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Shadow of the Demon Lord
by Drew U. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2021 09:03:00

This is the best classic fantasy sytem made yet. It is extremely easy to modify to fit one's needs in genre, does away with the worse norms of other classic fantasy rpgs, and has a wealth of options. Its cheap and has a wealth of expansions to boot! Buy this asap if you like this sort of game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow of the Demon Lord
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Paths of War
by Liam D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/16/2021 17:58:27

Well thought out paths that add to the collective library of options for any player, Novice, Expert or Master!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Paths of War
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Creator Reply:
Glad you liked the supplement! Thank you for the review :)
Tome of Horror and Madness
by John C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/14/2021 14:06:56

Another amazing addition to the SotDL universe! This time, the theme seems to be all about giving more options to the PCs while they progress through their adventures.

The new Ancestries are incredibly diverse and multi-faceted, and very unique among the other Ancestries I've come across. I adore the Symbiotic Infestation and Truth Seeker paths, especially, since I could easily adapt either into whatever direction my PCs develop into.

Attention Alternative Support (Useful) Players: this book is for you!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tome of Horror and Madness
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for an awesome review! And we are really glad you liked the supplement :)
Hired Help
by Michael F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2021 08:17:39

Like a lot of the Poisoned Pages supplements, this one builds upon the existing rules of hirelings from the core rulebook giving it much more flexibility and customisation. If you find yourself using the hirelings rules I lot or even just want to generate some useful NPCs in locations the players can hire on your adventures, this supplement is brilliant. With a variety of statblocks, ranks of hirelings and small but useful developmenet tables to customise them, from variant Ancestries, Dark Secrets, Personality Quirks and more. Hired Helps presents a smorgasboard of quick to pick up and easy to implement ruleset for hirelings crammed neatly into just 6 pages.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hired Help
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The Coins of Aureus
by John C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2021 07:49:42

Amazing addition to the SotDL universe! Several new talents in the paths serve to enrich the worship aspect to the new God of Coins. I particularly enjoyed the new "Aureus Shrine" talent found in one of the new paths as a beautifully thematic way of encouraging actual worship into a religious Player Character's actions/roleplay. I hope future religious and non-religious additions alike emphasize the worship of their Gods in this way.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Coins of Aureus
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Layer of Eggs
by James D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/23/2021 11:56:43

Aboslutley worth the price. Layer of Eggs is an hilariously gross Shadow of th Demonlord suppliment. The art if evocative and I really like the opening bit on what led to the creation of the monster.
The backstory for the creature is fun and an absolute inspiration for a novice or starting adventure. I really hope to see these sorts of products in teh futre. I would have loved for there to be a more fleshed out adventure along with single monster products like this. A short mine adventure like the dragons' lair in "Killing the Dragon" would have been great and I would pay more for a suppliment like that.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Layer of Eggs
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Paths of Darkness
by Nick J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/11/2021 19:15:06

The first in a two part series, Paths of Darkness contains six new Master classes of a more unsettling nature than most. Each has its own unique form of emphasizing the darker sides of Rul, such as the Agonist, who is granted strength through their own suffering, to the horrifying Soul Eater, who devours life to fuel their own malicious spells, at the cost of their own body bearing the marks own one who transgresses. Each is interesting and well worth the low price of 1.99. With the apocalypse encroaching and the destruction of Urth at stake, good and evil must find a way to cooperate long enough with these foul beings to (attempt) avert the oncoming darkness, and stop the armies of the Void. Even villains have a chance to be heroic or all die screaming.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Paths of Darkness
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Curse of the Spider Wood
by Andre B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2020 11:03:25

I really like the balance of the different elements of this pdf: The history of the spider wood is a good read and generates lots of ideas, but as a gm, you are not drowning in too much detail and get lost in walls of text. The "hard crunch" like monster stats, random tables and new - really specific - paths is really good, but not too extensive either. Like other products of SotDL, the setting is not totally fleshed out, but carries a lot of ideas to improvise with. The setting of the spider wood is pretty much self-contained - though there a some connections to other SotDL prodcuts - and therefore is highly portable to other systems and worlds. That said, i like that i get an all-inclusive package with stats etc. as a gm and dont have to work on that part of the game myself.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Curse of the Spider Wood
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Forever Winter - Adventure for Shadow of the Demon Lord
by Matthew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2020 19:44:39

