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Dungeon Master's Guide (3.5)
by Karjan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2024 19:45:44

Book delivery was prompt. Small imperfection on bottom of the binding, but not noticable at distance. Pages are usual printstock, not glossy like the originals, but it may be due to to my copy being the softcover. Still an excellent product, colors are accurate, and all pages are there.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Master's Guide (3.5)
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I12 Egg of the Phoenix (1e)
by Scott B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/13/2024 11:42:59

This review is about the reprinted, physical module itself, not about the quality of the adventure or how it fits into D&D lore.

To purchase an original copy of this module (which was a two-part set) in good condition is crazy expensive. I have a growing collection of AD&D modules, most which I know will never be played. However I still enjoy reading through them all. As such, purchasing a reprint of this one was the right call for me and I am happy with that decision.

First off, this is beefy...nearly 3/4" thick and includes both the main adventure booklet and the seperate map and appendicies booklet. The copy quality of the text and art is good. It's not perfect, but totally functional. What that means is the text appears "soft" in some portions...not as crisp as you'd expect on an original copy. This by no means makes it less readable, it's just something that is noticeable. And it's only on some pages and not all of them. There are also parts which were originally printed on a colored background. When these are copied over by a photocopy machine in greyscale, the text tends to bleed into the background making it much harder to read. Same with the artwork. If pure black & white it converts perfectly over to a photocopy, but shades of grey tend to copy over much darker.

The original has a tri-fold cover with maps included on the inside. For this reprint, these maps are printed on seperate pages at the end of the book, and are colored with a green tint to them. The adventure module is a full 80 pages, with the additional 20 pages of B&W maps, pre-rolled character stats, DM tools, and appendicies which were part of a second, seperate booklet.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
I12 Egg of the Phoenix (1e)
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UK5 Eye of the Serpent (1e)
by Scott B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/13/2024 10:50:42

This review is purely regarding the quality of the reprinted physical module.

I had looked to purchase an original copy on eBay to add to my growing collection of classic modules, but to find a copy worthy of display I was looking at $40+. Too much for me to pay for something that would likely never actually get played.

Overall I am happy with the purchase. I did read the additional reviews and understood the print quality would be suboptimal, so I'm not disappointed to see that it is true.

For context, you need to understand that the original was not printed on white paper, but on a colored background. Unfortunately because of this you simply are not able to reprint from a copy and have it look crisp. This is true for every module reprint...any art or text that was originally printed on a grey, biege, or other colored background doesn't not come out crisp on a reprint. The technology can not seperate the colors well enough to print in greyscale. Taking that into consideration, this is actually a well done copy and I have no issues. Even the pdf version of the module has similar issues with the font/background clarity.

The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is simply because the file used to make the reprint was itself a scan of the original. The printing and binding is itself superb.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
UK5 Eye of the Serpent (1e)
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B10 Night's Dark Terror (Basic)
by Scott B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/13/2024 10:38:03

Purchased the printed book to add to my growing collection. Uncertain if this will ever get played, so felt a reprint was a much better value then the $50+ it would cost to buy well used original off eBay.

This is a fairly large module, with around 54 pages of content plus several additional pages of maps. The original would have had 2 seperate, double panel covers plus a double-sided foldout map. This reprint has all of those as individual pages at the back of the book. It's around 65 pages or so in total.

The printing of the book is superb...truly. Text is dark and crisp, and majority of the artwork is likewise perfect. There are some parts scattered throughout the module where text boxes were printed on a grey background, and these did not copy over as cleanly. It's still readable but causes a bit more eyestrain. All of the maps are in color, mostly vibrant green, with a couple handout pages in full, multi color. Very impressive! The front and back cover are the typical glossy finish, and though nice, aren't as crisp as the original, and the artwork itself more dark/muted. Not at all bad, just doesn't pop like the original cover art.

All-in-all, this is an excellent value and I'm extremely happy. I honestly don't understand how it can be printed and bound for what it cost to purchase, and still make a profit. The whole book is 1/4" thick and is the standard 8.5" x 11" size.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
B10 Night's Dark Terror (Basic)
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Unearthed Arcana (1e)
by Robert [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/13/2024 10:17:14

My original copy of this is buried in the sands of time, so it is great to have a POD copy with all the errata integrated. These optional rules can really help in creating a custom set of house rules for a unique campaign.

Dear Wizards,

It would be cool to have cover options, so the original cover could be ordered to integrate into an orange spine set, preferably with a matte finish. Thanks!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Unearthed Arcana (1e)
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Deities & Demigods (1e)
by Robert [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/13/2024 10:10:37

This is a delightful book for integrating gods into your campaign. While I wouldn't use an earthly pantheon directly, these are great examples to base your own gods on. It's disappointing that the Cthulhu Mythos and other literary pantheons are missing from this version. The first printing is very hard to come by. Wizards, please restore this to the first printed version and offer as POD. Thanks!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deities & Demigods (1e)
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FR7: Hall of Heroes (1e/2e)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/11/2024 13:30:50

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2024/06/reviews-villains-and-heroes-of.html

FR7 Hall of Heroes (1e/2e)

Many authors (1989) 128 pages. Full-color covers, monochrome interior.

