Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Oracle of War- The Night Land

Product– EB-01 The Night Land

System-DnD 5e

Producer– DMs Guild

Price– $4.99  here https://www.dmsguild.com/product/296403/EB01-The-Night-Land?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– Standard start to something great.  93%


Basics–  Eberron?  In MY 5e?  OH YES!  Let’s hope in and look at the new TWENTY adventure long story for Eberron The Oracle of War Storyline called The Night Land.  You start by rolling into the town of Salvation on the Mournland border, and like all poor hungry souls, it’s time to find a job!  What’s the job board got today?

Mechanics or Crunch– This adventure is pretty balanced for crunch.  It is the same formula you’ve grown to love or maybe be annoyed with in this first adventure by Shawn.  Three small quests with some time between to rest up.  The party does some crazy stuff, rests, repeat.  The players learn how to be their characters, get a bit of a challenge, and then 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff– Standard well done 1st level adventure!  Shawn does 1st level adventure well.  Small packages to not kill the party day one.  It has a bit of Eberron feel, but like most things, it will require the DM to amp up the world feel.  You do hang with some goblins, changelings, and some horrors of the mournlands, so you get a good intro of the horrible things that want to eat you!  You can get a bit bored as your party might recognize a formula when they start.  But its level one!  You’re off to run errands and kill low level monsters, not take on the Lord of Blades day one!  4.5/5

Execution–  PDF?  Yep!  Hyperlinked?  No, but it doesn’t really matter (I’d still like it though).  This product has THREE PDFs.  One is the adventure in glorious color with lots of pictures that you run through the home printer.  The second is a slimmed down black and white no frills product that you run through the home printer.  Third is a newspaper to throw the players!  That’s some awesome world world building!  In addition, the adventure organizers have FULL PAGE sheets the players get after the adventure.  The things they check off let them know some serious crap is up.  Heck, I as a GM who isn’t fully aware of the campaign knows some crap is up, so I’m buying in too.  I also like the authors’ use of the DMs Guild to full effect by putting lots of pictures in.  These are pictures I’ve seen before, but it’s a nice touch to the other pictures that they throw in.  I like the art deco style of everything.  It honestly makes me feel more like we are between wars and I know something bad is coming….   4.9/5


Summary-I like Eberron, and The Wife LOVES Eberron.  This adventure brought her back to 5e and weekly gaming at the store.  That’s the sales pitch that I can give.  Now, is it perfect?  No.  It’s 1st level fare.  Small tapas portions of adventures as your cleric might be able to roll out two cure wounds and a real bad round of two crits can completely wreck a party.  Is that a problem?  No.  This is fun.  I’ll equate this to my favorite above average hibachi restaurant.  I know exactly what the chef is going to do there, but guess what?  I’m going to show up and be happy I went! 93%

Daily Punch 4-27-20 Heroic Critical feat for DnD 5e

Been playing a lot of Eberron lately.  I have some big damn heroes in my party, so let’s help them be heroes!



Heroic Critical

You are the protagonist of the story!  Gain the following benefits:

  • When you roll a natural 20 on an attack roll or skill check, gain a hero point.
  • When you spend a hero point to add to a roll, if the result of the d20 and the hero point die equal 20, you can count the roll as a critical for all effects of the roll.




Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Shadowrun 6th ed.

Product– Shadowrun 6th Ed.

System-Shadowrun 6th Ed.

Producer– Catalyst Game Lab

Price– $19.99  here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286850/Shadowrun-Sixth-World-Core-Rulebook?manufacturers_id=2216?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– New but similar.  93%


Basics–  Shadowrun is 30 years old!  In honor of this, here is the 6th edition.  What changed?  What’s new?  What’s old?  Let’s dive in together!

Basics- Shadowrun 6th ed. uses the solid base of 5th edition.  Almost all rolls are: take an attribute (the stats of your character that range mostly between 1 to 6), add your skill ranks, and roll that many dice.  You then count the number of 1s and the 5s and 6s.  5 and 6 are successes and used to determine if you succeed, while if you have over half 1s, that’s a glitch and something bad happens.  Pretty simple.

What’s new with the basics-the BIGGEST change between editions is edge.  Edge is the magic cheaty story currency.  You buy pizza?  Get a point of edge.  You roleplay well?  Edge.  You’re the only player paying attention and you catch the plot hook?  EDGE!  What changed is now before every roll we check who has an advantage in a situation.   That side gains edge now.  You see in the dark and the opponent doesn’t? Edge for you!  What’s also changed is edge isn’t just rerolls now.  It’s much more an a la carte menu where you choose abilities, to change dice faces, and other crazy options.  Edge even powers new abilities. 

