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STORYLINE: Write Structured Adventures | A how to-book on RPG-writing
by Alice [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2024 02:21:45

Ehh doesn't offer much that you can't see online. It tries to give you a series of different act structures but beyond the standard 3 act structure while present they are poorly fleshed out.

Honestly Skip you can watch youtube videos about howto write better stories for free.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
STORYLINE: Write Structured Adventures | A how to-book on RPG-writing
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Dungeon Cards: Fantasy, Volume 1
by Jason [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/17/2023 16:21:39

These cards are great to layout zone style maps quickly. There is a large variety of rooms and passageways in volume 1. The art on the cards is well done. Can't recommend these enough, cheaper and more versatile than regular battle maps. I'd like to see more card sets in the series. Forests, caverns and villages would be perfect.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Cards: Fantasy, Volume 1
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Cyberfantome - a Cyberpunk Sci-Fi Campaign Creation Package
by Geoff D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2023 17:07:48

This book has three big strikes against it for me.

1) AI-generated content, and a lot of it, according to the introduction. Good on them for owning it, but that's a big ol' red flag for me. 2) No random job generator? There's exactly two d100 tables in here, one for names and the other for tech. Nothing for jobs, generating NPCs on the fly, etc. Not a focus on usability during prep. 3) While breaking down the megacity into sectors is a good idea, the sectors themselves feel very paint-by-numbers. There's a corporate sector! And a red-light district! And...well, it all feels very bland. Like the first cut of a cyberpunk city, not something that someone's spent a lot of time and interest coming up with weird and wonderful material for.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberfantome - a Cyberpunk Sci-Fi Campaign Creation Package
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Plunderettes - a Swashbuckling Pirate Campaign Creation Package
by Mike C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2023 00:30:34

This review is of the softcover book. I thought a lot about it before writing this.

At first glance, this looks like a good book and value for the money. But the more you look at it, the less quality content there is.

I'll start with the art. At first glance there's a generous amount of art, a full color drawing on almost every other page. But on second glance, most has some strange AI problem. The page 7 pirate is missing her arm. The page 13 pirate's eyebrow grows only her eyelid. The page 19 ship's rigging evokes spiderwebs and clothes lines. The page 22 street lined with buildings has windows of random sizes, some of which just fade away. In so many cases, if you think you like the art, don't look at it again. There are no artists details or flourishes to be found, only something from a bad dream.

For a while I thought, well, AI has opened the gates so that someone with good ideas but no art skills (or budget to pay artists) can still publish a book. Isn't that a good thing?

But the book isn't very good. It's not bad, either. It's $20 of meh.

Page 28 adventure: "The players are approached by a group of bounty hunters who are seeking to collect on a large reward for the capture of a notorious pirate captain. The players must track down and capture the pirate, while avoiding their crew and potential traps. Along the way, they may need to forge alliances with rival pirate crews or deal with corrupt officials who are willing to look the other way for the right price."

Even for a pirate book, this is the watery flavor of an adventure. The target pirate isn't described. The rival pirate crews aren't described, nor the corrupt officials. Why is the pirate a target? Where's he hiding? Is he alone? What's the twist? None of that's in here. It's 12% of a plan, it's barely even a concept.

Though there are many, many adventure concepts like this in the book, is it worth $20?

The barrier to writing a book is lower because AI can pad out the text, and perhaps even generate bland ideas like these. But will a library of books like this be worth it?

Will books like this crowd out publishers who have fewer illustrations, fewer adventures, and a lower page count because they refined their work?

I was on the fence about AI before this, but now I hope DTRPG requires publishers to tag works with AI so that they don't crowd out the quality and original material I'm looking for.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Plunderettes - a Swashbuckling Pirate Campaign Creation Package
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VTT Battle Maps - Lovecraft inspired: Halls of Cthulhu - Three 40x30 maps
by Todd T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/26/2023 09:57:50

This map was EVERYTHING needed for the final showdown in our Cthulhu game set in ancient Atlantis. EVERYTHING. I flipped the maps so the action flowed from left to right, the maps allow you to ramp up the encounters from low to high to the showdown with the Big Bad Evil Girl at the end. The artwork is beautiful; my players kept commenting on how great and detailed it looked. We played out the scenario in Roll20, and with the dynamic lighting and strategically placed light sources, the map and its denizens kept the players hopping.

Entering the temple (left map), the characters were ambushed by dozens of minion adherents; a treacherous bridge leads further into the cavern — and of course, falling off means death by bottomless pit! An altar across the chasm was perfect for chanting cultists to summon hordes of rat-things to swarm the adventurers.

On the middle map, a plank across the gulf leads to the altar of rat-things… but a few dagger-wielding apostles bar the way! Deeper in the cavern, another altar was in use to call forth byakhee; two characters met their end when one was eaten and the other was dropped into the ravine. A narrow (and guarded) overpass leads to the third map.

