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(Aid) SRD 3.5 Revised (Full) Bundle
Publisher: Creative Mountain Games
by Marsha W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2005 00:00:00

A lot of folks argue that the SRD is available for free, so why the heck would you want to pay for it?

CMG has put together a very well laid-out, easy-to-read, and easy-to-search version of the SRD 3.5. (the SRD documents from WotC are not well laid-out, easy-to-read, or easy-to-search). For those of us with laptops, this is an indispensable resource. Highly recommended.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The font isn't the easiest on the eyes. It's passable, but I would've liked to have seen CMG use another font.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
(Aid) SRD 3.5 Revised (Full) Bundle
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Enter Our Hero
Publisher: Bailey Records
by Marsha W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2005 00:00:00

I bought this out of curiosity and have to say I really enjoyed it. Lots of horns and violins--very evocative, you can just see the game's heroes, striding (backlit, of course) towards the camera as the credits roll.

Seriously, this is stirring, exciting music; it calls to mind some of the better scores of some action-adventure movies. Something to play at the beginning of a game session, though--it's a little strong for playing in the background.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: See above.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: A little short, at one minute thirty-nine seconds. Would like for it to have been a little longer. But that's a minor quibble.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Enter Our Hero
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Superline: Campaign Planner (M&M Superlink)
Publisher: Ronin Arts
by Marsha W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/28/2005 00:00:00

I pride myself on being a fairly organized person. At work, I'm hailed as an example of organization and neatness. But when it comes to running games...I stink at keeping information organized. Plots, character reactions, NPC stats...they're all scattered around my home on little yellow post-it-note, scraps of notebook paper, or backs of envelopes (don't ask).

Not any more. The M&M Superlink Campaign planners contains some 30-odd pages to help people like me keep track of what's going on in our games. Pages to plot out your campaign, pages to sum up the most important stats for your NPCs (this was an eye-opener for me: I usually draw up a complete character sheets on NPCs, then have to rifle through them during combat, which slows me down), sheets to help you detail your setting, your universe, even what supplements you've approved for use in your game.

Frankly, this is more detail than I think I could ever use, but I can certainly see a use for every single page listed. This product would be especially useful for the first-time gamemaster, who's just getting his/her arms around the bookkeeping aspect of GMing.

I wish more companies had products like this in their GM guides, or packaged with their GM screens. I would have killed for something like this when I started out GMing Mage: the Ascension.

My one complaint, and it's a pretty big one: this product should've been offered in an editable PDF format. Ten years ago, when computers weren't as common as they are now, I would've make photocopies of the needed pages without even blinking. But now, when I organize my games on my laptop (as do so many GMs)--well, there's simply no excuse for not offering it in an editable format. That is a HUGE oversight--I don't know what the publishers were thinking.

I know M&M recently announced a 2nd edition: this would be a great chance for the publisher to bring out a 2nd edition campaign planner with the editable PDF as a feature.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Gives the hopelessly unorganized GM the tools to pull their ideas and materials together. Outstanding.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: It's inexcusable that these PDF forms are not offered in an editable format. Not everyone wants to handwrite out their campaign info. For that reason alone, this product doesn't get five stars.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Superline: Campaign Planner (M&M Superlink)
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Creator Reply:
I'll try to make sure than when the 2E update is put together we make a forms version available. The 2E PDF will be sent free to those that already bought this version.
Seeds: Horror
Publisher: Expeditious Retreat Press
by Marsha W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/28/2005 00:00:00

I've written reviews on this site for the Seeds series before, so that should tell you that I certainly like them well enough to keep buying them. :)

Seeds: Horror is another useful tool for GMs looking for adventure/campaign ideas. I've never run a horror game before, so I bought this product hoping I could get some ideas for a one-shot adventure for Call of Cthulhu d20, or perhaps a mortals adventure for the new World of Darkness. I immediately saw the possibilities: you can take one idea and flesh it out into a one-, two-, or three-session adventure; you can take another idea and use it for a jumping-off point for a campaign; you can take still another idea, flesh it out, and use it for a PC or NPC's background; you can string ideas together for a campaign, or merge them together for a complex, epic adventure.