Combat-combat got more of a face lift with two sizable, but manageable changes.  1st, armor…is gone.  In 5th ed, I would roll to hit you.  You would roll to dodge.  If I got more successes (5s and 6s on the dice) than you then the difference would be added to the weapon damage.  You would then roll a soak roll.  Soak is reducing damage, and it was found by adding your body attribute to your armor value. You would roll that many d6s praying for 5s and 6s so you would not die!  In 6th ed, armor doesn’t provide damage reduction but instead provides a score to compare to guns to gain edge.  It means you roll much fewer dice and weapon damage is also down to compensate.  The second biggest change is actions in combat.  Before, in 5th, you would roll initiative and all characters would act from high to low.  After actions, you would subtract 10 from all scores, and characters with scores above 0 would act again.  This would result in multiple passes for fast characters moving at super human speeds.  Now all characters roll initiative as before, but depending on the number of d6s you roll you may gain additional actions.  Every character gets 1 minor action (things like run ) and 1 major action (thinks like attack and cast spells).  You can spend several minor actions to make a second major action.  This means you get fewer passes at the top of the round, but you also have a more stable initiative action order and action amounts.

Magic- magic changes, but it still follows the basics above.  Before you would choose how hard a spell would hit, now you just roll and if you get more hits, you increase magic effectiveness after the roll doing more damage or being more hidden based on your result.  Magic’s overall power did go down, but it also gained some significant ease of use, especially in regard to healing!

Technology-All the basics you loved before are here except streamlined.   You no longer need to MARC (put a tag on in game) computers or computer programs to take them over.  It’s also streamlined, with all matrix (think futuristic internet) actions being reduced to two basic skill pools.  It’s a lot quicker, and also means that you can do so during a fight rather than having to do all the hard work before a fight.  Also, all the naughty things you do online make the tracking score on your dirty deeds go up MUCH faster.  This means that a whole section of the game tracking how long until the matrix overwatch simply called GOD comes to smack you down now matters a whole lot more!

Mechanics or Crunch– Sixth edition is different, and that’s not bad!  Overall, the mechanics are still the same.  I liked 5th ed’s base mechanics, so 6th ed starts strong.  The changes that have been made are all made in the name of speed.  You don’t reroll init (speed), it’s easier to do hacking (speed), magic is a smaller number of steps (speed), and a whole host of other things.  These I really like.  All the choices here seem to have been really well thought out.  The things you won’t like are the loss of full crunch.  Numbers are smaller and there are fewer fiddly bits.  You can run a whole game of “Lasers and Love” where you do all the things in a Shadowrun game with just 1d6, but there isn’t a whole lot of crunch to that system.  You most definitely don’t hurl a dumpster of d6s at a problem any more.  That feels a bit wrong.  And there is the armor thing…. It’s small.  The logic has been explained to me by both the creator of the system.  It’s mathematically sound.  And it’s wrong.  It bugs me to high heaven that I can’t strap on a tank and take no damage from a pistol.  I gain a point of edge (of the maximum 2 I can earn each turn) for the tank I’ve strapped to my face but still take a crap ton of damage if I can’t roll a dodge worth a crap! 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff– Shadowrun always has good fluff, and this book is no exception.  That’s it.  I’m in Michigan, and despite all the horrors of the 6th World, this is the one future where Michigan has an economy!   5/5

Execution–  PDF?  Yep!  Hyperlinked?  YES! This book is done pretty well.  My main issues are some of the tables and the writing with them.  A key example of this is the table for racial maximums.  As you build a character, you are given extra points that you can put into special attributes like magic, edge, or some racial attributes like orcs are strong etc.  You have to manually find that.  It’s not hard when you jump onto the writer’s logic, but why?  Don’t make me five second logic puzzle out where my extra points can do.  Just put that in the chart!  There are a few times where those small puzzles come out.  Now this is a MASSIVE BOOK, so editing issues will pop up, but those things hurt teaching new players this game.  I live and breathe RPG, so that took me five seconds.  A few of my friends though?  It took multiple passes to make them understand if your score can go above six, then you can put the extra point there.  But, for the majority of the book, this is how you want to make a RPG book.     4.5/5


Summary-The sixth sixth world is here, and I like it!  This might not be a complete love affair as some minor things like tables and armor values murky my joy, but the changes together make a game that runs a WHOLE lot faster than before.  The one thing Catalyst can do extremely well is tell a crazy story about orcs with shotguns in downtown Detroit, so the story and fluff of this game is amazing.  The layout is good, with some minor issues that once you get past will work easily.  Is this a perfect system?  No, that can’t exist.  The changes that happened all happened to make the game run on a non geological time scale.  Will this make all fans happy?  No.  It’s got some differences that older fans just won’t grok.  Does it make me happy?  Honestly yes.  I look forward to playing in the sixth world as my decker hacks Elf eyeballs in the middle of combat in Jersey fully as a member of a team even if my armor doesn’t matter much! 93%

Daily Punch 4-23-20 and 4-24-20 Handgun to the face and Shotgun to the face combat feats for Starfinder

Been thinking about reactions a lot lately.  Why can’t I shoot you in the face if you get close?




You’ve worked hard to move your guns fast.

Benefit: You may make attacks of opportunity using one handed range weapons against opponents you normally could make a melee weapon attack of opportunity against.