This book looks like a 2nd Ed book on the cover, but 1st Ed inside.

This is a "robust" rogues gallery of early Realms characters, and frankly, I am happy to have it since so many of these names are new to me. The stats are an odd mix of AD&D 2nd Ed and 1st Ed, but mostly 1st Edition. So yeah, there are Neutral Good Druids and lots of classes from Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventures.

It also has something that is not entirely a Realms-specific problem, but one I associated most often with the Realms. There are lot of characters here that straight up break the AD&D rules. Yes I get that some (many) are here because of the Forgotten Realms novels. So people like Shandril Shessair is a "Spellfire Wielder," and Dragonbait is a Lizardfolk Paladin. This used to bother me. Not anymore. I am more irritated by the fact that most of the women NPCs all have Charisma 16 or 17 (11 out of 15). Where are my hags?

There are some personal spells and again The Simbul makes an appearance sans proper name.

Still, this is a good resource for me to have. I like to have it on hand as I am going through other books to double-check who I am reading about.

The POD versions are nice. The text has a bit of fuzziness, but far less than other PODs I have seen. They are not perfect for, say, collectors but perfect for what I need them for, and that is used at my game table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FR7: Hall of Heroes (1e/2e)
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FR6 Dreams of the Red Wizards (1e)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/11/2024 13:30:43

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2024/06/reviews-villains-and-heroes-of.html

FR6 Dreams of the Red Wizards (1e)

By Steve Perrin (1988) 64 pages. Full-color covers and maps, monochrome interior.

Even with my comparative lack of Realms knowledge I knew about the Red Wizards of Thay. I guess I didn't realize how quickly they had been introduced as the big bads.

This book reminds me a lot of the old D&D BECMI Gazeteer series in that we get some history and geography of the lands with some NPCs.

The book teases that it is compatible with the BATTLESYSTEM rules, but you have to build all of those armies on your own. Too bad, I wanted to do a big battle with the armies of the undead from Thay. Though I still might do that.

The Introduction tells us what this book is about and who and what the Red Wizards of Thay are.

History of Thay. This section gives us a brief overview of Thay's foundation. There is a brief timeline, but it works well here. Some of this information is also found in the later Spellbound boxed set, but that is a way off yet.

We cover the People and Society of Thay next. Perrin does give us a good explanation of how a whole country can, in fact, be evil, from the Zulkirs to the middle class to the masses of slaves. Honestly, the place sounds like a powder keg waiting to explode, and it is the will and fear of the Zulkirs that keeps everything in check.

Geography of Thay is next and it is good read, though I think it could have been combined with the History of Thay chapter since much of Thay's history has been shaped by its neighbors. This is also a good chapter for me, the newbie, to have a map handy. I think I am going to need a big wall map of the Forgotten Realms like I do for Victorian London.

We get get two chapters that cover the Current Economy and Politics of Thay, respectively. This includes a helpful glossary and a player's guide to Thay.

Magic in Thay, as expected, is one of the larger sections. It has what seems to be a Realms staple; lots of new spells.

Religions in Thay, is actually an interesting chapter. The Red Wizards themselves seem to be areligious but not atheists. They acknowledge the gods and do their best not to piss them off. I imagine there are big "media circuses" for when a Zulkir visits a local temple to Mystra for example.

This has given me an idea. So, according to this book, the slaves of Thay mostly worship Ilmater, who we know from Ed Greenwood's "Down to Earth Divinity," that Ilmater is derived from Issek of the Jug. What if there were some events like "Lean Times in Lankhmar" where Ilmater, via a new follower, took on a role like that Fafhrd did for Issek, but instead of a religious conversion/resurgence, it became the basis for a full-scale slave revolt. Now that is a BATTLESYSTEM game I'd enjoy running.

Personalities of Thay cover the expected cast of neer-do-wells. OF note here The Simbul does not have a personal name here, yet.

Adventures in Thay give the reader some ideas of things to do in and around Thay. But let us be honest. It is an evil filled with Nazi-like evil wizards who keep slaves. The ideas abound already.

The POD versions are nice. The text has a bit of fuzziness, but far less than other PODs I have seen. They are not perfect for, say, collectors but perfect for what I need them for, and that is used at my game table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FR6 Dreams of the Red Wizards (1e)
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One Grung Above (5e)
by Ryan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2024 22:49:38

Grung are great, but a little too high and low in places. Its my recommendation, that when a grung is wet, they should secrete poisons easily. Making it an at will ability for an hour using it as a bonus action.

Then I would tie it to proficiency bonuse uses, after an hour, they can use it that way, or until they apply a flask worth of water to themselves to recharge one use. I would also give them the ability to apply it on crits for free, as part of the attack.

