to read through. The 5E-conversion, otherwise, has been handled well, though I can’t comment on who did it. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #052: Look Not With Thine Eyes But Thine Mind
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #051: There Are More Things in the Planes and the Earth
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2017 06:13:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This can be used as a sequel to the previous mini-dungeon "When goblins die, no comets are seen", though it can also be used on its own. The very entrance to this complex is dangerous, potentially beginning with short-term madness, establishing a sense of foreboding dread that the complex then manages to expand - from traps with insanity mist to cairnwights and gray oozes, the caverns contain some nasty tricks; and yes, burrowing can actually yield treasure...if you know where to look. Moreover, some nonmagical, but potent equipment with unique properties can be found, a big plus for me!

Pretty cool: The mini-dungeon contains 2 nice little random events to keep up the pressure….and in 5E it comes with the full stats for the elder thing, a neat challenge 5 critter – big plus here!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and decent, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley's exploration of these realms below is interesting and the challenges and obstacles faced are fun and create an interesting mini-dungeon, well worth a final verdict of 4.5 stars; the conversion goes the extra mile with the cool monster and items – which is why I will round up for this one. Well done, whoever handled this one!

Endzietgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #051: There Are More Things in the Planes and the Earth
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #050: When Goblins Die, No Comets are Seen
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2017 06:11:21

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This mini-dungeon can be run as a sequel to "Doubt not that stars are fire", but can also stand on its own. After delving into the coldfire-infested tunnels in the previous module, the party dives into the dark, where they'll encounter the remains of a goblin tribe, with the first combat found being a clash between a ghost and a goblin-sized wightfor some rather weird start...and the tunnels also contain horribly weakened goblins, statues pulsing in harsh, fear-causing light…

…and the pdf actually includes the stats for a greater insect swarm monster – nice!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley's take on exploring these weird tunnels has been radically changed and converted to 5E – the execution is lethal, but damn cool and leaves not much to be desired, working imho actually better than the PFRPG-version. My final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #050: When Goblins Die, No Comets are Seen
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

5E Mini-Dungeon #049: Doubt Not That Stars Are Fire
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2017 06:09:52

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!

Since this product line's goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is. Got that? Great!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

All right! This can be used as a sequel to the "Pit your Wits" mini-dungeon, but works well on its own: Following a mutated goblin attack, the PCs have to go down the pit, the walls aglow with coldfire...and worse, there is a deadly substance...and this coldfire substance has mutated the local goblins into goberrations - a variant nothic...and being too close to the substance is really painful. Dried coldfire can result in a similarly horrible mutation for careless PCs and within this place, raging rubble, gibbering mouthers and worse await...but there indeed is a way down...but do the PCs dare continue?

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.

Stephen Yeardley shows what an awesome atmosphere you can generate with a few monster reskins and some deadly terrain. This is a deceptively hard little mini-dungeon and makes great use of the environments. That being said, the conversion suffers from a serious inconsistency: Where the previous module reskinned all notions of the impact being caused by a starship, this one is littered with references to starfuel. Sure, easy enough to remedy, but something that imho should have been caught. I also noticed a formatting for environmental damage, which was slightly inconsistent, so the 5E-version “only” gets a final verdict of 4 stars. (And sorry to the conversion specialist – the pdf doesn’t state who did the work here!)

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5E Mini-Dungeon #049: Doubt Not That Stars Are Fire
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 319 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
Powered by DrivethruRPG