Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Starfinder Society Intro: Year of Fortune’s Fall

Product– Starfinder Society Intro: Year of Fortune’s Fall

System- Starfinder

Producer– Paizo

Price– $6 here https://paizo.com/products/btq02eg2?Starfinder-Society-Intro-Year-of-Fortunes-Fall  

TL; DR-Welcome to the sixth season! 90%

Basics– LET’S GO TO THE… museum?  The Starfinder society is partnering with many different groups to show off artifacts of the past.  What wonders will be shown, what friends will be made, and who might want to mess with this display?  

Mechanics or Crunch– Paizo has a solid adventure here, with a decent balance of talking and combat.  The flow is mostly talking for the first half and then combat for the second.  There are a lot of NPCs to sway, so combat might get a little bit left to the side as its really only two fights.  That said, it’s done well.  4.5/5

Theme or Fluff–  This is a one building adventure.  You really only spend time in one museum for the entire adventure, schmoozing with different people learning about things that  will happen later in the season’s adventures.  That is pretty standard for the first adventure in a Starfinder Society season.  My one issue is the adventure is pretty short.  Most of the time I run this it’s less than three hours for a five hour session.  The players have fun and the story is decent.  Overall, its a good addition to the first adventures of each season. 4.5/5

Execution– PDF? Yep.  Hyperlinked?  Yep. Solid Art?  Yep.  Good layout? Yep!  This is what I expect from a Paizo adventure.  Things are not perfect, as they give good pictures for everything except for one enemy type, so you will need your own picture.  It’s not bad by any means, but it’s one small thing.   4.5/5

Summary– This is a fun adventure.  It’s short and a little unbalanced in story tempo if you are a combat monster, but overall it’s a good one.  I had fun, and so did my players.  It’s not perfect, but definitely one that I will be gladly running for multiple groups this year!  90%

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Dungeon Crawl Classics Dying Earth #1: The Laughing Idol of Lar-Shann

Product– Dungeon Crawl Classics Dying Earth #1: The Laughing Idol of Lar-Shann

System- DCC RPG

Producer– Goodman Games

Price– $7 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/393055/Dungeon-Crawl-Classics-Dying-Earth-1-The-Laughing-Idol-of-LarShan?affiliate_id=658618  

TL; DR-Solid adventure with a bit of crazy ending. 97%

Basics–  Who wants a drink?  Drawn to a small town where a particularly special liquor is made, you find a massive idol barking orders.  Can you find the liquor before the idol counts down to… something?

Mechanics or Crunch– Ah first level Goodman Game scenarios!  These guys know their mechanics, so everything is solidly done with the right amount of random and fun monsters to fight.  My players and I all had a blast killing monsters, searching, and finding the secrets of the idol.  5/5

Theme or Fluff– Overall this is fun, but I feel the ending gets a bit off.  There are a ton of fun in this  adventure and has some crazy turns that are just perfect for the Dying Earth.  There is one problem with the adventure.  I won’t spoil anything, but I feel like one enemy would not attack the players at the end.  That said, if you run it how you want, it won’t be a problem!.  4.5/5

Execution– PDF? Yep.  Hyperlinked?  Yep. Solid Art?  Yep.  Good layout? Yep!  This is what I expect from a Goodman Games adventure.  Solid work Goodman games!   5/5

Summary–  Ah crazy Dying Earth fun.  This with all the other adventures makes me want to read more Vance.  I love the crunch and the design, but I have a few issues with the ending.  That said, you write your own story as the Judge, so fix it on the fly!  This is a solid adventure that I loved, and I think you will too!  97%

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Dungeon Crawl Classics Dying Earth #0: The Black Obelisk

Product– Dungeon Crawl Classics Dying Earth #0: The Black Obelisk

System- DCC RPG

Producer– Goodman Games

Price– $7 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/393054/Dungeon-Crawl-Classics-Dying-Earth-0-The-Black-Obelisk?affiliate_id=658618 

TL; DR-Short and Sweet! 97%

Basics–  Time for the trip!  You are all traveling for a possibly once in a lifetime religious trip across the dying earth.  Will you survive and thrive or will you die along the way?  What will your god have to say about the things you do along the way?

Mechanics or Crunch– This is a fun multichoice adventure, but it’s short.  There are three paths the players can take, but the paths might need a bit more.  I like what’s here, but if your players don’t roleplay a ton, you will get this done in about two hours.  That’s pretty short!  4.5/5

Theme or Fluff– This does feel like DCC, and now I want to read some Vance.  I didn’t read a ton of Jack Vance before this.  I know its where DnD magic comes from, but that was the extent of my knowledge.  After reading this, I feel its themed enough to feel like a DCC funnel as I kill loads of PCs, but I also feel like I want to learn more about the world this comes from.  5/5

Execution– PDF? Yep.  Funnel?  Yep.  Hyperlinked?  Yep. Solid Art?  Yep.  Good layout?  This is what I expect from Goodman Games and a funnel.  Solid work Goodman games!   5/5

Summary–  This was a fun adventure to get my players into the world of the Dying Earth.  Heck it got ME into the world of the Dying Earth!  I want to read more of this to get deeper in, so mission accomplished there adventure!  The crunch is good with the only real problem being the length of the adventure.  It’s not bad by any stretch, but it is short.  At a con on the last day, that might be a godsend for BOTH the GM and the players as you want to keep having fun, but you need a rest.  But, as a start, it’s a few points off.  That said, if my only real complaint about this product is I want more, then this is a solid product!  97%

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Treasure Vault

Product– Treasure Vault

System- Pathfinder 2nd Ed.

