Ben McFarland Archive

  • Occult Adventures This massive hardcover clocks in at a whopping 271 pages, though 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC and 1/3rd of a page decrease that down to 267 2/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Well, before we do, let me  deal with the confusion for a second that this review undoubtedly will cause. Yes, I usually only do 3pp material. This has several reasons: For one, I want to showcase the fringe of gaming, the evocative books that push the envelope. Secondly, I’m not particularly affluent, to say the least and want to reward the publishers that do send me their books. Well, I obviously *HAVE* to get the […]

    Occult Adventures

    Occult Adventures This massive hardcover clocks in at a whopping 271 pages, though 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC and 1/3rd of a page decrease that down to 267 2/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Well, before we do, let me  deal with the confusion for a second that this review undoubtedly will cause. Yes, I usually only do 3pp material. This has several reasons: For one, I want to showcase the fringe of gaming, the evocative books that push the envelope. Secondly, I’m not particularly affluent, to say the least and want to reward the publishers that do send me their books. Well, I obviously *HAVE* to get the […]

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  • Advanced Races Compendium This massive book clocks in at 338 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1.5 pages of SRD, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a colossal328.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Wait a second, though – A quick glance at the list of developers for this book will show you that I worked on this. I am writing this article since I was explicitly asked to by my readers. That being said, considering the sheer size of this book and my own involvement, I will not provide a point by point analysis of the content and also will refrain from adding a final […]

    Advanced Races Compendium

    Advanced Races Compendium This massive book clocks in at 338 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1.5 pages of SRD, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a colossal328.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Wait a second, though – A quick glance at the list of developers for this book will show you that I worked on this. I am writing this article since I was explicitly asked to by my readers. That being said, considering the sheer size of this book and my own involvement, I will not provide a point by point analysis of the content and also will refrain from adding a final […]

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  • Southlands Bestiary This massive bestiary for use with the Southlands campaign setting (but not limited to it) clocks in at 122 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of backer-lists, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 3/4 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 112 1/4 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   I was a backer of the Southlands kickstarter, but am otherwise not involved with this book. My review is primarily based on the softcover print version of this book, though I consulted the electronic version to verify e.g. presence of bookmarks and similar components.   This book is pretty much a sans frills experience – the brief version […]

    Southlands Bestiary

    Southlands Bestiary This massive bestiary for use with the Southlands campaign setting (but not limited to it) clocks in at 122 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of backer-lists, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 3/4 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 112 1/4 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   I was a backer of the Southlands kickstarter, but am otherwise not involved with this book. My review is primarily based on the softcover print version of this book, though I consulted the electronic version to verify e.g. presence of bookmarks and similar components.   This book is pretty much a sans frills experience – the brief version […]

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  • Southlands Campaign Setting This massive campaign setting-style book clocks in at 302 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 4 pages of ToC, 2 pages of KS-backer thanks, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 290 pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   I was a (hesitant) backer for this book’s KS, but otherwise unaffiliated with the production of this massive tome. My book is mainly based on the print version, though the electronic version was consulted for the purpose of determining electronic functionality of e.g. bookmarks and the like.   What do I mean by “hesitant”? Okay, before we dive into this book’s subject matter, a […]

    Southlands Campaign Setting

    Southlands Campaign Setting This massive campaign setting-style book clocks in at 302 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 4 pages of ToC, 2 pages of KS-backer thanks, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 290 pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   I was a (hesitant) backer for this book’s KS, but otherwise unaffiliated with the production of this massive tome. My book is mainly based on the print version, though the electronic version was consulted for the purpose of determining electronic functionality of e.g. bookmarks and the like.   What do I mean by “hesitant”? Okay, before we dive into this book’s subject matter, a […]

