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Palace of the Vampire Queen (Classic Reprint)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/23/2020 15:54:31

Full review with other Palace of the Vampire Queen related material here: http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2020/01/classic-adventures-revisited-palace-of.html

In the beginning, there was a belief that all DMs would naturally create all their own adventures and there was no market for pre-written ones. The only printed adventure out at this time was "Temple of the Frog" in Blackmoor. Seeing a need, the Palace of the Vampire Queen was written by Pete and Judy Kerestan. Yes, the very first adventure was co-written by a woman. The first edition was self-published, followed by a second and third edition by Wee Warriors (1976 and 1977) and distributed exclusively by TSR.

The "Dungeon Master's Kit" (module was not being used yet) presented a simple adventure with a singular goal; defeat the Vampire Queen. The plot, such as it is, is very thin even by the standards of what would later be the norm. The maps are fantastic, but the descriptions are little more than that; what's in the room in terms of monster and treasure. We get a background, the missing princess of the Dwarf King Arman of Baylor. Vampire Queen herself remains nameless.

The adventure itself is fairly straight forward. Go to the Palace, defeat the monsters and the Vampire Queen and save the Dwarven Princess.

Despite, or maybe because of, this limited background this adventure can be used anywhere with nearly every version of the game. I became aware of this adventure many years ago and it immediately went on to my "must find" list. Around 10 years ago I was able to get a copy and I ran it for a group using Moldvay Basic/ Cook Expert (BX) D&D. It was a lot of fun. There was no indication on how many characters were needed or what levels.

The adventure reminds me a bit of the Dungeon! board game. You walk the halls, kick in the door, kill the monster, take the treasure, repeat. Of course, this adventure is the first of such adventures so it gets a huge pass on this. There is a lot though here to keep any DM and party busy.

Since 1976 the adventure has had a few reprints. The first ones were by Wee Warriors. These prints regularly go for over $1,000.00 on eBay. There were two such covers, the "black" cover with a castle in the background and the "queen" cover, featuring the vampire queen herself.

Now today, Precis Intermedia has a new cleaned up reprint of the adventure.

This version of the adventure also preserves much of what made the original a classic. The PDF of this book has a "special feature" to show a reprint of the original NSFW art. The print copy is all paper, with the cover made out of heavier weight paper (like résumé paper). At 24 pages it might be the most faithful reproduction yet. While the cover is new art, the interior looks like the classic. No additions have been made to the text. The maps are cleaned up, darker ink and clearer to read.

At under $5 this is a great price for a piece of RPG history.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Palace of the Vampire Queen (Classic Reprint)
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Barbarians Versus... RPG
by David D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2019 06:47:48

Completely over the top fun. The mechanics and setting both strike a perfect balance between humour and functionality. It's good humour and good mechanics combined. In addition to facing down the alien lizardfolk and their high tech devices scenarios are also provided for battling greedy dwarven artificers and undead farm animals (zombie meat!) looking for revenge against the carnvirous barbarians.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians Versus... RPG
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Coyote Trail Enhancement Pack
by Rich T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2019 02:58:22

The Enhacement Pack has a few add on rules for Coyote Trail; A bunch of new Cliche options to customize your characters, rules for explosives in the game and three new ready to play character teplates; the Foreign Madam (brothel owner archetype), the Troubled Doctor (Seeking to quiet the voices of war patients he couldn't save) and the Woodsman Hunter (the mountain man type who only comes to town to sell his catches and resupply).

Best of all, you get a full game adventure! A wealthy gambler enlists the aid of the pc gang in finding a missing stage coach, his friend who was a passenger on it, and its cargo...confederate gold! It's a great one or two session scenario for just about any gang of PCs.

The material mostly appears in the revised Coyote Trail Expanded core rules, but if you're still running the original Coyote Trail or Shady Gulch rulesets, it's a great expansion. The adventure alone is worth the modest price!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Coyote Trail Enhancement Pack
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Swords & Six-Siders Companion
by Jerry L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2019 13:02:46

