Volo’s Guide to Monsters Review

Last week, Wizards of the Coast released their latest D&D 5th edition fall supplement book, Volo’s Guide to Monsters. I’ve had a week with the book to read it over and even try out some monsters and extended lore in game. Volo’s Guide provides monster lore, new character races and a bestiary with nearly 100 monsters. Read on for my in depth look at this book to find out if it is a must buy for you and your gaming group.

Fantasy Grounds – D&D Volo’s Guide to Monsters

I’ve been going through the newly released D&D Volo’s Guide to Monsters module on Fantasy Grounds, and was also surprised to find a new Fantasy Grounds 3.2 update waiting for me. There are a lot of great new features and changes in the update. If you don’t know, Fantasy Grounds is a virtual tabletop experience that you can run games for your friends on your computer. It wotc5evgmautomates a lot of things like dice rolling, character sheets, campaign maps, and monster stats. You can play online, or use a digital screen on a table or a projector on a wall. Now if you want to learn more, you can go to Fantasy Grounds and get a demo version or you can get one on Steam.

Open Legend RPG

A couple of months ago, a reader reached out to be to say that he had created a new tabletop game, and he hoped I would consider an article on it. We had a good conversation about it, and I agreed. History of the Classes has involved a lot of design critique, which is related to but (in my head if nowhere else) different from a review. Seventh Sphere Publishing plans to crowdfund through Kickstarter later this year, running from 18 October to 19 November. The core rules are available for free on the Open Legend RPG website.

Art by Stephen Najarian

(War) Craft Until You Hate Yourself

A quick word: this post is about the crafting system of the recent World of Warcraft (hereafter to be called WoW) expansion entitled Legion. I will be discussing the system in depth I am not attempting to spoil things, but I don’t want to short change the discussion. Take this as what NOT to do if you are implementing a crafting system in a tabletop game. There are a lot of good ideas here, but there are some issues, as well. Remember that no matter what, world consistency is important. What’s good for the PCs is good for the NPCs. That definitely matters. 

Storm King’s Thunder Review

The new D&D adventure Storm King’s Thunder™ just launched today (September 6th), and was released early to gaming stores back on August 26th. When I first received my copy from Wizards of the Coast last week, my initial impressions were very positive. The book looks great with half page and double page illustrations breaking up text, runes, lots of maps, tables and more. The adventure is well done and they have put in some work up front to help Dungeon Masters (DMs) by outlining the cast of characters and providing an adventure flowchart. The story mixes “gigantic” intrigue with plenty of exploration and combat. Players are simply tasked with saving civilization from the threat of giants.

After reading this adventure, I think it’s one of my favorite 5th edition adventures, but it might not be for everyone (we’ll get to that below). It’s a really solid purchase that will provide hours and hours of gameplay, as it is somewhat re-playable. This book gives you nearly everything you need to run SKT as a campaign or provides you with a valuable sourcebook when paired with the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide to run adventures in the Northwest of Faerûn.

D&D Curse of Strahd Review – A Return to Ravenloft

The new D&D adventure Curse of Strahd™ comes out on March 15. When I first received my copy from Wizards of the Coast, I turned to the back of the book right away to see the fold out map and then I flipped through page by page. My initial impressions were positive, the book looks great and the maps in the book and the foldout are superb. This book is 256 pages of gothic goodness full of dread, monsters, magic and more. It’s a really solid purchase that will provide hours and hours of gameplay, especially since it is designed to be re-playable. This book will give you everything you need to run CoS as a campaign or provide you with a valuable sourcebook for adding gothic horror elements to your own campaign.

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide – Review

I have been reading Wizard of the Coast’s new D&D Book: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide (SCAG), and overall I really like it. It’s a nice addition to my growing collection of 5th edition books. To be honest, when I first got the book, I just skipped to the back portion of the book where there were mechanics to see what is new. And then I decided to give the book a good read through, and I am glad that I did.

SCAG Sword Coast MapI realize for some people this is just another Splat book. Some of you aren’t playing Forgotten Realms, and what can be used in your campaigns is minimal. There is a section at the end that has instructions/ideas for converting some of the Class options to other D&D campaign worlds;  Dragonlance, Ebberon, Greyhawk,and Homemade Worlds. I think that the primary purpose of the book is as a player resource for inspiration with the people and places of the Sword Coast.

Beyond the Wall: Where OSR Simplicity Meets OGL Mechanics

As the cicadas sang their whirring courtship song, Galen’s grip on his father’s sword tightened. It had only been a few hours since the goblins had raided the village, and the wounds of the previous night’s violence were still fresh in the young man’s heart and mind. The foul creatures had come in the night, burning and pillaging. Before it was over, the granary was razed and Galen’s parents were dead. Worse still, Galen’s sister – a girl of only 14 summers – was one of several villagers kidnapped by the goblins.

Rage of Demons: Out of the Abyss Review

The new D&D adventure Rage of Demons: Out of the Abyss was available at FLGS stores on Friday and will be available for everyone else on September 15. When I received my copy from Wizards of the Coast I did an initial flip through right away. My first impressions were positive and now that I have read the whole adventure I’ve put my thoughts down in this review. This book will give you everything you need for your group to play for a 15 level campaign or its can work nearly as well as a sourcebook for running your own Underdark adventure.