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Village Backdrop: Carillon (5e)
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Brian [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 20:56:37

One of the more fun and inspiring Village Backdrops from Raging Swan Press. I enjoyed the map, the strange customs, the little bit of politics, the mystery, and many of the NPCs. I put this into an Old School Essentials campaign and it was a popular place for the PCs to return to.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Village Backdrop: Carillon (5e)
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Carcass Crawler: Issue One
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Brian [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 20:47:50

The optional D6 thief skills rules are the main reason to get this issue for me. The options for adjudicating thief skills are also helpful. The Acolyte and Mage classes are well done and probably better for newer players or short games than the existing Cleric and Magic-User. They may also serve experienced players well. In a longer game the Mage will likely make finding and scribing scrolls play a larger role in the game. I thought it was funny that the Mage and Acolyte adopt the % system that the D6 Thief Skills was moving away from. I think I'd prefer a d6 skills for Mage and Acolytes rather than %.

I'm not itching to add black powder fireams to my game but I appreciate the rules here in case it I need them. Some of my players feel the Combat Talents get away from the strength that is OSE's simplicity and start to feel too much like 3e or 5e but I know other players like them. The Hephaestan is a vulcan and the Kineticist is based on force-users from Star Wars. They could be fun to add but some players might feel they don't fit in some settings.

Overall, this is a solid issue of the official OSE zine and I'd recommend adding it if any of the above appeals to you but I definitely don't see it as essential and I'd pick up certain 3rd party OSE and general OSR supplements before it if I somehow lost access to my books and files. Carcass Crawler 2 is somewhat stronger in my book and its closer to what I want from an official OSE zine.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Carcass Crawler: Issue One
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The Hex Hack- A Sandbox Campaign
Publisher: John R Davis
by Brian [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 20:35:02

The Hex Hack is a series of system-neutral tables to support a campaign rather than hexcrawl rules or a hexcrawl key. While being system neutral, it probably works best with games like B/X, Old School Essentials and Swords & Wizardry. To clarify from the Description, the 350 unique entries are 350 results on the different tables. The table entries are short and colorful, a step up from the usual bland entries of many random tables sold on DriveThruRPG. You need to do quite a bit of work to bring the people, places, things, and premises to life but I think The Hex Hack is worth the price. It could supplement a hexcrawl campaign nicely.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Hex Hack- A Sandbox Campaign
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Savage Seas
Publisher: White Wolf
by Brian [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 19:42:02

A solid book in terms of worldbuilding. I'd treat much of it as suggestions for your Exalted campaign setting, especially one set around the West or the coasts of Creation. Not Essential for running Exalted but I enjoyed it at the time. The art is fantastic as usual for Exalted.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Seas
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DCC RPG Free RPG Day 2012
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Brian [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 19:27:28

While these are solid adventures, both The Undulating Corruption and The Jeweler That Dealt in Stardust (the one my group enjoyed) has been reprinted in the DCC #89 Chaos Rising collection of older adventures. I'd recommend buying that!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC RPG Free RPG Day 2012
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #3: The Mysterious Tower
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Brian E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 13:06:39

The Mysterious Tower is a solid and entertaining module that is easy to insert into a hexcrawl or other campaign.

The overland and caves could be more interesting. There are a couple clever things in caves but much of the caves is a little too vanilla for many groups. I recommend replacing monsters with more unusual ones. The adventure shines once the players reach the constructed passages and the tower itself. The traps and tricks are intricate and allow the players to think their way through them.

My group enjoyed it and found the premise of the tower funny once it was revealed.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #3: The Mysterious Tower
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Dyson's Dodecahedron - Vol 1 Issue 7
Publisher: ZERObarrier
by Brian [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 13:05:32

The d12 subclasses for each class is a great and elegant supplement for games like Old School Essentials, Basic Fantasy RPG or Labyrinth Lord. Each subclass has just one line of rules text and adds a variety to characters that many players will enjoy. Players also have the option of an XP bonus in place of a subclass.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dyson's Dodecahedron - Vol 1 Issue 7
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Nod 31
Publisher: John M Stater
by Brian E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 12:57:28