This addition to Swords and Six-Siders really makes an already great game even better. Many more optional features, classes, spells, monsters, etc. are introduced in this supplement, and it is packed with the old-school goodness you'd expect. Clerics and their accompanying spells are finally in the game, along with “Pathfinders", which remind me of Rangers --- sans magic. There's also Alignment (even for Intelligent Swords!), Languages, Beyond 6th Level, Strongholds, Hirelings, Familiars, Move Ratings, Criticals and Fumbles, Special Damage (asphyxiation, fire, etc.), Traps---with a ton of them already made up for you!, and several new monsters. With this Companion and the Swords & Six-Siders RPG you have almost everything you'd find in the other retroclones, but only needing 1d6 to pull it off instead of a full set of polyhedral dice! The thought of a 1d6-OSR anything seemed impossible in my mind ‘til I took this system for a spin. I'm SO glad I did! Everything is much simpler… combat, monster stats, you name it! Get Swords & Six-Siders and this Swords & Six-Siders Companion and dial back all the complexity but keep all the flavor for yourself! You absolutely deserve it!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Six-Siders Companion
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Supergame: Super-Powered RPG (3rd Edition)
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2019 20:23:49

Quite a bargin at $5, the Fudge dice I bought are more expensive (but you don't need Fudge Dice).

Somehow just the right level of detail. Love it. Especially love characters on an index card.

Does not include random character generation rules. But I didn't need them anyway.

BUY IT



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Supergame: Super-Powered RPG (3rd Edition)
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for taking the time to provide your thoughts.
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
by Itai G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2019 15:30:07

Good and interesting graphical design, good layout, and it's important to try and promote diceless gaming, although, I would have liked to see less lists and more fucus on directing good play around the table.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
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Exiled in Eris
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2018 13:47:48

This PDF is 173 pages (169 are the content). Artwork is ok, b&w. Exiled in Eris is Sword, sorcery and blaster fantasy. P15-24: Your character concept, involves: where you came from, Family background and Profession, and why are you in Eris. Artifact hunters are the general profession. Certain weapons and armour are restricted (only available to military and Noble houses). Exiled in Eris uses a D20 for tasks; other dice are used (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12). Races: Human, Cyberdroid, Dakazi, Deru, Drudge/Brux. Myrmidon/Orix, Savant/Ix. Attributes are: Strength, Stamina, Dexterity, Agility, Intellect, Wits, Charisma, Willpower. There are 16 skills, and 6 restricted skills.

Exiled in Eris does remind me a little of Mekton (first edition).. At £5.25/$6.95, it's worth a look.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exiled in Eris
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City in the Mirage (for Exiled in Eris)
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2018 13:43:25

This PDF is 42 pages, 40 are the content. Your party guide the scholar to some 'ruins'. Some encounters, a puzzle, etc. Not too bad. There are portraits of the NPCs; also Maps (some are quite small, need enlarging). Artwork is OK. Like the rulebook, this PDF gives me the 'Mekton' feel', in style, look, etc. Not bad for $5.00/£3.18. Worth a look.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City in the Mirage (for Exiled in Eris)
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MasterDeck Blank Cards (for MasterBook & Shatterzone)
by Craig H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2018 06:03:05

Great for when you want to add cards to tailor the Masterdeck for a specific genre or an idea you have for a campaign! The cards can easily be added or switched out for different genres or campaigns to capture a different feel. Same quality as the Masterdeck and subplot/plot development cards also sold on Drivethru. Thanks for making these available!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
MasterDeck Blank Cards (for MasterBook & Shatterzone)
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Swords & Six-Siders
by Stuart J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/02/2018 15:23:37

It's agood useable system, with a small amount of tweaking I've adapted it to a post apocalypse, alien invasion style game, simple but totally great basics for a mixed player age group



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Six-Siders
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Swords & Six-Siders
by Christopher C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2018 20:06:51

This is a super lite fantasy offering in the vein of 0-e of the original RPG. In it you will find ideas for the standard races and classes found in most fantasy games.

The games hook is that you use a single d6 for all rolls. This means attributes are generated with 1d6, tasks are performed the same way. It is a perfect way of doing things for a pick-up group or even a longer term set of sessions. It is lite enough to allow for quick play but has room to add things as you go.

Very fun and quite worth the read!