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  • Martial Arts Guidebook This massive supplement clocks in at 63 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 59 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Disclaimer: I was an IndieGoGo-backer for this book back in the day, but was in no other way associated with the production of this book.   This was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the behest of my patreons.   So, what do we get here: Basically, we get 6 schools of martial arts that teach so-called techniques. Techniques can be gained via a plethora of options: Number one would be the Martial training feat, which nets a […]

    Martial Arts Guidebook

    Martial Arts Guidebook This massive supplement clocks in at 63 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 59 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Disclaimer: I was an IndieGoGo-backer for this book back in the day, but was in no other way associated with the production of this book.   This was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the behest of my patreons.   So, what do we get here: Basically, we get 6 schools of martial arts that teach so-called techniques. Techniques can be gained via a plethora of options: Number one would be the Martial training feat, which nets a […]

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  • Advanced Races: Tosculi This installment of the Advanced Races-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   So, what are the Tosculi? Well, the simple reply would be that they are lethal wasp-people that sports a dread hivemind, nigh-sociopathic towards all but the members of their hive-cities…but much like NeoExodus’ Cavians, there are those that resist, the non-conformists – these hiveless tosculi, de-coupled from the free-will breaking militaristic society. Rules-wise, Tosculi get +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Cha, are small, have a movement rate of 30 ft. They also get 2 primary claw attacks at 1d3, +1 to […]

    Advanced Races: Tosculi

    Advanced Races: Tosculi This installment of the Advanced Races-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   So, what are the Tosculi? Well, the simple reply would be that they are lethal wasp-people that sports a dread hivemind, nigh-sociopathic towards all but the members of their hive-cities…but much like NeoExodus’ Cavians, there are those that resist, the non-conformists – these hiveless tosculi, de-coupled from the free-will breaking militaristic society. Rules-wise, Tosculi get +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Cha, are small, have a movement rate of 30 ft. They also get 2 primary claw attacks at 1d3, +1 to […]

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  • Bite Me! The Gaming Guide to Playing Lycanthropes This massive book clocks in at 126 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page backer-thanks, 3 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 113 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   But first, before we do, let me mention something: This massive book is basically a compilation of material I have already reviewed…at least, for the most part: We have the lycanthrope-archetypes, the wereblooded races, the skindancers and the excellent advice/rules-book on actually playing lycanthropes and how to handle them in your campaign – I have already covered, in extensive detail, mind you, all of […]

    Bite Me! The Gaming Guide to Playing Lycanthropes

    Bite Me! The Gaming Guide to Playing Lycanthropes This massive book clocks in at 126 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page backer-thanks, 3 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 113 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   But first, before we do, let me mention something: This massive book is basically a compilation of material I have already reviewed…at least, for the most part: We have the lycanthrope-archetypes, the wereblooded races, the skindancers and the excellent advice/rules-book on actually playing lycanthropes and how to handle them in your campaign – I have already covered, in extensive detail, mind you, all of […]

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  • Faces of the Tarnished Souk – An NPC Collection This massive book clocks in at no less than 323 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 314 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This review was moved ahead in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   Well, first of all, I will deviate from my usual take on detailed analysis of the individual pieces of content herein -why? Because that would take AGES and bloat this review beyond the page-count where this would have any semblance of help for anyone of my readers. Beyond […]

    Faces of the Tarnished Souk – An NPC Collection

    Faces of the Tarnished Souk – An NPC Collection This massive book clocks in at no less than 323 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 314 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This review was moved ahead in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   Well, first of all, I will deviate from my usual take on detailed analysis of the individual pieces of content herein -why? Because that would take AGES and bloat this review beyond the page-count where this would have any semblance of help for anyone of my readers. Beyond […]

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  • Advanced Races: Werelions This installment of the Advanced Races-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC/editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This installment kicks off with a short, general look at the race of werelions and does sport a short box of their role within the Midgard campaign setting, though you should be aware that the level of detail provided is far below what one has seen in similar installments of the series – which is somewhat a pity, since lion prides as a social union and their adaption to humanoid cultures would have made for an interesting playing ground, which […]

