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Frandor's Keep
by Luke [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/25/2024 23:33:59

Disclaimer: My review is for running this as a replacement for B2 in Old-School Essentials and that factors heavily into my review. It's probably five stars for Hackmaster.

This is a tough four stars to rate, because the module is PACKED with content, quests, and dripping with character. I'll get the good and the great out of the way quickly:

Good:

  • Plenty of lore and characters

Great:

  • Maps
  • Visual aids
  • Bookmarked PDF

Negatives:

  • Don't like the setting: I've run five sessions in this setting and it clashes entirely with the worlds I like to run. The economy is scraping by, the characters are unforgiving, the quests are lacking a flavor and color of fantasy and wonder present in B/X and beyond. This is no longer a Keep that you can add to just any fantasy world without many modifications. That's always on the table, and anticipated by the module, but in this case I decided to run as-written and suffered for it. It's my mistake, but as-written I found it less enjoyable overall.
  • Huge upfront time commitment: This module provides a fantastic amount of content, but the problem is that it requires a lot of reading and retention in order to run the module properly. This is a plus for other DMs! But the size of the module and the sandbox nature demands a substantial amount of prep to familiarize yourself with its setting in order to drop players in.

Overall: Great organized module with plenty to gleam from for your Keep setting. However, after spending time with it, I don't think B2 is lacking anything that this provides, and will run B2 with a few stolen alterations and NPCs from Frandor in the future.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Frandor's Keep
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KoDT: Tales from the Vault vol. 5
by Lee [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2023 22:24:48

The Knight's adventures never fail to bring a smile to my face. You can see each disaster coming from a mile away, and that just adds to the overall enjoyment.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
KoDT: Tales from the Vault vol. 5
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Kingdoms of Kalamar 4th edition campaign setting
by Tyger E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2023 03:00:32

One of the best alternate campaign worlds for AD&D. Sadly, WotC, D&D 4E, and everything since has led me to the discuion to never purchase products from WotC (4E+). Even so, I really loved this campaing world written for earlier versions of AD&D/D&D.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kingdoms of Kalamar 4th edition campaign setting
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Hack, Slash & Two Smoking Goblins
by Bob V. G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2020 06:42:05

This is a fantasy gamebook solo adventure. It is six pages long and has 108 entries. It is on sale for $1.49. So, my only complaint is that it is a bit short. So, you are stuck in a dungeon and you are trying to get out. I explored three rooms, took some trap damage, and I eventually descended for 18 feet. At this point, I started using The Solo Adventurer's Toolbox. I found several monsters and a female human thief who was chained up. I was able to free her. On this level a total of ten rooms were explored and then we found the way out. I did enjoy the adventure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hack, Slash & Two Smoking Goblins
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Dangerous Denizens: The Monsters of Tellene
by Mark H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2018 16:52:57

A book that does what Kenzerco does really well: providing context to monsters, making them pop with personality and making them part of the Kingdoms of Kalamar, their setting. Lots of great ideas, though it's designed for the 3.5 game system, it's minable for material for other settings.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dangerous Denizens: The Monsters of Tellene
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Aces & Eights: Shootist's Guide
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2018 11:08:42

The product comes in two parts: a section contains new rules, noteworthy being the rules on mules (oddly left out of the core book) and expanded rules on horses, which was good. Production values were high, and the Big Game shot clock was an excellent add.

The second section a large variety of of new targete siloutess, and this is where the product fails miserably. First, sheer body count seemed to be the goal; why PCs would need the full tactical rules to shoot a rat, beaver, or a turkey is not clear.

But the biggest fasilure is that unlike the core book and free pack these silouettes are not simple line drawings, but ink cartridge killing art done in filled-in black and gray.

This feels like a pack of poorly-done targets added to errata to justify bulking up the price.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Aces & Eights: Shootist's Guide
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Aces & Eights: Gun Deck
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2018 00:52:21

Not a bad product, although they desperately need to include a blank card so users could add weapons.

