J. Evans Payne Archive

  • Druid Enclave: Adventure Book The massive Druid Enclave Adventure Book clocks in at 838 pages; if you take away the introduction, the explanation of Infinium Game Studios‘ FlexTale and quadded statblocks etc., you instead arrive at around 820 pages, which renders this massive doorstopper of a tome one of the largest books I have ever covered.   This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   Okay, so first things first: The “Druid Enclave Adventure Book” is imho not an adventure book: It’s a massive, tome-sized setting supplement that depicts a city in intricate, obsessive detail; it can be likened o arriving in e.g. […]

    Druid Enclave: Adventure Book

    Druid Enclave: Adventure Book The massive Druid Enclave Adventure Book clocks in at 838 pages; if you take away the introduction, the explanation of Infinium Game Studios‘ FlexTale and quadded statblocks etc., you instead arrive at around 820 pages, which renders this massive doorstopper of a tome one of the largest books I have ever covered.   This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   Okay, so first things first: The “Druid Enclave Adventure Book” is imho not an adventure book: It’s a massive, tome-sized setting supplement that depicts a city in intricate, obsessive detail; it can be likened o arriving in e.g. […]

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  • Druid Enclave: Player’s Guide (almost system neutral) The massive player’s guide for the Druid Enclave supplement clocks in at a ginormous 200 pages; if you take away front/back end matter, you’re left with 193 pages; approximately 10 of these pages are devoted to explaining how to use this book; as Infinium Game Studios has a couple of unique things going on in their supplements, including quadded statblocks, etc., this is appreciated. It should be noted that the introductory section also features a couple of helpful angles: A brief “Game starts in 5 minutes” information briefing (sans SPOILERS) and some general hooks are provided. As brief summary of the setting of Aquilae’s peculiarities is also included here – thankfully, ocne more, […]

    Druid Enclave: Player’s Guide (almost system neutral)

    Druid Enclave: Player’s Guide (almost system neutral) The massive player’s guide for the Druid Enclave supplement clocks in at a ginormous 200 pages; if you take away front/back end matter, you’re left with 193 pages; approximately 10 of these pages are devoted to explaining how to use this book; as Infinium Game Studios has a couple of unique things going on in their supplements, including quadded statblocks, etc., this is appreciated. It should be noted that the introductory section also features a couple of helpful angles: A brief “Game starts in 5 minutes” information briefing (sans SPOILERS) and some general hooks are provided. As brief summary of the setting of Aquilae’s peculiarities is also included here – thankfully, ocne more, […]

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  • Druid Enclave: Atlas (system neutral) The massive atlas of the Druid Enclave supplement clocks in at 312 pages of maps, already disregarding front/back end matter.   This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a print copy of the hardcover in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. My review is based on this hardcover.   The book sports the handy colored bands on the side, which render navigation simple; as always, the maps have their letter-codes noted, which makes finding them rather simple. This massive atlas first features the GM maps, then the player-friendly maps; the latter have been featured in the player’s guide, while the former are in the proper adventure book.   […]

    Druid Enclave: Atlas (system neutral)

    Druid Enclave: Atlas (system neutral) The massive atlas of the Druid Enclave supplement clocks in at 312 pages of maps, already disregarding front/back end matter.   This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a print copy of the hardcover in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. My review is based on this hardcover.   The book sports the handy colored bands on the side, which render navigation simple; as always, the maps have their letter-codes noted, which makes finding them rather simple. This massive atlas first features the GM maps, then the player-friendly maps; the latter have been featured in the player’s guide, while the former are in the proper adventure book.   […]

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  • Artifacts & Artifice Volume II This massive hardcover clocks in at 378 pages of content, already disregarding front-end matter and the like – that’s the content.   This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a hardcover print copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased, critical review. My review is based on the hardcopy – I do not own the pdf-iteration.   This book shares a lot of its basic assumptions with the first volume, but there are also plenty of differences. We’ll begin with recapping the components that are the same. Feel free to skip ahead below, if you’re already familiar with the general set-up of these tomes.   BASICS: The first […]

