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Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:49 am 
 


** expired eBay auction **




This is a nice gazetteer type of book for any D20 game or campaign.

So much material that you might never use half of it.



It is the world that was previously created ny the folks that ran a campaign that eventually became Castle and Crusades.

This books data can be slid into that system with no trouble too.



I got one in a lot once, and after reading it I bought another copy for my grandson to use for his home games.


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:59 pm 
 

ericthecleric wrote:Press release by Paizo; I though it might be of interest.



Just to put that into perspective, it means they won't have any in their warehouse after GenCon/Preorders through them.  So people should be able to find a 1st print of this easily enough for now.  I hope my Amazon preorder though isn't delayed because of this.

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:30 pm 
 

And apparently, a 2nd printing won't be available until November or so.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:15 pm 
 

Gnat the Beggar wrote:
** expired eBay auction **


This is a nice gazetteer type of book for any D20 game or campaign.
So much material that you might never use half of it.

It is the world that was previously created ny the folks that ran a campaign that eventually became Castle and Crusades.
This books data can be slid into that system with no trouble too.

I got one in a lot once, and after reading it I bought another copy for my grandson to use for his home games.




The Codex of Erde is a fairly good publication...especially at that price.


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:16 pm 
 

Plaag wrote:
Just to put that into perspective, it means they won't have any in their warehouse after GenCon/Preorders through them.  So people should be able to find a 1st print of this easily enough for now.  I hope my Amazon preorder though isn't delayed because of this.

ShaneG.


I'm wondering if there isn't a bit of double-speak in the announcement meant to cause a rush to local stores.

Still, hurrah for Paizo and Pathfinder!


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:14 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:http://paizo.com/store/sale

A tip for D20 collectors.

Click on this link.

Scroll down to the Green Ronin Apocalypse sale.

There's stuff on here you won't find on sale again...for $2 or $5.

Look at the other listings as well.  Some of the "clearance" items are 50% off...which means they are close to what should have been their base price.  But, there are other bargains for D20 people hidden in the the various sale listings.


Are there any 'promotional codes' we can/should enter at checkout?


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:37 am 
 

davidc wrote:
Are there any 'promotional codes' we can/should enter at checkout?


None that I know of.  Try just typing "Acaeum."  :D


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:22 am 
 

FormCritic: Out of curiosity, have you taken a look at any of Atlas's Penumbra line of d20 stuff?  Some of them looked interesting, and I'm curious as to what people thought before I grab a few.


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:06 pm 
 

g026r wrote:FormCritic: Out of curiosity, have you taken a look at any of Atlas's Penumbra line of d20 stuff?  Some of them looked interesting, and I'm curious as to what people thought before I grab a few.


The few I have are pretty meaty even if you don't use 3E, with some nice plots and locales.

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Post Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:46 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:The few I have are pretty meaty even if you don't use 3E, with some nice plots and locales.


I sort of assumed as much, given that I've generally been impressed by Atlas's products for other game-lines.

(Though I'm not coming at it completely blank, as I do alreay have the Penumbra Fantasy Bestiary -- which I will admit impressed me mightily just for the amount of work that obviously went into it.)


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:04 am 
 

.......>

*Answering from a question in the 3.0 versus 3.5 strand posted elsewhere*

Just for reference, the first official 3.5 version Dragon magazine was #309 on July 2003.

3.5 is a re-write of the 3.0 rules.

There are changes meant to fix glitches and oversights in the rules, as well as additions or adjustments to character class skills or progression of class features in order to balance out the classes.  

In places, the rules have been clarified to remove loopholes and clear up questions.  

For instance:  A shield spell gives a "cover bonus" to armor class.  "Cover" is a technical term in 3rd Edition.  According to the rules for "attack of opportunity," you cannot take attacks of opportunity against opponents with "cover".  Ergo, a character using a shield spell could move at will, so long as his shield spell was turned at least partially toward his opponent.  This was obviously never intended by the rule writers.  In 3.5 the spell description was amended to erase this loophole, and the shield spell was made to apply to all opponents, not just those on a certain side of the character.

For another example:  A haste spell allows a character who does not move more than five feet to take a second "partial action" or "standard action."  Casting a spell is a standard action.  Ergo, haste allowed a spell caster to hurl two spells per round.  This was obviously wrong and was corrected in the changes between 3.0 and 3.5.

The 3.5 Monster Manual has some significant changes to stats in a very few areas.  There are also examples of advanced monsters in the text to show how this is done.  If you don't pay attention to how a monster has been slightly upped in power between editions it can cause trouble.

