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The Second Black Dawn
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/31/2019 20:05:55

With a fresh new cover updated right after Marco sent me The Second Black Dawn, this adventure is an excellent snag for anyone looking to grab a newer and more mature intro to D&D. As I was reading it, I kept getting feelings of Warcraft II, Diablo, Wheel of Time, The Black Cauldron, and other classical fantasy books and video games. With excellent layout, well balanced combat and roleplay encounters, and a cast of NPCs that truly make the players want to connect and get invested in the adventure; Marco has done an great job of taking those features of European game-making - heavy storytelling, heavy action, heavy adventure, and close attention to visuals - to the greater D&D world.

The only downside to this adventure is I think at points there is so much lore that it feels more like an intro to a campaign setting - and while it is nuetral enough to fit in any D&D setting (Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Ravenloft, and Ravnica) I really feel like it could do so much more as a full-blown campaign setting with the adventure on the side. Overall, it is a wonderful project that I think everyone should take a look at.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 15



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Second Black Dawn
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Racial Archetypes: Vol1
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/31/2019 19:53:21

Zac sent me this product to review alongside Clergy Archetypes - and I cannot say that I was disappointed at all. Both are excellent add-ons for the upcoming Avernus release in September, but I think that Racial Class Archetypes: Volume 1 takes the cake. Originally, I used to hate the idea of race-based class prerequisites - where was the fun in that? However, I have come to find that with this product, Zac really pulled me back into enjoying some "limiting" of gameplay.

There are a bunch of new options in here - no joke, I am serious - but I gotta give it up to the Path of the Howling Horn for tiefling barbarians. Yes, I said tiefling barbarians. That's usually not a combo you see in games, but now with this race-specific option, your roleplay window busts wide open. You could either play as a tiefling giving into the rage of Geryon and his infernal influence, or one using that rage for the greater good. It's just fantastic. The College of Consecration for aaisamar and College of Desecration are close seconds though.

Overall, the only downside to this is wanting to see more - I wanted more classes and more new races (the Writhen are not to the trifled with, let me tell you), but at the end of the day, I am pumped to use these in a Avernus game coming up.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 18



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Racial Archetypes: Vol1
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Clergy Archetypes
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/31/2019 19:44:28

When Zac sent me Clergy Archetypes to review, I was already excited. I feel like religion in D&D games is one of the coolest themes to explore and easily one of the best roleplay catalysts in a game. However, the only base classes that have anything to do with religion are Cleric and Paladin - and Zac fixes that. While there is the Oath of the Church for the Paladin - which transforms them from heavily armored religious crusader to more of a warrior monk (which is a change I heartily enjoy) - you also get the College of Evangelism for the Bard and the Inquisitor for the Ranger.

I think my top pick is definitely the Inquisitor - A) for the memes, and B) for the fact that nothing has really ever drawn me to Ranger before as a class until this new Archetype. Divine Mark makes the usual Hunter's Mark even more badass, and overall, the concept of a stalking hunter searching for heretics expands the roleplay pool so much. The only downside is that I would have wanted to see more archetypes for other classes, but overall Zac did an excellent job fitting some awesome new player options into 6 compact pages.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 18



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clergy Archetypes
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Backgrounds of Faerûn: The Blood of Gruumsh
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2019 19:36:25

I love orcs - like it may be a problem, I love them so much. Their tribal culture, their warring ways, and their outcast life has always been a draw to me, and what Bryan has done is take probably my favorite fantasy race and brought them into a whole new light. With excellent new subraces and backgrounds, the orcs finally get the love they deserve. I truly enjoy the Ondonti - their agrarian and libertarian lifestyle singing true to my inner conservative New Hampshirite. The only thing lacking is some original art or some special visual formatting which I think would add to the effect, but overall Backgrounds of Faerûn: The Blood of Gruumsh is another excellent entry in the Background series.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 19



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Backgrounds of Faerûn: The Blood of Gruumsh
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Backgrounds of Faerûn: Children of the Planes
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/24/2019 20:22:02

Planar lore is always a pull for me - planar races? Yes please! Backgrounds of Faerûn: Children of the Planes is an excellent product with tons of new subraces and backgrounds to add to your game - most particularly in the cases of the tieflings and aisamar. Bryan has done an excellent job balancing and weaving together lore of the known planes to bring in some excellent options: such as the terrifying Tanarukk (who I am definitely going to play as later down the road) or the new Virtue Aisamar.