And lest I forget... there is a small group dedicated to this game forming up over on G+

https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/100500584349717966351



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks! I'll note that the group has moved to MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/sss
Swords & Six-Siders
by John A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2018 17:09:34

This rules-lite RPG is brilliant in its simplicity. Contained in these 60 pages is everything you need to play, gamemaster, and design your own monsters and adventures. Monster design and their tiny stat block are ingenious. Plus, I love Steve Robertson's art. It is a perfect match to his text, only detailed enough to be inspiring in its simplicity.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords & Six-Siders
by Jerry L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/23/2018 21:56:24

Swords & Six-Siders is basically a 1d6 version of the original role-playing game. It is dripping with old-school goo (that's a GOOD thing), from writing to art to the feeling of nostalgia just by reading it. No other dice are used except a good ol' d6, the most convenient type that is accessible in every home, even if you have to raid a dusty old board game tucked in a closet. Your standard races are present (Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Human) and there are three of the four familiar classes (Fighter, Thief, Wizard). No Clerics, but there is the Myrmidon class which is a compromise since they can fight and cast spells. Your level of play goes from 1-6, the equivalency of levels 1-12 in other OSR games. Monsters are handled so efficiently by the genius of using Monster Levels (ML) to determine their stats. No more extensive stat blocks followed by long-toothed descriptions. Combat's a cinch. Roll 1d6 +/- any modifiers and hit the opponent's Armor Class. Other things I like about the game is that any natural roll of "6" is a success and "1" is a failure. Yep, even the greatest heroes and foes have at least a 1-in-6 probability of flubbing, and the weakest still have a chance for success. This game is so easy to build your own adventures, races, and monsters for -- and with the forthcoming supplement license, we'll soon be creating and sharing our ideas enough to elevate this little gem of a game to new heights previously unimaginable. With enough buy-in from all of the great OSR gamers and authors (and there are a TON of you, FWIW), it should be a fun ride!

Disliked: Myrmidons instead of Clerics - easily remedied with the Supplement license... hint, hint ;) Liked: Everything else!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/11/2018 13:33:41

First, let's get rid of a common mistake. It's written diceless not rules-less. so it has rules, quite a lot in fact but they all circle the single identical idea of resource manageament. It's not that this is a bad idea at all, but for example you won't find the grand world-shattering competitive ways to roleplay that Amber introduced. Because yes you need to talk about Amber when you talk about diceless rpg.

So Active Exploits is not designed with a stable group of players in mind, there is no bidding process and all. Here you buy things, and there are quite a few to pick from: ABILITIES which are stats, there are 4 of them. ASPECTS namely luck and discipline which have base values according to game level of reality, SKILLS that you may take and a which level still according to reality level, GIMMICKS (as many as you want as long as the referee agrees) and PRINCIPLES like codes, faults and objectives. Creating a character is easy in fact, the reality level telling all you need, however it is not written in the most explicit way I've seen, but it's just my opinion. What is important is that it is quick, easy, but that players really need to be able to make the differences betwen all the differnt names given to all different possible values.

In fact the system is built upon the idea that you have a base value equals to ability + skill and that you need to burn points of bo uses (like luck etc) to get a sum that is over the target level. You can even spend XP spent on skills to get a temporary boost. It's quite crystal clear except that you need to make really sure players are aware of the many pools they can pick pints from. Especially with the advanced rules that introduces even more pools like flairs (say subskills), convictions, fields of expertise, threads linking characters.

The main problem according to me are these advanced chapters. Because you have character creation, system and combats THEN advanced versions of the same ones then others. All in all I love the way things get described with category after category enhancing game experience. But I must admit that this very depth is also the deepest flaw of the game system because it's easy to get lost and not being able to succeed because you fail at giving a reason why you could add this bonus or that one.

It is a very good game, not doubts. But there are so many resources to manage from that I wonder how far it is a playable game. You need a very committed group that will move farther, advanced option after advanced option. And that will be very difficult to introduce new players in the middle because of the sheer amount of variables to take into account when comes the moment to chose where you pick points from. I tried two games which is not a lot I admit, but each time we had to shatter that wall of "how I am supposed to do that?". In a typical dice-driven game you don't have it because you have clear values to add to a random die result. Here you never know if burning a point or a skill XP on that is useful or silly. On the first game I made all characters were quickly exhausted and succeeding difficult tasks became impossible, on the second one it was the reverse: nobody wanted to burn a dot and the story wasn't proceeding on.

I love this game but I don't know how to make it work properly in fact. How do you play a resource management system when you have no resources left or when no one does want to spend them? And it's the moment we get back to Amber...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
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Disposable Heroes Superhero Statix 1
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/15/2018 10:50:42

I was looking around for superhero paper miniatures. I tried a couple on DriveThruRPG and this one is the best of the bunch. High quality images formatted for inch squares. Nice selection of generic superheros. Comes with bifold and trifold (like TSR's Marvel Superheroes Fold Ups) versions. Definitely going to look at the publishers other offerings for other genres. If your looking for generic superhero miniatures this set is a solid 5 star.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Disposable Heroes Superhero Statix 1
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