Rick Hershey Archive

  • 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 […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Campaign Kits: The Mysteries of Hollowfield This Campaign Kit clocks in at 39 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 35 pages of content, so let’s check this out!   This installment of the Campaign Kits-series is a charity product for the Roleplaying Game Creators Relief Fund and it is, to make that clear from the get-go, a “Pay what you want”-product. The original iteration has sported some glitches that have been identified and rectified, which is why this review is based on V.2.0 of the book.   So, what is this? Well, in short, this book contains 8 expanded adventure seeds: With statblocks and structure and all, just […]

    Campaign Kits: The Mysteries of Hollowfield

    Campaign Kits: The Mysteries of Hollowfield This Campaign Kit clocks in at 39 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 35 pages of content, so let’s check this out!   This installment of the Campaign Kits-series is a charity product for the Roleplaying Game Creators Relief Fund and it is, to make that clear from the get-go, a “Pay what you want”-product. The original iteration has sported some glitches that have been identified and rectified, which is why this review is based on V.2.0 of the book.   So, what is this? Well, in short, this book contains 8 expanded adventure seeds: With statblocks and structure and all, just […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Sir Reginald Lichlyter’s Trusty Tavern Tome This massive supplement clocks in at 62 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 57 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   After a brief introductory prose and a short history on alcohol, we begin this pdf with a chapter that is aptly named “How to get drunk” -and if you’ve taken a look at the GMG, you’ll know that the rules leave something to be desired there – hence, this pdf codifies drinks in sizes – basically, from shot to huge kegs, you get the respective number of shots contained. Much like Raging Swan Press’ […]

    Sir Reginald Lichlyter’s Trusty Tavern Tome

    Sir Reginald Lichlyter’s Trusty Tavern Tome This massive supplement clocks in at 62 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 57 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   After a brief introductory prose and a short history on alcohol, we begin this pdf with a chapter that is aptly named “How to get drunk” -and if you’ve taken a look at the GMG, you’ll know that the rules leave something to be desired there – hence, this pdf codifies drinks in sizes – basically, from shot to huge kegs, you get the respective number of shots contained. Much like Raging Swan Press’ […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Astonishing Races: Grippli This installment of Fat Goblin games’ Astonishing Races-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 26 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.   Ah, Grippli…I have a soft spot for the race. If you never got how awesome they can be – take a look at user NobodysHome’s Serpent Skull-campaign journal on the Paizo boards. But beyond the hilarity and genius of said campaign, grippli as a race are interesting: Kinda cute, a bit naive and good […]

    Astonishing Races: Grippli

    Astonishing Races: Grippli This installment of Fat Goblin games’ Astonishing Races-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 26 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.   Ah, Grippli…I have a soft spot for the race. If you never got how awesome they can be – take a look at user NobodysHome’s Serpent Skull-campaign journal on the Paizo boards. But beyond the hilarity and genius of said campaign, grippli as a race are interesting: Kinda cute, a bit naive and good […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Shadows over Vathak: Colonies – Silhouette of a Shadow The first module set in Vathak, this pdf clocks in at a pretty impressive 62 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 56 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   But before we do – here’s a warning: This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players will wish to jump to the conclusion. … .. . All right, still here? We begin this module with several key-components: For one, a sidebox on the fragility of 1st level characters explains that more action-oriented groups may want to run this […]

    Shadows over Vathak: Colonies – Silhouette of a Shadow

    Shadows over Vathak: Colonies – Silhouette of a Shadow The first module set in Vathak, this pdf clocks in at a pretty impressive 62 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 56 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   But before we do – here’s a warning: This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players will wish to jump to the conclusion. … .. . All right, still here? We begin this module with several key-components: For one, a sidebox on the fragility of 1st level characters explains that more action-oriented groups may want to run this […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Carnival of Sinners This massive book clocks in at 50 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 46 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Carnivals are awesome…and creepy. The blending of the alien and the familiar, the oscillation of bright light and deepest shadows fascinate, entice. I distinctly recall a sense of kinship when I first saw the more weirder performances and the sense of freedom implied in such a life, despite the hardships, resonates with me on a primal level. In roleplaying games, specifically the various iterations I’ve played, I did ten to enjoy the modules and supplements dealing with […]

