Mike Franke Archive

  • 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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  • Dark Deeds in Freeport This mega-adventure/anthology clocks in at 82 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2/3 of a page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 77 1/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Disclaimer: I was a patron of this book. I was in no way associated with the production of this book, though.   Sometimes, books seem cursed – most often, surprisingly, when the feature Lovecraftian themes and this was no different: Long-delayed, the adventure finally arrived when I had all but forgotten about it. I read and ran it, but then…it fell between the virtual cracks of my own hard drive, languishing…until this day.   […]

    Dark Deeds in Freeport

    Dark Deeds in Freeport This mega-adventure/anthology clocks in at 82 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2/3 of a page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 77 1/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Disclaimer: I was a patron of this book. I was in no way associated with the production of this book, though.   Sometimes, books seem cursed – most often, surprisingly, when the feature Lovecraftian themes and this was no different: Long-delayed, the adventure finally arrived when I had all but forgotten about it. I read and ran it, but then…it fell between the virtual cracks of my own hard drive, languishing…until this day.   […]

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  • Deep Magic This massive, huge tome clocks in at 378 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages backer-list, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 367 pages of content, so let’s… …wait. I can’t really convey the illusion of spontaneity here. Why? Because I have written and deleted this review 3 times as I’m writing these lines. This is quite literally one of the hardest reviews I have ever written, mainly because conveying my stance on Deep Magic is pretty ambiguous and prone to misinterpretation.   But let’s start at the beginning. This book is beautiful. Thanks to one particularly helpful […]

    Deep Magic

    Deep Magic This massive, huge tome clocks in at 378 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages backer-list, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 367 pages of content, so let’s… …wait. I can’t really convey the illusion of spontaneity here. Why? Because I have written and deleted this review 3 times as I’m writing these lines. This is quite literally one of the hardest reviews I have ever written, mainly because conveying my stance on Deep Magic is pretty ambiguous and prone to misinterpretation.   But let’s start at the beginning. This book is beautiful. Thanks to one particularly helpful […]

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  • Advanced Races: Gnolls This installment of the Advanced Races-series clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We kick off this discussion on gnolls with an extensive text on the nature of gnoll society and psychology, steeped in Midgard-lore, yes, but also more setting-agnostic than many similar introductions – the writing here is pretty much top-notch and the new deity/mask of a deity Nkishi – which are particularly nasty, being allied to were-hyenas and bouda. What’s a bouda, you ask? well bouda are a new monster, a CR 5 div that is truly and utterly disgusting […]

    Advanced Races: Gnolls

    Advanced Races: Gnolls This installment of the Advanced Races-series clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We kick off this discussion on gnolls with an extensive text on the nature of gnoll society and psychology, steeped in Midgard-lore, yes, but also more setting-agnostic than many similar introductions – the writing here is pretty much top-notch and the new deity/mask of a deity Nkishi – which are particularly nasty, being allied to were-hyenas and bouda. What’s a bouda, you ask? well bouda are a new monster, a CR 5 div that is truly and utterly disgusting […]

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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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  • The Buried Palace This module is 24 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion. All right, still here?   Imperial Marshall Karridoc Castellan of Valera, one of the most powerful men in the 7 cities, requests the presence of the PCs – for an uncommon task: Below a bathing house, recent tremors have unearthed an old ruin of the Valeran empire – one the PCs are to scour for works of art and similar valuable memorabilia of interest to Valera. The module doesn’t waste much […]

    The Buried Palace

    The Buried Palace This module is 24 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion. All right, still here?   Imperial Marshall Karridoc Castellan of Valera, one of the most powerful men in the 7 cities, requests the presence of the PCs – for an uncommon task: Below a bathing house, recent tremors have unearthed an old ruin of the Valeran empire – one the PCs are to scour for works of art and similar valuable memorabilia of interest to Valera. The module doesn’t waste much […]

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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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