A few character and monster feats are added.

The way that space and reach are handled is changed.  Instead of a variety of space ratings depending on the monster, pretty much all medium creatures take up a 5 x 5 square and all large creatures take up a 10 x 10 square.  This makes the larger monsters harder for the DM to move around and be clever with.  For instance, a 5 x 5 giant is a lot easier to move about than a 10' x 10' giant.  A huge or colossal monster was so large on the battlefield as to be very limited in movement...or able to take advantage of special movement rules.

There are just enough differences to the rules to trip you up if you don't watch out.  One of the largest set of changes is found in the descriptions of spells, where a number of spells have been nerfed in order to fix problems.  Since spells are most often looked up once or twice and then run from memory, there can be times when someone remembers "wrong" due to a change.

Very few published modules were updated for 3.5.

A few hardback books (other than the core rule books) were updated.  

Pretty much, publishers either quickly made the switch or they went under.

Goodman Games would be an example of one company that successfully straddled the 3.0 to 3.5 gap and most or all of the Dungeon Crawl Classics line is in the 3.5 era.

A number of companies went under around that time...including quite a few that...well...deserved to go under either because of poor management or because their products were of low value and/or just plain bad.

Even with the tricksy changes between editions, only a very sad sack DM would not be able to plug a 3.0 module into a 3.5 game.

The collecting value of 3.0 and 3.5 modules is virtually the same.  However, the collecting value of the 3.0 core rulebooks is quite a bit below the value of the 3.5 core books.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:22 am 
 

g026r wrote:FormCritic: Out of curiosity, have you taken a look at any of Atlas's Penumbra line of d20 stuff?  Some of them looked interesting, and I'm curious as to what people thought before I grab a few.


Overall, I like the Penumbra line, but it can be a bit uneven in quality.  I can be a tough critic of certain factors in a publication.  My particular pet peeves are bad bad artwork (as opposed to good bad artwork) and useless or non-existent maps.

For instance, The Ebon Mirror is based on a clever idea (visit an alternative world where humans and elves are the baddies and orcs and goblin types are the civilized goodguys) that really isn't that clever.  I was hoping for a smash-up on the Plane of Shadows or something cool like that.

Beyond the Veil is a classic adventure into a slain dragon's lair that is hampered by bad artwork.

Sacred Ground is a book full of inventive holy sites.  It is hampered by computer-generated maps.  This trend ruined many many 3rd Edition publications.  Maps made on one of the popular map-maker programs may seem like a good idea.  In practice, these programs make rather uninspiring maps that just do not measure up artistically.  Add to that the problem of a color map printed in the interior of a trade paperback in black and white with the result being useless mush.  :x   God!  Why even bother!  :?:

Three Days to Kill is hampered by the bad maps (including an off-the-rack computer town map) but it isn't a bad module.  The module itself is an excellent first adventure for a new campaign of well-mixed character classes.  Pretty much, you kill things...like the title says and like any good adventuring group ought to do a lot.  There are also a couple of good situations like a local festival and plots surrounding it.

In the Belly of the Beast, by Mike Mearls, is of higher quality.  It places heavy demands on the DM to balance and run a number of NPC's.  It is heavier on role-playing than combat.  The art and maps are of slightly higher quality.  It's a good adventure for a party with a bard, but there is some combat for the rest of us.

Thieves in the Forest is a playable adventure by John Nephew, a D&D writing veteran.  This module was published in 2000 and way too much space is taken up with technical details like explaining which boxes of text are open content ("As we go to press with this adventure the D20 System Trademark License is still a draft") or how to use the text boxes.   There is a two-sided color battle map stapled into the center of the module.  One great detail is that the monster stats are set aside in a very clear format that eases the DM's workload.  Even better...there's a wide selection of interesting stuff to kill.

By November of 2002, when Atlas published Splintered Peace, they were much more accomplished at production values, but somewhat hazy on the definition of "adventure."  Splintered Peace is a thin hardback that wins kudos from me by using the end papers to print two clear, hand-drawn maps of the city where the adventure takes place.  The city of Marchion is rife with racial tensions...between elves, dwarves and humans in the same town rather than between evil and good races.  

