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Way of the Scorpion
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2020 16:04:39

Not only does this book provide a who's who of Scorpion Clan leaders (and enough back story on them to easily incorporate them into your game), but it also provides extensive rules and guidance for poisons, ninja, and playing the most duplicit of clans.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Way of the Scorpion
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Unexpected Allies
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2020 16:01:13

A who's who of Rokugan leading up to and including the Clan War. A good collection of random strangers who are destined to leave their mark on the Empire.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Unexpected Allies
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Dragon Age: Blood in Ferelden
Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 11:39:19

This is a great collection of pregenerated adventures for use with the Dragon Age RPG. It also includes a number of adventure prompts that gamemasters can flesh out into further adventures. If you like the RPG, this book gives great options no matter what type of game your players like. Just be aware that the title is "Blood in FERELDEN". No Orlesian Court intrigues here (unless you want to add your own tie-ins).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Age: Blood in Ferelden
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Player's Secrets of Stjordvik (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 11:34:21

Like all of the "Player's Secrets..." books from the Birthright setting, this is a great resource. These books cover in fairly great detail the politics, geography, economy, etc. of a given nation. They also provide a 'who's who' in the nation. And while some of these provide information on the default ruler of the nation, these books are primarily designed with the understanding that a player is running the nation. Basically, "The nation is yours...now hold onto it."

In the case of Stjordvik, it is one of the more 'good-aligned' Rjurik nations (think Norse), which has a strong economy, trading beyond their regional borders. That said, it has enough enemies that you won't feel too secure.

While you can run this with any 2nd ed. D&D setting, it is best used in conjunction with the Birthright Campaign Setting, as well as the regional source box: The Rjurik Highlands.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Secrets of Stjordvik (2e)
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USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
Publisher: Sanguine Productions
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 11:18:22

This is a fairly simplistic mechanical system, but a very rich world. If you love the Usagi books, this one is for you. If you love feudal Japanese history, culture, etc. This is for you. The book provides rules for playing any of the animal "races" as well as a number of different occupations. It even provides a fairly good list of characters for gamemasters to tie into the game. But where it really shines is how it gives a summary of Japanese history, politics, etc. through the Tokugawa Shogunate, as well as a breakdown on the different provinces of the nation.

If you want to run a Usagi game, this is a fun stand-alone book. If you are interested in running a historical campaign, this book provides enough maps and details to use as a sourcebook for any mechanical system.

For those unfamiliar with the books, the default era of Usagi Yojimbo is the first five years of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1605).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
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Secrets of the Crane
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 11:00:50

For 2nd ed. L5R or 3rd ed. D&D, this book is a very useful tool. It is also valuable for those interested in any edition of L5R who want a better understanding of the Crane. Focusing on one of the great clans of Rokugan, this book provides history, geography, unique customs, and even secrets unknown by those outside the clan. It also includes good detail on the vassal families in service to the main families, allowing players a whole new aspect to choose when creating characters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Secrets of the Crane
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Havens of the Great Bay (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 10:53:49

If you play 2nd edition D&D and want a new world to explore, or just want a great campaign setting, you can't go wrong with Birthright. And Havens of the Great Bay provides players with a more 'Renaissance'-like region where players can really make their mark. Whether sailing the seas, climbing every mountain, or delving into lush valleys, this set provides information on one of the five main regions of Cerilia, and offers overviews of these nations as well as a rich selection of allies and enemies. Just watch out for the Kraken.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Havens of the Great Bay (2e)
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Legend of the Five Rings: Path of Waves
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 10:46:45

This is the perfect book for those looking for an unconventional character in L5R 5th ed. With many new options for ronin characters, it also includes information regarding gaijin. So, if you want your character to have a very uncomfortable life, this book shows the path. That said, it does also provide information on a few new locations on the map where ronin are a bit more accepted, for when the going gets too hard.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Path of Waves
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Midgard Campaign Setting
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 10:39:12

If you like the Pathfinder rules, and want new worlds to conquer, this book is for you. This version of the Midgard: Campaign Setting is Pathfinder compatible, and gives a good overview of a world designed around the world concept from Norse myth. That said, it is not a "viking game", as it includes great plains, vast deserts, and any other geographic area you might think of (many of these areas are covered in greater detail in other books). It also covers the history of the world and it's people, new races, and more.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of this setting is that there are no boundaries depicted on the maps. Nations are described, but exact borders are absent as the setting operates on the idea that these boundaries are in constant flux. This makes it a great world for groups who want to carve out their own nation, or rise in an existing one (for some nations it gives options for obtaining and rising in noble standing).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Campaign Setting
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Girl Genius Volume One (B&W Edition)
Publisher: Studio Foglio
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 10:30:34

If you like steampunk or humor, look no further.

