Ismael Alvarez Archive

  • Liber Xpansion This massive expansion for Amora Game’s critically-acclaimed and criminally-underrated Liber Influxus Communis“-tome clocks in at a massive 98 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page thank you, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 91 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   This was a long time coming and the heartfelt dedication in the front of the book to a friend who has passed, Ryan Warrick Cramer, makes for a touching beginning before we take a look at 2 new classes presented in the first chapter.   The first of which would be the adventurer, who gains d8 HD, 6 + Int […]

    Liber Xpansion

    Liber Xpansion This massive expansion for Amora Game’s critically-acclaimed and criminally-underrated Liber Influxus Communis“-tome clocks in at a massive 98 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page thank you, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 91 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   This was a long time coming and the heartfelt dedication in the front of the book to a friend who has passed, Ryan Warrick Cramer, makes for a touching beginning before we take a look at 2 new classes presented in the first chapter.   The first of which would be the adventurer, who gains d8 HD, 6 + Int […]

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  • What Lies Beyond Reason #3: From the Ashes (5e) The third installment of the What Lies Beyond Reason AP clocks in at 72 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page KS-thanks, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 66 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This review was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.   First things first: As before, we receive scaling information, namely the required modifications to run this for 5th level characters instead of the 6th-level default. The pdf includes pregens.   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential […]

    What Lies Beyond Reason #3: From the Ashes (5e)

    What Lies Beyond Reason #3: From the Ashes (5e) The third installment of the What Lies Beyond Reason AP clocks in at 72 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page KS-thanks, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 66 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This review was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.   First things first: As before, we receive scaling information, namely the required modifications to run this for 5th level characters instead of the 6th-level default. The pdf includes pregens.   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential […]

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  • What Lies Beyond Reason #2: Ignorance is Bliss (5e) The second part of the What Lies Beyond Reason AP clocks in at 59 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page KS-thanks, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 53 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Now, as always, we do receive pregens included in this adventure; furthermore, while intended for characters of 4th level, though scaling information for 5th level heroes are included – for more ideas regarding scaling/structure and sidetrek insertion, the great Campaign Guide has you covered there.   The module also takes off the shackles of the AP – it represents the first free-form module […]

    What Lies Beyond Reason #2: Ignorance is Bliss (5e)

    What Lies Beyond Reason #2: Ignorance is Bliss (5e) The second part of the What Lies Beyond Reason AP clocks in at 59 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page KS-thanks, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 53 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Now, as always, we do receive pregens included in this adventure; furthermore, while intended for characters of 4th level, though scaling information for 5th level heroes are included – for more ideas regarding scaling/structure and sidetrek insertion, the great Campaign Guide has you covered there.   The module also takes off the shackles of the AP – it represents the first free-form module […]

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  • What Lies Beyond Reason #1: A Simple Job (5e) The first installment of the “What Lies Beyond Reason AP” (if you don’t count the optional prologue) clocks in at 61 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page KS-thanks, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 55 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This has been moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   All right, while intended for 2nd level, it should be noted that scaling information for level 3 are included; similarly, if you dislike magical airships/basic steamtech, the module does mention how to […]

    What Lies Beyond Reason #1: A Simple Job (5e)

    What Lies Beyond Reason #1: A Simple Job (5e) The first installment of the “What Lies Beyond Reason AP” (if you don’t count the optional prologue) clocks in at 61 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page KS-thanks, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 55 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This has been moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   All right, while intended for 2nd level, it should be noted that scaling information for level 3 are included; similarly, if you dislike magical airships/basic steamtech, the module does mention how to […]

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  • Amazing Weapons, Armor, and Equipment for 5th Edition Fantasy (5e) This item-book clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf was moved forward in my review-queue as a prioritized review at teh request of my patreons.   One thing I really enjoy about 5e would be the assumption that magic weapons and equipment is rarer and more wondrous. Conversely, this does carry some issues when looking at the equipment available for low- to mid-level characters, though, namely that the pretty restrictive array of tools and weaponry available restricts the customization options […]

    Amazing Weapons, Armor, and Equipment for 5th Edition Fantasy (5e)

    Amazing Weapons, Armor, and Equipment for 5th Edition Fantasy (5e) This item-book clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf was moved forward in my review-queue as a prioritized review at teh request of my patreons.   One thing I really enjoy about 5e would be the assumption that magic weapons and equipment is rarer and more wondrous. Conversely, this does carry some issues when looking at the equipment available for low- to mid-level characters, though, namely that the pretty restrictive array of tools and weaponry available restricts the customization options […]

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  • Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide to Vathak This Vathak-book clocks in at…436 pages. No, NOT kidding. 436. 1 page of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 427 pages of content. HOLY MOLY.   This massive book was moved up in my review queue as a prioritized review. Additionally, it was moved further up due to me getting a print copy. Finally, the reason you see this now, so shortly after release, is simple: I’ve had the WIP-version for more than a month and had sufficient time to tinker and analyze this book.   Vathak. Before we take a look at the content, a brief […]

    Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide to Vathak

    Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide to Vathak This Vathak-book clocks in at…436 pages. No, NOT kidding. 436. 1 page of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 427 pages of content. HOLY MOLY.   This massive book was moved up in my review queue as a prioritized review. Additionally, it was moved further up due to me getting a print copy. Finally, the reason you see this now, so shortly after release, is simple: I’ve had the WIP-version for more than a month and had sufficient time to tinker and analyze this book.   Vathak. Before we take a look at the content, a brief […]