    Carnival of Sinners

    Carnival of Sinners This massive book clocks in at 50 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 46 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Carnivals are awesome…and creepy. The blending of the alien and the familiar, the oscillation of bright light and deepest shadows fascinate, entice. I distinctly recall a sense of kinship when I first saw the more weirder performances and the sense of freedom implied in such a life, despite the hardships, resonates with me on a primal level. In roleplaying games, specifically the various iterations I’ve played, I did ten to enjoy the modules and supplements dealing with […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Shadows over Vathak: The Colonies Player’s Guide This massive player’s guide clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 29 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Withered parchment, with half-concealed pencil drawings in the back, a small splotch of blood at the bottom right corner of the page – there’s a reason layout designer and artist Rick Hershey is as prolific and well-regarded as he is. From the very get-go, you’ll realize one thing – this book is beautiful. I own all Ravenloft supplements ever released and have a vast collection of horror-themed books beyond that. This ranks […]

    Shadows over Vathak: The Colonies Player’s Guide

    Shadows over Vathak: The Colonies Player’s Guide This massive player’s guide clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 29 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Withered parchment, with half-concealed pencil drawings in the back, a small splotch of blood at the bottom right corner of the page – there’s a reason layout designer and artist Rick Hershey is as prolific and well-regarded as he is. From the very get-go, you’ll realize one thing – this book is beautiful. I own all Ravenloft supplements ever released and have a vast collection of horror-themed books beyond that. This ranks […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Enhanced Racial Guide: Bhriota This massive racial guide for the Bhriota clocks in at 42 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving us with an impressive 36 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The Bhriota are a human ethnicity and as such, I feel I should mention one fact – I’m a huge fan of human “races” – chalk it up to my extensive reading of Sword & Sorcery literature, but I’d rather have different stats for different ethnicities than x pseudo-humanoid races with almost human cultures and outlooks. It’s a matter of taste and thus, I am rather in […]

    Enhanced Racial Guide: Bhriota

    Enhanced Racial Guide: Bhriota This massive racial guide for the Bhriota clocks in at 42 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving us with an impressive 36 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The Bhriota are a human ethnicity and as such, I feel I should mention one fact – I’m a huge fan of human “races” – chalk it up to my extensive reading of Sword & Sorcery literature, but I’d rather have different stats for different ethnicities than x pseudo-humanoid races with almost human cultures and outlooks. It’s a matter of taste and thus, I am rather in […]

    Continue Reading...

  • The Fat Goblin Travel Guide to the Frozen Tomb of the Dwarf Lord This installment of Fat Goblin Travel Guides clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so what do we get herein?   Essentially, we get a fully mapped location (map in full color, btw.) to drop into other adventures, as sidetreks, etc. The location sports a total of 7 keyed locations and while the full color map is beautiful, a player-friendly version sans keys would have been appreciated.   The terrain of the module itself is pretty well documented and the new hazard, essentially the magical equivalent of liquid nitrogen and a neat […]

    The Fat Goblin Travel Guide to the Frozen Tomb of the Dwarf Lord

    The Fat Goblin Travel Guide to the Frozen Tomb of the Dwarf Lord This installment of Fat Goblin Travel Guides clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so what do we get herein?   Essentially, we get a fully mapped location (map in full color, btw.) to drop into other adventures, as sidetreks, etc. The location sports a total of 7 keyed locations and while the full color map is beautiful, a player-friendly version sans keys would have been appreciated.   The terrain of the module itself is pretty well documented and the new hazard, essentially the magical equivalent of liquid nitrogen and a neat […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Fat Goblin Travel Guide to Horrible Horrors & Macabre Monsters This bestiary clocks in at a massive 52 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisements, 1 page SRD, leaving us with a massive 47 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   I’ve scarcely been this conflicted about a review I’ve written, so I figured I’ll break my usual format for reviews with this one and instead provide you with an insight into the two hearts that alas, beat in my breast regarding this one.   White EZG: Just take a look at this beautiful pdf – Rick Hershey really knows his job. The artworks are glorious, even though you […]