    Advanced Races: Werelions

    Advanced Races: Werelions This installment of the Advanced Races-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC/editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This installment kicks off with a short, general look at the race of werelions and does sport a short box of their role within the Midgard campaign setting, though you should be aware that the level of detail provided is far below what one has seen in similar installments of the series – which is somewhat a pity, since lion prides as a social union and their adaption to humanoid cultures would have made for an interesting playing ground, which […]

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  • Midgard Tales This massive adventure anthology is 198 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page backer-list/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 192 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Midgard Tales…an anthology with the goal of creating adventures to talk about. Not only are these supposed to be exciting, they are supposed to resound with the stuff of mythology, of being iconic in the truest sense of the world. This anthology is one massive book and thus, I will not go into as many details regarding the modules as usual, instead giving you a short heads-up regarding the respective modules. Also: I was a backer of […]

    Midgard Tales

    Midgard Tales This massive adventure anthology is 198 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page backer-list/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 192 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Midgard Tales…an anthology with the goal of creating adventures to talk about. Not only are these supposed to be exciting, they are supposed to resound with the stuff of mythology, of being iconic in the truest sense of the world. This anthology is one massive book and thus, I will not go into as many details regarding the modules as usual, instead giving you a short heads-up regarding the respective modules. Also: I was a backer of […]

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  • Advanced Races: Darakhul Ghouls The second in Kobold Press’ series of racial pdfs is 19 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   So what are Darakhul? well, they are a race that has haunted my twisted imagination ever since I had the good fortune of being able to read the closed Open Design “Empire of Ghouls” – essentially, Darakhul are intelligent ghouls that inhabit a subterranean, militaristic empire that constantly requires fuel in the form of flesh. Taking the idea of social predators up to 11, their empire can essentially be envisioned as a kind of blend […]

    Advanced Races: Darakhul Ghouls

    Advanced Races: Darakhul Ghouls The second in Kobold Press’ series of racial pdfs is 19 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   So what are Darakhul? well, they are a race that has haunted my twisted imagination ever since I had the good fortune of being able to read the closed Open Design “Empire of Ghouls” – essentially, Darakhul are intelligent ghouls that inhabit a subterranean, militaristic empire that constantly requires fuel in the form of flesh. Taking the idea of social predators up to 11, their empire can essentially be envisioned as a kind of blend […]

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  • Bite Me! Wereblooded Full disclosure: I was one of the contributing authors of the Bite Me!-kickstarter that also made this pdf possible. That being said, I had no hand in the creation of this pdf and consider my verdict not compromised in any way.   This pdf clocks in at 23 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC (which also mentions that the characters herein will not show up in the final book), 4 pages of SRD and 2 pages advertisement, leaving us with 14 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   As you have probably gleaned by now, this book introduces us to the race of the Wereblooded – […]

    Bite Me! Wereblooded

    Bite Me! Wereblooded Full disclosure: I was one of the contributing authors of the Bite Me!-kickstarter that also made this pdf possible. That being said, I had no hand in the creation of this pdf and consider my verdict not compromised in any way.   This pdf clocks in at 23 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC (which also mentions that the characters herein will not show up in the final book), 4 pages of SRD and 2 pages advertisement, leaving us with 14 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   As you have probably gleaned by now, this book introduces us to the race of the Wereblooded – […]

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  • Courts of the Shadow Fey This mega-module is 130 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a total of 123 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This mega-module Kobold-in-Chief Wolfgang Baur was originally released for D&D 4th edition, but I can’t comment on that once since I don’t have it – I only have the PFRPG-conversion done by ennie-award winning designer Ben McFarland. That being said – I’ll break my usual format for adventure-reviews – to pieces. I’m not going to go through this step-by-step – the review would become redundant fast and extremely long to boot. Instead […]