The result is more than a bit cloying.  For instance, chew on this quote from Splintered Peace:  "This campaign is about racism and the difficulties inherent in trying to oppose such beliefs."  And how about:  "It is not possible to rebuild trust by killing people, not even the people responsible for the hatred."  Great.  :x   Now even game designers feel the need to preach to us.  :pukel:   I started out liking the quality poduction values of this module.  I got angry as I read...at a game geek who presumes to help me to see the light of tolerance and PC hippy politics.  (see rant below)

Splintered Peace does not provide the area maps required for a town adventure.  It provides lots of adventure hooks but no adventure.  Unlike the Dungeon Crawl Classics you are actually not supposed to kill the intricate NPC's provided.  This module is a waste of time and I doubt even one gaming group ran more than two tedious game sessions in Marchion.

(Just as a clue to game designers:  Dungeons and Dragons is about the failure to communicate.  It is about situations that require alternative negotiations with swords.  It is about evil badguys with treasure who have it coming, baby!  They deserve to die just for being so perverse as to hide underground all the time!  Moral questions have always been a part of D&D, but not not not moralistic lessons.  Elves, dwarves, goblins and orcs are not intended as allegories of human races.  The moral implications of a fireball spell ought to be obvious.  Apparently, some people just don't get it.  :x   Contemplate this upon the Tree of Woe! :evil: )

Unhallowed Halls, by Christina Stiles,  is about a wizard university professor and his plot to create yet another classic army of darkness through alchemy.  Shazam!  Let's go!  The module's sales had to have been hampered by an almost unbelievably bad cover...a rummy-nosed comedy mage in a magic circle on a grey, wooden door.  It is an inexplicably bad intro to a solid adventure with interesting things to kill and a villain who absolutely has...it...coming.  Unfortunately, there had to have been a lot copies of this publication left on store shelves due to its bad cover art.  The insides are crunchy even though the outside is a bit soft.

Maiden Voyage, by Chad Brouilard, was printed in August 2001.  It is a nautical adventure aboard a doomed ship.  The characters are on board the Albers, which is headed toward a confrontation wth the cursed vessel, Sea Maiden.  Intended for 1st to 3rd level characters, this shipboard adventure places the characters in an interesting situation with elements of real horror.  It would be an excellent start to a campaign that leads somewhere like Freeport, Modron or Tarantia.  I like Maiden Voyage just about as much as I hate Splintered Peace, which means I like it a lot.  I haven't checked its collectible status but I think this module is worth owning even if it stays cheap.  Get it.

That's what I have on hand from Atlas and their Penumbra line....except for Nyambe, which deserves its own write-up.  I can't comment on the other modules in the series as I have not gotten my hands on them.  I have noticed that Atlas publications tend to go for somewhat higher than my casual collecting habits will usually reach.

Atlas was one D20 publisher that was willing to take risks, and you have to give them kudos for that even if sometimes you hate the results.  Maiden Voyage was my introduction to Atlas, so I have a high opinion of their company that maybe would have been lacking had I met Splintered Peace in a dark alley.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:06 am 
 

Excellent. :)

I've got a line on a number of them for good prices, and was wondering which ones were worth picking up from a reading/playing perspective.  Now I know.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:53 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:
Overall, I like the Penumbra line, but it can be a bit uneven in quality.  I can be a tough critic of certain factors in a publication.  My particular pet peeves are bad bad artwork (as opposed to good bad artwork) and useless or non-existent maps.


That's what I have on hand from Atlas and their Penumbra line....except for Nyambe, which deserves its own write-up.  I can't comment on the other modules in the series as I have not gotten my hands on them.  I have noticed that Atlas publications tend to go for somewhat higher than my casual collecting habits will usually reach.

Atlas was one D20 publisher that was willing to take risks, and you have to give them kudos for that even if sometimes you hate the results.  Maiden Voyage was my introduction to Atlas, so I have a high opinion of their company that maybe would have been lacking had I met Splintered Peace in a dark alley.


A few of my own add-ons to Mark's excellent stuff:

Can't wait for the Nyambe writeup.  This is the best attempt at an African style setting in the history of gaming (Frank's Aesheba is also pretty good but not as related to actual game detail as it's a "generic" setting rather than properly D&D). Someone put a lot of work into this one, for a often neglected locale in fantasy roleplaying.  All the times Conan was lost in some overgrown jungle you would have thought more module writers would have ditched the pseudo-medievel locale (Like Dave Cook did for I1) and gone native.

Nothing immediately causes my interest to sag than a crappy map, or a computer generated piece of shit.  I won't even bother reading the text in most cases...it could be the second coming of G1-3 and I'd never know if the map looks like a 10 years old learning graphic skills put it together.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:35 pm 
 

Mark,

I don't think you've covered these. What is your opinion on the Freeport material?