Producer– Paizo

Price– $56 here https://paizo.com/products/btq02eav?Pathfinder-Treasure-Vault

TL; DR-Make or buy something fun! 95%

Basics–  IT HAS POCKETS!  Treasure Vault is the TTRPG  equivalent of a Toys r Us Christmas catalog.  Lots of new toys for everyone to play with, from alchemists with new materials, to spell additions that give some extra umph to the fireball, or the fighter with the ability to add pockets to armor.

Mechanics or Crunch– Overall, this book has a solid crunch to the system.  There are lots of new toys that everyone can use and enjoy.  It’s an item book and the items fit with the rest of the toys in the rest of the system.  My one major issue is that some things are left out because they are covered in other books.  Tell me where those are from so I can check the rules out in those books.  It’s not a major thing but it’s enough so I was a bit confused on some new additions in this book and lead me to check out others books for the rules.  Also, the newer rules on crafting are good, but they reference things without giving enough background so I was a bit confused there on first read.  More links to the other materials and books would help.    Good stuff but enough confusion that I was a bit lost as I read through some of the sections.  4.25/5

Theme or Fluff– I was surprised by the amount of theme present in here! There is a framing device where a dragon and a kobold discuss the new items and materials.  It’s enjoyable!  In addition, all the new toys the book presents are honestly fun and more fitting to the world.  5/5

Execution– This is a slam dunk.  Solid layout, easy to read font, hyperlinks, and solid art all make this an easy and enjoyable book for anyone to use. Well done book craftsmanship. 5/5

Summary-This book is another solid addition to Pathfinder 2nd Ed.  The book is crafted well from a technical standing.  The new toys for players all feel fresh enough that players will enjoy them and they feel like they fit in the world.  Even the new things all fit well within the mechanics of the world.  My main issue is I would like more rules to help me understand how some things are used or how some things are done.  If you or your players want more items to spend that sweet, sweet GP on, or or more things to make, this is the book you need for Pathfinder! 95%

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Dragonbane Quickstart

Product– Dragonbane Quickstart

System- Dragonbane

Producer– Free League Publishing

Price– FREE here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/409397/Dragonbane-Quickstart?cPath=27806_43182?affiliate_id=658618 

TL; DR– DnD 5e, The Dark Eye, Call of Cthulhu, and for some reason Savage Words had an awesome baby! 91%

Basics–  Time for something different!  Dragonbane is a new edition of an older Scandinavian RPG.  Let’s look at this new yet old RPG!

Base mechanics-  This is the mix of 5e and The Dark Eye.  Everything is a d20 roll where you try to roll under a skill.  More skill ranks mean more likely to succeed.  The solid 5e parts are the notions of advantage/boon and disadvantage/bane.  It functions just like in 5e!  But even more fun is pushing the roll.  That’s exactly like Call of Cthulhu.  You failed a roll?  You can reroll, but things get worse if you fail. 

Combat, turns, and reactions-  Time for Savage Worlds to stride in!  Combat initiative is a deck of cards numbered 1 to 10, so not a perfect copy, but high card goes first instead of high roll goes first.  Players on their turn take an action and move like DnD, BUT you can instead interrupt another action to dodge or parry an attack.  You roll a d20 vs a skill level to attack or dodge and if you succeed, you deal damage or jump out of the way.  Damage is rolled like DnD, but armor reduces damage instead of adding to an AC.  When you act, you turn your card over until the next round starts.  When anything hits zero HP it’s down.

Willpower and magic- In addition to hit points, you also have will power.  Will power is kind of like MP in any other RPG.  You spend will power to cast spells and to do special abilities.  Some abilities and spells have levels where you spend more power you hit even harder.  And just like above, you roll vs your own skill to do the ability.

Ok, thats the basics!  Time for the review.

Mechanics or Crunch– The mechanics here are all the things I love.  Roll under is an amazing mechanic!  Advantage and disadvantage and d20 dice for fantasy are always a solid addition.  Cards are a fun way to do init that is not crazy hard to do, but different enough to be novel.  I love Final Fantasy and adding magic points in is a fun way for me to do something just a bit different.  I love what’s here for mechanics!  5/5

Theme or Fluff– This is the hard part for me about this book.  The pictures are good, the book has a simple adventure AND sample characters.  The worlds looks interesting, BUT there isnt any real discussion of the world and environment.  I like what I see, but I just wish I knew what it was about more.  3.75/5

Execution– This is a free, hypertext, PDF with an adventure, MAPS, characters, character art, and solid layout.  THIS IS WHAT I LOVE! 5/5

Summary-Just go get this.  It’s free and it’s well done.  This is all the toys I love in an RPG oneshot.  It’s got all the things I want in a solid book.  My one major issue is I want more worldbuilding.  That’s a problem I hope is solved in the complete book, so I can’t suggest this enough!    92%