Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Monsternomicon: Kyuss and His Faithful

 

ProductMonsternomicon: Kyuss and His Faithful

System– DnD 5e

Producer– Wizards of the Coast

Price– Pay what you want at http://www.dmsguild.com/product/170843/Monsternomicon-Kyuss-and-His-Faithful?term=Patric&filters=45469_0_0_0_0_0

TL; DR-What we should see from the DM Guild. 99%

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Basics-The Worm that Walks is back!  This book is a fan submission to DMguild.com detailing Kyuss, his priests, and his monsters.  This short volume introduces the god, his mechanics and history, as well as some new monsters, spells, and a whole new cleric domain.

Mechanics or Crunch-Fan content can go either way-either amazingly good or horribly bad.  This book is amazingly good.  In a book about a god, I wasn’t expecting much, but honestly what’s here is phenomenal.  You get crunch on him, how he works, and how his priests work.  The rot grub is back, and that makes me very happy.  They are as DEADLY as ever, and they should be.  The fact this thing has domains, monsters, and spells is icing on a great cake.  Kyuss himself is a ~bit~ overpowered, but that doesn’t take away from the whole book. 4.9/5

 

Theme or Fluff-I didn’t know much about Kyuss when I starting reading, but I think now I could run a whole campaign on the god.  It’s enough to get you running and has threats that a DM could use to put the fear of this dark god in their players.  It reads quick, and it’s well done. 5/5

Execution-This is my first DM Guild product, and as fan content, I was apprehensive.  But, this book is NOT just slapped together.  There are pictures to break up text, the format isn’t a distraction, and it’s not too long to wear out its welcome.  This is the kind of content I want to see on the DM Guild going forward. 5/5

Summary-This is a fun book about a dark god.  I enjoyed what I read here, and honestly at the price of pay what you want, you should go get this for free to check it out.  If you like it, throw a buck to the creator for his good work after you’ve read it.  It’s got spells, a domain, monsters, and a campaign ending threat that could destroy the universe.  All that is an amazing combination in a small product that still has time to give some great story on the Worm that Walks.  GO NOW!  Read this thing at least for free to see how to produce good content for the DM Guild. 99%

Daily Punch 1-15-16 Wild Training feat for DnD 5e

Now time for the Ranger

 

Wild Training

You’ve spent time out the wild and have learned how to survive and thrive in the wilderness.  Gain the following:

  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Choose one skill a ranger gains at 1st level.  You are now proficient in that skill.
  • You gain the Natural Explorer ability of the ranger, but you only gain one favored terrain from this feat.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 1-14-16 Righteous Training feat for DnD 5e

Let’s now do a feat for the Paladin

 

Righteous Training

You have spent time in an abbey of war.  You are now a strong defender of the faith.  Gain the following:

  • Increase your Strength or Constitution by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Choose one skill a paladin gains at 1st level.  You are now proficient in that skill.
  • You gain the Lay On Hands ability of a paladin.  Your total level counts for your levels of paladin for the Lay On Hands ability.
  • Choose a god.  You must uphold the god’s values or you lose the abilities granted by this feat.

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Pixel Tactics Deluxe

Product-Pixel Tactics Deluxe

Producer-Level 99 Games

Price– Can’t buy just yet!

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 20-30 minutes (2 players)

Type-American

Depth-Medium

TL; DR-A NES, an anime collection, and Final Fantasy Tactics in a card-shaped blender. 91%

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Basics-Are you ready to old-school Anime rumble!? In Pixel Tactics Deluxe, the big box expansion to Pixel Tactics, players take the roles of rival armies attempting to kill the leader of the opposing unit.  Let’s start by describing the cards, and then the rest will fall into place.  Each card’s face has a leader half and a unit half.  The leader is the main character that the enemy will try to defeat. Each leader has an attack value, hit points, as well as providing either a special action or a special ability for your team.  If you rotate the card, you see the generic unit half.  This side has fewer hit points, an attack, and four different colored rectangles.  These rectangles are the main thrust of the game; each unit has a red, green, and blue rectangle as well as either a tan or purple rectangle.  The red, green, and blue rectangles are what this unit can do or powers it, or your army, gains depending on where it is in your army.  Units in the vanguard (red areas), get some powers, while units to your leaders sides (green or flank), or behind the leader (blue or rear) had different abilities.  The purple boxes are one time game effects (orders), and tan boxes are trap cards that you can place on the board to activate on an opponent’s turn when some action occurs.