They also used photos of some modern weapons, and had some serious typos, giving drastically wrong year models and mixing up calibers. But a little Paint fixed those problems.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Aces & Eights: Gun Deck
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HackMaster Basic (free)
by Cold C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2018 18:27:43

I've been looking for rules lite, which this isn't, but tight. Love the time keeping battle mechanic. Combat is very detailed without being a bit clunky. This is the most professionally concise game mechanics I've seen. Use this core for your campaigns and you will not be disapointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HackMaster Basic (free)
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City Map Folio
by Ken J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2017 12:53:15

The only negative is that every city is a walled city, not a historical medieval landscape.

The following are the names of the Cities included in this map collection

Key=City Name/Population/Kingdom/KoKA Map Page/Long-Lat/KoKA City description page number

KoKA=(reference page(s) in Kingdom of Kalamar Atlas)Cities of Kalamar KoKA=(reference page(s) in Kingdom of Kalamar Atlas)

AROROLETA 24,100 DODERA 313 38º50’N 2º10’W KoKA-54

BALELIDO 6,400 TARISATO 326 30º35’N 2º15’E KoKA-61

BANETA 16,000 PEKAL 346 40º30’N 6º10’W KoKA-60

BET BIRELI 10,600 O'PAR 348 42º55’N 0º50’E KoKA-57

BET DODERA 17,900 DODERA 366 40º40’N 0º5’E KoKA-53

BET ROGALA 20,900 PEKAL 347 42º10’N 4º45’E KoKA-58

BET SEDER 47,800 TOKIS 312 39º25’N 4º20’W KoKA-65

BET URALA 53,300 BASIR 315 35º30’N 6º20’W KoKA-51

DOULATHANORIAN 18,000 EDOSI FOREST 316 36º10’N 5º15’W KoKA-70

GAKETA 7,700 TOKIS 313 38º50’N 2º55’W KoKA-66

KABAKOSIKIDO 4,400 TARISATO 329 28º0’N 2º25’E KoKA-62

KALALETA 7,200 KALALALI FOREST 343 44º10’N 5º55’W KoKA-56

KARASTA 25,000 KALAMAR 323 33º30’N 3º25’E KoKA-72

OLOSETA 26,200 TARISATO 325 29º40’N 1º30’E KoKA-63

PIPIDO 4,300 TOKIS 347 41º15’N 3º45’E KoKA-67

ROSALETA 14,800 KALAMAR 321 32º30’N 1º45’W KoKA-47

SEGELETA 10,227 KALAMAR 317 35º25’N 2º10’W KoKA-48

SOBETETA 56,300 KALAMAR 320 31º30’N 3º40’W KoKA-49

U'RUDAKETA 16,100 TOKIS 312 38º5’N 5º5’W KoKA-68

Cities of the Young Kingdoms

ASHAKULAGH 6,650 NORGA-KRANGREL 345 42º50’N 10º30’W KoKA-87

BET KASEL 10,300 EK'KASEL 346 42º55’N 8º0’W KoKA-81

BETASA 13,970 EK'GAKEL 343 46º15’N 5º10’W KoKA-79

DIJISHY 6,446 ELOS DESERT 305 39º5’N 12º25’W KoKA-92

DIJISHY See Adventure lvl 8-14 "Lost Tomb of of Kruk-Ma-Kali"

KOREM 10,400 KORAK 342 44º30’N 8º35’W KoKA-83

MICLENON 15,700 ELOS DESERT 350 35º25’N 9º30’W KoKA-94

P'BAPAR 73,100 P'BAPAR 337 46º55’N 10º25’W KoKA-88

PROMPELDIA 15,800 ELOS DESERT 311 38º40’N 7º30’W KoKA-89

RINUKAGH 12,200 NORGA-KRANGREL 295 43º35’N 11º50’W KoKA-86

SHROGGA-PRAVAAZ 5,500 ELOS DESERT 315 37º0’N 7º55’W KoKA-95

SHYTA-NA-DOBYO 17,510 BRINDONWOOD 339 47º40’N 5º50’W KoKA-90 (not Shyna-na-Dobyo as printed in the City Map Folio-Bookmarks&Description)

SISALASIDO 3,700 EK'GAKEL 342 44º55’N 7º20’W KoKA-80



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City Map Folio
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DAWG: the RPG
by William L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2017 23:28:50