In a game where I allow grung I would also personally add the limitation that they speak only common languages. If they roll a feature/class that has rare languages I would make the player flip a coin, heads they subtract one, tails they subtract 2 for their rare languages known, I think language hurdles are an interesting negative trait to give to these guys setting wise. Tongue Tied, is what I would call it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
One Grung Above (5e)
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GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos (Basic)
by Teemu [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2024 13:40:19

This is the classic. Lots of content in this volume. If you want to start adventuring in Mystara, this is the first Gazetteer to get.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos (Basic)
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Chains of Asmodeus
by Kenneth [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2024 16:14:46

As I'm currently expanding, updating and converting an old campaign from AD&D to Castles & Crusades, I was eager to get this for the lore and background information, also hoping to mine some adventure ideas from it. But it's pretty much a disappointment. It sadly exposes the many of flaws of 5e while also being poorly written and uninteresting as an adventure. Safety tools, sensitivity warnings, Mont Haul options for buying magical items, artifacts liberally scattered all over the place, multiple easy options for resurrection. Hell comes off like Disney's Magic Kingdom in this train wreck of an adventure. The factions and NPCs are generally lame and one dimensional. The art for the Arch-devils is the worst I've seen since that hack DiTerlizzi disgraced the pages of 2e. The story itself is pretty weak, following upon the admittedly even weaker trash that was Descent to Avernus. The bottom line is that like movies nowadays it seems that nobody in the mainstream can write an edgy, interesting, challenging adventure. Everything is toned down for "modern gamers" who are used to the training wheel style game that is 5e. I half expected Hello Kitty to show up while reading this. If your players enjoy easy fetch quests on a railroad, they make like this. Otherwise avoid. Totally not worth the money.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Chains of Asmodeus
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FR1 Waterdeep and the North (1e)
by Mikko [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/31/2024 03:13:41

At first look a great product with good scan quality. However there was no mention that the map was missing. Map with keys is important part of this product, so without map 2/5 - with map would be 5/5. Must say that was disappointing. Please provide us an update with a map included!



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
FR1 Waterdeep and the North (1e)
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DDAL04‐06 The Ghost (5e)
by Cameron E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2024 15:55:50

I've been running and remixing the DDAL04 Misty Fortunes and Absent Hearts adventure series of modules as a single campaign for a group of players via play by post, so certain things don't translate fully. The big thing being I forshadow the hooks for the modules ahead of time as I built the village of Orasnou for the players and the runtimes of the modules don't matter as much in PbP.

What I liked: Jeny Greenteeth is back! She's wicked and wonderful, and I love her sense of humor. The reintroduction of Jeny is nice and dramatic, I like the events leading up to meeting Jeny. I also like the characterization of the ghost that is haunting her. I also liked the additional information Jeny provided to the overall campaign, which is long overdue.

What I didn't like: Felt a little undercooked for a 4 hour adventure, The random encounters before Jeny are good, but we needed a series between Jeny and and the Ghost encounter. The Ghost encounter also felt too easy for level 4 characters. More information about the ritual needed and more enemies trying to stop them would be better.

Overall: It's a fun little window into Jeny Greenteeth's characterization, but a bit too easy, and not quite enought to fill in 4 hours. The information Jeny provides is super helpful, but should be introduced in an earlier adventure.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DDAL04‐06 The Ghost (5e)
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Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
by Joshua S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2024 13:50:05

Another excellent reprint of classic AD&D material (which is considerably more rules-comprehensive than the modern Spelljammer release...). Even though I own all of the Spelljammer sets represented in this book, having them in a single, easy-to-handle hardcover volume is wonderful (especially since my original copies are all pretty well worn out at this point).

All of the ship cards and maps are reprinted here within...and that's where it loses a star. The ship cards are fine, but the maps are - as one would expect - broken down into page-sized chunks rather than set up as fold-out or detachable maps, which makes them difficult to use. They can't even really be removed from the book and taped together, because they're printed both sides in consecutive order, so they can't be pieced together. Still, it's good to have them.

Other than that, it's superb, and well worth the money.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
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Dungeon Master's Guide (1e)
by Joshua S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2024 13:42:07

An utterly satisfying copy of the 1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide. My first edition - one owner from new - was getting too battered and worn to use, and this was the perfect way to retire it with honor. It has been carefully bagged and put on a shelf, while this excellent reprint has gone into service.

I love that they used the older style of non-glossy paper, it just feels so right flipping these pages. Everything is exactly as it should be, and I haven't seen a smudge or a mis-print anywhere in the book that wasn't there originally. I picked up the Players Handbook at the same time, and it is equally excellent.

I must also compliment the customer service...the first copy I ordered arrived with its spine and part of the back cover accidentally glued to the packaging (it looked like the packing box had been closed up badly, and the book had become stuck to the adhesive), resulting in the spine being torn. DriveThruRPG asked only for pictures of the damage, and immediately sent a replacement that arrived in excellent condition. You folks are fantastic!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Master's Guide (1e)
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