With that, we can get into the meat of the game. Each player starts by drawing five cards from a deck of Pixel Tactics cards.  From these first five, each person will select a leader and place that character in the center of their board.  After selecting who gets to go first, players take turns taking two actions for section or wave of their unit (vanguard, then flank, and finally rear).  The actions a player can take is recruit (place a character in that section), attack (range or melee), spell (the rectangle says spell:some ability), issuing orders, laying traps, clearing corpses (removing fallen characters), or moving characters to different locations.  After both players have taken two actions for a wave of a unit , then play moves to the next wave.  Once all three waves have taken actions, the play moves back to the vanguard and the next player takes over as first player.  

I’d like to expand on attacks quickly.  Each unit has an attack value.  When a unit attacks, it does that attack value in damage to another enemy.  Unless a unit has a ranged attack, that unit cannot attack a unit behind another unit or if one of your units is in front of it.  Therefore, position is important.  Corpses do not block combat, but corpses do block placing new units, so unless you removed them with an action, your army will quickly be unable to place new fighters!  If a unit has damage equal to its health at the end of a wave’s actions, that unit is defeated and flipped over and is now a corpse.  Combat is just that simple. The game continues with each player taking turns until one player has defeated the other player’s leader and reigns supreme!

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Mechanics-I like the quick nature of this game.  Thinking of similar card games like Magic, each card is a spell (order) or a unit, and that opens up a range of tactical options.  It’s fast, fun, and not a rules slog as different orders can’t do infinite combos or other such craziness that can build up in other games.  It’s just a quick game of fun tactics that you learn in under 10 minutes and feel smart when you discover combos in the cards.  It is a bit limited as this box only has two 30 card decks, and both decks are exactly the same.  It’s fun, but you can see why there are five other Pixel Tactics expansions besides this one.  However, to open new fun, this box also comes with drafting and league rules.  If you and your friends want to open up a tournament, this box and the other expansions give you the experience you’re wanting.  Well done! 5/5

Theme-This is a hard one.  There is NO real story in this game box, but it also drips theme in a strange, Frankenstein combination of genres.  I don’t have a clue what the heck any of the factions are or why they are fighting.  However, there is a ton of theme here.  Each leader has a full name and title.  These titles get all kinds of fun and the powers reflect it.  The generic unit side also provides you with some fun flare as the various cards have powers that all reflect exactly what you would think a card of that type should do.  Honestly this game feels like a smoothie made by blending the NES game catalog, Final Fantasy Tactics, and an anime collection.  What comes out is tasty and flavorful, but might not always make much sense, like green tea-flavored kit-kat bars.  4.25/5

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Instructions-The rules to this game are thick, but if you just want to play a two player game of it, you will use about ⅕ of it.  The rest of the rules are for alternative game modes and how to use league rules and expansions.  That said, the thing reads well.  It’s a bit wordy because the rules need to explain how you kill your friend and your friend has to see how that is fair in detail, but overall it reads quickly.  It could use a few more pictures, but it’s not bad by any means.  4.75/5

Execution-This box serves two masters reasonably well.  On one side you have players like me-I’ve never played before and this is an excellent jumping on point.  Here is a full box with dividers for your growing collection and two starting decks so you can play in five minutes.  On the other side you have full avid collectors.  Here is a box where you get new cards, new common cards for drafting games, and dividers to make you colection fit in one well-constructed box.  I only have two minor problems with this game: the leader cards in the deluxe box and card icons.  Leader cards are chibi art cards of the leaders without having the basic unit side.  You get several beautiful cards, BUT you don’t get cards for all the units you get in this box.  Why?  That makes me mad–I have toys I can’t use!  The card icons help you quickly figure out how a card works.  And that’s great, but they can be a bit busy.  The overload of icons isn’t on all the cards, but maybe a few less would help improve readability.  These are only slight  annoyances and not nearly enough to completely detract from the beauty of this game.  Want to see all the cards in the box?  Check out our unboxing video here: https://youtu.be/uHSQNmhsFVo 4.5/5

Summary-I’ve never been much of a card gamer, but this one does win me over.  I can’t stand the pay-to-win mechanics of Magic, but this game gives me enough strategy and evolving gameplay that I can have a blast for a one-time cost and in a way where I don’t have to spend days learning the complex rules of the game.  I’d like a bit more theme as I don’t know why I’m killing the other player, but It also doesn’t really matter-The cards feel like they should.  The rules are streamlined, if a bit wordy, and the execution of the deluxe box is amazing.  My biggest problem with this box is I want more, which is always a great problem to have.  If you are looking for some classic NES nostalgia, your anime fix, and a fun 20-30 minute strategy game, then this is the game you’re looking for! 91%

Daily Punch 1-13-16 Monastic Training feat for DnD 5e

How about another feat for some monk splash?

 

Monastic Training

You have learned the way to punch through steel.  Gain the following:

  • Increase your Wisdom by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Choose one skill a monk gains at 1st level.  You are now proficient in that skill.
  • You unarmed attacks are equal to a monk of your level.  At 6th level your unarmed attacks count as magic for overcoming damage resistance.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 1-12-16 Monastic Focus feat for DnD 5e

Let’s build on to splash feats with monk!

