We got in a flurry of new 5 STAR reviews lately, and we’d like to share them with you. The first two are for the D66 Compendium 2. We represent them both here in their entirety!
This first one is by Richard N.
I purchased the first compendium some time ago and found it to be an awesome tool for helping with adding flavor to my campaign. I use it at least once or twice every session and when I am preparing. So when I saw that the 2nd was out I snagged it right away and was pleasantly surprised to see that they “kicked it up a notch” this time around. Not only are there pages and pages of names for everything from people to pets to famous space battles to recreational drugs, they have added D66 Event tables for careers to use during character creation! And they are awesome! I would highly recommend this (and the 1st one!) to anyone who has ever had that moment when a player asks “So, what is the name of….” and you drew a blank.
This next one is by Daniel C.
I was looking for some new Events to use. I asked for suggestions and was told this was what I wanted. So I came and bought it. I was not disappointed in any way. Not only did it have an event table for “Life Events” but also had events for each of the core careers in the Traveller core rule set. Some of these are great background ideas. Add to that the book has many more tables that will be quite useful I am sure. Overall this product was well worth the price I paid for it. I would strongly recommend this to any Traveller GM. I am glad I added this to my collection.
Next we move onto a pair of Deadly Delve Adventures for Fifth Edition. The first adventure is a 5-STAR review for Rescue from Tyrkaven and is by Ismael A.
Firstly, the background for the adventure is very well written, and seeps out character and flavor. It was plainly well thought out and very developed. It is excellently layered with a hook that does not belie the true nature of the adventure, and a twist that should keep player interest throughout the endeavor. Good setup and thorough execution of initial hook. Also, there is good characterization of various expository NPC’s that promises a memorable session if a GM is willing to act them out.
From the first encounter, it seems like encounter design and balance are well done for the sensibility of 5th edition. The initial combat is meant more as a test of the character’s sensibility than their combat prowess, and could lead to some interesting decisions later. Statistic blocks are handled rather nicely, and are concise and readable. The next few encounters are a bit standard, and probably a sync for a 2nd level party to deal with, but it really builds up the atmosphere, especially with the special glyphs that seem to permeate the enemy lair. Room and encounter design do a nice job of setting the tone of the adventure by slowly introducing a creepy undertone.
There are interesting little details peppered within the room descriptions of the enemy lair, including some interesting moral choices regarding enemies that do not resist or fight.
The inclusion of a new creature (the negative energy elemental) is refreshing, and a bright contrast against the relatively mundane hobgoblin foes, as well as foreshadowing the nature of the lair itself.
The methodology for controlling the number of creatures in a later encounter was interesting as well; depending on player actions, they could fight more enemies at once, or fight a few with more enemies entering per round. This seems to reward players for circumstantial actions rather than punishing them for making an unknowable mistake.
Ultimately, the adventure is very short, and could serve as an excellent set piece to be fit into a larger campaign. There are a lot of loose ends presented within here that could either be tied to your campaign, or simply expand the adventure to interesting directions. This adventure will most likely take your 2nd level group to 3rd level (depending on how many there are in your party), so that makes it ideal for moving your characters into an ideal starting point for a full on campaign (given that the accepted wisdom states that adventurers are more sturdy and defines at level 3).
All in all, this excellent and short adventure is a showcase of an excellent understanding of 5th edition design and low level balance! 5 stars and my royal seal!
Ismael A also wrote a 5-STAR review for Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this product.
Along Came a Spider is an excellent and unorthodoxed adventure. It lets spiders take the center stage as the villains for a low level adventure, rather than as the rabble and fodder that are encountered incidentally on the way to the true threat.
This product is chock full of spiders, of all sorts. You have a young ettercap, swarms of spiders, and even a few new spiders designed just for this book. The adventure starts out pretty straight forward, but begins to take a strange and interesting twist. I won’t say much for fear of spoiling, but I was impressed with the adventure, and I can’t wait to run it.
This adventure is thorough, and has some varied locations. This is definitely an excellent introductory adventure. It is balanced to help survivability, as it is a bit of an issue for 1st level players in 5e. It also has great sensibilities for adventure design, such as appropriate traps and encounters as well as appropriately low ability check and save DCs to ensure you don’t hurt or hinder the players too bad out of the gate.
All in all, this book benefits from the author’s considerable talent and understanding of the system and of adventure design. This is an excellent 5th edtition module, and I look forward to seeing more! 5 out of 5!
That is not the only 5-STAR review we have for Along Came a Spider. This one is short and sweet coming from Howard B.
While not a sandbox adventure, this has interesting twists that will keep your game interesting.