In Praise of Role Aids
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:15 pm 
 

First off, let me say that during the height of my gaming days -- 1981-1986 -- I was a bit of a TSR snob. My friends and I would absolutely refuse to purchase any of the items published by Judges Guild and other third party publishers back then, and this simply because of their  perceived amateurish production values. Be that as it may, during the past few years I have since been addressing this oversight by snatching up Judges Guild items left and right.

I have just recently begun purchasing Mayfair Games' Role Aids products, and must say that I am heartily impressed by not only their actual gaming content but by their high production values as well. (Heck, how can one complain when the legendary Frank Frazetta and Boris Valejo are providing the cover art, eh?) Oddly enough, back in the eighties I didn't even know Mayfair Games even existed, never once having seen any of their products in the various gaming and book stores I frequented at the time. If I had known about Mayfair Games' Role Aids products, I most definitely would have at least given them a try, for aesthetically they were easily the equal of those of TSR. And then there is the gaming content of such, which though wacky at times -- see the Fez series -- is of a high standard. Hell, I feel that Mayfair's Lich Lords may very well be the greatest high level AD&D module ever written. It features a fantastic back story, extremely challenging encounters, evocative read aloud text, and beautiful artwork and cartography. I have, as of today, read through most of the sourcebooks put out by the company, and they are absolutely fantastic, especially the Witches and Lizardmen ones. These products bring the various races featured therein to vivid life, unlike those produced by TSR in the 2nd edition days -- boy were those steaming piles of offal.

I am curious as to what the collectors on these forums think of the Role Aids line in general, for there are precious few websites featuring discussions and evaluations of such. Also, are there any Role Aids products other than those mentioned above that are must buys? I am specifically curious about Shadows of Evil, Evil Ruins, and Ice Elves. (I am quite sure that the first two, at least, are going to be quite good, being as they were written by Stephen Bourne, who wrote some stellar OAD&D/D&D adventures for TSR.


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:51 pm 
 

i like the role aids products always have. i plan to use a few of em in games coming up.

kobold hall and blasted land are stored away though

Al



  

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:25 am 
 

I like them, but haven't had the chance to read them all..though I see I've read some of the good ones so far in Lich Lords and Lizardmen :)
Thought the Giants one was good too.

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:52 am 
 

I recently won the Role Aids Dragons resource/adventure in a large lot and just glanced at it.  Is it any good? :?:

I have Lich Lords and it is quite an adventure.

And is Kobold Hall good or rare or both?  I understand it can command a pretty penny/pence/whatever.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:56 am 
 

Good and rare.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:58 am 
 

benjoshua wrote:And is Kobold Hall good or rare or both?  I understand it can command a pretty penny/pence/whatever.


i like kobold hall and yes, its very rare

Al



  

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:38 pm 
 

Lots of great content in the Role Aids books.  The judges guild stuff can get a little wierd though :?


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:36 pm 
 

Overall, the Mayfair Role Aids modules are no better or worse than any other comparable number of randomly chosen TSR modules.

Certainly, they are no better or worse than most  :puker: Forgotten Realms :pukel:  or Spell Jammer modules.

The FEZ modules deal with a time traveling wizard and are not my thing at all.

The Keep is an interesting novelty item, meant to support a movie I liked, but not necessarily useful as a module.

Dark Folk, Giants and a couple others have interesting situations and useful scenarios. (Translation:  "Stuff to kill.")

Some of the other stuff, such as Beneath Two Suns, are interesting reads but not useable.

The Mayfair City State of the Invincible Overlord is a pale, skinny, nancy-boy compared to the original...get the Necromancer remake instead, if you must.

A Portal to Adventure is a portal to a Port-o-Potty.  "Contains absolutely no adventure.  Warning...NO adventure inside."

Ice Elves has an interesting situation and maps.

Tower of Magics starts well.....

Shipwrecker is useable.

Question of Gravity might be fun for some DM's and players...not mine...who like funny map situations.

There are others....

Mark  8)


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:34 pm 
 

And Dragons?  Any good? :?:


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 1:17 pm 
 

Dragons is quite good.  I've used snippets in campaigns.

The Role Aids products have always appealed to me because they were different than TSR products and often had a bit more detail.  Plus, the players were not familiar with them, so when you ran one of the adventures, you wouldn't have to worry about the players having already read them.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:05 pm 
 

Thank you for letting me know whether I should sell or keep.  I look forward to reading it now. :)


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:41 pm 
 

Selling your roleaids stuff unless they are the tournament ones is pretty futile.  They typically sell in the $5 range but if you do a bit of looking you can pick them up for $1 or less.  So if you get any enjoyment out of having it, keep it.  If you are looking for more, buy them directly from Mayfair.  They are still blowing them out:

http://www.mayfairgames.com/shop-specia ... fg-ra.html

It seems like every few months, there is a roleaids discussion where I end up pointing this out.  I don't know how many packs Mayfair has left but this has been going on for a long time now.

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:50 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:Overall, the Mayfair Role Aids modules are no better or worse than any other comparable number of randomly chosen TSR modules.

Certainly, they are no better or worse than most  :puker: Forgotten Realms :pukel:  or Spell Jammer modules.

The FEZ modules deal with a time traveling wizard and are not my thing at all.

The Keep is an interesting novelty item, meant to support a movie I liked, but not necessarily useful as a module.

Dark Folk, Giants and a couple others have interesting situations and useful scenarios. (Translation:  "Stuff to kill.")

Some of the other stuff, such as Beneath Two Suns, are interesting reads but not useable.

The Mayfair City State of the Invincible Overlord is a pale, skinny, nancy-boy compared to the original...get the Necromancer remake instead, if you must.

A Portal to Adventure is a portal to a Port-o-Potty.  "Contains absolutely no adventure.  Warning...NO adventure inside."

Ice Elves has an interesting situation and maps.

Tower of Magics starts well.....

Shipwrecker is useable.

Question of Gravity might be fun for some DM's and players...not mine...who like funny map situations.

There are others....

Mark  8)


Evil Ruins and Lich Lords are usuable, I actually ran Evil Ruins and it was a good. Also remember running Dark Folk back in the day, don't know how the scenarios would hold up now, but we had fun with them...

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:25 pm 
 

I like the Demons line the most. The adventures... not so much, but I've never been a fan of modules really, and prefer getting "stuff."


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:58 pm 
 

I am considering purchasing the Role Aids modules Pinnacle and Dragons of Weng T'sen, and was just wondering if they are any good? I am especially curious about the latter, because for some reason it tends to command a premium price.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:25 am 
 

Munafik wrote:I am considering purchasing the Role Aids modules Pinnacle and Dragons of Weng T'sen, and was just wondering if they are any good? I am especially curious about the latter, because for some reason it tends to command a premium price.


I think Dragons of Weng T'sen is just a bit rarer than some of the other modules.


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:18 am 
 

I only own one Role-Aids module - Evil Ruins.
I can say in my opinion, it's a fun adventure, and works very well.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:33 pm 
 

Stuff like FEZ and Clockwork Mage totally turned me off to them.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:40 am 
 

Role aids are mediocre at best. I dont think even one would scrape into a top twenty non-tsr D&D adventures list.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:42 am 
 

nn wrote:Role aids are mediocre at best. I dont think even one would scrape into a top twenty non-tsr D&D adventures list.


definately disagree with you.

adventures can be drab, but its what the DM makes of them.

Al



  
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