It’s that time again – the roundup of some of the best new products from the DMs Guild.
In response to some feedback – and the fact that I missed some great products over the last few months – I’m changing up the format slightly. From now on you’ll get the new products, along with 1 or 2 older ones that I missed in the past. This month, though, it’s mostly older – partially because I published the last post on the 22nd of February, meaning a week’s worth of content came out before March began, and partially because I’ve been incredibly busy this month (as you may have noticed) and haven’t had a chance to keep an eye on new releases like I normally do.
That’s enough chatter. Let’s get to it – the Best of DMs Guild for March 2017.
Best of March 2017
Adversaries and Allies in Baldur’s Gate by Troy Taylor
Just take a moment to admire that cover. Click it; embiggen it. Revel in it. That is beautiful. This is easily one of the best-looking products I’ve seen on DMs Guild. I pride myself on my own books looking good, but I wish they looked as good as this.
On top of that, it’s also really well written. I’ve always been a fan of NPC supplements – The Wheelhouse doubles as one of them – and it’s a shame that so many of them reduce the characters inside to little more than stat blocks. That isn’t the case here, though. Instead, Taylor gives us details about their personality, their history, the kinds of treasures they might possess, and suggestions for how to use them as either enemies or allies. Stats take a back seat, with each entry providing suggestions for stat blocks pulled from the Monster Manual at a variety of CRs. And, although it’s ostensibly set in Baldur’s Gate, there’s nothing stopping you using these NPCs in any other setting of your choice.
This is a Pay What You Want title, and I highly recommend it.
Blank NPC Cards by Tyler Retherford
While we’re on the subject of NPCs, let’s talk about these very nicely designed printable NPC stat cards. DMs Guild is primarily filled with adventures, magic items, and character options, but I’m always glad to see useful things like this show up. Tracking stats at the table can be a pain sometimes, and it’s always good to have resources like these cards to ease play. There’s plenty of space on them for important combat information, and they’re of a size that makes them easy to line up next to each other without sacrificing a huge amount of space behind the screen.
There’s not much more to say about these. They’re well designed, they’re useful, and they’re Pay What You Want.
The Ones That Got Away
The Haunt by Phil Beckwith
Full disclosure – I ran a playtest of this adventure. And in all honesty, there were a couple of parts in the original version that were broken and didn’t work as intended. That said, Phil was very receptive to feedback, and the fixes that he made more than accounted for the issues that my group experienced. In revisiting it in prepartion for this post, I’m more than happy to recommend the adventure in its published form.
The Haunt takes what could be a standard haunted house adventure and crafts a really interesting, memorable experience. There are some interesting puzzles (along with a section designed specifically to split the party and make them work as a team for once in their damn lives), a nice variety of enemies, and a cool magical item that could potentially lead to some interesting future adventures. It’s also designed to be a horror adventure, and Phil makes some fun suggestions to help you ramp up the creepiness at the table.
This is already an Electrum Bestseller, and is well worth the $2.95 asking price.
Dragon’s Breath Tavern by Jeff C. Stevens
I think it’s pretty obvious by now that I’m a big fan of Jeff’s work – this is the 7th Best of DMs Guild post, and the 4th to feature Jeff’s work. As well as being prolific, he produces consistently great work, and as long as that remains true I’ll make no apologies for shouting about his stuff! (He’s also very generous in sending me review copies like this one, which definitely helps me stay aware of his output!)
Dragon’s Breath Tavern is a really interesting twist on a werewolf adventure that transforms itself into a nice dungeon crawl, all without ever having to leave the tavern. The tavern itself is really nicely put together and manages to avoid a lot of the clichés of typical D&D taverns. It’s populated with a collection of interesting, memorable characters, and their reaction to the players assaulting a group of werewolves should provide a nice unexpected surprise for the party that will let them know they’re not in for a normal adventure.
Two little things I really, really love about this adventure: First, the d6 table of songs for the bards in the tavern to be singing [you may remember I wrote my own table for this purpose some time ago – I’m going to go ahead and assume I inspired this part of the adventure ;-)]. The second is Demon Dice, a gambling game played in the tavern which Jeff provides rules for and that I’ve played a little too much since reading this!
It’s $2.95, and it wouldn’t be here if I didn’t heartily recommend it. It’s currently a Copper Bestseller.
Homeward Bound by Jan Sielicki
I was sent a review copy of this back in January and completely forgot to include it in February’s roundup (sorry Jan!) That’s a shame, because it’s a really well put-together product.
Homeward Bound takes player bases and does something really interesting with them, providing a modular/customizable player homestead called ‘The Sleeping Manor’ and providing mechanics to enable the players to upgrade the base and receive in-game benefits for doing so. It reminded me a lot of the keep upgrade system in Pillars of Eternity. It isn’t something that I knew I wanted, but now that I’ve seen it I’ll definitely be using this in my own game. This also comes with ideas for a larger plot surrounding the manor, and has some nice tables for generating events that will affect the base while the players are away from it.
It’s $2.99 on DMs Guild, where it’s a Copper Bestseller. I definitely recommend it.
Killer Kobolds by Tony Petrecca
I love kobolds. I particularly love kobolds when they’re allowed to be devious little bastards, and when they have a dragon or two in tow. And that’s good, because that’s exactly what Tony Petrecca gives us in Killer Kobolds.
Full disclosure – Tony sent me a review copy of this adventure. That said, it’s excellent. It’s a really well designed adventure that combines spaghetti western-style shootouts in giant slot canyons with guerilla fighting in the forests of Definitely Not Endor, along with a couple of short dungeon crawls – the first of which really reminded me of the old 2nd edition module Reverse Dungeon for some reason – and a great boss encounter thrown in for good measure. Petrecca’s kobolds absolutely are killer – they’ll make short work of any party who goes after them unprepared. There are some beautifully designed encounters in this book, and the tactics the kobolds use have been very well thought through. Play them intelligently and you’ll have an adventure your players won’t soon forget.
Along with the excellent adventure, the book comes with loads of beautiful maps and illustrations, and the maps have both player and DM specific versions. At $3.95 it’s worth every penny – attested to by the fact that it’s a Silver Bestseller.
That’s it for this month. I hope you found something useful – let me know if you used any of these, and of course don’t forget to leave the authors a review over at DMs Guild.
If you like what I’m doing, please consider supporting me by taking a look at my own products on DMs Guild. My book of Trinkets recently became a Silver Bestseller, and last week I updated Strange Tidings (my rumour generator) with a one-page adventure.