On the final map, a large central tabernacle of a tentacled face was surrounded by 12 cultists led by a lieutenant. Large pits around this had large tentacles lying in wait to grab unaware explorers and pull them in. In the far corners, two other lieutenants stood on stone platforms guarded by followers on the stairs. The BBEG stood on a platform between them, taunting the PCs as she fired spell after spell at them. Ultimately, the surviving characters lost when Qtulu was summoned and sank the city (as the scenario dictated).

This map is perfect for characters to run a gauntlet that builds up to a climactic showdown at the end. An excellent product!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
VTT Battle Maps - Lovecraft inspired: Halls of Cthulhu - Three 40x30 maps
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Generic Adventures: Hidden
by Lord S. E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/19/2021 23:28:40

HIDDEN, Generic Adventures: Cyberpunk & Tech Noir by J. Pingo Lindstrom

This is the first in a series of Generic Adventures by J. Pingo Lindstrom and PenguinComics.com. And, I must say, they started with a bang. Hidden is Terminator in a Cyberpunk world. The Heroes are hired to seek out someone’s daughter. And then it get’s complicated. Written to be playable with any system, they use simple power/ability descriptors: Low, Medium and Strong, which works better than I thought it would. Unfortunately, the organization of the adventure is a bit clunky. Information in characters, their responses, and important details are split up into several different places, making it hard to keep track who’s who, and what they all know.

For story I’d give it 5 stars Organization, 3 stars

Overall, I’ll give it 4 stars.

~I’m Lord Skudley, and that’s my opinion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Generic Adventures: Hidden
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Creator Reply:
I'm very happy to hear that you liked HIDDEN! I will take your ideas on organizing with me into the future adventures! Hope you like the other ones too.
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Random Solo Adventure: Fantasy Dungeon - Solo Gamebook
by TAN U. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/20/2021 00:26:26

I die all the times .It's up to your bad roll.It should have spicail options for helping more than this. But it's fun for me and my boy cause we cheated it.Now I try another your books.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Random Solo Adventure: Fantasy Dungeon - Solo Gamebook
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Creator Reply:
Hi TAN U. Thank you for your review! I do admit that Fantasy Dungeon is a very difficult book. It is made tough on purpose: so you can reply it many times. The other books, especially Post Apocalypse, is a bit easier and have other types of choices. Maybe that suits you better? It is sci-fi though, and not fantasy.
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Random Solo Adventure: Pinball
by Chad B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2021 15:43:40

Short & Cute!

Fun little diversion and I think it strikes a nice balance not being too simple or complex.

My 8yo son got a big kick out of it!

Obligatory this game cost me 1 quarter and lasted about as long as a real game of pinball. ;)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Random Solo Adventure: Pinball
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Random Solo Adventure: Fantasy Dungeon - Solo Gamebook
by Maciej K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2019 14:34:45

It is entertaining the first time, but then you realize that there is no choice whatsoever, and not even an illusion of choice. Essentially you roll a die a million times and then you die. I understand the author's intention, but it just doesn't work. Here are the issues:

  • The mechanics are extremely simplistic, but in a bad way. You have just one stat - HP - and it doubles as your combat skill (you roll under or equal HP to hit). So as soon as you start losing HP, you get worse - you hit less often, so you get hit more often. If you get hit, you are pretty much dead.
  • Starting out is extremely harsh. You start with just 2 HP with a weak weapon, and right away you can encounter an enemy that can one-shot you, because he deals 2 damage with each hit. You can also randomly step into traps, and there is no option to spot them or avoid them or anything - you just take damage. If you are lucky, they won't one shot you.
  • And you don't have any control over what happens. You just roll, roll, roll, and die. No, choosing to go left or right to roll on essentially the same random table is not a choice, not even close. In, say, the microgamebooks from the Chronicles of Arborell series, you feel in control. You can learn traps and monsters and learn to avoid them, and on subsequent plays you can learn to build your character better to overcome the challenges. In a game like Deathmaze, you don't really have any control, but the gameplay is so fast and fluid that you don't have time to think about that, and the game gives you a great sense of exploration. Here - no control. Your character is always the same, and you just roll ad nauseam. You could roll a d1000 and on a 000 you'd win, otherwise you'd die. And it'd be about the same amount of fun.