But what Bryan also does is consciously root each of these new subraces and backgrounds firmly in the established lore of Forgotten Realms - making even the most stringint rules-lawyer fume and grasp at straws when trying to argue why they shouldn't be able to be playable. The only issues I have with the product is that I feel there is a lack of art, and there are a couple minor typos.

Overall though, Backgrounds of Faerûn: Children of the Planes is an interstellar (see what I did there?) supplement that in just 26 pages boosts play potential by a metric planar ton.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 18



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Backgrounds of Faerûn: Children of the Planes
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Backgrounds of Faerûn: Nations of Destruction
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2019 20:56:12

Anyone who knows me knows that I love me my monstrous races - and this supplement by Bryan Holmes just hits the perfect place in my soul. With tons of new subrace options and new backgrounds - as well as some expanded lore and explanation of how exactly the subraces came to be - Backgrounds of of Faerûn: Nations of Destruction is an excellent addition to anyone's Forgotten Realms library, or just their collection in general.

My top new subrace from this collection is the Verbeegs - A) they big, B) they natural story tellers, C) their background of Travelling Swindler is perfection. Definitely going to make a fantasy Han Solo-esque Verbeeg down the road. Plus, it is part of the larger Backgrounds of Faerûn series, so there is plenty more where that came from.

The only downsides are that many of the tables are a little hard to read with some awkward spacing, several of the pictures are very grainy or seem a little misplaced, and I feel like it could do well with some original art to help beef it up and add to it, or even some accents on the pages to add to the feel.

Overall though, Backgrounds of of Faerûn: Nations of Destruction adds the monstrous spice that you didn't know you needed at your table. So go ahead and dive into a whole new world of honor, savagry, and blood.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 17



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Backgrounds of Faerûn: Nations of Destruction
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Devil's Advocate: A Guide to Infernal Contracts
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2019 17:43:34

Tahm Kench, Asmodeus, Lucifer, Dr. Fascille, Usrala. All of them have contracts, all of them have fine print. All of them have a cost. What Justice has done is take one of the oldest narrative plots - the infernal contract - and finally given it player/DM-friendly mechanics to easily adapt it into any D&D game. There is so much packed into just 24 pages: original art, the various types of contracts, ways to break them, a sample contract, and several useful appendices.

I especially love the little Latin conversion table at the end for adding to the contracts - cause obviously devils are highly cultured and speak Latin, duh. The other various tables for adding to the contracts also add a lot of roleplay and mechanical potential - but overall I love that there is so much fun (both dark and light) embedded in this little gem.

Overall, Justice has wowed me with a stellar and fantastic little piece that truly captures everything someone would need to add that extra layer of infernal complexity to any game.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: Nat 20



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Devil's Advocate: A Guide to Infernal Contracts
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Creator Reply:
Thank you Cameron! I'm glad you enjoyed the product. I enjoyed the Latin phrases as well. Finally those 3 semesters in high school paid off for something!
The Mourned: A Playable Undead Race
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2019 17:21:38

The chills I got down my spine when I first ever watched the Wrath of the Lich King trailer for World of Warcraft have never been bested, until I was reading The Mourned. With the amazing four subraces for the mourned, as well as new racial feats and backgrounds, Chris has yet again blown me away with what he can fit into 16 pages.

Vampires are cliche, zombies are gross, and I am pretty sure if you tried to pawn off a lich character at the table your DM and players would condemn you to eternal hellfire. But with the Abiding One, Arcanomort, Dust-bound, and Night-gaunt - the mourned gain so much variety. I especially like the Abiding One, especially because of the roleplay potential they have since they are not allowed to speak.