Remember that idea seeds presented in this product are exactly that: seeds. You have to plant them, water them, and nurture them in order to get the final product. If you can't take a basic concept like, "The PCs are invited to a Hallowe'en night seance in an allegedly haunted house; when they arrive late to the event, all of the other participants have vanished, and on the seance table is a tarot deck of nothing but Death cards"*, and nurture that into a full-blown one-shot, this product is not for you.

*That's not a seed from this product, by the way; it's an idea for one of my own adventures.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Everything. Particularly good for the GM starting into the horror genre for the first time and looking for ideas. Very flexible: I saw ideas that are appropriate for everything from Call of Cthulhu to the New World of Darkness to All Flesh Must Be Eaten.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Nothing.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Seeds: Horror
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Seeds: Sci-Fi
Publisher: Expeditious Retreat Press
by Marsha W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2005 00:00:00

Another strong idea-generating product from Expeditious Retreat Press. As I've said in previous reviews: if you're one of those lucky souls with an active imagination that never runs dry, these will be worthless to you. But for those of us who need something to help kick-start our imaginations now and then, this is a nice product.

Seeds: Sci-Fi presents 22 adventure seeds for use in Sci-Fi oriented RPGs. These are not full-fledged adventures, so don't buy this product if you're looking for pre-written modules. The ideas are generic and flexible enough to help the sci-fi game master get inspired for a one-shot, a campaign episode, or even a full-blown campaign.

That said I like my sci-fi to be gritty and realistic (Transhuman Space is my favorite science-fiction setting) and I felt like Seeds: Sci-Fi was geared more towards the deep-space, galactic empire, less-science-and-more-fiction sort of RPG, rather than hard SF. A couple of seed ideas (namely "Ship of Fools", "Ship of Sandwiches", and "The Hearts is a Lonely Hunter") were in my opinion just plain silly, reminding me of things like "The Trouble With Tribbles" episode of Star Trek than anything else. It would've been nice to see some harder SF ideas thrown in there.

For that matter, it would have been nice to see Sci-Fi adventures that didn't involve going into space. Sci-fi is a pretty broad term, after all; it doesn't just mean "people in space". Perhaps ER Press has plans for a Seeds: Cyber product or a Seeds: Future product, but I guess I had it in the back of my mind that they might touch on those genres here.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Good ideas to get you going, even though they didn't meet my needs.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Very little that's useful for the hard SF gamemaster, and nothing for GMs looking for help in Cyberpunk or Near-Futuristic RPGs. A few ideas just plain silly. Probably better to title this product, "Seeds: Space Opera".<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Seeds: Sci-Fi
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Seeds: Supers
Publisher: Expeditious Retreat Press
by Marsha W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2005 00:00:00

I bought this because I needed something to help kick start my brain for my first-ever Mutants & Masterminds game. I'd been very happy with Seeds: Modern and figured this would be helpful as well.

It wasn't quite as helpful to me as Seeds: Modern, but that was because of my personal taste, not anything wrong with the product. While I do like superhero games, I tend to like them dark, gritty, and fairly realistic. The adventure seeds presented in this product are more geared towards four-color superhero gamees, which is perfectly cool if you're into that. It's a testament to the flexibility of the ideas presented in this product that I was still able to adapt one of the ideas from Seeds: Super to the kind of gritty adventure I wanted to write.

In the end, I'd still recommend the product, especially to anyone who likes four-color games. If you're pretty creative, the Seeds series won't do much for you, but if you're prone to bouts of writers block, they sure can help you get unstuck.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Flexibility of ideas<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: A little too four-color oriented for my taste, but that's just me. As far as four-color goes, I think those adventure seeds would be pretty fun as games or one-shots!<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Seeds: Supers
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Seeds: Modern
Publisher: Expeditious Retreat Press
by Marsha W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2005 00:00:00

I'm one of those game masters who can take an idea and run with it, but has a hard time coming up with the idea in the first place. The Seeds series is a great way to get those creative juices flowing, and for a low, low price, too.

I hadn't run any kind of modern adventure before, and so Seeds: Modern was especially useful to me; this product helped me develop and flesh out a one-shot adventure. Don't buy it if you're looking for a full-fledged module. That's outside the scope of this product. But for something to help you break your game-writer's block, this is just the thing.

Also: it's well laid out, easy to read, and comes in both full-color and black-white options (which helped me save on ink when printing. <br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Everything<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Nothing<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Seeds: Modern
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