You’re ready for those close encounters.

Prerequisite: Handgun to the face

Benefit: You may make attacks of opportunity using two handed range weapons against opponents you normally could make a melee weapon attack of opportunity against.

Daily Punch 4-22-20 Zap T1-T6 technomancer spell for Starfinder

How about an interrupt for our technomances in Starfinder?



School evocation (electricity)

Casting Time reaction

Range 20 feet

Targets one creature

Duration instantaneous

Saving Throw Reflex; Spell Resistance yes

As a creature comes within 20 feet of you, you shoot of a bolt of electricity at the target.  If the target fails a Reflex saving throw, it takes electricity damage depending on the level of the spell you cast.  If it succeeds, it only takes half damage.

1st: 2d6 electricity damage  + your Intelligence modifier

2nd: 3d6 electricity damage  + your Intelligence modifier

3rd: 5d6 electricity damage  + your Intelligence modifier

4th: 7d6 electricity damage  + your Intelligence modifier

5th: 9d6 electricity damage  + your Intelligence modifier

6th: 11d6 electricity damage  + your Intelligence modifier

Casting this spell doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.



Daily Punch  4-21-20   Instant Cure M1-6 mystic spell for Starfinder

How do people feel about instant spells here?


School conjuration (healing)

Casting Time reaction

Range 30 feet

Targets one living creature

Duration instantaneous

Saving Throw Will half (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

When a creature starts its turn or it takes damage, you heal and invigorate your target, restoring a number of Hit Points.

Instant cure restores a number of Hit Points to your target depending on the spell’s level.

1st: 1d4 + your Wisdom modifier

2nd: 3d4 + your Wisdom modifier

3rd: 5d4 + your Wisdom modifier

4th: 7d4 + your Wisdom modifier

5th: 9d4 + your Wisdom modifier

6th: 11d4 + your Wisdom modifier

Casting this spell doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.


Daily Punch 4-20-20 Zap cantrip for Pathfinder 2nd Ed.

Some of you loved it, and some of you hated it.  I still like the idea of more reaction spells.  Let’s put an option out there for a cantrip.  Fighters get to swing, why can you?


Zap                             Cantrip 1

Cantrip  Evocation Electricity
Traditions arcane, primal
Cast reaction
Range 20 feet; Targets 1 creature that enters the range
Saving Throw Reflex

With a quick flick of the wrist, you shoot a small dart of energy at a creature as it enters within range.  The target attempts a basic Reflex saving throw and on a failure is deals electricity damage equal to 1/2 your character level.

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Adventurer’s Backpack 

Product– Adventurer’s Backpack 

System-Castles and Crusades

Producer– Troll Lord Games

Price– 19.99 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/234183/Castles–Crusades-The-Adventurers-Backpack?affiliate_id=658618



Basics-It’s time for a solid player option book for CnC!  This book features TONS of new classes, spells, items, niche rules, and even a complete new magic system.  There is even a whole chapter dedicated to backpacks of tools each adventurer would need to do their job. How does it stack up?

Mechanics or Crunch– Ah old school… you provide us with gonzo options and allow the DM to do whatever they want.  The problem is, this is pretty rules-light for how some of the crunch works. A perfect example is the warrior priest.  That class has Cure Wounds which allows them to heal other characters. Awesome! I love it. But the rules don’t describe: do you roll once per day, or do you roll all hit points and then give them out as you want, or do you spend dice as you go?  I could hunt online and find the answer.  I don’t want to do that. I just decided and went with it. This is old school, so once the group decides, we roll with it. That’s the bad; the good is this book gives you new character classes, character options like spell casting rangers, paladins,and bards, lots of equipment options, spells, and all sorts of tools adventurers might need to fight evil.  It’s not perfect, but the flaws are all part of OSR rules’ light touch. The good is amazing and makes this worth the price. 3.75/5

Theme or Fluff–  I would not call this a fluff book, but I do think what is here is done well.  It mostly gives you ideas how the new things fit into the fantasy worlds of Castles and Crusades.  It’s world-agnostic in a decent way, so you could plug these into any fantasy world and have a fitting character.  I would like more, as I want to build out the world and campaign setting, but the book gives you enough that you can find the equivalent in your world and plug and play right away.  4.25/5

Execution–  PDF?  Yep! Hyperlinked?  YES! This book is well done.  It’s an old school game, but it’s modern design makes me happy.  It’s not perfect – I would like the font to be a bit larger, but this thing has all the things I think a modern book should have.  4.9/5


Summary-My summary of this book comes down to one very specific question-do you want more character options for CnC?  If yes, then get the book. It’s not perfect; I think things need another round of writing to fully explain what the writers wanted me to do in some spots, but if you can look past some small issues, you will enjoy this.  The fluff is decent. I want more, but it’s not bad. Just not the whole world laid bare. Physically, the book is done well. Links, layout, and text all work well. I’m glad this is in my collection, and I know my players are always happy to have this as a place to get spells, classes, and toys to help them put down evil.  86%