    Artifacts & Artifice Volume II

    Artifacts & Artifice Volume II This massive hardcover clocks in at 378 pages of content, already disregarding front-end matter and the like – that’s the content.   This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a hardcover print copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased, critical review. My review is based on the hardcopy – I do not own the pdf-iteration.   This book shares a lot of its basic assumptions with the first volume, but there are also plenty of differences. We’ll begin with recapping the components that are the same. Feel free to skip ahead below, if you’re already familiar with the general set-up of these tomes.   BASICS: The first […]

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  • Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective The second part of the Dark Obelisk AP clocks in at a MASSIVE 839 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of colophon, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of ToC/information about the studio,3/4 of a page blank, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 830 and ¼ of a page of content.   No, I am not kidding, that is genuinely the amount of content. This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a physical copy, which is, quite frankly, ridiculous in size. On my homepage, you’ll see a direct comparison of this tome and Occult Adventures. This is a massive doorstopper of a tome.   The basic explanation of […]

    Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective

    Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective The second part of the Dark Obelisk AP clocks in at a MASSIVE 839 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of colophon, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of ToC/information about the studio,3/4 of a page blank, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 830 and ¼ of a page of content.   No, I am not kidding, that is genuinely the amount of content. This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a physical copy, which is, quite frankly, ridiculous in size. On my homepage, you’ll see a direct comparison of this tome and Occult Adventures. This is a massive doorstopper of a tome.   The basic explanation of […]

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  • Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective Premium Atlas (system neutral) The massive Atlas-supplement for Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective, clocks in at 479 pages, already minus editorial, front/back cover, etc. I STRONGLY suggest getting this book if you’re planning on playing Dark Obelisk II – it is almost required.   This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   So, as usual for the hardcovers produced by Infinium Game Studios, this is a HUGE tome, with proper notes on the spine and color-coded bands on the side that allow you to immediately jump to the proper maps for a given level/environment, making navigation […]

    Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective Premium Atlas (system neutral)

    Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective Premium Atlas (system neutral) The massive Atlas-supplement for Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective, clocks in at 479 pages, already minus editorial, front/back cover, etc. I STRONGLY suggest getting this book if you’re planning on playing Dark Obelisk II – it is almost required.   This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   So, as usual for the hardcovers produced by Infinium Game Studios, this is a HUGE tome, with proper notes on the spine and color-coded bands on the side that allow you to immediately jump to the proper maps for a given level/environment, making navigation […]

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  • Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective Player’s Guide (system neutral) The Player’s Guide for the humongous second part of the Dark Obelisk saga clocks in at 64 pages of content if you already disregard the editorial, etc., so let’s check this out!   This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a print copy of the book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   All right, so we begin with something pretty nifty, namely the first page after the introduction stating “So, your game begins in 10 minutes” – it’s essentially the cliff notes version of the current situation. A half-elven stranger leads the PCs to the mining city of Mondaria, which, while […]

    Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective Player’s Guide (system neutral)

    Dark Obelisk II: The Mondarian Elective Player’s Guide (system neutral) The Player’s Guide for the humongous second part of the Dark Obelisk saga clocks in at 64 pages of content if you already disregard the editorial, etc., so let’s check this out!   This review was moved up in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a print copy of the book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   All right, so we begin with something pretty nifty, namely the first page after the introduction stating “So, your game begins in 10 minutes” – it’s essentially the cliff notes version of the current situation. A half-elven stranger leads the PCs to the mining city of Mondaria, which, while […]

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  • FlexTale Encounter Generator 1.0 (PFRPG/5e) The FlexTale Encounter Generator 1.0 clocks in at 92 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages colophon (including backer thanks), 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page information about the studio, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 85 pages of content- 5 of these pages include some explanations of concepts Infinium Game Studios books use, including explanations of boxed text colors, etc. – which are, for this book, less relevant, and probably here for the sake of the book template, and to establish the notion of 4 different general power-levels, as indicated by differently-colored icons. An icon with a red box with white swords indicates the highest level version, while a white one with […]