I normally wouldn’t review an indie book if I was going to give it a bad score. However, given that this is a multi-adventure 10 dollar product, the investment makes it worth examining. You can get Tales of the Demon Lord or Queen of Gold for lower prices, and these are entire campaigns. So how does “Forever Winter” stack up?

First off: the book as written is a missed opportunity. The writers created five adventures and five mini-scenarios, and designed every one of them for novice-level characters, leaving the GM to either A: significantly slow down character progression. B: Rebalance everything, or C: Only use some of the content provided in a given campaign. This could easily have been something designed to take a party from level 0 to level 5. But as-is, you'll have to tinker with quite a few things to turn it into that.

The writing is generally flawed. Sometimes it’s purple (overly descriptive), other times there are significant grammatical errors. Sometimes it's in past tense when it shouldn’t be. There are (very few) points where it’s incoherent. The read-aloud text should be ignored if you want your sessions taken seriously.

The writing problem can also be found in how information is laid out. Paragraphs are spent on what to do if players do X, Y, or Z (and how to get them back on the railroad in most cases). It’s often vague in places that matter, and strangely specific about trivial things. A monster will be introduced and discussed for up to an entire page before its stats are mentioned.

Chapter by Chapter: (With star ratings)

1: Slaves to Fate: 1 This adventure is a railroad of pain that starts with enslavement and starvation, and ends with every player dead or corrupted at an inevitable bad ending. The scenario justifies this contrivance by how it sets the Forever Winter into motion, but the pivotal events feel a little weak. The most interesting part is potentially the most problematic, and it’ll likely be fun for a single jerk player at the expense of everyone else.

2: The Brand: 1 An improvement over Slaves to Fate. But still deserving of one star. This is more of an encounter than a scenario. There’s no setting, hardly any characters, and the text suggests either changing a PC backstory or making an unnamed NPC the star of the show, with a subtle bias toward the latter. There’s just very little here. At least one of the mini-scenarios later in the book is larger.

3: The Witch’s Desire: 2 The first adventure to potentially be fun. but also the vaguest. The story is murky, as are several of the environments and encounters. It really wants at least one person to use a premade character for unclear reasons. There’s a dungeon without a map, and at one point the text expresses the sentiment of: “Have them run into a few traps in this room, decide how many.” There’s an Ice Queen antagonist(?) that is alluded to but never shows up. Why?

4: Fat of the Land: 3 The best adventure is a little clumsily executed, with paragraphs of italicized read-aloud text and RAW: the GM asking players to make challenge rolls to attempt to do things they never announced they were attempting to do. But there is some actual meat on these bones (not sorry). Throw in the SOTDL concept of ghouls and you’ll end up with a good horror scenario that does something different. Just don’t read that entire introduction aloud.

5: Veil of Summer: 2 The adventure that is most defined by the book’s writing problems. This is a short railroad of combat and roleplaying encounters dressed up with overwrought descriptive text. It’s not as flawed as The Witch’s Desire, but it’s also less interesting. Definitely one of the more playable scenarios, and the final combat encounter can be a spectacle, but also the second-most railroaded adventure.

6: Wintery Death: 4 I had given up on this book. Then out of nowhere there just happens to be a fairly interesting abandoned town exploration scenario. But that’s not the only thing. Mini-scenarios contained here feel as though they’re the result of player choice, and take it into consideration. There’s some weird bits, but for the first time, in one of the last chapters, I felt the book making good on its premise. If Forever Winter had been just this, and it had cost 3 dollars, I would recommend it.

7: Bestiary: 3 More monsters. Undeniably useful. But why is the Dullahan in this book, and why is it not even frightening? I also feel that some of the other monsters fill niches that are filled already.