  

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:30 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:Mark,

I don't think you've covered these. What is your opinion on the Freeport material?


viewtopic.php?t=5172

We talked quite a bit about Freeport on this strand.  The second post in the strand cited above has a review of all the Freeport stuff I had on hand at the time.

I also gave the strand a bump so it would appear on your radar.

If you scroll up to the early pages of this strand you will also find more random chatter about Freeport.

I have been collecting Freeport only slowly in recent months because the price on the newest publications tends to stay high.  There are still some publications in the line that dangle beyond my reach.  (For instance, I don't have Buccaneers of Freeport or any of its morphs.)  There are also duplicate publications in various game versions including Green Ronin's somewhat nebulous system called True 20.

The early modules, including Death in Freeport, Terror in Freeport and Madness in Freeport are often available on Ebay for low prices.  

Black Sails Over Freeport is the heavyweight of the module line...with the somewhat humorous detail that in order to get piratey 95% of the module takes place somewhere other than Freeport.  It's really a pocket fantasy pirate campaign with lots of Island of Dr. Moreau type goodness.  Its sort of like Apocalypse Now among the islands, where each stop is wierder and more perilous.

I think Freeport is an awesome setting and I think it could be a really good basis for an actual campaign.  ("Actual" as opposed to "Would be cool but we're never going to actually do it.")

Freeport is a pirate setting and that makes several problems for the writers:

1)  Pirates are cool but actual pirate scenarios only work well in D&D at lower levels.

2)  Pirate as we meet them in the movies are not medieval characters.  The Freeport setting slips continually into the 16th and 17th centuries in order to get the right flavor...including rules for firearms.  Classic ship actions require cannon at the very least.  You simply cannot do Pirates of the Caribbean without them...although, just as in a good pirate movie, the cannons themselves are mostly just props for the real adventure.

3)  Political intrigue is one of the stock items in a city-based campaign.  You cannot have political intrigue without politics and you cannot have politics without a city government.  Once you have a formal city government, with noble families and the like, you no longer have a pirate setting.  What you have is a former pirate setting.

Within the bounds they set for themselves, a varied cast of writers, including some long-time industry veterans, have made a quite diverse set of adventures.  Anyone needing a city adventure could lift some of the short adventures out of Freeport and put them somewhere else with no problem at all.

Freeport is a strong setting because there are a lot of publications and Green Ronin Publishing has continued to support their creation.  A couple of other companies have even done tie-ins, including Goodman.

I also like the Lovecraftian connections in the Freeport material.  There is a degenerate tribe of snakepersons  :x  living under the city worshipping their Lovecraftian god and using "The Yellow Sign."  Naturally, some humans have been corrupted into this cult.....

(A guy named Kevin Ross posted his version of what The Yellow Sign might look like on his Robert Chambers fan website.  I first saw it there about five years ago.  The website is now gone...but his version of The Yellow Sign has stuck around.  Chambers actually never said what the sign looked like.  The King in Yellow is long in the public domain, but Ross has managed to trademark his version of The Yellow Sign and it has appeared on products sold by Green Ronin and Chaosium, to name just the two I know about.  Give it 10 more years and no one will remember that Ross just made it up out of sheer enthusiasm.  On his website, Ross even put Chamber's poem about Lost Carcosa to music and there was a midi you could listen to. 8O )

Green Ronin Publishing has long sold out of most of their Freeport items.  Some have increased sharply in price, with Freeport: The City of Adventure jumping up five times over from the $5 range to $25+.

There are also pdf files of some other Freeport adventures that never appeared in print.  Adamant Entertainment has a couple/three of these on RPGNow.com.

Long-term, even the common modules in this line are likely to become scarce and increase in value.  Of course, now that we've mentioned them here........

As soon as Green Ronin Publishing gives in and goes 4th Edition, I  expect that Freeport will continue to appear in print.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:56 am 
 


** expired eBay auction **




Dreadmire currently at $7.99


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:01 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:
** expired eBay auction **


Dreadmire currently at $7.99




These are coming up on a regular basis from this seller (is it the author?).

  

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:19 am 
 

'Author' would be a bit of a strong word for that individual's business.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:59 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
These are coming up on a regular basis from this seller (is it the author?).


I don't recognize the Ebay handle...which has only four feedback.  The low feedback might indicate that he is selling only this one book, one after the other.

The list of citations and favorable reviews tends to indicate quite a bit more effort for this item than a general Ebay seller might make.

I would say its the author or an agent for him.


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