    FlexTale Encounter Generator 1.0 (PFRPG/5e)

    FlexTale Encounter Generator 1.0 (PFRPG/5e) The FlexTale Encounter Generator 1.0 clocks in at 92 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages colophon (including backer thanks), 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page information about the studio, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 85 pages of content- 5 of these pages include some explanations of concepts Infinium Game Studios books use, including explanations of boxed text colors, etc. – which are, for this book, less relevant, and probably here for the sake of the book template, and to establish the notion of 4 different general power-levels, as indicated by differently-colored icons. An icon with a red box with white swords indicates the highest level version, while a white one with […]

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  • Artifacts & Artifice: Abhorrent Naginata This pdf clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 14 pages of content. It should be noted that 5 of these pages are used to highlight the mission statements of Infinium Game Studios and the peculiarities of the massive adventure books and supplements the studio creates.   This pdf was moved up in my review-queue at the request of my patreons as a prioritized review.   All right, so the first thing you’ll note would be that the weapon itself, the abhorrent naginata, is depicted in a quadded version – that is, the weapon comes in basically 4 different iterations […]

    Artifacts & Artifice: Abhorrent Naginata

    Artifacts & Artifice: Abhorrent Naginata This pdf clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 14 pages of content. It should be noted that 5 of these pages are used to highlight the mission statements of Infinium Game Studios and the peculiarities of the massive adventure books and supplements the studio creates.   This pdf was moved up in my review-queue at the request of my patreons as a prioritized review.   All right, so the first thing you’ll note would be that the weapon itself, the abhorrent naginata, is depicted in a quadded version – that is, the weapon comes in basically 4 different iterations […]

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  • Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Adventure Book This massive first installment of the ambitious Dark Obelisk AP clocks in at a thoroughly impressive 497 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 5 pages of ToC, 4 pages blank, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 483 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This was move up in my review-queue as a prioritized review and I received a print copy, further moving this up in my review queue.   Now, at this point, I have already talked about several of the unique properties of this AP – reward stars, quadded statblcoks and attitude trackers. I explained those in the reviews of the books where they are most […]

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Adventure Book

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Adventure Book This massive first installment of the ambitious Dark Obelisk AP clocks in at a thoroughly impressive 497 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 5 pages of ToC, 4 pages blank, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 483 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This was move up in my review-queue as a prioritized review and I received a print copy, further moving this up in my review queue.   Now, at this point, I have already talked about several of the unique properties of this AP – reward stars, quadded statblcoks and attitude trackers. I explained those in the reviews of the books where they are most […]

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  • Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Dramatis Personae & Bestiary This massive TOME of a book clocks in at 487 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page mission statement, 2 pages of editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page blank, leaving us with 478 pages of material, so let’s take a look!   Well, before we do, let us pause for a second and recap the unique aspects of Infinium Game Studios-releases that we’ve covered so far, all right? In my review of the Player’s Guide and the pregens, I talked briefly about the alternate character progression system via reward stars. (It can be easily ignored in favor of XP, just fyi.) In the pregen-book, I noted the […]

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Dramatis Personae & Bestiary

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Dramatis Personae & Bestiary This massive TOME of a book clocks in at 487 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page mission statement, 2 pages of editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page blank, leaving us with 478 pages of material, so let’s take a look!   Well, before we do, let us pause for a second and recap the unique aspects of Infinium Game Studios-releases that we’ve covered so far, all right? In my review of the Player’s Guide and the pregens, I talked briefly about the alternate character progression system via reward stars. (It can be easily ignored in favor of XP, just fyi.) In the pregen-book, I noted the […]