 

Monastic Focus

You have learned the way to center yourself.  Gain the following:

  • Increase your Wisdom by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Choose one skill a monk gains at 1st level.  You are now proficient in that skill.
  • You gain the monk’s Ki class feature and a number of ki points equal to your wisdom modifier as well as the Flurry of Blows, Patient Defense, and Step of the Wind ki abilities.

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 1-11-16 Discovered Fury feat for DnD 5e

I like the feats that let you splash a bit of a class into your current class.  Let’s build on those and start with the barbarian!

 

Discovered Fury

You have learned the ways of angry, fury, and how to let those protect you in the heat of battle.  Gain the following:

  • Increase your Strength or Constitution by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Choose one skill a barbarian gains at 1st level.  You are now proficient in that skill.
  • You gain the Rage ability of a barbarian.  You can only enter a rage once per day, but you gain all the benefits of a barbarian of your level.

 

Thoughts?

 

Daily Punch 1-8-16 Trapfinding feat for DnD 5e

5e thieves get some good tools to deal with traps, but how about the rest?  Here is a feat to help anyone else who want to try dealing with traps.

 

Trapfinding

Everyone who survives the dungeon needs someone who knows how to deal with the pesky traps. You’re that someone.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Gain proficiency with thieve tools, gain proficiency in Dexterity(slight of hand), or gain +2 to Dexterity(slight of hand).
  • When looking for traps, increase your passive perception by +5.  And, gain advantage on all Wisdom(perception) and Intelligence(investigation) checks only when looking for traps.
  • When disarming traps, you gain advantage on the Dexterity(slight of hand) check.

 

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

Product-Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

System– DnD 5e

Producer– Wizards of the Coast

Price– $36

TL; DR-A doughnut-great fluff, but no crunch! 87%

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Basics-Welcome to the Forgotten Realms!  The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide is the first player and dungeonmaster book for DnD5e.  It focuses on the world of the Forgotten Realms and more specifically the Sword Coast.  The book builds the current Realms and provides the standing of the world, as well as giving players some new backgrounds, class archetypes, and race options.

Mechanics or Crunch-The best description of the mechanics in this book is “What mechanics?”  Most of the crunch in this book is confined to one chapter.  It’s a decent chapter, but it only supports a few classes with some classes not receiving any new toys.  They do get some Forgotten Realms specific story, but no new crunch/mechanics to drive it home.  This book also only has one feat in it, and that is an optional feat.  There were high expectations for this book, and I feel it didn’t meet them.  What’s here is good, but there is just not enough here to really make this worth it for every crunch heavy gamer. 3.75/5

 

Theme or Fluff-I love the Forgotten Realms, and this is a decent introduction to a part of it.  As the title suggests, this book focuses on the Sword Coast.  What the book focuses on is great!  Each area gets a great description really building out the world in interesting ways and telling how the Realms have changed since 4th edition.  However, it mentions the rest of the world.  That’s good, but they don’t provide a map the the rest of the world.  That’s my main problem with what is here.  There are parts mentioned in a sentence that are not shown.  The previous editions’ Realms books showed me the world,gave it a one line description, and then left it at that.  This book doesn’t even give me the geography past the coast.  This wouldn’t be a problem except the novels, adventures, and the Adventurer’s League all take place in the parts of world not covered in depth by this book. 4.75/5

Execution-This book covers a ton of ground, and it does it reasonably well.  Everything has pictures, which is awesome, so the book sufficiently breaks up the text.  There are a few walls of text though.  The art is good, the font is nice, and the maps are amazing.  I’d like this book to be a bit thicker to give space for more breaks and more information, as well as to justify the price a bit.  However, I liked the way this book was laid out and built overall.  4.5/5

Summary-I wasn’t thrilled with this book.  The theme is great.  New players in the Realms will get a ton out of this book.  Even people from 4th edition will have a lot to learn about the new realms.  The overall execution of the book is great, if a tad pricey.  However, the biggest problem is the lack of mechanics.  This is the first real expansion to the system, and it doesn’t do or provide much expansion to the system.  This book isn’t bad, but stacked up against the core books, I wasn’t impressed with this book.   87%

Daily Punch 1-7-16 Acrobatic Dodge feat for Pathfinder

How about some Pathfinder?  Haven’t done that in a bit…

 

Acrobatic Dodge (Combat)

You dance as much as you duck, and enemies can’t seem to hit you because of it.

Prerequisites: Dodge.

Benefit: When you are attacked, as an immediate action you can make a Acrobatics check.  If your check equals or exceeds the attack roll, you gain the benefit of cover against the attack.

Thoughts?