Michael Allen Archive

  • Aventyr Bestiary This massive bestiary clocks in at 148 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 143 pages of content, one of which is devoted to the cover artist Raven Mimura’s biography as well as the story behind the cover.   This book, just so you know it, is dedicated to Joshua Gullion, KTFish7, fellow reviewer, colleague and friend – he always did champion a bestiary for AAW Games’ Aventyr setting and I does warm my heart to see this dream realized. In particularly since Aventyr’s critters, from humble A03 onwards, have been a defining staple of the setting. The crab-like Kra’tah that haunted the Vikmordere […]

    Aventyr Bestiary

    Aventyr Bestiary This massive bestiary clocks in at 148 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 143 pages of content, one of which is devoted to the cover artist Raven Mimura’s biography as well as the story behind the cover.   This book, just so you know it, is dedicated to Joshua Gullion, KTFish7, fellow reviewer, colleague and friend – he always did champion a bestiary for AAW Games’ Aventyr setting and I does warm my heart to see this dream realized. In particularly since Aventyr’s critters, from humble A03 onwards, have been a defining staple of the setting. The crab-like Kra’tah that haunted the Vikmordere […]

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  • Shattered Heart #4: Crucible of Faith The (for now) final installment of the superb Shattered Heart-saga clocks in at 48 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 43 pages of content, so let’s take a look and answer the question whether this installment managed to retain the ridiculously high quality of the first three parts of the series!   This being an adventure-review, the following text contains MASSIVE SPOILERS. Potential players should not read ahead and jump to the conclusion instead. … .. . Still here? Only GMs around? Great! So the worst is done, right? I mean, this powerful paladin has been establishing an outpost […]

    Shattered Heart #4: Crucible of Faith

    Shattered Heart #4: Crucible of Faith The (for now) final installment of the superb Shattered Heart-saga clocks in at 48 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 43 pages of content, so let’s take a look and answer the question whether this installment managed to retain the ridiculously high quality of the first three parts of the series!   This being an adventure-review, the following text contains MASSIVE SPOILERS. Potential players should not read ahead and jump to the conclusion instead. … .. . Still here? Only GMs around? Great! So the worst is done, right? I mean, this powerful paladin has been establishing an outpost […]

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  • Shattered Heart #3: The Breath of the Goddess The third installment of the so far truly superb Shattered Heart-saga clocks in at 63 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 57 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players of this saga should jump to the conclusion. … .. . All right, still here? Great! When the continent-sized Dracoprime fell, the halflings of the idyllic island archipelago suffered; abandoned by their erstwhile allies, the culture that developed twists familiar tropes: Medium-sized humanoids, indentured workers (slaves by another name) became one of the […]

    Shattered Heart #3: The Breath of the Goddess

    Shattered Heart #3: The Breath of the Goddess The third installment of the so far truly superb Shattered Heart-saga clocks in at 63 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 57 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players of this saga should jump to the conclusion. … .. . All right, still here? Great! When the continent-sized Dracoprime fell, the halflings of the idyllic island archipelago suffered; abandoned by their erstwhile allies, the culture that developed twists familiar tropes: Medium-sized humanoids, indentured workers (slaves by another name) became one of the […]

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  • Veranthea Codex This ginormous book clocks in at no less than 393pages, vastly overdelivering regarding the page-count promised by the KS; 1 page is front cover, 1 page KS-backer thanks, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page SRD, 7 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 379 pages of raw content, so let’s dive in, shall we?   Before we do: I was a backer of this kickstarter and based my review on the print-version of this book. I did not contribute anything to this book.   What is Veranthea Codex? The question’s answer is surprisingly complex and will guide us through this review: For one, in-game, it is actually an exceedingly powerful (as in: […]

    Veranthea Codex

    Veranthea Codex This ginormous book clocks in at no less than 393pages, vastly overdelivering regarding the page-count promised by the KS; 1 page is front cover, 1 page KS-backer thanks, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page SRD, 7 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 379 pages of raw content, so let’s dive in, shall we?   Before we do: I was a backer of this kickstarter and based my review on the print-version of this book. I did not contribute anything to this book.   What is Veranthea Codex? The question’s answer is surprisingly complex and will guide us through this review: For one, in-game, it is actually an exceedingly powerful (as in: […]

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  • Shattered Heart #2: The Temple of Jewels and Mirrors The second installment of Michael Allen’s saga about the fight over the soul of the halfling people of Piccolo clocks in at 48 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 42 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players of this AP should jump to the conclusion. … .. . All right, still here? After re-consecrating the subaqueous temple of the Goddess and potentially brokering a peace between the folk of Pembroke and the Vikmordere (or killing the intruders), there may be an angle for […]