The only thing I wish was there was maybe some new class options for the Mourned or just for everyone. Overall, The Mourned: A Playable Undead Race add excellent spice to the roleplaying field and a breath of fresh air - or should I say musty air - to the often stagnant race pool.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 19



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mourned: A Playable Undead Race
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Good Country Dyin'
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2019 16:51:50

This adventure, at first seeming like more of a run-of-the-mill dark macabre operation, unfolds into something far more complex and interesting. Good Country Dyin' becomes one part Walking Dead, one part Universal Soldier, and one part Agatha Christie murder mystery as the players attempt to discover the truth around the moldering Two Moon Ranch which seems to have everyone interested in it.

An easy fit for anyone looking to spicy a game up or needing to fill a night where folks want a break from the usual campaign - Marc has done a stellar job of taking everything great about D&D and everything great about suspense horror - using elements of the greats like Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child and Stephen King to name a few - to build a superb little one-shot.

With only some minor visual issues - some of the images are formatted a little wierd and seem to be half transparent and then solid - the only other thing I think that the game suffers from is a need for some more original art here and there, or some stylized headers to really get the feel of the adventure into the bone. Otherwise, a stellar and exciting supplement.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 17



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Good Country Dyin'
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The Shanty of Boldbeard's Pride
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2019 16:30:19

This little adventure pulled so many of the strings of the metaphorical mandolin I play that I can't help but adore it. While it indeed is rather morbid at points and obviously meant for an older group of players, I cannot help but see this as a perfect adventure to introduce young kids into the world of D&D with a "Yarhar!" and "A bottlarum!" to go along with it. With intrigue, high-seas swashbuckling, and a little spritz of horror - The Shany of Boldbeard's Pride has all the pirate - a unique and interesting crew that border on comedic, a terrifying ship, and the overall ancient legend of the bucaneer Boldbeard. I especailly love the fact that Jimmy created the game Liar's Dice within the adventure to add that additional layer of immersion - I am definitely stealing that to use in another game. At the end of the day, this is a fantastic product that is easy to run and easy to fall in love with.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: Nat 20



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Shanty of Boldbeard's Pride
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Call from the Deep
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2019 15:59:35

If you as a DM turn away from this adventure - you are missing out SOOOOO much. As most folks know, I tend to not run prewritten adventures or campaigns, thinking they often hinder story and open narration - however, there are often those that stop me in my tracks and forcefeed me my words with a forklift. Call from the Deep is one of those such campaigns, cause sweet ilithids it has it all.

Pirates? Check. Eldtrich horror? Check. Swashbuckling adventure? Check. The wrath of the elements? Check. Need I go on? What JVC Parry has created with Call from the Deep is an evocative, terrifying, and kickass campaign that will suck anyone in with its glorious gleaming tentacles. From the start of the campaign with a high-stakes sahuagin attack at sea, to the beginnings of intrigue-ridden roleplay that gradually grows as you adventure through the Pirate Islands - also a shoutout for the awesome Davy Jones and Spelljammer Easter eggs in there - to the tumultous final confrontation, you NEED to play this one.

Overall, Call from the Deep emulates so much of what I love about D&D: genre-smashing, high stakes adventure, flowing plots with plenty of room for improvisation, and a ton of passion behind the ship's wheel.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: Nat 20



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call from the Deep
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Anthology: Comprehensive Equipment
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2019 15:51:17

Every once in a while, you run into those players who really like to have a hyper-realistic game, and even I as a DM sometimes struggle with knowing what to do with those kinds of players - cause they aren't the only ones who want that. Very often when players want to buy homes or invest in property or business or get a mount/pet, I am left hanging cause there aren't any mechanics for that. Well, what Randall Right has built with his Anthology: Comprehensive Equipment is fantastic.

My top two are the Comprehensive Wealth Manual and Animal Handling Manual - mainly because I have had so many more encounters with stalls in gameplay related to these two specific topics. The Wealth Manual not only covers issues of owning, buying, and selling properites/businesses/assests and the like - it also gets into building and establishing armies, and even develops a whole rule system to building and creating properties at your own pace. The Animal Handling Manual is chock full of excellent mechanics to help not only players but DMs as well. With chapters on managing animals as NPCs, mounts in combat, and also managing them in the party, it allows for the constant want to unique animal companions to flow and work easily.

