Pacesetter Games DA Series Monster/Treasure
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:07 am 
 

I just have a short amount of time before a doctor's appointment, but I want to offer my praise for this series by Bill Barsh.

I am a sucker for charts and lists and stuff like Monster, Treasure, Trap assortments.  I loved the original Monster and Treasure assortments put out by TSR way back in the day, as anything that helped me DM was good (rolling randomly for treasure was one big help). What Bill has done is actually BETTER than what was put out by TSR 30+ years ago (the only exception is that he doesn't have any Trampier art!). Bill has made a complete random monster and treasure selection for EACH level (not levels 1-3 inclusive, like the original), as well as an ENTIRE sample dungeon for that level!  Not to mention things like random charts for traps and such.  The variety is good and all the monsters are "official". The dungeon is just an old fashioned monster hotel with lots of other fun stuff.  The pages are stiff cardstock making them easy to hold/handle at the table.

Ok, the reason I am writing about these is that last night my 8 year old grandson Jake wanted me to run a D&D adventure for him (after begging all week). We had been running his characters through In Search of the Unknown but I needed a break from that (having just run it again at NTRPG con, ironically with Bill as one of the players).  Looking for something quick and easy to run I picked up DA1 Monster & Treasure Level One Assortment (which, along with DA2, I had purchased at the con).  Everything I needed was inside:  a complete 63 room dungeon filled with 1st level critters and treasure, as well as 100 random monsters and treasures if I wanted to re-stock the dungeon myself. There is even a page with some handy charts like Chamber Contents, Treasure Traps, and Monster Situation (will the monster attack you when you enter the room, is he living there, that sort of thing).  Basically, within 5 minutes Jake's characters were hacking their way through the bandits and berserkers at the entrance and having a blast.  

Obviously the sampledungeon is crude and the monster placement sometimes makes little sense, but that is the charm of such old school dungeons.  There are a lot of typos and odd things in the sample dungeon. But while running it I had a blast of nostalgia back to products such as Zenopus' Tower or Judges guild products.  It ran perfectly with the B/X rules my grandson and I are using and I didn't have to refer to a rulebook once.  

I'll be honest and say the sample dungeon would probably be too simplistic for older or more experienced players, but it's a perfect pick up dungeon for kids, who just want to hack and kill as many different critters as they can and take their gold.  It's the type of all in one product you could pick up off the shelf and be running for your kids in less time than it takes to pop the popcorn and pour the soft drinks.  I highly recommend this to anyone with kids who needs a quick and easy reference and wants to introduce them to dungeon crawling with a level appropriate product.  As a bonus, the sample dungeon in DA1 has stairways down to the dungeon in DA2, and I hope that trend continues through the series.    I have the first two and I know I'll being buying the rest in this series!

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:42 am 
 

Good god, why don't you and Bill get a room together.  

P.S.  I really enjoy these products as well.

Martin

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:44 am 
 

Prufrock wrote:Good god, why don't you and Bill get a room together.

Bill doesnt like beards.  :lol:


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:06 am 
 

Nice review BadMike and thank you for the reminder.
I bought both products at the convention as well, but have not read them yet.
Sounds like my grandkids will be hacking through some bandits and berserkers soon.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:53 am 
 

Sounds like something else I need to get my hands on... Bill?? :)


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:35 pm 
 

Quick question for those of you that own these products....

Does the cover look like this:

Image


Or does it look like a black and white copy of that (i.e. no red in the Pacesetter logo/etc)?

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:14 pm 
 

Prufrock wrote:Good god, why don't you and Bill get a room together.  

P.S.  I really enjoy these products as well.

Martin


How do you know we didn't after I ran B1 Thursday night? You jealous bitch!

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:16 pm 
 

Grey;

My copy has the black and white logo.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:43 pm 
 

Thanks, I ordered directly from him, so I wasn't worried or concerned....just curious

oh..and back on topic....yes, this is a very good series from PacesetterGames. Somehow I missed DA1 but got DA2 so I recently put in an order for the first one. Definitely hoping he keeps making this series.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:16 pm 
 

Wow! Thanks, Mike!

I decided to do the DA series because it would be fun. Not because I think there is some need or niche. I used the hell out of the old M&T Assortments back in the day (but I did my own maps not the geomorphs). When I look at those old assortments, it takes me way back to my early days of D&D. Nostalgia, for me, is a powerful motivator.

