Thursday, August 16, 2007

More Gaming Mini-Reviews

Actually acquired last November [2004], and only recently have got around to reviewing them!

Dark Tower was a classic Judges Guild module that was “updated” to 3E D&D a few years back by some small press. The module is seriously hurt by not having the original Paul Jaquays artwork in it. Often, his artwork was the best thing about those old Judges Guild modules! What makes Dark Tower a classic is that it may be the first module with a storyline — not just backstory, but something going on during the dungeon crawl that the PCs can affect the outcome of. Pretty exciting stuff in 1978. Pure nostalgia value in 2001. Grade: C+

Pirates of Tellene suffers, like too many Kenzer sourcebooks, from putting the prestige classes up front. I just can’t get past them. Prestige classes are so inherently lame and useless that I shut the book everytime I open it up to them. Perhaps ironically, the best thing I’ve read so far in the book is the introduction, which is not so much an introduction to this product, but to the Kingdoms of Kalamar campaign setting in general. It’s probably the best two-page “you should play this campaign setting because” essay I’ve seen yet. Grade: C-

The Dragonfiend Pact is the first of Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics modules I’ve bought [at that time]. The look of the modules is pure retro, but the adventures themselves are fairly modern and have a “rejected by Dungeon magazine” feel to them. This installment includes some decidedly un-retro monsters and — unless the PCs make an extremely dangerous decision — has a fair chance of ending prematurely with the mystery not quite solved. Grade: B-

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