    Shattered Heart #2: The Temple of Jewels and Mirrors

    Shattered Heart #2: The Temple of Jewels and Mirrors The second installment of Michael Allen’s saga about the fight over the soul of the halfling people of Piccolo clocks in at 48 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 42 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players of this AP should jump to the conclusion. … .. . All right, still here? After re-consecrating the subaqueous temple of the Goddess and potentially brokering a peace between the folk of Pembroke and the Vikmordere (or killing the intruders), there may be an angle for […]

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  • Shattered Heart #1: The Ties That Bind The first installment of the Shattered Heart-saga clocks in at 44 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover – but before we dive in, let me ramble a bit:   Shattered Heart is the AP/Adventure Arc that was spawned from AAW Games’ Pathmaster-contest back in the day: Basically, both reviewers (me included) and sales of the top 5 modules decided who would get to write the final AP. While I did like Michael Allen’s pitch, I considered it pretty ambitious and ultimately not as awesome as others – it was my dear friend Joshua Gullion (Rest in peace…)who insisted, passionately, that […]

    Shattered Heart #1: The Ties That Bind

    Shattered Heart #1: The Ties That Bind The first installment of the Shattered Heart-saga clocks in at 44 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover – but before we dive in, let me ramble a bit:   Shattered Heart is the AP/Adventure Arc that was spawned from AAW Games’ Pathmaster-contest back in the day: Basically, both reviewers (me included) and sales of the top 5 modules decided who would get to write the final AP. While I did like Michael Allen’s pitch, I considered it pretty ambitious and ultimately not as awesome as others – it was my dear friend Joshua Gullion (Rest in peace…)who insisted, passionately, that […]

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  • A23 – Twin Crossings This module clocks in at 48 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 42 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.   All right, still here? This module kicks off in a small town in the Klavekian kingdom and for once, the PCs attend festivities that are NOT crashed by some threat or another – instead, the PCs actually get to party! Whether they party conservatively or like there’s no tomorrow – first, minor consequences of the things to come already announce themselves […]

    A23 – Twin Crossings

    A23 – Twin Crossings This module clocks in at 48 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 42 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.   All right, still here? This module kicks off in a small town in the Klavekian kingdom and for once, the PCs attend festivities that are NOT crashed by some threat or another – instead, the PCs actually get to party! Whether they party conservatively or like there’s no tomorrow – first, minor consequences of the things to come already announce themselves […]

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  • B18: Three Faces of the Muse This module clocks in at 51 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 46 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   Before we begin, I should mention that this is an adventure review and as such contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.   All right, still here? Okay, first of all, all you history and art-buffs out there, especially those with some knowledge in Renaissance art and the greats will have a field day here: Imagine a vast cathedral, where an artist called Michello, known for his superb magical crafting prowess died while […]

    B18: Three Faces of the Muse

    B18: Three Faces of the Muse This module clocks in at 51 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 46 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   Before we begin, I should mention that this is an adventure review and as such contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.   All right, still here? Okay, first of all, all you history and art-buffs out there, especially those with some knowledge in Renaissance art and the greats will have a field day here: Imagine a vast cathedral, where an artist called Michello, known for his superb magical crafting prowess died while […]

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  • Adventure Quarterly #5 The fifth installment of Rite Publishing’s spiritual successor to Dungeon magazine clocks in at 73 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 68 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The editorial by Robert N. Emerson already shows and the subsequent adventures do as well – Rite Publishing’s Kickstarter to amp further up the quality of the magazine was a full success – beyond the full color art throughout this magazine, it is especially the cartography, which has benefited extremely – Rite Publishing overlord Steven D. Russell did not pinch any pennies budget-wise here: The cartography in this book is […]

    Adventure Quarterly #5

    Adventure Quarterly #5 The fifth installment of Rite Publishing’s spiritual successor to Dungeon magazine clocks in at 73 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 68 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The editorial by Robert N. Emerson already shows and the subsequent adventures do as well – Rite Publishing’s Kickstarter to amp further up the quality of the magazine was a full success – beyond the full color art throughout this magazine, it is especially the cartography, which has benefited extremely – Rite Publishing overlord Steven D. Russell did not pinch any pennies budget-wise here: The cartography in this book is […]

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  • Pathmaster: To Walk the Dark Road Full disclosure: I was one of the judges of the contest that determined which pitches were chosen for the Pathmaster contest. I did not receive any compensation and thus do not consider my verdict compromised. The very presence of these modules means that I like the premise of all Pathmaster-modules, but can their execution stand up?   This pdf is 41 pages long, 1 page front cover, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 33 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion. […]

    Pathmaster: To Walk the Dark Road

    Pathmaster: To Walk the Dark Road Full disclosure: I was one of the judges of the contest that determined which pitches were chosen for the Pathmaster contest. I did not receive any compensation and thus do not consider my verdict compromised. The very presence of these modules means that I like the premise of all Pathmaster-modules, but can their execution stand up?   This pdf is 41 pages long, 1 page front cover, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 33 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion. […]

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