With that in mind, I decided to put together my own M&T products but instead of grouping them, I would do one level at a time. They would also feature monsters from AD&D (Monster Manual, MMII, and FF - though mostly MM). But as Mike points out, each M&T includes a fully-stocked dungeon (60+rooms in each). The dungeons are mostly monster hotels but there are some sections that are more organized (a temple, bandit hide out, big monster lair, etc.). Each level is connected to the next level (either up or down) with two sets of stairs. Also, each level has an entrance or two directly to the "outside." Believe me, there is nothing ground-breaking here, but it is as old-school as you will find. And I think fun. These dungeons are the ultimate beer and pretzel night adventure. Just crank out the player characters and have at it.

I am working on M&T level three right now and it should be done in the next couple weeks. I have the maps done for all nine levels - did I mention there will be nine in total.

As far as availability, they are available via the pacesettergames.com site or drive-thru rpg site. At Pacesetter you get a hard copy and the pdf. I think you can get hard copies from drive thru, too...that would explain the color logo version. The Pacesetter site versions are all B&W only. No color artwork at all.

The products are eight separate cardstock pages (double-sided printing). It is not a book or book format.

Anyway, all that said, these assortments are all about fun.

Edit:  Here are the product links

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php ... rs_id=3101

http://pacesettergames.com/index.html


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:24 pm 
 

Well, the grandson is still clearing out the first level (DA1) and having a ball. I enjoy DMing it as I can add as much or as little to the bare bones framework as I wish.  The older I get, I seem to get more use out of these sandbox items than fully described products.

Mike  B.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:37 pm 
 

Sounds like fun, Mike. That's pretty much how we played when I started. Just stocked a 1 page dungeon with monsters and treasure (and traps).

The original Monster & Treasures Assortments did actually have separate lists for each level. The Set for levels 1-3 has a list of 100 monsters for 1st, 100 treasures for 1st level, 100 monsters for 2nd level, etc.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:36 am 
 

I can't remember if I have bought this one or not.   :shaking2:


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:41 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:I can't remember if I have bought this one or not.   :shaking2:



buy one of everything that way you know for sure  :D

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:47 pm 
 

GreyM wrote:
FormCritic wrote:I can't remember if I have bought this one or not.   :shaking2:



buy one of everything that way you know for sure  :D



...or Six:

- one for your collection
- a duplicate (just in case)
- a 2nd duplicate, perhaps for display
- one to read/game with
- one for a gift to a gamer friend (possibly)
- one you would be happy to trade for something else (for the one item you need)

:)


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:33 pm 
 

red_bus wrote:
GreyM wrote:buy one of everything that way you know for sure  :D

...or Six:
- one for your collection
- a duplicate (just in case)
- a 2nd duplicate, perhaps for display
- one to read/game with
- one for a gift to a gamer friend (possibly)
- one you would be happy to trade for something else (for the one item you need)
:)


CRAP!

Now I will have to completely rethink my collecting strategies!


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:14 pm 
 

I did go by the three copy rule for many years (one in shrink, one play copy, and one in very nice condition but opened). Has a complete TSR collection in that way, except for the ultra-rares. Sold all the SW stuff when I started doing ebay full time; as time went on got rid of the game/play copies.  Now just one copy of each and an electronic (pdf) copy does me just fine.  

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:25 pm 
 

Image

Coming soon. Third level means I can have some real fun with some nastier monsters. It is amazing what happens when you make the leap from 1-2 HD to 2-4 HD.

Sorry for the poor cover pic. The file conversion from Publisher to GIF often messes up the fonts and quality. The final will be hi-res.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:31 am 
 

I got four Pacesetter modules in the mail today.

All four are really nice modules:  V2, Q4, T2 and Raid on the Acaeum (which doesn't have a number).

I'm trying to figure out if I own the monster/treasure assortments.  

Head, starting to spin..... :shaking2:


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:53 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:I got four Pacesetter modules in the mail today.

All four are really nice modules:  V2, Q4, T2 and Raid on the Acaeum (which doesn't have a number).

I'm trying to figure out if I own the monster/treasure assortments.  

Head, starting to spin..... :shaking2:



OHHHH. No number. Crap. I will back track and see if I can figure out which one it should be. Should not be too hard to determine as I think I have the mailing sequence.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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