This series is filled with great characters and explores an alternate world-Europe where a young girl finds that all she knew about herself is wrong. While I can appreciate the color versions, the series originated as B&W, and for the price is a great introduction for those unfamiliar with the series. Be warned: it is addictive, and you may be forced to laugh aloud.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Girl Genius Volume One (B&W Edition)
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Top Secret / New World Order
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 10:21:47

If you are looking for a spy game, this is it. It is a simple book that is designed to allow a game to be run in short order. I will say that based on the book, while it is possible to run a team, it seems best suited for individual agents (a one-on-one game).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Top Secret / New World Order
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Legend of the Five Rings: The Great Clans
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 10:14:32

This is a good book that gives extensive treatment to the great clans of Rokugan.

My one disappointment was that the description for this item mentions coverage of the vassal families that serve the great clans (it is one of three bullet points on the back of the book). However, the book only provides about a paragraph for each vassal family. While this book included one or two families not listed in my other books, the "Secrets of the..." clan book series from 2nd ed. L5R provided much more information regarding these families (i.e.- If you wanted to know about Doji family vassals, you would find much more information in "Secrets of the Crane"). This is especially relevant, as no mechanical considerations are provided for any of the vassals in this book. The advantage this book has over the "Secrets..." books is that this book lists the vassal families from ALL of the great clans.

Ultimately, it is THE book for 4th edition L5R regarding the great clans, but if you are looking for vassal family information, you would be better served elsewhere.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: The Great Clans
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Otosan Uchi
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2020 09:59:18

A great book that gives a full view of the Rokugani capital. Providing almost 900 individual locations within the City, there is more than enough material to keep players and gamemasters occupied for extensive campaigns.

In addition, this book includes adventures that see players involved in the events of the Scorpion Clan Coup. Providing three separate adventure paths (based upon where players are at the start of the Coup: inside the Imperial City, in the City at large, or outside the walls of Otosan Uchi), the book also provides points where players might jump from one path to another based upon their actions. Using the adventure paths, gamemasters can see nearly every aspect of these five days, from start to finish.

A note for those considering the print version of this book: Be aware that this book comes in at 280 pages when considering soft cover or hard cover.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Otosan Uchi
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Legend of the Five Rings: Atlas of Rokugan
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/25/2020 13:52:16

I would give this book six stars if I could. This 4th edition L5R book clearly defines the boundaries of each established province and describes in great detail the major points of interest in each, thus clearing up some of the vagaries or confusing content from earlier editions. You will find in some cases that the content of this book conflicts with some other maps, but gamemasters are free to pick and choose just as before (such as the exact location of Shiro Usagi, which was moved further north on 2nd ed. maps, but is now located more fitting to the 1st ed. map). This definitive source would be a great addition to any L5R library for understanding the political and geographic shifts of Rokugan (no matter which edition you play).

In addition, if one has a keen eye, you might note that there are some areas on the map that seem not to be covered by the established provinces. This allows gamemasters to establish their own small provinces, or drop in supplemental ones (such as the Naishou Province from the book of the same name).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Atlas of Rokugan
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Game Master's Pack and Screen: Hare Clan
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/25/2020 13:16:45

A great tool for gamemasters, providing tips and additional cultural information unintended for players. It also comes with an entertaining adventure.

The reason why I gave this item four stars instead of five is that, outside of the screen art and the adventure (which is about half of this product) this item is identical to the "Game Master's Pack and Screen: The Silence Within Sound". So, for gamemasters who are interested in running all of the L5R adventures in pre-coup era, you are buying half this product twice.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Game Master's Pack and Screen: Hare Clan
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