    Fat Goblin Travel Guide to Horrible Horrors & Macabre Monsters

    Fat Goblin Travel Guide to Horrible Horrors & Macabre Monsters This bestiary clocks in at a massive 52 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisements, 1 page SRD, leaving us with a massive 47 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   I’ve scarcely been this conflicted about a review I’ve written, so I figured I’ll break my usual format for reviews with this one and instead provide you with an insight into the two hearts that alas, beat in my breast regarding this one.   White EZG: Just take a look at this beautiful pdf – Rick Hershey really knows his job. The artworks are glorious, even though you […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Detective Carnacki’s Serial Killers of Vathak This pdf is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover/editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf kicks off with a general introduction to the role of serial killers and their psychology, before delving into the respective characters, so what exactly do we get?   Well, for example we get a maiden who cuts herself (which might be a little close to home for some) and seeks to fill the void inside her by slaying her lovers. Each of the entries comes with a history of the character, a description, a modus operandi and advice for the DM to handle the PCs investigating […]

    Detective Carnacki’s Serial Killers of Vathak

    Detective Carnacki’s Serial Killers of Vathak This pdf is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover/editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf kicks off with a general introduction to the role of serial killers and their psychology, before delving into the respective characters, so what exactly do we get?   Well, for example we get a maiden who cuts herself (which might be a little close to home for some) and seeks to fill the void inside her by slaying her lovers. Each of the entries comes with a history of the character, a description, a modus operandi and advice for the DM to handle the PCs investigating […]

    Continue Reading...

  • It’d time to take a look at one of the darker settings out there:   Shadows over Vathak This campaign setting is 258 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 250 pages of content, so let’s take a look! Kicking off with a general introduction, we are introduced to the central topics of Vathak – the land of the native Bhriota-humans has been conquered by the monotheist forces of the Vindari, who have established a rather xenophobic colonialism that has been met with a response truly dreadful – from the bowels of the earth of Vathak, the Old Ones are awakening, […]

    Shadows over Vathak

    It’d time to take a look at one of the darker settings out there:   Shadows over Vathak This campaign setting is 258 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 250 pages of content, so let’s take a look! Kicking off with a general introduction, we are introduced to the central topics of Vathak – the land of the native Bhriota-humans has been conquered by the monotheist forces of the Vindari, who have established a rather xenophobic colonialism that has been met with a response truly dreadful – from the bowels of the earth of Vathak, the Old Ones are awakening, […]

    Continue Reading...

  • The Expanded Shaman marks the second book in Open Designs’ New Paths series. Anyone paying attention is well aware of how well received the first installment (The Spell Less Ranger) was, and what type of pressure that places upon this book right off the bat. Question here then is, did Marc Radle have another bullet in the chamber? So let us take a look. Weighing in at 16 pages, with 10 pages of new material, 2 sheets for tracking wild shape and a spirit guide, cover, OGL, credit and ad (which would not fully load in my version of this PDF). Artwork is handled by the talented Rick Hershey, as those familiar with his style can easily recognize from the […]

    Open Design’s New Paths 2: Expanded Shaman

    The Expanded Shaman marks the second book in Open Designs’ New Paths series. Anyone paying attention is well aware of how well received the first installment (The Spell Less Ranger) was, and what type of pressure that places upon this book right off the bat. Question here then is, did Marc Radle have another bullet in the chamber? So let us take a look. Weighing in at 16 pages, with 10 pages of new material, 2 sheets for tracking wild shape and a spirit guide, cover, OGL, credit and ad (which would not fully load in my version of this PDF). Artwork is handled by the talented Rick Hershey, as those familiar with his style can easily recognize from the […]

    Continue Reading...