    Courts of the Shadow Fey

    Courts of the Shadow Fey This mega-module is 130 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a total of 123 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This mega-module Kobold-in-Chief Wolfgang Baur was originally released for D&D 4th edition, but I can’t comment on that once since I don’t have it – I only have the PFRPG-conversion done by ennie-award winning designer Ben McFarland. That being said – I’ll break my usual format for adventure-reviews – to pieces. I’m not going to go through this step-by-step – the review would become redundant fast and extremely long to boot. Instead […]

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  • Midgard Legends This supplement is 50 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page intro/patrons, 1/2 a page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 44 1/2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Humans have a desire for legends – they speak on some primal level to our own failings, to our dreams, hopes and aspirations and incite us to be the best we can. They daunt us with impossible tasks, offer symbolic and iconic obstacles, warn us away from the vortex of sins and destructive behaviors and touch us by speaking to the archetypical topics of our existence. In roleplaying games, however, this all too often translates into […]

    Midgard Legends

    Midgard Legends This supplement is 50 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page intro/patrons, 1/2 a page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 44 1/2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Humans have a desire for legends – they speak on some primal level to our own failings, to our dreams, hopes and aspirations and incite us to be the best we can. They daunt us with impossible tasks, offer symbolic and iconic obstacles, warn us away from the vortex of sins and destructive behaviors and touch us by speaking to the archetypical topics of our existence. In roleplaying games, however, this all too often translates into […]

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  • Are you up for some naval goodness? Why not take a look at   Pirates of the Western Ocean This companion-tome to the Kobold Press-project “Journeys to the West” is 48 pages long,  1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with  43 pages of content, so let’s check this out!   The pdf kicks off with memorable NPCs to add to your campaign, for example Ernst “Goldtooth” Galway (Rogue[Pirate] 13), who hides a grim secret, Evain “Sea-Bellows” Saol, a Sea Singer and his druidess gnome wife Ré Saol – pirates that actually can be considered a reliable good guy. Or take Keng Hakon, archivist/oracle from Kathay, whose […]

    Pirates of the Western Ocean

    Are you up for some naval goodness? Why not take a look at   Pirates of the Western Ocean This companion-tome to the Kobold Press-project “Journeys to the West” is 48 pages long,  1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with  43 pages of content, so let’s check this out!   The pdf kicks off with memorable NPCs to add to your campaign, for example Ernst “Goldtooth” Galway (Rogue[Pirate] 13), who hides a grim secret, Evain “Sea-Bellows” Saol, a Sea Singer and his druidess gnome wife Ré Saol – pirates that actually can be considered a reliable good guy. Or take Keng Hakon, archivist/oracle from Kathay, whose […]

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  • Today is a day to celebrate, at least for me: This review commemorates my review no. 1000 on Paizo, so thank you so much for reading my reviews, commenting on them and offering constructive criticism as well as placing trust in my verdicts: I bow to you ladies and gentlemen! Midgard Campaign Setting   This massive pdf is 298 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page patron list, 3 pages ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 289 pages of content.   This review is based on both the pdf for formal page-count etc. as well as the GORGEOUS full-color hardcover patron edition of the book – number 26 […]

    Midgard Campaign Setting (EZG review #1000)

    Today is a day to celebrate, at least for me: This review commemorates my review no. 1000 on Paizo, so thank you so much for reading my reviews, commenting on them and offering constructive criticism as well as placing trust in my verdicts: I bow to you ladies and gentlemen! Midgard Campaign Setting   This massive pdf is 298 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page patron list, 3 pages ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 289 pages of content.   This review is based on both the pdf for formal page-count etc. as well as the GORGEOUS full-color hardcover patron edition of the book – number 26 […]

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  • I’m going to take a look at one of the first fully VTT-compatible modules out there, not to mention that it’s penned by ennie-award winning designer Ben McFarland. If you don’t know it yet, it sounds like a black metal band and is just as hard-hitting, it’s   The Breaking of Forstor Nagar    This adventure is 48 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial and ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 44 pages of content, so let’s check it out! Disclaimer: I’m a latecomer patron this project. The first thing you’ll notice when taking a look at this adventure is its layout – Jonathan Roberts, cartographer extraordinaire, has also provided the stunningly beautiful […]