The Comprehensive Equipment Manual covers all the bases for keeping a rigid and grounded equipment pool - with options for stuff beyond your basic rations and adventurer's gear: such as vehicles, firearms, and even working in cool concepts and ages like The Jade Throne or Metal Poor Apocalypse. And with the Expanded Special Feature Manual, it takes that small section from the DMG and turns it into a full-blow supplement with tons of awesome mechanics for building games, settings, and encounters: for instance the History tables to discern the how the history of a region/continent/item was created and/or is held.

Overall, what Randall has put together is a boon to all DMs and players who want to Nolanize their games and ground it in reality just enough to make it feel truly innovative and interesting.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: Nat 20



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Anthology: Comprehensive Equipment
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Warriors of Sehanine
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/21/2019 16:53:01

I usually am not a huge fan of prewritten adventures - I tend to rarely use them and just build my own. However, Warriors of Sehanine is so amazingly beautiful and evocative and engaging that I will definitely see me breaking that long stretch of not using adventures. There is so much that is right with this adventure: absolutely stunning art, thoroughly developed plotlines and encounters, wonderful maps, and so much replay potential.

With the powerhouse trio that Emmerich, Parry and Warren display, it is a wonder that this adventure is not a Wizards published product: their attention to detail, layout, organization, and feel is stellar - and what makes it even better is that you can use Warriors of Sehanine as either and introduction to D&D or plop it in the middle of a game when you need a little something to spice things up and then you will have all you need right there.

But I think what I love most about Warriors of Sehanine - without giving anything away - is the dedication to storytelling. The characters and scenarios feel real and believable, and harkens back to the old days of D&D when narrative storytelling and roleplaying was the core of the game rather than large stat blocks and clunky mechanical endeavors.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: Nat 20



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warriors of Sehanine
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Weird Stuff I Found On The Dungeon Floor: A Guide to Unique Magical Items and Their Construction
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/21/2019 07:35:24

Something I have always struggled with as a DM is how to handle dishing out loot - especially magical items - without breaking the game and in turn making my players 1980s action heroes able to wade through swathes of enemies while their biceps glow with sweat, brandishing their +3 vorpal swords. Maybe a little much - but you get the picture.

With what Isaac has created in Weird Stuff I Found On The Dungeon Floor: A Guide to Unique Magical Items and Their Construction is a boon to every single DM on the face of this planet. It offers advice on building magic items, how to make it so they don't break your game, and even gives 100 sample low-level magic items to use. I honestly really like the Bagged Garden: "This bag opens up into a small 3 by 3 foot plot of land, this land is fertile and can grow herbs, and plants as well as small berry bushes. The garden can be closed back up and everything within it will be maintained. The bag provides sunlight or darkness to plants within, but not both. Water and garden maintenance are still required." Dunno whether it's the gardener in my genetics or something else.

Anywhose, it's stuff like that - practical magical items - that are pocketed across this document, as well as totally badass ones. But it really helps that at the end of the supplement there are tables listing the items, their type, and whether or not they need attunement. Overall, a stunning and much-needed product that will help any DM in a pinch.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: Nat 20



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Weird Stuff I Found On The Dungeon Floor: A Guide to Unique Magical Items and Their Construction
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The Tomb of the Dwarven King
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/21/2019 06:54:12

The Tomb of the Dwarven King is everything a DM needs to introduce players to the world of D&D in eight succinct pages. Well written, easily laid out, and with an interesting prescense made to pull new players in, this adventure is enjoyable and interesting. It can serve as either an introductory one-shot, or can tie into the beginning of Lost Mine of Phandelver (the adventure in the D&D Starter Set). I think the only thing lacking from this adventure is maybe some alternate class options so as to introduce new players to the concept of class supplements, but otherwise it is an excellent little adventure and won't kill your printer.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 18



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Tomb of the Dwarven King
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