THis is a very neat game. To be clear, this is not dogs in waistcoats. This isn't "The Winds in the Willows" with talking animals stealing cars. This is playing dogs doing doggy things. You are defending your home, chasing cats, and running off strays. You are trying to please your human, or you are living the free life on the streets or out in the woods. It's a dog eat dog world...and you are striving to be top dog. The system itself has a nice level of complexity but is still easy to understand and quick to learn. It provides a wide range of types of dogs to play, and there is a great deal you can do to make your character unique. The book is not exactly beautiful, but it is very well laid out and nicely written. It has a tongue-in-cheek humor that comes across endearingly. I found myself chuckling at several points as I read it. I can see a lot of enjoyment from this game. So I recomemd going out and living a Dawg's life.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DAWG: the RPG
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Dijishy: The City of History (HackMaster edition)
by James B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2016 11:35:08

A highly detailed city setting, that is largely system-neutral. Although the expanded Grand Library mechanics featured in another module would have been a great addition, alongside the expanded food, drink, and weaponry common to the area, and a few pages of adventure hooks and more information on the waterway system would also have been iseful, there is still a lot of detail in this release. It inspired an incredibly fun campaign, and for that I recommend it highly. Nowhere near as 'fantastic' as the other city guides - very mundane in all its developments, but... that isn't entirely a bad thing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dijishy: The City of History (HackMaster edition)
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Kingdoms of Kalamar: Player's Guide to the Sovereign Lands
by Carl P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2015 20:15:36

I am not really sure how to rate and review this product. My thought process varies on whether this is the first time one has come by this material.

For those who already own the physical copy the added material doesn't really make this worth while. The only really new stuff seems to be the whole Adventuring chapter which has the information that I would have loved to have read in the physical. Everything else seems mostly or closely the same.

For those who don't have the physical and this is the first time reading the material than its a 10 on the rating, it has a lot of interesting and useful and setting enhancing material.

Personally, for me, I am not entirely sure the purchase was necessary. I seemed to have only gotten one chapter out of it that is different from the book on my shelf. A chapter that I would most eagerly buy as a standalone rather than as a tiny part of the massive file which I won't use since I have the book. Because of this I am not sure it was a good purchase.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kingdoms of Kalamar: Player's Guide to the Sovereign Lands
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The Root of All Evil
by Brent H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2014 14:17:32

i enjoy seeing some of the old games, like 'Root of all Evil', restored on PDFs. The entire game package was included. The only minor problem was the pages of a gray background / edging. This does interfere with reading the information on the screen and describing details just cannot print out the maps very encomically - lots of ink printing that gray background / edging. But it is a good way to prevent abusing the low cost of the game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Root of All Evil
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Raid on Bokagna
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2014 06:27:46

A straight forward dungeon bash, with the only twist being that the inhabitants are gnomes rather than goblins or whatever. The scenario is written for 1st to 3rd level orc characters, but they could be anything, so long as they're evil. Change the gnomes to some other race, or tweak their alignments, and the PCs don't even have to be evil. (This would, naturally, require some alteration to the encounters, but to be honest, not very much.)

There is a page of advice at the end on how to play orcs, although it doesn't really address the question of 'evil' acts in play - orcs, it seems, aren't really all that different from some PCs, only a bit more cowardly.

It's all competently written up, well illustrated, and properly laid out. But at the end it's a dungeon bash no different from any other, and not quite as 'different' as it would like to be.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Raid on Bokagna
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KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 6
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/22/2014 21:38:16

Bundle of Trouble Volume 6 continues the fine tradition set up by the previous strips. In this volume, the reader is treated to the progression of the 'Bag World' storyline resulting in B.A. facing a HackMaster Audit at the request of his players (in which Weird Pete interrogates his game notes), a return to the the previously defunct SpaceHack campaign, and a trick from Nitro Ferguson that has the Knight LARPing in a biker bar (with unsurprising results). As always, it is frightening to see how many of the Knights mirror my normal gaming group, but that has always been a part of the appeal. Jolly Blackburn has a keen eye for the hobby and it is wonderfully translated into this comic.

If you are unfamiliar with KoDT (shame on you!) or a long-time fan, these volumes represent excellent value not only in terms of price point, but also the enjoyment of reading these stories in full in one sitting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
KoDT: Bundle of Trouble vol. 6
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