I really wanted to like it, and the presentation and artwork are really nice, but it just feels random, boring and pointless. Sorry for being so negative, but I'm severely disappointed.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Random Solo Adventure: Fantasy Dungeon - Solo Gamebook
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Creator Reply:
Hi Maciej, Thanks for your lengthy review and input. I really appreciate it. Fantasy Dungeon is my first gamebook, and many players apparently like it a lot - but it is not for everyone. It is the first in the series of Random Solo Adventures, and as such it has flaws and problems. In the second and third book of the series, many of these "problems" are fixed. In Jungle Quest, for instance, there is more choice and less predictability. In Post Apocalypse, there is even more choice and also other skills. Each book is expanded upon the simple rule system from Fantasy Dungeon, but carried out in different ways. Fantasy Dungeon was purposely written as a gamebook with a very simple rulesystem, using only one "skill" and one D6 dice. It's supposed to be a very fast/quick gamebook, and to be used as a hack-and-slash adventure for those who want something to play, but doesn't have the time to dig into something more complex. I fully understand that this concept might be over simplistic, especially if one is looking for more choice. The concept also incorporates much more randomness than gamebooks usually do (hence the name Random Solo Adventure for this whole series of books). As many of my gamebooks, they are very difficult to play through the first time. There might be more instant death episodes in these books (and even more in the free/pay-what-you-want-books) than in other gamebooks. I understand that this is not for all, but I wanted to cover a different path than other authors have done, and make the books a bit more "hardcore". Either way - I appreciate your notes and criticism and will bring this with me into future books. If you have more ideas, criticism and notes on this (and other products I've published), then please email me (the email is available when loggin in).
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Random Solo Adventure: Post Apocalypse - Solo Gamebook
by Dean K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2018 07:49:09

Excellent solo adventuring. Great story telling.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Random Solo Adventure: Post Apocalypse - Solo Gamebook
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Generic Adventure Magazine #1, May 2018
by Bruce L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2018 12:18:01

The magazine is short, which is why I took off one pip in the rating. Aside from that, the article is spot on. It covers the topic of speed-writing an adventure quite well. I look forward to applying the techniques. It seems so easy, and obvious, once the author points it all out... "Why didn't I think of that?" To me, that is a sign of some genius work at hand. Looking forward to the next one. This is definitely worth the cost for the 'how to' article.

Some nice artwork, decent, artistic layout, well done, really. I suspect the author will continue to improve his offerings over time. I look forward to seeing more from him. Cheers!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Generic Adventure Magazine #1, May 2018
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Random Solo Adventure: The Cave & the Treasure
by Damian H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2017 12:36:34

Good 15 minute diversion. I used a digital die and note. Very basic sample to demonstrate their real paid gamebooks. Good throwback to 1980s gamebooks but without the rich flavor text in this sample. Will try the other free ones. The main flaw is that grinding is required to keep earning gold to buy items, but since it has random rolls, you must keep turning right over and over again and you will eventually perish on your first run against a skeleton or trap. In other words, I probably would have made it a bit easier for a sample and not force the reader to keep going to the merchant for health, and to get three crystals from a treasure chest. Good potential for a very niche audience of solo game book players who have RPG + leveling up expectations.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Random Solo Adventure: The Cave & the Treasure
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Random Solo Adventure: Post Apocalypse - Solo Gamebook
by Glenn F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2017 21:44:23

I ordered this about 6 months ago. There were errors that made it unplayable due to missing information. Re-downloaded it a month later. Less errors but some persist. I wrote a review then removed it after the author said they were addressed. Six month later same errors still persist. Waiting for another update for a game I look forward to enjoying eventually.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Random Solo Adventure: Post Apocalypse - Solo Gamebook
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Creator Reply:
Hi Glenn, Thanks for your review. I would very much like to know exactly what errors that are still there. Please email me directly (you will find the email link on our shop-page when you are logged in). Thanks!
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Random Solo Adventure: Post Apocalypse - Solo Gamebook
by Matthew W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2017 20:59:53

I have all the solo adventures and this was by far my favorite. Not only was there more story options but great simple mechanics that help to steer the outcome ot the adventure. I actually moded the game and played this adventure not as solo but brought along my wife's character for the ride. We played it as a GM less RPG game and truly enjoyed storyline. There were some minor errors in words but I am really not picky about such things since my grammar is not up to par:) I truely hope there is a continued story with this depth or more. The writer has done a great job in my humble opinion and I hope my review sparks more imagination for future adventures. PS --- the Death Skull squad wiped us out (LOL).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Creator Reply:
Thanks Matthew for your great review! I'm very happy to hear that you had such great fun playing Post Apocalypse! I'm very interested in hearing about your "mods", so feel free to email and let me know how you guys played this together. Currently, we're working on another fantasy Solo Adventure (which will have simpler mechanics, but much faster action, than the first fantasy book), but also a second part of Post Apoclaypse where all survivors can continue the journey. So play it again and kill those Death Skulls, so you and your wife are ready for part 2! ;) / Pingo
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Random Solo Adventure: The Cave & the Treasure
by Chuck D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2017 16:20:00

Win or lose you die. A stupid waste of time! Not an even remotely good way to sell the game.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Random Solo Adventure: The Cave & the Treasure
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Creator Reply:
Hi Chuck and thanks for your review. It's true that our free/pay-what-you-want gamebooks are MUCH darker than our premium books (Fantasy Dungeon, Jungle Quest, Post Apocalypse). We've purposedly made the games like that actually. :) As with all types of products, our books are not for everyone. We do hope that you might find more entertainment in any of our other books and games. Check out the other free/pay-what-you-want gamebooks and see if you find something more to your likeing. Especially Halloween and Pinball might be more fun for you.
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