Nod continues to impress. Nod 31 Nomo: the Auld Empire lets players visit the empire that they've been hearing about in many of the other issues. Nod is the gold standard in large hexcrawls. The hexcrawl in Nod 31 is north of the Klarkash Mountains hexcrawl in Nod 25, northwest of Venatia of Nod 6, and west of Kisthenes from Nod 32. Combined these issues give you a vast continous area for players to explore (in addition to other adjacent hexcrawls from other issues. In Nod 31, Stater has refined his approach. The frequency and variety of keyed hexes is among the best. The Nod hexcrawls are among my highest recommendations for game masters because, combined with a core rulebook like the OSE Classic Fantasy Rules Tome or the Basic Fantasy RPG corebook, your groups has a massive sandbox to play in.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nod 31
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Wondrous Weavings Warped & Weird
Publisher: Axian Spice
by Brian [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 12:43:41

This free chapter from the full Axian Library book is the best preview of that book. After the OSE Classic Fantasy tome, Axian Library is my top recommended purchase for the system. The spellcasting rules for clerics and magic-users (the latter being featured in this supplement) greatly enhance these classic classes in my opinion.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wondrous Weavings Warped & Weird
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Mysteriously Missing & Merrily Met
Publisher: Axian Spice
by Brian [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2024 12:36:55

Axian Spice's supplements for OSE are top picks for me! This one is fun. Whether its right for your table depends on whether players are comfortable with rolls taking their characters decisions out of their hands during downtime to explain what happened while the player and their character was away. But in the right game they are very fun!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteriously Missing & Merrily Met
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Axian Library
Publisher: Axian Spice
by Brian [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/21/2023 15:18:57

An essential addition to Old School Essentials if you want to add some randomness and unpredictability to magic and the game as a whole! If I was starting out with OSE again, this would be my second purchase after the OSE Rules Tome.

Players of Dungeon Crawl Classics will find similarities with the cleric prayer rolls and the magical mishap table, which is great since I greatly enjoy the DCC magic system.

Well-worth picking up the book if you like Axian Spice's PWYW PDFs also on DriveThru.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Axian Library
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Nod 32
Publisher: John M Stater
by Brian E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/22/2023 11:43:07

NOD hexcrawls are some of the most useful aids for a game master out there. They support a game master in running an open world sandbox campaign.

Nod 32 has hundreds of interconnected points of interest. The description of each hex can range from a couple sentences to a couple pages. Not every hex has a point of interest. Players must wander or explore or happen upon most of them. Each point of interest is evocative.

You could run a game for many years with the material in a single issue. Most points of interest can be run with the info provided but some may need to be fleshed out more if the players choose to explore. This is mostly true for dungeon locations but you could easily use a free Dyson dungeon map or any number of others. Or its an opportunity for the game master to create and stock a dungeon.

NOD hexcrawls are in the tradition of the 1970s and 1980s Judges Guild Wilderlands hexcrawls. The Land of Nod is inspired by a mix of classic literature and 20th century astounding and weird pulp literature. This issue's hexcrawl is to the north of the much earlier Venatia hexcrawls and to the east of the Nod 32: Nomo hexcrawl. You can run a continuous huge hexcrawl with them. The price is incredibly reasonable given all the work that's been put in.

I highly recommend NOD hexcrawls for anyone looking to get experience running a large scale hexcrawl.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nod 32
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Wyverns Roost
Publisher: Town & Down Games
by Brian E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2023 14:11:24

I ran Wyvern's Roost last week. It's a very efficient and effective location you can drop into a campaign and easily fits as an island on a single lake or sea hex. The players have a great deal of latitude in how they approach the situation. The maps and visuals support the players taking a 3-dimensional approach to the tower. Plenty of elements are present to interact with in such a small location. My players completely surprised me and it was easy to determine the result. Perfect for a single episode within a campaign!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wyverns Roost
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Creator Reply:
That's wonderful! Glad you and your players had fun!
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Greatness From Small Beginnings: Level 0
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Brian E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2023 11:56:59

Level 0 is always a good thing to add to D&D, especially in editions where level 1 is already quite powerful like 4e and 5e.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Greatness From Small Beginnings: Level 0
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Second Glance
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Brian E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2023 11:19:28

I ran it and its a worthy successor to First Blush, which I feel is also a great intro to 5e D&D. While First Blush doesn't give the player much agency in how they deal with the situations as they are learning the rules, Second Glance gives the player more freedom. Together they are an entertaining start a campaign and perhaps one of the best ways for two people to learn to play D&D together if they can't join an established group. I look forward to trying the 3rd in the trilogy!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Second Glance
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