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  • Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Premium Atlas (system neutral) The premium atlas for the first part of the excessively detailed Dark Obelisk AP clocks in at a massive 139 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages ToC, 1 page mission statement, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with132 pages of MAPS.   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy of it and due to being chosen as a prioritized review via my patreon.   Yes, you read correctly. 132 pages of maps. Now, first things first – what kind of maps do we get? The book is roughly separated in 4 different chapters: Two featuring maps for Act One of […]

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Premium Atlas (system neutral)

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Premium Atlas (system neutral) The premium atlas for the first part of the excessively detailed Dark Obelisk AP clocks in at a massive 139 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages ToC, 1 page mission statement, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with132 pages of MAPS.   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy of it and due to being chosen as a prioritized review via my patreon.   Yes, you read correctly. 132 pages of maps. Now, first things first – what kind of maps do we get? The book is roughly separated in 4 different chapters: Two featuring maps for Act One of […]

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  • Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Extended Pregenerated Characters The biggest collection of pregens ever to come my way clocks in at an impressive 407 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page studio-introduction, 2 pages SRD, 1 page blank, leaving us with 398 pages of content. Yeah. Ouch. That’s a TON of statblocks.   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy and furthermore, it was prioritized by my patreons.   Now, included among these would be the standard pregenerated characters, available as their own separate pdf for PWYW, so consider that file to be an excellent teaser/first look of what to expect from this gigantic tome. […]

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Extended Pregenerated Characters

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Extended Pregenerated Characters The biggest collection of pregens ever to come my way clocks in at an impressive 407 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page studio-introduction, 2 pages SRD, 1 page blank, leaving us with 398 pages of content. Yeah. Ouch. That’s a TON of statblocks.   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy and furthermore, it was prioritized by my patreons.   Now, included among these would be the standard pregenerated characters, available as their own separate pdf for PWYW, so consider that file to be an excellent teaser/first look of what to expect from this gigantic tome. […]

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  • Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Standard Pregenerated Characters This collection of PWYW-pregens clocks in at 63 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page blank, leaving us with 56 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, this would be the small “Pay what you want”-companion tome to its massive extended brother, a colossal pregen book for the Dark Obelisk AP, or, more precisely, its first chapter “Berinncorte” – in my review of the Player’s Guide, I briefly talked about the optional reward star character progression mechanic, so let me be brief: You award those for quest completion, defeating key bosses etc. – it’s basically an XP-less advancement method. […]

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Standard Pregenerated Characters

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Standard Pregenerated Characters This collection of PWYW-pregens clocks in at 63 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page blank, leaving us with 56 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, this would be the small “Pay what you want”-companion tome to its massive extended brother, a colossal pregen book for the Dark Obelisk AP, or, more precisely, its first chapter “Berinncorte” – in my review of the Player’s Guide, I briefly talked about the optional reward star character progression mechanic, so let me be brief: You award those for quest completion, defeating key bosses etc. – it’s basically an XP-less advancement method. […]

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  • Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Player’s Guide (system neutral) This Player’s Guide for the first part of the massive Dark Obelisk-saga clocks in at 51 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial/KS-thanks, 2 5 pages blank, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of explanations of the peculiarities of this game studio (more on that in other Dark Obelisk-reviews) leaving us with 43.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This was moved up in my review queue due to me receiving a print copy of the book.   First thing you’ll notice: The first content-bearing page pretty much provides quick: “Determine in 10 minutes” basics: Berinncorte is a typical fantasy city of 100 -200 citizens, has library, butcher, […]

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Player’s Guide (system neutral)

    Dark Obelisk I: Berinncorte Player’s Guide (system neutral) This Player’s Guide for the first part of the massive Dark Obelisk-saga clocks in at 51 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial/KS-thanks, 2 5 pages blank, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of explanations of the peculiarities of this game studio (more on that in other Dark Obelisk-reviews) leaving us with 43.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This was moved up in my review queue due to me receiving a print copy of the book.   First thing you’ll notice: The first content-bearing page pretty much provides quick: “Determine in 10 minutes” basics: Berinncorte is a typical fantasy city of 100 -200 citizens, has library, butcher, […]

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