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Elements of Ruin: The Challengers
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by Olivier M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/29/2016 12:52:30

I was reading this again and just did a double take when I noticed it said it was a FREE release. Really? I never had to pay for this?! But they're such high quality characters! Vigilance Press really has a knack with creating interesting heroes and villains that remind you of common archetypes but always add a little something new, both in personality or design and in the mechanics (with interesting use of Effects to represent some uncommon powers).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elements of Ruin: The Challengers
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Avalon Quests
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Olivier M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/22/2014 03:39:02

I was really excited about this product as I enjoy solo gaming, especially of the RPG kind, but there are very few options out there for such gaming.

Sadly, Avalon Quests feels unpolished to a point where it's uncomfortable to read through and use as reference. Mostly, my qualms are with the layout and organization of the rulebook and the travel book which make it rather hard to understand how things work. For example, the travel book references "Sections" multiple times, but these are not indicated. If you read everything, you can guess at which paragraph they begin, but having to do that isn't normal. The use of roman and arabic numerals to refer to the adventure or rules books is commendable, but remained confusing to me. Various typos do not help. The night encounters section is a blatant copy/paste of the day encounters, down to the table number being the same. As such, tables 3.3, 3.3.1 and 3.4 are noted 2.2 and so on.

Ultimately, it's a mess, and while I have been prodding at this in the hopes of getting some solo gaming going, I find myself exhausted and frustrated before I even start. Today I decided I wouldn't even think of trying this for a long while.

Other things of note about this product:

  • The adventure provided requires 6 PCs. I find this to be too much. Soloing is not easy to begin with and while I have played one-on-one games controlling 4 PCs, I can't imagine doing it with 6, especially without a GM to catch my mistakes. It might be worth trying a multi-player yet GM-less game with such a party though.

  • Art is really subpart, though tactical maps are provided for various encounters.

  • There is a lot of content, whether random region events or adventure specific encounters and quests, which makes it even more frustrating that I feel I can't get to it in a comfortable fashion.

Overall, there is a lot of potential here, but right now, it's a rough stone ripped off the wall and it's in need of some serious cutting and polishing before it can become pleasant to play.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Quests
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Party of 1: Elgar Fletch and the Dark Army (solo adventure)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Olivier M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2013 15:08:16

This was my first try at a Party of 1 and it was an overall pleasant experience. The writing is nice and the characters lively. You get a good sense of place if anything.

I expected to find a character sheet and rules in the front but there are no rules and the sheets are at the back. Why? Because you learn how to play as you go. If you are a veteran Pathfinder player, this might not be your cup of tea. If you want an introduction to basic PF mechanics, though, this is great, and you don't even need a GM to play it!

A little sour note though: some more in-depth mechanics are taken into account but not explained, so the teaching only goes so far. Maybe worse: I have found a few number mistakes in the character sheets. This does not break this game in any way, but hinders the use of the character in an actual tabletop game, too bad.

The last thing is that it is somewhat short overall and the ending (the one I reached at least) felt somewhat anti-climactic.

All I can hope is that the series keeps going with bigger and better chapters in the future.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Party of 1: Elgar Fletch and the Dark Army (solo adventure)
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