    The Breaking of Forstor Nagar

    I’m going to take a look at one of the first fully VTT-compatible modules out there, not to mention that it’s penned by ennie-award winning designer Ben McFarland. If you don’t know it yet, it sounds like a black metal band and is just as hard-hitting, it’s   The Breaking of Forstor Nagar    This adventure is 48 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial and ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 44 pages of content, so let’s check it out! Disclaimer: I’m a latecomer patron this project. The first thing you’ll notice when taking a look at this adventure is its layout – Jonathan Roberts, cartographer extraordinaire, has also provided the stunningly beautiful […]

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  • Tales of the Old Margreve   This adventure anthology/sourcebook is 113 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 107 pages of content, so let’s take a look at it!   The anthology sets the mood immediately via a two-page short fable about fey and beer and offers thus a great lead-in to the gazetteer-section on the Margreve, the ancient forest of Midgard, where both the wonder, strangeness, creepiness and awe of the forest come back to live and intermingle with the cruel Germanic and Slavic folktales. Both attitudes of the folk, their old ways and rites and customs and the global powers of the forest are […]

    Tales of the Old Margreve + web-enhancement

    Tales of the Old Margreve   This adventure anthology/sourcebook is 113 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 107 pages of content, so let’s take a look at it!   The anthology sets the mood immediately via a two-page short fable about fey and beer and offers thus a great lead-in to the gazetteer-section on the Margreve, the ancient forest of Midgard, where both the wonder, strangeness, creepiness and awe of the forest come back to live and intermingle with the cruel Germanic and Slavic folktales. Both attitudes of the folk, their old ways and rites and customs and the global powers of the forest are […]

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  • Hej everybody, Some of you might already know me, I go by the name endzeitgeist on the Paizo-boards and several other nerd-related ones and I have quite a bunch of reviews under my belt. With Open Design‘s anthology “Streets of Zobeck” winning an ennie, I figured it would be a good candidate for my first contribution to NERD TREK. Without further ado:   Streets of Zobeck This urban noir adventure anthology set in the by now legendary clockwork city of Zobeck is 94 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 blank page and 1 page back cover, leaving 88 pages of content, so let’s follow Ben McFarland’s advice and get gritty […]

    Streets of Zobeck

    Hej everybody, Some of you might already know me, I go by the name endzeitgeist on the Paizo-boards and several other nerd-related ones and I have quite a bunch of reviews under my belt. With Open Design‘s anthology “Streets of Zobeck” winning an ennie, I figured it would be a good candidate for my first contribution to NERD TREK. Without further ado:   Streets of Zobeck This urban noir adventure anthology set in the by now legendary clockwork city of Zobeck is 94 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 blank page and 1 page back cover, leaving 88 pages of content, so let’s follow Ben McFarland’s advice and get gritty […]

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  • The Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design is an intimidating and healthy 244 pages of collected musings, thoughts, insights and essays from a collection of industry names that should prove familiar to most gamers or would be designers looking to sit down and read through this book. At first glance, and yes by the assumption made from the books title, it would appear this book is strictly for the designers out there, a how to guide if you will, on how to make a successful game and thereby put your name on the map when it comes to the gaming industry. But looking through the chapters and essays contained within one discovers very quickly there is so much more to […]

    Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design

    The Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design is an intimidating and healthy 244 pages of collected musings, thoughts, insights and essays from a collection of industry names that should prove familiar to most gamers or would be designers looking to sit down and read through this book. At first glance, and yes by the assumption made from the books title, it would appear this book is strictly for the designers out there, a how to guide if you will, on how to make a successful game and thereby put your name on the map when it comes to the gaming industry. But looking through the chapters and essays contained within one discovers very quickly there is so much more to […]

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