Overall: It’s not all bad, but even the good ideas feel like they need work from the GM and/or players in order to function. It’s all thematically linked, but it’s not going to work together as part of the same campaign (Fat of the Land, despite being the best adventure, is difficult to connect to any of the others). I could see it best done as a series of interconnected oneshots, but the mini-scenarios in Wintery Death beg to be folded into a larger campaign, and those are the best part of the book. One last thing: The art throughout is GREAT, and I’d feel bad not mentioning that in such a long review. Rachel Bonds, Matthew Brooke, et al deserve to be commended. But good art just doesn’t translate to good adventure design.

Edit: So I looked back here out of curiosity, and saw that shortly after my review, EOF added a map for "The Witch's Desire." Giving credit where it's due: I'll commend them for responding to criticism and taking it constructively.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Forever Winter - Adventure for Shadow of the Demon Lord
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Demon Lord's Companion
by Jonathan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2020 21:52:38

I'm new to table top RPGs, but Robert Schwalb has written a treasure trove of material for roleplaying that I can't wait to use at a table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Demon Lord's Companion
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Trapped in Bone and Flesh
by Matthew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2020 17:03:52

This, in my opinion, is the absoulte best monstrous pages. Both for quality and quantity it hasn't been outdone. I don't know if "walking corpses" is just a template ripe for inspiration or if Schwalb has a thing for undead the way he does for demons, but I'll take it either way. If you're intimidated by all the different monster expansions and you only want to get one, make it this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trapped in Bone and Flesh
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Ghastly Gourmands
by Matthew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2020 17:00:30

I've snatched up most of the monstrous pages, recently, I would put this as definietely one of the best ones. Ogres always seem to be a ripe fantasy monster for an interesting spin, and this does not disappoint, so long as you and your players have strong stomachs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghastly Gourmands
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Beware the Bayou
by Matthew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2020 16:58:29

A hex-crawl for a dollar? With a lot of risk vs reward encounters and a sense of time-based urgency? Put me down for yes. Well done overall. My only grumble is that I don't think there's a distance given for the hexes, or an amount of time that it takes to navigate them, in an adventure where time is such a vitally important resource. It also seems like the hexes are a little undepopulated with interesting occurrences, leading to the players wandering through a lot of empty hexes with a chance of random encounters before they find something. Thankfully that forementioned urgency will keep them focused. If they spend too much time wandering it'll at least lead to some interesting chaos.

Overall recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Beware the Bayou
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Creator Reply:
Matthew, thank you very much for the constructive review. We're glad you enjoyed the adventure and we will definitely toss in some hex-navigation guidelines for future crawls!
A Baker's Dozen of Islands in the Void
by Matthew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2020 16:42:20

It's exactly what it says it is, and it's cheap. If you combine this with Hunger in the Void, you have more than enough material to run an entire void-based adventure, if not a short void-based campaign. If that's what you're looking to do, why haven't you bought this, yet?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Baker's Dozen of Islands in the Void
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Rest and Recuperation
by Matthew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2020 16:36:27

Strange and interesting. It really is a system in and of itself, and can possible be applied to other RPGs without much issue. A lot of crazy and interesting stuff can happen, and I find myself sitting back and wondering how some of it is supposed to be run at the table. Should this be managed between sessions? In the middle of sessions between adventures? It's hard to say.

I find myself a big fan of the events that have 1d6 permutations, though I think there should have been a much higher chance of nothing happening in a given week so that your players don't end up with event fatigue. I also think that the choices for actions empower players to make a life for their character that the GM is not constantly adjudicating over. If that was the design goal, it's met here. Overall, I do consider this to be worth my money, and I'm curious to run it at the table.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rest and Recuperation
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the review. And I'm glad that you enjoyed the supplement! :D To attempt an answer to the question in your first paragraph: I have used this both to run downtime as a session by itself and something the players use to find their character's downtime between sessions. And I have found both works well, depending on both the story and the players. I would love to hear how it runs at your table when you get around to it :)
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