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  • Deadly Gardens: Blood Rose Swarm (5e) The 5th edition conversion of the Blood Rose Swarm Deadly Gardens-installment clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1/2 page SRD, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We begin this installment with 4 different alchemical items: Calming pollen that can render plant creatures dormant for short periods, water purification drops and an oil that causes plant creatures to gain resistance to bludgeoning and piercing damage. (Erroneously called “damage resistance” in a minor nomenclature nitpick.) As something to keep in mind for GMs – with only a base price of 40 gp, this oil should not be available for campaigns featuring plant PCs – in the […]

    Deadly Gardens: Blood Rose Swarm (5e)

    Deadly Gardens: Blood Rose Swarm (5e) The 5th edition conversion of the Blood Rose Swarm Deadly Gardens-installment clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1/2 page SRD, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We begin this installment with 4 different alchemical items: Calming pollen that can render plant creatures dormant for short periods, water purification drops and an oil that causes plant creatures to gain resistance to bludgeoning and piercing damage. (Erroneously called “damage resistance” in a minor nomenclature nitpick.) As something to keep in mind for GMs – with only a base price of 40 gp, this oil should not be available for campaigns featuring plant PCs – in the […]

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  • Deadly Gardens: Phoenix Lily (D&D 5e) The 5e-conversion of the Phoenix Lily clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1/2 page SRD/editorial, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   After a brief introduction to the subject matter at hand, we are introduced to two magic items: The uncommon specimen jar, which conserves 1/2 cubic foot of material, preserving it. (Yes, including information on putting things inside or drawing forth items.) and the second being the very rare fecund totem: Vegetation within 600 feet of the totem becomes overgrown as if affected by plant growth, which is btw. not italicized in the pdf. The totem also grants all plant creatures +2 hit points […]

    Deadly Gardens: Phoenix Lily (D&D 5e)

    Deadly Gardens: Phoenix Lily (D&D 5e) The 5e-conversion of the Phoenix Lily clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1/2 page SRD/editorial, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   After a brief introduction to the subject matter at hand, we are introduced to two magic items: The uncommon specimen jar, which conserves 1/2 cubic foot of material, preserving it. (Yes, including information on putting things inside or drawing forth items.) and the second being the very rare fecund totem: Vegetation within 600 feet of the totem becomes overgrown as if affected by plant growth, which is btw. not italicized in the pdf. The totem also grants all plant creatures +2 hit points […]

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  • Deadly Gardens Extra: Natural Items (D&D 5e) This FREE pdf (included in regular Deadly Gardens, just fyi!) clocks in at 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1/2 page SRD, leaving us with 1.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, what are natural items? They are basically parts of creatures vanquished, in some cases specifically treated. The harvesting of these items is pretty simple – all are based on Intelligence, though the precise skill used diverges from creature to creature. Beasts can be harvested via Intelligence (Nature), while most creatures can be harvested via Intelligence (Religion) and Intelligence (Arcana). Slightly odd to my eyes: Oozes are harvested via Intelligence (Investigation) – though that makes sense, if you […]

    Deadly Gardens Extra: Natural Items (D&D 5e)

    Deadly Gardens Extra: Natural Items (D&D 5e) This FREE pdf (included in regular Deadly Gardens, just fyi!) clocks in at 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1/2 page SRD, leaving us with 1.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, what are natural items? They are basically parts of creatures vanquished, in some cases specifically treated. The harvesting of these items is pretty simple – all are based on Intelligence, though the precise skill used diverges from creature to creature. Beasts can be harvested via Intelligence (Nature), while most creatures can be harvested via Intelligence (Religion) and Intelligence (Arcana). Slightly odd to my eyes: Oozes are harvested via Intelligence (Investigation) – though that makes sense, if you […]

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  • Frozen Gardens: Deadly Gardens Winter Special The second of Rusted Iron Games’ extra-long specials in the Deadly Gardens-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, ~1/2 a page editorial + SRD, leaving us with ~11.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Okay, so this pdf begins somewhat different than one would expect, introducing us first to the realm of eternal winter, a demi-plane of eternal ice…and otherwise sans unique planar traits, which is a bit of a missed chance there. The pdf provides two magic items – the first is the Cask of Ancient Winters, which, when opened, spreads lethal cold and enhances associated magic, while the second is Winter’s Edge, a frosty short sword […]

    Frozen Gardens: Deadly Gardens Winter Special

    Frozen Gardens: Deadly Gardens Winter Special The second of Rusted Iron Games’ extra-long specials in the Deadly Gardens-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, ~1/2 a page editorial + SRD, leaving us with ~11.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Okay, so this pdf begins somewhat different than one would expect, introducing us first to the realm of eternal winter, a demi-plane of eternal ice…and otherwise sans unique planar traits, which is a bit of a missed chance there. The pdf provides two magic items – the first is the Cask of Ancient Winters, which, when opened, spreads lethal cold and enhances associated magic, while the second is Winter’s Edge, a frosty short sword […]

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  • Call to Arms: Ten-Foot Poles This pdf clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, in case you’re not 100% sure – yes, this is an April’s Fools product. And yes, I’m reviewing it in August. Sad, but better late than never, right? So this begins with a basic, humorous introduction of poles – both in the game worlds and in real life. Let me go on a slight tangent here: If you do not know 10-foot-poles, they are perhaps the source of more anecdotes and prevented PC-death in old-school gaming than any other item. They […]

    Call to Arms: Ten-Foot Poles

    Call to Arms: Ten-Foot Poles This pdf clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, in case you’re not 100% sure – yes, this is an April’s Fools product. And yes, I’m reviewing it in August. Sad, but better late than never, right? So this begins with a basic, humorous introduction of poles – both in the game worlds and in real life. Let me go on a slight tangent here: If you do not know 10-foot-poles, they are perhaps the source of more anecdotes and prevented PC-death in old-school gaming than any other item. They […]

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